Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Book Review--The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle  Paranormal Romance

Shapinsay is a Scottish Island in the North Sea. This is a very unique romance between a human, Kait, who doesn't care for the land lovers, and Eamon, a Selkie--a seal when he is in the ocean and a man when he comes up on dry land.

Their bitter-sweet romance is told from both of their points of view, set against a backdrop of a superstitious village in 19th century Scotland. It definitely has an ethereal feel to it like Middle Earth; and not just because of the descriptions of time and space--but also because of the narrative language used. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's use of vocabulary because I love Scottish/English history. And what is familiar to me may be a stumbling block for others.

I liked both of the main characters because they were each strong in their own ways, able to swim against the tide of expectations. Kait's brother and fiance are oafish and ridiculous, just as the author meant them to be. Tipper is definitely my favorite character. She is quirky, and we don't find out why until nearly the end.

Although the author does not go into lurid detail regarding their physical relationship, there was enough references to his constant nakedness, and 'humping' to be offensive if you're expecting a truly clean romance. I'm betting the author used the term as the most logical choice for a seal-man to describe the act--that term would come natural to him. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be able to recommend this as a YA novel.

Overall, I found this to be a very enchanting story, and definitely alluring. I'd give it 3 1/2 stars.

Check out the book trailer. It is one of the best one's I've seen:

You can find Krista's book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Movie Review--The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin  rated PG 2011  1 hour 47 minutes

From the jacket: Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson team up for this 3-D motion capture adaptation of Georges Remi's classic comic strip, centered around the adventures of a fearless, young journalist Tintin and his trusty dog, Snowy.
Featuring the voice talents of Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook, and Cary Elwes.

It's an action-packed, fun adventure for the whole family. It's set in the 30s and 40s. The comic strip was a little before my time but I really loved the film version--very reminiscent of Indiana Jones, with plenty of room for more episodes, definitely lots of fun. Snowy totally steals the show and my heart.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Movie Review--Dreamer

Dreamer  Rated PG 2005  1 hour 46 minutes

Dreamer is loosely based on actual events. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It is a wonderful movie the whole family can enjoy. It is a good movie to teach determination and perseverance, love, and belief in yourself and your dreams.

From the jacket: Down-and-out horse trainer (Kurt Russell) gets an equally broken-down (but once great) racehorse as severance pay. But it will take the unwavering faith of his daughter (Dakota Fanning) to bring the two damaged souls together in a quest to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.

I'm a big fan of Dakota Fanning. Her character brings life to this story. She helps more than two damaged souls and herself in the process. I found it very uplifting and definitely worthwhile. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review--Intangible by J. Meyers

Intangible by J. Meyers   YA paranormal

I usually don't go for paranormals unless the characters drag me into the story.

Sera and Luke do exactly that. I liked them and was intrigued by them from the beginning. They teased me into their story. I found that they were very well developed and I had to read on. I couldn't help but sympathize with them.

A lot of paranormals are dark and negative, but this story was absolutely delicious. It was a very entertaining surprise with fresh ideas regarding the paranormal, but used the power of the myth.

There are dark components and scary parts but it was not written by a heavy hand. The world-building components are drawn line upon line so I could take one step at a time.

I enjoyed the twists and turns. There are elements that are being saved for the next book in this series. All in all, I found this story to be fun, imaginative and satisfying. I look forward to reading the next book.

Just for fun, you should read the short story, Intuition. it is a pre-quel sort of introduction to Luke and Sera. I got it for FREE at Barnes and Noble for my nook color.

From the author:
For an even better introduction to my main characters and premise, you can check out my free bonus short story "Intuition" which is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Would you like to know more about the author? You can visit her website at:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Review--Promises by Carolyn Twede Frank

Ever made a promise that you doubted you could keep?

One thing I appreciate about my husband is that he wouldn't make a promise to our children unless he was certain he could keep it. He grew up in a broken family with a father who constantly made promises and then forgot about them. So when my husband promised to build a treehouse, he did it. It is a wonderful treehouse and the kids helped him build it. Twenty years later, it still provides lots of fun for
our grandkids.

Promises is a middle grade to YA story about a young girl who makes promises to herself.

Eleven-year-old Hattie Adair has a problem speaking up for herself. She is painfully shy and her family expects probably the hardest thing for a timid girl to do--they leave their home and friends in Orderville and move to the smaller town of Tropic, Utah near Bryce's Canyon.

They move into a less-than-adequate home. As the family works on making their new home more comfortable, Hattie finds things that belong to the young girl who used to live there, someone she feels a great bond to, their lives are connected. Hattie promises herself that she will find this other girl and return her belongings, no matter what. This is the very reason Hattie's family was meant to move to this house.

Hattie has made other promises to herself--promises to stand up for herself and speak up, which at the beginning she finds it easier to give in than speak up. Every time she does, another mistake is made, and they are hard lessons to learn.

In this process of learning, Hattie does make a few friends. She learns that her family can be her best friends. She learns to speak up for herself by speaking up for others.

Fate, or the hand of the Lord, moves Hattie one more time. She is so resistant to another move, but I think the Lord knew Hattie was the one who could and would truly make a difference in the life of that other young girl, Mae. When Hattie does find Mae, their lives become complicated. It builds to a suspenseful climax.

I enjoyed this story and the descriptions of Bryce's National Canyon. I felt as if I was there seeing it for the first time. I'll have to make the trip again someday.

I wasn't ready for the story to end. I would like to know more about these people, like an epilogue, or maybe there will be a book two?

Carolyn Twede Frank
Would you like to know more about this author? You can visit her here:

Watch the Promises book trailer:

Enter to win a full-sized puppet stage and puppets, value of $290 by participating in Carolyn’s blog tour giveaway. Check out her website or blog for more details.

 Visit the blog tour of Cindy Hogan's new release Protected.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Morning Motivation

"Be yourself, no base imitator of another, but your best self."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over the years, this has been shortened to "Be yourself, but be your best self."

My bishop used this quote over the pulpit a week ago last Sunday. It rings true to me. I have a friend who stopped coming to church for a while because she felt like she didn't "fit the mold", the stay-at-home, minivan-driving, soccer-mom mold. She didn't think like everyone else.

She didn't feel that she would be accepted into the fold if she was herself. At the time, I really had no response for that.

I remember feeling that way when I was younger. I felt excluded so I did what I saw others do--I tried to wear expensive fashions, uncomfortable shoes, and pantyhose that would never fit. Let's face it--my feet were too wide for cute shoes, and my legs were too long for pantyhose (back then there was not the variety of sizes there is now). I didn't fit anyone's mold.

One of the benefits of growing older, for me anyway, is that I really don't care about that stuff anymore. I dress for comfort. My personality and behavior are still odd, but I really don't care.

I've come to realize that "molds" are man-made. They certainly didn't come from Heavenly Father or He would've made us all look and act the same. I think most of the struggles we have in this world are because we don't accept these differences in each other, or even worse, we try to make others fit in our molds.

But, and this is the important part, this doesn't give us any excuses to behave in ways less than our "best selves". My regular self can be negative, selfish, or unkind. My best self will remember I can still be me, but kinder and more grateful.

So be happy in being yourself by being your best self.