Our blog has moved!

Dear loyal LDSWBR follower:

Happy News - LDSWBR has a new home! Please come visit us, tell us what you think, and let's talk books. Happy reading!

- Shanda, Sheila, Mindy, and Hillary

You should be automatically redirected in 8 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, January 24, 2011

We've moved! And those blog posts weighed a ton...

In honor of LDSWBR's five year anniversary, we spent the weekend moving our blogger posts over to the podcast blog so we could combine the two sites into one. Let me say that for not having lifted even one box of books, my back feels like I just relocated the Beast's library. (I really need to work on my posture while at the computer. Ha!)

Since it was Bloggiesta these past three days, it was the perfect time to hunker down and completely redo the entire podcast blog. After hours, and hours, and hours, the new place looks AWESOME. Seriously. It's just my opinion of course. Kind of like how every mom thinks her baby's the cutest - because it is.

By the way, if you subscribe to LDSWBR through blogger, please update your reader feed to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LDSWomensBookReview

If you get the LDSWBR posts in email, please visit www.ldswbr.com and re-subscribe so you won't miss a thing.

Come visit the new place, tell us what you think, and let's talk books!

Happy reading!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bloggiesta time!

From Maw Books, host of Bloggiesta: Some of you may be asking what is Bloggiesta? In short, it’s a blogging marathon. A opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!

I'm so excited to be a part of Bloggiesta. This is the perfect time for some big changes that have needed to happen on the LDSWBR blog and podcast website.

LDS Women's Book Review podcast is celebrating its 5 year anniversary this month, and to celebrate we are doing some major tweaking. Change can be scary, but don't worry, the end result is going to be awesome.

I'll be tracking the time I spent on the changes and challenges on this post. Check back later to see how I did.

If you have any suggestions (or encouragement) for me, please comment below. Any and all feedback is welcome! Just be polite. :)

If your blog has been in need of some tidying, or maybe even an extreme makeover, visit Maw Books to sign up for the Bloggiesta.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Peasant Queen - Cheri Chesley

"The Peasant Queen"

Author: Cheri Chesley

Publisher: Bonneville Books

Published: 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59955-416-7

FYC FYI- I received a free copy, which did not effect my review

"There will be no more discussion!" Andrew slammed his fist on the desk for emphasis. "You've done nothing but argue about this for a week now. You will marry Curtis Belvey."
Krystal stood motionless. "I will not."
"Don't try my patience, " he said. "I'm head of this family. You will do what you're told." ("The Peasant Queen", page 1)

Krystal isn't thrilled. Her marriage to Curtis Belvey is being arranged by her brother. Her father has passed away, so she doesn't have much choice, but to follow his wishes. After meeting Curtis, who is a pig, she takes off. Things for Krystal don't go as she plans. As she is deciding if she should go back home and face her unhappy life, she is taken away from her kingdom of Bynne. Teleported to the far away kingdom Fayterra, she finds herself in the clutches of King Gregory. An evil and quite scary king who wants her to become his bride. King Gregory lies and kills to get what he wants. Even hides people, and tries to steal kingdoms. He is a great bad guy, very scary and unpredictable. You really aren't sure as to what he'll do next. Krystal even finds herself as a prisoner, who can she trust to help her?

What I liked most about the book is Krystal herself. She is a very strong girl who is smart and knows what she wants.

4 out of 5 stars. I would read this book again, and recommend it to those who would love a great adventure story.

Read more about the author here. Also read about sequels to "The Peasant Queen."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bumpy Landings by Donald J. Carey - Blog Tour

I'll never forget the first time I met Donald. Hillary and I had just started interviewing people at the April 2010 LDStorymakers Conference when a gentleman caught my attention and introduced himself. I was ecstatic to meet Don because I had never before met one of the male listeners to the LDS Women's Book Review podcast.

As I interviewed him and learned more about his book scheduled to be released in January 2011, I was surprised to learn that he was writing what would technically be considered a romance.

