Friday, December 13, 2013

Special Ebook Sale

It's Friday the 13th! Normally we think of Friday the 13th as unlucky—but today is your lucky day! It's a one day sale on over thirty books. Stock up for yourself, grab great deals on Christmas gifts, and find something for everyone!
Original photo by Abhi Sharma via Flickr/CC
Scroll through the titles below and click on the purchase links to pick up anything and everything that looks interesting—or give as Christmas gifts! There's something on this list for everyone to enjoy! *Be sure to check the price of the book before you download so you know you're getting the sale price.*


Look at all these amazing deals!!

The Book Blogger's Cookbook (2011) by Christy Dorrity Promotion Price: 99¢  Click here to purchase! Great books, bloggers, and recipes meet in this fresh and unique cookbook that helps you experience books, not just read them. Books were selected from the author’s book review blog and paired with delectable recipes like “Fairy Touched Calico Brownies” from the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, “7-Day Layer Dip” from Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall, and “I Hate Chocolate Cake” from Amanda Hocking’s Switched. Whether you're a food lover, an avid reader or a book blogger, there’s something for you in The 2011 Book Blogger’s Cookbook.

Clean romance (including romantic comedy & historical romance)

Working It Out by Rachael Anderson Regular price $3.99 Promotion Price: $1.99 Click here to purchase! A chance encounter . . . Grace Warren's life is safe and predictable--exactly the way she likes it. But when she gets roped into going to an auction to help out a friend, everything changes. She meets Seth Tuttle--a guy who unexpectedly kisses her then disappears, leaving her flustered and upset. If she never sees him again, it will be too soon. A chance for love . . . Weeks later, when Seth limps into Grace's rehab clinic post surgery, he's every bit as frustrating and annoying as she remembered. Yet there's something about him that makes her second-guess her carefully placed boundaries even though he's everything she's sure she doesn't want in a man. But maybe Seth is exactly what Grace has needed all along--assuming she's willing to risk safe and predictable for a chance at love.
Prank Wars
by Stephanie Fowers
Promotion Price: $2.99 Click here to purchase! In this fun-filled novel, it’s girls vs. boys in a hilarious prank war that pits the college students against their nemeses. When some of the pranks start getting dangerous, can the two enemies join forces to capture the culprit?
Third Time's the Charm by Heather B. Moore Sale price for promotion: 99¢. Click here to purchase! Liz Carlson will settle for a normal man. A normal man with a job, that is. Married twice, then divorced twice, Liz had her rose-colored glasses fall off and shatter on the ground a long time ago. Her main focus now is raising her six-year-old daughter and surviving long days at work on her feet as a hairdresser. When Sloane Branden answers her call for help, quite literally, Liz doesn’t even give him a second glance. She has sworn off dating for as many years as it takes, and it seems that Sloane has done the same after his own tumultuous marriage. But when Liz realizes that Sloane defies every stereotypical deadbeat she has dated, she might just find room in her heart and discover the third time’s the charm.
Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena Sale price for promotion: 99¢. Click here to purchase from Amazon and Smashwords! Heléne de Laurant has not forgotten how the Earl of Gunthar destroyed her father’s castle during Henry II’s war with his sons. Apparently neither have her family and friends, for when someone tries to murder Gunthar, every sign points in their direction. Heléne realizes the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. As Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor, fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction. Heléne must race against time, and dark secrets of the past, to unmask the would-be killer before the kingdom plunges back into war and takes the life of the man she has unexpectedly learned to love.

Clean romantic suspense & adventure romance

I, Spy (Spy Another Day #1)
by Jordan McCollum
Regular price: $3.99 Promotion Price: 99¢ Click here to purchase on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or author's website Canada is probably the last place you’d expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets—and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there’s one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation. It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy? She can make this work, too—until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn’t the only thing suffering. Now to save her secrets and her country, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves.
Poison Me
by Cami Checketts
Promotion Price: FREE Click here to purchase!
Can they catch a killer that no one believes is real?
Jake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, and her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer.
Secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she's always loved, but could never have. Chanel's unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, and Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love. "Poison Me made me laugh out loud and thoroughly enjoy myself. I wish I had a friend like Ruby! Snappy dialogue, romance, and a strong sense of family made this book well worth reading."  Rachel Ann Nunes, bestselling author of Line of Fire and Before I Say Goodbye
The Colony by Cami Checketts Sale price for promotion: 99¢. Click here to purchase! To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property. Lance, Brinlee’s attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion. While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger. "Cami Checketts is a genius! She writes about topics that aren't widely discussed, in and out of books, and she does such a brilliant job of crafting these things into wonderful stories that touch your heart and remain with you for days afterwards." Myra, Reviewer, Pieces of Whimsy
A Change of Plans (Safe Harbors #1) by Donna K. Weaver Sale price for promotion: $2.99. Click here to purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble! When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old Colorado high school teacher wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a vacation diversion; what fate provides is Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and its temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. But Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic. Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa. However, paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped. Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck. Also available as an audio book from Audible!

