TLC Book Tour: (Doctor Who, 50th Anniversary Book Collection, Bk. 3) Last of the Gaderene by Mark Gatiss

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Last of the Gaderene
(Book 3)
by Mark Gatiss
Copyright 2000, 2013)
ISBN: 9781849905978
I'm a little bit crazy when it comes to Doctor Who. Chances are, if it involves the Doctor, I want in on it -- I want to see it, I want to read it, Pin it, and/or I want to collect it. I pretty much begged the tour coordinator (thank you, Lisa!) at TLC Book Tours to get on the tour for at least one of the books in this 11 book, 50th Anniversary Collection. I must have convinced her that I was a Whovian since I ended up with two books from the series PLUS the new Who-ology Doctor Who book. I have to say that after reading just this one book, Last of the Gaderene, I'm probably going to have to make sure I get the rest of the books in the series.

What, you may be wondering is this book about and why is it worth reading? Well, for starters it's written by Mark Gatiss who isn't just an author of books, he's a multi-talented guy. He's written a few episodes for the actual Doctor Who TV series AND co-created a certain TV series about the world's only consulting detective for BBC and Masterpiece Mystery that you may have heard of called Sherlock (insert obligatory picture of Benedict Cumberbatch)! I know, right?! I thought just based on the author's background that it was probably going to be a stellar book and I wasn't disappointed at all.

The Doctor from BBC website
Enough about the author, you really want to know about the book itself, right? Well, if you are at all familiar with any of the TV series's, the classic episodes or the reboots, you might know that the Doctor's favorite thing to do is to run! While we don't meet the Doctor in this book until a few chapters in, when we do meet him what do you think he's doing but running? This gave me a chuckle because I honestly didn't know what to expect in a Doctor Who story since (GASP!) I've never read one, but he was exactly the same as the Doctor I'm familiar with from the show. In that respect, Gatiss did an excellent job.

TARDIS photo from BBCAmerica
The story in and of itself moved along at a fast pace, as you might expect in any sci-fi adventure. The Doctor's companion and friends, Jo Grant and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart of U.N.I.T. help the Doctor to investigate the strange goings on at the newly closed Culverton Aerodrome. With citizens disappearing left and right, nobody's really sure what or who is behind it. The Doctor suspects something otherworldly and his gut turns out to be correct. It just so happens, the Gaderene's, as well as an old foe of the Doctor are busy plotting more than just a take over of a small English village but the destruction of humanity!

At just over 300 pages, this is one story that doesn't let up. I have to admit to being more weirded out by the Gaderene's than just about any of the aliens that the Doctor has encountered on all his adventures. I imagine I'm not alone in thinking that face sucking aliens and aliens that take over bodies are some of the all-time creepiest dudes! I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about those guys! In my opinion, it's books with not only memorable heroes but memorable foes that make the best stories. The only teeny thing that bothered me was that there were a lot of characters to keep track of so, while reading, I often had to take a second to stop and get them all straight in my head. However, I won't soon be letting this book go from my collection and highly recommend it to all Whovians and science fiction fans. Mark Gatiss did an excellent job and would have gained a fan for life in this girl if I wasn't already from all his top shelf TV work!

~ My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 

~ To read more about the book or to order a copy of Last of the Gaderene go HERE.

~ Follow Doctor Who BBC Books on Twitter!

 ~ Read what other's on the TLC Book Tour are saying about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary collection books HERE.

A fun video clip from BBC from The Five Doctors reunion special!


Happy Reading!


A Family Heirloom

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Since yesterday was the unofficial start of summer, I thought it was appropriate to post a little bit about something that we all love about the season -- the flowers! I just love all the colorful posies that appear in spring and early summer. Irises, cosmos, and impatiens are some of my favorite blooms but I have a soft spot for roses, especially the roses at my house. I have seen them bloom almost every year for as long as I can remember. My great-grandmother passed before I was born but she had these roses in her flower garden, my grandmother had them in hers, and my mother has them planted outside our house. Hopefully, when I have a home of my own, I'll have a space for these.  


