Mom Loves 2 Read: 2011

Dec 31, 2011

Loves 2 Read ~ my review of A Marriage Carol



Summary:
On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm. This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they're traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer's office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Jacob is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs¿and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose'



My Review ~

Jake and Marley’s marriage of 20 years is over.  The are on their way to see the divorce attorney when a horrible car accident leaves Marley alone in a snowstorm.  She looks for Jake, but as she is unable to find him, she heads toward a light in the distance.  Stumbling upon a house in the storm, she finds welcome and some magical Christmas help in the form of a man who is both a stranger and somewhat familiar.  As a wonderful twist on the Ebenezer Scrooge story, she has the opportunity to “see” her past, present and possible future.  She has only to choose which future she wants.  A heartwarming look into Christmas, love and marriage!  I loved this short, but sweet book and the story it tells.


*A special thanks to Negalley and  Moody Publishers for the free review copy of this book ~ please see my Policy & Disclosure page for more info and my FTC guidelines disclosure.

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Dec 28, 2011

Winners of free books on Mid-Winters Eve Hop Announced!


Congrats to the Winners of the Mid-Winters Eve Giveaway Hop! 
All winners were chosen using Random.org

Winner of "A Marriage Carol"
  ~ Latanya T ~

Winners of "Montana Dawn" & "Texas Twilight"
~ Kristy W ~
~ Keela D ~
~ Ruth H ~


* Winners have 72 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen *



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Dec 27, 2011

Review ~ What are you afraid of? by Kiki Howell



What Are You Afraid Of?  a children's picture book
by Kiki Howell


My Review:
What are you afraid of? by Kiki Howell, is a cute story about two dogs, Drake and Zoe, who are having a conversation about the fears that poor Drake has.  The story is set during Halloween, but can be read anytime of the year.  This story tries to touch on fears many children have, and is a cute way to show them that it is ok to be afraid, but that they should share their fears with someone they trust.  
Poor Drake is scared of kids in costumes, but loves when his boy drops yummy candy.  I can see how little ones would love the adorable pictures of Drake and Zoe in this story.  Although I personally found the rhyming a bit forced, this is an adorable book for young children.  My 3 year old kept wanting me to read it over and over, and she loved looking at the pictures throughout the book.


Note From The Author:

What Are You Afraid Of? is more than a story to help children overcome their fears. What Are You Afraid Of? is a book about acknowledging a children's fears and dealing with them in ways that do not stifle a child's imagination and creativity. So, indulge me while I state a few ideas.

Children can easily be made to feel small and defenseless in this big world, while at the same time, children have very vivid imaginations, which can cause further anxiety over things that are intangible, confusing, and scary. Therefore, how we deal with a child's fears may have tremendous implications on how we foster, or hinder, their creative growth.

While fear can be a manifestation of imagination, so too can compassion and empathy. Compassion is a product of the imagination as well, being able to ‘see’ ourselves in another’s shoes. So, it only stands to reason, that if we stifle the imagination, we may be stifling the child’s potential to care for the world around him later on. A creative mind is a terrible thing to waste.

We all know that fears or phobias cannot be easily coerced away by mere rational or logical arguments. Instead, it seems a better approach to acknowledge a child's fears and show him or her that you know how he or she feels. We can try to diminish the fears by making light of it and making the child laugh. Ah, laughter is the best medicine! I have read psychologists who recommend playing with fears by role playing until the child laughs or by drawing silly pictures of the object of the fear with the same intention.

With all of this in mind, I came up with this story. I hope the idea of a big dog being afraid of witches and ghosts is silly enough to begin with, along with the playful Halloween-ish images and the funny rhyming patterns. But more, I hope the games the old comes up with will be games your child can also play to eliminate his or her own fears. Most of all, I wish for you and your child to enjoy the story. May you laugh! 


"What are you Afraid of? by Kiki Howell can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.



*I received and ebook copy for review purposes through the Virtual Book Tour Cafe.  See my Policy  & Disclosure Page for more info.

