Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

 Last spring, school was a challenge for many of us, and many of us are still facing a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and worry about this school year being any better. We have a simple suggestion to help: Keep Calm & Read On!

     Too often we overlook the power of reading as a teaching resource. Reading is one of the best tools we have to keep our kids (and ourselves!) happy and productive this school year.

     The American Academy of Pediatricians has said, “reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development, strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.” (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/134/2/404)

     Brain development, social-emotional skills, relationship building? Doesn’t that sum up what we hope our kids gain from school? And it’s all possible with an activity so simple and enjoyable.

     So this fall, don’t lose hope, give up, or panic and freak out. Instead, in the good moments, and especially the difficult ones, keep calm and reach for a book! If all we manage to do this year is spend a lot of time reading, we’re all going to be okay.

Bookroo is having a huge 20% off sale this month only. All you need to do is go to Bookroo.com, order your subscription and use code KEEPCALM. This is really a great deal. I can’t wait for my Bookroo box!

havenlight warehouse sale

Havenlight is having a VIP inventory blowout sale at their warehouse in American Fork, UT! Starting September 3rd at 10:00 AM, you can save up to 90% on framed and unframed temple portraits at the Labor Day scratch and dent warehouse sale! Simply RSVP here and download your voucher at the link below:
https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/REJt8ds/VIP2020

Come and browse through some of the most well known, beautiful photographs of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This sale ends September 5th at 5:00 PM!

For those of you not in Utah Valley, we would love to give you the opportunity to win a 24×36 temple print of your choosing! Please enter the giveaway below:

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About The Paper Daughters of Chinatown

the paper daughters of chinatown

When twenty-six-year-old Donaldina Cameron arrives at the Occidental Mission Home for Girls in 1895, she intends to stay for only one year to teach sewing skills to young Chinese women. Within days, she discovers that the job is much more complicated than perfect stitches and even hems. San Francisco has a dark side, one where a powerful underground organization—the criminal tong—buys and sells Chinese girls like common goods. With the help of Chinese interpreters and a local police squad, Donaldina works night and day to stop the abominable slave and prostitution trade.

Mei Lien believes she is sailing to the “Gold Mountain” in America to become the wife of a rich Chinese man. Instead she finds herself sold into prostitution—beaten, starved, and forced into an opium addiction. It is only after a narrow escape that she hears of the mission home and dares to think there might be hope for a new life.

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown throws new light on the age-old scourge of human trafficking. The heroes who fought this evil and the victims who triumphed over it more than a hundred years ago offer a bright example of courage and determination for anyone wishing for a better world.

My review

I’ve been excited to get to read this book since I heard about it. Heather B Moore is one of my very favorite authors. She has such a way with words. And her historical fiction is fabulous.

This book touched me in a way that I haven’t been touched by a book in a long time. There were so many parallels with what happened to Donaldina, aka Dolly, Cameron in the early 1900’s to now. There was a plague that they had to quarantine from for a while, terrible things happened to good people, and there was an earthquake as well. But through it all, Dolly was a force for good.

I really loved Dolly. She was an actual person. She really did live in San Francisco and care for the Chinese young women who had been so hurt. Some of their stories are shared in this book. And they are heart-wrenching. It’s so hard to believe that someone can do these kinds of things to another person. But they did. And they actually still do in our times.

That’s one thing I want to take away from this one. I want to be one who is willing to stand up for what’s right. And help others who are in a hard situation if I can. Thanks to Heather B Moore for writing this book. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but it’s so needed.

I was sent a copy of The Paper Daughters of Chinatown as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Catastrophes & Heroes

catastrophes & heroes

A century of the industrial age saw unprecedented leaps in technology and engineering, from the first flight of an airplane to the first flight of humans to the moon. But alongside these awe-inspiring achievements were horrible disasters caused by faulty engineering or careless judgement. Catastrophes and Heroes explores eight such disasters and recognizes the unheralded heroes who stepped up to save others in times of great danger.

Included in this collection are the stories of female phone operators who, despite being in the path of destruction after the Los Angeles St. Francis Dam collapsed in 1928, stayed on the job to warn others to evacuate, Ernest Hemingway, who assisted survivors in his own boat after a hurricane destroyed the Florida East Coast Railway in 1935, and Ernest Betts who, though knowing little first aid, saved thirty people after the streamliner train The City of San Francisco crashed in the Nevada mountains in 1939.