A romance, written by a man? Needless to say, I was very curious.

I can honestly tell you I was not disappointed. One of the things I love about book reviewing is the wide variety of books I get to read, even within the same genre. In the last two days I have reviewed three romances, and despite falling into the same genre, not one of these books felt like the others.

First of all, I love the cover. The green color with the contrast of a white and blue title is eye-catching, and I like aviation-themed accents. The title is perfect - our man, Jordan, hits his fair share of figurative and literal bumpy landings.

As I read, I found myself encouraging Jordan to take a stand and follow his dreams. I was afforded a peek at what it must be like for a college guy doing his best to keep everyone happy while struggling to figure out who he is and what he really wants. There were a few little twists in the story that I didn't expect. I wasn't sure how the story would turn out, or even how I wanted it to turn out, until the very end. I enjoyed watching Jordan's character grow from his experiences that ranged from stupid mistakes to a tragic accident.

The writing is clean and held my attention. I've never been to Hawaii, and now I'm curious about some of the places the characters visit, as well as the food. I think they should have added the recipes for pani popo and malasadas at the end of the book, though I'll pass on the opihi.

I was delighted to find some pictures over on Don's website that add an entirely new level to Jordan's story as well as offering a peek into the life of the author. Go check it out, but first, watch this fun trailer for Bumpy Landings, put together by Don:

Monday, January 17, 2011

2 great romances & 6 reasons why you should read them- Courting Miss Lancaster & Cross My Heart

If you usually shy away from romance, give me a few minutes to change your mind. Or at least tell you why you should give these two books a chance.

In the past week I read two novels that reminded me why I love a good romance story. One is a regency-era romance that is certain to be enjoyed by fans of Jane Austen, the other a contemporary romance that is both fresh and fun.

If that's not incentive enough for you, let me give you six more reasons to read Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden and Cross My Heart by Julie Wright.

1) The Authors

Having met and spent several hours in the company of both Sarah and Julie, I can say without a doubt that they are two of the sweetest, most intelligent, authentic and witty women I know. I'm not just saying this because I think they might read this (we won't talk about the $20 Sarah slipped me under the table- uh, I mean, what $20?)

Sarah has thoroughly researched the Regency Era and it shows in how well she writes her characters and setting. Julie embraces who she is, imperfections and all, and it makes her, and her characters, highly relatable. Both of these women do what they do--write what they write--because they must. They love it. The result: enjoyable, unforgettable stories.

2) The Setting

Courting Miss Lancaster takes place in Town during the Little Season. I love that Sarah gives her readers just enough detail to set the mood and lets the imagination do the rest. It keeps the flow of the story practically seamless. What makes the setting feel so authentic? How Sarah uses the words. The characters' internal dialogue is as authentic-sounding as the conversations. Never once did I feel pulled from the story because of an out-of-time sounding phrase.

The majority of Cross My Heart takes place in Boston, MA, and the surrounding area. The main character's love for the Boston area is obvious as she is willing to resort to a college-days menu of noodles for a place in the Back Bay and a view of the Charles River. At first she avoids the tourist attractions in and around Boston, which in turn made me even more curious about them.

3) The Heroes

No brooders here. In fact, both heroes are down to earth, sincere, and a bit unsure. Oh, and funny. I love a man with a sense of humor. Both have just the right amount of sweet, as well. What I loved the most about the heroes in both books is that they were good friends to the heroines. Was there chemistry and attraction? Oh yeah. First, though, there was friendship.

4) The Humor

I am glad to know Sarah for many reasons, and one is her sense of humor. Sign up for one of her classes at a writing conference and you will see what I mean. Let me give you an example from Harry's thoughts in Courting Miss Lancaster:

"He knew Persephone had a good head on her shoulders, and he suspected Athena did as well. One could not, after all, be named for the Greek goddess of divine intelligence and be a complete featherhead."