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Dec 20, 2011

Mid-Winters Eve Giveaway Hop



Welcome to the second annual Mid-winter's Eve Giveaway Hop
Hosted by I am a Reader,  Not a Writer 
Co-hosted by Oasis For YA & The Daily Harrell.


Hop Runs from Dec. 21st to Dec. 27th.
Thanks for visiting me here on Loves 2 Read.  For this special Holiday Giveaway, I have 2 4 wonderful Prizes! 

* I just got an email from author: Caroline Fyffe.  She has offered another 2 sets of ebooks for this giveaway (3 total)!  Thank you Caroline! *

Prize #1 is a set of ebook copies of "Montana Dawn" & "Texas Twilight" by Caroline Fyffe  (see my review of Montana Dawn here)

Prize #2 is a set of ebook copies of "Montana Dawn" & "Texas Twilight" by Caroline Fyffe 


Prize #3 is a set of ebook copies of "Montana Dawn" & "Texas Twilight" by Caroline Fyffe

Prize #4 is a hardcover print copy of "A Marriage Carol" by Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman  (see my review here)


Must complete the Mandatory Entry to be eligible to win.  Extra entries are optional.  Fill out the form below this post to enter.  Then follow the linky list at the bottom to continue hopping your way to more great giveaways!






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Review ~ Montana Dawn by Caroline Fyffe



 - MONTANA DAWN
Book One in The McCutcheon Family Series
2010 Maggie Finalist, 2010 Gayle Wilson Finalist , RWA Golden Heart Finalist

"When Luke McCutcheon finds Faith Brown about to give birth in her rickety wagon, his first instincts are to ride for help. Instead, he stays and delivers a beautiful baby girl. Unable to leave the pretty young widow and her little son and newborn unprotected in the Montana wilderness, he brings them along on his family’s cattle drive, to the absolute delight of the other friendly cowboys.
Luke, third son of Montana’s wealthy McCutcheon family, is different from his brothers. As the offspring of a Cheyenne warrior, he carries a chip on his shoulder for all to see. His flashing eyes and handsome face make Faith feel she’s stepped into some long-ago tale where men cherish their women--and keep them safe. If only she could trust him!
Faith is on the run, and although she’s pampered and protected by Luke and his family, she just can’t risk the consequences of sharing the details of her past--one that’s hunting to take her back to the nightmare she’s just escaped. Happy-ever-afters are for fairytales, she reminds herself sternly as her heart feels the warm pull of his.
Still, she can’t help but dream of a loving family, a home to call her own, a beautiful and bright… Montana Dawn

My Review:
I was captured by this story from the first sentence to the last.  I was amazed when I read of Faith’s courage and determination.   I can’t imagine how hard it would have been had I been in her place!  Then to have a stranger peek his head in while she’s in labor!  What a shock!  And what happens next is both shocking and funny. . . but of course, I won’t tell – you’ll have to read it for yourself.

I loved reading about Faith and Luke’s budding relationship.  Faith is determined to keep her secret and try to protect herself and her children from danger.  She also wants to protect the McCutcheon family from any difficulties that might come from helping her.  What a struggle!  Want to know more?  Need to know if Faith and Luke will ever be together?  Or will Faith fall victim to the horrible secrets she carries?  Read the book to find out more!  

I really want to tell you everything I liked about this story, but I hate giving too much information and spoiling the story for those who haven’t read it.  So, I will say this is definitely a MUST READ!  Put any books by author Caroline Fyffe on your TBR list, and make sure to read this book: Montana Dawn, and the sequel that just came out: Texas Twilight (review coming soon).

*Montana Dawn is a clean fiction romance, and I would recommend it for ages 17 and up.

 Author Info:

Website ~ http://www.carolinefyffe.com/

TEXAS TWILIGHT, On Sale Now!
MONTANA DAWN, Laurel Wreath Winner, Maggie Finalist, Gayle Wilson Finalist  
WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, Winner of Write Touch Readers Award

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Dec 16, 2011

Giveaway and Reveiws of Traegonia series by K.S. Krueger


Do you believe in Fairies, Sprites, Elves or Gnomes? 