Filled with little-known stories and historical insights, this book explores the rich history of the marvels of engineering and technological advances in the span of a century and reveals how the perils, though disastrous, gave rise to heroism and compassion at a time when machines were supposed to do it all.

My review

Jerry Borrowman writes some of my very favorite non-fiction books. He writes in a way that is very easily readable. And I really like the way he focuses his books on the people who experienced things.

This book was about catastrophes worldwide. I don’t think I’d heard of even one of them before reading the book. But now I’m interested in things like the Tay Bridge in Scotland or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington. I’m going to have to see if I can find more information about these!

It’s hard to imagine being in one of these kinds of tragedies, but there are tons of people that have been. And there were heroes there too. It reminds me a little of the Fred Rogers quote about looking for the helpers. You’ll always find them, just when you need them the most. And that’s one of the main focuses of this book. I love that idea.

This is an excellent book that you can read fairly quickly. I loved everything about it!

I was sent a copy of Catastrophes & Heroes as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About Her Blind Date Cowboy: First Love

her blind date cowboy first love

All he wanted was to ride his motorcycle and write his music, but when he heard her accent — he was hooked.

Liam Summerville couldn’t wait to go on the two-week road trip he’d been saving for. When his mother asks him to take someone out on a blind date and show her the town, he says no. Why would he do that? He doesn’t want a relationship. Too bad the girl shows up at his graduation party and he finds himself instantly under her spell.

Evie Williams only wanted to enjoy herself in America and spend time with her aunt. After she meets Liam … all she wants is to hang out with Liam. Hear him sing, jump off cliffs, and ride his motorcycle. She never knew she would feel this way after only knowing him for five days.

Could it be true love?

My review

I’ve loved reading about the Summerville family in these books by Taylor Hart! Her Navy Seal Cowboy First Love was my first introduction to this family. They really are a great group.

This one is about Liam. He’s just about to graduate from high school. Just like all of us, he thinks he has everything figured out. It was kind of fun to watch him flounder a little bit when he met Evie for the first time. I really enjoyed their conversation when they first met. And how they decided that they’d get married on the beach.

I loved Evie! She’s from Australia, just visiting her aunt for a few days. And she has a tour guide to show her around, because she’s new in town. That ends up being Liam’s younger brother Noah. I loved how persistent Evie is in getting Liam to tell her how he ended up showing her around instead.

These two were so cute together. I especially loved the last chapter. So romantic. I can’t wait to read more of these books about the Summerville’s!

I borrowed an e-copy of Her Blind Date Cowboy: First Love using my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

Purchase link

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About The Light Within

the light within

At the end of the sixteenth century in Ireland, a Scottish clan took over Dunluce Castle, claiming it for their own in hopes of unifying the Irish and the Scottish. Secrets and lies are held within its walls, but love shook through the cracks, gasping to unleash.

Catriona O’Brien is a daughter and a storyteller. Through the tales told by the light of the fire each night, Cat basks in the idea of unseen worlds. When Catriona and her friends share a mystical experience as children, Cat’s life is changed. As she grows older, she frequently ponders the mystery she still doesn’t understand, letting its influence guide her.

When a mysterious stranger from the castle comes to hide in her shed, Catriona is forced on a journey that leads her to an understanding of what her heart desires. But her stranger’s secrets run deep. Will their love be enough to break through the deceit? Or will duty and responsibility destroy their love?

An enchanting tale of love through an unlikely turn of events that could alter the history of their clan…

My review

I don’t know why, but for some reason I had a harder time getting into the story of this one. The first bit was hard for me, but I did end up liking it.

I liked Cat. Her sense of family was one of my favorite things about her. She knew what was important and she fought for that throughout the whole book. I was a little confused by her gift at the beginning especially. She seemed to be as well, so that was probably okay.

Brogan is the male lead. He’s introduced in the beginning as Liam. Liam is in hiding and the reader doesn’t learn why until near the end of the book. But Cat doesn’t know either. The author did a good job with his secrets.