Paranormal romance & Fantasy (adult)

The Change (Unbounded #1)
by Teyla Branton
Promotion Price: 99¢ Click here to purchase at Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble 
No Second Chances. Death, Life, or Love—Unbounded Always Play for Keeps.
There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities.
Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, the Emporium and the Renegades, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene.
As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her unique ability is vital to both groups in the race to secure an identification software that spells death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world. Some will stop at nothing to use Erin as one more pawn in a battle that has spanned centuries. Erin’s undeniable attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps.
Non-stop action, terrifying consequences, and powerful romance make The Change an exciting addition to the world of romantic urban fantasy.
Sevenfold
by Ilyan Kei Lavanway
Promotion Price: $2.99   Click here to purchase on Amazon and Smashwords
Young wife Gracie yearns for renewed innocence. Abiathar wants to secure it for her. Their trek has been anything but blissful. Stomach their journey, and let your faith be strengthened through their experience. Glimpse tribulations and miracles future pioneers may expect as you live vicariously through the life of this young family.
Out of the Picture and Into the Picture
by Victor G. La Van Way and Ilyan Kei Levanway
Promotion Price: 99¢  Click here to purchase on Amazon and Smashwords!
Out of the Picture and Into the Picture by Victor G. La Van Way and Ilyan Kei Lavanway is a fantasy adventure book containing two short stories about a pilot who is miraculously reunited with his father in a strange storm. Experience superimposed worlds and altered realities. Relive the thrill of flight as you follow this pilot's mysterious journey. Find a renewed hope and youthful determination.