As for Julie, this girl is a blast to hang with. I have pictorial proof right here. She keeps the balance between serious and funny in Cross My Heart, and in some cases with Jillian's mother, shock and laughter. I enjoyed the banter between Jillian and the main love interest.

5) The Heriones

Athena is young and a little naive, but in no way a "featherhead." In fact, the heroines in both books are very intelligent. Athena had her romantic fantasy of a knight on a white steed, imagining she would know her true love the first time their eyes met from across the ballroom. She realizes rather quickly that she had better learn what she does want as fast as she was learning what she didn't want after meeting a series of gentlemen with rather undesirable characteristics.

Jillian is in advertising and has a knack for knowing what a client will go for. She watches television for the commercials, reads magazines for the ads (which she then edits), and has survived many company layoffs. When another ad agency starts winning away clients using suspiciously similar ideas, Jillian's boss sends her back to Boston to save their biggest accounts. She knows her stuff. She's professional yet feminine, even if she does wear a lot of black. She might not always be the most tolerant person in the world, but she tries. She appreciates her family and friends even when they are embarrassing her, and vice versa.

6) The Romance

What is a romance without chemistry? Not a romance. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Not so in Courting Miss Lancaster or Cross My Heart.

Harry's interest in Athena is known from the first pages of the book. He does not have a fortune, however, and is therefore ineligible to court Athena. He is asked by his good friend and Athena's guardian, Adam, Duke of Kielder, to sort through the unsuitable prospects and find an acceptable husband for her. Harry accepts, knowing what torture it will be to spend so much time with Athena, yet wanting to make sure she finds a husband worthy of her. There is one particular scene near the end of the book that tops my chart of most romantic scenes ever. Yep. Ever.

Julie effectively and consistently sprinkles the chemistry-filled moments throughout Cross My Heart. To me, it's the little things that make all the difference, and all those little things come together for a first kiss that is unforgettably romantic.

Despite all of the romancing going on, neither of these books ever felt unrealistic or over-the-top. Both have earned a spot on my bookshelf, and I look forward to reading them again. Many more times.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bro. Jo's Guide to Relationships for Single Young Adults

Walnut Springs Press has two books that anyone who is dating, and between the ages of 16- 30, will enjoy these books. After reading the book specifically for LDS Young Single Adults, I wished that I had read this book 18 years ago. I know that I will be reading up on it again if/when I start dating again. (Not that I am still a "Young" Single Adult, but there are still some great dating ideas for older people.

Speaking of dating, Bro. Jo also has a book for teenagers and how to casual date. This book is for the 16-19 crowd. Everyone with a teenager NEEDS this book! I know that my own children will be reading these books a lot! I have "talked" to Bro. Jo and he said he is working on a book about why 11-15 year olds should not date. I can't wait until that book is published.

So go ahead and check out these two great books by Bro. Jo.

Bro. Jo takes the guesswork out of relationships!

Most of us want to get sealed for time and all eternity someday, somehow, to someone. You may not be anywhere near ready, you may think you're ready but you're
not, you may be close, or you may have already arrived and are wondering, "Well, now what?" Wherever you're at, this book is here to help!

Finally, a gospel-centered book that's as frank as it is funny, from Dave Johnston, the writer of DearBroJo.blogspot.com. It's the fastest-growing advice blog for LDS teens and young single adults.

Here's what readers say about Bro Jo's advice:

"It just seems like Bro Jo knows stuff"

"Where was this guy when I was younger?"

"Hilarious! It would be even funnier if it weren't so gosh darn true."

"I really like your advice site and that you are brutally honest, down-to-earth, realistic, but spiritual too."

"What you just did ... hit me like a rock in the face. Thank you."

"I love what you do!"

Bro Jo helps make dating fun!

So how do you "casual group date," and what you the guidelines you show follow? With "Bro Jo's Dating Rules for Teens (and their parents)," and with tip on planning fun and appropriate dates, you're all set!