This one has an interesting cast of extra characters. The reader finds out what happens to a few of them. But I was left wondering what would happen to Brigid. I hope she gets her own story.

As a debut novel, this one was pretty well done. I hope this author continues to write.

I was sent an e-copy of The Light Within as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

Purchase link

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About It Started in Budapest

It Started in Budapest

Molly Cooper is haunted by one simple fact: it is her fault her twin brother, Matthew, has spent his life trapped in a frail body while she has thrived. Deep in her heart, she knows he can’t hold on much longer . . .

In her desperation to save her brother, Molly finds inspiration in an unlikely source: the newly published novel Dracula. When her family embarks on the Orient Express to seek treatment for Matthew in Bulgaria, Molly is prepared to set her plan in motion: she will sneak away from her parents and journey alone to Transylvania, where she will seek a vampire, whose blood can make her brother immortal. Molly’s rash plan is going flawlessly—until she encounters Percy Hunt, a handsome American traveler running from the shadows of his own past. When he discovers Molly’s plan, Percy’s concern for the naive young woman leaves him no choice but to accompany her on her strange quest. But neither Percy nor Molly is prepared for the feelings that quickly grow between them or for the death-defying escapade that awaits.

My review

This is the first book in a new series. I really love the premise behind this series. Each of the books will be set on the Orient Express. A luxurious train line of it’s time. It’s fun to think about how travel on it would have been during this time.

Molly is the main character in this one. The reader sees the whole story through her point of view. I thought she was a good character. The way she was worried and cared about her brother’s health was something I really liked about her. She was really compassionate and not afraid of adventure.

One thing really fun about this book was the way Molly uses the book Dracula as her road map. She thinks that making her brother a vampire would cure him of his disease. And she follows the main character’s route in the book. This ends up getting her into trouble.

That’s where Percy comes in. He realizes that she’s going to be a target and follows her to protect her. It would have been really interesting to see what Percy’s point of view would have been during some of this book. I loved the way he kept showing up, just when she least expected him.

The plot of this book was fabulous! I loved the adventure aspect. The reader never knows just what will come next. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

I was sent an e-copy of It Started in Budapest by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About Romancing Her Rival

romancing her rival

He stole her inheritance. She stole his heart. 

Daphne Windham has depended upon one thing her entire life: inheriting her beloved great-aunt’s estate, Cheriton Hall. With her mother desperate to marry her off to the highest bidder, Daphne is relieved to escape to Cheriton for the summer—until she learns that her aunt has decided upon a different heir entirely. Cole Everard, the steward’s son and Daphne’s childhood friend. Former friend, that is. 

Raised on the grounds of Cheriton, Cole Everard never imagined he would be named heir, but he is determined to prove himself worthy of the position. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done, especially when Daphne arrives claiming he is anything but worthy. Instead of their close friendship, Cole is met with cold indifference—which would sting much less if he wasn’t entirely in love with her… 

Hurt and betrayed, Daphne believes her only choice is to undermine her new rival and reclaim what is rightfully hers. But that plan becomes increasingly difficult, what with Cole’s infuriating charm and kindness. When fate offers Daphne a second chance, will she take it or risk it all for the promise of love?

Romancing Her Rival is the second in a series of books about five friends. The other four novellas will be written by authors Sally Britton, Megan Walker, Heidi Kimball, and Arlem Hawks. 

My review

It’s always fun when you can read a whole book in just one day! That was the case for me with this one.

I love the whole premise behind this series. It’s about 5 friends who made a pact that they would marry for love. And they pass around a bracelet for luck. One of my favorite things is that you don’t have to read these in order. This one is the second one. I have not read the first one…yet! And I had no problem following the story.

Daphne is the main character in this book. She’s been sure her whole life that she would inherit Cheriton from her aunt. But, when she needs it the most, she finds out that her childhood friend, Cole, has inherited it instead. And Daphne is devastated. She’s uncertain how she’s going to get out of the mess she’s in. I would have been upset, just like she was. Daphne has some fire when she sees Cole again.

But there are two sides to every story. And luckily, the reader gets to see both sides in this one. I loved seeing things from Cole’s perspective. Both characters have times when they misunderstand things and are bullheaded about it.

