Obsessed – {Blog}

Obsessed – with baby snuggling, binge reading, recipe testing, music loving, and ninja-like writing of YA Fiction…I can quit whenever I want.

Book Release {THE UNSAID}

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Book Reviews, My Blog Posts, Press Updates, Teasers | 0 comments

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I’m checking in to share some news with you! Aaron Blaylock, author of the popular adventure novel THE LAND OF LOOK BEHIND is releasing a new book this month. It’s called, THE UNSAID. I had the privilege of reading it early on and can’t wait of you to take a look at the awesome finished product.

THE UNSAID is a story about Maggie and Eric. Maggie is an unborn spirit who records every single thought that comes out of the typical dude that Eric is. There’s body odor, snarky commentary, charity and thoughtfulness. I loved getting to know Eric and seeing his inner dialogue. Have you ever gazed at your sweetheart (who is a guy) and asked, “What are you thinking?” I know, I know, you’re hoping for some romantic Mr. Darcy to start spewing sonnets, but he usually says something like, “That dinner was good, but it gave me gas. You might want to scoot over.” Yep, that’s kind of what we’re looking at here.

Maggie catalogues Eric’s thoughts every waking moment, including when he meets the new temp at work, a cute girl with a shy side. As Eric gets to know Lindsey and their relationship develops, we come to understand a bit of the inner struggle that Lindsey has going on. In one moment of crisis, Eric struggles to heed the promptings of the spirit that could be a matter of life or death and Maggie takes matters into her own hands. This action puts her directly in Eric’s mind and could possibly keep her from ever having a body of her own.

With so much at stake, Maggie and Eric have to find some equilibrium in order to make things work. You’ll have to pick up a copy of Aaron’s book to see how it all ends. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

THE UNSAID is funny, poignant and thought provoking. It really made me think about the things going on in my head and the words I say out loud. It made me reconsider how I spend my time. If someone was recording my every waking moment, would they die of absolute boredom when I waste time scrolling through Facebook or pinning an entire new wardrobe? And what really happens to all the things you leave unsaid?

You can go grab a copy of Aaron’s latest book here. You can also learn more about Aaron from his blog here

Oh, and take a peek at the back cover. It’s my first blurb! Eeeek!

In another dose of exciting news (brace yourselves!) my 2nd Snowflake Falls Inn novel will be coming out in November! Cookie Girl Christmas won a Swoony Award for Best Christmas Romance. I can’t wait to see what this book does. 

It’s a matching of wits, a battle of guitars, and flaring of tempers. For Journey Miller, social media queen in hiding, Cody Blake is everything that is wrong with country music. When he appears at her refuge in Snowflake Falls to complete his required community service, he’s fresh out of rehab and comes complete with bad attitude. After a little tumble in the mud (Oops! Did she do that?) and a few midnight chats, Journey realizes that maybe Cody isn’t a total lost cause. And just maybe, she can let him into her heart before she goes live with her new life.

Check back here and on my Facebook page for the latest news and updates on WHEN FIREFLIES SING. 

The Pages Between Us {Book Blast}

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Book Reviews, My Blog Posts, Press Updates | 0 comments

The Pages Between Us

The Pages Between Us by Lindsey Leavitt & Robin Mellom

Told in letters, posters, blog posts, homework assignments, and more, The Pages Between Us is a totally fun, totally earnest snapshot of middle grade friendship—and what it truly means to be there for someone during the ups, downs, and everything in between.

Piper and Olivia have been best friends since…well, forever. But they’re distressed to find that their new middle school schedules aren’t giving them enough together-time. Luckily, an idea sparks when Piper finds a cute, sparkly notebook to disguise as her “French Class” homework. It’s genius—now the two BFFs can stick together all the time. And document their adventures—you know, for anthropology’s sake.

But as the two navigate the tricky new world of sixth grade, they realize that they may need to branch out more than they originally thought. Their notebook, once a life raft, begins to feel like a big responsibility. Can they grow up, without growing apart?

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add to goodreads
Praise for The Pages Between Us

“Leavitt and Mellom’s humorous and perceptive tale deftly explores the quandary of how to sustain a cherished friendship while nurturing individual growth.” –KIRKUS

“A cousin to Rachel Renée Russell’s “Dork Diaries”… this is a gentler version of middle school, as the girls support each other through familiar trials… will be enjoyed by strong readers eager to devour realistic fiction with a multimedia slant.” ~School Library Journal

 

Lindsey & Robin

Author Lindsey Leavitt

Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom/party animal (not to be confused with her spirit animal, which is a lion). She lives with her family in the Utah mountains.

