Space Baby Virtual Book Tour, Review, and Giveaway

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Space Baby 
Written by Jay Dee 
 Illustrated by Tom McGrath 
 Ages 3+ | 32 Pages 
Publisher: Kraine Kreative | ISBN-13: 9781777426118 

Publisher’s Book Summary: When Angelic hears that Daddy spread his love for her around the whole universe, she worries she hasn’t done the same for her baby brother. Only one thing to do! Brother and sister rocket into the night sky to explore the universe in search of the most awesome thing there. “Space Baby Salute!” 

Available for purchase here

Under multiple pen names, Jay Dee is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author behind chart-topping comics, fiction novels, and business books, including THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS and GROW THROUGH IT, which was written, illustrated, and published during the CV-19 lockdown with proceeds donated to coronavirus relief efforts. PASS THE PIG: LEADERSHIP BY ATTRACTION was his first non-fiction book, and he made his fiction debut with the multimedia sci-fi/fantasy THE PLAGUE and EZEKIAL, followed by RENEGAYD, all of which became bestsellers. To learn more about Jay Dee and his books, visit and 

Tom McGrath is based in the North West of England, working as a freelance illustrator since 2012. Despite being repeatedly told that all artists drink too much absinthe, cut their own ears off, and only make money after they’re dead – he has always wanted to be one. In fact, this has only encouraged him. He still has both his ears. To learn more, visit

Space Baby tells a sweet story about sharing love for family members, how it can spread throughout the universe, and always be with you. I felt like this story explains how love can always stay with you no matter the distance or circumstances. The theme is something that all kids can relate to. Kids will find this book fun and enjoy the message behind the story. The story was easy to read and will quickly become a favorite with young children. The illustrations were attractive and eye catching. The illustrator did a great job at capturing the wonders of space and stimulating the readers' imagination with his images. Overall, this is fun and sweet story that kids will enjoy reading.

Enter for the chance to win an autographed copy of Space Baby and a $250 donation to The Planetary Society and its mission to increase discoveries in our Solar System, elevate the search for life beyond our planet, and decrease the risk of Earth being hit by an asteroid.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A signed copy of Space Baby
  • A $250 donation made in your name to The Planetary Society and its mission to increase discoveries in our Solar System

Nine (9) winners receive:

  • A signed copy of Space Baby

Space Baby Book Giveaway

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Kraine Kreative. I also received a free digital pdf to review of the book, however, this is my honest opinion.

Ways to Save on Clothes

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Prices are skyrocketing in this economy from more expensive groceries, clothes, gas and etc. The
less you spend on clothes for you and your family, the more money you have to save or use for bills! Buying clothing doesn't have to be expensive if you're smart about how you're doing it. Here are several ways to save money on clothing purchases for you and your family:

1. Host a Clothing Swap: Get a group of friends together and have everyone bring clothes that they don't need or want anymore and let your friends (and you choose) from the clothes. There's a great tutorial located here.

2. Sign-up for Stores' Email: Some stores send out credit or high value coupons through their email. I would suggest signing up for your favorite stores' email program. Be sure also to list your birthday, if the company asks for it. For example, over J. Crew Factory sent me a $10 off coupon to use for my half-birthday, I was able to use it and get a cardigan sweater for under $3. That's pretty cheap! 

3. Sign-up for Stores' Reward Programs: I am signed up for a couple of stores' reward programs with stores I like. They will often send high-value coupons for birthdays, and you never know when your purchases will accumulate enough to earn you rewards that you can in turn use to purchase clothing. Reward programs will often send "rewards" or coupons out for your birthdays too.

4. Sell/Get Credit for Clothes at Consignment Store: I've gone to consignment stores in the past year and sold excess clothes that my kids didn't wear or outgrew. The store credit can then be used to purchase clothing for your kids in the next size! My favorite online one to use is Thredup. It makes selling adult clothes easy. For kids clothes, I use the local stores.

5. Shop Yard Sales: Yard sales are a great way to get cheap clothing!

6. Shop in the Off Season: Shop for what your kids need for the next year at the end of a season. Stores will sell off end of the season items for a discounted rate and it's best to get it at the end of the season rather than at the beginning and prices are high.

7. Shop Used: Shop at consignment and resell stores for clothing. This option is better for the environment and creating less waste. Just be careful. Just because an item is sell used doesn't mean it's being sold at a lesser cost than what you can find a discount on a clearance rack. Shop around and figure out what price points you're willing to spend.

