Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | By: Taffy

How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness: An Inside-out Approach to a Lasting makeover ~ Book Review

Your outward appearance might make the first impression, but sixty seconds later, when that first impression is ancient history, it's your inner beauty that needs to shine! If you want to be truly hot, this book will show you exactly how, including the following: 

• Why you need to stop buying in to a cultural concept of beauty 
• How to transform the way you see and present yourself, inside and out 
• How to discover the secrets to the right look for you 
• Why different isn't bad—it's your key to hotness 
• How to choose happiness now, no matter your current situation 
• How to leave pain in the past 
• How to figure out what you really want 
• How to stop letting other people define your worth, potential, and purpose 
• How to find the right man and have the hottest marriage imaginable! 
• What it means to be "enough" (and it's not what you think!) 

We all experience loss and pain when our lives don't end up looking like we dreamed they would. Professional beauty expert and speaker Leta Greene looked that in the face and made a choice. Happiness and permanent hotness followed. Yours can too, right now, as Leta shares how to create the life and look you want in 15 simple steps—a transformation that will make you irresistibly, and lastingly, hot!


Amazon

My review:

I enjoyed reading this self-help book, full of humor and helpful ideas. This book is a fun, quick read that can be read again and again. Personal stories help me internalize the concepts and Ms. Greene adds some for every chapter. I also think challenges help drive home ideas and every chapter ends with a "hotness" challenge. Very worth the read.
Saturday, July 26, 2014 | By: Taffy

OLD WEST COLLECTION (A Timeless Romance Anthology)

A TIMELESS ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY: OLD WEST COLLECTION: Readers will love this collection of six historical western novellas, all with one thing in common: Romance.

In BREAK A LEG, a charming story by two-time Rita Award winner Carla Kelly, hospital steward Colm Callahan is ready to move away from army life at Fort Laramie. His only regret is leaving behind exotic Ozzie Washington, easily the prettiest woman on the post. As a maid to the lieutenant colonel's wife, Ozzie is no wilting flower when it comes to hard work. When the post surgeon leaves for an extended week, Colm must handle several medical emergencies on his own. He pleads for Ozzie's help at the hospital. While they spend long days and nights working together, Colm, a shy man, realizes he can't hide the truth of his feelings for Ozzie. He needs a little help, though. Enter from stage left, Lysander Locke, Shakespeare tragedian on his way to Deadwood.

THE SOLDIER'S HEART, an enchanting novella by Sarah M. Eden, follows Gregory Reeves has fallen in love with a woman he's never met. Her brother's dying wish is that Gregory checks on his family, and after the war, Gregory is only too happy to meet the woman he's been dreaming about. Helene mistakes him for a hired hand and sets him to work immediately. As time passes, Gregory finds it more and more difficult to reveal his true connection to her family, fearing that a woman who loathes liars will turn her disapproval on him.

HIDDEN SPRING is an enthralling novella by Liz Adair, in which Susannah Brown is just getting her life back together after becoming a widow. She still misses Wesley with a fierce longing, but when she meets his half-brother, Douglas, she learns her heart is not completely dormant. Over the next several weeks, Douglas helps Susannah with repairs on her small ranch in exchange for supper. The exchange becomes more and more meaningful as Susannah realizes that Douglas might be the one to finally heal her heart.

THE SILVER MINE BACHELOR, by Heather B. Moore, is a sweet romance between an unlikely pair. Lydia Stone has a checklist for men who qualify as the eligible bachelors in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Her new boss, Mr. Erik Dawson, is about to be struck off the list when she sees him coming out of the town brothel. Lydia doesn't know that Erik Dawson's sister has been living the brothel lifestyle for years, and he's set on redeeming her soul. When Lydia discovers Erik's secrets, she learns that life is not as black and white as she thinks.

In Annette Lyon's delightful story, THE SWEETEST TASTE, Della Stafford hates being a farm girl in the tiny town of Shelley, Idaho. She'll do anything to live in a big city and experience real city life. Her only regret is that she'd have to leave Joseph behind, the young man who makes her heart flutter. But she's convinced that moving away is for the best; her dreams and Joseph's dreams are too dissimilar. Then Della takes a job as a maid in Los Angeles and must face the truth that what she thought would make her happy and what really will are totally different things.