This book is great! I loved everything about it. Now I’m off to read the first on in the series, Letters for Phoebe.

I was sent an e-copy of Romancing Her Rival as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

Purchase link

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About The Royal’s Enemy

the royal's enemy

He’s got big dreams. She’s determined to stop him.
They just might be perfect for each other…

Sir Henry Spencer’s trip to Charleston to help clean up after Hurricane Bianca turns into the opportunity of a lifetime after he and his best friends purchase a hotel to begin an empire. He finally has the chance to prove to his family that he’s more than the “spare heir.” Henry will design their hotels, leaving his mark as a legitimate architect.

There’s only one thing standing in his way…

Addison McCrae is reeling after a humiliating breakup when Henry Spencer struts into her life. He’s as condescending as her ex and just as conceited, so why should she approve his plan to build an ugly hotel on the beach she’s determined to protect from developers just like him? She’s the gatekeeper he has to get through to put his dreams in motion, and she’s not feeling inclined to let him build in Magnolia Bay.

Now if she could just keep him out of her heart.

They may be at odds, but Henry and Addison can’t deny their growing attraction. But when tragedy strikes, they both may have to sacrifice everything they thought they ever wanted to be with the person they thought they’d never need.

Can they overcome hurt, pride, and an ocean to build a love that will last forever?

My review

Brenna Jacobs is one of my very favorite authors. Her books are well-written with great characters. The plots suck you in from the very first page.

I was really excited to get to read this one, it’s the sequel to The Royals Best Friend. Getting to see what happened to Will, Peyton, Henry and Theo was one of my favorite things about it. And I loved the addition of Addison.

Addison and Henry are so different. She wants to change the world, make it a better place for sea turtles. He wants to build a hotel and have it be profitable. And he doesn’t think that sea turtles and the hotel can work together. I loved the way Addison does see how it can happen. She knows she can make things work. And she’s able to show Henry how.

There are some really great scenes in this one. I love how these two are together. They either hate each other or they’re really, really in love. There’s no middle ground. And that makes this story.

I can’t wait to see what happens for Theo! You can bet I’ll be reading that one as soon as possible.

I borrowed a copy of The Royal’s Enemy with my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

Purchase link

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About A Well Trained Lady

a well trained lady

Everything has changed. Except her heart.


Arabella Godwin is an Incomparable in London Society—elegant, wealthy, and meticulously trained. Yet, she has nothing to show for her efforts aside from her pretentious reputation and a collection of disappointed suitors. When her plan to secure a promising offer of marriage is temporarily delayed, she must bide her time in the company of an estranged childhood friend—the much-too-endearing, but regrettably untitled, Augustus Brundage.

As the friends’ tattered relationship returns to familiarity, Arabella must prevent herself from fully regressing into the carefree, impressionable young lady who once foolishly trusted Augustus with her heart. To make the same mistake again would ruin everything she has worked for—and certainly more.

But can a heart be so easily trained?

My review

I love the way Jess Heileman writes! Her books feature characters that are likable, or not in this case, but they seem real. It almost seemed as though Arabella and Ruth could have walked out of the pages. I love it when I connect with the characters that way.

Arabella…I didn’t know quite what to think of her at first. She’s the character the reader gets to “know”, I usually like those. But… she seemed kind of prideful and arrogant. What was interesting about that was that Ruth and Augustus both remember her as Bella, and they remember her as being kind and loving. So for me, it was hard to reconcile the two versions of her. But as the book went along, Bella came out more and more.

I really liked Augustus for Bella more and more as the story went along. It was one of those forbidden type romance, because they were nowhere near the same class. It really worked for this book. Augustus is one of those guys that you just know is a gentleman. He was kind and caring of all around him, even when they weren’t the kindest to him.

I loved the whole cast of characters in this book! Hopefully we get to see more of Arabella, Augustus, Ruth and Sarah in upcoming books.

The author did a great job with the plot as well. This one is not one endless round of balls and boring parlor visits. There is a very real problem for Ruth and Arabella and the others are all involved. It made the book really readable. I didn’t want to stop reading it!

I borrowed A Well Trained Lady using my Kindle Unlimited subscription. All opinions are my own.

Purchase link

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What to read after A Well Trained Lady

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