Young Adult

The Big Debate (Literary Loom Book One) by Carolyn Twede Frank Promotion Price: 99¢  Click here to purchase! A bizarre corpse . . . A strange girl . . . A creepy teacher . . . A cool invention . . . Combine these with an old school and a new student anxious to fit in, and the adventure begins. Fifteen-year-old Josh’s big mouth gets him in trouble at first. But after walking in the shoes of great men of history in the Literary Loom, he uses that mouth to bring down the bad guy and ultimately solve the mystery behind the murder . . . and the mystery behind a strange girl.
The Dream Keeper (Dream Keeper Chronicles #1) by Mikey Brooks Regular $3.99 Sale for Promotion 99¢ Click here to purchase! or here for Nook or Kobo Dreams: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME. When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?
The Dreamstone (Dream Keeper Chronicles #2) by Mikey Brooks Sale price: 99¢ Click here to purchase from Amazon and Kobo! When Parker’s mom is dreamnapped by the wicked Mab, it is up to him and Kaelyn to save her. However when they return to Dreams, they discover Mab isn’t their only problem. Gladamyr has lost his powers and the only way to get them back is to become what he fears the most—a nightmare.
Aura by Rebecca Lynn Talley Sale Price for Promotion: 99¢  Click here to purchase! What if the greatest weapon in the age-old war between good and evil was inside of you?
Crystal Scott has always felt different but tried hard to blend in.  Now that she's scored the lead in the school play, has a boyfriend she adores, and a best friend she can't live without, she finally feels like she belongs. A few days before prom, a mysterious young man appears and suddenly she has to figure out how to use the weapon of Light she has inside her or mankind is doomed.
Demons are determined to tip the war in their favor no matter what the cost and they're hot on Crystal's trail.  With danger around every corner, she doesn't know if she can save herself, never mind anyone else.  When things look darkest and there's nowhere to turn, Crystal must find the strength to use her newfound gifts against the tide of evil threatening all of them--or die trying.
With a Kiss (Twisted Tales, Book One) by Stephanie Fowers
Promotion Price: FREE on Amazon Click here to purchase! or free on Smashwords! Faerytales. They're real . . . they just haven't happened yet. Halley Starr finds out the truth when she loses her heart with a curse. Now she has to get it back from that dirty faery who stole it from her, but first, she must fight against the seven rules of the faery kingdom that mortals must never break. If Halley wants her heart back again, she can’t worry about the rules.
Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips (Episodes 1-3) by Cindy M. Hogan Regular price $3.99 Sale price: 99¢ Click here to purchase! The first 3 Episodes of Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips in one book! "First Kiss" VL. Virgin Lips. You may not have heard of it, but where I live, it's a thing with a card, even if it is a figurative card. I was Brooklyn Hamlin, certified virgin lips, and I planned on clinging to that figurative card with all I had--while dating as many of the hottest guys at school as I could. Maybe that's a bit strange. I mean, what teenage girl isn't interested in kissing? Locking lips definitely interested me, but the drama that came with it didn't. No kissing, no drama. Simple. But on my sixteenth birthday, on my first real date even, the drama found me. His name was Luke Graham--cute, funny, and bad news for the whole female race. "Stolen Kiss" With my VL card gone, my flickering light of hope lay with Ryker, someone else who'd caught my eye. Only he could erase the memory of Luke, the boy who lip-raped me. Unfortunately, Luke was determined to keep me, or at the very least, ruin me. "Rebound Kiss" Brooklyn has become a social outcast at school thanks to Luke, who spent his entire weekend playing the victim and spreading rumors. And there’s nothing worse than Luke’s brand of justice. With no other way to escape her torn up, lonely life, she accepts an invitation to her cousin’s birthday party. Attending a party thrown by someone she doesn’t get along with is better than sitting home alone. The highlight of the party is meeting Riley, a boy who’s sweeter than the plate of sugar cookies he arrives with. After everything Brooklyn has been through, it seems that karma is finally on her side, but she soon learns that nothing is ever simple in the dating world.
Gravediggers by Cindy M. Hogan Regular price $3.99 Sale price for promotion: $1.99 Click here to purchase! Seventeen-year-old Billy thinks his father’s murder will never be solved—until he stumbles across an old ammo box while digging a grave in his small-town Tennessee cemetery. What he finds leads him to question everything he knows, and his search for answers will uncover more than he bargained for: lies, secrets, and conspiracies—and behind them all, a dangerous truth.
Aos Si by Rebecca Lyn Shelley Sale price for promotion: 99¢ Click here to purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iTunes/Apple! Legends say the magical Aos Si, the Fair Folk of Irish and Scottish folklore that once plagued humanity, have retreated Under the Hill, never to be seen again. The legends are wrong. Aos Si are still abroad in the world, powerful, dangerous, and living among us. When Carla's mother drags her from their home in Denver to the-middle-of-nowhere Colorado, a mysterious neighbor embroils her in a battle between warring Aos Si factions. Then she meets Shade, a slave of a cruel and power-hungry Aos Si. Her attraction to Shade is as deep as the magical powers that surround him, but her attempt to free him from his evil master sinks them both deeper into the war, endangering her life and those of the people she cares about most.
You're Strong Enough by Kassi Pontious Price for promotion: FREE Click here to purchase! You’re Strong Enough takes young adult readers on a quest to discover who they are, why they are here, where they came from, and what their ultimate goal is. Christian writer, Kassi Pontious, shares personal experiences aimed at teaching young people that each of us is strong enough for our own trials and challenges. In You’re Strong Enough, you will discover who your real enemy is and how to defeat this dragon. As you participate in individual quests at the end of each chapter, you will learn how to cut the strings of dysfunction that may be trying to control your life. Ultimately, you will discover where your true strength lies and how to conquer the obstacles in life’s path. You’re Strong Enough is a book about hope and empowerment. It brings truths to light that will empower your soul and inspire you, and those around you.
The Princess Sisters (Princess Sisters #1) by Stacy Lynn Carroll Promotional Price 99¢. Click here to purchase! The only thing she stands to lose are her shoes. Cinderella is an ordinary teenage girl, with an extraordinary name. But because of that name, she and her cousins, Belle, Aurora, Ariel, and Snow White suffer years of torment from their peers. Then as the girls enter high school and the enticing world of dating, a life-altering decision must be made. Is it finally time to stop fighting, and surrender to the fairy tale clichés that have been holding them back? By embracing their names, the girls discover an inner-strength they never knew existed. And by putting everything they have on the line, maybe, just maybe they will discover there really is such a thing as 'happily ever after'.
Frogs & Toads (Princess Sisters #2) by Stacy Lynn Carroll Promotional price 99¢. Click here to purchase! One kiss can change the future, for better or for worse. Belle and her cousins have conquered their fears. Now as they navigate their way through the dating world, they start to see a "happily ever after" on the horizon. But when an unexpected school assignment forces them to examine their past, the Princess sisters realize they have a lot of questions about the fathers they've never met. Secrets are revealed, long lost family members are discovered, and now the girls must decide who belongs in their future and who should be kept in the past.

Middle Grade

Heroes of the Highest Order Book Bundle 1-3 by R. K. Hinrichsen Regular price $9.99 Promotional price: $5.99 Three books in one! Click here to purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! THE DARK ENEMY NEVER RESTS. BUT NEITHER DO THE HEROES OF THE HIGHEST ORDER! Book 1 (The Hidden Kingdom): A magical playground whisks Dan and Page into the Hidden Kingdom, a skinny giant quickly registers them for hero training camp. There, they learn they must gain skills and earn powerful treasures by travelling back in time and walking in the footsteps of a real pioneer hero. Book 2 (The Prisoner of the Shadows): Dan and Page search the catacombs in Italy, race through the streets of India, and follow in the footsteps of Mother Teresa in order to rescue their grandfather from the Prison of the Shadows. A bonus: Dan finds out he's even more powerful than he thought! Book 3 (The Mouth of the Dragon): Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a real-life hero, helps Dan and Page rescue two children from the Nazis in World War II Poland.
All I Got For Christmas by Rebecca Shelley Sale price for promotion: 99¢ Click here to purchase from Barnes & Noble and Amazon! Oh No! Principal Green says Santa can't come to the school Christmas party. Monkey needs a plan to get Santa to come. Too bad Monkey's ideas get him on Santa's Naughty List. It looks like all he'll get for Christmas is a bucket of coal. But when a blizzard knocks out the power lines and buries the roads, it's up to Monkey and the Smartboys to save Christmas for everyone.

