Sep 30

Cursed by the Fountain of Youth Cover Reveal

Cursed by the Fountain of Youth by Holly Kelly

Cursed by the Fountain of Youth by Holly Kelly

For centuries, countless adventurers have searched for the Fountain of Youth. Those who found it thought they would gain eternal life. Instead, they find themselves murdered by its guardians. There was, however, one, lone survivor—Fae Miller. As an infant, she not only survived the Fountain, she took its power.

Twenty-two years later, Fae is hiding in plain sight at a local college. She is determined to leave the past behind her and live a normal life. But for one dying man, the search for the Fountain of Youth continues, and he is leaving a trail of blood and mutilated bodies in his wake. Unfortunately, that trail leads directly to Fae. Her only hope is a young, new college professor, also known as Special Agent Nick Chase of the FBI. Nick is determined to do two things: keep Fae alive, and keep his relationship with his student professional. Both of these jobs prove difficult—especially when love and magic are involved.

Excerpt:

They ate their dinner in silence. Fae realized in those quiet moments that she had a major problem.

She’d not only kissed her professor, she desperately wanted to kiss him again. No. Desperate was not a strong enough word. It took supreme effort not to jump out of her seat and throw her arms around him.

“Um,” she said and cleared her throat, “that probably shouldn’t happen again.”

Nick didn’t answer. A scowl settled on his face.

“I mean,” Fae continued, “This could complicate things. I don’t want you to feel you need to give me a good grade, just because you might…”

“Might what?” he asked when she didn’t’ continue.

“I don’t want to put words in your mouth,” she said.

“Right,” he said. He seemed want to say something, but paused to consider his words. “How about I tell you how I feel? That way you won’t be putting words into my mouth.”

“Okay.”

He looked her direct in the eyes. “I think you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on. So it goes without saying that I’m attracted to you. And I’ve had enough experience with women to know you’ve had little experience with men. Rules aside, I’d still move slowly with you.”

Fae swallowed and gave a shaky nod.

“But the truth is I am your professor. So this relationship cannot move further than what it is now. That is until the end of the term. And no, I won’t be giving you any grade you don’t deserve.”

“But, once the term ends,” he continued, “all bets are off. I intend to pursue a relationship with you. I expect keeping my hands off you will be difficult in the meantime. I think we are both reasonable adults and have enough self-control to keep things at a professional level. Right?”

Fae nodded, feeling a bit relieved. “I do have one question,” she said.

“Yes?”

“You said our relationship couldn’t go farther than it is.”

“Right,” he said.

“And we’ve already kissed.”

A frown settled on his face. It looked like he could guess what she was about to say. Warmth flooded her cheeks. She asked in a small voice, “So, can I kiss you again?”

He closed his eyes and shook his head as he groaned and gave a weak chuckle. “You’re going to make things difficult, aren’t you?” When he opened his eyes, he stood up, pulled her out of her seat, and wrapped his arms around her. Her eyes widened and heart pounded as her body melded against his. He looked down and gave her a smoldering look as the scent of his cologne teased her senses and made her mouth water.

 “I can’t think of any alternate reality where I would ever say no when you ask me that question.” With that said, he leaned forward and kissed her so thoroughly, she could scarcely remember her own name.

Author Holly Kelly

Author Holly Kelly

About the Author:

Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation–she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She’s now back in Utah–“happy valley”. She’s married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.

My Website is: AuthorHollyKelly.com

Save

Aug 15

She Stood for Freedom by Loki Mulholland

She Stood for Freedom by Loki Mulholland

She Stood for Freedom by Loki Mulholland

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland was a white teenager in the South during Segregation who put herself on the front lines of the Civil Rights struggle. This is the first biography about her experiences, published simultaneously in picture book and middle grade editions, detailing the many events she participated in. She attended demonstrations and sit-ins and was one of the Freedom Riders in 1961 who was arrested and put on death row for months at the notorious Parchman Penitentiary. She was the first white person to join in the 1963 Woolworth s lunch counter sit-ins in Jackson, Mississippi, and that same year participated in the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King and the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965 which contributed to the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act that year. Her willingness to stand up for justice has been an inspiration, ”Anyone can make a difference. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. Find a problem, get some friends together, and go fix it. Remember, you don’t have to change the world . . . just change your world.”

The edition for readers ages 8 and older uses collage art and blends photographs from the period with the text, and features sidebar commentary from Joan, reflecting on those years. It also includes riveting primary source documents from Joan’s personal archives like the letter sent to Joan’s mother during Joan’s arrest at Parchman Penitentiary. On official letterhead of the state, the warden exhibits the deep racism of the time by admonishing her mother for permitting a ”white minor girl to gang up with a bunch of Negro bucks and white hoodlums.” This edition of She Stood for Freedom unforgettably and insightfully conveys the turmoil and tone of the Civil Rights era.

My Review:

I think this is a great and important book. Too often, I believe, we view the history of Civil Rights as something that belongs to African Americans. This book reminds us that the battle for Civil Rights lifted us all.