Website

Author Robin Mellom

Robin has taught grades 5 through 8 and has a master’s degree in education. She lives with her husband and son on the Central Coast of California.

Website

50_Amazon_Paypal

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/28/16

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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lindsey will be signing copies of THE PAGES BETWEEN US at Barnes and Noble Rainbow location in Las Vegas TODAY (2/13/16) at 2pm. Go out and grab a copy and celebrate with Lindsey!

P.S. Last day to grab a FREE copy of A Heart So Broken. Happy LOVE Day!

A Heart So Broken by Christene Houston

A Heart So Broken by Christene Houston

10 Great Romances {Valentine’s Day}

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Book Reviews, Giveaways, My Blog Posts | 0 comments

We’re full swing into the season of LOVE and I had to share some of my favorite love stories: 

Romance You Can’t Put Down

Romances 2016

Reading is my very favorite form of therapy and ROMANCE is my genre of choice. Check these beauties out:

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Glimmer of Hope

This one by Sarah M. Eden totally resonated with me. I loved seeing a married couple come through some rough times and find their way back.

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Rough Edges

I really love reading this companion series to the Sweet Montana Bride books. Kimberly Krey hits a home run with everything she does. If you haven’t sampled her sweet romances yet, put it on your list!

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Becoming Lady Lockwood

Becoming Lady Lockwood introduced me to Jennifer Moore’s writing, and I’ve been hooked ever since. This novel went on to win a Whitney Award and other honors. What’s even better for a prolific reader is that she already has other titles out including another fave: Simply Anna. So good!

 

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Heir to Edenbrooke

This tempting prequel is just what I hoped it would be. I love hearing about Phillip, who I already adore from Edenbrooke. What I love most is seeing Marianne through his eyes as he meets her in an unexpected crash of fates. Julianne Donaldson takes us right back to what we love most about her novels and leaves us wanting more. 

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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

I read this during the spring of last year after finding it in a Scholastic Book Fair. Friends who become more than friends in a perfectly paced, sweet romance. I was NOT disappointed.

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The Other Side of the Stars

If you haven’t discovered Katherine King’s debut historical set in post WWII America, you’re missing out. Her cover alone won a Best Historical Cover Award, and her story, woven with threads of romance, mystery and suspense will keep you turning until the final pages of resolution. 

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Pimpernel

This book kept me hooked until the wee hours after I picked it up seeking refuge after the drama that is the bedtime routine. I was so enthralled by Claire, her struggles and her genius and the surprising twists and turns in her story that I couldn’t put it down. During carpool the next morning, I exercised high levels of self control by not pulling it out while waiting in the drop off line. So good. 

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Cookie Girl Christmas

After winning a Swoony Award for Best Christmas Novel, I had to include this tasty romance about a handsome Scrooge and a feisty baker. Even though the holiday is past, it’s the perfect book to snuggle up with while the snow is still falling in many parts of the country.

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My Fair Gentleman

I just finished this last night, and I really enjoyed it. I’m obviously a regency nut, and this new novel by Nancy Campbell Allen delivered on the romance, drama and humor.  A really lovely tale.

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A Heart So Broken

A Heart So Broken is your bonus book. Not only is it a sweet romance with plenty of tension, misunderstandings and eventually some swoony kisses, but it’s also FREE for the next two days on Amazon. Snatch up the story of Jenna and Cooper, thrown together in the middle of a small town summer. She’s overcoming heartache and bad choices. He’s recovering from losses of his own. The sizzle between them is undeniable until she uncovers a devastating truth. Confronted with the unthinkable, Jenna must choose between the comfort of misery or hope that can only come from forgiveness.

 

 

{The Land of Look Behind} Book Review

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Book Reviews, My Blog Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

There is such excitement in the air when an author make their debut, especially when their book is diverse, adventurous, and intriguing.

Aaron Blaylock launched his new book, The Land of Look Behind  yesterday. I’m happy to be a stop on the blog tour to spread the word about his novel set in historic and modern Jamaica.

Ah, Jamaica, that little island we often think about in vacation daydreams. If you know anything about the origins of the island, you know there is a stunning variety of peoples who make up the modern day Jamaican population. In The Land of Look Behind, we encounter the Spanish, escaped African slaves turned warriors, English soldiers and more.

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In a cool note of serendipity, I met Aaron through Mr. Houston. Both of them served missions to Jamaica in the late 90s and grew to love the amazing people who lived there. From being persecuted for being white, to fond memories of delicacies eaten (goat anyone?), to learning the language of Patois (pronounced Pat-wah) – which from personal experience sounds like words with the ends nipped off or a handful of them smashed together into a new word, all spoken at a rapid pace – Mr. Houston absolutely loved his time in Jamaica.