In the captivating novella, FAITH AND THE FOREMAN by Marsha Ward, Faith Bannister is forced to travel west to earn a living as a school mistress in Arizona Territory. Faith soon learns that living the frontier lifestyle of a single woman has many harsh challenges. But when she meets Slim McHenry, she discovers that life doesn't have to be so lonely. Unfortunately the dangerous Rance Hunter stands between her and Slim, and she must act with courage before everything is lost.


I didn't know I was a closet lover of western romance but I am! If a good, sweet, tender romantic cowboy is what you enjoy reading about (and wishing there were more of them in the world), then you will want to buy this collection
And if you've read any of these ladies books and loved them, you know you're going to love this collection.Each story is unique and will keep you reading long past bedtime.. 
A good, clean read that won't make your grandma blush. 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | By: Taffy

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos * Blog Tour and Giveaway! *

I give this book 5 stars for pacing, characters and kissing. Oh. And mythological stories and scarabs. I recommend this excellent, clean, fun, intriguing book. 
Go alllll the way to the bottom of this post and enter for your chance to win this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Rallison has a great storytelling talent and I believe she's at her finest in this story. Don't get me wrong, I have read almost all her books and loved them. This book is just different. In a great way.
Mythology, suspense and romance all find a happy balance. 
Rallison teaches mythology without making the reader feel they are in school. She's able to twist certain aspects into a believable and intriguing story. I kept turning the pages and reading, wondering what will happen next. And while there is a romantic triangle, it works. You'll just have to read the book to find out why. 


  Son of War 



  Son of War, Daughter of Chaos Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.  
Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour













Janette RallisonAuthor Janette Rallison Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)





  book blast button  


   Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/17/14 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 and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | By: Taffy

OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL by K.M. Weiland

I think it's worth a writers time to read books on their craft and polish up on skills. Some books and advice don't work for you and that's 100% okay. Others hit you and change the way you write. 
This book came at a time when I really needed to figure out how to outline better. You see, I'm a pantser. I can write fast. For NaNo last year, I wrote 44,000 words in a weekend. Basically, I won NaNo in a week. 
But the editing and revising are killing me! I'm all over the place. I wanted to try outlining to see if I could clean up my story enough that my critique group wasn't scratching their heads trying to figure out where the story was going and what the inciting incident was and what my characters goals are.
Phew.
So I thought I'd give this book a try. I can outline and still pants. 
I hope it works. I'll try and remember to report on my progress when the book I've outlined (contemporary romance) goes through my critique group. 
Until then, what books do you recommend?




Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success will: 

Help you choose the right type of outline for you
Guide you in brainstorming plot ideas
Aid you in discovering your characters
Show you how to structure your scenes
Explain how to format your finished outline
Instruct you in how to use your outline
Reveal the benefits:
Ensures cohesion and balance
Prevents dead-end ideas
Provides foreshadowing
Offers assurance and motivation
Dispel misconceptions:
Requires formal formatting
Limits creativity
Robs the joy of discovery
Takes too much time
Even if you're certain outlining isn't for you, the book offers all kinds of important tips on plot, structure, and character. Includes exclusive interviews with Larry Brooks, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Lisa Grace, Dan L. Hays, Jody Hedlund, Carolyn Kaufman, Becky Levine, Roz Morris, John Robinson, and Aggie Villanueva, answering important questions:

Can you describe your outlining process?
What is the greatest benefit of outlining?
What is the biggest potential pitfall of outlining?
Do you recommend "pantsing" for certain situations and outlining for others?
What's the most important contributing factor to a successful outline?


I'm a total pantser when it comes to writing. I have written seven books and the editing is so painful! But outlining always threw me off. I felt like my creativity was being stifled. Until I read this book. I used the methods to outline a story I had started and was struggling with and I was happily surprised at how it turned out. Now I have to write the story but I'm confident that using my outline will make writing and editing this story much easier.

5 STARS
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 | By: Taffy

Busy summer where my muse ran away


Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
What do you do?

Play. 
Sleep in.
Read.
Go to the pool.
Be lazy.
Read.
Set goals to write.
Clean the house.
Go camping.
Get the carpets cleaned.
Read some more.
Play pickleball.
Take walks and pictures of sunsets.


