Saturday, October 22, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


These are the stories of twelve women who "heard the call" to settle the west and who came from all points of the globe to begin their journey: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New Zealand. They endured unimaginable hardships just to get to their destination and then the next phase of the story begins. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. All the women in this book did extraordinary things. One became a stagecoach driver, disguised as a man. One became a frontier doctor. One was a Gold Rush hotel and restaurant entrepreneur. Many were crusaders for social justice and women's rights. All endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world, for which there are inspiring lessons to be learned for the modern woman.


I often tell my husband that there is a reason I was born at this time.  I don't think I would have had the faith, or endurance to do what these women did.  Mostly, I don't think I would have been able to live in a time when women were mere accessories, and not "real" people.  BUT,  I LOVE, love, love reading about women who decided to take their fate into their own hands and paved a way for women today.

There are 12 wonderful women to learn about in these pages.  All of them forged a path for women today.  

Each story is so wonderful.  I am blown away at what these women accomplished in their life times.  I am only going to share a few of the ones I loved the most.

Mother Jones, born Mary Harris Jones was born in Country Cork, Ireland in 1837.   She spent her life speaking on behalf of child workers, steelworkers, etc.  Some of my favorite quotes from her story are:

"I am not a suffragist nor do I believe in 'careers' for women, especially a 'career' in factory and mill where most working women have their 'careers.  A great responsibility rests upon women - the training of the children.  This is her most beautiful task."  


"I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country!  You don't need a vote to raise hell!  You need convictions and a voice!"

Next, was Martha Hughes Cannon.  She was a doctor, a scholar, and the first woman to ever hold the office of a state senator.  She ran against her own husband and won.  Amazing.  

Some of my favorite quotes from her story are:

"Woman can, when allowed to do so become a most powerful and most potent factor in the affairs of the government.  Women suffrage is no longer an experiment, but it is a practical reality, tending to the well-being of the State."


The Chicago Record stated "Mrs. Doctor Martha Hughes on of the brightest exponents of the women's cause in the United States"

There are so many more wonderful stories.  Some of the things said about these women make me even more proud to be a woman.  Although many of the things said about them will never be said about me, it makes me feel like I could change the world if I tried.  These women never, ever, let things get in their way.

Source:  I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Marianne Monson
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Marianne Monson has worked with books her whole life, as an editor, a passionate reader, and an author. She is the author of nine books and counting, including historical fiction, children's books, and young adult novels. She teaches at Portland Community College, and her two children love writing almost as much as she does.


Friday, October 21, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.


SO, SO, Good!  That is what I have to say ;).  Okay, I might have more than that, but I needed to start with that!  This is such a great zombie book.  I think this was a unique zombie book.  It wasn't like end of the world, no one lives, kind of book.  It was so much more than that!

Georgia and her brother Shaun along with their friend Buffy apply to follow one of the Presidential Candidates as newsies.  When they got the job they were ecstatic.  Georgia has always been known as someone who always tells the truth.  Her brother Shaun is known for playing with the dead, and making news out of it.  Buffy is the mastermind behind cameras, recording devices, and live stream videos.

The trio packs up their lives and begin to follow their candidate.  He is a good guy, and has such a great platform for running.  What the team didn't know is that someone is plotting against their candidate and Georgia and her team are part of that target.

A stream of bad situations follows this crew and it doesn't get easier.  People are lost, facts are found, and plots exposed.  This book keeps you on your toes the whole time. 

This book is so well written, and the narrator did a good job bringing this book to life for me.  I love how this book had people living in communities, having jobs, and living life even though there had been an outbreak of a zombie virus.

I like the angle the book takes on zombies.  They are scary, and more real life than any other zombie book I have read.  I cannot wait until I start the next book.  This series is going to be fantastic!

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Content:  Lots of language including the "f" word several times.  Some talk of sex, but nothing explicit.





Mira Grant
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Mira also writes as Seanan McGuire.

