Sunday, December 30, 2012


This was my first time of reading a book on my newly downloaded Kindle For PC and I like it much better than scrolling down a PDF file.

Lauren Baylor is a recent widow who lost her Army Husband in Afghanistan, leaving her to raise two small boys, Dirk, almost 5 and Brett, almost 3.  To help the boys to adjust to their dad's death, Lauren buys Half-Daddys to position around the house, with one in the car. 

Lauren gets attention from two Santa's, who come bearing gifts and she's wary over each, especially with her being vulnerable, being a new widow.  Bryan is the local police officer who is suscpicious of Lloyd Owens, a new guy in town, a divorced man with two young daughters.

Lloyd, who moves in with his married step-sister, interested in Lauren, becomes her handyman.  When a home invasion occurs, Bryan becomes a suspect, so when a lipstick becomes    part of the evidence, Bryan's sister investigates on her own to bring "bad Santa" to justice.

Susan is so adept at combining humor and suspense, with a bit of romance tied in to make this an excellent read  for the Christmas holidays. 

I bought my Kindle For PC off Amazon after Susan sent me an e-mail, telling me about it, saying it had just come out.

I give this book 5 stars.

Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date Published: December 18, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4811-2510-9

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I've never read any of the Fablehaven se ries, but I can now safely say I've read one of his books.  I know I would enjoy his Fablehaven books, as I devoured the Harry Potter books.  But, i'm not into Fantasy as a general rule, but have     read two of the Narnia books and loved The Lord of The Rings films.

Anywy, Pingo is Chad's imaginary friend and all the kids on the playground have imaginary friends as well.  jeremy is the playground b ully and his imaginary friend is Grunt.  The kids decide to have a competition with their imaginary friends to see which is the best.  At the end of the competetion, they find each excels at something, that Pingo is second in everything, but Pingo explains that each of them is good at something and those differences make them all friends. 

I give this book 5 stars.
I received this ARC from Dave Kimball at Deseret.  I plan on giving Pingo to my grandson Gary on Sat.

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Date Published:  June 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60907-178-3

When I first saw this book on thecover of my Deseret Book catalogue, I didn't realize until it came via Fed-exfrom Deseret, that I'd already read this true story in another Deseret Book a couple of yearsago en ttitled Christmas With The Prophets,so I was glad to see a children's version.

When my caregiver saw the cover, she said it looked like an old book and I told her the story took place when our prophet was a very young boy and that the cover was a better representative of a by-gone era. 

Tommy was asked by his mother what he w anted for Christmas and he thought about it, saying he wanted an electric train. He knew times were rough, but still hoped for that electric train.

When his mother brought in a wooden train set to give to his friend, he was excited about the oil tanker and hooked it to his new set.  When they arrived and gave his friend the other set, his friend was so excited.  Tommy then left to run home to get the oil tanker he'd left behind, plus two others from his electric set.  It was then that President Thomas S. Monson learned the true meaning of Christmas,that it's more blessed to give than to receive.

I give this book 5 stars.

I received my ARC from Dave Kimball from Deseret and will be giving this book to my almost 7 year old grandson on Saturday. 

Publisher:  Deseret Books
Published Date:  November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60907-182-0

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


When I first was asked to participate in tour, the title caught my eye, so was intrigued.  I was not disappointed.  This book should be recommended reading for all mothers and teen daughters.  It addresses the virginity issue that teens are facing today.
Valerie Jensen is a senir at my old alma mater Huntington Beach High.  She has made a promise to herself to stay a virgin until she's married.  She was adopted and her biological mother left her a letter and a necklace, explaining how she got pregnant   and to give her advice on how to avoid getting pregnant before marriage. 
The day she and her boyfriend Zack get too cozy, she stops him, telling him she's not having sex until she's married.  This comes as a shock, so Zack dumps her, which breaks her heart.  At school the next day, while standing on a table in the Cafeteria,she lets everyone know what happened, and it's not until later that she finds out someone videore cored her onto YouTube and it goes viral. 
From there, Val starts her own website, is able to get her jewelry line marketed, a foundation started and cause the hottest rock star to take her on as a challenge.  Val designs her necklace and bracelet with either a V for Virgn or an A for Abstinence.  Girls and guys all over YouTube are clamoring for these jewelry items.   Kyle Hamilton writes a song for her, claiming it a love song, which she thinks is nothing but a sex song.  She hates his taunting and the way he treats her.  He also writes an entire album    for her, which she loathes. 
She gets support from a popular LDS guy who she really likes, who becomes her boyfriend.  When he breaks it off later inthe year, she's crushed, but gets comfort from an unexpected source.  When her best friend pulls a dirty trick on her that turns out better than she realizes, she has second thoughts about her feelings for Kyle.
In the aftermath, Val is invited to appear on a TV Talk Show that is centered around the whereabouts of celebrities and she is united with her birth mom and Kyle, who         she hadn't seen in four years. 
I highly recommend this book to teens, as Kelly uses the lingo that teens use.  And, I'm a grandmother of two teenagers and a pre-teen. 

