Thursday, December 25, 2014

Silver Bells Collection/Various Author's


    "Lucinda Brant’s delightful novella, FAIRY CHRISTMAS, Kitty Aldershot is orphaned and forced to live on others’ charity. Offered a home under the generous roof of her relatives, the Earl of Salt Hendon and his countess, Kitty wants for nothing, not even the affections of Mr. Tom Allenby. But when Kitty stumbles across a letter written by Lady Caroline that reveals how Mr. Allenby would be ruined should he marry the likes of Kitty, she realizes she has been fooling herself all along. Kitty’s world crumbles around her as she recognizes she will forever be alone with no prospects at all.

    Sarah M. Eden’s charming romance novella A CHRISTMAS PROMISE, Sean Kirkpatrick is trying to get to his new place of employment, Kilkenny Castle, in order to start as the new stablehand. His only requirement is to drive a team of high-spirited nags from Dublin to Kilkenny in a certain amount of time. Unfortunately he winds up in a muddy field, stuck, lost, and running out of time. He’s about to lose the job before he can prove himself capable of finishing his first assignment. When Maeve Butler arrives on the scene, Sean isn’t sure if she’s intent on rescuing him or bent on torturing him with her fiery wit and lovely dark eyes.

    In Heather B. Moore’s enchanting novella, TWELVE MONTHS, Lucien Baxter’s best and most incorrigible friend, Will, dies unexpectedly, leaving behind his new bride and unborn child the week before Christmas. Will’s last request is that Lucien watches over Cora, not just as a benefactor, but as a husband. When Lucien does his duty and proposes to Cora, he’s turned down flat. But over the course of the next few days, Lucien discovers that marrying Cora wouldn’t be any sort of duty after all, but a matter of following his heart.

    In Lu Ann Staheli’s sweet romance novella, A FEZZIWIG CHRISTMAS, Dick Wilkins and his best friend Ebenezer Scrooge have been looking forward to the annual Fezziwig Christmas dance for weeks. Ebenezer is practically engaged to Annabelle Fezziwig, and Dick hopes to start courting her younger sister, Pricilla. Once the dance starts, and Pricilla arrives, as pretty and charming as ever, Dick discovers that he’s not the only man vying for her attention. His best friend advises Dick that he has to win Pricilla’s heart, as well as her mother’s favor. Losing his heart has suddenly become very complicated.

    A TASTE OF HOME, a captivating romance by Annette Lyon, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of Christmases past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. William stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.

    Becca Wilhite’s entrancing novella, MY MODERN GIRL, follows Margie, who lands her dream job as a clerk at Macy’s department store in New York City. Margie might be new in town, but she’s determined to succeed and prove to Henry that moving to the city was the right decision. As the Christmas season approaches, Margie realizes that being a “modern girl” might not be all she had dreamed of and Henry might have more to offer than she ever imagined."


    Another great collection of Anthologies. Each novella brings in the Christmas Spirit. If you are in the holiday frame of mind these short stories are well worth your time. Each story has Romance, and it takes place when most of the characters are not expecting it or looking for it.
    Take your time and spread out the stories during the week or month or read them all within one day or night. That is what is great about these collections. I cant say much else about the books since looking at the synopsis sums them up nicely. Each story was well written and thought out by the Author, and I don't have much complaint.
    If your in the holiday mood and need some romance, then this book is for you!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I want to be Baptized/Annalisa Hall/Corey Egbert


    "Depicts what baptism really means for children's lives by comparing it to objects they remember and relate to. Turn to these heartwarming illustrations and meaningful analogies next time a child asks you about baptism."


    Need help explaining baptism to your children? Look no further. This book highlights the importance of being baptized. It helps the child understand the steps they need to take before, and the steps they need to take after baptism, to keep the Holy Ghost with them.
    I honestly wish I had this book a couple of years ago when my niece asked me to give a talk at her own baptism. Now that I have this book, it will definitely be available for the rest of my family when the time comes for them to be baptized.
    The book is well written and well illustrated. Towards the end of the book they have the different stepping stones with some additional information such as Scriptures and Hymn numbers. Check out the other book they have out called "The Holy Ghost is like a Blanket".

