Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lord Fenton's Folly by Josie Kilpack


Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him. However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.
I love Shadow Mountain's Proper Romance line. Seriously love them. Okay, I just had to get that out of the way.

I enjoyed this regency from Ms. Kilpack. I know she typically writes contemporary mystery and have been curious to see what her historicals would be like. I thought she wrote the regency setting well, I was sucked into the story and had to keep reading to see how it would all play out. I enjoyed the plot for this one, a bit different than your usual Regency. Alice fell for Lord Fenton when she was a child. Ten years later they are reunited and thrown into an engagement-of-convenience when he is forced to marry to prevent being disinherited. Lord Fenton has spent the past ten years attempting to vex his father in the best way he knew how, by being an irresponsible dandy.

I liked Alice, I thought it was great that she didn't fall all over Lord Fenton, even though she had harbored a crush on him for such a long time. Lord Fenton I never really warmed up to. I did like the idea for his character, I don't know if I've ever read a regency from a dandy's point of view. It was fun seeing them banter and to watch his feelings change for Alice and see him come to appreciate her and all she has to offer. They do have a sweet romance.

Overall, a fun regency. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Kilpack.

Content: Clean!

NewLDSFiction


Summer Book Trek 2015

I am excited to participate in the 2015 Summer Book Trek. I've been able to participate the past few years and always enjoy it. I like supporting LDS authors and it's been fun trying new authors and books. I know this month will be extra busy, so I'm not going to make my list too long yet. Here are a few books that I want to read this month, I'll probably be adding more as I go.

Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi Kilpack
Loving Helen by Michele P Holmes
Girl in 24B by Jennifer Peel
Sheik's Ruby by Jennifer Moore
Hope at Dawn by Stacie Henrie
Painting Kisses by Melanie Jacobson
First Love Second Choice by Lindzee Armstrong
The Kiss that Launched 1000 GIFS by Sheralyn Pratt
Playing for Keeps by Renee Clark
The Royal Spy by Cassie Shiels

Monday, May 11, 2015

Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick

When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.
I started following Chantele’s reading blog a long time ago, it was actually one of the first ones I found and always loved her reviews. We have very similar taste in books. So, I was excited when her books started being published. I enjoyed her first series and was looking forward to this one. I’ve actually been stalking her Pinterest board for Love, Lucas for awhile now, it’s full of great pictures (in fact, the one below I found on that board) and so when I finally sat down to read this one I was really looking forward to it.

Oakley is heartbroken over the death of her older brother and best friend, Lucas. She’s having a hard time coming to terms and her mom decides a trip to visit Aunt Jo in California would be good for them. To be honest, I don’t typically read sad books, but I trusted Chantele and even though this has its sad parts, it was really well done. Oakley grows a lot as a character and learns to live after suffering a great loss. When she arrives in California, she never expects to meet cute neighbor Carson.

I liked Oakley and felt bad for all that she was going through. I loved Carson, such a sweet and caring guy. I loved them together and even though there is a lot of heavy stuff going on, their romance was sweet and a nice part of the story. Overall, it was a good read, I read it in one sitting. I wanted to know what would happen next and see Oakley heal. I enjoyed the setting and all the surfing and fun dates they went on. I thought it was well written and it’s one I’d easily recommend to my friends.

Content Romance: Squeaky clean Language: None Violence: None-mild Other: Mild talk of underage drinking (main characters done) Religious: None Source: Received review copy from author in exchange for honest review.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett

Degrees of WrongDegrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to go with a five star rating for a few reasons. One, it was the kind of book that kept me up reading past my bedtime. Two, I loved the world-building. I liked that while it was set in the future, it felt like it could be happening now. Lastly, the romance was very swoony!

So, I admit I didn't like Elyse at first. Mainly, because I'm married to a military man and have a lot of respect for the military. So her initial behavior towards the military personnel rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn't witty, it was bratty. BUT, I pushed my personal views aside and once we got past that part I actually grew to really like Elyse and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I ended up enjoying the book.

Elyse is a doctor and working on finding a cure for the new Black Death virus that is sweeping the globe. She is put into protective custody on an underwater military base where she continually butt-heads with the gorgeous captain, Nicoli Marek. The romance between Elyse and Nicoli was a big focus of the book (which, being a romantic, I loved) and I loved their relationship! One thing that made me love Elyse was how strong she was in her morals and unwilling to compromise them, "My morals are not influenced by the people around me." Nicoli is in an arranged engagement, one formed for purely political reasons only, and Elyse refuses to be the other women. Their circumstances throw them together though and the sparks fly. (view spoiler)

Going into this I thought it was a standalone, so I wasn't quite prepared when the book ended the way it did. I'm sure there will be another book, there has to be, and I'm hoping it'll be about Nicoli's brother Ryon. He was great!