Christmas!

A Greater Love  by Rachel Ann Nunes Regular price $5.99. Price for promotion: FREE Click here to purchase! A Special Kind of Christmas Story Miguel Silva is a street orphan who will do anything to avoid the wrath of his alcoholic aunt and to keep his little sister, Sara, happy. He and Sara roam the streets of Portugal, begging and stealing to feed and clothe themselves. A sudden twist of fate throws them into an even colder world, where their only chance for survival is a couple who is childless by choice—Daniel and Cristina Andrade. Daniel Andrade has put his bitter past behind him and found a new life with Cristina. But the past returns in force when Miguel steals his wallet on the ferry, throwing into motion a series of unstoppable events. Daniel doesn’t want to face the secrets of the past or open his heart to anyone—yet that is exactly what he must do or face losing everything he loves. Cristina Andrade also has secrets. Now she must choose between her husband and the deep longing in her heart. Or is there a compromise? Only Miguel can help them find the way—and time for Miguel is running out. Can the Savior’s love heal them all before it’s too late?
Dreaming of You my Christian romantic comedy / Christmas story. by Marie Higgins Regular price $2.99. Sale price for promotion 99¢. Click here to purchase! Katelyn Palmer never believed any harm could come from using her college crush as the hero in her first romance novel—the novel that jumpstarted her writing career. However, when Shane Hunter storms into town, demanding to meet the writer who used his identity, Katelyn is confronted with more than her long, silent emotions. If Shane takes her to court for invasion of privacy, her career would be over. Shane doesn’t know how to act when his ex sister-in-law accuses him of having an affair while he was married—and then shows him the romance book as proof. Now he wants to know who this author really is and why she used his name and most of the events in his life for her story. Desperate to know the truth Shane befriends Katelyn but he does not expect to be attracted to her, even more unexpected is the joy he finds watching his twins fall in love with the woman who is stealing his heart, too...
All I Want (Christmas Anthology)
by Rachael Anderson, Jolene Perry, and Kaylee Baldwin
Regular Price $3.99 Promotion Price: $1.99 Click here to purchase from Amazon or here for Barnes and Noble! Pretty Near Perfect by Jolene Perry The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé's parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone. Six Days of Christmas by Kaylee Baldwin When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted. Twist of Fate by Rachael Anderson When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all?



Spinster's Folly by Marsha Ward Sale price for promotion: $3.74 with coupon code VL64M at checkout. Click here to purchase! Marie Owen longs for a loving husband, but marriage prospects on the Colorado frontier are limited. Her desperation at the prospect of remaining unmarried, fueled by her younger sister's taunting jibes about her becoming a spinster, drives Marie into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers. Winner of 2013 USA Best Books Award for Western Fiction





  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Win a Free Kindle, Ebook Sale




The Bookmarked Bargains sales event is going to be unbelievable! 
Not only can you win a free Kindle you can find free and discounted books
 from some of your favorite authors. Here's a list of who's participating:

Andrea Pearson
Anna del C. Dye
Cami Checketts
Cheri Schmidt
Christine Kersey
Christy Dorrity
Cindy Hogan
Heather Justesen
Ilyan Lavanway
Jaleta Clegg
Jason Morgan
Jordan McCollum
Joyce DiPastena
Julie Bellon
Karey White
Maria Hoagland
Michelle Pennington
Mikey Brooks
Monique Bucheger
Rachael Andersen
Rachel Branton
Rachel Nunes
Rebecca Shelley
Rebecca Talley
Sandra Norton Flynn
Stephanie Fowers
Tamara Heiner
Teyla Branton
 Vickie Hall  

The deals run Wednesday, October 16th through Friday, October 18th. 
Click here to enter the Kindle drawing and find fabulous discounted books. Thanks!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Our House has Gone to Hail

A couple of weeks ago, a massive, sudden storm, with hail stones the size of golf balls, hit southwestern Colorado and our house there was damaged. Yes, the hail stones were actually the size of golf balls.



When the storm hit, people scrambled outside to try to move vehicles, but were injured by the falling ice chunks so they had to go back inside.