I don't have a clue as to what these roses are called, all I know is that they are very fragrant and very hardy and apparently disease resistant. These past few years the plant was brown with no leaves but this year it's back with green leaves and beautiful, baby pink double roses. I love these plants and always look forward to them every year.


What are some of your favorite flowers? Do you have roses? Do you have any green thumbs in the family? I'd love for you to share in the comments below!



A Continuing Saga: The Remedy (Eyes of E'veria, Book 2) by Serena Chase, Review + Eyes of E'veria Prize Pack Giveaway

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Remedy 
Eyes of E'veria, Book 2
by Serena Chase
Ebook
The story:
PURPOSED by birth. DESTINED by prophecy. REVEALED by Truth. Now, her time has come. 

Having come to terms with her long-hidden identity, Princess Rynnaia E’veri is ready to take her rightful place. But before she can join her father at Castle Rynwyk, she must endeavor to fulfill a 200-year-old prophecy and defeat the Kingdom’s ancient enemy, the Cobelds. Joined by her faithful knight, Sir Julien de Gladiel, and a gifted group of friends, Rynnaia must trek a dangerous path through canyons, forests, and into the very depths of a mountain where, if the prophetic scrolls prove correct, she will face an unknown foe, alone. Treacheries will be discovered, sacrifices will be made, friends will be lost, and love will be tested, but if even one line of the riddled prophecy is misinterpreted, Rynnaia will fail . . . and the Kingdom will fall.

Beginning at the point THE RYN ended, THE REMEDY concludes an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, SNOW WHITE & ROSE RED, but the Eyes of E'veria series is only beginning . . .


My Thoughts:
Boy, am I glad I had this book downloaded to read on my Kindle right after I finished the first book, The Ryn (my review HERE) but I'm a little upset that I have to WAIT for the next book! Serena, give us book 3...please? To quote the AT&T kids, "We want more. We want more. Like... you really like it, you want more!" Now, you may be wondering why I'm so desperate for the next story, it's not because this book has a huge cliff hanger ending, it didn't really for me, but because I love the characters so much and want to know just what is going to become of them! For example, roguish pirate Cazien and brave Erielle! I'm a little disappointed that Cazien didn't make much of an appearance in this book as I was hoping since he intrigued me so much in the first story. Oh well, a girl can't have it all. The Remedy did however seem to have everything else. It was an epic adventure that reminded me of a mash up of Disney's Mulan, Lord of the Rings, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

The Remedy picks up right where The Ryn left off so I definitely don't recommend reading these books out of order. That said, Rynnaia and Julien's relationship unfolds even more in this story than in the last. *Mild spoiler* I must say, that even though they didn't kiss until the very end of the book, there certainly wasn't a lack of romance (*cough cough* Chapter 20)! Serena can definitely write some romance/fantasy/allegory!

I recommend both books in the series to all readers, even those who don't' enjoy fantasy. Truth be told I wasn't the world's biggest fantasy/allegorical fan but I think I'm going to have to give more in this genre a chance if they are even half as good! This is a well written, well thought out series that I can't wait to read more of!

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Meet Serena:
A life-long lover of fairy tales, Serena Chase is the author of THE RYN (3/26/13) and THE REMEDY (April 2013) Together, these two novels comprise an expanded re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red and are the first two books in the Eyes of E’veria series.

A frequent contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog and Edgy Inspirational Romance, Serena lives in Iowa with her husband, two daughters, and a white goldendoodle named Albus. She has been known to live vicariously through her hair, however, so don’t be too surprised if she looks a tad different from one day to the next. We all have our vices.

Connect with Serena on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, & GOODREADS

You may also contact Serena Chase by email: serena@serenachase.com


Special Giveaway for Readers of this Blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!


