Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BACK TO THE BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP!

It's time for another I am a Reader, Not a Writer giveaway hop.  This is for all followers and I would like to say thank you to I am Reader and Buried in Books for hosting this giveaway!  I'm sure there will be hundreds of fun giveaways and I hope everyone wins!  I'm doing my part by giving followers a choice of any of the three books.
 So..  to enter... simple .... Be a GFC follower and leave a comment on the best book of 2011 that you've read this year
Mine is one yet to be published by debut author Jennifer Rogers Spinola!  Awesome read.  A very close second is Double Crossing by Meg Mims.  For YA, I'd have to go with Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris, but there have been a lot of good YA reads this year.  For middle school, Carl Hiaasen and Chomp (still not released either)

The fine print:
  • Ages 13 and up please (have your parents sign up)
  • US only
  • All entries must be in by 12:00 pm CST Sept 7, 2011
  • E-mail must be on the comment post or easily found when clicking on your icon
And the prizes you ask?  Please post with your choice of book. 

Adult book

Young Adult
   

Middle School or YA



The YA and Middle School books are both Hardcover.  Canary List is paperback.   And...if you would really really really rather have..  I have a $10 gift card to Amazon.  Don't forget to mark what you want to win.

Hope you have fun on the blog hop..  keep going with the blog with the linky!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cherished



Title: Cherished
Author: Kim Cash Tate
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Available: 8/30/11
Source: NetGalley

About the book:
Our pasts somehow seem to find a way to sneak up on us even if we really try to hide from it. God knows us better and what we need so why do we feel the urge to do it our way? The women (and men for that matter) are no different than we are and have to find their way to forgiveness through God. Kelli London wanted to be a songwriter, but settled for another life, but because of unforeseen things happening she ended up back in her hometown with the one person she thought she would never be in touch with again. But will the pain of the past force them farther apart? Kelli forms a bond with another unlikely stranger, Heather Anderson who is running from her own demons and knows God could never forgive such a sinner as she. With the help of a wise mentor and Kelli, can she learn to love? Can they both learn what it is like to be cherished as no other?

My take:


This is a book full of regrets and past mistakes. There was a lot of meat in this book, not a quick read by any means. It really makes you take a step back and look at your own past failures and see if they are holding you back from becoming closer to God or maybe even identify with one of the characters. The characters could be some of my own friends and family and Ms. Tate makes them come to life through her descriptions. I recently learned that her first book, "Faithful" has the love story of some of the minor characters in this book. Guess I'll have to pick it up! This is a Christian fiction story with a romance, but romance is not the focus, it is much more in depth than a simple love story. There are some choices made that seem a bit weird, but the author does a wonderful weaving of all storylines that it makes sense. I really enjoyed this book while on the beach in MI this summer and encourage you to pick it up and get involved in the lives of these lively friends!

6 out of 7 thumbs up...






I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. No other compensation was given in exchange for a review. All thoughts are mine!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Title: Horse Dreams
Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Publisher: Tyndale Kids
Source: NetGalley
Pub. Date: 9/1/11

About the book:
This is part of the backyard horses series. Ellie James has always dreamed of owning a black stallion. Her friends own horses and have won allot of trophies, but Ellie has never been able to have her own horse. Ellie has a hard time seeing an answer to her prayer, not realizing that maybe God doesn't always say yes.

My take:
What school age girl hasn't dreamed of owning her own horse? This is a great beginning chapter book for Christian girls to not only read about horses and horse shows, but also a great source to learn about answered prayers. Sometimes God does say yes, sometimes no and sometimes in a different way in what we expect. This is an important lesson for everyone. I'm really glad to see a series for Christian kids. I didn't realize these books were out there and I think my daughter will really enjoy it when it comes out!

The author:
She has written over 400 books for all ages. She has a few series for beginning readers and even
teens and adults. She has won many awards for her books and has books with secular as well as Christian publishers. You can find more about the author and her books here.





Five thumbs up out of five!


I was given this book to review by NetGalley and Tyndale kids. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and I was given no other compensation for a good review.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Very First Author Interview....of....





MEG MIMS





and her Debut Novel








Double Crossing!