People in the community where we lived for the past 19 years had damage to windows, siding, roofs, AC units, cars. Many had their cars totaled. Many have to replace roofs, including us. The insurance adjuster recommends not just replacing the shingles, but actually removing the existing roof and replacing it on our house, barn, and a shed. He also recommends we repaint the house. We lost all the screens on the west side and have dents in the metal doors on that side. The barn has dents in its propanel siding on the west side.

It's truly amazing what damage a hail storm can do. Apparently, this storm suddenly hit and everyone was taken by surprise when the hail started falling. It didn't even last that long.

I think sometimes we humans presume that we are in charge of this earth and we have power over it. That somehow we can influence its destiny. Silly us. It only takes a storm like this, quick as it was, to show us that we are powerless to prevent such a storm. Anyone who's been in such a situation--tornado, hurricane, flood, blizzard--knows we humans become very small.

I'm thankful no one was seriously injured and that homes and vehicles can be repaired. I'm thankful it wasn't much worse. I'm also thankful to know there is a power greater than us. It is God. We may want to fight it. We may want to deny it. But the truth is, He is in charge.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Thoughts on Moving

We moved to Texas a month ago. It's been quite the month, I must say.

We drove from Colorado to Texas with all the kids and our stuff. We intended to drive straight through (16+ hours) because we're crazy like that, but we ended up with a flat tire on the trailer carrying the car somewhere near Memphis, TX and it took 3 hours for a repairman to come out and change the flat (since we were renting the trailer we weren't allowed to change it ourselves and had to wait for a service company). Always never get a flat tire near Memphis, TX it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

We stayed in a hotel that night and got up and drove the next morning. We had to drive straight to closing so we signed papers looking like we hadn't slept, because we mostly hadn't, and like we'd been driving for two days, which we had. That night we slept in our house sans furniture. Luckily, we had a couple of air mattresses.

And thus began our move to Texas.

We did get furniture and now all have beds to sleep on.

We proved we were actually citizens of the US so we could register kids in school (who knew you needed a driver's license, social security card, closing documents and a first born child to register kids for school here).

And while I'm on the subject of school, all the schools are within a mile or so from our house. In CO, a mile = about a minute of driving. In TX a mile = 10-30 minutes when trying to drop off and pick up kids from school. No kidding. For both elementary and middle school, parents line up in their cars and you wait in line for sometimes 30 minutes just to get your kid. It's insane. Surely there's a better way to let parents pick up kids from school. I drive my elementary kids to school and take them into the school. Then my 7th grader and I walk to his school. I really love that because it gives us time to talk and bond and also allows us to both get some exercise.

I've never seen so much water. Seriously. People were talking about how this area was just in a drought. I had to laugh. Everything is green. People have water. It rains. I know drought. I lived in a drought for most of the last 19 years. Drought = brown, dead plants, no grass, and 2 minute showers (if you're lucky). I've seen more rain in the last month than in the last 19 years combined in CO. So, please, you want to talk drought? Let me tell you what a real drought is.

I love that it's so green here. I love all the trees and the beautiful flowers. I love that it's still summer, I love that we are blessed to have a pool and can cool down when it gets too hot and humid. I love that everything is so close.

I've grocery shopped at Walmart for forever. I know Walmart. I know that in Walmart it's next to impossible to get someone to help you. I know that I have to pack my own cart and load it into my car. I know that in exchange, I get low prices. At least I knew that until . . . I shopped at HEB. And don't pronounce it "Heb" it's "H" "E" "B." it's like grocery shopping heaven. Same prices as Walmart. Helpful employees all over the place. They not only pack the bags and the cart, but load it into the car. I didn't even know what to do with myself. And they have yummy samples so if you're hungry when you're shopping, you can get snacks throughout the store. And the people are so nice. And this grocery store is around the corner from my house.

We've also met some very kind and helpful people. Our ward has been awesome and made us feel so welcome. The teachers at the school have been great. We enrolled our youngest son who has Down syndrome and the school personnel keep telling us how they've all fallen in love with him. I'll have to blog about his school experience separately.

I also love that we are only an hour from the coast. We went to Galveston and had a blast at the beach. Galveston is the cutest place. Totally touristy and fun.

Where we live now is about as opposite as we could've chosen (unless we went to a foreign country). We're in a city, it's hot and humid, it rains all the time, we only have half an acre, we have green grass, we're close to everything, there's a ton of traffic, TX doesn't measure distance in miles but rather in time, the schools are ginormous.

