Welcome to the Chocolate Roses Blog Tour

This is the second opportunity I have had to participate in a blog tour. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a blog tour is a devise used to spread the word about a new book. Boggers, such as myself, are invited to participate by reviewing a certain book and posting those reviews at about the same time. For more information about the blog tour and the opportunity to win some cool prizes, check out the details at the end of this review.

Chocolate Roses. When I first heard the name of Joan Sowards newest book I knew I wanted to read it. It sounds decadent and sweet and romantic. And when I saw the cover, a partially opened box of chocolates, well I was hooked.

This sweet inspiration is an LDS parody of the classic novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Janie Rose Whitaker is a chocolatier, a candy artisan and an expert in all things related to cocoa. In her shop Chocolate Art Forever, Janie controls everything about her creamy concoctions, from hand roasting and grinding the beans to designing the clever molds that make her confections so unique. By far their most popular offering is the single chocolate rose, resting in a long tissue filled gift box just like a real long stemmed rose.

It is, in fact, the chocolate rose that brings Roger Wentworth, a handsome man without a wedding ring, into the shop every Tuesday morning.

Janie is single, and has, over the past few months, fallen head over heels in love with Roger. But despite her ardent feelings, she has yet to start up a conversation with the man who orders a single chocolate rose each week to be delivered to the mysterious Winnie at the local mental institution.

If you’re familiar with the original story, you can take it from there.

Soward adds a lot of fun characters her version. Take Flo for example, a huge Great Dane who shares Janie’s single apartment. And all the employees of Chocolate Art Forever who are unique and full of personality. And if Jane Eyre had been LDS her relief society would have been very much like the one in the nosey ward Janie attends.

Chocolate Roses is a fun read, just like Soward’s popular ghost mystery Haunts Haven that came out last year. The novel runs 225 pages, and packed with humor, suspense and romance. Plus there is the chocolate. In fact, I recommend you make sure you have some on hand before you even open the first page.

Love chocolate? Love Jane Eyre?

Then you're going to love the blog tour (July
26-August 6) for 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 parody of the classic novel Jane Eyre.

We have two great prizes up for grabs!
Win either a copy of the book (2 winners) or this fabulous apron created by Joan!

All you have to do is leave a comment (along with your email address if it isn't on
your blog profile) and answer the following question.

What's your favorite type of
chocolate: white, dark, or milk?

The more blogs you comment on the more entries you'll receive.

All comments must be left by midnight MST on August 8 to be eligible.

July 26
Nichole Giles--Random-ish by Nichole
Joyce DiPastena--JDP News

July 27
Deanne Blackhurst--Annie Speaks Her Mind
Tristi Pinkston--*Tristi Pinkston

July 28
Taffy Lovell--Taffy's Candy
Alison Palmer--Tangled Words and Dreams

July 29
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen--The Write Blocks
C.S. Bezas--For the Love of the Written Word

July 30
Sheila Stayley--Why Not? Because I Said So!
LDSWomen's Book Review

August 2
Kerry Blair--Now & Here
Marsha Ward--Writer in the Pines

August 3
Kaylee Baldwin--Kaylee Baldwin
Amy Orton--Amesbury Reads

August 4
Anna del C.--Anna del C. Dye's Blog
Laurie Lewis--A View from the Other Side

August 5
Valerie Ipson--Of Writerly Things
Anna Arnett--Insights and Ramblings from Anna Arnett

August 6
Lynn Parsons --Danyelle Ferguson--Queen of the Clan

Chocolate Roses can be purchased
from Deseret Books, Amazon.com and of course your local LDS bookstore.

All's Fair by Julie Coulter Bellon


It’s funny how sometimes when you meet someone you know right off that they are someone you will have an instant connection to. Julie Bellon is one of those people.

I met her at a book signing and learned that she lives within walking distance of my house. We both have large families, we both write books and we both even have birthdays a few days apart in November. However she is evidently still in her twenties while I am pushing the big half century mark.