Meg Mims was the featured debut author last Monday, August 13, 2011 . She is the author of Double Crossing, a historical novel that I couldn't put down and lost hours of sleep over and told her so. She has agreed to come and answer some burning questions for her adoring fans and I am totally grateful!







Question #1
Tell us something about Double Crossing that didn't make the cut. ....

Well, I actually had the opposite problem. I had the beginning down pat, the early middle and the Dale Creek bridge scene, plus the end pretty well set. Things dulled down after Dale Creek. I would fall asleep trying to revise. That's a real problem, LOL! I knew something major had to happen, and then consulted with my long-time CP (a genius, by the way, about logic and plotting.) We generally don't line edit -- just brainstorm at various points - for
each other. She gave me a nudge in a new direction (no spoilers, SORRY!) that really seemed to be *the key* to make the entire puzzle fall together. The manuscript was much stronger once I added that 2/3 of the way through the book! It really worked. But I have had other manuscripts where I've had to cut -- usually research, the best details that may have NO point to add to the story! That's tough to slice off, but it's gotta be done. Ouch.


Question #2
Where do you usually do your writing?

Don't laugh - on my living room couch. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, I have "Sheldon's spot" too, LOL. I cannot, cannot, for the life of me, write much anywhere else! And I've tried. No idea why. I first started writing as a hobby at my dining room table, long ago... graduated to an "office" bedroom, which needs major reorganization... and then switched to the couch. I can see out of the picture window - birds, squirrels, etc. I like it.


Question #3
Since I know you love to research....how do you decide on what to research? I mean there are a couple million things to focus on.


For Double Crossing, I started with Evanston since I knew I wanted to begin there - and I'd visited years ago. Then I just progressed westward, right along with Lily (although I already knew Chicago's history) through Illinois and Iowa, to Omaha's history, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific RR history (which was the bulk of my research, truly!) and California. For Double or Nothing, I'm researching more in California - I haven't decided if there
will be as much travel except between Sacramento and San Francisco, plus the mining camps. But there's plenty yet to do! I really love to add realistic details about settings, cities and towns, food, clothing, etc. I really hope readers enjoy that too.


I have been to some of the locations that you mentioned in IL and IN and I think you did pretty good with the descriptions.


Question #4
I know we share favorite childhood books....Trixie Belden and Little House on the Prairie, but who are some of your current favorites? (I still like LHOP books..glad my girls are old enough to enjoy them now)


I read primarily historical or contemporary mysteries. Charles Todd, Will Thomas, Cleo Coyle, S.J. Rozan to name a few... but I also love big juicy historicals with romantic elements and mystery blended in... Judith Merkle Riley and Sharon Kay Penman, Margaret Lawrence stand out. I juggle several books at once -- I just finished Jonathan Maberry's 3rd Joe Ledger book in his thriller series, I'm reading Trophies by J. Gunnar Grey and also Lee Allen Howard's The Sixth Seed, plus Jason Jack Miller's The Devil and Preston Black. And I've got Steig Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book after that. Call me an eclectic reader? Definitely!

Well...if you check out this blog...I think I'd be called an eclectic reader too! So nothing wrong with that!



Question #5
What part of writing and getting published were you the most surprised about?


I think it's how much time promotion takes. I enjoy it, especially talking about Double Crossing - but it's hard to get myself in a regular schedule to make real progress on the next book, my freelance writing job, other articles I have to write, etc. I think the whole "I'm published now!" basking period is hanging on by its claws, and it's time to "get over" myself and get back to serious work. ;-D




Please get back to work, I eagerly await the sequel! But on the plus side, I love all the promotion work you are doing because I may have not happened upon your book without that win!





Question #6
Do you reach for the sweet or the salty for snacking?


Hmm. I try to stick to crunchy peanut butter on apple slices (both) or crackers and cheese, but at times I do like a bit of salty taco chips! But cookies are my absolute downfall. I try NOT to buy them. Except for one box of Girl Scout Thin Mints, of course. LOL






Mmmmm Girl Scout Cookies!!!!

Question #6
I know you blog and facebook and tweet (because I stalk, oops I mean follow, you on all three), which is your favorite form of social media?