Here on B'Tween Prose, the cute mystical creatures who run through our imaginations are always welcome!  For today I have an introduction to the land of Traegonia! My reviews for this Book Tour through Pump Up Your Books & a giveaway of both books to 1 random follower/reader on my main blog:  Loves 2 Read! Click here to sign up, or use the Rafflecopter form below this post. Giveaway runs from Dec. 16th through Dec. 22nd.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Traegonia:  The Sunbow Prophecy
by K. S. Krueger

My Summary:
In this first book of the Traegonia series, we are introduced to the reclusive creatures called Treagons.  Karia and her brother Juna come across a young boy lying under the leaves in the forest asleep.  Karia is concerned for the boy when she hears his mother calling him.  She convinces her brother that they should uncover the boy so he will be found, and since he is sleeping they will not be discovered and risk being seen.  Dino, the boy, was not asleep as they thought, but only pretending.  He believed that if he was still enough he might catch site of the creatures who teased him earlier in the day by throwing acorns at his back.  From this first accidental meeting starts an exciting and difficult adventure to save the Traegon people and their world from destruction at the hands of greedy land developers.

My Review:
Due to some repetitive wording in the first chapters, I found the story started slowly.  I could immediately see that the Treagonia series was going to capture my interest.  I can tell that this book was written by a person not only loves nature, but believes in the magic of nature and all living creatures.  And, I must say that it teaches the reader about the need to help others, and that even one or two people CAN make a BIG difference when fighting for what is right.

The reader is taken to Treagonia; a wonderful place where animals and Traegon live side by side, each treating the other with respect and kindness.  Treagonians share with those in need, use only that what is needed, and take care of those around them both Treagon and animal.  They live in peace with each other and the creatures around them.  The story progresses as the woods in which the Treagon live are in danger of being destroyed by land developers.  Dino must help his newfound friends to find a way to save the Treagons and the forest which his family loves so much.

The story is fun, entertaining and has a good moral lesson told in a way that a young reader would enjoy.  I would recommend this book for average readers from age 10 through adult.  My 10 year old son and my 7 year old daughter are already asking me if they can read this book when I am finished reviewing it.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 Traegonia:  The Ember Rune
 by K. S. Krueger

My Summary:
Treagonia: “The Ember Rune” is the second book of the Treagonia Series.  We are taken initially to Treagonia to see Karia as she is experiencing some troublesome visions and dreams.  During this time, Dino is informed by his parents that they will be leaving home to vacation for a week at the home of his Uncle in California.  Dino, Karia and Juna do not wish to be separated and concoct a scheme in which Dino tries to smuggle Karia and Juna to California inside his suitcase.  Naturally troubles arise and the adventure does not go as they planned. 

My Review:
I loved reading this next book in the adventures of Dino, Karia and Juna.  New friends are made, and new dangers are faced throughout this story.  If you loved the first book: “The Sunbow Prophecy,” then you will definitely love this one as well.  If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading the Treagonia series, then I recommend you give it a try!  I can see it being a favorite with those ages 8 and up.  It is written for middle-grade children, but I know younger and older children (and adults like me) will enjoy it just as much.


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Book Trailer- Do You Believe?  Whether you are in grade school, middle school, a young adult or an adult, this fantasy fiction novel will draw you into a world closer than you might imagine. The strange, small and kind creatures, of Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy, will touch your heart, inspire and spark your imagination. Enjoy a glimpse into the World of Traegonia.







a Rafflecopter giveawayThank you to Pump Up Your Book - tours for this wonderful opportunity to review the Traegonia books by K. S. Krueger for this book tour!



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Dec 15, 2011

Book Tour ~ PUYB ~ Traegonia: Sunbow Prophecy & Ember Rune ~ Giveaway and Review


Do you believe in Fairies, Sprites, Elves or Gnomes? 