Visiting her website at www.juliebellon.com I was amazed at even more similarities. Julie was born in Canada and married an American. I also married an American. Julie has travel extensively throughout the world with one of her favorite destinations being Athens. I'm sure I would love Athens. Julie met Princess Diana and I watched Princess Diana’s wedding on TV from my college apartment at three in the morning. She loves to read and take bubble baths. Hey… me too!

Julie is the author of six books and specializes in the genre of international thrillers, including All’s Fair the book I’m reviewing today and her most recent release Dangerous Connections. I once asked her how she came up with such sweeping plot themes covering multiple countries and thier governments. Julie explained that she teaches college classes in journalism, a subject she’s always been interested in. Following the news as closely as she does gives her the opportunity to watch patterns and trends, then ask the question… what if?

All’s Fair is like reading two novels packaged into one. Novel one is the story of Kristen Shepherd, daughter of well known General Shepherd and a political campaign expert in her own right. Hours before her high profile wedding to the son of a wealthy and prestigious family she learns that her fiancĂ© has been trying to transfer money from her bank accounts to the Middle East. Her attempt to unravel this mystery throws her into the path of Ryan Jameson, her first love and her first heartbreak.

Book two is set in Iraq where Kristen’s brother Dr. Brandon Shepherd, an Army doctor, has recently converted to the LDS faith. In an emergency mission to save two wounded soldiers before a sand storm overtakes them, Brandon finds himself and beautiful fellow doctor Rachel Fields prisoners to a group of zealous terrorists. His faith and courage are put to the test as he is forced to make a decision that could change his life and the fate of the war.

All’s Fair is the perfect summer read at a little over one hundred and eighty pages, and every page packed with excitement. The plot moves quickly, abd Julie has done her homework, so the story is fresh and accurate. There’s enough romance thrown in to spice things up, but it doesn’t interfere with the suspense.

A lot of couples are discovering the benefits of reading a book out loud together, and this is a book that would appeal to both men and women.

Finally, if you’re a family that likes to listen to a book on CD while driving, this is your book too. I recommend All’s Fair which can be purchased at Amazon for about $4.00 by clicking here.


Just One Wish by Janette Rallison


I always love to read Young Adult novels despite the fact that I am long past qualifying for that age moniker. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books as much as my children did. A Wrinkle in Time is a favorite, and one summer I read everything I could find at the library by its author Madeleine L'Engle. There is something fresh about authors who write for the young and young at heart. And considering they are in competition with video games and movies on demand, these authors have to bring a lot to the table to stay in the game.

I discovered Janette Rallison two years ago when I read her book My Fair Godmother. Her characters were so believable and the plot so exciting, I read it in one sitting. My Fair Godmother wasn’t her first book by any stretch of the imagination. Rallison is the author of more than ten YA books. Most recently My Double Life which was lately spotlighted in Seventeen Magazine, and is on my must read list for the summer.

Just One Wish is a story of seventeen year old Annika Truman’s quest to fill the wish of her younger brother Jeremy who has cancer. Jeremy wants to meet Robin Hood from the hit TV series Teenage Robin Hood and Annika has less than a week to make it happen.

With her best friend in tow, Annika heads out to Hollywood to track down Steve Raleigh the hearthrob actor who plays Robin Hood and talk him into return to her home in Henderson, Nevada. She is willing to do just about anything to make her sick little brothers wish come true.

This story is laugh out loud funny, with Annika managing to get herself into and out of some zany situation. Steve is everything one would want in a celebrity heart throb and his Hollywood girlfriend is as superficial and stuck up as any ambitious starlet on Entertainment Tonight.

This is a great read for those both young and old, but would make a particularly fun ‘read-together’ book for a mom and daughter. There’s nothing objectionable and a whole world of great bonding fun perfect for these long summer evenings. I whole heartedly recommend Just One Wish.