LOLOL!! I really enjoy writing my blog posts. I consider that my "jumpstart" freelance fun stuff -- it's totally free to readers, too. ;-D I think FB is getting to be more of a chore to keep up with everything, but I love seeing people's pictures and funny posts. Twitter can be work, but there's something about 140 characters -- sort of "flash" fiction, and also fun. It's sweet of you to stalk -- er, follow me. Not sure I deserve that, but
I'll dub you my #1 FAN! ;-D


Oh me Oh my!!! I'm #1!!! I'm doin' the happy dance and my kids think I'm totally psycho now!
Question #7
I've seen a snippet of a new book to come out....can you talk about it yet or is it still a WIP (work in progress)


My snippet of FIRE POINT? Ah, yes. It's complete - I wrote it for my Master's Thesis program at Seton Hill University. Artist Sydney Sinclair finds the half-burned, strangled female keeper at the lighthouse. Sydney draws a sketch from a plaster death mask to help verify the woman's identity, but her efforts prove the victim is not the keeper after all. Sydney faces betrayal from friends and uncovers village secrets that lead to a second murder -- and sets her directly in the killer's path. FIRE POINT is on an editor's desk now. I have started Double or Nothing - the research, the backgrounds (for new characters), the plot points, the character arcs, etc. etc. I spend at least two weeks on pre-writing.

Great another book to buy and devour and get no sleep over! Actually it sounds great...can't wait to read it!

And finally...Question #8...
Anything else you want to tell us about Double Crossing?


I'm curious if people think it's anything close to "True Grit" on a train (or the Iron Horse) -- I started promoting it using that "tease" but I am not sure if that helped or not. I know readers may have wanted more romance, but Lily is very cautious, and in reality her father's murder took precedence over starting any relationship with anyone. I think book two, Double or Nothing, may give her a little more leeway. Hope that helps to satisfy some of the readers who finish Double Crossing!

If you have finished the book and think it is close to "True Grit", why don't you let her know, either comment below or you can find Meg Mims on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or her own website. Please let me know what kind of questions you would like to see from future author interviews.

I would like to thank Meg Mims for her time in doing this for my small blog!! I really did enjoy the book and you can read the review for it here. I really appreciate her taking the time out to do this and she is fun to talk to! So Thank You again from your #1 Fan! (insert big scream here)







Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Misfit {review)




Title: Misfit
Author: Jon Skovron
Publisher: Abrams
Available: Now
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: NetGalley

About the book:


Jael always knew she wasn't like the other kids. Hr mom was a demon and her dad, a priest. She thought maybe they could finally stay in one place, but then she turned 16 and learned the truth. She was 1/2 demon herself, well as her mom liked to say all demon and all human. To another world she was trouble. She had to fight for her life and others with the help of her fingers crossed, hoped to be boyfriend and Uncle Dagon (who she never met before she learned the secret).







My take:



After I finished it I had no clue as to if I liked it or really hated it. Besides the awkwardness of reading in whatever tense it happened to be in at the moment, there were some randomness in the storyline that didn't make sense or made the heroine look completely stupid. However...I couldn't stop reading it, not because it was a train wreck waiting to happen, because I really liked the whole storyline. The heaven and hell concept was a little strange, but because I knew this was a book of fiction, I was okay with the concept. I did enjoy the 'history' lessons and the family dynamics were quite the interesting read. I can see this as a series, because it left off that way..but maybe a prequel with her parents' story might soften the awkwardness of the reading. I will recommend this book for those that like the paranormal/horror genre and for older teens and up and like some other reviews have stated....the first few pages are slow, but it will pick up!







4 thumbs...







I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through netgalley for no compensation except my honest opinions.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Monday...Must be time for an Author debut Bye for Now {review}




Title: Bye for Now
Author: Kathleen Churchyard
Publisher: Egmont USA
Available: 8/23/11
Source: netgalley

About the Book:


What 11 year old girl (or boy) has not wanted to change places with someone else who is cooler, better looking, better athlete..etc. Robin has a horrible 11th birthday and wishes she was someone else and something amazing happens. She finds herself in England in another 11 year old girls' body named Fiona and then things really start getting weird. After finally contacting herself, who is really a girl from India, she finds that this can only happen when 2 girls wish at the same time and there are more (Wishers) out there. They have to find a way back to their own bodies or do they? Maybe this life is the one they deserve.