Here on Loves 2 Read, the cute mystical creatures who run through our imaginations are always welcome!  For today I have an introduction to the land of Traegonia! My reviews for this Book Tour through Pump Up Your Books & a giveaway of both books to 1 random follower/reader!  Read all the way to the bottom, and fill in the Rafflecopter form to be entered for a chance to win.  Giveaway ends Dec. 22nd.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Traegonia:  The Sunbow Prophecy

My Summary:
In this first book of the Traegonia series, we are introduced to the reclusive creatures called Treagons.  Karia and her brother Juna come across a young boy lying under the leaves in the forest asleep.  Karia is concerned for the boy when she hears his mother calling him.  She convinces her brother that they should uncover the boy so he will be found, and since he is sleeping they will not be discovered and risk being seen.  Dino, the boy, was not asleep as they thought, but only pretending.  He believed that if he was still enough he might catch site of the creatures who teased him earlier in the day by throwing acorns at his back.  From this first accidental meeting starts an exciting and difficult adventure to save the Traegon people and their world from destruction at the hands of greedy land developers.

My Review:
Due to some repetitive wording in the first chapters, I found the story started slowly.  I could immediately see that the Treagonia series was going to capture my interest.  I can tell that this book was written by a person not only loves nature, but believes in the magic of nature and all living creatures.  And, I must say that it teaches the reader about the need to help others, and that even one or two people CAN make a BIG difference when fighting for what is right.

The reader is taken to Treagonia; a wonderful place where animals and Traegon live side by side, each treating the other with respect and kindness.  Treagonians share with those in need, use only that what is needed, and take care of those around them both Treagon and animal.  They live in peace with each other and the creatures around them.  The story progresses as the woods in which the Treagon live are in danger of being destroyed by land developers.  Dino must help his newfound friends to find a way to save the Treagons and the forest which his family loves so much.

The story is fun, entertaining and has a good moral lesson told in a way that a young reader would enjoy.  I would recommend this book for average readers from age 10 through adult.  My 10 year old son and my 7 year old daughter are already asking me if they can read this book when I am finished reviewing it.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 Traegonia:  The Ember Rune

My Summary:
Treagonia: “The Ember Rune” is the second book of the Treagonia Series.  We are taken initially to Treagonia to see Karia as she is experiencing some troublesome visions and dreams.  During this time, Dino is informed by his parents that they will be leaving home to vacation for a week at the home of his Uncle in California.  Dino, Karia and Juna do not wish to be separated and concoct a scheme in which Dino tries to smuggle Karia and Juna to California inside his suitcase.  Naturally troubles arise and the adventure does not go as they planned. 

My Review:
I loved reading this next book in the adventures of Dino, Karia and Juna.  New friends are made, and new dangers are faced throughout this story.  If you loved the first book: “The Sunbow Prophecy,” then you will definitely love this one as well.  If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading the Treagonia series, then I recommend you give it a try!  I can see it being a favorite with those ages 8 and up.  It is written for middle-grade children, but I know younger and older children (and adults like me) will enjoy it just as much.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Trailer- Do You Believe?  Whether you are in grade school, middle school, a young adult or an adult, this fantasy fiction novel will draw you into a world closer than you might imagine. The strange, small and kind creatures, of Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy, will touch your heart, inspire and spark your imagination. Enjoy a glimpse into the World of Traegonia.



Sign up below to enter the giveaway of both Traegonia books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thank you to Pump Up Your Book - tours for this wonderful opportunity to review the Traegonia books by K. S. Krueger for this book tour!



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Dec 12, 2011

A boy's Review of Nate Rocks the World

Thanks for stopping by Loves 2 Read - today's book tour is Nate Rocks the World.

Nate Rocks the World by Karen Pokras Toz
Book Tour Stop for Dec. 12th


Nate Rocks: Part Super-Hero, Part All-Star Athlete, Part Rock-Star... Part Fourth-Grader?

Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader can be hazardous - what with science projects to deal with and recess football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nathan's life as a fourth-grader appears to be completely doomed.

Armed only with his sketchpad, his imagination, and his wits, Nathan Rockledge navigates the perils of the fourth grade in style, to emerge heroic, as Nate Rocks, proving that even a ten-year-old can accomplish great things.