And it's awesome. Yes, we're still adjusting, but it's awesome.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Working it Out by Rachael Anderson

HTML working it out tour
Author Rachael Renee Anderson Rachael Anderson is the author of five novels (Working It Out, The Reluctant Bachelorette, Minor Adjustments, Luck of the Draw, and Divinely Designed) and two novellas (Twist of Fate, from the All I Want anthology and The Meltdown Match from The Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection). She's the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Working It Out A chance encounter . . . Grace Warren's life is safe and predictable—exactly the way she likes it. But when she gets roped into going to an auction to help out a friend, everything changes. She meets Seth Tuttle—a guy who unexpectedly kisses her then disappears, leaving her flustered and upset. If she never sees him again, it will be too soon.
A chance for love . . . Weeks later, when Seth limps into Grace's rehab clinic post surgery, she immediately recognizes him. Unfortunately, he's every bit as frustrating and annoying as she remembered. Yet there's something about him that makes her second-guess her carefully placed boundaries even though he's everything she's sure she doesn't want in a man. But maybe Seth is exactly what Grace has needed all along—assuming she's willing to risk safe and predictable for a chance at love.  
Blog Tour Special Price Drop!
Grab a copy of Working it Out for just $2.99!
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Blog Tour Giveaway
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MY REVIEW:

I LOVED this book! It drew me in from the first page (I loved "the kiss") and kept me entertained to the last word. The characters were all so well developed and unique. Seth wasn't your average hero--he had depth and he felt like a real person. I loved how the romantic relationships developed, but I also loved how the relationships between the other characters developed and changed. Grace felt like she could be one of my friends.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, clean, entertaining, and satisfying romance.

Awesome book!

5 Stars
EXCERPT:

Seth met Grace’s gaze once again and held out his hand for her to take. “Ready to go?”
She felt her resolve slipping, but couldn’t let it go completely. She stared at his hand, wanting to touch it, hold it, to interlace her small fingers with his strong ones. But she was his therapist, not his girlfriend.


Therapist.
His fingers wiggled. “My keys, please? I saw you pick them up when you were cleaning earlier.”

Huh? Grace glanced down. Sure enough, his keys were clutched in her hand. There was even an imprint on her palm from squeezing them too hard. Her face flamed, and she quickly handed them over.

Without another word, she turned and headed for the front of the building, wanting to crawl into the trunk of Seth’s car and hide. When she reached the outside air, she drew in a deep, steadying breath then grabbed the passenger door handle, ready to yank it open and dive inside. But it wouldn’t budge. The car was locked.

Duh.

Forced to stand there, clasping and unclasping her hands, Grace waited for Seth to catch up and unlock it. But instead of clicking the button on his keyless remote, he walked toward her, stopping directly in front of her.

Grace stood frozen as he reached around and manually unlocked the car. His chest bumped against her shoulder, sending tingles up and down her arms. In and out she breathed, telling her racing heart to slow down and her body to stop responding. It was only a touch. A simple touch. Nothing to get all worked up about.

But then Seth looked at her in that intense way again, his face only inches from hers. Grace trembled, feeling like all of her defenses and inhibitions were falling in a garbled up heap around her. Nothing made sense anymore. Not Seth. Not her feelings. Nothing. Grace didn’t know what she wanted or didn’t want anymore.

“If you’ll step aside, I’ll open your door for you,” Seth said.

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Working it Out by Rachael Anderson

Working It Out A chance encounter . . . Grace Warren's life is safe and predictable—exactly the way she likes it. But when she gets roped into going to an auction to help out a friend, everything changes. She meets Seth Tuttle—a guy who unexpectedly kisses her then disappears, leaving her flustered and upset. If she never sees him again, it will be too soon.
A chance for love . . . Weeks later, when Seth limps into Grace's rehab clinic post surgery, she immediately recognizes him. Unfortunately, he's every bit as frustrating and annoying as she remembered. Yet there's something about him that makes her second-guess her carefully placed boundaries even though he's everything she's sure she doesn't want in a man. But maybe Seth is exactly what Grace has needed all along—assuming she's willing to risk safe and predictable for a chance at love.  
 
Author Rachael Renee Anderson Rachael Anderson is the author of four books: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She's the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
 
Book Blast Special Price Drop!
Grab a copy of Working it Out for just $2.99!
price drop working     BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/6/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We're Moving to Texas?

Last summer, we planned to build an addition onto our home. Though our nuclear family isn't growing (which makes me sad), our extended family is and we wanted to have a place that is comfortable when all the kids and grandkids come home to visit. We put together plans, got bids, and even had the financing ready to sign.

Then we got nervous. The election was looming and were were worried that if President Obama were re-elected he'd continue with his plan to close coal-fired power plants. We decided to wait it out and when he won, we put our plans on hold indefinitely.

In December, the company my husband works for announced they would be pulling out of the area because the coal-fired power plants would be shutting down, hopefully only partially, but enough that it is no longer profitable for the company. We learned that in 3 years, the company for which my husband has worked for 24 years, will no longer be in the area.

We had decisions to make. Can he find another job in this area? What about his retirement? Our healthcare? Should we move? Can we leave family and friends? How would our kids react to moving? What other options do we have?