Friday, November 21, 2014

Softly Falling/Carla Kelly


    "Fresh off the train from New York City, Lily Carteret arrives in picturesque Wyoming only to discover that her wayward father has lost his cattle ranch to a lowly cowboy in a card game!

    Determined not to let her father’s folly ruin her life, Lily becomes a teacher on the ranch. There she learns that the handsome cowboy, Jack Sinclair, has some wild predictions about the upcoming winter—that it will be unlike anything Wyoming has ever seen. Lily must either cast off her skepticism to work with Jack or risk losing everything she holds dear."


    I love the dynamic between Lily's world and Jacks world. Lily really takes the changes in her life in stride.  With this change I think she grows into the women she could see from a distance but was never before able to grasp. Enter Jack and his take charge attitude and things fall softly into place.
    This is a great sit on your couch in front of a roaring fire kind of read. Trust me when I say you will want to stay nice and warm.
    This book is a little over four hundred pages long, but I am sure it will grab a hold of you to where you don't even notice the page numbers and it will have ended before you know it, leaving you wanting more!
    I would love to find out what happens to some of the other characters. I can see them having their own stories. One can only hope! Carla nailed it again. Sit down and relax with some hot cocoa and enter a world with Romance, drama, comedy, and tragedy, this book has it all.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Christmas in Snow Valley/Various Author's


    "An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

    Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancé, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

    Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn’t pursue him or even seem interested. Ty’s career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

    The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

    Risking it all for Love by Kimberley Montpetit
Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend’s death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she’s surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?

    Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell (Christina Dymock)​
As head of Snow Valley hospital’s fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn’t have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She’s been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads." 


    A well put together team of writers that get your imagination flowing. I loved how one common thread through out each book was Pastor John and the notorious "fire".
    Most of the stories deal with girls who left Snow Valley because they needed to get away or they were running from their past. But something, or someone pulled them back, sometimes against their wishes. Life catches up to them and they need to determine whether they should embrace what is handed to them, or move on, either with joy or pain.
    A few of them I was more enthralled with and captivated by, but they all have what every reader enjoys, and that happens to be a happily ever after. Romance, Drama, Comedy are just some of the genres you will cross in all six of these sweet and enduring novella's. 

Links to the Novella's:;qid=1411597983&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=christmas+in+snow+valley">Amazon</a> * <a href="">iTunes</a> * <a href=";itm=1&amp;usri=2940046248463">B&amp;N</a> *&nbsp;<a href="">Smashwords</a> * <a href="">

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Secrets after Dark/Marie Higgins


    "Residing at Thornton Manor under the premise of courting Jonathan Thornton,
Hannah Forester intends to find out who murdered her father and why. After
all, Jonathan’s brother Morgan was the last person to visit Peter Forester
before his demise. But upon her arrival at Thornton Manor, Hannah is
informed that Morgan perished the previous year in a house fire. She soon
learns the manor is full of secrets: a ghost haunting the East Wing, a white
wolf that roams the grounds by night, and the story of a curse-protected
treasure on the neighboring island. Most disturbingly, Hannah discovers that
numerous young women have visited the manor only to vanish without a trace.

    When a hooded, deep-voiced man visits Hannah’s bedroom late at night,
warning her to leave the manor for her own safety, she realizes he must be
Morgan Thornton. But why does he hide in the East Wing, and why does his
family insist he is but a ghost? As Hannah falls in love with the handsome
older brother, she must continue to court Jonathan in order to remain at the
estate. Can she convince Morgan where her true loyalties lie? And will she
uncover the Thornton’s secrets quickly enough to solve her father’s murder
before she loses her own life?"


    I decided since it is October I would post a fun and haunting book. I read this book about a year ago and enjoyed the mystery inside its pages. Things are just weird in the Thornton house hold and Hannah didn't pick the best time to come for a visit, But without her everything would remain a mystery and we cant have that!
    Great characters and plot. Romance, Drama, and some Spookiness all wrapped up in one book. Keep a look out for more books from Marie, she has a variety of enthralling novels and I am always excited to see what she comes out with.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Old West Collection/Various Authors


    "In BREAK A LEG, a charming story by two-time Rita Award winner Carla Kelly, hospital steward Colm Callahan is ready to move away from army life at Fort Laramie. His only regret is leaving behind exotic Ozzie Washington, easily the prettiest woman on the post. As a maid to the lieutenant colonel's wife, Ozzie is no wilting flower when it comes to hard work. When the post surgeon leaves for an extended week, Colm must handle several medical emergencies on his own. He pleads for Ozzie's help at the hospital. While they spend long days and nights working together, Colm, a shy man, realizes he can't hide the truth of his feelings for Ozzie. He needs a little help, though. Enter from stage left, Lysander Locke, Shakespeare tragedian on his way to Deadwood.