Blog Tour: Love's Miracles by Sandra Leesmith + Giveaway+ Free Book Alert!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Love's Miracles
by Sandra Leesmith
Copyright 2013
e-book 
The Story:
Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli's mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle – and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gain his trust, and awaken the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free – and save their last chance for love.

My Thoughts: 
It's not often that I come across books quite like this one. Sure, it's a romance and sure by the end of the story you're left with that warm, fuzzy feeling but what happens in the pages in between is both heart-breaking and thought provoking. While this story is set in the 80s, it also has themes that are very relevant to today, especially with the war in the Middle East.

The hero, Zane, is deeply flawed and his experiences as a chopper pilot during the Vietnam War only add to his complexity as a character. Our heroine, Margo, is a psychologist who's trying to help those veterans suffering from PTSD, has deep-seeded issues of her own going back to her childhood with a father who suffered from and ultimately died because of the same disorder she's now trying to treat. She can't help but see the man behind the pain and comes to care for him much to the chagrin of colleagues and family.

Their story isn't a fluffy, light-hearted romance but as you can imagine one filled with sadness, anger, and intense emotional battles. I really loved that Sandra didn't gloss over the gritty. The pain being felt by the characters fairly oozed off of the page. That said, it is a romance so the sparks and the warm fuzzies are definitely present so if you're a romance fan you won't be disappointed. This is the first book I've read by Sandra and it definitely won't be the last.

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

I reviewed a complimentary review copy in exchange for posting my honest opinion of the book for the blog tour.

If you're interested in reading this book you can get it FREE for Kindle today, May 25 through May 27, 2013! CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Sandra and her books, visit her WEBSITE.

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Giveaway Details!
(Giveaway for US. Residents Only. One winner will be selected from all entries received during the tour. The winner's name will be posted on the Seasons of Humility blog)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!


A Great New Twist on an Old Favorite: The Ryn (Eyes of E'veria, Book 1) by Serena Chase

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Ryn
(Eyes of E'veria, Bk. 1)
by Serena Chase
Copyright 2013
E-book
The Story:
DESTINED by prophecy. GUARDED by deception. PURSUED by Love.

Centuries ago, an oracle foretold of the young woman who would defeat E’veria’s most ancient enemy, the Cobelds. But after two centuries of relative peace, both the prophecy and the Cobelds have been relegated to lore—and only a few remain watchful for the promised Ryn.

Finally, a child is born who matches the oracle’s description, but a Cobeld curse accompanies her birth. Led to believe they succeeded in killing the prophesied child, the Cobelds emerge from hiding with plans to overtake the Kingdom.

But the child survived.

Secreted away and called “Rose” for the first nineteen years of her life, Rynnaia E'veri has no idea of her true identity until a chance meeting with an injured knight reveals not only her parentage and true name, but the task assigned her by the oracle: discover the Remedy that will destroy the Cobelds' power.

Now, her time has come.

Offered the assistance of pirates, scribes, storytellers, a young woman who died centuries ago, and the knight who is quickly working his way into her heart, Rynnaia is fortified with friends. But if the Ryn is to complete her task, she must come to terms with not only who she is, but for whom she must be willing to die. For the kingdom’s survival depends on her.


My Thoughts:
What more can I say other than the fact that I am truly impressed with this debut novel by Serena Chase? I'm not one for allegorical or fantasies but I thoroughly enjoyed The Ryn. Even if I wasn't under a deadline to get the story read and reviewed I think I would have still finished it in a day! Curses, adventure, and even the promise of a budding romance won me over. Rynnaia's journey from naive young girl to a future queen unfolds at a natural and quite believable pace. She made mistakes and at one point I'll admit I thought she was going to be one of those TSTL heroines but she definitely evolved and matured by the end of the story into someone who was easy to root for. I'm very interested to see how she saves her kingdom and more importantly, the romantic in me wants to see just where she and Sir Julien are headed. I highly recommend this story to fantasy and fairy tale fans! 5 stars!

