This blog is dedicated to books that I have read and reviewed (sometimes at the request of the author and/or publisher) OR that I have read on my own and want to share with you. Author interviews are also included. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

"I am a Reader" $300 Holiday Cash Giveaway!!

How fun is this? Love to read? You should be following the "I Am A Reader" blog - and now they are giving away $300 in Paypal cash - here's the details and the link:


Giveaway Details $300 Paypal Cash Ends 12/21/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. 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 author, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Watchers Series ~ Book One: "Knight of Light" by Deirdra Eden

Do you love adventure? Fantasy? Medieval England? Fairies? Witches? Pixies? Demons? Mystical creatures with unique personalities; some fun, others dangerous? Just to name a few of the character types you will run into in "Knight of Light" by Deirdra Eden, Book One of The Watchers Series.

This is an exciting tale of an orphan girl, Auriella. "She's not a witch; she's not human either. She's something much more powerful." And Book One, "Kinght of Light," leads you on an adventurous journey of self discovery, with Auriella, to learn who she actually is; someone who has the power to change this world. Don't miss this middle grade/young adult book that encourages the reader to be have courage and be strong. It is fast-paced and a quick and entertaining read; newly released and already a bestseller.

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watchers Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions

About the Author

"My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Elias of Elderberry" by Theresa Sneed

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Theresa Sneed's newest book, "Elias of Elderberry."

I'm lucky because I have personally known Theresa for many years.I feel like a grandmother of sorts who got to participate in a rather long pregnancy and now the birth of this remarkable story. Theresa often shared chapters of this book at our critique groups as she was writing it. We were mesmerized every time she read to us.
Theresa Sneed is a master storyteller. Her fantasies are always entertaining. She creates thought-provoking tales of wonder, intrigue, engaging characters and endless possibilities. "Elias of Elderberry" is no exception.

Elias Rey, a fifteen year old student at Penquis Valley High School, is skinny, has a chipped tooth, and a bad case of acne. His favorite pastime is drawing dragons, and his room is plastered with his renditions. Tested out as a genius, he should be in college instead of high school, but he chooses to be with the only family he has ever known, his foster sister Lizzie, and his best friend Jaron.

Life is good, except for one thing - Brute, the meanest student at PVHS. Elias considers moving to be rid of Brute's constant bullying, until one fated day, when a strange boy pushes a leather pouch into his hands, and then mysteriously disappears, leaving Elias to wonder who he is.

Shortly thereafter, Elias discovers that the pouch contains Ilesar, an ancient papyrus that can give him anything his heart desires. He isn't going to be pushed around. Ever. Again. At least, not by the school bully.

Some cool things to know about the author, Theresa Sneed:

Theresa grew up in the woodlands of Maine and spent most of her time climbing trees and looking for snakes under rocks. She has a wealth of childhood experiences from which she creates her magical stories. As a mother of six, a grandmother of five, and an elementary school teacher, she enjoys weaving moments of wonder and reflection.

Theresa graduated cum laude with a BA in education and has written award-winning poetry and stories. Her No Angel series has received excellent reviews from her readers as well as claiming two Whitney finalists’ spots. Theresa enjoys reading and writing fantasy, romance, and suspense. 

To learn more about Theresa, visit her website: She loves hearing from her readers and may be contacted through her website.

This book is hard to put down. Do yourself a favor and put it on your summer reading list!