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Welcome to my stop for For Sale by Owner.  I am so excited to be part of this tour!

pic and description from Author


Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, McKenzie Forsberg decides to quit her high-powered job and move back to her hometown. Determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives in town, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house.  However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve.  

When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared, who had been more than a little interested in Kenzie, has second thoughts when he begins to believe Kenzie may have deliberately tried to sabotage the sale of his home. Feeling bad, Kenzie apologizes but the damage may be too much for their relationship to overcome.

Despite his misgivings, and Kenzie’s own concerns, sparks of attraction between Jared and Kenzie grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?


“What made you decide to move to Lake Forest?” Kenzie asked.
“I’ve always loved it here,” Jared said. “It’s a beautiful area, and there’s a special atmosphere here. People are so friendly. I guess part of the reason I came is because I needed to go someplace new and kind of start over, you know?”
            Kenzie did know. That was exactly what she was doing now. She’d gotten over Larry, but she needed to go someplace new and reinvent herself and her life.
“Now let me ask you,” Jared said. “What made you decide to come back?”
            “A lot of reasons. I need a fresh start too. I’m tired of the hectic pace in Chicago.” Impulsively she added, “Also, I had to get away from my job at Midwest. A guy was causing some real problems for me—” She stopped. Their eyes met and lingered. Jared’s compassion was evident and the expression on his face kind. She felt so comfortable talking with him—as if they were kindred spirits. Something in her heart softened into a spreading pool, and she smiled at him.
Tearing open his packet of Oreo cookies., Jared took one and dunked it in his hot chocolate.
Kenzie frowned. “Figures. You’re a dunker.”
“And I bet you’re a twister.”
Snatching up a cookie, Kenzie twisted it open and took a bite of the creamy middle. “Ummm.”
Jared shuddered. “That’s wrong in so many ways.”
Picking up her mug and warming her fingers, Kenzie sipped her hot chocolate. “This is wonderful!”
“It’s a secret recipe—been in my family for generations.”
            “No, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?”


I needed this book.  I have been reading a lot of sad and kind of scary books, so this one came just at the right time.  It's so sweet, and just gives you that "feel good" felling.

First, I love the setting of this book.  I love how the author made me want to sit on a porch in this quaint little town of Lake Forest, with a good book and a blanket.  I am not much for small towns, but this one was beautiful.  

Second, the characters were awesome.  Kenzie seemed to be a bit beat down when she goes home for Christmas, but is determined to make her life better.  Quite some time had passed before Kenzie and her daughter Sarah had been to Kenzies hometown.  She had stayed away for some time trying to avoid her father. The past year had seemed to overwhelm Kenzie so she has decided to go home and has a surprise to share with her family.     Jared is a swoon worthy man.  He is a single father to his son Corey.  He is trying to find a place for him and his son to call home that might be a little bigger than where they are living now.  Jared has always loved this little town, and is excited to be back.

This story is such a sweet, sweet story.  Kenzie decided it was time to return to her home of Lake Forest.  She has had a hard year, and finally decided to leave her well paying job,  get a new one just out side of her home town where she grew up.  She has plans to buy her childhood home and cannot wait to get to town to tell her brother about her plans. 

When she gets to town things don't quite go as she had planned.  She finds out that someone else has put an offer on her house.   She is determined to do anything she can to make sure that offer doesn't go through.

Then walks in Jared.  Jared is handsome and kind, and worst of all is planning on buying Kenzie's childhood home.  Kenzie likes Jared but all is fair in love and buying houses.  

What happens after is such a fun story, of friendship, mistakes, Christmas time miracles, and love.  If you are in need of a cozy, heart warming read, pick this book up.  You will not be disappointed.

Source:  I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Content:  Clean and wonderful!





Marlene Bateman
pic from Goodreads bio from author

Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books:  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, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.

