Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Review: Out of the Ashes

Out-of-the-Ashes-Blog-BannerAbout the book:
When Ashelandra’s father dies, she ends up a servant in her own house, instead of the Baroness she was supposed to become. But Ash’s secret sorcery could be the key to winning back her home and following her heart to a future she never imagined. This fantasy-infused Cinderella story puts a magical twist on a classic tale. Riveting and original, it’s a spellbinding read.

About the author:
Alicia Buck was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on a cold November day and has hated the cold ever since. Luckily, she lives in the desert now with her husband, Jason, and three children. Alicia loves to read, and goes through book craze phases where she reads a book a day until guilt kicks in and she tries to do something productive like get back to work writing and fix the disaster her home has become. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s in English, and had to constantly defend her major when she had absolutely no desire to teach. Out of the Ashes is Alicia’s second novel.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Review: Finding Peace

Finding Peace blog tourAbout the book:
What can you do when family members turn away from your cherished faith? How can you move from such powerful disappointment to a place of  peace? This book takes a thoughtful look at how you can face your new reality, hold on to hope, and stay connected with children who exercise agency in ways you would not choose for them. Uplifting and encouraging, this book is perfect for helping parents and grandparents alike to find the seemingly elusive peace they seek.

About the author:
Robin Zenger Baker has a psychology degree from Stanford University, an Organizational Behavior Master’s degree from BYU, and a PhD in Organizational Strategy from UCLA. She is currently studying Family Therapy and Counseling at UMass Boston. She has written for the Ensign magazine, and has edited and co-authored multiple publications in the field of organizational behavior. She is a past president of the BYU Alumni Association Boston chapter, and currently works to raise funds for local inner city youth to attend church schools.

From Reidhead Randomness:
 Agency is a gift from our Heavenly Father, but sometimes it is not always used for good.  As children grow up, and make choices, we don't always agree with them.  In this encouraging book, a wealth of advice is given, for keeping your family strong.  Also, advice for when to take action, and when to be still.  The scriptures, modern day revelation, and insights from "seasoned" parents are a big part of the book.  This is a great book to read for leaders in the youth organization, parents, and family of people that have make other choices. 

I enjoyed the 6th chapter that talked about some of the things to do to heal from someone exercising their agency.  One of them is assuming that you will be sad for the rest of your life.  Since that is not really an option, you have to realize that you can control your own emotions, that time will heal the hurt, and the other persons actions don't have to determine your mood forever.  Then to realize that holding onto sadness doesn't make a lot of sense, because life has so much to be happy about.

I received a copy of this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: Benotripia

Benotripia-The-Complete-Trilogy-Blog-BannerAbout the book:
Discover the land of Benotripia–where adventure is around every corner. Now you can own Mackenzie Wagner’s debut fantasy series in one complete volume. Written when Mackenzie was in middle school, this thrilling series is perfect for middle grade readers. Join Roseabelle, Jessicana, and Astro as they use their magical powers to battle the Darvonians and save their home!

About the author:
McKenzie Wagner is thirteen years old and has adored reading since she was four. Her love of books inspired her to write a book of her own, and she completed the first book of The Magic Wall Series, The Magic Meadow and the Golden Locket at age seven and the second book, The Blue Lagoon and the Magic Coin, shortly thereafter. She has now expanded her writing to appeal to kids of all ages. She wishes to obtain an English degree and teach and continue in her pursuit of her love of writing. She currently resides in Utah with her mom, dad, and her nine-year-old brother, Ty.

From Reidhead Randomness:

It is so hard to believe that this fun adventure book was written when she was a young teenager!  This fun book collection of all 3 in the series has cute pictures at the top of each chapter.  The characters in the series are unique...just like the island of Benotripia. You will follow the adventures of  Roseabelle and her friends as they try to find her mother that disappeared.  There is magic, evil, action, and adventure in this exciting fantasy book!

My daughter is reading it right now, and I will update this post after she finishes reading it!

I received a copy of this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: French Accents

About the Book:
There’s nothing better than a little “joie de vivre” to brighten up your decor! Filled with gorgeous photography and an abundance of helpful design ideas, this book is guaranteed to bring the cozy comfort of classic French style into your home. Learn how to create an inviting look that will welcome friends and family and help you show off your own creative taste.
This beautiful book includes ideas for the beginner or the experienced interior designer who has a love for French or Country French design.
Joyce walks her readers through the process of analyzing a room prior to redecorating and then gives pointers for success, whether you intend to redecorate all at once or just by baby steps with one basket or lamp at a time. She includes tips and tricks for knowing where to shop for authentic French antiques, how to get the best deals at auctions, and how to re-purpose your existing decor to give it a “French” look.
Helpful tutorials for creating your own paint finishes and sewing slipcovers are included as well. You’ll also get the grand tour with photos of home interiors that use some of her techniques, including some that have “bent the rules” to bring in just enough rustic, chippy, casual French design to make the home livable and loveable.
About the Author:
Anita Joyce is the author of the Cedar Hill Farmhouse blog. Her expertise is in antiques, vintage items, rusty-crusty-chippy things, all things French, design, photography, and writing. She loves spending time with friends and family.

From Reidhead Randomness:

With and approachable, budget conscious attitude, this book is a wealth of wonderment!  It is overflowing with GREAT ideas, examples, and tips for decorating your home.  Usually when I think of home decorating, I think of EXPENSIVE...but in French Accents, it is VERY budget conscious.  There are so many fun things to spark your creative juices and get them flowing.  Anita Joyce, the author, wanted to convert her plain 70's suburban home into a country French retreat.  Unfortunately, she had 3 major obstacles: 1. She had only 1 French item.  2.  She had a tight budget.  3. She had no clue what made French design.  As she worked and studied, she gained a wealth of knowledge, that is so freely shared in this amazing book!  Most of the ideas are very affordable.  This great book is a resource to change your home from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY!