Overall, this was a very fun read! It was well written, well paced and the setting and characters all brought together to make a unique and memorable story. Definitely one I'd recommend to all my friends!

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: Mild
Violence: Mild

Source: Thanks Jessie for the loan, loved it!

View all my reviews

Friday, March 27, 2015

Swoon Fest Finale


Today is the last day of Shannon’s Swoon Fest. It has been such a fun month. I’ve loved reading her books again. I’ve read her Fircrest series a few times, but there were a few from the Alpine series I hadn’t read until this month. It was fun filling my month with her books, they never disappoint. This week for Rafflecopter I asked some questions about how people found Shannon, what they’d like to see next and so I thought I’d share what was submitted.

The number one place people heard about Shannon’s books…Amazon. Second place, was through book stores/libraries, a few through blogging friends and Goodreads. I personally found Shannon’s books through Amazon, you know how they give recommendations “if you like that, then you’ll like this” type thing? Well, they recommended You Belong With Me so I gave it a try and fell in love! I’ve been a devoted fan every since. The winner for favorite book…My Sweetheart!.

I don’t know if Shannon takes recommendations, but here are some of the fun suggestions we received on what people would like her to write about next. For me, I’d love a dystopian novel (maybe since I’m just in that genre-mood right now, but I think she’d write a great dystopian type book.) Other suggestions were:

*A contemporary western set in Montana
*A crossover with the Fircrest crew mixing with the Alpine crew
*Fantasy
*Another witch series
*More werewolves
*More Firecrest (which, from what I understand we still have five more books to come)
*More books set in the Alpine series
*Soul Searching update
*Medieval
*Regency

As for favorite quotes, we had a lot of great submissions. I decided to share one of mine. It comes from You Belong With Me, “Beauty isn’t a one size fits all. No one is more or less. We’re all just different, which is good, because so are men.” I always loved the quote. So much time is wasted comparing ourselves to other people, when we are all beautiful in our own ways.

I just wanted to give a big thanks to Katie, Kathy Jo and Heidi for all their help with this Swoon Fest. It was so fun working and chatting with you behind the scenes. You really helped make this a success and so much gun! A big thanks to Shannon again for not only written such fun, swoony books, but for participating and helping make this a fun event.


$25 iTunes Gift Card
Brandi Dagwan

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Casting Reveals



It's out final character casting and bio post! This week we are featuring the characters from The Alpine Series! Funny story! We have been having SO much fun doing Swoon Fest that we literally forgot we had not cast this series yet! Lol! But guess what?! I think it actually worked out in our favor because we were able to ask Shannon who SHE saw as each of the characters! She was SO much fun to work with on casting and I absolutely LOVE who she picked! Take a look and tell us what you think!

Makeover

Taking Chances

The Broken Road

Do Over

                                                   Character Interview

This weeks Character interview is of Iris and Trey from the Alpine Series. Katie's choice! katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com

Iris & Trey
What do you like to do on a romantic date?
          Motorcycle ride up the canyon.
What do you like most about each other?
           Trey: I like that Iris has a mind of her own.
           Iris: I like that Trey likes that about me.
What is your favorite way to spend time together?
           Trey:  Eating Ben and Jerry's on the couch
           Iris:  Kissing
What are  three things on your bucket list?
           Trey:  Start my own company, have two more children and race my Ducoti on the Salt Flats.
           Iris:  Open an art studio for disadvantaged children to come and learn and create, I'd also like to race my Ducoti on the Salt Flats and I'd like to cut my hair super short and bleach it bright white on the tips.
What is “your song”?
         Wild Women Do by Natalie Cole
Beach or Mountains? Mountains!
Book or Movie?  Iris: Movie,  Trey: Book
What is the craziest date you’ve been on?  
        We rode our bikes up to  Park City and spent the day skiing. On our way back home, a deer jumps out in front of us and we both almost crash.  Scariest date anyways.
How would you describe each other to someone else in three words?
        Trey: Wild, Amazing, Perfect.
        Iris: Perfect, Perfect, Perfect


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gabbing With Guymon: Week Four

This is our final week for Gabbing With Guymon. I have really enjoyed our weekly Q&A's and getting to know Shannon better. I loved hearing the story of how she came up with her pen-name, Katie Lee O'Guinn. Getting to know Shannon through these interviews has made me appreciate at her books all the more.

What superpower do you wish you had? Can I say all? Okay, I’ve always thought Professor X from the X-Men was cool. The ability to not only read minds, but control them. My kids’ rooms would always be clean.