My take:
This was a fun read. Great for that age group...first chapter books. The story was a bit confusing as the reader has to figure out who traveled where and who is really who...but once that's down, it's cute. There are a lot of moral points along the road that could have been condensed a bit more, but definitely will help your child think a little about what is good about their own life. The travel to another country was a great idea to engage young readers into other cultures...hey even I learned a little something! (now I'm probably all toady or something) I will probably be getting this for my own ten year old. It seems to be the first in a series called The Wishers, but I haven't seen any blurbs about any future books, but since the book left us with a cliffhanger I know more are coming. Great start for this debut author.


About the Author:
Kathleen Churchyard currently lives in North Carolina but has called many places home over the years, including London (the main focus of the book). She was a screenwriter for Hollywood studios, sorry don't know what she wrote, before she tackled this new area of a young reader author. I can't find any website or blog or FB or twitter or anything about this author...so if you know anything..please let me know!!!







6 out of 7 thumbs! Great chapter book for early reader's (probably 3-5 grades).

Received this from netgalley as a courtesy for a honest review. No other compensation and all thought here are mine!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

Wow...the week flew by! Almost the end of August already. Here's the weekly Mailbox post meme... Thx to The Story Siren as always!





I actually went to a brick and mortar store this week and bought:
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

For Review:




Misfit by Jon Skovron


Bye For Now by Kathleen Churchyard
Tankborn by Karen Sandler


So...tell me what you got!!! Include your IMM and I'll come and visit!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Shorts


I've been doing a ton of reading and have a lot of reviews..but most books aren't due to be released for awhile, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peak with the publisher's words into the future.

Lily Renee, Escape Artist
In 1938, Lily RenĂ©e Wilheim is a 14-year-old Jewish girl living in Vienna. Her days are filled with art and ballet. Then the Nazis march into Austria, and Lily's life is shattered overnight. Suddenly, her own country is no longer safe for her or her family. To survive, Lily leaves her parents behind and travels alone to England. Escaping the Nazis is only the start of Lily's journey. She must escape many more times—from servitude, hardship, and danger. Will she find a way to have her own sort of revenge on the Nazis? Follow the story of a brave girl who becomes an artist of heroes and a true pioneer in comic books.
Available: 11/01/11








Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola

Ride the rollercoaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia. Trapped in a world so foreign to her sensibilities and surrounded by a quirky group of friends, will she break through her hardened prejudices before she loses those who want to help her? Can she find the key to what changed her estranged mother’s life so powerfully before her death that she became a different woman—and can it help Shiloh too?
Available: 10/01/11


Cherished by Kim Tate
Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared would be a forever kind of love. But choices she'll forever regret upended her hope . . . and turned her dreams to dust. When those dreams come knocking once more, she's forced to deal with the pain of the past.

Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control-first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band that left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One who can save her. And He did. But that's just the beginning, because now she must leave behind the only life she's ever known.

Two women with shame-filled pasts form an unlikely friendship. What does God's forgiveness look like for them? Will they ever believe that He loves them . . . and can still offer them a life where they are cherished?

Available: 8/30/11











Horse Dreams by Dandi Daley Mackall


Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.

Available: 9/01/11




Chomp by Carl Hiaasen


Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.

When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.

They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .

It's anyones guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival". . . .

Available: 3/25/12






There's a taste of what's to come...one of the above books is AWESOME!!!




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife {review}


Title: My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: A One-Year Experiment...and Its Surprising Results