Bro Jo gives helpful advice about lots of things, including:

How to get the attention of that guy or girl

Asking someone on a date

Getting someone to ask you on a date

Why the guy should plan, pick up, and pay

Kissing, hugging, and holding hands

Why we casual group date in the first place

You'll also find affordable date ideas, advice on how to keep the conversation going, and much more!

Brother Dave Johnston has been married since 1991; he and "Sister Jo" have seven children (four boys, a girl, a boy, and a girl). A Business Owner, Author, Speaker, and Teacher, Bro Jo has taught Youth Sunday School, Seminary and Institute for nearly two decades (which is impressive, 'cause he's not THAT old!) "Dear Bro Jo" now has over 10,000 readers from around the world!

You can reach Bro. Jo at his blog and check out the great things he has there. This is one website that you do want your teenager to go to.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Growing Up Gracie - Maggie Fechner

"Growing up Gracie"

Maggie Fechner

Publisher: Bonneville Books

Published: 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59955-453-2

FTC FYI: borrowed from the library

"Growing up Grace" is the story of Gracie Fremont, her ups and downs and the ups and downs of loved ones around her from around age five to her twenties. It's a story of friendship and love, life decisions and some heart ache. Throughout it all, faith in her Father in Heaven gets her through many trials. Gracie is a strong girl, who truly desires to do good, help those around her, and be there for others when she can.
In high school she is challenged by her missionary brother to not rely on the testimony of her parents, but to find out for herself what she believes. I appreciated that part of the book the most. She had to work for it, and have the faith she needed. Gracie's best friends are Liza and Chelsea. They have been there for each other since they were young. One makes mistakes. Gracie, at times, is frustrated by her choices, but helps her no matter what. In high school, she meets Quentin, a shy loner in need of a friend. Gracie invites him over for FHE and... well, things develop from there.

I was really impressed with this book, it is the author's first. The characters were developed well, and it was well written. Since the story is told through a long period of time, I liked how time passed without too much detail needed.

Four stars of out five.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin - Blog Tour


I am so excited to be the one to kick off the blog tour for Meg's Melody! Kaylee sweetly agreed to take part in our Countdown to Christmas 2010 last year and it was great learning a little more about her. You can read her interview here.

Kaylee is also giving away a copy of Meg's Melody to a lucky commenter at the conclusion of her blog tour, so be sure to comment on each of the posts during the tour. Trust me when I say Meg's Melody is worth the effort to win!

About Kaylee

Kaylee Baldwin grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English literature.

She currently lives in southern Arizona with her husband, Jeremy, and their three children. When she is not writing, Kaylee enjoys reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with her family.

For more about Kaylee visit her website/blog.

About Meg's Melody

From the back cover:

She paced the small confines of her bathroom as she waited the obligatory two minutes for the result. Yet, part of her sensed the truth. Not only did Austin take her self-esteem and plans for happiness, but he also took her get-out-of-this-marriage-free card. 

The plus sign glared at Meg from the white plastic frame of the pregnancy test. The test fell from her hands and clattered into the bathtub as Meg’s back slid against the wall until she reached the floor. 

“I’m pregnant,” she said into the quiet.

Meg never imagined she'd end up like this. With nowhere else to turn, she's forced to rely on the family she pushed away, the church she abandoned, and an unexpected friendship to help her find her forgotten melody. Meanwhile Matt is still mourning the loss of his wife. But determined to keep things together for his daughter's sake, he decides starting over in a new place might be just what his family needs. 

This touching story combines romance with redemption and real conflict to remind you it's never too late to find joy. Kaylee Baldwin's capable hand renders a sincere, heartfelt story of rediscovery and hope. Perfect for romantics of all ages, this book will captivate your heart and rekindle your belief in the magic of music.

My Review

This might be Kaylee's first novel, but it doesn't read like it. She has put a lot of effort into studying her craft, and it shows. I like the cover; the softer colors and expectant mother are appropriate for the story, and the music notes and flourishes are a really nice touch.