~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 

Meet Serena:
A life-long lover of fairy tales, Serena Chase is the author of THE RYN (3/26/13) and THE REMEDY (April 2013) Together, these two novels comprise an expanded re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red and are the first two books in the Eyes of E’veria series.

A frequent contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog and Edgy Inspirational Romance, Serena lives in Iowa with her husband, two daughters, and a white goldendoodle named Albus. She has been known to live vicariously through her hair, however, so don’t be too surprised if she looks a tad different from one day to the next. We all have our vices.

Connect with Serena on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, & GOODREADS

You may also contact Serena Chase by email: serena@serenachase.com


Happy Reading!



TLC Book Tour: Who-ology: Doctor Who, The Official Miscellany by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright

Monday, May 20, 2013

Photo from Facebook, Doctor Who and the TARDIS

Who-ology
Doctor Who: The Official Miscellany
by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright
Copyright 2013
BBC Books
ISBN: 9781849906197
If there's one thing in the entertainment world I love more than Doctor Who I've yet to find it. I would have never have guessed that a boring night of channel surfing nine years ago would have led to the love affair that I have with the Doctor Who series. Since discovering the series in 2005, I haven't missed watching an episode and have even went back in the archives to watch the Classic Doctor Who that originally aired in 1963.

With 50 years of rich history it's easy to find something Who related even if you aren't near a TV. There are board games, video games, action figures, t-shirts -- and books! Yes! I mentioned the 'B' word! There are tons of books to keep a Whovian entertained for ages. With the 50th anniversary coming in November the BBC is re-releasing a set of 11 classic Doctor Who stories, one for each incarnation of the Doctor, with beautiful new covers. If that isn't enough, there are also several new books in the pipeline including a great book of Doctor Who trivia entitled, Who-ology. It's not due out until June 11, but I was lucky enough to snag a pre-release copy thanks to TLC Book Tours and BBC Books and I have to say it's a must-have for any Whovian worth their salt or anyone curious about the series.

Who-ology is a mish-mash of facts and figures from 1962 when the series was a twinkle in the BBC's eye to the current series's 2012 Christmas Special: The Snowmen. Ever wanted to know just how many times the Dalek's, the Doctor's archenemies, have shouted EXTERMINATE (469 to be exact, pg. 205) or just exactly what a "Timey - Wimey Detector is? These questions and more are answered in Who-ology.

At close to 400 pages this tome may seem daunting to non-readers but it's well organized and the table of contents make it easy to jump around to different chapters and to read small sections at a time. There are also some nifty charts and drawings for those who like visual aides. I sat down with this book almost as soon as I got it and couldn't put it down. Even I, a fan for years now, learned some new things. It is truly amazing just how many connections the show has had over the years and how many people have launched their careers on the series.

Who-ology: Doctor Who, The Official Miscellany is most definitely a book I highly recommend. I plan on passing it along to my younger brother who is a teen Whovian. It's great for almost any reader young and old. Kudos to the writers and BBC books for putting together this wonderful book and allowing us TARDIS-less humans to journey through 50 years of Doctor Who history. I hope there's a book like this for the next 50 years!

~ Don't forget to stop by this blog on May 30 for my review of the Doctor Who books, The Last of the Gaderene by Mark Gatiss and June 17 for my review of The Silent Stars Go By by Dan Abnett PLUS GIVEAWAYS of each book (open internationally)!!!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 


~ Pre-order your own copy of the book HERE or at your favorite bookseller.

~ Follow Doctor Who BBC Books on Twitter!

~ Read what other's on the TLC Book Tour are saying about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary collection books HERE.


A bit of an extra for your viewing pleasure --  Doctor Who BAFTA 50th Anniversary Tribute


Happy Reading!


Litfuse Blog Tour + My Review: Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Undeniably Yours
by Becky Wade
Copyright 2013
Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764209758
The story:
When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who's determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them and earn her love.

Just when Meg realizes she can no longer deny the depth of her feelings for Bo, their fragile bond is broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their relationship--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?