Author: Sara Horn

Publisher:Harvest House

Available: 09/01/11

Source: Netgalley




About the book:
Sara Horn wanted to be the Proverbs 31 wife. Full of wisdom and wealth, able to take care of the house, her job and her family and be pleasing to God, but she wasn't sure if it was still applicable to today's woman. Join her through her year long journey on what it means to be a woman of God and how to manage it all.
My Take:
This book was engaging and fun to read. The author took a year to develop each of the virtues of the Proverbs 31 wife. While they all didn't go exactly the way she had planned, she had a year of some deep thought and very funny outcomes that you don't want to miss. Learning to hear God is sometimes the hardest thing for a Christian to do, but Mrs. Horn has shown us that it can be done. This isn't a Bible study, but more of a diary of sorts. I heard that there should be a Bible study on the author's website closer to publication date....I'll update then if that is the case. If you are not Martha (Proverbs 31 woman or Stewart) pick up this book for a realistic look into another not Martha. I really liked the book and it was a fun quick read and showed that I may be imperfect but God is willing to work with me.
About the Author:
Sara Horn has helped many military wives through her Wives of Faith ministry and is now helping to relieve those frazzled wives with the Proverbs 31 saga. She is currently living in Louisiana with her husband and son. She encourages women to seek God's plan for their lives. Her main ministry site is located here.


6 out of 7 thumbs up. Read it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stumbling Into Grace {review}



Title: Stumbling into Grace
Author: Lisa Harper
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Available: Now
Source: Netgalley

Book Synopsis:
I usually like to write my own synopsis, so you can get another view of the book so to speak. But, in this case...I'm not coming up with adequate words to describe the book so I'll let the publishers speak:

Humorous yet poignant stories from Lisa's life help readers relate to spiritual truths found in the life and ministry of Christ.
Stumbling Into Grace is the diary-devotional of one woman's honest, ongoing, bumbling journey of faith and how she finds encouragement through a deeper understanding of Christ's time on earth. Within each chapter she alternates her often humorous memoir with stirring portraits of Jesus and his own encounters as recorded in the New Testament.
Both intimately relevant and refreshingly inspirational, this book will help readers to jettison the theological misconceptions, guilt, shame, and hypocrisy they struggle with, exchanging them for a vibrant, passionate relationship with Christ that results in a more abundant, joyful life




My Take:
Lisa takes all of our fears and concerns and puts them together with real life stories and relates them to the Biblical stories and truths and a prayer and appropriate scripture to help the reader tackle these issues one by one. She includes the humorous stories along with the poignant ones. She even takes a few Biblical stories and gives them a makeover for the current times. Every chapter has journaling questions to help you along in your spiritual journey. It is written like Ms. Harper is sitting across from you chatting over a cup of coffee. Simple to understand, she quotes many well known authors and theologians to further get the point across. This would be a great small group discussion book to get even more insight out of the content. It can work for individual devotion as long as you can be totally honest with yourself. It did seem to jump quickly from story to truth to scripture at times, but after you get used to the format it is a very easy read.
About the author:
Lisa Harper is a well known speaker and author, currently speaking with Women of Faith tour. She has written nine books, including A New Spin on Hebrews. She can be found on her website where you can check out her extensive speaking calendar and see if she is coming near you soon.
6 out of 7 thumbs up.. read it

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's Monday...Must be another Author Debut!



Starting a weekly meme here.. I have been reading some great Debut Authors for 2011 and thought I would showcase them a little with a special blog! So without further ado....Here's Week #1!



Title: Double Crossing
Author: Meg Mims
Publisher: Astraea Press
Available: Now (ebook only)
Source: Won in a giveaway


About the book:
Lily's father committed suicide, but Lily knew the truth, even if no one believes her. She takes off on the newly opened transcontinental train with a man who wants to marry her, but it's 1869 and traveling alone with a man is frowned on. But Lily knows the puzzle is in CA and has to have something to do with the deed to the mine that was stolen during the murder. She realizes that she needs more protection and hires Ace, a Texan (ex-army), and not sure who or what she needs protection from. The race from IL to CA is filled with mystery, pain, love and uncertainty as Lily races to get to her uncle before even more bad can happen.

My take:
Fast paced and thrilling to read. The history angle is so well developed and researched that I found myself lost in the train from another century. Even though Lily knew who the killer was there was still so much intrigue from other mysteries that the book kept moving. There were so many smaller added details that made this book leap off the page. A definite page turner as I had to finish it after I started (made for a late night or early morning). The minor characters, from her long lost aunt and uncle and her new found female friend are all developed to not overshadow the major characters, but enough to make us want to know more. It is classified as a historical romantic suspense, but I found much more suspense than I did romance...which because of the era the book is written in, it makes sense. Plus I talked to the author and there will be a book 2...so maybe the romance will pick up a little for Lily. Meg Mims had originally written a Gone With The Wind esque type book about the transcontinental railroad and she was told to find the story in it. I think she did that and very well!!