I give this book a huge 5 stars.
I received my pdf copy from Kathy Habel.

Publisher:  Bluefield Creative
Date Published : December 5 2012
ISBN:  978-0-98562-772-0

Saturday, December 22, 2012


When I signed up for this Blog Tour, I didn't realize then how timely this book was going to be, what with the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut on 14 Dec.  We need to seriously address our Mental Health issues here and globally.  This book sheds so much light on why we have such a problem and it begins with society turning away from God and gravitating towards Satan.  This fantastic book shows us who suffer from Depression and Anxiety, how to cope and man age their depression.  This book needs to be read and pondered by everyone 14-90, as this is an issue that has  reached epidemic proportions globally.
Both Lacy and Gary explain so eloquently, how to change these life-defeating behaviors that allow us to cave into mountains of despair.  Lacy shares how she was basically negative by nature.  She had a pony given to her by her parents when she was around 7.  That pony was old, so after several years of riding and caring for him, he suddenly  dies and she became so heartbroken, it was difficult to bounce back and depression set in over time.  It's quite normal to become sad over the death of a loved one, but we need to focus on the positive, or we'll lose ourselves to that darkness where Satan wants us.
We have R rated movies, violence in our video games, drugs, etc, it's no wonder that depression sets in  and controls us.  Lacy and Gary explain that the w ay to bring the light into our lives is to focus on good music, uplifting movies, scriptures, good friends who have positive, upbeat personalities to keep healthy.  Also, eating healthy foods can keep depression and anxiety away.  Our sleep habits play a big part of how our moods are.  Having plenty of Vitamin D keeps depression down.  We know that when you turn off a light in a room, darkness takes over, but when the light is on, darkness cannot get in.  And, when we're surrounded by darkness, we have difficulty seeing or navigating, but when we have light all around us, we can literally see everything, so if we let His Light shine brightly, the darkness of Satan has no power. 
Our Savior Jesus Christ, when he was in Gethsemene, was tempted by Satan, but overcame that temptation.  When Jesus was on the Cross, he was in the depths of despair, as His Father didn't help Him, and yet, He didn't give up.  When Joseph Smith was praying in the Sacred Grove, he had the most gut-wrenching feeling come over him, he knew it was from Satan and he had to fight to keep from being overtaken by that evil darkness, when all of a sudden, the brightest light he'd ever witnessed and felt, came over him and he saw two Heavenly beings, God The Father and His Son.  Isn't it great to ponder that we have two sons, Jesus Christ, who is The son and who is The Light and the sun, which also gives us light.  So, inessence, if both Joseph and Our Savior and older brother, Jesus Christ, can conquer depression and the depths of despair, then those who suffer from Depression and Anxiety, can do so, especially with The Savior's help.  He is there with us in our darkest hour. 
There are several blank pages for note taking, if needed.
I give this amazing book 5 stars.

Publisher: Cedar Fort, inc.
Date Published: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4621-1148-0

Friday, December 14, 2012


Since I reviewed Steve's pre-quel to Gold Clash, I anticipated this sequel with excitement, as I thoroughly enjoyed Defensive Tactics. 
Gold Clash starts off with an execution style killing by a mobster wanting more power.  We then switch scenes to a ward pioneer trek in the midst of early Church History sites and  was I excited, as Bob and I had been all over these areas in our very own Church History Tour in May '07.   Jimmy is an adult leader, along with Bishop Taylor, with approx. 2 dozen youth.  They were reenacting the Crooked River Battle that ended David Patten's life, so they were seeing how our ancestors lived and handled things.  When the bishop's daughter, Liz, is abducted by a thug who's been stealing artifacts from historical sites, the FBI, with Paul and Emily on the hunt, are ready to get them.  When Liz getgs taken, Clay, another teen on the trek, who's been suscpicious of Scud, hides in the truck, so as to see where Liz is being taken.  When Jimmy finds out, he hightails it away in hot pursuit in a leader's Dodge Charger and borrowed cell phone. 
Clay is ingenious by dropping cloth-wrapped rocks out the back of the truck to help Jimmy find them.  Emily and Paul race against time to save a town from being taken out by a bunch of hitmen and when the townspeople decide to take on the mob, it's an exciting time for all, even with the Mormon Gold.  This sequel is much more exciting with a bit of humor tossed in.  I love a treasure hunt, especially amidst a trek among a real life ward in Far West with the mobsters involved with real gold amidst Adam-ondi-aman, Richmond and Kingston cemeteries, Gallatin, Hamilton and Far West.  You outdid yourself, Steve.