Best date you ever had? Worst date? Ugh. Dating. The best date I ever had was in college. I went dancing with a guy named Kevin and it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a date. The worst? It was New Year’s Eve and I froze to death standing outside up in Salt Lake. Thought I was going to die waiting for it turn midnight.

Where would you rather go on vacation, Hawaii or Alaska and why?
Hawaii. Hands down. It’s hot, I could learn how to surf and eat roasted pork and watch beautiful Polynesian men dance with fire. They don’t do that in Alaska sadly.

With such a large family, where do you find time to write?
I write when my kids are in school or late at night. During the summer I wake up early and get a few hours in before they wake up. Being a mother is my number one priority for sure.

If you could have your choice of actor to play Harry from Werewolf Dreams, who would you choose?
I’m thinking Bradly Cooper.

How did I pick Katie Lee O'Guinn as my pen name?
I picked Katie Lee O'Guinn as my pen name because I was doing a lot of family history at the time and I found out about this amazing woman. She's my Great Grandmother and she had a very interesting but sadly short life. She was the daughter of a Cherokee woman and an Irish immigrant. She fell in love with a son from a well off family and they got married and had a family. She came down with Tuberculosis and died at a very young age leaving her children motherless and her husband a widower. A couple years later, her husband died of exhaustion and poor health. Many people assumed it was from a broken heart, which left my grandmother an orphan. My heart has always gone out to her and so I wanted to pay tribute to a woman who never had the chance to see her children grow up.

What is your favorite snack while writing?
My favorite snack while writing is: Kombucha ( a probiotic drink) and pistachios. I know, not cool, and not chocolate but I'm trying to be healthy!

What is my favorite thing to do with my family?
I love going to Bear Lake with my family. No TV, no computers, just sand and water and sun.

How do I get inspiration for my stories?
I get inspiration from everything around me. I have so many interesting people in my life and the world we live in is fascinating so there's never a problem coming up with inspiration.

What has been my favorite book to write?
Before this last month, I would have said, Do Over or Werewolf Dreams, but Pule's story has taken things to a new level and I have to say it was quite the experience.

Thanks again Shannon for taking the time to answer our questions!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Trivia


This is Katie here, from Katie's Clean Book Collection.
This is the last week of our Swoon Fest with Shannon Guymon,
Take a Chance on Love.
It's been a month full of fun recipes,
trivia quizzes, getting to know you Q&A's,
casting, character bios, and winners!

For the last week of Tuesday Trivia, I've
put together a mix of questions about
Shannon's stand alone books, 
as well as a quiz on some of her
answers from our Gabbing with Guymon
segments. Have fun and if you'd like to,
comment and let us know how you did!
Be sure to enter the giveaways below
for your chance to win!


Quiz created by snapdragon77 with ExamTime

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Munchies


Hi guys! KJ here from KJ's Book Nook! It's my last post for Monday Munchies for Shannon's Swoon Fest! *tear* I have been going back and forth trying to decide what in the world to post! Should I do Ava's Enchiladas from Taming the Wolf series?! Should I do something from Tai's Diner?! Or should I feature another Iron Skillet recipe?! I just couldn't decide!! And then something magical happened!! I was scrolling through my FB news feed and a recipe just jumped out at me! I just could NOT pass this up! It looked so amazing, and scrumptious and I just HAD to share it! So for the final Munchies post I will be featuring a recipe from Nikki over at Chef In Training. I have never met her nor have I ever talked to her but I do follow her on FB and oh my heck! The recipes she posts all sound SO amazing! Seriously... you should check her blog out! You can thank me later.. ;) Hehe.

So... without further adieu... I present to you...


Samoa Sheet Cake!!

Didn't I tell you that it looks and sounds amazing?! I seriously cannot WAIT to try this recipe out!! My mouth is watering just looking at the picture!! So are you wanting to know how to make this little slice of heaven?! Well then take a look below!! Sounds easy enough, don't ya think?! ;)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup water
4 Tablespoons cocoa
½ cup shortening
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

FROSTING
½ cup butter
6 Tablespoons milk
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅛ cup caramel sauce, I used caramel ice cream topping in the jar

ADDITIONAL TOPPINGS
2½ cups toasted coconut, See instructions below for how to make it
7 to 8 ounces caramel, either Kraft Caramel Cubes or from a block of Caramel. I used a block of Peter's Caramel.
⅛ cup evaporated milk
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening or oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Before making the cake, line an 18x13x1 inch cookie sheet with foil and spread shredded sweetened coconut evenly over cookie sheet.
2. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes, checking and tossing coconut regularly, every 2-5 minutes, to make sure all the coconut gets toasted evenly and does not burn. Coconut is done when it is golden brown.
3. In a large mixing bowl, measure flour and sugar. Set aside.
4. In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, water, cocoa and shortening. Bring to a boil. After mixture reaches a boil, add it to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
5. Add buttermilk, then baking soda, then eggs, then vanilla in that order, mixing in-between each addition.
6. Pour into a greased 18x13x1 inch cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