The Land of Look Behind gives you a tasty sampling of that rich history through the eyes of Lieutenant Benjamin Jarvis. Inexplicably surviving numerous harrowing experiences, he leaves behind a record of his adventures for the modern day eyes of Gideon Goodwin. Here’s the blurb:

When Gideon, a former missionary, discovers a mysterious drawing tucked in an ancient journal he returns to Jamaica with dreams of finding a centuries old treasure.  He quickly learns there are those who would kill to keep the treasure secret. This thrilling adventure takes you deep into Jamaica’s treacherous cockpit country and back in time for a spine-tingling mystery you won’t be able to put down.

I really enjoyed the chapter by chapter switch between contemporary adventures and the deep history of an island so rich in heritage. Aaron gives his debut novel all the passion that comes from living among a people you grow to love.

Go visit Aaron’s website for more info about this hilarious guy. He really is one of the funniest people I know. Also, check out Goodreads for a chance to win a copy of The Land of Look Behind.

P.S. If you’re in need of a bit of romance this week, A Heart So Broken will be FREE 2/11-13/16!

A Heart So Broken by Christene Houston

A Heart So Broken by Christene Houston

Christmas Romance Sale!

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in My Blog Posts | 0 comments

Christmas Book .99 SaleDates

When I was a teen, one of my favorite things to do was curl up with this darling little Christmas novel called Christmas By The Book, by Beverly King. For a night or two, I was transported to the snowy wilds of a cabin in Idaho where city girl Amanda has to pull off an old fashioned Christmas complete with wood burning stove. Taking that book off the shelf every year marked the beginning of the holiday season for me, a time when miracles happen and unlikely alliances are struck.

My dream when I wrote Cookie Girl Christmas was that it would join the ranks of beloved holiday novels that ring in the season from year to year. 

And since books make the BEST gifts, I’ve teamed up with talented romance writer, Kimberly Krey, to make it easier than ever to stock your kindle with holiday cheer for very little jingle. December 9-10th you can pick up Kimberly’s YA novella Getting Kole for Christmas, and my novel, Cookie Girl Christmas, for just $.99 each! What a deal!

Now that I’ve got your attention, here’s the synopsis on Getting Kole for Christmas:

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For years Kylie has watched her older sisters get asked to every school dance there is. Yet once she’s old enough to go, the invites are in short supply. While getting overlooked has never felt good, it hasn’t really hurt the way it does this year. Because now there’s someone she really wants to go with: Kole Kingston. Kole is charming and funny. Gorgeous and kind. And everything she wants in a guy. Trouble is, he’s also her very best friend. Can Kylie tear herself free from the friend-zone in time to get asked to the Christmas dance? Or will she – like so many others – find that a romance between them will never be?

And here’s what Cookie Girl Christmas is all about:

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Molly Hayes has one more job before Christmas and then she can put her plans for a storefront bakery of her own in motion. What she doesn’t bargain for is the handsome young Scrooge who insults her cookies and makes her blood boil. Toss in a heaping helping of snowstorm and a pinch of romantic old Inn and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for a not-so-silent-night.

Get your copies and spread the Christmas cheer by telling a friend. Find a cozy spot by the fire, fill your cup with cocoa and fall in love again this Christmas. 

7 Tips for Holiday Memories to Cherish

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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We’re all in search of ways to make the holidays not just fun, but memorable. Well look no further. Here are seven simple ways to make some epic Christmas memories. 

  1. {Trim the tree as a family} (Yes, even if Mom comes in later to fix everything). This is a lovely time to share the history of your ornaments, talk about Christmases gone by and reminisce about traditions you cherish. 
  2. {Christmas Crafting} Pull out a Christmas craft and do it together. I’ve found that simplicity in my craft choices helps me enjoy my children’s varying abilities without letting my perfectionist tendencies take over. Here are some good starters. Just click on the image and it will take you to the website for directions:
    My daughter is a penguin nut. Won't this be a cute addition to her collection?

    My daughter is a penguin nut. Won’t this be a cute addition to her collection?

    My boys will love this one.

    My boys will love this one.

     

     There are plenty more on my {All Things Christmas} Pinterest board. Go check it out for some great ideas I’ve collected.