I received my PDF copy from Kathy and someone else.
I give this  book 5 stars.

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Date Published: December 11, 2012


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

OPEN ADOPTION, OPEN HEART: An Adoptive Father's Inspiring Journey by RUSSELL ELKINS

When Kathy approached me in participating in this blog tour, I jumped in, as my husband and I went through a similar situation with our then 15 year old daughter, who had been raped while on a cruise ship with her biological mother's parents.  That horrific event caused her to get pregnant, so we, as a family, went through a very stressful time.  Back then, there weren't as many open adoptions as there are now, but through LDS Social Services, Mary was able to choose from aprox 10 couples as parents to her daughter.  Before the adoption process took place, we tried pressing charges, but since this occured in International Waters, we couldn't do anything, though the room steward was deported. We tried contacting him, but to no avail, so we proceeded with adoption.  Through LDS Social Services, Mary was able to communicate with Lauren's mom over the next 18 years, though we didn't get pictures until she was 16.  The day we made contact with Lauren's mom was so exciting, as she found me on Google through my husband's patent and found my Forever Friends Book Nook Blog with my short bio with Mary's name and where she lived.  We are now FB Friends and she attends BYU-Provo.  She is now 22.
Now, Open Adoption, Open Heart is a very inspiring story, told from the father's perspective.  Russell delves into all aspects of adoption.  After going through difficulties with infertilty and the strss, both Russ and Jammie decide to go through the adopton process.  They filled out a profile sheet that would go online, so they had to just sit back and wait.  They finally hear from Brianna, a young 15 year old teenager from Mississippi who had come across their profile, liking what she saw.  At approx the same time, they are contacted by another woman, so they thnk of adopting both babies, but we hear no further on this. 
When Brianna backs off, Russ and Jammie are devastated, but her mother calls to say all will work out, as she changes her mind.  Brianna has problems with her ex-boyfriend wanting the baby, so with support from Brianna, her mother and other relatves, and from their lawyer, they had her fly to Idaho to have her baby to make things easier.  As things became somewhatdifficult, Russ and Jammie invited Brianna to live with them, then spend the week before and after the baby came to make it less stressful for them.  There was alot more chaos after Brianna and her mother leave for home, but everything turned out in the end.  They came to love brianna and brianna returned their love and feel grateful for the loving relationshp they have and that little Ira will be a part of Brianna's life for years to come.
When everyone in our family heard that our Mary was pregnant, her mom's parents and mine wanted her to have an abortion and her grandfather was a doctor.  That shocked us  and my parents feelings shocked us.  My MIL wanted Mary to keep her baby and when Bob's mom saw her the next morning while we were in Church, she told Mary she was throwing her baby in the trashcan.   When we were told this by Mary when we came in later, we were quite angry, as we told the nurses that Grandma wasn't allowed to see Mary without us being there.
I've always been in favor of adoption, as abortion is murder.  Our teenage girls have no clue as to what they are doing when they abort their babies.  There are so many couples that can't have children and the happiness and joy an adoption makes is so amazing.

I received my copy from Russell Elkins.

I give it 5 stars.

Publisher: Aloha Publishing 
Date Published: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61206-034-7


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I have been a huge fan of Debbie's angel books with those enchanting and adorably mischievious Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.  Now, in this Christmas offering, we have a new addition and it is Will, the new Ambassador Trainee, suggested by a devoted fan of Debbie's.  And, it was a very ingenious idea. 