**** GIVEAWAY ****
Rafflecopter Giveaway

Here are a couple of enticing EXCERPTS:
Excerpt #1
He snatched the pouch up. The drama department was at the end of the hallway. Elias grinned. Dang! That boy is good! He really had me going there! “Hey, Mr. Arnold!” Elias stuck his head into the office.
“Yes, Elias?” Mr. Arnold’s beady eyes peered at him over half moon spectacles that looked as if they’d slip off his nose.
“Yeah well, just wanted to congratulate you on whatever it is you guys are working on. Whoever that boy was with the pouch—” He held it up. “Well, he’s pretty convincing—good job!”
Mr. Arnold looked at him like he didn’t know what he was talking about.
“You know—Ooooo-OOoo.” Elias made a ghostly sound and wiggled his fingers in the air. “He looked pretty freaky, sir.”
Mr. Arnold leaned back and stroked his goatee.   “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Elias—none whatsoever.”
“Huh.” Elias turned the pouch over in his hands. “Yeah, well, okay.” He thanked him and went back into the hallway.
Who was that boy? If he hadn’t been part of any theater production at the school—what kind of performance was he in? He nodded as he remembered the white cord tugging at the boy—great special effects. Destroy them, the boy had said. Elias shrugged. His gaze fell to the pouch. What was in it? He started to open it, but thought better and glanced around for a more secluded place to explore its contents.
What better place than the boy’s bathroom? He slipped through the door and then into an empty stall. He studied the brown leather bag holding it closer to his face. The gold band that ran diagonally up its sides was made to look like a snake—its diamond-shaped head brandishing two tiny, red jewels. Elias brushed his fingers over the thin band and a wisp of smoke rose from it. He coughed and swept his hand through the gray mist—must have been dust.
All of a sudden, the bathroom door banged open and Brute’s voice broke the silence. “Hey zit-face! I know you’re in here!”
Oh crap. Of all the places for Brute to find him—defenseless—with no one to stop the Brute from beating him senseless, or even to identify Elias’ lifeless body later. He rolled his eyes. Okay, that was a bit melodramatic. He’d been hanging around his foster sister, Lizzie too long. Drama was her thing—not his. 
The stall doors slammed against their hinges one by one—closer and closer. He let out a groan, as he saw Brute’s size twelve shoes in front of the stall next to his. He swallowed hard and breathed out slow. “I wish I was home.” A warm buzz came from the pouch, and he glanced down as it came to life—casting an eerie glow against the stall door. Then all at once, a steely flash of red light cruelly stung his skin, deep into his sinewy flesh, as a powerful force twisted him through an opening—a thin slit in the air. 

Excerpt #2
He pressed his head back against the pillow. So, this was what crazy felt like. He grimaced, knowing that he was not crazy, but not having any good explanation for what was happening to him. Suddenly, something nuzzled the crick of his neck.
“Cut it out, Ilzar.” It let out a tiny bawl, almost like a cough, and Elias turned his head expecting to see Ilzar. He jumped backward, nearly falling off the bed. “YIKES!”
A miniature, baby dragon the color of the sky sat on his pillow teetering back and forth as if it hadn’t quite got its bearings.
“Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh!” Elias leaped from his bed and stared at the small, sapphire colored dragon. It coughed again and a tiny blue cloud of smoke came from its throat.
Elias’ mouth dropped open. Was this real? The dragon hopped off the pillow and came to the edge of the bed. It looked up at him with doleful eyes, coughed, than bawled again—like it was hungry.
            Elias’ eyes widened. What did dragons eat—other than villages of people?

Other books by Theresa Sneed
Her "No Angel" Series (not completed yet, watch for at least 3 or 4 more books in this series)


Remaining Blog Tour Stops:
July 17th
July 17th
July 18th
July 19th
July 20th &

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Marked for Death, Separated by War ~ true story of the Famgamou family of West Africa

"GOD DOESN'T WRITE WITH A PEN: A True Story of Undaunted Faith and Mighty Miracles," published by Cedar Fort, ($14.99, 224 pages), written by Christi Lynn Pauline

"...During the mid-1990s, Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, was a war-torn and turbulent country. Belma Fangamou was seeking peaceful means to bring about resolution, but he was falsely accused of helping the rebel cause. Soldiers invaded his pharmacy, killed his employee and he narrowly escaped with his life. Fangamou knew he would endanger his family if he returned home, so he headed to the border by foot, praying family members would be safe. They weren’t...."