8. Use Promo Codes and Online Cash Back Programs: When shopping online, I use promo codes and online cash back programs to help me save. My favorite online cash back programs are Ibotta and Rakuten. I get a percentage or coupons back from my purchases and those savings accumulate.

9. Know Price Points: I've heard from friends and family that discount superstores are the cheapest for clothing and malls are expensive, but that's not necessarily the case. I've gotten jeans for $15 from JcPenney on sale that beats out the $30 jeans at a discount superstore. It's really important that you establish price points and watch sales when you need to add something to your closet. Have a limit for what you're willing to spend on a t-shirt, jeans, pants, etc.

10. Buy What You Wear and Not What Sits in Your Closet: No matter how cheap something is or how good of a deal something is, it's a waste of money if it's not something that you will actually wear often and use. Buy what you will wear over and over again. You have to know your personality and understand what you like and your family likes. My son loves zip up hoodies, buying him windbreakers or light jackets is a waste of money even if it's less than a dollar because he won't wear them. Great deals doesn't necessarily mean that it's worth the money if it's not something you would use.

11. Buy Gift Cards: If you know you're going to spend money at a certain clothing store over the course of the year, buy gift cards during the holiday season when they're discounted or buy it at your local grocery store where you can accumulate perks for groceries or gas rewards. Every little bit helps.

12. Only Shop When You Know You're Going to Need Something: If you have enough clothes in your closet and you don't need anything for a certain season, then don't shop. You don't need to shop for new clothes if you don't need it. Buy what you need, and not what you want.

What are some of your tips?

Please note that there are referral links on this post that help support this blog.

Lulu the Beaver Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Lulu the Beaver

Written by Bethany Gano

Ages 5+ | 48 Pages

Publisher: Bunny Books | ISBN-13: 9781736147269

Publisher’s Book Summary: In a colony full of busy beavers, one bashful beaver is hiding a gigantic secret.

Lulu tries to be a typical beaver, but her dream of being an artist is getting out! Despite her friends’ encouragement, Lulu’s struggle with fear and self-doubt has led her into a pattern of destroying her artwork — until an unexpected encounter changes Lulu, and the forest, for good.

With funny asides, sound effects, and elements of comic-book style, this eye-opening tale urges kids to confront gloomy thinking and gives them the courage to bravely share their gifts.

“The idea of feeling…boxed in by others’ expectations…is a complicated subject to tackle, but Gano handles it deftly. Gano’s evocative text, combined with her dynamic and multihued mixed media illustrations, make for an immersive and atmospheric reading experience.”
—BookLife Review, Editor’s Pick

“[Lulu] loves the rhythms of the world and cherishes her forest neighbors — but she also dreams in color and yearns to chew stumps into shapes. Ebullience ferries this inspiring tale forward, and the revelation of Lulu’s beautiful differences is a triumphant moment for all.”
—Foreword Reviews (Starred Review)

Available for purchase on Amazon and the author's website.


Bethany Gano’s first large-scale work of art landed all over her parent’s kitchen floor — despite her witty, four-year-old attempt to give credit for the fine piece to her imaginary friends! She never stopped creating, though, and eventually learned the best places to display her artwork. Bethany has worked in the commercial arts for over twenty years and loves storytelling through art and design. She is extra fond of picture books — a place where art and words can’t survive without each other. Lulu the Beaver is her debut picture book.

Off the clock, you can find Bethany covered in paint, playing board games, swimming, daydreaming at the beach, and attempting to walk her dogs. She, her husband, three kids (and other furry and scaly family members) call Central Florida home.

For more information, visit:


Life Is What It's Called - What will children like most about Lulu the Beaver?

Bethany Gano - When I visit classes to share Lulu’s story, kids usually get most excited about three things. First, they enjoy “chomping” along with Lulu during the story. The “chomps” are woven throughout the text, and it creates a rhythmic beat which (when combined with other natural sounds from the forest) whisks Lulu away to colorful, dreamy la-la land where she creates her artwork. (I will be vague about these other two items so that I don’t create any spoilers!) Second, they are thrilled to meet the surprise visitor, and how this character relays her own story. Last, they LOVE the wordless, art- filled scenes toward the end!

Life Is What It's Called - How is this book different from other books about animals?

