Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Deal On Mail Order Brides!




I just have to pass along this book deal on the Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection. It's on sale right now for only .99 cents! I really loved this collection, (you can read my review of it here) and if you love mail order brides, you're going to want to snap this deal up!

Download your .99 cent copy here

Here's the back copy:

**Amazon #1 Bestselling series in Clean Romance**

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection. Six historical romance novellas set in the Old West.

WRITTEN IN HER HEART, a charming novella by Stacy Henrie, Georgeanna is getting desperate. She can’t fund her favorite orphanage unless she marries and secures the rest of her inheritance left by her father. But her father’s financial planner, Clay, can't understand why she's not content with her current situation. Georgie determines to send out a notice as a mail order bride to attract suitors who won’t know her financial situation. Little does she know, Clay takes up the pen and sends her letters of his own under an assumed name. After years of working for Georgie’s father, Clay realizes he isn’t ready to watch her marry another, not when his heart is already claimed by her.

In Kristin Holt’s delightful novella WANTED: MIDWIFE BRIDE Dr. Naomi Thornton thinks she has it all: a beautiful house, a loving husband, and a fulfilling career. But when everything she holds dear is ripped away, Naomi has no choice but to start over. What will she find in the wild and untamed Wyoming Territory? Dr. Joe Chandler has waited years for a wife with the knowledge, skills, and tender heart he yearns for in a medical colleague and lifetime companion. When a midwife arrives with more expertise and secrets than he counted on, Joe quickly discovers there’s more to love and marriage than a simple mail order contract.

In THE SOUND OF HOME, a captivating novella by Annette Lyon, Marilyn is given the choice of either marrying the despicable Victor or being charged with a murder she didn’t commit. Refusing to believe that either is her fate, she finds a third option: she answers a mail order bride advertisement and boards a train to Wyoming to wed a man named Harry. Moments after her arrival, she learns that Harry isn’t who he seemed to be, and the advertisement turns out to be a giant mistake. Harry’s brother Thomas agrees to let her stay until she can figure out what to do next—after all, she simply cannot return to New York—but Marilyn quickly finds herself developing feelings for Thomas.

In Sarah M. Eden’s endearing novella FOR BETTER OR WORSE Gerald Smith, on the advice of his well-meaning neighbors, has decided it’s time to change his lonely existence. Mary Hill, on the advice of her empty pocketbook and non-existent roof over her head, has decided it’s time to secure herself a future. A mail-order marriage, they both realize, is no guarantee of happiness, but it is a risk they are willing to take. However, coming face to face on the train platform, the hapless couple discovers an unexpected truth: marriage to a perfect stranger is sometimes far preferable to the prospect of a lifetime with someone you used to know.

Heather B. Moore’s sweet novella THE INCONVENIENT BRIDE sees Carmela traveling from Boston to Colorado, eager to meet the man she’s been corresponding with and will soon marry. Her brother’s new marriage leaves little room for Carmela in her old life. Upon arrival in Leadville, she faces a rude awakening, and the only one who can understand her predicament is her fiance’s brother, Samuel. But Samuel can’t possibly help her out of an awkward situation, can he? It would be better for all if she returns immediately to Boston and pretends she never traveled to Colorado in the first place.

THE PRICE OF SILVER, an engaging novella by Si├ón Ann Bessey, Katie leaves New York for Idaho to marry Jake, a man she’s written to a couple of times. But when she steps off the train, his brother Caleb is there to greet her. Jake has gone to take a mining job he couldn’t pass up. Caleb takes Katie back to the family ranch to wait for Jake’s return. The more Caleb gets to know Katie, the more he envies his brother, but he can’t let his heart overrule his head unless Jake changes his mind about his intended bride.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday



I've been reading a murder mystery called Desert Rain by Jean Holbrook Matthews. It's actually been pretty creepy because right when there was a really tense part in the book complete with rain and lightning, it started to rain and lightning at my house! It really added to the suspenseful atmosphere, I'll tell you that.

The book starts off with Lexi Benson having to identify the body of her boss. It was so sad because we get the background of the murdered man and he was someone kind and compassionate in his business dealings and with his family. But with his death, there are quite a few things at his construction business that Lexi tries to take care of, but it isn't long before her own life is in danger.

The first half of this book was an unexpected delight with characters that have a lot of depth and a secondary cast that really adds to the layers of the mystery. I'm usually able to predict the murderer before it's revealed, but the author did a wonderful job of providing several possible suspects. I was a tiny bit disappointed that after such a stellar beginning the ending was more of a running down the suspect list to tell how, what and why they did. There was a lot of dialogue that just told the reader what happened instead of pulling the reader in to finish the experience of figuring it all out with the characters. The massive amount of detail included also slowed down the pacing and held the reader back from fully experiencing a taut, tense plot, but I admit I stayed up late reading to see who the villain was. There were a lot of great twists and turns! The main characters were drawn so that the reader will care about what happens to them, and they added a nice little romance to the story on top of the mystery. The author has a great talent for distraction and red herrings which is essential to a good mystery. A nice evening read!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

“LL’s been murdered. I had to ID his body about an hour ago. I’m not sure . . .” I took a deep breath to stop my jaw from trembling.

Identifying her boss’s body at the morgue wasn’t on Lexi Benson’s to-do list. She’s never been the type to go after adventure, and besides, she’s just his executive assistant. But with LL’s wife out of town, Lexi’s the only one the police trust.

But when mysterious incidents begin to threaten her life, Lexi realizes the murderer might be someone close to her. She’ll have to work together with the handsome detective to solve her mentor’s murder before she becomes the next victim.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Calling All Fiction Readers!