Author's web page:


Marlene Bateman for allowing me to review this book


Sunday, October 9, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other


I don't know what it is with me and the sad books I have been reading.  They are like train wrecks, I cannot stop reading.  I find myself trying to wrap my head around the feelings I am having on this book.

Caroline's little brother goes missing, and she thinks it's all her fault.  She was suppose to be watching him.  When Dillon is found, he is found with another kidnapped victim.  The difference is Dillon was gone for just a few days but Ethan has been gone for 4 years.  What happens afterward is where this story takes us.

How often do we get to read a story of what happens after a kidnapped victim returns home.  Now, that I have said that, I don't think I want to ever dive inside the head of a kidnapped victim (fictional or real).  It's horrifying and scary.

Ethan's parents make sure he never leaves their site.  Taken at age 11 he is finally found after his kidnapper decided they needed another boy.  Four years had passed for Ethan.  His mom cannot seem to believe that Ethan is really home.  She keeps hugging him, crying with joy, and watching his every move.  Ethan is just trying to figure out how to live life now that he is back with his family.  He is starting to remember sounds, and smells from when he was a child.  He meets with a counselor but isn't ready to really face what horrors happened to him while he was gone.

Dillon is autistic, and had been missing for just a few days.  He doesn't know how to communicate what has happened to him, he only repeats the same words all the time.  Caroline is Dillon's older sister, and she is riddled with guilt.  She was suppose to be watching her brother when he was taken.  Caroline and Dillon's parents don't know how to deal with the tragedy.

Caroline get up the nerve to visit Ethan to see if he has answers.  I wish I could go on from here, but you must read this for yourself.  It is heart breaking, horrifying, sad, and beautiful all at the same time.  

If you like stories of over coming hard ships, and trauma, this is a great book to read.  Just be prepared for the emotional roller coaster that this book will take you on.  You will experience fear, anger, hope, and healing.   This was such an intense read.

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Content:  Some language including the "f' word.  Talk of sex, not too descriptive and innuendo of sexual abuse.





Jennifer Mathieu
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

I'm an English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My debut novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, was published by Roaring Brook Press on June 3, and my second book, DEVOTED, came out in June of 2015.

My third novel, AFTERWARD, about two small town Texas teenagers whose lives are linked by a terrifying crime, will be out in September 2016.

My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.

I live with my husband, son, one rescue dog, and one old kitty cat.

When it comes to what I read, I love realistic young adult fiction (duh), creative nonfiction, super scandalous tell-all memoirs and unauthorized biographies, and basically anything that hooks me on the first page.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?


I am going to be completely honest, I almost deleted this book off my audible.  I didn't like how graphic it started out.  Okay, that might not be all true, but it didn't start out good for me.  

I started it, then put it away for a long time.  I decided to give it another chance and I am glad I did.  This is definitely an ADULT book.  That deals with very real, and very hard issues.

Ani thinks her whole life is going to work out now that she has the rich boyfriend, and living the "high life".  Many things have happened to Ani, that she never wants to relive.  When Ani is invited by a film crew to tell her side of the story of her teenage years, she gladly accepts.  She is apprehensive, but she wants everyone to hear her side.

What unfolds in this book is horrifying.  I still don't even know how to put it in words.  This story deals with issue of rape, and school shootings.  It is very graphic at times, and it's a little too real. 

This story goes back and forth between past and present.  You can feel the pain that Ani went through.  You can feel her fear.  It's real.  It's palpable.  It hit way too close to home for me at times.

What this girl goes through is something no woman or man should ever have to go through.  School shootings should never happen.  Ever.  Unfortunately they do.  It's horrible that any human thinks that is the only way they can "fix" things.  The fact that their own peers make them feel as though there is no reason to live should NEVER happen.  Unfortunately it does.

Although this book was very hard for me to read, I thought it was handled well.  There are times in the book when you want to scream, cry, and times when you want to crawl into the book and make it better.  

I don't quite know how to rate this.  It was so good and so bad at the same time.  I know that doesn't make any sense, but it is what it is.