  3. {Reenact the Nativity} Whether your seven-year-old girl is determined to be baby Jesus or your eleven-year-old boy dresses up as the donkey, go with it. Read the account straight from Luke 2. This is one of the most memorable {often hilarious} and sometimes holy things you can do each year.
  4. {Light Gazing} This may sound lame, but I love sitting by the Christmas tree with the lights glowing and a cup of cocoa. Great talks are had under those mesmerizing lights!bokeh-christmas-christmas-lights-christmas-tree-lights-Favim.com-263937
  5. {Date Night Christmas Style} Choose an activity you might otherwise only do with the kids. Go to a play, get cocoa and go ice skating, do some Christmas shopping, but do it just the two of you. You could even give each other a money limit and hit the mall or Dollar Store with a plan to meet up and exchange gifts over dessert. There is something to be said about the magic of Christmas when you can enjoy it with your sweetheart. Maybe you’ll start a new tradition! 

    Christmas Date Night

    Christmas Date Night

  6. {Light Looking} Take the kids to look for Christmas lights. In our city, there is a list of homes that love to go all out with their light displays. Grab some cocoa, pile into the car and crank up the Christmas tunes. Do your little elves get restless after one block like mine? Try printing off copies of this fun Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt to keep them on the lookout for the items on their list.

    Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt

    Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt

  7. {Bake a Memory} There are tasty family favorites that simply make your home feel more like Christmas when they’re baking in the oven. Put on your apron, outfit your kids with some measuring spoons and get baking. Treasured memories seem to collect like chocolate sprinkles when you turn on the oven, put on some music and spend time creating something delicious together. Not sure what to make? Try this family favorite: 

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from Recipe Girl 

COOKIES:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pure unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

ROLLING SUGAR:
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugars and pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time just until incorporated.

3. Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Mix rolling sugar ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tablespoons) or a large spoon to scoop out dough and roll into balls. Use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they’re coated really well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a nice, flat bottom to dip in sugar and flatten the balls.

6. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

I hope you enjoyed these seven ideas for making a memorable Christmas. Now get out there and start making your Christmas merry and bright. Merry Christmas!

Multi-Author $.99 Book SALE!!

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Giveaways, My Blog Posts, Recipes | 0 comments

Echo Ridge authors are thrilled to announce a MUTLI-AUTHOR SALE to launch Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology! Each of the 26 books listed below are JUST $.99 for THREE fabulous days. Load your e-reader and then enter our $200 Christmas Cash GIVEAWAY through the Rafflecopter {link at the bottom of this post}. Happy book shopping!

Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology
Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors. Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols.
Amazon * iTunes * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords * Kobo * Goodreads

Cookie Girl Christmas by Christene Houston
Molly Hayes has one more job before Christmas and then she can put her plans for a storefront bakery of her own in motion. What she doesn’t bargain for is the handsome young Scrooge who insults her cookies and makes her blood boil. Toss in a heaping helping of snowstorm and a pinch of romantic old Inn and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for a not-so-silent-night.
Brownies & Betrayal by Heather Justesen
Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on
the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her to come back to work for him, Tess—armed with an extra batch of éclairs—decides to take control and solve the mystery herself, with the help of friends and frenemies alike.
But will that be enough to save her when she gets too close and the killer decides it’s safer to get her out of the way?
Simplify & Savor the Season by Connie E. Sokol
Ready to enjoy the holidays again? Use this two-part holiday organizer to help you savor the celebrations. In the first half of the book, brainstorm the Big Four; then, detail the To Dos including menu, gift-planning, etc. with success tips on how to eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the essential. Wrap up with “5 Holiday Juicers” to make life joyful. Keep your notes handy in the companion Simplify & Savor Take-along Planner. 
With the second half of the book. curl up with a cup of cocoa and read “Savory Suggestions and Stories,” a collection of laugh-out-loud anecdotal stories including “Let Go of the Cookie Cutter Christmas” and “Thankful for Turkey Warbling”. Make this holiday season one you remember and enjoy!
 

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she’s especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success—until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. Adri must race to uncover the secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before she becomes the next victim. 
With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things will keep you turning pages long into the night. 
A Baker’s Dozen by Lucy McConnell
Tempt your sweet tooth with 13 delicious, easy, and beautiful dessert recipes. Each recipe has been time-tested and found irresistible. You’ll horde the Lemon Brownies but you might be willing to share the Rock and Roll Cake—with a good friend. 
Recipes include: Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies, Pumpkin Bunt Cake, S’mores Cheesecake, No-Fail Lemon Bars 
Impress your coworkers, family, friends, and even the guys at the car repair shop with these recipes. They’re sure to become favorites in your recipe box, lunch box, and ice box. 
The Colony by Cami Checketts
To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property.
Lance, Brinlee’s attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion.
While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.
 