I received a copy of this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Book Review: A Thankful Heart. 31 Teachings to recognize blessings in your life.

A Thankful Heart blog tourAbout the book:
Enjoy a happier, healthier life—starting with an attitude of gratitude! Research and revelation have both declared that staying thankful results in a host of benefits and blessings. You will be grateful for this book which contains a full month of ideas, quotes, and scriptures to get you feeling more grateful and help you see the Lord’s hand in your life.

About the author:
David A. Christensen has taught missionary preparation and Book of Mormon classes for over thirty years. His testimony and enthusiasm for the restored gospel was shared with missionaries and members in the Chile Santiago North Mission where he served as president, and again in Central America when he was president of the Guatemala Missionary Training Center. He counts his children and grandchildren as his most important converts, and his best friend and wife, Deena Bond Christensen, his eternal companion.

David Christensen's website is: You can find more information there on how to order books, etc.
He can be be followed on Instagram @david.a.christensen, you can follow him for updates on upcoming books, occasional giveaways, insights, and uplifting content.

From Reidhead Randomness:

Broken into simple, easy to read chapters, this uplifting book could easily be used as a daily devotional that will get you thinking about blessings in your life.  At the end of each little chapter are self examination questions (or journal writing prompts).  Inspiring stories, quotes from general authorities and scriptures, and insights abound in this small, but mighty book.  It will help you to count your blessings and tender mercies, instead of feeling abandoned and discouraged.  It will also help you to recognize the Lord's hand in your life.  On of my favorite writing prompts was "Whom do you know who's going through some challenges?  How can you lift that person?"  It also prompts you to thank, not only Heavenly Father, but also His children that provide help and answers to your prayers.  This will be a wonderfully uplifting 31 days!

I received this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: When Beauty is a Beast

Beauty Beast blog tourAbout the book:
We have no qualms laying out men’s sins—especially abusive behavior. But we’ve avoided “going there” when it comes to women. This book offers advice to heal marriages and families where women display controlling behavior or create fear. It will help turn crumbling relationships into partnerships of love and trust.

About the author:
C.C. Sorensen is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has served in many positions on both the ward and stake level. “When Beauty Is a Beast” grew out of Sorensen’s many years of counseling husbands and wives who were struggling with various relationship issues.

Reidhead Randomness:

When Beauty is a Beast is an interesting book.  In this book, written for women, it has many stories and examples of how women sabotage their marriages.  While it is written with a gospel-centered approach, I felt a little "bashed" by it.  I have been mulling over it, to see if it is just that "the guilty take the truth to be hard," but I felt quite picked on as a female.  It talks about how to avoid controlling your spouse, transferring blame, setting unreasonable expectations, and how to avoid all the different kinds of abuse.  It shares how to build up your husband, boyfriend, fiance, etc. instead of tearing them down.  There are lots of quotes from general authorities and from the scriptures that relate to marriage and relationships in general, that I found useful.  There were some tidbits that were also helpful, and I found that I have been guilty, here and there, of things discussed in the book, but I feel that marriage is a give and take, and this book points out all the bad things women do, without mentioning that husbands also are guilty of different things....but I guess that would be a whole different book.  Unless a woman is ready to change, I think this book would just be offensive, and put a woman on the defense, or make her feel bad...and there is a "disclaimer" at the back of the book that basically says if you are reading this book to improve your relationship, you need to be careful about taking things personally.  It does implore the women reading the book to set aside your pride, and do some soul searching.  I am sure all women are guilty of something from this book, sometime in their lives, but I guess I felt it too be a little to harsh of a woman bashing.  Overall, it made me grateful for my wonderful, patient, loving husband!

I received a copy of this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Festive Feasts

Festive-Feasts-blog-tour-bannerAbout the book:
Tender prime rib, decadent cakes, and caramel popcorn that will have you licking the bowl-these holiday recipes are perfect for parties, neighbor gifts, and family gatherings. Jeni Scott has been featured by Woman’s Day, KSL Studio 5, and all over the Internet for her mouthwatering and easy-to-make holiday meals. So forget the fruitcake-these treats are so tasty you’ll want to start all-new traditions!

About the author:
Jeni Potter Scott is the owner, author, and creative mind behind where she features daily recipes, gardening information, and DIY projects.
She is author of a cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas which is currently to press and will be distributed in September, 2015.
Jeni has been featured on KSL’s Studio 5, ABC’s Good Things Utah, and created by Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Candice Bergen, Lesley Stahl and others.
Jeni has been a regularly featured contributor to,, and currently to She is a budding photographer and formerly was the photographer for a subsidiary of Modern Display.
Jeni works full time as an Executive Assistant and currently volunteers her time for a local botanical garden where she serves as Vice President of Jordan Valley’s Home & Garden Club, the first of its kind in the Nation.

From Reidhead Randomness:
I wish this was made of waterproof paper...because it had me drooling.  The fun cookbook will inspire even the most uncreative people to have a fun holiday party!  The first section is Halloween that is overflowing with hauntingly tempting treats, appetizers and main dishes.  Next up is Thanksgiving.  This isn't your traditional Thanksgiving includes many recipes that would be great fall food!  It also has a great section to inspire the using up of leftovers from Thanksgiving.  The grand finale is Christmas.  This section covers Breakfast & Brunch, Appetizers, Entrees, and Sides.  The last chapter in the Christmas section is "Gifts from the Kitchen."  What a glorious way to finish off the book!  It is loaded with wonderful treats and goodies that will have your neighbors requesting your recipe!  Each recipe has a picture, as well as the prep time and cook you know what your getting into.  I LOVE this book!  It can springboard you into being a party hosting expert! 

I received this book in order to write my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.