Content: There is a lot of language including the 'f" bomb.  There is talk of sex, actual sex, rape, and explicit at times, bullying and school shootings.

Source:  I bought this book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thought on the book.





Jessica Knoll
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in New York City with her husband.



pic and description taken from Goodreads


Join Carole P. Roman when she visits Poland in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to Eastern Europe to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place. 

Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.


I love these little books.  Roman's does a great job of educating little ones about different countries and cultures.  I wish I could say they were just for kids, but I learn something new every time I read another one of these books.  

If you have little kids and want to expose them to some culture, and countries, these are some great resources.   In my opinion it's our job to embrace all the different cultures we are surrounded by and teach our children to love everyone.  

Source:  I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.



pic and description taken from Goodreads


Hop in our time travel machine and join Carole P. Roman as she visits a Viking settlement in the year 890 AD. Learn what your name could be and the kind of food you might eat. Read about the different levels of society, how they affect where you would live, and the type of clothing you might wear. Mateya Arkova's beautiful illustrations illustrate what Vikings ate and their children did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in.. Viking Europe is an exciting trip that shows a colorful culture through the eyes of a child. 


I love these books.  I especially loved this one.  Who doesn't love a viking?  This was a fun story about the Vikings, informative, and fun to read.  

I cannot wait to have grand kids and read these stories to them.  It's such a great way to educate them, with out it being "boring".  Although I don't know if the word reading and boring can be used in the same sentence.  

I love how Roman puts a glossary at the end of the books, that allow children to see how they are pronounced.  I just love these books.  They are fun.

Source:  I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Carole P. Roman
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Award winning author Carole P. Roman is a former teacher turned businesswoman. She has successfully run a family business with her husband that employs close to five hundred people. Her most favorite job is being grandmother to her many grandchildren. Roman has two wonderful sons and hit the jackpot in the daughter-in-law department. She currently lives on Long Island with her husband.

Her first book, Captain No Beard - An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life has been named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 as well garnered the star of remarkable merit. It was named in the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Fiction 2012. Captain No Beard has developed in a series of 6 more books. She is the author of the best selling book, I Want To Do Yoga Too. Currently, she is working on her educational series that explores different cultures from a child's point of view. If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico, received the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's non-fiction 2012. If You Were Me and Lived in...Kenya received 5 Stars from the ForeWord Clarion Review. She just completed Russia with the help of her five year old grandson and loved every minute of it.


pic and description taken from Goodreads


He's the most fearsome sheriff in the West. A force to be reckoned with. The stuff of legend.

So is she. . . . May the best sheriff win.

Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.

Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.

Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.


First and foremost, Sarah Eden is hands down one of my favorite authors of all time.  Her writing is beautiful.  Sarah draws you in from the very beginning.  Once you have picked up one of Eden's books, there is no putting them down.  She is just brilliant.

We get to enter a small town called Savage Wells.  During this story you will come to love this little town.  It will become part of you.  So will the characters.  Paisley and O'Brien are so much fun in this book.  Their back and forth banter is hilarious and so much fun.  I found myself smiling, laughing, and yes crying while reading this wonderful book.

I love what Eden has done with this book.  It's a story of a little town, new adventures, and crime.  Where people are fighting for a job made for a man, yet a woman is determined to be part of that job.  

This town will pull at your heart strings, as will the relationship between Paisley and O'Brien.  I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of hard work, deception, camaraderie, and love.  Each person in this book holds a vital part to making it as fantastic as it is.  

Go and get your copy now.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  Eden is brilliant.  

Source:  I was given a copy of this book as part of a blog tour.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Content:  CLEAN and wonderful!

Thanks to:  Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to participate in this tour!





Sarah M. Eden
pic taken from Goodreads - description taken from

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today Bestselling author of witty and charming historical romances, including AML's "2013 Novel of the Year" and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, as well as 2014 Whitney Award winner for "Best Romance" and "Best Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor's degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.