The 2016 Summer Book Trek has begun and I am a sponsor! (Which means you can win my books!) but you can win all kinds of book prizes just for reading.

It's a fun way to try new authors and win great prizes, and all you have to do is read and earn points. You can see all the rules and how to play here

Take a look at the prize page, too, by clicking here. There are some awesome books! I can't decide which ones I want to win! This is going to be fun. Have you signed up yet?




Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway!



I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Kari Iroz's new book A Date With Danger.  This is a new LDS author and I think she will be one to watch.

Jacklyn Wyatt is a somewhat cliche twenty-five year old single LDS girl with a love for Mr. Darcy, the mama that is pressuring her to meet someone, and a beautiful best friend. Jack meets a mysterious man by stepping on him at a wedding reception, but then the creepy stuff starts to happen. She sees him at Panda Express, and then there is a silhouette of a person outside her apartment window. *shiver* And the suspense ball is rolling. Who is following her and why? 

Damon Wade is head of a task force hunting down a kidnapper who uses the same online dating website that Jacklyn is on. He recruits her to try and flush out the kidnapper, but things go from fact-finding to right in the middle of a case that could get Jack killed. 

I loved the interaction between Damon and Jack and thought their banter was witty and funny. They were thrown into extreme situations, yet the author kept it fairly realistic. There were a few times when Jack's actions were more that of a teenager than a young adult, but overall, she was snarky and a good match for the mystery and our hero. I liked that she had a solid foundation in her family and friends, but also was very relatable to any girl who has ever felt overlooked and deals with it in different ways that don't always end well. Jack was sweet and clumsy, vulnerable and stubborn, and someone you would want for a friend in real life.

Damon was the hero with secrets, dashing and silent, until the line between professional and personal is blurred. I really liked how he tried to balance his job with his growing feelings for Jack. He was written with depth and that always makes the character more intriguing. The case was full of twists and turns as well and I was quickly turning pages to find out who the villain was. The ending was a tad rushed, but it was satisfying and I closed the book with a smile. (I'm wondering if this will be a series since some of the secondary characters were definitely interesting enough to have their own book.)

I thought the writer did a great job with descriptions (although some of the Provo locations mentioned are no longer existing), but where she really stood out was her talent in writing a unique voice for Jack with her quirkiness and perspective. The author has an ability to draw the readers in which will definitely make her a favorite among LDS suspense readers. I know I'll be looking for her next book!

You can buy your copy here

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

She just wanted to shake up her love life. Jacklyn (Jack) Wyatt is the typical twenty-five-year-old living the typical Provo single life with the typical bad luck—at least until the FBI recruits her for a completely different type of dating.

A young woman has gone missing, and all signs point to her online dating profile as the kidnapper's operating ground. But when suspects who crossed paths with the missing girl begin contacting Jack, the FBI sees its opportunity for an inside man—er, woman.

Now Jack will have to play the field, dating each of the men in an attempt to weed out the kidnapper. But with such an unusual array of characters vying for her attention, pinpointing the culprit may prove even harder than finding Mr. Right. And as more young women disappear, will Jack stay professional and objective, even with the handsome Special Agent Damon Wade just a whisper in her hidden microphone away?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Freebie



Today's Friday Freebie is a fun romance from Heather Tullis called A Perfect Fit. It's the start to the DiCarlo series and looks like the perfect weekend read.

Here's the back copy:

Cami DiCarlo doesn’t agree with her father that her life has been stuck in a rut, so she is not happy when he forces her hand into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel. The fact that he unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, and insists that they live together while they launch the new resort, only makes things worse.

When she meets Vince Talmadge, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything she and her sisters are working to build.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday On Thursday




I know, I know, I should have posted this yesterday, but I've been preoccupied with holding my new grandbaby. It's the most amazing experience!

As we all just witnessed the miracle of birth and have a new baby fresh from heaven in our midst, my heart has been turned to Jesus Christ. I've been reading Emily Belle Freeman's book, The Christ-Centered Home. In it, she has gone through the four gospels and paid particular attention to the times when the Savior was in someone's home and what he taught there. I had honestly never thought to look for those patterns and have been amazed at the lessons the author points out.

In the book, she describes twelve scriptural accounts of how Jesus came to be in this person's home and what events transpires. Then, she talks about the lessons learned and combines them with stories on how she learned from this in her own life. I've always been particularly touched by all of these scriptures and Ms. Freeman points out perspectives that I hadn't considered, but have now been something I've been thinking about as I look at my own home. Would I be ready to receive my Savior? With twelve "lessons" you can try to implement each invitation for the Savior in your home each month for an entire year.

The twelve lessons in the book also include discussion questions for members of the family and even recipes for treats after the lesson. I thought the book was well thought-out and something I'm excited to try implementing in my own home with my family. It's not a long book, but there is a lot to think about with each chapter.  I'm definitely taking a second look at these familiar scripture stories and how I can invite the Savior into my home in a new way.

You can buy your copy here

Here's the back copy:

We often think of Jesus' ministry as teaching to the multitudes, feeding the 5,000, teaching in the temples and synagogues, teaching on the mountainside of the seashore. But many of His most personal teachings were done within the walls of a family's home. His followers invited Him into their personal spaces, and He blessed them, healed them, and performed miracles for them. So it is today. When we invite Jesus into our homes, we will also be blessed and healed and see miracles.