* I asked my 10 year old son, Josh to write his own review of Nate Rocks the World for today's book tour stop.  Here is what he had to say about the book:

Josh (age 10) reading to his sisters

Review by Josh age 10:
I think Nate Rocks the World is one of the best books I've ever read.  I like how he draws comics like I do.  My favorite part of the book is when he captured the robbers.  You should read Nate Rocks the World.  It is a great book for any kid.

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Dec 9, 2011

Promotion ~ 30% off! The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

Right now you can get 30% off and free shipping on The Christmas Singing (and any other title) when you use promo code CHRISTMAS11 at checkout on WaterBrookMultnomah.com. The coupon code expires on December 20th, 2011.







The Christmas Singing (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Watch the video Trailer 



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Enter for many chances to win Free Giftcards this Holiday Season

Join in the Gift Card Giveaway Hop from Dec 9th through the 13th on 100 different blogs.  
100+ chances to win one of multiple gift cards!  Just click the button below to begin hopping and entering!



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Dec 8, 2011

Review ~ Smitten ~ 4 stories of romance and love in Smitten, Vermont



Summary:
Four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier romantic getaway-and each finds her own true love along the way.

With Smitten Lumber closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners-Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese--decide the town is worth saving. How will they do it? They'll turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination!

As Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese work to save the town, each discovers romance in her own life. Meanwhile, the faith of a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love.


My Review:

Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt with their new book "Smitten."
“Smitten” is the first book in the Smitten series by these wonderful authors.

The four authors have joined together to bring us four stories about four friends.  These four women try to save the town of Smitten, Vermont by making the town into a romantic destination that plays upon the town's name “Smitten.”  The town’s lumber mill has shut down and many people have lost their jobs.  The friends fear that their town is in danger of becoming like a ghost town.  In order to bring more people to Smitten, Vermont the ladies devise a plan to capitalize on the name Smitten by making the town such that newlyweds and honeymooners, along with skiers and other travelers would want to vacation there.

I loved how the stories flow from first to final, how each woman’s reaction to the difficulties and potential romance kept my interest from the first words to the very end.  I don’t want to tell too much as I prefer not to spoil it for others, but this is definitely a worthy read.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!  These four authors have done a wonderful job of creating a masterpiece as each author writes from a different woman's perspective.  I love how each woman shares her own story, yet they are all four joined together to create one unique, humorous and creative book.  Definitely a must read!




* I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  Please see my policy and disclosure page for the full FTC disclosure.

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Review ~ The Dragons of Chiril by Donita K. Paul

The Dragons of Chiril 

 

Previously published as The Vanishing Sculptor

Previously published as The Vanishing Sculptor

Summary:
Before DragonSpell, on a different continent and a different time, a young emerlindian's desperate decision threatens to disrupt the foundation of the world.
Tipper has been caring for her family’s estate for years now, ever since her father disappeared, making a living by selling off his famous artwork. Then she learns that three statues she sold were carved from an ancient foundation stone, and the fabric of her reality is crumbling.
She must free her father and save the world. But she can’t do it alone.

Her ragtag band of adventurers includes Beccaroon, a giant parrot; Bealomondore, an aristocratic young artist; a handsome dragonkeeper prince; the Wizard Fenworth; and the tumanhofer librarian Librettowit. Together they travel through valleys and kingdoms and consort with purveyors of good and agents of evil to find and reunite the missing statues. Will they learn to rely on Wulder’s grace and guidance along the way?



Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

My Review:
This book was slow to read as I found myself re-reading parts of it to try to understand all that the author was trying to portray.  There is a great amount of detail, and although it did take much longer than I normally spend reading this book, it was entertaining and interesting.  Magic, wizards, portals, mystery and mystical creatures abound throughout this story.  A great adventure for teens/YA and those adults who still believe in magic and fantasy.  This book is meant to be the pre-quel of sorts for "DragonSpell" and other Dragon books by Donita K. Paul.

For more information about the Donita K. Paul or her books, please visit the author's website:

* I received a free copy of this book through WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging For Books program in hopes that I would post a review on my blog.  Please see my Policy and Disclosure page for more information about my reviews.

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