    THE SOLDIER'S HEART, an enchanting novella by Sarah M. Eden, follows Gregory Reeves has fallen in love with a woman he’s never met. Her brother’s dying wish is that Gregory checks on his family, and after the war, Gregory is only too happy to meet the woman he’s been dreaming about. Helene mistakes him for a hired hand and sets him to work immediately. As time passes, Gregory finds it more and more difficult to reveal his true connection to her family, fearing that a woman who loathes liars will turn her disapproval on him.

    HIDDEN SPRING is an enthralling novella by Liz Adair, in which Susannah Brown is just getting her life back together after becoming a widow. She still misses Wesley with a fierce longing, but when she meets his half-brother, Douglas, she learns her heart is not completely dormant. Over the next several weeks, Douglas helps Susannah with repairs on her small ranch in exchange for supper. The exchange becomes more and more meaningful as Susannah realizes that Douglas might be the one to finally heal her heart.

    In Annette Lyon’s delightful story, THE SWEETEST TASTE, Della Stafford hates being a farm girl in the tiny town of Shelley, Idaho. She’ll do anything to live in a big city and experience real city life. Her only regret is that she’d have to leave Joseph behind, the young man who makes her heart flutter. But she's convinced that moving away is for the best; her dreams and Joseph's dreams are too dissimilar. Then Della takes a job as a maid in Los Angeles and must face the truth that what she thought would make her happy and what really will are totally different things.

    THE SILVER MINE BACHELOR, by Heather B. Moore, is a sweet romance between an unlikely pair. Lydia Stone has a checklist for men who qualify as the eligible bachelors in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Her new boss, Mr. Erik Dawson, is about to be struck off the list when she sees him coming out of the town brothel. Lydia doesn’t know that Erik Dawson’s sister has been living the brothel lifestyle for years, and he’s set on redeeming her soul. When Lydia discovers Erik’s secrets, she learns that life is not as black and white as she thinks.

    In the captivating novella, FAITH AND THE FOREMAN by Marsha Ward, Faith Bannister is forced to travel west to earn a living as a school mistress in Arizona Territory. Faith soon learns that living the frontier lifestyle of a single woman has many harsh challenges. But when she meets Slim McHenry, she discovers that life doesn’t have to be so lonely. Unfortunately the dangerous Rance Hunter stands between her and Slim, and she must act with courage before everything is lost."


    I have to say that in every one of these Anthologies the men are beyond belief. Now a days women can only hope that they can find and end up with men like the six portrayed in these novella's. I also enjoyed the women who, when they set there mind to the tasks or struggles, they came face to face with who they were destined to be.
    I couldn't pick a favorite because they all had so much to give and different scenarios weaved in to each back story. If you like to be taken back into the old west with romance, mystery, danger, and bits of laughter, then you will love the stories these Authors have dreamed up.
    Keep an eye out for other Anthologies by these Authors, and others. The Summer Collection just came out in July.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Safe Space/E.M. Tippetts


    "Everyone needs a safe space.

    For Lizzie Warner, that space has always been in front of the camera on her hit show, or on stage to a sold out concert arena. Since before she can remember, she’s been a star, but that may be about to change.

    She’s nineteen. Her show has been cancelled and now she’s going to play the lead in a new prime time drama series, but is the world ready to take her seriously, or will she be typecast as the cute tween queen forever?

    Her network has decided to be aggressive and has invested millions of dollars in an ad campaign for her show, money she’s not sure she can earn back. Her co-star can’t stand her, and the writing for the show turns out to be poor at best. The only reason Lizzie didn’t walk away from the job offer to begin with is because she’s broke, the victim of a decade of bad money management.