This is the most amazing true story of a family who went to hell and back simply trying to keep their family together and serve God in a time of civil war and upheaval in their native land of West Africa. The above paragraph is an excerpt from a book review I wrote for Deseret News ~ you can read it in it's entirety here: True story of West African family's escape from terror

I HIGHLY recommend this book! It is extremely well-written and gripping; hard to put down.I look forward to more books from Christi Lynn Pauline. Nicely done!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CONTEST for a free copy of "Checkin' it Twice & Other Heartwarming Holiday Tales" ~ PLUS A BOOK REIVEW

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am a push-over for a good Christmas story and/or movie. So I was thrilled to find this little book full of stories by various authors. An anthology is so nice during this time of year because you can finish a story in one reading and pick the book up the following day and enjoy an entirely different story.

"Checkin' it Twice & Other Heartwarming Holiday Tales" has 16 award-winning stories just in time for the Christmas holidays. The stories are the outcome of LDS Publisher's 2010 and 2011 Christmas Story Contest.

Follow Savanna, a young mother, whose children help her find a merry Christmas despite the financial difficulties her family is experiencing in "Christmas Gifts from Jesus" by Kasey Eyre.

"Broken Things" by Angie Lofthouse reminds us that forgiveness is the greatest gift of all. It gave me chills as I read the last few lines.

And "With Wondering Awe" by Jennifer Carson Shelton we watch the transformation of a distraught young teen who finds healing through service to honor her younger sister who passed away.

And that's just three examples - get the book to read them all!! Enjoy!!!

You can find out about the book, about the authors and this year's contest at the blog: "Checkin' it Twice" - blog ~ Plus you can even read short samples of the stories!!

"Like" this book on FB to stay on top of any news about it: FaceBook page

Purchase the paperback copy here: Amazon - paperback of "Checkin' it Twice"
If you want a Kindle copy, go here: Amazon - Kindle of Checkin' it Twice

AND ... AND .... if you buy the PRINT copy BEFORE Dec. 15th, there are some cool bonuses in store for you. Check that out here: Print copy bonuses - ends Dec. 15, 2012

One more thing - FREE COPY of "Checkin' it Twice" CONTEST ~ 

If you want to enter to get a free e-book copy of the book - just comment on this blog AND become a follower to this blog (if you aren't already). Then, on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 9am there will be a random drawing I'll reveal a lucky winner from among those who qualify. Cheers!!!  


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Desert Night Shift: A Pack Rat Story

by Conrad J. Storad
Even as an adult, I LOVE LOVE LOVE any book by Conrad J. Storad. I am particularly partial to this one, because ... (true confession alert) "Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a pack rat," just like "Penny Pack Rat." This delightful tale takes place in the Sonoran Desert. It's nighttime and Penny has her backpack on and is in search of a silver spoon for her Grandma.
Told entirely in verse, we follow Penny as she tries to fulfill her nana's wish of owning a silver spoon. Penny braves the dangers of the night; snakes, coyotes and more. Hence, the title: Desert Night Shift.

"Oh, desert days are bright and hot,
Swift, hungry creatures rule,
But every little pack rat learns
That night shift work is cool!"
Although this is written with children in mind, I love Storad's charming approach to desert animals. The illustrations by Nathaniel P. Jensen are vibrant and endearing. At the end of each of Storad's books you can find a page of "Words to Learn" and facts about the animal hero of the book. Conrad Storad specializes in creating science books for children that make learning fun. In 2001 he was awarded the Arizona Library Association's Judy Goddard Award as Arizona's Children's Author of the Year.
I'm also partial to this book because I won my autographed copy while attending a writers workshop Conrad was teaching at this year's American Night Writers Association Annual Conference in February. (As far as ANWA and Conrad Storad are concerned, I'm quick to remind people that I "discovered" him over at ASU when I was searching for guest presenters for one of our workshops a number of years ago. This year was the third time that Conrad instructed aspiring children's writers at one of our conferences. Personally, I can't get enough of the wealth of knowledge he has to offer.
Storad is the author of more than 30 science and nature books for children and young adults. Just reading the titles of his books gives you a clue how fun they are. Here are a few:

  • Life in the Slow Lane; A Desert Tortoise Tale
  • Don't Call Me Pig! A Javelina Story
  • Lizards for Lunch: A Roadrunner's Tale
  • Don't Ever Cross That Road! An Armadillo Story
He also has some great books that explain scientific information on an elementary level - I used to use his books in my classroom when I taught in grades 1-4: Earth's Crust, The Circulatory System, Hippos, Piranhas, Fossil Fuels and more.

