Friday, March 9, 2012

Queen in Exile Review & Contest

Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch

Rumors of war hang over Princess Jeniah's peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telpathic bond with a revered creature called a chayim,
who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.

Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her own magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When an enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people,
storm the castle, and execute the entire royal family except the princess. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people from tyranny.

On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen of Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.

My Thoughts

Donna Hatch as the uncanny ability to weave a story with suspense and romance equally entwined. Few can truly develop a romance that begins with innocence and grows with a natural pace. Kai and Jeniah’s love is sweet and passionate the two wrapped with perfect skill. The growth of their characters pulls the reader on cheerfully.

I am not one to read many fantasy novels because the complications surrounding the development of another world, yet Donna has defied others and created a world that is believable and easy to envelop. Her ability to describe her surroundings is enviable. What stood out the most was that the story of Jeniah and Lai held you captive, not the environment they were placed in.

I was hooked from the first page. It flowed with an ease of a master, not one contriving each scene. Never once will you attention waver. All other duties and desires will fade away once you sit down to read Queen in Exile. I enjoyed the Guise of a Gentleman, but this one surpassed it. If I wait I can, I give the story six out of five stars.

Want to win one of three copies of Queen in Exile? It's easy.

1. Visit the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why you're excited to read Queen in Exile. Remember to include your email address.
2. If you tweet about the blog tour, post about it on your blog or facebook, or become a fan of  Romance Author Donna Hatch on Facebook, leave the link in the
comments section and you'll receive additional entries.

March 7-Peggy Urry
March 8-Janette Rallison
March 9-Lydia Lindsey
March 12-Anna Arnett
March 13-Barbara White Daille
March 14-Valerie Ipson
March 15-Valerie Steimle

All entires need to be left by Midnight
MST, Sunday, March 18, 2012. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Say Yes

Recently I've found my thoughts dwelling on a phrase Marjorie Hinckley once said about parenting--"whenever possible say yes, they are only kids once!"

Something about that profound, yet simple statement has resonated within me. I have felt a great desire to follow those simple guidelines. Each time my children have asked for things I've stopped before I say the typical "No" since we as mothers assume that anything they want will mean more work for us. Instead, I pause and weigh the request...does it really hurt for them to do that?

For example  my middle child asked me one night while we were attending a delightful color guard competition and were waiting for the scores, "Mom, can I run across the floor and back?" I'll admit I said something to blow it off, but thank goodness she persisted. I'll never forget looking into her eyes and seeing that simple desire to do something. Not only did I give her a gift by saying "Yes", but a felt thrilled. She ran across a few times and then sat down content. No harm was done, no one cared, but she had been given a chance to do something I was ready to push aside.

Just that experience alone has me enthused to say "Yes" more often. If what they request will harm no one but our own convenience, I say let them do it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Alias, by Mandi Tucker Slack

Jacey Grayson is an average, young, divorced mother struggling to build a new life for her son, Blaze. But when the FBI discloses some disturbing information about her ex-husband, Jacey's life becomes anything but average. At the risk of losing her identity, her future, and her heart, Jacey and Blaze flee to Utah, hoping to hide and start over once again. But no matter how far she runs or who she pretends to be, her past is always lurking nearby, bringing old fears with it.

There is nothing better than a book that pulls at your heart strings. Mandi Slack did an amazing job with The Alias. From the beginning you are tied to the characters. Their emotions become your own. What Mandi does is pure talent. There have been a few times I have discarded a book because a character rubbed me wrong.  Not so with this book. In Jacey I found a friend and a sister.

Beyond her ability to wrap you up in the lives of her characters, the story The Alias is captivating. From the beginning to the end you are anxious for a solution and yet caught up in the sweet day to day details of the farm. The romance between Kale and Jacey is perfect. The right balance of tension followed by resolution.

You will not go wrong by devoting a day to this sweet novel. It only took me that long to devour it and forget completely about my laundry. Four and half out of five stars.