Torn Canvas by Donna K. Weaver

Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only does the twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Up-and-coming talk show host Olivia Howard wants an interview. She, like the rest of the press, expects a hero, but Jori knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.
In seclusion and evading the press, Jori struggles to make a new life as an artist. But he can’t hide from himself; more than his face is damaged. How can Jori possibly make amends for all that he’s broken? When Olivia finally tracks him down, he must decide if he can trust her. Could this unlikely woman be a key to freeing his heart and healing the beast?
The audiobook is only $1.99 with the purchase of the ebook.
Son of War Daughter of Chaos by Janette Rallison
Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for people with the signs: greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks-things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.

Vocal Crush by Lisa Swinton

Can you ever out run a broken heart?
Lexi Court spent seven years traveling the world, living the nomadic Broadway life, in an attempt to outrun the broken heart Nick Rivers gave her. Now, there’s nowhere left to go.
When she accepted a position as a high school drama teacher in Las Vegas, Lexi hoped to get over Nick, find a nice guy, and settle down. But what should be a quiet summer gets turned upside down when Lexi’s best friend, Taffy, drafts her to be an emergency replacement coach on a televised vocal competition.
Feeling out of her league among the other three celebrity coaches, Lexi fights for the most promising contestants to be on her team. One note from a single voice shatters her summer. Nick unexpectedly auditions and joins Lexi’s team. With her vocal crush on him raging as strong as ever, she has nowhere to run from Nick’s dreamy looks or siren voice.
Lexi has no doubt that Nick can win the competition. The question is does he want to win her heart as well or will he damage it beyond repair?
Think television reality show The Voice meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
Picture Perfect by U.S.A. Today Bestseller Heather B. Moore
Gemma has never done anything out of the ordinary, until her boyfriend Randy starts to ignore her. But even cutting and dyeing her hair doesn’t get his attention. She decides to join her old high school friends for spring vacation, only to be faced with Drew, her best friend who suddenly seems interested in her as more than a friend. Gemma must determine if her heart is on the rebound or if it’s finally met its true match.
Endless Modern Cinderella by Jaclyn Weist
Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid. 
Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone.  
But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage. 
As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever be trapped inside her nightmares. 
And Something Blue by Paige Timothy
Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends all her time helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Logan Reese is easily the most irritating man on the planet, and for some reason, he’s made annoying Laurie his mission in life. Will true love ever come Laurie’s way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after while she sits on the sidelines?
Six Days of Christmas by Kaylee  Baldwin
When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children who seem to be multiplying, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother—someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted. 
Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon
As the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer, Sarah Reed has known loneliness and loss. In order to cope, she makes a life for herself that’s full of routine while building a wall of ice around her heart. Everything about her is as predictable as she can make it until a tiny detour for her ex-husband, Ron, changes her life forever. Caught in a bomb crisis, Sarah is taken hostage by a man who wants Ron and everyone around him to suffer—and his idea of suffering is more terrible than Sarah had ever dreamed. 
Captain Ron Reed has seen the worst of humanity in his job with the Hostage Negotiation Team, but he never expected his past to come back with a vengeance—literally. Aaron Starks, a criminal explosives expert, has stolen next-gen bomb technology. He uses it to force Ron to bargain for the lives of his team and his ex-wife, Sarah, the woman he still loves. But the situation escalates when Ron discovers that Starks has an even bigger objective in mind—using the bomb to show how vulnerable America and her people truly are. 
Ron is willing to risk everything to save his country and those he loves, but when negotiations break down, will his sacrifice be too little too late?
yesterdayYesterday by Amanda Tru
Her yesterday was five years ago. What will her tomorrow bring? 
When Hannah Kraeger saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago. 
Each trip Hannah takes through time changes the timeline and her own life. With help from Dr. Seth McAllister, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before the strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life. 
YESTERDAY is a thrilling Christian Romantic Suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance. 
My One and Only by Shannon Guymon
Meredith Jensen has seen her share of ups and downs. She’s found love twice already and lost it in spectacularly traumatic ways. Now? She just wants a peaceful life, free from love and drama. Meredith’s plans for the future center around planning other people’s weddings and her new online dating website. Just because she works to help other people find love doesn’t mean she wants any part of it though. Unfortunately for Meredith’s plans, Asher Murphy is determined to get her to give love another chance. But then again, so is Pule Matafeo. Meredith has never denied that she’s stubborn and feisty so it might take the combined forces of all their friends in Fircrest to get her heart back on track in time for Valentine’s Day. 
Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh
WRITER’S BLOCK, NIBBLED NAILS, PLAGIARISM, OH MY! AND DID I MENTION ROMANCE? Life for Adda Sinclaire, New York Times best-selling author and historical romance writer extraordinaire, reads more like a country song than a breathless, bodice-bursting affair. For starters, she has no romance in her own life. That might have something to do with the fact that her husband—correction, ex-husband—ran off with Stick Woman, whom everyone knew would never be more than a mid-list author anyway. To add insult to injury (and another verse to the country song), her ex not only took their dog but gave it to Stick Woman. If that isn’t enough, Adda has come down with a horrible case of writer’s block, finds herself gifted with a Bible that is determined to speak to her, and is the unwitting target of a romance cover model’s misdirected advances. Just when she catches her breath—and quite possibly the eye of a certain fabulously good-looking man (ahem…her new editor)—her arch-nemesis gives the pot one final stir.
Spy by Night by Jordan McCollum
After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone.But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.
Danny moved to Canada for a great job — and a chance to start over after a bad breakup. Dating definitely isn’t in his plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. When he catches a glimpse of the real woman behind her façade, he has to get to know her better.
Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together.
Saving Grace by Michele Paige Holmes
From #2 Amazon Bestselling Historical Romance Author and Whitney Award Winner, Michele Paige Holmes, comes SAVING GRACE, a regency romance from the Hearthfire Romance series: 
After the death of her grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace Thatcher wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. Her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing. 
As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage. 
Too late Grace regrets her rash actions when her father’s last choice, Mr. Samuel Preston, proves to be a gentleman and a friend. But Samuel is the sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, the man responsible for her “ruin.” Now instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda. 
Other Hearthfire Romances: LOVING HELEN & MARRYING CHRISTOPHER
An Unexpected Proposal by Annette Lyon
While working at a wood camp in the Logan canyon during the winter of 1880, Caroline Simpson is forced to thwart the aggressive advances of Mr. Butch Larson, and in the process discovers that her long-time friend James has genuine affection for her. But as stubborn as Caroline is, she minimizes the emotions James has awakened in her, and it takes almost losing him to admit her true feelings.
 An Unexpected Proposal was introduced in the first volume of the bestselling and award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology series, Winter Collection:
Amazon #1 Bestselling *New Release* in Clean Romance, Top 10 in Regency Romance, Top 5 in Victorian Romance
 