    Then there’s Devon, the personal trainer at her gym. Arrogant and abrasive, he’s the last guy she should ever find attractive, but she has a hopeless crush on him anyway, and he doesn’t seem entirely disinterested either. In fact, sometimes he’s downright sweet to her. If only he weren’t an untamable bad boy who uses and dumps women like they’re nothing. Though Lizzie’s friends warn her to stay away, he’s the only person who can create what she needs: a safe space. But is there any way she can break him of his years' long habit of being a user?"


    Lizzie (19) tends to do what the script say's even though she is uncomfortable with most of the situations she is put in. She does them because everyone around her is counting on her to make the show work and stay at the top of the ratings. Devon (26) just happens to be there when she needs someone to bring her back down to the real world.........and some much needed practice for an area in her life she is much lacking. (Kissing of course).
    Both Lizzie and Devon need each other, even though one seems to be pushing away the other, for reasons they think are justified. Being friends is a better option....or is it?
    This book has romance, heartbreak, and drama. I loved the surprise about Devon. Usually I can figure stuff like that out before its made known, but you got me that time Emily! I think that at least once in everyone's life they feel lost and we just need to find our places in this world. Emily does a great job at building her characters and moving them in the direction they need to go, not just for the characters sake but for the readers to stay involved. 
    If you enjoyed her other books in her Somebody Else's Fairytale series and spin-off, this is definitely down your ally. If you read this before any of her other books that is just fine, just make sure you don't miss out on any of her other novels, She has a variety in which you could enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Seeds of Faith/Dan Barker


    "In Sunday School, we learn about the remarkable miracles of early converts. But what about their lives before they became spiritual giants? Dan Barker, author of Little-Known Stories about the Doctrine and Covenants, compiles conversion stories full of visions, persecutions, and miracles. Our ancestors' paths to the gospel will strengthen your testimony as you live your own conversion story."


    It was enlightening getting to read of people's conversion stories back when the restored gospel was first placed back on the Earth. The outlook from those who became a member and those who looked from the outside in. Some short accounts, some longer. Men and Women.
    You get a better look at how Joseph Smith lived and the persecution of the Saints, which some of the accounts explain why they hadn't yet joined the church for fear of this said persecution. I noticed that some of the people in particular came around to the gospel only after denying it for so long. A lot of the accounts had a similar trend in that they wouldn't join any church until they knew it was the right one for them.
    Missionary work was very important back then as it is now. Parley P. Pratt was one said missionary that was in a lot of the accounts having baptized a lot of people. How blessed is he!
    This book is full of some amazing conversion stories! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Shores of Bountiful/Loralee Evans


    "Elizabeth is devastated when Lamanites attack Zarahemla and her betrothed is killed in battle. Her friend Joshua, whom she has known since childhood, is equally crushed; both by the anguish he shares with Elizabeth, as well as his own guilt that he could not save the man she loved. But together, the two find comfort in their shared grief.
     Shemnon, a Lamanite, is a man with many years and many scars, both inside and out. Despite his hatred of what he believes the Nephites to be, he is not without honor, and his heart not without compassion. When he meets Elizabeth, he can't say why she seems so familiar, or why her eyes seem so much like those of the daughter he lost years ago.
     Elizabeth does not know how she remembers the old Lamanite either, for she is certain she has never met him in her life. Neither does she fully understand her changing feelings for Joshua as the wounds upon her heart slowly heal, and the caring between them gradually develops into something deeper.
     But before Elizabeth and Joshua can come to an understanding of what their friendship has become, a new danger threatens their people. This time from within the walls of Zarahemla itself, causing even more troubles for Elizabeth and Joshua and those they hold dear, threatening to destroy everything that matters to them."


    The first book that started my blog was called "The Birthright" By Loralee Evans. To this day it is still one of my all time favorite books. The Shores of Bountiful Is a great addition to that first book. You have Elizabeth and Joshua this time and get some mentions of Mariam and Jacob from the first book, but this book is all about Elizabeth and Joshua's relationship.
    I love reading stories that take place during the Nephite and Lamanite times. Even though a lot of the characters are fiction, the events that took place are real (like the start of the Gadianton robbers).
   Following Elizabeth during her time of grief, following Joshua into the throws of battle, the emotions are high, but well worth it! This book is also about family and finding the love that lives with you, even through some of the darkest hours of life.
    If you are in the mood for some history, romance, drama, a battle or two then pick up this book and Loralee's other books. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

What is Hidden/Lauren Skidmore


    "In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge."