My thoughts:
Last year with her debut novel, My Stubborn Heart, Becky Wade definitely intrigued me. It's not often when contemporary romances make my favorite book lists but that was one book that did with ease. This year, when I discovered that her second book was coming out I was crazy excited. While Undeniably Yours didn't quite measure up with her first book, there was no modern day fairy tale feel, I still enjoyed it.

I've read a ton of books, both historical and contemporary, set on big Texas ranches so the setting wasn't anything new but I liked that the characters were sort of turned on their heads -- Meg was the wealthy heiress and the hero was the middle class ranch manager. That said, Meg was a pretty level headed person who had once been burnt by a man but she dove into a serious relationship so quickly! I didn't really get that. However, by the end of the story I was cheering both Meg and her beau (pun intended). I'm very interested in Amber, Brimm, and Bo's brother, Jake. I really hope at least one of them gets their own story. At times, I found myself wanting to see more from those three than Meg and Bo!

When all is said and done, Undeniably Yours is a good romance. I'm not sure if I'd read it again but  I will still be reading more from Becky Wade in the future and My Stubborn Heart is staying on my keeper shelf. I do still believe contemporary romance definitely has a new star in the making in Ms. Wade!

To read what others are saying about this contemporary romance click HERE.

To buy your own copy click HERE or visit your favorite bookseller.

~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 

Meet the author:
Becky Wade is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas. Visit her website at www.beckywade.com.

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Giveaway Details

Becky Wade is celebrating her latest swoon-worthy novel, Undeniably Yours (Bethany House), with a Kindle Fire giveaway and hosting an Author Chat party on Facebook {5/29}!

UndeniablyYours

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Undeniably Yours" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 29th. Connect with Becky for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Becky will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Undeniably Yours and join Becky on the evening of May 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!


Happy Reading!


Clash of the Titles: Featuring the Latest in Christian Historical Fiction!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013




CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT
Prisoners to their own broken dreams...

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago.

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

PURCHASE ON:
* Review by Top Amazon Reviewer, Diana Flowers--"I have ten authors who are my favs...with Shadowed in Silk--Book One and Captured by Moonlight--Book Two, Christine Lindsay has made it into my top five!"
* Award-winning author Catherine West—"Christine Lindsay's attention to detail, witty prose and moving story line all blend together to create a treat for the senses, leaving the reader satisfied and completely satiated by the end."
* Award-winning, multi-published Author Jeanette Windle—"A worthy sequel to acclaimed debut novel Shadowed in Silk."


About the Author:
Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning historical novels. In Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the endless theme of God’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.


Visit Christine’s website</a>
Subscribe to Christine’s blog for inspiration 3 times a week
Drop by and ‘like’ Christine’s Author Facebook Page
Follow Christine on Twitter</a>
Swap pictures with Christine on Pinterest

Happy Reading!


4 Fall TV Debuts I'm Excited For!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I've become something of a TV addict. It just seems that the networks are picking up some really awesome and original series's than in past years and I spend most of my nights planted on the couch.
This year's Elementary (a modern take on Sherlock Holmes) and Beauty and the Beast (a twist on the hit series from the 80s) are two of my freshman favorites, luckily BOTH were picked up for second seasons. This fall looks even more promising for series debuts. Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human (both on Fox) and ABC's Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely have some potential. Hopefully, they are good enough to keep viewers coming back each week. I love Karl Urban (Star Trek) and Tom Mison (Lost in Austen) so it will be nice to see them each week on the small screen. If you haven't seen the trailers I encourage you to check them out! I'd love to hear your thoughts about these trailers or any that interested you this week.







Keepin' It Clean -- A Review of Palmolive® Soft Touch™ Ultra Concentrated Dish Liquid

Monday, May 13, 2013

Waiting by the sink for dish duty.
At my house we have one dishwasher, your's truly, and I get a workout when it comes to keeping up with the dishes in our household of five humans, not to mention cleaning our furry friend's food bowls! Anything that makes the nasty task of dishwashing easier is a great product in my opinion. As the main dishwasher my hands have a tendency to crack and split which is as painful as it sounds. Palmolive's new Soft Touch ultra concentrated dish liquid not only gets the dishes clean but it smells awesome (like springtime!) and nourishes skin. Palmolive is "Tough on Grease, Soft on Hands."