About the author:
Meg Mims is located in MI and this is her first published book with hopefully books 2 and 3 on the way. She can be found on her website that not only showcases her books but also her awesome artwork. Another debut author that seemed to rock her genre!

7 thumbs up... buy it now!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

A weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we share what we got this week and what we're excited about... Sorry...no pics...my camera wasn't working!

WON
Double Crossing by Meg Mims ...

Library:
Divergent: Veronica Roth
Nightshade : Andrea Cremer
The Digital Mom Handbook

Netgalley:
Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
The Orchard: Theresa Weir
Chomp: Carl Hiaasan
Pearl in the Sand: Tessa Afshar



What did you get this week?










Giveaway Winner



This week's winner is Alyssa from Reader's Refuge! Sending an email now.. like most contests.. 48 hours to reply with address! Thanks to all who entered...guess I still have some followers! Watch for new giveaway and new weekly meme tomorrow!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Delivered with Love {review}


Title: Delivered with Love
Author: Sherry Kyle
Publisher: United Methodist Publishing House
Available: Now
Source: Netgalley

About the book:
An old love letter found in her recently departed mother's vintage '72 VW bug inspires Claire James on a journey to search out the writer of the letter. It was very easy to leave her current life in Los Angeles because her sister and husband kicked her out, she lost her job and had nowhere else to be. After a series of frustrating events, she finds herself in Capitola, CA and in the middle of even more mystery into her mother's past life. Trying to find one man leads to the discovery of even more than she could have realized.
My take:
This book has it's good and bad. I really had trouble with the naivete of Claire, granted she was only 23, but coming from LA, she should have known better to get into vehicles with strangers in this day and age...let alone going home with a tow truck driver? Just wasn't plausible for me. Their was a lot of God will Provide situations that always seemed to work out...may have been more believable if God answered no a few times instead of really weird coincidences. But...all that aside... the author has a knack for writing...the descriptions, the character developments, the plot..all there... so for a debut author...pretty good...I'll keep a watch to see what she comes up with next. I think this book would be good for a younger reader (12-16)...a coming to age book if you will.
About the author:
While this is her first novel, she has written a tween book called The Christian Girl's guide to Style. She has a few more books to be released in the next couple of years. You can find out more about Sherry Kyle on her website!


5 out of 7 thumbs.. (worth a read from the library)


Received a copy for review through netgalley in return for an unbiased review. No other compensation was given.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Divergent








Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperCollins

Available: NOW

Source: Library


About the book:
Beatrice (Trys) is turning 16 and she must choose her faction. Each faction represents a virtue, her original faction was selfless, but Trys never saw herself as selfless and her test results came back Divergent. The trouble being, Divergent is not a faction and her test monitor told her never to reveal that about herself. She chooses the path of courage and finds herself in mortal danger and in love.
My take:
Divergent is a dystopian (sort of like Hunger Games). The difference being, I actually liked Divergent better! I think because there was much more action. There have been a surplus of divergent novels the last few years, but this is one of the better ones. It's a huge book, but really didn't take me long to devour it flew along so darn fast! There are a few plot problems that will probably be answered in the next book (hopefully), and I won't state them here because they would spoil the book for you. This is a YA science fiction...but Roth herself is a Christian and brought God into the book. Not alot..but enough to know he's there. If you don't like gore...I'd step away tho'. If you are a dystopian fan..pick it up..I noticed a trend in reviews...it's either hated or loved.. which are you?
About the author:
She finds herself in the Dauntless faction because she values courage and she wears a lot of black. To see for yourself a little more about Veronica Roth, visit her blog!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

American Dream {review}














Title: American Dream





Authors: Colleen Reece, Norma J. Lutz, Susan Martins Miller




Publisher: Barbour Publishing




Available: now




Source: Netgalley














About the book:
Take a step back into history, these four books start in 1620 in Holland and end up in America in 1765. The first book takes the reader on a trip on the Mayflower with Sarah, a 10 year old who is leaving Holland for religious reasons to the new world. The second book features Rebekah, an 11 year old who has to learn about the struggles in the new world and unfortunately about devastating loss. The third book, 12 year old Maggie wants to help a slave girl and finally the fourth book finds Lizzie in trouble for trying to help an injured British soldier.