Paris Cravings by Amazon #1 Best Selling Author for Clean Romance, Kimberley Montpetit
Can life really turn on a dime, a missed bus—or a stuck pastry shop door?
Chloe Dillard’s life has always been complicated. Her mother is a neurotic romance novelist and her boyfriend, Mathew, has been pressuring her to go “all the way”.
But after The Worst Night of Her Life, Chloe escapes on her Senior Class trip to the swoon-worthy city of Paris which takes her mind off her troubles—temporarily. On the final leg of her dream trip, Chloe squeezes in one final run for a last-minute box of decadent pastries. Add a broken shop door, subtract a broken four-inch heel from her cute strappy sandals, and Chloe ends up one stuck girl on the bakery shop floor with a sprained ankle.
Rescued by the shop owner’s dreamy son with chocolate-syrup eyes, the beautiful city of Paris suddenly becomes Chloe’s personal secret adventure. And even though Jean-Paul, the oh-so-kind La Patisserie shop boy is the gentlemanly guy Chloe has always dreamed of, even he has a girlfriend.
The police are tracking her down as a run-away, Mom’s having a nervous breakdown over her daughter’s “disappearance”, and Chloe’s just trying to have a Happily-Ever-After even as her dreams with Matt are swirling down the drain.
What’s a girl to do in the most romantic city in the world?
Easy Pastry Recipe in the back of the book!

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Books for Freedom

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Inspiration, My Blog Posts | 0 comments

One day I was driving and saw this little child walking alongside the road. He was alone, and in my eyes, much too small to be without a parent on that busy street. It struck me in that moment, when I felt the need to watch him in my rear view mirror until I saw him turn down another street, that I was ruined. Ruined in a beautiful way. I could no longer see a child and ignore the tug on my heart that just needed to know if they were okay. I couldn’t hear a baby crying in Target without wondering if there was some way I could help make this shopping trip easier. It has become impossible not to meet a baby’s eyes and want to pour the secrets of their soul out into my lap. 

Triumphs

For me, becoming a mother doesn’t just apply to the children who I carried in my womb, but seems to extend an electric line of connection to every child I meet. That connection amplified when I was asked to teach children at church. As the leader of my little congregation of kiddos, there was one boy who seemed intent on making my life a misery. Every Sunday he would do his best to interrupt or basically be disruptive. I was exasperated until… until I found out that his family was dealing with painful issues that left him neglected and hurting. Until I saw him as more than a disruptive kid intent on acting out. Now I could see his interruptions as pleas for acknowledgement and tenderness. 