So, if you have kids or grandkids that you want to read something fun and educational to this summer, head over to the library or bookstore and get ANYTHING by Conrad J. Storad - you won't be sorry. Here's his website: Conrad J. Storad ~ oh, and tell him I sent you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Think you are ready for retirement? Check out this book BEFORE you retire

Hey, Friends - as always, I'm too busy for my own good - so, for now - here's the link to the review I did on a great little book about getting along as a couple 24/7 once you retire. Good food for thought. I hope to get back to this with a review and author interview for this site SOON. :)

Here's the link: Too Much Togetherness: Surviving Retirement as a Couple

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Your Pinkie is More Powerful Than Your Thumb

Check out my recent book review on a book that dispenses more than 300 facts you never thought to wonder about ~ click here: Book Review on Deseret News - Pinkie Stronger Than Your Thumb

Would LOVE it if you left a comment in the "Comment Section" ~ Thanks!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Review - The Waterfall Concept: A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery

I recently read and reviewed a remarkable book by Roger Stark called The Waterfall Concept: A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery

Here is the review I wrote that was published by (which is now part of "Deseret News" so you can't find the original article online anymore, but I give it to you here):

Roger Stark's own journey of recovery gave him the desire to become an addiction counselor. Now he shows others the way to healing through one-on-one counseling, at recovery retreats and in his new book, "The Waterfall Concept: A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery."

Stark uses the analogy of a waterfall and the safety assured when one is far upstream, away from the edge and the imminent danger associated with venturing too close to the falls. He carefully outlines the path to recovery step by step, phase by phase, using case studies of both setbacks and triumphs as people navigate their way to a better and safer place.

Regardless of the type of addiction a person experiences, they will find encouragement, understanding, hope and, indeed, a blueprint for recovery in "The Waterfall Concept."

“Whether the struggle is drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography or any other sexual addiction, it is all covered in this book," Stark said. "It is written with the understanding that only an addict/clinician can have. It is the book I wish had been given to me the day I realized I was in fact an addict.”

"The Waterfall Concept" is written from an LDS theological standpoint. This perspective, while useful for any individual, holds added value for church members who are addicts, their loved ones, bishops and LDS clinicians. Each will find specific tools that are helpful in achieving peace and progress in a difficult journey. Based on the well-known 12-step program, Stark makes the process even more accessible, offering a “toolbox” filled with skills useful for anyone. Even those who don’t see their behaviors as addictive can use his techniques of looking away, healthy self-talk, mood changers, jump-back behaviors and more to guide them to a happier, more productive life.

Simply abstaining from addictive behavior is not the same as recovery, Stark said. He teaches people to become “ridiculously accountable” and that “humility is the gateway to recovery.” He provides benchmarks that help the addict and their loved ones recognize the progress that is being made. As addicts learn to avoid the pull of the waterfall and enter the waters of recovery, Stark gently reminds them the “Mighty Change of Heart” they seek is found at the feet of the Savior.

"The Waterfall Concept" offers hope to families as they come to understand and make sense of the addictive behaviors of their loved ones. He provides suggestions for regaining trust, coping skills and self-care techniques to help secure results as people move into the maintenance phase and beyond. The author points out that people quit their addictive behaviors again and again but struggle with “staying quit.” The blueprint outlined in his book may provide the exact blend of help and skills that addicts – especially LDS addicts – need to “stay quit.”

More information can be found at 

Stephanie Abney is a retired teacher and freelance writer. She and her husband, Jim, live in Mesa, Ariz. They have five children and 17 grandchildren.