The story of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland erases the line between “us” and “them.” It teaches children that they, too, can stand up for what’s right. Through this book, they learn that they can make a difference in the world. And it helps them to see that we are all brothers and sisters in the human family, regardless of race or anything else that seemingly divides us.

The story is presented in small chunks of information, perfect for teaching children. The original photography and images of historical documents add interest and enhance learning. The artwork of Charlotta Janssen is stunning and evocative.

This is an excellent book for teachers, homeschoolers, and parents to add to their libraries.

Save

Aug 09

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast in this Steampunk Proper Romance


When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border.

Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Could Miles be to blame for the deaths?

Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Also includes a bonus prequel novelette entitled Marie’s Story.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. Allen does a great job avoiding the flaws of the original Beauty and the Beast story. Her Beauty is not only beautiful but also brainy. Lucy is a strong woman with determination. She is not captured and held against her will; rather, it is her will that keeps her in the castle. Likewise, the Beast in this story is not truly a brute, but a man who believes that others see him as a monster. Instead of changing Miles, she reflects the truth of who he is that leads him to accept himself. The result is a pair of characters that are engaging and that we care about.

I also enjoyed the way Allen seamlessly weaves the steam punk elements into her setting. Those elements are not only entertaining but are used as an integral part of the story. This is the first steam punk book that I’ve read, and it was a great introduction to the genre.

About the Author:

Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of 12 published novels and several novellas, which encompass a variety of genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. Her Civil War series, Faith of our Fathers, won the Utah Best of State award in 2005 and two of her historicals featuring Isabelle Webb, Pinkerton spy, were finalists for the Whitney Award. She served on the 2015 LDStorymakers Conference Committee and currently serves as the marketing coordinator for The Teen Writers Confrerence. She has presented at numerous conferences and events since her initial publication in 1999.

Aug 03

$5 Family Fun by Meggan Spicer

$5 Family Fun e-Book Cover jpg versionDoing fun activities with the family gets expensive, but now with Meggan’s $5 Family Fun, you can make, bake, and do incredibly fun things with your young family for under $5. Using dollar store finds, free local services, generic bands, and common household items, you can make every day an adventure. Gather your whole family together for inexpensive family fun activities and memories that last forever.

My Review:

As the mother of six kids, I was always looking for ways to engage them in fun activities. This book includes 50 different activities all in one place. I liked that the book was organized first by holiday, with additional activities following. I also appreciated that there was a nice variety to choose from, and I found the instructions easy to follow. Two of my favorite activities are explained below.

Easter - Carrot PatchCarrot Patch – $4

You don’t have to have a green thumb to make this garden grow. Let the kids help you make this tasty and adorable carrot patch dessert. You can make your garden bed(s) as big or small as you like. You can make one larger one for the whole family or you can each make your own individual carrot gardens.

Ingredients/Supplies:

Vanilla or Chocolate Wafer Cookies from dollar store – $1

Chocolate Crème-Filled Cookies from dollar store – $1

White Icing from dollar store – $1

Mike & Ike® boxed candy from dollar store – $1

2 Household Baggies from the kitchen – $0

Directions:

Fill one baggie with white icing and then snip one corner to create a pastry bag.

On a plate, build your raised garden bed by bonding the wafer cookies together with the icing.

Lay more wafer cookies down to create a floor to your garden bed.

To create your dirt, fill the second baggie with chocolate crème-filled cookies, seal and crush with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Liberally fill the garden bed with the crushed cookies.

Make the carrots, first by taking green Mike & Ike candies and snip them into smaller pieces with kitchen shears or thoroughly washed household scissors to create the carrot tops. The now exposed inside of the candy will be sticky in texture and you can just press it firmly onto the top of orange Mike & Ike candies that will serve as the carrots.

Gently insert your finished candy carrots into your crumbled cookie dirt.

Marbelized Eggs6

Marbleized Eggs – $4

These marbleized eggs are both pretty and pretty easy to make. Plan ahead though as this project needs to sit overnight.

Supplies:

Dozen Eggs (generic brand) from grocery store – $2

Shaving Crème from dollar store – $1

Liquid Food Coloring (4-pack of red, green, blue & yellow) from starter kit- $0

Toothpicks from dollar store – $1

Steps:

Boil eggs in a slow rolling boil for 10 minutes until hard boiled. Immediate drain hot water off eggs cool down eggs with a combination of cold water and ice.

Marbelized Eggs2

Fill a cooking dish with a thin layer of shaving crème. Place drops of food coloring in a variety of colors mixtures into the shaving crème and then swirl the colors into the shaving crème with a toothpick. For additional color options, see color guide at the bottom of this chapter.

Marbelized Eggs4With kitchen tongs, roll the now cooled and dried eggs in the streaked shaving crème until thoroughly covered on all sides.

Place on a wire cake rack or if you don’t have one, use a sheet of wax paper.

For a different color combination, wash out your shaving crème dish and start over fresh.