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Graphic by Kiki Comin

When I first heard of Operation Underground Railroad, that innate love for children in my heart exploded at the thought of innocence being harmed in such a horrible way. I knew I had to do something. While I can’t save the world, I’m doing what I can. It’s no longer about your children or my children, but OUR children, the children of this world that need us to fight. Because every child deserve to feel the sun on their face in a place where they feel safe and loved.

Original graphic by Kiki Comin

Original graphic by Kiki Comin

This week, I’ll be donating the proceeds from all three of my books on Amazon to O.U.R. I can’t think of a better way to be a mother. I’m joined by talented romance author Kimberly Krey. Her book Rough Edges is the featured title for this fundraiser. Tristi Pinkston is offering her many books as part of Books for Freedom. 

Donating a few dollars can save the life of a child. Do what you can and then spread the word. Become an Abolitionist!

 

Operation Underground Railroad

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Inspiration, My Blog Posts, Weekend Inspiration | 0 comments

I’ve rewritten this post several times in an effort to say just the right thing. To ease into a subject that is not easy. Because I’m used to using words to paint a pretty picture, to bring relief and laughter and light. But today the words I need to say start in the dark. In silence and suffering. They’re not pleasant to set your heart on, but the truth of them is a pain we must endure if we are to make a difference.

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Today I’m talking about child sexual slavery. The editor of LDS Living called it “one of the fastest growing and most lucrative criminal industries in the world today.” The very thought makes me sick to my stomach, because, like you, I have seen the pristine beauty of new life. My job as a mother is to stand like a lion at the gates protecting that beauty with every fiber of my being. I fight the fight every day to raise my little ones in the light of this beautiful world, tenderly feeding them hope, nurturing their vital intelligence and activity into blossoms they can share with a world that needs it. I am a vehement opposer of pornography in a city that cultivates it. I choose to stand in between the popular of the day, to examine lyrics, to scrutinize movies, to preview games before my children ingest them, weeding out poison and blocking deception. It’s not easy, but I was born to do it. I am exactly the person they need right now, to stand at the gate, fearless and ready to fight.

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Image by Operation Underground Railroad

Learning about this lucrative business that takes children, like mine, and sells them into a life I cannot even begin to comprehend… it’s painful to contemplate. It hurts my heart in a way that made it hard to face at first. I saw this post many times before I had the courage to see it. To read the words. To let them pierce my heart. But the moment I allowed myself to see it, I could not look away. I could not hide from the beautiful faces of those freed children, knowing there were more…oh so many more…waiting for the same chance.

You, too, may be looking away, fearful to contemplate the truth of this blight. It is a horrible plague, but just as we would not just hide from danger while sending our loved ones into the world to be exposed to it, we cannot hide from this. We have to dress ourselves in bravery and bind on our courage because whether we like it or not, we’re at war. The moment I allowed myself to know, I took up the banner. I am an abolitionist. I will be to the day I die. I will do whatever I can to fight for freedom from this horrible scourge on our children.

Unfortunately, like many of you, I don’t have the skills to mount an operation and hold these children in my arms, carrying them to freedom from a life of pain, disease and depravity. But there is an organization that can. Operation Underground Railroad is made up of past Navy Seals and CIA operatives with training and skills to take down those who sell children, to rescue them and then to place them in a safe home where they can get the help they need to heal from their wounds.

 

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Get your badge at ourrescue.org.

My friends, today I am an abolitionist because every human has the right to explore their potential. I am an abolitionist because every child should know the light of sunshine on their shoulders and the comfort of safety. I am an abolitionist because I know what it is like to look into the eyes of perfect innocence. I am an abolitionist because I believe that good will triumph when people like you and me stand up and do something with the knowledge we have. My few dollars can save a child. My monthly donation can fund a rescue. My voice, sharing this message can bring these kids to safety.

Since learning of this organization, I’ve been joined by like-minded ladies. We are the Abolitionist Moms and we invite you to join us.

There are so many ways to help:

Join Abolitionist Moms and donate time, services, goods, and talents. All proceeds will go to O.U.R. to rescue children from sexual slavery. 

Create a group of your own with the same goal, inviting the people you know and love who will want to fight to be a part.

Buy and wear a T-shirt. When asked, let people know what you stand for!

Spread the word. Even this alone is more helpful than you know. Sharing on your social media platforms and encouraging others in your group of friends to do the same can spread the word exponentially. When we post about sales, fund raisers, and other exciting events, please share, share, share!

Donate directly to O.U.R. Give a Lincoln, save a slave. 

Pray for these children and those involved in this dangerous and imperative work. They need the help of God on their side and our prayers to sustain them in the horrors they will undoubtedly see. Pray for them to be strengthened, to be successful, to be protected from physical and emotional harm.