Bethany Gano - There are so many amazing animal books that orbit around real-life animal environments and behaviors, but Lulu’s story probably nestles itself best next to books dealing with emotions and feelings. With that in mind, Lulu the Beaver is not unlike many children's books featuring animals, in that what she deals with is akin to the struggles we face as humans. She feels boxed in by expectations (most of which are in her head) about what it should look like to fit in with the industrious beavers in her colony. The story has been compared with non-animal books (like Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon), as well as with animal-centric books (such as I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Devorah Petty). In I Don't Want to Be a Frog, the main character wished he wasn’t a frog and wished he was a cute and warm animal instead — until he discovered it wasn’t so bad being a frog after all. In contrast, Lulu knows she's a beaver (and actually loves being a beaver, loves her family and loves the forest) but doesn't realize that being a beaver doesn't have to crush her dream of being an artist. Lulu’s journey is truly about accepting and celebrating what makes each of us unique!

Life Is What It's Called - Why is it important to confront gloomy thinking?

Bethany Gano - I should start by sharing that Lulu is me. A little beaver stuck in a loop — suppressing her dreams, destroying her artwork, and resigning herself to blending in. I'd been working in the commercial arts for over 20 years, but never publicly shared any of my creative work before launching Lulu’s crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter. I had let fear and self-doubt get the best of me for such a long time. We often experience these kinds of gloomy thoughts starting at a very young age — it may be the fear of water, not wanting to share something we drew, or maybe feeling nervous about making a new friend. So, when I share Lulu’s story with kids, I also share mine. I talk about the importance of facing our fears, the value of perseverance, and the reality that practice makes pathways — all of these start with self-acceptance. If I hadn't confronted my own gloomy thinking, this book would not exist.

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to include humor in this book?

Bethany Gano - I absolutely love to laugh — I wish I would have included even more humor in her story! I think reading (especially as a child) should be a highlight of a kid’s day, and content that is fun and funny helps make learning this important skill enjoyable. Humor is also a great way to disarm and entertain, and allows us adults to slide right into important conversations with kids. Also, I should point out that I don’t like taking myself too seriously — I think that shows up in my work!

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to incorporate elements of comic book style?

Bethany Gano - My love for art and drawing started when I was little. I created my own comic characters (two dogs named Willie and Wanda), and faithfully read each comic strip that arrived in the Sunday paper every weekend. I also subscribed to my favorite comic books, and probably watched more than my fair share of Saturday morning cartoons (also, it was the 80s, so I drew more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I care to admit). There’s such an immediacy and playfulness about comics that I find magnetic. In comics, you often discover important clues or arrive at the joke’s punchline by scouring the artwork. I think this is something that lends itself beautifully to picture books. I hope to lean into these characteristics even more in my future books!

Life Is What It's Called - Do you have any activities to go along with the book?

Bethany Gano - Yes! I created an activity book that’s full of puzzles, mazes, coloring pages, writing and drawing prompts and more — it’s great for keeping 5–8-year-olds busy. Also, for teachers, I have a free teachers guide (to share Lulu in class) and offer free virtual author visits. You can also find info about all of that as well as printable activities at I think activities are a great way to get kids excited about reading and learning, and hope all of this creates a great tool set for parents and teachers — and, ultimately, kids!

Enter for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Lulu the Beaver or one of two very awesome Lulu the Beaver prize packs: The Illustration Pack or The Blast-Off Pack. 

One (1) grand prize winner receives: 

  •  A signed, hardcover copy of Lulu the Beaver 
  •  A blank sketchbook 
  •  A set of four Blackwing Volumes pencils 
  •  A pack of metal pencil caps 
  • One custom-painted illustration by Bethany of a name of your choosing (in Lulu’s forest lettering style shown, but the palette can be customized). 

One (1) grand prize winner receives: 

  •  A signed, hardcover copy of Lulu the Beaver 
  •  A copy of Lulu’s Activity Book One 
  • “Dream On” patch 
  •  One “Lulu Blast” sticker 
  •  One “Lulu Blast” bookmark 
Three (3) winners receive: 
  •  A signed, hardcover copy of Lulu the Beaver 

Lulu the Beaver Book Giveaway 

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Bunny Books.