    I have always been a fan of the Cinderella Story, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it! Evie is a strong heroin who loses almost everything towards the first part of the book. Aiden, her best friend is the only person who knows she is still alive. Aiden is still a mystery to Evie and he always goes off subject when the subject turns to him. Can these two work together to find the man named the Chameleon, who stole everything dear to her? Truth's will be revealed, hearts will be broken, but love conquers all!
    I enjoyed the plot, and the characters. It left you satisfied, yet ready for the next book. (there better be another book!) For me I was able to figure out a lot of the truth's that were hidden from Evie way before she finds them out, within the first couple chapters. I don't know if the Author planned it to be that easy to figure out or not, and found myself a bit frustrated when it took Evie almost the whole book to figure certain things out that seemed so obvious to me. 
    If you want fantasy, suspense, drama, and love and enjoy Fairytale romances, then this is the book for you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Fortune Cafe/Various Author's


    "MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware.

    LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.

    TAKEOUT: Stella is content in her new life of taking over her mom’s jewelry shop. No more boyfriend to worry about, and as long as she stays busy, she doesn’t have to dwell on her non-existent love life. When Evan comes into the shop with his young daughter, Stella is charmed. But she is reluctant to complicate her straightforward life, so when she reads her fortune after ordering takeout from The Fortune Café, she completely ignores it. After all, how can a fortune as vague as “Do the thing you fear and love is certain,” apply to her?"


    I really enjoyed reading of Emma, Lucy, and Stella. Three very different women with one thing in common....the Fortune Cafe and its very accurate fortunes. Emma who actually works for the Cafe, also is a great comic artist. When Harrison shows up she is afraid of letting him in while she deals with her work and her crazy mother. She doesn't want the stress to pile on, but Harrison wants to help if only she will let him in.
    Lucy believes she is only lucky because of the necklace her grandfather gave her when she was younger. When the necklace breaks, things seem to go bad everywhere she turns. Enter Carter who seems to be able to cope with bad things happening to him, since they happen often. But when his luck turns around when Lucy's goes bad, can Carter help Lucy realize she doesn't need her lucky necklace to turn her luck around?
    Stella works in a jewelry shop and doesn't seem to have any time for herself. Taking care of her ailing mother and full time work at the store she rarely has time to eat let alone meet and date someone. Enter Evan, who happens to come in right when she needs rescuing from an ex-boyfriend. Can Evan and his daughter bring Stella out of her secluded life and back out into the world?
    Written by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, Heather B. Moore. Loved the diversity and the main characters. Something for everyone. Romance, Drama, Comedy. Enjoy

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Death in the Family/Guest Post by Marlene Bateman


    "Meet Erica Coleman—a gifted and quirky private investigator with an OCD-like passion for neatness and symmetry, a penchant for cooking, (ten terrific recipes are included), and a weakness for chocolate.
In A Death in the Family, the second in the Erica Coleman series, private eye Erica Coleman and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, suspects wrongdoing and asks Erica to investigate her company, things get sticky.
    Before the investigation can even begin, Blanche’s unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers—and it is soon clear Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When another relative becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues.
    Erica’s OCD either helps or hinders her—depending on who you talk to—but it’s those same obsessive and compulsive traits than enable Erica to see clues that others miss. When she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case."

Guest Post:

    "Every author wants to capture the interest of the reader and one of the best ways to do this is by using effective and efficient characterization. Your story will only succeed if the people in it fascinate, anger, please, tickle or otherwise affect the reader.  You have to have believable, interesting characters. Readers want to become involved with the characters they read about. To make your readers feel something for your character, you must make your character a specific person—you must strike a chord on some emotion you know to be universal; such as fear, love, revenge, ambition, insecurity, etc. Work to give your readers someone they can identify with. To efficiently and effectively describe your character, pick out useful characteristics from the following list. And one last bit of advice when describing your character; pick out only a few things, not everything:

 Vocabulary.  Does she use a lot of long words? Professional jargon? Use certain words often?
Style of speech.  Does she speak with authority, or sound tentative?  Does he control others?
Tone.  What does his voice sound like?  Is it melodious?  Harsh?
Diction.  Does he speak clearly or mumble?  Have an accent?
Clothing.  Is he rich or poor by the clothes he wears?  Careless about appearance?  Have poor taste?  Look comfortable?
Jewelry.  Does he wear an expensive watch?  Have diamonds or other gems?  Wear a cross?  School ring?
Grooming.  Does she wear too much makeup?  Does he glow with good health?  Are her nails bitten down?
General appearance.  Does he slump or sit up straight?  Smile a lot?  Gesture often? Have a pimple?
In addition to the above list, here are some things you should keep in mind when writing about your character:

Avoid stereotypes.  Don’t have a girl that is too pretty, a man too handsome, a villain too completely evil, or a politician too corrupt.  People should have good points and bad.

If you mention something when characterizing, make sure you choose wisely.  If you mention an empty whiskey bottle in the drawer, the reader is going to wonder if the person is a drunk.  Don’t include something just for the sake of listing things. Make sure the item has something to do with the person or don’t include it.

Make sure characters are credible.  Don’t have a mousy person rush into a burning building to save someone. Remember that characters must act credibly, and not just before the author needs them to act a certain way.  Credible characters act out of their own nature, not the author’s plot needs.

Know your character.  Before you start writing, sit down and write a 3-5 page biography for each main character.  It’s essential for the writer to know where his character was born, what his goals are, what his fears are, how he feels about his mother, his father, etc.  It’s extra work, but will actually save time and allow you to create real flesh and blood characters.

Remember motivation.  If Kevin is determined to solve a bank robbery, he must have a good reason, other than he’d like to solve a mystery.  Also, if he is going to put his life in danger, he’d better have a good reason for doing so.  Maybe he’s trying to prove to himself or someone else that he is brave, smart, etc.  Or maybe someone he loves was hurt badly when the bank was robbed.  Maybe he acted like a coward when he was there as the bank was being robbed and needs to redeem himself.  Maybe in his past he made a fool of himself and wants to show he has changed.  Make sure Kevin gains something by solving the crime. Get into the skin of every character and ask yourself what the character is feeling, right now.  Is he scared?  Happy?  Nervous?  Think of how this particular character would act, then write.

Give your characters a life outside the confines of the story.  Many characters seem to have no history, no future and nothing on their minds except the business of the story.  You must create characters who seem to have a full life, who go places and do things even when we are not reading about them.  This is done with a few well-placed details. 
    When your character goes to a movie, maybe write; “It reminded him of a movie he had seen two years ago when he and Janet were going steady.”
    If he pulls a jack knife out of his pocket, you could say, “It was a gift from his cousin.”  All of these things show your character was alive two years ago, going to movies, having girlfriends, that he has a cousin, and family. It has nothing to do with the story, but a lot to do with your character and everything to do with his life."

Author's Biography:

    Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children. 
    Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.  Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, and Heroes of Faith.  Her latest book is Gaze Into Heaven; Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints.
    Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder, which is the first in a mystery series that features the quirky private eye with OCD, Erica Coleman.

 Here are 3 links where A Death in the Family can be purchased online.

Also Marlene's Website

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Lost Teachings of Jesus Christ on the Sacred Place of Women/Alonzo Gaskill


    "The wife and the mother are the inappreciable treasures given unto you by God. They are the fairest ornaments of existence, and of them shall be born all the inhabitants of the world.' This extra-biblical text, thought to be the words of Christ, is presented and explained by Alonzo Gaskill where he expounds the divine role of women in the gospel and family. This book will help you learn how to better appreciate and respect women and their part in God's plan."


    This book definitely makes a Woman feel truly important. It is not just for Women to read and enjoy. Men and Children are given council as well.
    Each chapter consists of a verse then an explanation of that verse, then council that is uplifting to the soul. Reading it I thought of all the people that would profit from this book. No one is left out.
    Women are able to create life. If it wasn't for Eve taking of the fruit of the tree, we would not be here and able to have families. People often think that because Woman was made as a helpmeet for Man that they are lower then them. God made us equal, two halves that make a whole.
    Lots of great information in these pages. Couples should read this together, I can see it helping many who are struggling and cant find their place in the world. I will recommend this to anyone!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mile 21/Sarah Dunster


    "The singles ward is the last place Abish wants to be. But after the unexpected death of her husband (and after being kicked out of her mom's place), she has to move into single-student housing to finish up her schooling. Maybe training for a marathon and winning the heart of the handsome executive secretary are exactly what Abish needs to get a personal best."


