Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards


"Janie Rose Whitaker's world revolved around her chocolate shop until Roger Wentworth and his young daughter moved into the apartment across from Janie's. Anyone would think Roger fit the mold of the "perfect" guy, but soon Janie discovers secrets that could keep them apart forever. Though she resists getting involved in Roger's complicated life, they are drawn further into a bittersweet relationship.

You will laugh, cry, and crave chocolate as you read this LDS paraody of the classic novel Jane Eyre."

Joan Sowards book Chocolate Roses is a fun, modern re-telling of Jane Eyre. Though the story line mirrors the original in some ways, this new version is lighter in tone. It addresses some serious issues, but Sowards does this with skill and sensitivity. The main character, Jane, is likeble, especially because she isn't written as a perfect, beautiful heroine. She also has a dream job, owning her own chocolate shop. I think she is someone many readers will be able to relate to. I only wish the romance had been built up a little more, but then I'm a romantic at heart. Chocolate Roses will have you searching out a little chocolate to eat while you keep guessing at the ending. I enjoyed this book and hope Joan has more stories up her sleeves.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage

"Kaleo Steele is starting to cut seminary and hang out with some new “friends”; in fact, he’s not even sure what he believes anymore. When his seminary teacher finds him at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kaleo is in jeopardy of missing his high school team’s regional football game—a game where college scouts will be coming to see him play. But his seminary teacher realizes that much more than a game is at stake, and sends him on a soul-searching quest.
Guided by Ladan, a mysterious old blind man, Kaleo pushes through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. Soon he is caught up in a battle between treasure seekers—led by Allaster Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates—and the young prophet Joseph Smith, who is sworn to keep them safe. In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide what to believe. Before it’s too late." (from Deseretbook.com)

Jeffrey Savage has once again written an action packed adventure that will appeal to both young and old. I especially loved the characters in this book. Kaleo is easy to relate to, as a young man teetering on the edge. He has his doubts about religion and isn't planning on serving a mission, but he hasn't done anything wrong. . .yet. I also liked the portrayal of Joseph Smith and his family. Savage shows them as real people who enjoyed life but were also busy trying to protect the plates and live their religion despite the animosity it created in their community. The historical details were interesting and woven in skillfully so they didn't overwhelm the story but provided the perfect backdrop for it. Kaleo overcomes his doubts about Joseph Smith, not because of heavy preaching, but by just watching Joseph interact with his family and others. My favorite character, in a creepy way, was Allaster Blackburn. Savage always writes great villains and this one was no exception. From the way he looked to the way he spoke, this character gave me chills.

This is a fun book and one that teenagers, as well as their parents, will enjoy. I'm looking forward to the next book.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finding Rose Cover

I finally received a picture of my cover. It is beautiful and the picture really does look like the character. Amy did a great job. Finding Rose should be out this summer. I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2009 Whitney Award Winners

Best Romance

Counting the Cost
Liz Adair


Best Mystery/Suspense

Methods of Madness
Stephanie Black


Best Youth Fiction

The Chosen One
Carol Lynch Williams


Best Speculative

Servant of a Dark God
John Brown


Best Historical

The Last Waltz
G.G. Vandagriff


Best General Fiction

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford


Best Novel by a New Author
(tie)

I am Not a Serial Killer
Dan Wells

Gravity vs. the Girl
Riley Noehren


Lifetime Acheivement Award

Gerald Lund


Outsatnding Achievment Award

Dave Wolverton


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2009 Whitney Award Finalists

Best Romance

Counting the Cost
Liz Adair

Illuminations of the Heart
Joyce dePastina

All the Stars in Heaven
Michele Paige Holmes

Santa Maybe
Aubery Mace

Previously Engaged
Elodia Strain


Best Mystery/Suspense

Lockdown
Traci Hunter Abramson

Methods of Madness
Stephanie Black

Murder by the Book
Betsy Brannon Green

Lemon Tart
Josi S. Kilpack

Altered State
Gregg Luke


Best Youth Fiction

Princess of the Midnight Ball
Jessica Day George

Fablehaven IV: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
James Dashner

My Fair Godmother
Janette Rallison

Bright Blue Miracle
Becca Wilhite

The Chosen One
Carol Lynch Williams


Best Speculative Fiction

Servant of a Dark God
Dan Brown

The Maze Runner
James Dashner

Wings
Aprilynne Pike

Warbreaker
Brandon Sanderson

I am Not a Serial Killer
Dan Wells


Best Historical

Tribunal
Sandra Grey

The Undaunted
Gerald N. Lund

Alma
H.B. Moore

The Last Waltz
G.G. Vandagriff

In the Company of Angels
David Farland


Best General Fiction

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford

No Going Back
Jonathon Langford

Gravity vs. the Girl
Riley Noehren

The Route
Gale Sears

Eyes Like Mine
Julie Wright


Lifetime Achievment Award

Gerald Lund


Oustanding Achievment Award

Dave Wolverton

Unlike previous years, no finalists are being announced for the two overall awards. Instead, the Whitney Academy can choose from any of the eligible finalists in any category. In other words, all of the novels listed above are still in the running for Best Novel of the Year.

Likewise, any of the above finalists that meet the eligibility requirements for Best Novel by a New Author can be chosen for that award. This year, the eligible books are:

  • Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford
  • No Going Back, by Jonathon Langford
  • Gravity vs. The Girl, by Riley Noehren
  • Wings, by Aprilynne Pike
  • I Am Not A Serial Killer, by Dan Wells
  • Bright Blue Miracle, by Becca Wilhite
  •