Home Decor Trends for 2023

Monday, January 16, 2023

Wondering what the home decor trends are for 2023? Or how to style your home and make changes for the coming year? It's hard to keep track of new trends in decor for the home and what's hot and what's not. Having a well put together home and can really set the mood for your family and help you feel comfortable and at ease at home. I interviewed my friend Jordan, an interior designer to learn more about home decor, trends to do and how to style my home. Check out the interview below and be sure to follow her for more tips and tricks on Instagram.

Life Is What It's Called - What home decor trends do you see coming for 2023?

The Freckled Home - Here are 5 trends that I am seeing in design for 2023...

Dopamine decor (or feel good/happy spaces)
  • Dopamine decor is using color, pattern and tactile furnishings in your space as a way to make you feel happier.

  • Bold colors, bright & bold artwork, dream like wallpaper and mood lifting accents. - It’s a joyful decorating trend that creates a sense of fun and escapism from the uncertainty of the world.

Vintage Design- 70’s vibe
  • Influenced by the popularity of mid-century modern- designers are looking back to the 70’s for vintage inspiration.

  • Warm browns, golds and red tones (think clay, honey or paprika) are the base for interiors, and then layered with fun colors and shapes to add interest. - Soft shapes and relaxed “sink-in” seating add to the cozy feeling of your space and also the vintage, 70’s vibe.

  • We’re seeing the return of minimalism, but this time it's a more sophisticated and cozy feeling.

  • Warm wood tones and natural textures are a feature that create that cozy vibe, without taking away from the simplicity and cleanliness of minimalist styles.

Painted borders & ceilings
  • This is an inexpensive way to highlight a room’s structure and create a wow factor with color!

  • Borders can be stenciled, color blocked or free handed (if you’re brave!) And you can play with fun color combinations or keep it simple.

  • Painting the ceilings a color is a unique (but not uncommon design element) that adds a fun pop of color to your space- without being overly dramatic. You can use the same color on the ceiling as your walls- if you want to create the illusion of more space and depth. Or use a contrasting color for a cozier and bolder effect.

  • Common myth: Painting your ceiling a color other than white will make your room feel like a cave. False. Unless you paint the whole room black, it will not feel like a dark cave. Try it! Every client I have ever had is always a skeptic at first, but once they paint their ceilings- they love it!

Warm tones
  • Warm hues are back in design. Paint colors, finishes, metals, fabrics and textiles are all showing up in warmer tones. We are seeing less and less of the cooler, gray tones in design now.

Life Is What It's Called - What tips do you have for switching out seasonal decor?

The Freckled Home - What you see on social media isn’t really sustainable or reality. Every space in your home doesn’t need to be decorated for every holiday or season. That’s a lot of work! And when you’ve designed a space, you don’t just move everything around all the time. It’s designed to be that way with those furnishings, artwork and certain accessories. For seasonal decor I really only have a few places in my home that I change out regularly, and I encourage my clients to do the same. The mantel is a great place to change out decor. It’s a smaller space- but it can have a big impact. Also bookshelves or an entryway table or cabinet are also a great place to decorate seasonally. These are areas with high visibility in your home, so you can enjoy the decorations more often- which is really the whole point! Keeping your seasonal decorations simple and in the same style/colors of the rest of your home, will help everything feel cohesive to your overall design aesthetic and not look cluttered.

Life Is What It's Called - Do you have an Amazon shop with recommendations?

The Freckled Home -  Amazon Shop: - Yes I do!

Life Is What It's Called - What are some easy things one can do to spruce up a room?

The Freckled Home - 
  • Change out pillows! Pillows or pillow covers are an easy and fairly inexpensive way to change the look and feel of a space. They can add pops of color with fun patterns or a solid color. Pillows can also add coziness with textures or soft plush fabrics.

  • Organizing and cleaning your space is an easy way to spruce up a room too. I love to use fabric boxes/bins to store things like remotes, dog toys, kids toys, etc. that you use in a space all the time, but don’t necessarily want laying around. It makes storage fun and pretty! Large baskets or bins are also a great way to store extra pillows or blankets in a living room/family room, and can be moved around easily. They also add texture and warmth to a fireplace, when set on the hearth.

  • Changing out artwork or wall decor can change the look of a room without too much work! Even just rearranging what you already have on the walls or adding a few new pieces can dramatically change your walls. (Most people hang their artwork, pictures and wall decor too high. Artwork should be around eye level, and not too high from any furniture that is under it or it will look disconnected and off. Hang things in your space for you and the people who live there, so if you are shorter- you shouldn’t hang a mirror at eye level for someone who is 6’4”. Of course there are exceptions to this rule- like when you are filling a tall space or making a gallery wall...but in general don’t hang your wall decor too high.)