I can only imagine what an expectant single mother must struggle with, as I've never been one myself, but I feel like Kaylee did a good job capturing what that situation might be like for someone in Meg's situation. While she had very supportive family around her, they weren't perfect. They were a pushy with sneaking in "dates" without Meg's permission, which was one thing that kept me from liking Meg's sister, Missy, very much.

One thing I really appreciate is how well Kaylee wrote Lilia, Matt's four-year-old daughter. I have read many books with children that made me cringe because they were either too... well, just too much- or simply not believable in voice or behavior. I loved Lilia, and feel like there was a great balance of her presence in the book as well as an appropriate level for how a 4-5 year old girl would speak and behave.

There is a bit of a love triangle, or square if you count Austin, though the reader can guess pretty quickly who Meg will most likely end up with. The question is if they can get through the extra baggage they're carrying to be together and if it is just too soon for both of them. I found the second love interest to be a bit over the top at times, but there are guys like that out there, so it wasn't unbelievable. I didn't like Austin. But I wasn't supposed to like him. One thing I didn't understand was how easy it was for certain characters to dismiss the fact that Meg was having a baby and everything that meant.

Meg experiences some spiritual progress as she returns to church after her husband leaves her, though I didn't find the book preachy at all.

The romance is clean with a few toe-curling scenes that were very well done. I really liked the love interest, and while things might not have gone exactly how I hoped, I found the ending quite satisfying.

Meg's Melody is available for purchase from Deseret Book and Amazon.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Would I-
  • read it again? Yes
  • recommend it? Yes, especially to LDS women who enjoy romance
  • read more by the author? Definitely. I'm looking forward to it!

Heads Up
  • Language: none
  • Violence: none
  • Drug/alcohol use: none
  • Inappropriate sexual situations: none

Don't forget to comment on each day's blog tour post to be entered into the drawing for a copy of Meg's Melody! Here's the schedule:

January 10th
Shanda at LDSWBR

January 11th
Tristi Pinkston

January 12th
Jolene Perry

January 13th
Shaunna Gonzales

January 15th
Taffy Lowell

January 17th
Heather at Fire and Ice

January 18th
Marsha Ward

January 19th
Alison Palmer

January 20th

January 21st

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pillage - Obert Skye


Author: Obert Skye

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: 2008

Hardcover: 312 pages

FTC- I purchased my own copy

Beck Phillips is kind of a trouble maker, he's been to many schools in a short periods of time and this time, he wants to start off "buzzing". Things don't go as planned, but instead of getting in trouble, Beck hears some sad news. His mom has died, and he is shipped to Kingsplot to live with an uncle he has never meet. On his long train ride, he meets Kate, who isn't very friendly. She is his age, and is headed to Kingsplot too. Beck wakes up from a 12 hour rest, and notices that they are the only ones left on the train. Beck thinks it's strange, but Kate isn't too worried about it. When he arrives, Beck meets Thomas, who drives him to his new house, oops, I mean mansion. Seven floors, with stables, and a huge garden. Right away, Beck is told to stay away from certain places for his own safety. Do you think he'll stay away? If you answered no, you would be right! Beck meets Milo who asks many questions about the manor, mostly about the basement. But, there is no basement...

At school there are some boys who pick on Beck and Milo. Milo is new to Callowbrow too. However, Beck can do some weird tricks with plants that makes his life easier. Beck's family has a secret, and if you look at the front cover, you'll be able to figure it out. But, what happens with the secret is really exciting and page turning.

I really enjoyed this book. Full of exciting twists and surprises! I liked the history of Beck's family a long the way too. A gloomy, but interesting history full of plants, stones, and pillaging.

4 out of 5 stars.

Obert Skye also has written the sequel to "Pillage". "Choke" was released in June 2010, I have read that as well, and it's just as great as "Pillage". Mr. Skye also wrote the "Leven Thumps" series. There are five books in that series, all of which I read and enjoyed. Purchase them here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My first read for 2011 will be... oh, and winners!

My first read for 2011 will be...

Courting Miss Lancaster!