Best-selling author, Emily Belle Freeman invites readers to create a more Christ-centered home through a series of twelve stories featuring Jesus teaching in the home, including the houses of Zaccheaus, Jarius, and Peter and houses in Galilee, Jerusalem, and Capernaum. Freeman encourages families to experience a Christ-centered conversation, connection, and celebration. She writes, "Maybe you could set aside one night every month for your family to discuss an attribute of Jesus Christ and a lesson He taught within someone's home. Then you could set a family goal that would allow your family to connect personally with that lesson, and you could end the evening with a simple celebration." Invite Christ into your home and allow Him to make your home a home of refuge, grace, and joy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Preview Function--Awesome or Ho Hum?

I recently became aware of a new feature. I can offer previews of my books right here on my blog! I've been experimenting with All Fall Down on the sidebar. You can preview the first few chapters by clicking on "preview." So far I think it's pretty awesome and readers will like it. It's nice that it's so versatile.

But here's my question: do you use the preview function before you buy a book? Or do you just buy a book from the back copy? For me, I've mostly just bought the book if the back copy was intriguing, but with the ease of the preview function now, I might change my ways.

So, tell me what you think of the new preview function.  Awesome or ho hum?

(And just to experiment a little more, here's the preview for The Captive)


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Have A Decision to Make & I Need Your Opinion!

At the beginning of this year I had a publishing schedule. It's actually been going very well. I've met my deadlines and everything is on track. I'm supposed to be releasing the companion novella to Ring Around the Rosie in August and the last novel in the Griffin Force series in October.

But then I hit a snag.

I had an entire romance story come to me with the characters, the plot, everything. It just came to me! And it really wants to be written. It's different than anything I've written before, but I'm excited because the characters are full of angst and romance. I smile just thinking about it. But I can't fall in love with it just yet when this new story creates such a problem.

Do I mess up my entire publishing schedule, set aside all those other projects, and write the romance that can't seem to leave me alone? Or do I stick to the plan and write the romance next year?

Decisions, decisions.

This is where you come in. I need some outside opinions! So, as my loyal readers, what would you like to read next from me? The novella and novel that was planned or the romance? *flips a coin*

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Exciting Life-Changing Event


I usually do book reviews on Monday, but this past weekend, a miracle happened. I became a grandmother!

It's been such a tender time, full of emotions. This little baby is already so loved and has changed my life forever. Hearing that little cry for the first time was incredible. I can hardly describe my happiness!

So, today there is no book review so I can just celebrate my baby having a baby! And get used to the title of grandma. (Or maybe I should go with Grammy. It's so hard to decide. Maybe I'll have to let the baby choose . . .)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Freebie


Today's Friday Freebie is a heart-tugging romance from Jennifer Moore called Change of Heart. I recently reviewed it, since it hasn't been out very long. Her publishing is celebrating an anniversary this month and have chosen to give her book away, so I'm passing on the deal to you!

Click here to see my review of it.

Here's the back copy:

This summer, Nathaniel Cavanaugh vacations in Lobster Cove to spend quality time with his kids after his estranged wife’s tragic death. Successful and well-connected, he is on the fast-track to the highest legal positions in the country, but his family life suffers. After an accident throws Val nearly into his lap and costs her a job opportunity, Nathaniel surprises himself by overlooking her outlandish appearance and lack of qualifications to offer her a job as his nanny for the summer.

Valdosta McKinley wishes for an internship at a Paris Art Institute to use her newly acquired art-history skills. She knows Nathaniel could never develop feelings for a girl from a trailer in a rural West Virginia holler—a lesson she learned the hard way years earlier.

Will pursuit of their professional goals require Nathaniel and Val to give up the dream of being a family?
Click here to go to Wild Rose Press and download your copy for free!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Spotted In The Wild Of The Library

As you all know, we do a Bellon family summer book club and when I walked into the library, I was surprised to see this:



I have to admit I was excited to see it. I love libraries. I love their purpose, not only for entertainment, but for leveling the playing field and making knowledge available to everyone.

One of the best features for my city library is they offer Kindle books. I get to download them and then three weeks later they disappear off my Kindle. No late fees! Since most of the time my late fees could probably pay for a new wing in the library (I know, I know, I'm working on that) this is a nice perk for me.

Really, the library has a lot of nice perks. They have exploration backpacks for kids (like one is filled with astronomy things and a telescope so we can look at the stars together, things like that) and we love all their reading programs for my preschoolers all the way up to teens and even me! There are so many awesome finds at the library. But seeing my book highlighted on their new fiction shelf front and center was one of the best ones ever!

Have you visited your local library lately?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday



I've been reading the May installment of the Power of the Matchmaker series and I'm about halfway through this one. It's hard to put down!

Andra Stone finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her so she heads over to his house to spray paint TOOL on his truck. She knows it's not her finest moment, but the cheater's roommate, Everett Covington, agrees with her assessment and helps her. (He was about to ask Andra out himself when the cheater roommate stepped in and ruined everything.) After an attack of conscience, they go to clean it up together, but the cops show up. And that's where everything gets dicey for everyone, but especially for this newfound romance. 

I love the attraction between these two. They have so much in common, but so much to learn about each other at the same time. It's definitely a heart-tugging romance, but I love Everett. He's the kind of hero that would give any girl butterflies. Poor Andra, though. She's really being put through the wringer.  Can even the matchmaker save this couple?

I will let you know what I think of the ending!

You can download your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Every time Andra Stone crosses paths with Everett Covington, trouble follows. First she loses her scholarship, then she loses the apartment she’d wanted more than anything. But tragedy hits hardest when she loses her grandmother—the best friend Andra has ever known. She determines that Everett is a talisman of ill fortune. When Everett comes to work in her hospital and is applying for the same position she’d been working toward since residency, Andra believes him to be her personal poltergeist. The human heart has four chambers—four chances to get it right. Andra has only one chance left

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Last Chance To Preorder!