  • Rearranging your furniture to create a better layout or flow of a room can dramatically change the look and feel of your space. It’s easy and doesn’t cost a thing!

Life Is What It's Called - What are your decor must haves?

The Freckled Home - 

  • Candles - whether you like to burn them or use a candle warmer, candles add warmth, light and smell delicious. They make any space feel cozier!

  • Throw pillows - I love pillows! They are the finishing touch to your decor and add color and style to your space.

  • Plants - whether they are real or faux, plants bring the outdoors in and add color & texture to any room.

  • Lighting - having enough lighting in a space is so important. Floor lamps, and table lamps are a great way to add more soft lighting to a room. Lamps are also a great opportunity to add design elements to your space that are functional and lovely.

Life Is What It's Called - Why is it important to have a good looking home inside?

The Freckled Home - Because everyone deserves to have a beautiful, well-designed space that feels comfortable and reflects their sense of style, no matter their budget. Your home is your retreat from the world and should feel like a place you want to be. Design is about using a fundamental set of guidelines or design principles to create a unique space for each client. No two spaces should be the same, because no two people are the same. And it’s also fun and easier to have people over when your home looks beautiful!

Life Is What It's Called - Where are the best places to shop on a budget for home decor?

The Freckled Home -
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • IKEA
  • TJMaxx
  • HomeGoods
  • JoAnn’s or Michaels - they have great decor accessories, pillows, seasonal decor & you can use coupons!
  • Online I really like Wayfair & Amazon for rugs and accent furniture
  • And thrift stores are great places to find treasures too!
Life Is What It's Called - How do you learn about home decor trends?

The Freckled Home -
  • Online magazines or real ones are a great resource. A few of my favorites are House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Veranda and Better Homes and Gardens.

  • Pinterest is also a great place to keep up with the latest home decor trends. You can follow designers/home decor accounts to see what they are saving and their ideas on how to implement the trends into your decor.

  • Same thing with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or TikTok - follow designers or home decor accounts that you like to keep up on new trends.

Life Is What It's Called? What are classic design trends that stay consistent with time?

The Freckled Home -
  • Subway tile for your kitchen backsplash. It is a timeless and classic choice!

  • Painting your ceiling a color. Throughout history the ceilings were always treated as a 5th wall and painted a color or decorated ornately to show one’s status/wealth.

  • Using vintage/antique furniture and decor in your home. It gives your home a curated and classic feel.

  • Using a neutral color pallet on your walls. Neutral tones are a classic choice for any space and allow you to add colors through art, pillows and furnishings- without having to repaint the walls when you get tired of the latest “trendy” color.

  • Wooden wall treatments, like board and batten, shiplap, beadboard or reclaimed wood walls.

  • Plants - real or faux. Plants add life, color and texture to a space, and there are some awesome faux plants & succulents out there- so no water or sunlight required! 

Just remember, even with all the “design rules” out there- it’s best to just be yourself and let your space reflect that. Being true to your own design style and taste, never goes out of style!

The Earl's Hideaway, No Ladies Allowed

Saturday, January 14, 2023


If there is one woman Samson Rutherford, Earl of Riverton, can’t abide, it is his meddling sister. He has spent his whole life being a pawn in her plans and tricks, but when one of her schemes leaves him embarrassed in front of an old friend, he has finally had enough. He cannot beat her at her games, or even say no to her, his only option to save his sanity and pride is to run away--and fortunately, his solicitor knows just the place…

Catherine Wallace wasn’t born to be a governess, but with her family’s fall from grace, she has become one. A good one. However, when the chance arises to stay at her uncle’s home so she can care for his horticulture project while he is absent, she jumps at the chance. Leaving her position, she plans to gather her sisters together so they can be a family again--even if it is only for a little while.

But the last thing Catherine expected to find upon her arrival was her childhood friend. Samson has sequestered himself at the cottage and claims to have been invited to watch over her uncle’s business while he is away. However, Catherine insists that’s what she’s been asked to do. The quiet retreat is what they both need, but they cannot stay there together...

Not unless they can manage the horticulture project together and somehow keep their living conditions secret, that is. Because the last thing Catherine wants is for Samson to be forced into marriage like he has been forced into everything else since childhood.