Now that you've seen the five books I was considering, do you understand my dilemma in trying to choose which book to read first? If I could I would read them all at the same time!

However, Courting Miss Lancaster was the overwhelming favorite, and after everyone's comments about how wonderful it is, I'm going to start reading it immediately after announcing winners of the bookmarks. So, let's do this thing!

Since we were right at 20 comments (if you count mine, which I will, just not in the drawing) I'm going to give away three bookmarks, because I want to and I can do whatever I want on this blog, ha ha!

Okay, the winners of the amazingly handy stretchy bookmarks that stay in place and don't fall out are (we'll pretend my shaking the can of folded papers is a drumroll):

  • Leslie Mackey
  • Natalie Palmer
  • Kimberly

Congratulations! Email me at ldswbr(at)gmail(dot)com with your addresses and I'll get you set up with your new bookmarks.

Didn't win this time but still want a bookmark? Keep watching the blog because we're celebrating FIVE YEARS of LDS Women's Book Review all month long. And since I'm so in love with these bookmarks I'm looking for opportunities to give them away.

Thanks, everyone! Keep checking back for more chances to win. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

What should I read next? (And a super easy contest!)

I am in a wonderful (or horrible) place right now - a reader's heaven (or Hades) - surrounded by so many wonderful books I want to read RIGHT NOW that I have no idea where to start.

So I'm letting all of you decide what my first read in 2011 will be from the choices below.

Also, because I appreciate your thoughts and opinions, everyone who comments will have their name entered into a drawing for a really cool and useful-to-us-readers prize! If I get one vote/comment, lucky you- WINNER! If I get more than ten, I'll draw two names. More than 20, I'll draw three. :)

(Only one vote/comment per person counts. Hurry! Contest closes Wednesday at 12:00 noon MST.)

(Inspired by whimsy-girl.blogspot.com)

An awesome elastic bookmark!
(See the little heart charms? Cute, huh?)

I made a bunch of these bookmarks (see mass of charms and elastic above) as Christmas gifts for my reader friends because they are so darn cute and handy. Just loop the elastic around the front or back half of the book with one side marking your place inside the book and that baby isn't going anywhere. Shake the book, drop the book, shove the book in your bag- your place won't be lost.

Pretty neat, huh?

So tell me, from the list below, what do YOU think I should read next?

  • Cross My Heart by Julie Wright
  • Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden
  • Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin
  • The Legend of Shannonderry by Carole Warburton
  • Winning Mr. Wrong by Marie Higgins

There are several books I could add to this list but I thought I should keep it at five. Can you tell I'm in the mood for a romance?

Don't forget to voice your choice in the comments!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sheila's Top 10 or 20 List for 2010

After I was asked to make a top ten list of my favorite reads of 2010
I floundered a bit. I happily made my goal of reading 100 books in 2010. This also left me in a bind, knowing I had 100 books to choose from. I agree with Mindy, it is like asking who
is your favorite child or friend.

I also have a hard time with only picking 10 so I picked my top 12 and
Then continued with books that I would include in my top 20. I know, I am shamelessly changing the rules here.

These are my picks in no particular order.

1.The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little.

To say that this book enchanted me, it is not just a play on words of the title. There truly was something magical about the way
that Kimberley writes. I was pulled into the story from
the beginning and didn’t leave the bayou until the last
page. This book has stayed with me the past month since I
read it. I have remembered the colorful details and rich
characters. I borrowed this book from the library, but this
is one book I will be purchasing for my own collection.

2. Cross My Heart by Julie Wright

This book made me laugh so hard, I loved the main
character and how many strange things happened to her.
(Sadly she reminded me of myself and how "things"
just seem to happen to me while around men.)
I loved her weird mother. The best part was the love
triangle, which was more like a square. This is such a
feel good book. I will be reading it again soon.