I am linking to several events coming up sponsored by Abolitionist Moms. Any and all are welcome to participate through donation of goods or purchasing. ALL PROCEEDS go to fight slavery.

TOMORROW, April 11, 2015 Abolitionist Moms will be hosting a Bake Sale here in Las Vegas, Nevada from 10-12pm. 9746 Kampsville Avenue, Las Vegas, NV. Drop by, tell your friends, buy delicious goodies, have your child’s face painted, and donate to OUR! ALL PROCEEDS will go to O.U.R.

May 26, 2015–will be the beginning of an online auction. Join Abolitionist Moms to donate tickets, gift cards, handmade items, service, etc. and then go shopping during the auction to benefit O.U.R.

June 13, 2015Yoga in the Park and Picnic to Benefit O.U.R. Outdoor yoga for $10 per student. Join this event for further details.

A consignment sale, placing of exchange students, and other fun and helpful events are coming up. Be sure to become an Abolitionist Mom to stay in the know and donate your time and talents to this great cause.

Join the fight. Become an abolitionist.

 

 

 

Have you ever?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Book Status, My Blog Posts | 0 comments

Have you ever felt like you should do something? Something uncomfortable, even frightening. I’m not talking about that weird show where you had to eat earthworms for money. I’m talking facing fears, standing up when you want to sit down, speaking out when you’re so much more comfortable staying in the background.

The truth about me is that I hover somewhere between loving my people time–going to activities, heading up projects, book club, signings, etc. and enjoying the solitude of life. If there can be any solitude found when you have as many children as you do fingers on one hand. Ha ha! Not much solo time ’round here folks! 

A couple of years ago I attended a week of Education at BYU in Provo, Utah. The subjects were varied, the speakers phenomenal, the whole experience amazing. But that week, this little voice told me I needed to start speaking to the youth. Ha ha. Yeah right. Me? Are you kidding? The girl who was home schooled through middle and high school and therefore has no frame of reference for what youth today are experiencing? Me, who was so shy and quiet during my teen years I hardly said a word to the boys in my church class. (So embarrassing!) I pushed that little voice into the closet where it belonged and continued my general church service. Cause, see, here’s the thing. My husband is a perennial scout/young men leader. He has served in those callings involving the young men in our church ages 11-18 for almost our ENTIRE marriage save a few short stints in other positions, including about 1.5 years when I served the young ladies in our ward. Yep. I am pretty much NEVER going to be able to serve  the young women until all our kids are grown and suddenly we can both be gone on a weeknight and off to campouts , etc.

So why should I even worry about talking to the youth? I teach the women at church, sub in Primary on occasion, and love it. I write books for young people and women. There, I’m off the hook right?

Well, not so much.

That feeling continued to grow stronger until the end of last year. I looked at the new theme for the youth of our church and something inside of me just stood up and said, “Hey, let’s write a little book about how to do this.”

Ha ha ha! Hysterical laughter followed.

But that voice was serious. And soon I could think of nothing else. I was getting ideas and contacting people because I can’t just write a book. I have to just…know more. You see, I love the youth. I admire and adore them so very much. I see them for who they really are and it fills me with excitement and joy. And do you know what, I have one of them in my house. That little person I gave birth to, the one who made me a mommy and has been my favorite first child in the whole wide world? He’s 12 now and he’s in this zone of growth and confusion and struggle and joy. I love his guts. And I couldn’t stop writing. 

Vintage Navigation Background Illustration With Steering Wheel, Charts, Anchor, Chains

This book, EMBARK IN HIS SERVICE, has been the hardest to write. I can honestly say that writing is a beautiful struggle anyway. I love almost every moment of it. Finding the perfect words to impart your message is tricky. To teens, even harder. But then, the opposition. The adversary poking me with doubts, filling me with despair and telling me over and over that this was not something I could do. I have never felt my weaknesses so strong as I did writing these words. 

You think that old serpent would know this by now, but when I know it’s right and you try to stop me, I just get that much more stubborn. I get that much more determined. And because I am growing up just a little bit, I turned to God. I begged Him for the courage to be who He needs me to be. This whole thing: every single word I wrote — it’s Him. It’s like I opened up my brain and He poured in the words that trickled out through my fingertips and into this message. It’s a call to serve. It’s a charge to be more. It’s a warning to prepare NOW because the waiting is over. 

I reread the words through my edits and marveled at what He told me. HIS WORDS. I am not that smooth or inspired. I’m just not. I take no credit. GOD is amazing. He can move mountains. He can write books. HE can rescue every child He has sent to this earth.

It’s coming out March 15, 2015. Tell your friends. Notify your youth. They need this book in their hands. Tell them He sent you.

 

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