Luckily for Samson, that happens to be a risk he is willing to take.

The Earl's Hideaway, No Ladies Allowed takes readers through a fun comedy-romance. The story is creatively written and brings fresh storytelling to the romance genre. The characters are likable even despite their flaws of being people-pleasing. The humor makes the story fun and an enjoyable entertaining read. Hatch does a good job at describing her scenes and making her characters seem real and engaging. I did feel like there was a slight hole in the story and an unresolved issue, but it's not enough to stop readers from finding the story enjoyable and the unresolved issue may be solved in another story. Overall, I really enjoyed this read. I feel like Esther Hatch is one of the top writers to read for this genre and I look forward to her next book. To learn more about The Earl's Hideaway, No Ladies Allowed, click here.

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.

New Releases Coming Out in 2023 with Covenant Communication Publishing

Thursday, January 12, 2023

At the start of the new year as I make my reading goals through the library and Goodreads, I start to figure out what I am going to read and what books to anticipate in 2023. This can help plan out library holds, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, figuring out new trends, and more. It also helps to figure out books for the kids and new authors to introduce them too. I interviewed Covenant Communication Publishing to see what books they are releasing next year and what books to anticipate.

Life Is What It's Called - What would you say readers want to read in 2023? 

Covenant Communications - Readers are looking for uplifting content and human connection from their stories. They want something that will speak to their individual lives and personalities but also be something that they can share with their parents, friends, and children. Books are huge on TikTok and Instagram and you’ll see some amazing and unique titles being talked about—but the drawback for many of these books is that you can’t read them in public! They are entertaining and unique, but they aren’t meant for the uplifting of spirits and strengthening of character. 2023 is the year where readers want not only to be entertained, but they want to be seen, they want to be uplifted, and they want to be able to share these stories with others!

Life Is What It's Called -What are some of the nonfiction books coming out that we should add to our TBR pile?

Covenant Communications - We have some truly uplifting titles coming in 2023. To start off, Finding Promised Blessings on the Covenant Path by Kerry Muhlestein came out on January 3, 2023. It’s the perfect way to jump into the new year. It’s a booklet, so it’s a short read that packs a powerful message.

This spring we will be releasing an amazing workbook, Prepare Your Child, that will help parents guide their children to healthy choices in a world saturated in pornography. Two other titles this spring that we are very excited about are: Blessed are Ye, a book by Brad and Roger Wilcox discussing the Beatitudes that Christ taught and how they can apply to us, and Women of Light by Jack R. Christianson, a wonderful book that celebrates the divinity of women. This book features beautiful artwork for women, by women and will be the perfect gift for women everywhere.

Toward the end of 2023 we will be gearing up for our Book of Mormon study in 2024. You can expect books from Tamara Hall (author of Far Above Rubies), Hank Smith, Scott Sorensen, Timothy Ballard, Ganel-Lyn Condie and John Fossum (Talk of Him podcast hosts), and Samantha Millburn (Little Latter-Day Saint Library series). We also have a beautiful compilation of testimonies about the Book of Mormon called Be it Known, written by some of your favorite inspirational authors.

Life Is What It's Called - What are the romance books that readers should anticipate for this year?

Covenant Communications - We have so many delightful romances headed your way in 2023! We’ve already released two unique titles, Secret of the Sonnets by Samantha Hastings and Scotland’s Melody by Katie Stewart Stone. Both are great reads and we’ve already received fantastic reviews for both. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have I’m Not Charlotte Lucas by Kasey Stockton and the final book in the Dreams Edge series, Worlds Collide, by Traci Hunter Abramson.

Spring will bring us book five of the Georgian Gentleman series from Sian Ann Bessey! And we just announced a new book by Dana LeCheminant for May 2023, titled, Where Dreams Meet. It’s a Regency romance inspired by Sleepless in Seattle!

Later in the year we have books coming from several new authors, and books coming from some of our favorites! This includes Jennifer Moore with book four in the Blue Orchid Society series, Chalon Linton, Anneka Walker with book two in the Matchmaking Mama’s series, Raneé Clark, Heidi Kimball, and Karen Tuft. Along with these fabulous authors, Sarah M. Eden has several romantic titles coming out throughout 2023 that you absolutely won’t want to miss!

Life Is What It's Called - What are fiction books that we should anticipate this year?