Two bottles were sent to me to try out -- one Aloe and one Vitamin E. The bottle of Vitamin E busted during shipment so unfortunately this review is just of the Aloe. Prior to even knowing about this opportunity from Influenster, I had already purchased 2 bottles of the Aloe formula for myself from my local grocery store. I'll admit, I bought it because it was on sale, was the least expensive, and I had dirty dishes waiting back home but now I'm a fan for life. I don't think I'll use any other brand! When all is said and done the Palmolive does what it promises and for a fair price so it definitely gets a recommendation from me.

Dirty dishes conquered!
There are 3 varieties in the Soft Touch line, so even if you don't have dry skin and don't want to use the Aloe, there's a Vitamin E enriched that's "Soft on Hands"(TM) and a Coconut Butter for a silky, smooth feel to keep your skin feeling great after every sink full of dishes done. The great thing is that even though it's a pretty mild formula, it works on grease and stuck on food like a charm. The only downside that I can think of to mention is that even though it's "ultra concentrated" I had to use a little more of the Palmolive than with my last bottle of Dawn Hand Renewal ultra concentrated liquid. I give Palmolive Soft Touch with Aloe 4.5 out of 5 stars for being a terrific cleaning product and a good value.

If you're interested in what other busy dishwashers think about this product, "Like" Influenster on Facebook or if Twitter's more your style, follow @InfluensterVox, or search #PalmoliveSoftTouch. Also check out the Influenster review page HERE. If you're interested in purchasing this great cleaning product for yourself, check it out at your local Wal-Mart.

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. This review is my honest opinion of the product."




Movie Time: The Great Gatsby (2013)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Is anybody planning to see the latest version of The Great Gatsby? I have to admit that I've only seen the 70s version starring Robert Redford but I really enjoyed it. I'm a little afraid that this movie might be all flash with no substance. The trailers on TV make it seem like a modern day costume party, especially the soundtrack featuring artists like Will.I.Am and Florence and the Machine. That said, I have loved Carey Mulligan ever since Bleak House and Doctor Who and Leo is looking rather dashing -- and the costumes? STUNNING! ;-)  In case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer from Youtube.



There are so many movies that are coming out this summer that I really have to be picky about what I see or otherwise I won't be able to eat for the rest of the year! I love movies as much as the next girl but food's pretty important. If you decide to give The Great Gatsby a try, leave a comment and let me know what you think and whether or not it's worth the ticket price.


It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist: A Review + Giveaway Details

Friday, May 3, 2013

It Happened at the Fair
by Deeanne Gist
Copyright 2013
Howard Books
ISBN: 9781451692372
The story:
Gambling everything—including the family farm—Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the fair’s Machinery Hall makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

My Thoughts:
What can I say other than I love Deeanne Gist, one of the original edgy inspirational romance writers. It Happened at the Fair has everything I love in a book and so much more! The feels, all the feels, just about sums this book up! Usually Dee's books are all about fun and romance but THIS book was actually a bit of an "edge-of-your-seat" story. One scene in this book had me absolutely riveted and more teary-eyed than I think I've ever been when reading Christian romance. Grab the tissues! There's a tear in my eye just thinking about it. You can't say I didn't warn you about all of the "feels"! This book runs the emotional gambit from tears to cheers all in a matter of a few chapters. The chemistry between Cullen, a unique and charming hero, and Della, the cautious teacher, is incredible. The setting is just what I expected with all the doodads and 19th century technology that came with the Chicago World's Fair. I loved every bit of this book and, as always, I can't wait for more from Deeanne Gist!

To read what others are saying the book, go HERE.