And get no writing done. Sheesh. I can not get my proverbial writing feet under me. I really don't want to open a word document and get to work. So what have I been doing? 
I sent a few short stories to my critique group. 
I'm working on outlines for two stories.
I've sent out FORTY query letters. I had a lot of request to look at my story. 
I had a lot of rejections too. 
I didn't think the rejections would affect me like they have. I don't want to write anymore. I don't want to edit. 
My muse has run away. 
She will come back. She has before. She just needs to lick her wounds and beef up her sensitivity then she will come back brimming with excitement and ready to get to work.
During this waiting period I am getting a TON of reading done. I've read 94 books so far this year! I've read some great books that I'll start posting. 

How is your summer? What are you doing?
Monday, June 30, 2014 | By: Taffy

Summer Book Trek! How many books can you ready in July?

My writing has been off. I mean, really off. As in I haven't wanted to write or edit. My muse has abandoned me. This is what happens when a writer sends out full manuscripts with the hope of it finding a home and then the dream is dashed. But I keep submitting. What else am I going to do? 
Submit and read.
That's what I've been doing for the last two months. Submit and read.
So I'm going to take the Summer Book Trek challenge and read some more books in July. And now that I've actually set that goal, my muse is going to show up at the front door and I won't want to read. 
On to happier topics. 


Karlene is running her annual Summer Book Trek. Here is the link if you want to join and win books!

My July reading list:

The Princess Sisters by Stacy Lynn Carrol
All Fall Down by Julie Bellon
The Kindling by Braden Bell
Paranoia by J.R. Johanssen

I do have other books ready to go for July but I don't think any of the authors are LDS (mostly from netgalley):

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Shadows by Paula Weston
The City by Dean Koontz
Hopeless by Coleen Hoover  yuck


What books are you going to read in July?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 | By: Taffy

ELEMENTAL HUNGER by Elana Johnson!

Another fantastic, can't-put-the-book down, ohmyword plot twist story by Elana Coolness Johnson. 

You should buy them all.





About Elemental Rush: Eighteen-year-old Adam Gillman has trained for twelve years to earn a coveted spot on the Supreme Elemental’s elite sentry squad. His brother, Felix, is the commander, but Adam is still thrilled when his official assignment to serve Alexander Pederson comes. 

He moves into nicer quarters and can stop getting up at four a.m. to complete his mandated work out time. He still rises early though, because he needs the solitude of early morning to practice his airmaking Element—something that Adam has kept secret from everyone, even Felix, because he can’t be both an Airmaker and a sentry. 


When Alex assigns him to kill a group of rogue Elementals, he balks at completing his mission for the first time. See, his only friend is Isaiah Hawking, and he’s the Earthmover on the accused Council. When faced with the prospect of killing him, Adam finds he can’t do it. 


He’s well trained in assassination, but he thought he’d be murdering bad guys—not innocents. 


When Alex buries the Elemental Academy—and kills over one thousand Elementals—in a fit of rage, Adam’s loyalty cracks. When he discovers that Alex is really a woman, and his brother’s lover, he defects. He hops from city to city, from Elemental school to Elemental school, always escaping only minutes before Felix can embed a knife in his heart or a tsunami can make a classroom his watery grave.


He tries to fight back, but he’s just one Airmaster with exceptional tracking skills. He does his best to warn those in danger, but as the last Elemental school goes up in flames, he knows he needs to get some real firepower on his side. 


ELEMENTAL RUSH is a prequel novella to the full-length futuristic fantasy novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER, which is also available now.

Find this novella on Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, and Wattpad


About Elemental Hunger: The second installment in the Elemental series, a new futuristic fantasy for young adults and new adults, ELEMENTAL HUNGER is a full-length novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.


So she does two logical things to survive.

1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.


With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.


Look for the third and final installment, ELEMENTAL RELEASE, an Elemental novella, coming on July 2, 2014.

Find this novel on Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, B&N, and Kobo


About Elana: Elana Johnson is the author of the Possession series, which includes full-length novels POSSESSION, SURRENDER, and ABANDON, and short stories REGRET (ebook only) and RESIST (free). She is also the author of ELEVATED, a young adult contemporary romance novel-in-verse.

Her novella, ELEMENTAL RUSH, began a new futuristic fantasy series. ELEMENTAL HUNGER, a full-length novel, is the second part of the story. The series will conclude with ELEMENTAL RELEASE, the final novella, which will release on July 2, 2014.

Elana wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult novels. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog, a regular contributor to The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a co-organizer of WriteOnCon.

Find her on FacebooktwittertumblrWattpad, or her blog.