Today is the last chance to preorder Forget Me Not for only .99 cents! Tomorrow it will be at the regular price.

(Forget Me Not is a companion novella to Pocket Full of Posies and tells more of Bart and Lucy's story beginning when they return home from Colombia.)

Here's the back copy:

Bart Gutierrez has returned from Colombia with a new outlook. After reconnecting with Lucy Aguayo, he can't imagine his life without her now. But before they can move forward, their dangerous past comes back to haunt them. Can they face it together or will it tear them apart?

Lucy has been undercover for five years and her new life takes some getting used to. Bart and his family have welcomed her with open arms and just as she starts to believe her newfound happiness isn't going to be snatched away, government agents show up unannounced and give her an ultimatum---do one last operation for us or you won't like the consequences.

Everything doesn't go as planned, however, and their lives are on the line. Can they survive the mission and put the past behind them once and for all, in order to have the future they've always wanted?

Preorder your copy here

Monday, June 13, 2016

Book Review And Giveaway!




Today I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Julie Daines' new book, Willowkeep, a regency romance.  This is a charming fish-out-of-water story that will steal your heart.

Charlotte Darby will do anything to protect her mentally handicapped sister, but their money is running out and in a day and age where options for women were severely limited, Charlotte doesn't have a lot of choices. Things are looking bleak until a man appears on her doorstep to say she's inherited an estate and all that entails. Charlotte accepts the generous gift and as they travel to their new home, she becomes acquainted with the estate's steward, Mr. Henry Morland. Henry is loving and kind and anxious to help Charlotte settle into her new station. But the thing that surprises Charlotte most is how her sister takes to him. Their bond and his concern for their welfare cracks open her heart, but she doesn't want to let herself feel anything for him. If she becomes attached to any man there is a family secret that could destroy them. Or will it?

This is a sweet story of family relationships and finding where we belong. The author does a tremendous job of describing the Willowkeep estate and its surroundings to add more than a hint of realism. Our heroine is genuine and sincere, even while making mistakes, and will pull on the reader's heartstrings. She is loyal to a fault and tries to hard to belong in a family that doesn't seem to want her. Yet, Charlotte has suffered so much, it's easy to see why she needs that in her life. I thought her character had a lot of depth, especially when it came to her sister and how fiercely she protected the young girl from anyone who might treat her differently because of her challenges. Beyond that, I particularly enjoyed her letters to Anne Boelyn and the tiny whisper of a ghost story throughout the book. It also deserves a mention that our hero, Henry, was everything a woman could want---sweet and compassionate, trying to do the right thing no matter what it costs him, and yet strong and protective when he needs to be. This tender love story was a beautiful unfolding of what it truly means to build a family.

You can get your copy here

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Hull. But when a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. And Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of money. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those who want her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte must face some heartrending decisions. For no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Freebie


Today's Friday Freebie is Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin, a YA filled with intrigue and tension.

Here's the back copy:

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother's quest to put her on the throne of Russia - at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophia has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family - and herself - Sophia vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophia will need to decide how much she's willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Cat Puts Her Foot Down



Remember those contests I've been having? I went to mail some of the prizes and my cat put her foot down. She definitely did not want those books going anywhere! But I persevered and kindly explained the books were being mailed today no matter what.

And then I got the pouty face


Hey, I guess at least I know someone LOVES my books! LOL


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday




With it being summer break, the Bellon Family Book Club has commenced! Each of us are reading our books faithfully each day so we can go to the ice cream shop at the end of the week and discuss them. I have to say, I look forward to this club every year and now that my little ones are getting bigger, I know it's going to be even more fun!

This week I've been reading On the Edge: How My Crappy Job Changed My Life by Stuart Edge. Since I have a fiction book called On the Edge, I thought it only fitting that I read a non-fiction book with the same title. I didn't know who Stuart Edge was, but it says he's a Youtube video sensation so I looked him up and he has some really funny videos out there!

This was one of my favorites:


Aww, isn't it cute?

His book is cute, too, and actually quite motivational. I've just finished Part 1, giving some background into his life about how he dealt with his anxiety and why his family moved to Mexico and what gave him the foundation for the path he took as an adult. It's an easy read, honest and kind of quirky. I like that his personality comes through, and he has little motivational sticky note things interspersed throughout the chapters. I'm excited to see how it all ends and how this Youtube sensation really came about!

You can get your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

“I think my video just went viral.”

Stuart Edge had a crappy run of things, including his parents’ divorce, anxiety, moving to Mexico and not speaking the language, and a job cleaning porta-potties. But instead of slowing him down, these struggles gave him the inspiration he needed to pursue his daydream—creating videos.

Now a YouTube sensation, Stuart shares his secrets to success and reveals his conversion from self-conscious to confident. For Stuart, being true to his beliefs has made all the difference.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bonus Book Review And A Giveaway!


My daughter, Lauren Bellon, loved history so much she got a degree in it and since she was available, I decided to take advantage of her expertise and have her review Kathryn Jenkins Gordon's new book, In-Laws, Outlaws and Everyone In Between.

"I am going to be completely honest with you. This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. The stories were captivating and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, and I was even more excited to see what the next story held in store. After I was sure I had just read the best story in the book, the next one would wow me even more. The author had a wonderful style with her humor and sarcasm that this read is entertaining and informative. It was hard for me to put down as I was thrown into this world of very “colorful” characters.