To get your own copy of the book, go HERE.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*


~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~

Meet Deeanne:
Deeanne Gist—known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee—has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historicals. She has received numerous RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, and rave reviews. Deeanne has a background in education and journalism and a degree from Texas A&M. She has written for "People," "Parents," and "Parenting." She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and has four grown children. She has a very active online community on her website at IWantHerBook.com.


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Giveaway Details!

Deeanne Gist is celebrating the release of It Happened at the Fair with an iPad Mini Giveaway and a Live Author Chat Webcast event {5/22}!
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  One "fair" winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 21st. Winner will be announced at the "It Happened at the Fair" Live Webcast Event on May 22nd. Connect with Deeanne for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deeanne will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of It Happened at the Fair and join Deeanne and friends on the evening of May 22nd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 22nd!


Happy Reading!


Follow the Heart (The Great Exhibition, Book 1) by Kaye Dacus: A Review

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Follow the Heart
by Kaye Dacus
B&H Publishers
Copyright 2013
ISBN: 9781433677205
About the book:
Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.

At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.

Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.

While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?

Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?


My Thoughts:
Regency romances are some of my favorite stories to read, while Follow the Heart the first in a new series by Kaye Dacus is set during a later period, it still has that sweet, easy pace that I love regencies for. What really appealed to me about this book was the fact that there were not one but two romances that developed in the course of the story. I'm not usually fond of books that feature more than one romance in a single story but Ms. Dacus did a wonderful job of making it natural and in no way rushed. Often times one of the couple's gets the short end of the stick and I say to myself, "Well, that escalated quickly", but not so with Follow the Heart. The only teeny thing that disappointed me with this book was the lack of Great Exhibition scenes. Since it's part of a series called the Great Exhibition I guess I was expecting more to take place there. However, I did adore the final scene in the Crystal Palace *sigh*! Here's to hoping for even more romance and industry in book 2, An Honest Heart!


Fun with Kaye:
~ What's your biggest time waster/distraction?
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/kayedacus

(Hehehe mine too, Kaye! http://www.pinterest.com/steelergirl83)

~ Do you collect anything?
Karl Urban character action figures (Eomer, Dr. McCoy, etc.)

~ Who's your secret celebrity crush?
I have two, and they’re not such a big secret (I have a board dedicated to them on Pinterest): Oded Fehr and Karl Urban. I call them my “alternate-universe husbands.” http://pinterest.com/kayedacus/mine-in-another-life/

~ What's your guilty pleasure?
Bingeing on as many episodes of Supernatural on Netflix as I can watch in one sitting.

~ What household task do you dread/enjoy?
Dread: Anything involving cleaning or paying bills
Enjoy: Cooking

~ What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
If I’m not at work and I’m not writing, I’m doing one of the following three things: hanging out with friends (usually dinner and a movie), watching TV/Netflix/DVDs at home, or reading.

To learn more about Kaye visit her WEBSITE!

  *I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher via netGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

Happy Reading!


Cover Reveal: Love's Miracles by Sandra Leesmith

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'm so excited to be a part of the official cover reveal of author Sandra Leesmith's latest novel, Love's Miracles. For me, visually appealing covers are what pull me in and make me want to learn more about a book. I'm sure that's the case for a lot of you readers out there too.

Sandra's cover, (designed by Lena Goldfinch) has that promise of romance and a beautiful setting that grabs me...check it out below and see what you think! I've also included the cover blurb to hopefully intrigue you further. ;-) The book will be available in e-book form in late May.

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About the book:
Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli's mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle – and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gain his trust, and awaken the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free – and save their last chance for love.

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I don't know about you but this book sounds wonderful doesn't it? I can't wait to read it. The blog tour for Love’s Miracles is scheduled for May 20th – 31st. Be watching the Seasons of Humility blog (www.seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com) for more information in the coming weeks! The book will be released in Kindle format in late May. My own review will be posted here, on this blog, on May 25th if you would like to read my thoughts on the book.

Happy Reading!