We have a great life in Colorado. We've worked hard for 19 years on our home and property. We were in the midst of changing over to solar power. We have animals. We just built the barn my husband has been dreaming of for 15 years. We live across the highway from my sister and her 12 kids, who've all grown up together. My husband's family lives here. We know what it's like to live here--we know how to ration water in the summer, what teachers are good and not-so-good, how long it takes to get to town, where to shop. We have a doctor we love and a dentist we love. We know the weather patterns. My son, who will be a senior was going to be a yearbook editor and seminary co-president. And, did I mention, my sister lives across the highway? Right across the highway.

We've spent months thinking about it, talking about it, praying about it. The bottom line is, in 3 years we won't have a job and we risk losing everything. So, we've decided to move. To Houston.

I hear it's hot down there. And humid. And h-u-g-e. Probably a little bigger than the 20,000 that live in Durango.  Not a small town feel like we have here. Lots and lots of people. And it's hot. Really hot.

But, Houston is thriving and it's full of opportunities. And it's the only other spot in the US where the company for which my husband works is located. So that's where we're going. We can hang onto our retirement, keep our healthcare, and we know this company.

Everything will change for us, but we hope there will be good changes. Our youngest will have more opportunities. He's right on the cusp of starting to speak more. We hope we can find a good school with teachers that will help him blossom. Our other kids will have new opportunities--new friends, new schools, new classes. My oldest son at home wants to go into aerospace engineering--we'll be right next to NASA and close to Texas A&M. My kids will have more choices for community colleges. We can save them each 3 hours of their lives every day by not having to ride the school bus. Schools will be within a mile of our home. The church building will be within a mile. And a temple within a few miles. We can go to the temple on a more regular basis because it won't be a 7-hour commitment.  There will be a grocery store within a mile or so, too. I won't have to calculate a 45 minute drive to everything. We can go on day trips to visit losts of new places. Go to museums. The coast. I'm sure there are many more things we'll learn about as we live there.

We are excited for this new adventure. We hope things work out well. We hope it isn't too hard to adjust. We hope everyone can make friends. We hope we can deal with the heat. And the humidity. And the big city.

But, did I mention, I have to leave my sister and her family? Yeah, that stinks. No matter how I try to look at it, that part doesn't ever get better--that's just going to be hard, hard, hard. But, we plan to come back to Colorado for Christmas and summer, maybe that'll make it a little less painful. Or not.

So, say a prayer for us that all will work out!



Friday, July 19, 2013

Aura is $.99 For a Limited Time

What if the greatest weapon in the age-old war between good and evil was inside of you?
 
Crystal Scott has always felt different but tried hard to blend in.  Now that she's scored the lead in the school play, has a boyfriend she adores, and a best friend she can't live without, she finally feels like she belongs. 

A few days before prom, a mysterious young man appears and suddenly she has to figure out how to use the weapon of Light she has inside her or mankind is doomed.

Demons are determined to tip the war in their favor no matter what the cost and they're hot on Crystal's trail.  With danger around every corner, she doesn't know if she can save herself, never mind anyone else.  When things look darkest and there's nowhere to turn, Crystal must find the strength to use her newfound gifts against the tide of evil threatening all of them--or die trying.

You can purchase Aura here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crazy Summer

I've been absent from blogging for a while. It seems like life became so crazy I could hardly breathe for a bit.

The end of the school year was hectic and then I started potty-training my youngest. I'd tried potty-training him before, but gave up after a few days. This time, I decided to stick it out. The first week was a bear with plenty of accidents, but now, more than a month later, he's potty-trained. Yay!!!! He sleeps in underwear. He has an accident here and there, but he's doing great. I'm going to write about what I did more in-depth on my blog about my son The Upside of Down if you're interested or know anyone else who might be.

My 20-year-old daughter came home to be a counselor at a theater camp. Just prior to the beginning of the camp, we all went to the lake with my sister's family. We were playing in the water and having a great time when my daughter, Olivia, had to leave to attend a meeting for the camp. We didn't get an reception out at the lake so when we left an hour later, we had some strange messages on our phones. We got the "call" parents don't want to get: our daughter had been involved in a serious car accident and was on route by ambulance to the hospital.

It took us almost an hour to get the hospital, all the while worried and stressed at what we'd find. I rushed into the ER and found her on a backboard with a neck collar waiting for x-rays--not an image that I'll soon forget. She was bloody and crying. A state patrolman was there giving her a ticket when we arrived. Yep, giving her a ticket. We didn't even know how injured she was and he was giving her a ticket.

Thankfully, she ended up with only a concussion. She should have died. She definitely had angels round about her. She was in the passing lane when it was about to end so she merged into the right lane. the car ahead of her was going slower than she anticipated, so she slammed on her brakes. She went off the highway and the car went up on its nose, turned a circle or two while on its nose, then came to rest on its roof. She'd left the lake not wearing her seat belt, but had been prompted to put it on. That saved her life. Had she not been wearing her seat belt, she would've been ejected and she would never have survived the accident.