We talk so much about famous church history figures, but most people know very little about their families. I think I have told the story of Brigham Young’s grandson from this book to everyone I have come in contact with for the last week. With an insightful background, Gordon then tells the story of how Young's grandson committed a crime in a missionary apartment and tried to cover it up. Another favorite was Heber C. Kimball’s wife secretly teaching her children negative things about the church, but pretending she had an outward conviction for years. (My favorite part was that their only child that stayed in the church was deaf. Sometimes trials are a blessing.) While this and other stories like it stun the reader, it keeps your attention and shows that no one is perfect, not even wives of apostles or grandsons of prophets.
        
             I love Gordon’s writing style. She has the perfect amount of information, quotes, and her own comments that make it fun and sassy. I will read her book over and over again and recommend it to everyone that I know. I hope that another one is in the works because I cannot wait to learn about more colorful characters."

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

You can buy your Kindle copy here

Here's the backliner:

The truth is often stranger than fiction, and it can certainly be more interesting than the history books let on. To prove it, bestselling author Kathryn Jenkins Gordon blows the dust off the past to reveal the exploits of some lesser-known figures in Church history. From the hilarious to the heroic and the zany to the downright villainous, these tales highlight the action-packed lives of some of the Church’s most notorious members.

Witness the attempted rise of the self-appointed “King of the Mormons.”

Experience the heart-pounding plight of a Latter-day Saint girl enslaved by a bloodthirsty Apache tribe.

Read the thrilling tale of a stake president caught in a mobster brawl at stake conference.

Just when you thought you knew everything worth knowing about the early Saints, this quirky cast of characters confirms that there’s always more to the story. Get ready for a rip-roarin’ ride through history as you discover the truth about In-Laws, Outlaws, and Everyone in Between!



Other Tour Stops:

June 6th: http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/
June 7th:http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/, http://sweetlymadejustforyou.com/blog/
June 8th: http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/index.html, http://www.littlelightdesigncollective.com/category/entertainment/books/
June 9th: http://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/
June 10th: http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/

Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Review: Fooling Around With Cinderella


I stumbled across Fooling Around With Cinderella by Stacy Juba and when I had some downtime this past weekend, I started reading it. To tell you the truth, I wasn't expecting much because the title was such I didn't think I'd really like it, but the back copy convinced me to take a chance on it.

The story is about Jaine Andersen who does a cold job pitch to Dylan Callahan about new marketing strategies for the Storybook Valley Amusement Park. He says he'll give her the job on one condition---that she play Cinderella for the kids during the summer months. Jaine reluctantly agrees to do it, only because she needs the work and she wants the marketing gig there. She has a lot of memories of visiting Storybook Valley when she was a kid with her parents and she wants to keep that alive.  Once she steps into the role of Cinderella, however, things start to change. Prince Charming wants to date her, but she is drawn to the playboy boss that she should definitely not go anywhere near. What's a princess to do?

I loved how relatable Jaine was with all her insecurities and problems. She's got a good heart and is trying to figure out where she belongs and who she belongs with. There was a surprising amount of depth to her character and I loved her wit and banter with the hero. There are some bumps along her road to love, but the end was worth it. *le sigh* It was a book that held my attention and I was sorry to see it end! It was a clean read and I will definitely be looking for the next book in this series.

Here's the back copy:

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.

You can download your Kindle copy here for $2.99

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Freebie




Today's Friday Freebie is Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice by Heidi Ashworth. If you're in the mood for a little witty and can't put it down proper romance in the Regency period, then this is the book for you! (If you'd like to see my full review of it, click here).

Here's the back copy:

Miss Elizabeth Armistead, India born and raised, is happily betrothed to British soldier, Duncan Cruikshank. When she arrives in London a month prior to the wedding she meets Mr. Lloyd-Jones and soon finds that he has invaded even her dreams. Besides Duncan, Mr. Lloyd-Jones is the only man who makes her feel as if he sees past her exceptional beauty to the person within. Her mother would prefer Elizabeth marry the rich and well-connected Mr. Lloyd-Jones while his sister is ecstatic that he is now free to woo Miss Armistead since he has broken off his engagement to the disgraceful Cecily Ponsonby. However, Elizabeth's commitment to the man she promised to marry is at odds with the likes of Mr. Lloyd-Jones who has cried off from one engagement already. How can she betray the man she believes to love her for her virtues so as to indulge her love for a man she fears she cannot trust?

Jaded and betrayed, Mr. Colin Lloyd-Jones and Sir Anthony Crenshaw make a solemn vow to avoid the Marriage Mart for the duration of the London season. When Sir Anthony is called away on a journey in the company of his grandmother's ward, Miss Delacourt, Colin finds he cannot abide by their agreement, especially when his father expects him to squire his sister to society's endless balls and routs. When Colin encounters the breathtakingly beautiful Miss Elizabeth Armistead, he is intrigued by her lack of fascination for his great standing in society, family fortune, and captivating charm. When he learns that she is already betrothed, he feels himself safe from hurt in her company until he discovers the secret she has been guarding, one that threatens to batter his vulnerable heart all past mending.

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, June 2, 2016

First Chapter Of Forget Me Not

I'm so excited to share more of Bart and Lucy's story with you! Here's the first chapter and don't forget you can preorder it now by clicking here and be the first to get your copy on June 15th!