My take:



I wish they had these sorts of Christian fiction books when I was a pre-teen. These books are a wonderful way to not only enhance your child's sense of history but also to show them more about Christian faith. The books use actual key figures in the telling of the stories and have biographies of those figures at the end and also a time line and glossaries. What a wonderful addition to a home school library, but even a great addition for a child in secular school when they history class glosses over the reasons behind why things were done because that would involve the use of the word GOD! I'd say these were written for the 9-12 year old range, but if you have any reader that loves history..pick up this collection!!! The stories all feature girls this time around, but there are some boys involved so some boys may find it interesting. The stories are wonderfully written and will definitely keep the readers immersed in the book.














7 thumbs up!




This book was given to me by Netgalley for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way nor did I have to give a positive review.










Monday, August 8, 2011

GIVEAWAY!



I haven't had a giveaway in awhile... So just to see if anyone is still reading I am giving away my copy of Sweet Sanctuary (adults) or School of Fear (middle grades).



To enter...leave a comment with your email address and if you have a blog I'd love to come read it...leave me a link! Don't forget to tell me which book you want.



Hurry...Contest ends Friday, August 12!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sweet Sanctuary




Title: Sweet Sanctuary
Author: Sheila Walsh and Cindy Coloma
Publisher: Thomas Nelson




Available: now




Source: BookSneeze








About the Book:




Wren and her son, Charlie have been muddling along in Maine without the help of anyone. When her grandmother arrives on her doorstep demanding a party, her son wanting to move to the big city for school and the threat of more family dysfunction and fights on the horizon, Wren isn't sure where to turn. She knows she doesn't want another man in her life, but Paul seems to have the right answers at the right time. Can she face the past and come to terms with answers she may not want or is time to sprout those wings and fly away?








My Take:




This is not a simple book to sink your teeth into. There are a lot of unsaid questions at the beginning of the book to try and hook you into reading it all. I did think there were a few scenes that could have been dealt with better (maybe more thoroughly exploring the issue), but for the most part a well written suspenseful romance. If you are looking for strictly romance, I would shy away from this one, because there is much more to this story. Forgiveness seems to be the key word in this book, and this is one area in which I wish the authors would have shown a bit more like adding more key scriptures and spiritual guidance. I'd recommend this book for anyone who is weathering their own storms in life and needs to find shelter or for anyone looking for something a little more challenging to read.








5 thumbs!








I was given this book by booksneeze for a honest review. No other compensation was given and I was not required to post a positive review.





Saturday, August 6, 2011

52 Ways to Wow Your Husband

Title: 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband
Author: Pam Farrel
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Available: now
Source: Netgalley

About the Book:
If you are looking for a way to spice up your romance to your husband and become closer to him in a spiritual, physical or emotional way, pick up this book. Pam Farrel connects to her audience in a very easy to read, and understand style. There are some great inspirational stories as well as assignments to keep you busy all year long.

My take:
I will definitely be buying this book as soon as my local Christian bookstore gets it in...or they will be ordering it for me. There were 52 reasons to get this book. The things that I have done so far have definitely made him notice! The ideas range from easy to complex, from free to costs a bit. There is no set order, and I can see some of these ideas lasting a little longer than a week, so this book (if I can keep it hidden) will last for awhile. We have been married for 19 years and with five kids, we have started to take each other for granted....this book came along at a great time to help spice up our time together. Even if you have only been married a short time this would be a great addition to your library to help you get to know your husband better. The chapters are set up with wow assignments, wow wisdom and wow dates. Perfect addition to your devotion time as the chapters are quick and to the point.

About the Author:
The author and her husband have written over 26 books, mostly about marriage and Christian growth. They are the parents of 3 active children, ages 20 to 26 and have been working with couples their entire adult life. To relax, Pam and Bill enjoy cheering for their sons at sporting events, reading, and exercising together...especially when it consists of kayaking or a long walk at the beach. They speak frequently at seminars and you can find them and a ton of good advice on their love-wise site.


7 thumbs up!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through Netgalley for my honest review. No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a positive review.