3. A Time To Die By Jeff Savage

I waited so long for this sequel in the Shandra Covington
series and I was not disappointed at all. I also feel like it
was the best book yet in the series. This was another book
that I picked up and could not put down. I really
loved the ending!I also loved the fact that
Bobby is not left in perilous circumstances
at the end of this book.

4. Seventh Earth By Richard Bradford

This is such an outstanding sci-fi/fantasy book.
If you are a fan of this genre you MUST read it!
Richard is a great writer and I had a hard
time putting the book down. I can’t wait for
the sequel. It has a great storyline and it
is amazing that this is Richard's first book.
He writes like a Pro!

5. I Am Not A Serial Killer and Mr. Monster By Dan Wells

There is something about these books that are
so compelling. You get sucked in and are hooked until the end.
I really love how you are kept guessing until the very end. In a
strange way, you are cheering for John even if he has a very
wacked out mind.

6. Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet By Jamie Ford

This book won the Whitney Award in the General
Fiction Category of this past year's Whitney Awards.
It is a story that takes place during WW2 in
California. The main character is a young Chinese
boy who befriends a young Japanese girl. It shows
the turmoil of that time. This story stays with you.
This is a good read for book clubs.

7. Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden

It seems like everyone has loved this book. It is such a sweet
romance that just makes you sigh. Sarah is one of the best
Regency romance writers today. Sarah's newest book was
recently released. It will definitely be on next years reading

8. Becoming Kate By Dixie Owens

I was right in the middle of six other books when I
received this book. I picked it up to read the first
chapter and never put it down until I was done. This
book is so thought provoking. It deals with the idea
of a brain transplant and if feelings and memories
would survive from the donor. It brings up so many
questions in your own mind.

Dixie does a great job of showing one woman's story and
how resolution comes to this character.

9. Blink of An Eye By Gregg Luke

Gregg Luke's books keep me on the edge. This one
did not disappoint. Even though it was slightly
different from his others, he delved more into
his main character and his past. It has a great
mystery that you search for the answer right
along with the main character. I loved this
one a lot!

10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I just reviewed this book on my personal book review blog.
I explained there why it took so long for me to get this
book read. Once I got over the problem I had, I ended up
really liking this book. Other readers have told me they
had the same problem. They now are going to try reading
this again after I shared my secret. Let's
just say you will not be sorry for taking the time to read
this novel.

11. The Sapphire Flute By Karen Hoover

Excellent debut from first time author Karen Hoover. This
fantasy book has everything. The thing that female readers
will love, is that the main characters are female. But, this is
not just a book for females. There is so much action that
males readers will also like this book. This is
the first book in a long series. I have heard bits and pieces
about the next book and I can't wait to read it.

12. Divine Intervention:A Story of Faith and Miracles by Helen and Randy Hall

If you notice, this is the only non-fiction book that made my
top 10 (12) list. This personal account almost reads like a
novel.It leaves you on the edge of your seat. At the same
time, you left with such gratitude for life and the miracles
that can and do happen. I highly suggest that you read this
book. The Hall's story is one that should be read by everyone.

My Honrable Mentions, that are in my top 20 books:

-Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon
-Crossfire By Traci Hunter Abramson
-The Musician's Daughter By Susanne Dunlap
-Gregor and the Overlander 5 book series By Suzanne Collins
-Lucky Change By Susan Law Corpany
-Hometown Girl By Michelle Ashman Bell
-Heroes of the Fallen By David J. West

The book that I was most disappointed in was... 2010
Mockingjay By Suzanne Collins. I just did not like it. I hated the ending
And how Pres. Snow died.(Sadly I had a much more grisly end planned
for him in my mind) I was left feeling so unsatisfied and cheated by this
third book. What happened to Prim just made me hate the ending even more.
I just remember closing the book and shaking my head. I am doing it right now.
**sigh** Hunger Games is on my all time top 10 list, but Mockingjay
wasn’t even close.

After I read my fellow LDSWBR sisters lists, I realized that there were so
many of their favorites I wanted to read but didn't get to. Next year, you will
probably see some of their favorites on my top 10 list.