FROSTING

1. In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine butter and milk and bring to a boil. Stir caramel sauce and then add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth.
2. After cake has cooked, remove from oven and poke holes in hot cake with a fork. Pour frosting evenly over top. Immediately sprinkle with top of warm frosting with toasted coconut.
3. In microwavable bowl, add caramel and evaporated milk and cook on high in 30 second increments, string in between each increment. Continue to cook and stir until caramel is smooth. Drizzle over coconut.
4. In another microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips and shortening (or oil). Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until the chocolate in melted. Drizzle over caramel.
5. Let Caramel and Chocolate drizzle set before cutting into it.

WOWZERS!! Is your mouth watering as much as mine?! Yummy, right?! *dreamy sigh* If this is not a Swoon Worthy recipe I don't know what is!! Let us know if you give it a try!! I am DYING to hear what everyone thinks!! ;)



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Swoon Fest: Week Four


This is the final week of Swoon Fest! I can’t believe how quickly this month has gone by. I wanted to thank Shannon for all her participation and of course for writing such fun books for us to enjoy. Below is the new rafflecopter for this week, we’ll try and include it on our posts throughout the week as well.

Be sure and mark your calendars for March 24-28 because Falling for Rayne will be FREE on Amazon! Let all your friends know as well!

Tomorrow Shannon will be posting the first chapter of Pule’s story on her blog, you won't want to miss that! I always love those teaser chapters. From what I hear, Pule’s story is going to keep us on our toes!!
Thanks again to everyone who has participated and helped make this a success.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Casting Reveals and Other Fun Stuff



Heidi here again, and it's time to get to week 3 of our Casting and Interviews. This week we head back to the world of Fircrest to the Love and Flowers and Love and Weddings Trilogies. We were SOOO excited to hear from Shannon yesterday that book two of Love and Weddings, Pule's Story, is done! We at Swoon Fest are all doing a happy dance and waiting anxiously to get our hands on it! Until then, here are a few castings from KJ at KJ's Book Nook, to help you out while you wait. We hope you enjoy!

                                                           Love and Flowers
Falling for Rayne
Dreaming of Ivy

A Passion For Cleo












Love and Weddings
My One and Only

Matafeo Men
The Swoony ladies and I had a hard time picking our favorite "Matafeo". We want to hear your opinion. Who is your favorite Matafeo in Fircrest and why? We'd love for you to leave a comment below!

TATE


KAM

TAI


 
PULE



                              Character Interview Week 3

This weeks interview is of our favorite witch couple. :) Kathy's choice!! Remember these two??!! A big thanks to Shannon once again for the fun insight to some of our favorite characters!



The Lost Witch Trilogy 
by Katie Lee O' Guinn (a.k.a Shannon Guymon)

Sarah & Zane
What do you like to do on a romantic date?
                  Zane: Sarah likes to pretend she's normal so she loves dinner and a movie. For me? I prefer flying on the beach followed by a candlelit dinner on the roof.
What do you like most about each other?
                  Sarah:  I love that Zane was never scared of me. He's so strong, he never had to be.
                  Zane:  I love that Sarah is the most extraordinary woman I know I'll ever meet.
What is your favorite way to spend time together?
                  Sarah:  Walking through town and knowing we're safe and happy.
                  Zane:  Kissing
What are  three things on your bucket list?
                  Zane:  Visit Europe and meet new witches there. Surf in Australia. Climb Mt. Everest. 
                  Sarah:  Visit Lash and Jenny. Go to Disneyland. Visit all of our friends who helped us beat Charles.
                  Zane:  Except Jericho.
                  Sarah:  Especially Jericho.
What is “your song? Accidentally in Love by the Counting Crows.
Beach or Mountains? Beach
Book or Movie?  Movie
What is the craziest date you’ve been on?
              We were down in Florida for a little getaway and Sarah decides she wants     some Cuban food. So we get all dressed up and we find the best place down by the beach.  Best food I've ever had in my life. We then go on a little chartered boat ride and one of the other passengers is drunk and falls overboard. Sarah dives into the ocean and brings the man up before he can drown, but she had a little too much power flowing so she ends up flying up into the boat with the guy in her arms. I had to use a little mind control to fix a few memories.  But the guy lived and Sarah now loves Florida.  
How would you describe each other to someone else in three words?
                  Zane:  Powerful, sexy and good
                  Sarah:  Ultra powerful, gorgeous and sweet.

 
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