Forget Me Not

by Julie Coulter Bellon
Copyrighted material. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

          For the past few hours, Detective Bart Gutierrez had been living on adrenaline and he knew the crash was coming. The hostage situation had ended peacefully, but it had been touch and go most of the day. After stopping to park in front of his mother’s flower shop, he rested his forehead against the steering wheel. Sucking in a breath, he let it out slowly. He never wanted to bring his work home with him, to have the things he saw and experienced touch the people he loved. Today was no different.
Maybe I should just go home. But his mom was providing all the flowers for a big wedding reception this afternoon, and he wanted to help her get the heavier ones inside. At least that’s part of it. As weary as he was, he wanted to see Lucy. The thought of her smile made all the edginess of the last few hours fade away. They’d only been home from Colombia for a month, but she already dominated his thoughts. Before, he didn’t mind staying late or covering a shift. Now he couldn’t wait to be with her. And if that meant he spent more time delivering flower arrangements, then that’s what he’d do.
He got out of the car and headed in to Forget Me Not, the bell over the door tinkling when he opened it. Satisfaction rolled through him knowing his mom now owned the shop outright. She’d worked here for years and was finally living her dream of being a business owner. “Ma? You here?”
She came out of the back carrying a large vase filled with tall cylindrical-looking flowers and peeked out from behind it. “Right here. Thanks for coming to help me, mijo.”
He laughed and took the vase from her. “I can hardly see you behind that thing. What kind of flowers are they?”
“Calla lilies on top with hydrangeas on the bottom layer. Aren’t they beautiful?” She buried her nose in the arrangement. “The bride chose them for all the centerpieces.”
“They’re so big. How will people be able to see each other across the tables?” Bart asked as he set it on the counter.
When it was safely anchored, he turned back to face his mother. She was small, her hair pulled back into a serviceable bun, her uniform of black pants and a white shirt that said Forget Me Not on the pocket still looking as fresh as when she’d put it on. There wasn’t anything out of place, the entire ensemble made to help her blend into the background. But, as usual, she wore her special flower earrings that made her stand out from anyone else. Today it was large purple pansies. She always wore those particular ones when she felt happy and confident, and it made him feel good to see that. 
“We do what the bride wants. And besides, once you’re sitting, the only thing in the way is the vase.” She turned to grab a box on the floor. “We better start loading up.”
He looked around the shop. “So, where’s Lucy?” Bart asked, trying to keep his voice nonchalant. His mother was well-meaning, but she’d been in matchmaker overdrive since he brought Lucy home.  Knowing her, she’d probably already decided on all the flower arrangements for their wedding— and centerpieces for their future children’s christenings.  Of course with how strong his feelings were for Lucy, those things were definitely in his mind for the future, but they’d just started exploring their relationship and still had some figuring out to do.
“Someone looking for me?” Lucy came out of the back room, holding an arrangement identical to the one his mother had, but since she was a little taller, she wasn’t quite so hidden behind the towering flowers and her head was visible. She wore the same bun as his mother, but some tendrils had come loose and were curling just at the nape of her neck, a soft spot he liked to touch himself.
She crossed the room to him and set down the flowers, bringing his attention back to her face.  For a second it looked like she might reach for him, but changed her mind at the last second. Bart squelched his disappointment. 
“I’m surprised to see you here. That hostage scene was all over the news. It looked pretty bad. I thought for sure you’d go straight home,” she said, searching his eyes.
Bart put his hands in his pockets so he wouldn’t be tempted to reach out and touch her hair. Or her face. Or just hug her. “I’ll sleep after we unload all of these.” He nodded toward the boxes and vases covering the floor and counter space.
“Well, I won’t say no to your help,” his mother said as she reached up on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you.”
She bustled out to the van with a box of glass vases. Bart bent to pick up a calla lily arrangement, but Lucy stopped him with a hand on his arm. “Are you okay? From what I saw, no one expected that situation to have a happy ending.”
“Yeah, it was a tough one.” Bart looked down into her brown eyes, seeing worry and concern there. For him. His chest tightened. As kids, she’d annoyed him, getting under his skin with her constant challenges in sports, bike races, and even watermelon seed-spitting. Even with all that, though, she’d still managed to end up being one of his best friends. Together with her and Manny, they’d been the Three Musketeers, willing to take on anything or anyone.
It still amazed him that he’d found Lucy again after losing touch for all those years. His feelings from childhood had turned into so much more. She got under his skin in a whole new way and, so far, the adult Lucy was full of surprises. Sometimes she reminded him of that daredevil young girl she’d been, and other times she kept her cards close to the vest. She was a beautiful, complex woman who’d been through so much and come out stronger. The kind of woman he’d been searching for and was lucky enough to have in his life again.
“Bart?” She waved her hand in front of his face. “Where’d you go?”
Realizing he’d been staring, he stepped back and tried to pick up the conversation. “Sorry. You distract me.”
She lightly slapped his shoulder. “Be serious.”
He held up his hands and chuckled. “I am.” She raised her eyebrows, and he sobered. “All right, I was just going to say the whole thing would have been over a lot sooner if the guy hadn’t been coming off a high. It’s tough to reason with people on drugs.” And it had taken nearly thirty hours before they’d gotten the girlfriend out safely. With how agitated the guy had been it was a miracle no one had been killed.
Lucy let out a little puff of air, her concern turning to sympathy. “I’m glad it ended well. I’ve seen way too many situations where it didn’t.”
Her words brought Bart back to the reality he’d compartmentalized in an out-of-the-way place in his head. Their connection to a drug cartel wouldn’t be going away anytime soon. He couldn’t change who his father was, and Lucy had been an undercover operative for years.
No doubt she’d seen her share of tragedy while in the Castillo cartel. Hopefully being here with him would help put that behind her, though, so they could both move on.  “I hope the guy gets some help,” he said finally. But he didn’t want to talk shop anymore. With her so close, he couldn’t control the temptation he’d had since she’d come in, and he reached out to cup her face. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you all day.”
She pressed her cheek into his palm. “I’m glad you’re here. Safe.”
“Do you worry about me then?” Her skin was so silky soft; he let his thumb trail over her cheek and down her neck. 
“Maybe a little. It would be just our luck to survive Colombia, only to have you get shot on the job in Connecticut.” Her breaths were coming faster, and he could feel her pulse thrumming under his fingers.
He moved closer, unable to take his eyes off of her. “Maybe our luck is changing,” he said, just as he bent to kiss her.
Before he could, he heard his mother’s familiar steps behind them. Lucy jumped back, and they both turned. His mother was standing there with an indulgent smile. “Don’t mind me.”
Bart rolled his eyes, but his lips curved in amusement at his mother’s dramatics. “I won’t, Ma.” He leaned closer to Lucy and kissed her forehead. “Later.”
Lucy smiled and grabbed a smaller arrangement. “I’m counting on it.”
They went out to the van, and it didn’t take long before everything was loaded. “Should I follow you over to the reception hall?” Bart asked his mother.
“That’s a good idea. You know what’s a better idea? If Lucy goes with you in your car. Then I can play my music loud.” She winked and climbed into the driver’s seat of the floral van, starting it up and not waiting for an answer. 
Lucy laughed. “Hey, I don’t mind your music.” But Daniela was already pulling away. They watched her leave and Lucy brushed her hands together. “Well, that was pretty obvious.”
Bart grinned. “That’s why I love her.” He took advantage of the opportunity to pick up where they’d left off by pulling her against him. She smelled like a smorgasbord of all of his favorite flowers, and he drew in a deep breath.  “How are things going? Is it okay living with my mom for now?” Not exactly an ideal situation, but until they could find her an apartment nearby, it was the most logical.
“Things are fine,” she said, drawing back slightly to look at him. Her words were the ones he wanted to hear, but there was a shadow in her eyes when she spoke.