The unflappable trio have been assigned to take Will under their wings, so to speak, and they dcide to take him down to Earth to "mingle" with humans.  When the trio disappear, Wll decides to cause a couple of strangers to literally "bump" into each other in the middle of Times Square just minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve. 
When Aren Fairchild and Lucie Farrara "accidentally" bump into each other, they   immediately bond, spending several hours together, but when their meeting atop the Empire State Building a week later, is missed, it takes the Heavenly Angels a bit of time getting them together after almost a year later. 
Lucie is a chef of an up-and-coming restaurant called Heavenly Delights and she runs it with her mom, Wendy.  Aren is a writer,who has just taken a job as the Food Critic with the Gazette, but writes under a pen name, Eaton Well, which he's not allowed to expose, as he's under contract, so when Shirley, Goodness, Mercy and Will attempt to intervene or help by adding spices to a sole dish Aren is tasting, he  writes an honest review of the food, saying it was awful, it causes Lucie to feel angry, but when Aren returns to write another review, adding her statements, he hopes she will read it, knowing he is Eaton Well, but the the Angels intervene again, trying to keep Lucie from  getting close to a newspaper.  Everytime the Angels attempt to help, they cause calamity and mayhem galore.  From angels in a Christmas Angel Broadway play being miracously uplifted on stage to a camel being chased in the middle of New York City, you have a hilarious Christmas tale.
If you've never read these Christmas Angel books, go to your friendly library, bookstore or Amazon and get yourself a copy.   These are so delightful, just the right thing to snuggle up with on a winter's day, with a cup of Hot Chocolate, Cider or Ovaltine, which I drink.

I got my copy from my local library.
I give this 5 stars.

Publisher:  Ballantine Books

Date Published:  October 2012

ISBN: 978-0-345-52887-2


Monday, December 3, 2012


When Chris first approached me through e-mail to see if I'd be interested in reviewing Let It Go, he'd attached info on him and his book and I knew wholeheartedly I had to read and review this heartwrenching, soul-stirring journey he'd set down on paper to share.  When mycopy arrived in the mail on Sat., the 1st of Dec, I had just started the new Angels At The Table by Debbie Macomber, but took Chris's book and read this emotional and very spiritual journey, feeling I was sittingnext to Chris the entire time.  It wasn't until afew pages into Let It Go that I realized I had              read about this incredibly tragic event on the news and internet.
On the evening of Feb 9, 2007 (my almost 2 year old great-niece Leah's BD) Chris and his family (wife Michelle; 11 year old son Ben; 9 year old daughter Anna and their unborn son William) are on their way home from eating out for dinner.  Their oldest son, Michael was visiting a friend.  The road they were on was a busy one that Friday night, as the local high school basketball game at Skyline High had just finished.  Within a few minutes, Chris and his family went through the worst imaginable moment ever, when a 17 year old high school student, who'd been drinking crossed the median at a very high rate of speed, killing half of Chris's family immediately.  His 6 year old son Sam survived. 
When Chris noticed that all three of his family members were dead, he looked out the window, wondering what had happened, when a voice in his head said, "Let It Go."  He knew that voice was The Savor.
When I was talking to my caregiver and dear friend from The Church how Chris was able to immediately forgive the young man who took his family from him in an instant, she couldn't believe it.  I could, because there's no other option if we're to expect blessings from Our Heavenly Father and Our Savior. 
Even though Chris was a bishop at the time of the crash, he was kept in as his ward's Bishop.  Because of his humbleness and being teachable, his congregation and the community were able to come together and heal.  And, when another tragedy occurs shortly after this, what Chris had asked of everyone around the country was to write or e-mail his sons sharing random acts of kindness, which I remember doing, sharing my story of forgiving a friend of abusing me, writing a long letter of forgiveess and Steve wrote me, telling me I had no idea how much my letter meant to him.  It's such a wonderful feeling when you've personally forgiven someone who's hurt you, knowing that after years of anger and bitterness, that "Letting It Go" brings that total lifting of that burden right off your shoulder.  I've had this happen twice, first time when I asked Heavenly Father's forgiveness for living unrighteously for six years.  I literally sobbed that time and the feeling was a very peaceful one.  We need to forgive to be able to receive those wonderful blessings we need and desire.  The punishment is much more severe and life-threatening to our very souls thanto the one who offended, as Heavenly Father and Our Savior loves ALL His children unconditonally and it's up to Him who He forgives.  My husband and I never went to sleep without saying I was sorry.
A few months after the crash, Chris started dating and was married to a young widow with 2 young children, Mikkel Jones.  They now have 2 daughters of their own.
I would very highly recommend this book as a great teaching tool on forgiveness.  And, just to let you know, I married a widower and helped him raise Mary, his 6 year old.  Widowers make great husbands  and his humor was great.

I give this book 5 stars.

I received my autographed ARC from Chris.

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Date Published: August 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60907-127-1