Let finished eggs dry overnight and then wipe off remaining shaving crème the next day with a paper towel. Handle with care though as color from the food coloring can wear off slightly onto your hands.

Marbelized Eggs5Blended Color Guide:

Purple – 3 red drops + 2 blue drops

Lime Green – 3 yellow drops + 1 green drop

Orange – 2 red drops + 3 yellow drops

Sea Green – 1 yellow drop + 2 blue drops

Peach – 1 red drop + 2 yellow drops

$5 Family Fun the e-Book can be found on iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books & Things. Connect with Meggan at:
on Instagram @megganspicer

Save

Jul 18

Artist Date: Into the Wilds

Artist Date: Into the Wilds

Relaxed

Relaxed

To finish off my 12 weeks of The Artist’s Way, I treated myself to an extended artist date. My husband drove me into the wilds to his family’s cabin at what is fondly known as “The Ranch.”

The Ranch

The Ranch

The weather was beautiful, and I was surrounded by wildlife. Robins hopped around all day, every day, flirting with each other, teasing me by staying just out of reach. Butterflies, yellow, pink, orange, white, and blue, flitted from wildflower to wildflower. The swallowtails were particularly attracted to the American flag that fluttered in the breeze. The cabin sat among blue bells, and yellow, white, pink, and purple flowers I wish I had the names for. Deer came to visit, fearlessly, watching me as I watched them as if daring me to do something threatening but knowing I never would.

I enjoyed three days all to myself, soaking in that solitude that artists crave. Each morning, I greeted the day with sun salutations outside. Yoga outdoors is quite different than indoors; I really liked it.

I was able to write several times during the day. Inspiration flowed like fresh air. Following a writing prompt, I wrote a poem about the things I love. On its heels, I wrote a simple haiku:

Aspen leaves quaking

Tiny summertime jazz hands

Dancing out of reach.

Was it a great haiku? Probably not, but it was playful and fun, and that is what has been missing from my writing, from my life.

Suddenly, I found myself ready to try editing. Now, I’ve tweaked my short fiction here and there, but I’ve never attempted to edit something really big. Like a novel. At the ranch, I found myself drawn to The Empathy Project. I took it out and reread it. It was good, and with a bit of elbow grease, I could make it better.

I hiked nearly every day. I wandered around the cabin and visited those of extended family members nearby. I took a wrong turn and got lost in the marsh, and I discovered this beautiful lace-winged moth. The sound of the river beckoned, and I followed the trail to its shores, took my shoes off, and dipped my feet in the icy water.

Playing Cards

Playing Cards

After my three days alone, my family came up to join me. As much as I thought I loved the solitude, I was grateful to have them with me again. I missed them! Together, we hiked, swam at the swimming hole, played card games until it was dark and cold, and laughed, laughed, laughed. My goodness, I had forgotten how to laugh like that.

I was ready to come home by the end of the week. It wasn’t so much that I missed the internet as that I missed my hot baths and my comfy bed. But, my artist date did what it was supposed to do: it filled my soul and reminded me that I’m a writer, and I love to write.

Save

Jul 15

Delicate Things

Delicate Things

butterfly

I spread my legs

And I spread my wings.

I remind myself they’re not the same thing,

But I can be a whore

And a butterfly

At the same time.

I’m far away,

A tiny speck of yellow against

A cloudless sky

Dipping down to drink from

Daisies, desert roses,

Queen Anne’s lace and

Dandelions.

I quench my thirst.

I wonder who I am this time,

His first love,

The one that got away,

His mother,

Or his wife,

Waiting for him at home.

He finishes.

I take a shower to wash him away.

This growing stack of bills

Will pay the cable for another month.

Save

Jun 10

Consequence by C.R. Langille

Consequence by C.R. Langille

Consequence by C.R. Langille

Consequence: A Novel in the Dark Tyrant Series

What started as a hunting trip for Tobias Evard Warner II and his friends turns into a fight for survival during a supernatural storm which kicks off the apocalypse. The storm awakens and frees seven powerful creatures who were locked away at the beginning of the world’s creation. The Seven turn nightmares into reality and leave nothing but chaos and death in their wake. Tobias fights his way through a nightmare infested wilderness to get back home to his family. With the unleashed terrors come newfound magical powers for Tobias, but at a cost. Will he sacrifice everything to ensure his family’s safety, even if it means his own soul? Angels, demons, ancient cosmic beings, and even a dimensional-traveler clad in a trench coat made of duct tape come together in this fast-paced novel of magic, darkness, and consequences.

About the Author:

C.R. Langille spent many a Saturday afternoon watching monster movies with his mother. It wasn’t long before he started crafting nightmares to share with his readers. An avid hunter and amateur survivalist, C.R. Langille incorporates the Utah outdoors in many of his tales. He is an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association (organizer for the Utah Chapter), a member of the League of Utah Writers, and received his MFA: Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

www.crlangille.com

Purchasing Information:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WjzsZr

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Vixjwc

Older posts «