Bart furrowed his brows, wanting to chase the shadows away. “That doesn’t sound fine.”
“How can I explain?” She dropped her chin and nestled her face into his chest. He liked the contact, but he also knew the signs. She didn’t want to look him in the eye.
Avoidance wasn’t like Lucy at all. She was the strongest woman he knew and always met every challenge head on. He loosened his hold to lift her face. “You can trust me. If it’s not working out, we can find somewhere else for you to live.” She closed her eyes, and a tear escaped. Bart’s stomach dropped to the pavement as he wiped away the drop of moisture from her cheek. Was she having second thoughts? Was this new life too much? “Tell me, Luce.”
She opened her eyes still shimmering with tears, and bit her lip. “It’s just been so long since I had a mother.” Her hands slid up his chest and around his neck, and he embraced her, relieved. “Your mom treats me like a daughter. I didn’t realize how much I missed that.”
Her voice was muffled against his shirt, and he could feel her trembling. “You can borrow my mom anytime. I don’t mind sharing.”
She gave him a sniffle-laugh, but stayed in his embrace. He tucked her head under his chin and stroked her hair, gratitude replacing the anxiety of a moment ago. She’d confided in him and was letting him give her comfort. With the way she’d bottled up her emotions for so long, he knew that was a gift.
Bart kissed the top of her head. “I know you had it rough growing up, but you’ve got a family now. Remember that.” And he’d do all he could to make that permanent. Sooner rather than later, if he got his wish.
She held on for a moment longer, then pulled back. “Well, we better get going before we test that theory. Your mom will be wondering where we are.”
“No, she won’t.” Bart gave her a quick kiss on the lips and opened the passenger door for her. “She’s probably hoping we take a quick trip to Vegas.” Lucy’s eyes widened, and Bart felt his ears start to burn, a flush creeping up his neck. “You know how she is,” he said lamely. He didn’t want to bring up marriage before she was ready and have Lucy feel pressured. As it was, his mother’s machinations were enough.
She touched his chin, a smile on her face. “I love everything about your mom.”
What about me? he wanted to ask, but didn’t. “I do, too. Most of the time,” he deadpanned.
Lucy chuckled as she sat down in his car and wiped away her tears. “She’s a romantic at heart. That’s what makes her an exceptional florist.”
And she wants you for a daughter-in-law, Bart added silently, suddenly wishing they didn’t have anything to work out. Not many other couples had father issues like theirs¾ his father, head of a drug cartel, had ordered the murder of Lucy’s father, who’d helped hide Bart and his mother. Could they get past that sort of baggage? Best to take things slow, but that was proving harder than he’d thought.
He got into the driver’s seat and pulled into traffic, giving her a sidelong glance. Her hands were folded in her lap, and she was looking out the window. He hadn’t known her to be so thoughtful before and wished he could read her thoughts. For some reason, whether lack of sleep was getting to him, or he was just over-thinking things, her demeanor had his anxiety antennae on full alert. “Besides being mothered 24/7, how is it working at the flower shop? My mom tells me you’ve won over Mr. Beagley, so you must be working some sort of magic there, but I’m sure customer service is pretty tame compared to what you’re used to.”
“Mr. Beagley was gruff, but it was all a show.” She turned and smiled. “He was pretty tight-lipped at first, but I finally got him to open up to me.”
“Mom said no one has ever been able to get a word out of him beyond hello and good day. You’re a miracle-worker.”
“When I was undercover I learned all kinds of ways to get people to talk.” She lowered her voice as if imparting a great secret. “But I didn’t have to use those techniques. Mr. Beagley is just a lonely old man who comes in every day to buy a flower for his wife’s grave. When he saw I truly cared, well, that was all he needed.”
“Working at a flower shop is a far cry from being undercover.” Bart was pushing, but part of him had to know. Coming back to a normal life after being “under” had been too much for some cops he knew. He didn’t want that for Lucy.
“I’m fine, Bart. You don’t have to worry.” She reached for his hand. “After watching over my shoulder every second for so long, making flower arrangements is a nice change. A happy change.”
“Glad to hear it.” He hadn’t known until that moment how glad he really was. Bart gave her a smile and entwined his fingers with hers. Her hand was a little cold, so he rubbed his thumb over the back of it.
Lucy turned her knees toward him and squeezed his hand. “Okay, now who’s getting people to talk? Your turn. You’ve been acting weird since you came in, and I know that case affected you. Can you tell me about it?”
 Thinking back on how tense the hostage situation was and how he didn’t want that feeling bleeding over into this part of his life, he grimaced. The weight of trying to balance his worlds crashed over him, especially since this particular case was his first hostage situation since Colombia. The fact that drugs were the center of the case had brought up so many feelings he hadn’t been prepared for. “I just wish I could put the past behind me. Let go of things.” He clenched his jaw. How could he describe exactly how he felt without too many details? “Being up close and personal with how drugs affect people and families makes me think¾” He stopped. His thoughts were probably silly or wouldn’t make sense.
“You feel responsible somehow because of who your father was?” she asked gently. “Bart, you’re nothing like him. Look at what you’ve done with your life. Almost the exact opposite. And you have no control over your father’s actions.”
Bart’s hand clenched the wheel. “I don’t want people to know my father was Nico Castillo. Especially anyone in law enforcement. I feel their judgment, see them wonder if I’m dirty and helping my father’s cartel move the drugs, you know? He ruined so many people’s lives, including yours.” He stared straight ahead, his pulse starting to pound in his ears. “Most of the time I’m okay with it, but when hostage situations like this come up, it’s hard to compartmentalize.”
She didn’t say anything, just moved closer until they were as close to shoulder-to-shoulder as they could be while seat-belted in a car— like a show of silent solidarity between the two of them. No one understood better than her that it would take time to process everything that had happened with Nico. Just having her support meant the world.
He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the back of it. “Thanks for being here.”
“Always. You just need time. We all do.” She laid her head on his shoulder, and suddenly the burdens he’d been carrying seemed lighter with her at his side.
Too soon, they pulled into the parking lot of the reception hall. The Forget Me Not van was near a side entrance, and Bart pulled up next to it, wishing he hadn’t used their precious time together to talk about his father. At the same time, though, if they were going to move forward, they had to be open and honest with each other. 
“You know, I’m mostly feeling good about things when it comes to my dad and how his actions have affected me. Sometimes it’s hard to have my integrity questioned.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I’m just tired.”
Lucy shook her head. “I worked for your father for five years, and I question myself sometimes. Maybe I should have done things differently. Stopped him sooner. Maybe even been more compassionate at the end.” She leaned over the console and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Second-guessing yourself never does any good. Neither does questioning the man you are because of what your dad did.  Or caring what others think they know about you. But I’m always here to listen if you need to talk about it. You’ve got a family, too. Don’t forget that.”
She tossed his own words back at him and his heart skipped a beat.
“I’m counting on it.” He put the car into park and turned the last inch to press her to him, his mouth finding hers. Her hand came up to stroke his jaw, and combined with her soft lips exploring his, everything else faded away and there was only her— them.
“I’m falling in love with you, you know,” he whispered when they came up for air.
“I’m already there,” she whispered back.
He wanted to kiss her again, to show what those words really meant to him, but out of the corner of his eye he could see his mother waving to them.   With a deep sigh, he knew his time alone with Lucy was over for the moment, but he was glad for what they’d had. “Are we going to pick this up later?” he asked in a low voice.
Lucy reached for the door handle, but smiled over her shoulder. “Definitely.”
He got out and followed behind her as they joined his mother. These two women meant more to him than anything else in the world, and seeing Lucy in their little circle brought a grin to his face.
          Family. He liked the sound of that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Book Is A Finalist! And What Am I Reading Wednesday