    Abish has lost a lot by the tender age of twenty-one. Which in turn leaves her in a state of grieving and strange behavior, especially by her actions and how she see's the world. She has a loving family, but they don't seem to understand what she is going through, so she ends up taking life and it's misfortunes and runs away from more she thinks.
     Enter her boss (the turd) and Bob the executive secretary, and her new single man starved roommates and personalities collide!
    When I first started reading this book it seemed like Abish was totally lost and wanted to be left to her own thoughts and actions, so the first quarter of the book is a jumble of emotions and frustrations. After that I got more into it, especially when she started opening up and letting people in. There were some parts that left you laughing which was a great addition, the football game was one of my favorite parts!
    The roommate situation took me back to my college days and made me grateful for the great roommates I had! Sarah did a great job at conveying the emotions of this book. If you do find it hard to get into, trust me you wont be waiting for too long for the true heart of this book to shine forth and bring you peace and contentment.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Porcelain Keys/Sarah Beard


    "Aria s life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart s melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned."


    This was a sweet Y.A. romance fit for not just teens, but adults as well. Aria is struggling to overcome hardships that seem to pursue her while a senior in High School. Thomas shows up in her life when she least expects it. As their friendship grows, the bitter taste of death tears them apart. Thomas gave hope to Aria when she needed it the most, but then shuts Aria out when he needs her the most. Will she ever see him again? Will he be forgiven and also forgive himself when he feels his hardships are too much? Will their destiny be apart?
    Sarah did a great job creating these characters! I felt all the anguish and pain as if I were living that life. When the book starts out with fear and questions that need to be answered, it draws the reader in with a sense of urgency to know what the outcome will be.
    You want Aria and Thomas to be together forever and have a happily ever after. But life gets in the way as it does most of the time and things can change. I wasn't too excited about Devin coming into the picture. Because I was still hoping Thomas would show up. But the more I got to know Devin, he opened up Aria to life and love again. I am not a fan of love triangles, if you could call it that in this book, but in the end I was satisfied with the results and I think you will be too.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dead Running Series/Cami Checketts


    1. Dead Running "Cassidy Christensen is running. Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents. Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable. Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness. With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she'll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future."
    2. Dying To Run "Cassidy Christensen wants to run.Captured by the traffickers who killed her mother, her only hope is Dr. Tattoo, a man she loves but nobody trusts. When she finally gets a chance to run, someone else she cares about is taken. Running might be her only chance at survival, but she won’t allow another family member to be killed in her place." 
    3. Running Home "Cassidy's humanitarian mission takes an ugly turn when human traffickers attack. Cassidy doesn’t know where to run—home to America, into Jesse’s arms, or any direction she can to escape the traffickers. Innocent families are being ripped apart and Cassidy must decide if she’s brave enough to stop running and join the fight."


    I loved this series! The first book was my favorite of all three. Cassie has lost a lot in her life, but moves forward with a positive attitude. The books all start out bringing the reader in with mystery and drama in the first few pages and doesn't let up through all the books. I love Cassie's sense of humor and her clumsiness. It makes her real and enjoyable. She always makes up names for people she doesn't know, usually by the way they look or smell. Cassie starts training for running marathons and meets Damon who is a fellow runner and Jesse who is a doctor.
    I don't enjoy reading books that have love triangles, and try to stay clear of them, but these books are well worth it! Each of the characters brings mystery, drama, romance, action, and definitely comedy! I don't think I would have gotten very far if it wasn't for the funny moments that happened to appear around every corner. These books had me laughing one minute and tearing up the next. Very well balanced. 
    I don't know if Cami plans to write another one after Running Home, it kind of left it in an either way scenario. I don't want to give too much away, but one of my favorite parts of the books is when Cassie and her best friend decide to go to the gym to run on the treadmills. I laughed so hard! Read the books and find out who Cassie ends up with and what happens in the gym!