Those who watched it happen and were on scene shortly afterward, were amazed she survived. Even the insurance adjuster who saw the totaled car was amazed. I am just so thankful Heavenly Father protected her and kept her safe.

She is now walking to work and everywhere else, but she is walking.

I'll blog more about our crazy summer in the next week or so.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Penumbras by Braden Bell


Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are back! Just when they think life is normal again, a dangerous shadow creature begins to hunt them. The trio must develop their powers in order to conquer this new peril and protect their school. Filled with action and even more magic, this book continues the exciting adventure in the Middle School Magic series.

My review:

5 stars

I LOVE this book. I LOVE the characters. I LOVE the magic system. I LOVE the message that's woven into this exciting and fun story about friendship, love, and discovery.

Penumbras is an engaging read for everyone. It targets middle-school readers, but I found myself cheering for the characters. It also has some tender scenes that made me teary, especially at the end.

There's plenty of action and some intense scenes as well, but I loved the relationships between the characters and their growth.

Bell is a master storyteller and the depth of this story is amazing. Those who love a great story with realistic, layered characters will want to read this one because it's so captivating. 

You can learn more about Braden Bell here.

You can purchase Penumbras here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

David's Song by A.R. Talley Book Tour


From the back cover:
Annie only ever really loved two men in her life. One broke her heart, the other married her. Four children and fifteen years later, Annie’s marriage is in jeopardy. Money is tight and her husband questions the very foundation of their relationship. 
When Annie is unexpectedly given the opportunity to see the young man who broke her heart — a man who is now a megastar in the music industry — Annie is faced with choices. Choices that will determine what is of more value — a second chance at lost love and unfulfilled dreams or commitment, trust, and love built on years of experience.
A psychologically subtle, yet compelling tale about how the instinct and need for love overcomes self-doubt and personal inadequacy.
About the author:
April R Talley was born and raised in the Rubber City, Akron, Ohio in 1959.  She is the youngest of six children.  She attended Brigham Young University for a time, but withdrew to work fulltime for Osmond Productions in Orem, Utah as a member of The Osmond production staff.  After a brief stint working in television, she returned to Akron to finish her education.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media Communications in 1981.   April later worked as vice president and part owner of a dance and sportswear boutique.  Married in 1982, she is the proud mother of seven children and is deeply involved in volunteer work for her church.  April spends her time working on future projects, caring for home and family, and traveling.  David’s Song is her debut novel and the first of a trilogy.
Praise from reviews on Goodreads.com
Not just your typical romance novel – Tracy Williams
David’s Song is great read that leaves you thinking about the story and pondering your own relationships. – Anna Pavkov
Sucked me in from the 1st page  - Jill Walker
Loved this book . . . could not put it down! – Dana Vieira
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Purchase David's Song at Amazon here.

Ten Things About A. R. Talley

1. My first name is April
2. I am the youngest of 6 children
3. I attended an all girl parochial school from Kindergarten through 11th grade - I graduated as a junior (does that count as 2 things?)
4. I have been married for 31 years (to the same man)!
5. I have 7 children, and all but 1 are girls.
6. I love, love, love Broadway musicals.
7. My favorite book (for the moment) is Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah
8. I never, ever thought I could be a writer. (it just never occurred to me.)
9. I love going on Caribbean cruises, mostly because I can sit on the deck of a ship in the warm sunshine, look at the ocean, read a book, and watch people.
10. I have a very eclectic taste in music. (classical, pop, country, christian, Celtic, new age, show tunes, you name it, I  probably like it, with the very one exception of rap.)

I'll add #11--she has a great last name :).

Here's an excerpt:


“Can I ask you something?” I said.
          “Can I stop you?”
          “Have you always felt like you were my second choice?”  The lump was back in my throat.
          “Emily,” he muttered.  “No, not always.  Just a lot more lately.   I feel like, maybe you think your life would have been better . . . .” 
          He didn’t finish the thought.  I wanted him to continue, but he must have felt he had gotten the point across.
          “I haven’t thought that,” I said, trying to reassure him.
          “Never?” he challenged. “Last month when you found out how much it would cost to put JJ in braces, you didn’t think about how your life would have been different if you had ended up with David and all his money?”
          “No! I didn’t think that.”
          “You didn’t think that when we had to use everything you had saved for vacation to put the roof on the house?”
          “No!”
          “You never thought about how your life would be different?”
Even if I had never thought about the money in those terms, I had thought about how life would have been different.  The thoughts had been wistful and not so much about David, but just how circumstances could be different if money wasn’t such an issue.  I felt cold sitting in that hallway and I wasn’t sure it was because of the air conditioning. 
          “Seems to me you’re the one who’s been thinking about how different my life would be,” I said defensively.
          “I have no choice but to wonder.”
          “What does that mean?”
          “Don’t you think I see the disappointment in your eyes with every mounting bill?  Every time I look at you anymore, I can see how you think life has cheated you.”