Covenant Communications - We have some incredible fiction titles you can look forward to in 2023. Two are by A. L. Sowards, who is a master at historical fiction. The first book comes out in March 2023, A Waltz with Traitors, which features the Czechodlovak Legion and the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1918. The second title is a long-awaited sequel and will hit shelves in late Fall of 2023. We can’t wait to talk more about both titles!

Life Is What It's Called -What suspense books should we anticipate?

Covenant Communications - We can’t give away all our secrets about upcoming suspense titles, but you can expect a thrilling suspense story from Kathi Oram Peterson in February that features a 70-year-old World War II murder mystery and a ghost! Clair Poulson has two titles coming out in 2023, one in late spring and another in the fall. Traci Hunter Abramson has several suspense titles coming out, some that have officially been announced, like Covert Ops, and a few that we can’t wait to announce.

Stephanie Black will have a new book in the fall of 2023 and Tyson Abaroa has a sequel to his 2021 book, The Cost of Secrets, slated to release in July of 2023.

Life Is What It's Called -What exciting new debut authors should we read?

Covenant Communications - We have EIGHT new-to-Covenant authors this year! Some you may be familiar with, such as Kasey Stockton, Samantha Hastings, and Laura Rupper (new to the historical romance genre). They have either indie published or worked with other publishing companies. Others will be publishing for the first time and we can’t wait to share their stories with you! Look for Jill Geigle (non-fiction April 2023), Amanda Taylor (Regency romance—May 2023), Rachel Stones (Regency romance—July 2023), Jill Warner (Regency romance—November 2023) and Barbara Adamson (contemporary romance—December 2023)

Life Is What It's Called -Are there any other genres releasing this year that readers will want to be aware of?

Covenant Communications - On March 14, 2023 (Pi Day!!), we have a unique cookbook coming out, created by three of our fiction authors, Traci Hunter Abramson, Sian Ann Bessey and Sarah M. Eden! They’ve pulled some delightful dishes from their fiction titles and shared their delicious recipes with their readers.

We also have our yearly Christmas anthology that comes out in October to look forward to. Written by four incredible authors, this Christmas release is one you will not want to miss.

Life Is What It's Called - Which book hitting the shelf this year is a "must" pre-order?

Covenant Communications - That’s like asking what dessert you want to eat first at a buffet! There are so many amazing options, and it all depends on what you’re in the mood for.

Are you looking for a romance, a suspense title, or something a little more general fiction? Perhaps a scripture study aide or some inspirational nonfiction? While I can’t answer this question without knowing what you’re looking to read. I can tell you that paperback preorders will be put up on Amazon just after their official cover reveal, with the ebook version being available for preorder about a week before release.

Personally, I think the best time to preorder is about four weeks before release when titles become available for preorder on Seagull Book’s website. Not only will you save 20% on most titles, but we will also have some fun freebies connected to some of Seagull’s preorder listings!

Life Is What It's Called - Are there any author events that we should add to our calendars?

Covenant Communications - We will have several fun events taking place throughout the year. Our two main events will take place at various Seagull Book locations on March 25 and September 23. We’ve got some exciting plans in the works with our authors. Make sure you’re following us on social media so you can be the first to get all the details about our upcoming events!

Thank you, Shadow Covenant Communication Publishing, for the interview! I enjoyed learning about new releases and seeing what's coming down the pipeline. What books did you learn about that you want to add to your to be read list?

Please note that this post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.

New Releases Coming Out in 2023 with Shadow Mountain Publishing

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

At the start of the new year as I make my reading goals through the library and Goodreads, I start to figure out what I am going to read and what books to anticipate in 2023. This can help plan out library holds, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, figuring out new trends, and more. It also helps to figure out books for the kids and new authors to introduce them too. I interviewed Shadow Mountain publishing to see what books they are releasing next year and what books to anticipate.

Life Is What It's Called - What would you say readers want to read in 2023?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - Readers want to read more of what they love in the genre that they love, and we aim to meet those expectations at Shadow Mountain Publishing.

Life Is What It's Called - What are some of the non-fiction books coming out that we should add to our TBR pile?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - Keep an eye out for the inspirational gift book from Jason F. Wright, titled Rise Today which reminds those who are struggling that they are not alone in their trials.

Life Is What It's Called - What are the romance books that readers should anticipate for this year?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - We're very excited for the release of Megan Walker'sMiss Newbury's List which will be a treat for fans of Lakeshire Park.