I found out today that my novel, The Captive, is a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense! I'm so excited! The winners will be announced in October, but it's such an honor to be a finalist. Woohoo!

Today I want to tell you about The McCarran Collection by Liz Adair. I am a big fan of Liz's writing and this one is no exception. If you love mysteries, you have to pick up her books!

This one starts out with a woman named Bridget getting her first archivist job. She's going to archive the mining documents at the historic McCarran house. After being greeted by a quirky woman and an off-road racer, things get ever more strange when Bridget gets caught up in a murder and protecting an innocent child from a drug cartel. There are so many unexpected twists and turns in this book, there really isn't a good place to stop! I couldn't put it down.

I loved the main character, Bridget, and how she's trying so hard to reconcile her past and have the future she's always dreamed of. I admit, when the book first started, I didn't think she'd end up with the guy she ended up with! Ben is the crazy good-looking guy who's attracted to Bridget, but Lew McCarran is unassuming and quiet, yet there's a lot going on behind those eyes. Which guy is best for her? I have to admit, there are some fantastic heart-tugging moments that will have you cheering for the couple who ends up together. I can't give away any spoilers, but I really loved the ending. Not to mention the gorgeous setting! This book has just the right mix of intrigue and romance. It's definitely going on my keeper shelf!

Here's the back copy:

Bridget Olasfson, a beautiful archivist hiding secrets, comes to Utah's brilliant red rock country to catalog the McCarran Collection. Though she's sworn off men in her life, she’s attracted to Ben, the bad-boy, off-road racing McCarran cousin. But it’s Lew McCarran, the tall, quiet cousin, she turns to when she finds herself caught up in a dangerous intrigue involving a lost boy, a drug cartel, and death. What will she do when the only way to save the boy is to give up the man she loves?

Part romance, part cozy mystery, part thriller, The McCarran Collection is, last of all, a novel about family ties.

You can get your copy here