Sarah M. Eden will publish 3 books with us next year, the first being the 3rd standalone novel in her western Proper Romance series: Wyoming Wild. In the fall, the 5th book in the Dread Penny Society Series will be released along with a special collector's edition of penny dreadfuls from the series with brand-new exclusive stories you won't want to miss.

Life Is What It's Called - What are fiction books that we should anticipate this year?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - Stay tuned for the WWI Historical Fiction, Under the Cover of Mercy from best-selling author, Rebecca Connolly and the follow-up to Arlem Hawks' stunning historical romance from 2021, Along a Breton Shore.

Life Is What It's Called - What cookbooks will we want to add to our recipe collection for this year?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - This spring we'll release a cookbook titled 20-40-60-Minute Dinners by Kate Otterstrom. This innovative cookbook is organized by time instead of topic, allowing you to adjust your family’s dinner needs to the time you have available.

Life Is What It's Called - What exciting new debut authors should we read? 

Shadow Mountain Publishing - Beauty Reborn by Elizabeth Lowham is a beautiful Young Adult Fantasy that will really tug at your heartstrings. Coming in May 2023, fantasy and reality collide in this retelling of Beauty and the Beast about a young woman’s heroic quest to save herself.

Life Is What It's Called - Are there any new middle grade series coming out this year?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - J. Scott Savage will release a new middle grade series titled Graysen Foxx and the Treasure of Principal Redbeard. A young treasure hunter must decipher clues, solve puzzles, and search his school for a long-lost chest filled with decades of confiscated toys.

Life Is What It's Called -What middle grade series will continue this year?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - The long-awaited addition to The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull culminates with the 3rd book, Carnival Quest, headed to bookstores March 14, 2023. On pi day no less 😉

Life Is What It's Called - What stand-alone middle grade books should we anticipate?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - The critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Stella will release a new novel with us next spring. Just Gus is a tender story of belonging and of two friends who learn they are better together than they were alone.

Life Is What It's Called - Which book hitting the shelf this year is a "must" pre-order?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - We have such an amazing line-up of books releasing written by incredible authors in 2023. But if you love the Fablehaven and Dragonwatch series by Brandon Mull, you'll want to make sure you get your hands on The Official Fablehaven Cookbook releasing in August 2023.

Life Is What It's Called - Are there any author events that we should add to our calendars?

Shadow Mountain Publishing - We have quite a few events lined up for early 2023. We'll be celebrating the release of Virtually Me by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown, on Thursday, February 2, 2023 with an exciting launch party.

We'll also be holding a special ticketed event for our Proper Romance fans on February 16, 2023 at Wadley Farms in Lindon, UT.

And with the release of the 3rd Candy Shop War book, we will be holding an out-of-this-world launch party/carnival in mid-March.

For the latest news on these events, visit and sign up for our newsletter.

Thank you, Shadow Mountain Publishing, for the interview! I enjoyed learning about new releases and seeing what's coming down the pipeline. What books did you learn about that you want to add to your to be read list?

Please note that this post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.

The Best Mistake Review

Thursday, January 5, 2023


Following a knee injury during the final Stanley Cup game, professional hockey player Miles Donnelly finds himself sidelined in the hospital with his career hanging in the balance. His only hope is to work with a doctor to rehab and rebuild the strength in his knee. The catch: he has to remain in New York City for the next two months rather than return home to Montreal.

After her father is incapacitated by a heart attack, Manhattan socialite Linda Bancroft trades house parties in the Hamptons for taking over management of the family’s real estate empire. But her first day on the job, she faces imminent disaster after an unscrupulous employee is fired. She needs a new apartment manager, and fast. The unlikely solution to her problem comes in the form of an injured—and dangerously handsome—hockey player looking for a place to stay. Thrown together by chance, Miles and Linda quickly realize there is something deeper between them than just friendship. But when outside pressures begin to strain their relationship, they must confront an impossible question: Can two people from entirely different worlds truly build a future together?


The Best Mistake features characters from two different worlds that both have had dreams that took a detour and have had to pick up the pieces. The characters are likeable as well as the journey that starts to drive them together. This is a likeable, enjoyable story that romance readers will enjoy. The story moves quickly and is easy to read. It's a clean and wholesome romance. Readers will enjoy the mixture of sports and two people coming together from different worlds despite the odds. To learn more about this fun romance, click here.

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.
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