Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I decided to join the Sophomore Reading Challenge for 2012 hosted by Chick Loves Lit.  There were quite a few books that I read  this year by YA/MG debut authors, that I can't wait to read the second! -  Head on over to sign up yourself!  There are plenty of series to sink your teeth into the second book this year!  Did I say there were prizes?  There are!  Well, the goal is 10 here's my list right now..

Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris   I really liked Bad Taste in was too funny!  
Pub Date:  November 13, 2012, Delacorte

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini  Brianna loved Starcrossed ( It's in my tbr pile, so I need to read it before  May 29,  2012 pub by HarperTeen.

Insurgent  by Veronica Roth  I loved Divergent...much more than Hunger you know where I'll be on May 1st, Katherine Tegen Books.

Fever By Lauren DeStefano  Wither had me hooked..  Pub date is Feb 21, 2012, by S & S

Thumped by Megan McCafferty  Haven't read Bumped yet, but on my tbr so I can get it done by April 24, pubbed by Balzar and Bray

Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey  The second to Witch Eyes..  Pub Date:  ? 2012 , Flax

These are the ones I know I'm reading...I still need to come up with 5 if anyone has any ideas for me, ones that you really really liked book 1.. leave me a comment!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I couldn't pass it up...Netgalley alone has totally toppled my TBR here is to whittling down my pile this year. 

My Goal is Going to Be:
A Sweet Kiss
21-30 books 
Yeah I can do it!
Posting books to come.....

What it's all about...
We all have those books. We buy them, win them, they're gifted to us.. Then we put them up on a bookshelf and there they stay, collecting dust, waiting for the time when we'll finally decide to pick them up...
  • This challenge runs from 1/21/12 - 12/31/12
  • All you have to do is read those books on your shelf that you keep meaning to read. They have to be books(not arcs) and they have to be printed before 2012.
  • Must be a blogger to enter
  • You can find out all the details at Evie-Bookish
Challenge Host:


Title:  For the Birds
Author:  Aaron Paul Lazar
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Available: Now
Source:  from the author

In the woods of the Adirondack's a mystery is surrounding Marcella Hollister and her family, which includes a very beautiful and talkative parakeet named Ruby.  Her meddlesome mother has always been a bit on the overbearing side, but when she suddenly turns up missing, Marcella wants to move heaven and earth to find her and bring her home.  When strange things start happening to Marcella and her husband Quinn, more questions pop up than answers.  They hope to help the investigation along, but somewhere end up in some very perilous predicaments in the tall pines of the Adirondack's!

What a refreshing and fun to read paranormal mystery...leaning more toward the cozy side of mysteries.  This was a pleasure to read, especially with all the descriptions of the landscape...never having been to the Adirondacks, the descriptions really made me wanna take a trip (perhaps when it is a bit warmer tho).  The story just kept my interest with something exciting happening behind the next page.  Yeah..some of the happenings were corny, but it fit with the characters!   I did wish that Marcella would have  been a bit stronger...she seemed to get 'faint' a lot when things happened to her.  I learned a lot about the characters during this story...the back story was part of the plot and wasn't a drag to read...  and I can't wait to sink my teeth er eyes into the next story in this series, I read that he's working on book 3 now!   I thought I had this one figured out too...then I got thrown off track...didn't see it coming at all!   Mr. Lazar is a first time author read for me, but he has me hooked on his writing now.  

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who is a cozy fan, anyone who is craving a light hearted mystery to hold, well...pretty much everyone!  The paranormal aspect is pretty small and isn't the main focus of the story.

Aaron Paul Lazar wasn’t always a mystery writer. It wasn’t until eight members of his family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ (2004), a chilling winter mystery. Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor, grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and is a “Renaissance man caught in the 21st century.” Writing lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he has written fifteen mysteries. (UPSTAGED – 2005; TREMOLO:CRY OF THE LOON – 2007 Twilight Times Books; MAZURKA – 2009 Twilight Times Books,HEALEY’S CAVE,2010; TERROR COMES KNOCKING, 2011; FOR KEEPS, 2012; FIRESONG, 2011) Lazar intends to continue both series. The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, mother-in-law, Cavipoo, Balto, CaviBichon, Amber, and cat, Cameo.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Title:  Remembering You
Author:  Tricia Goyer
Publisher:  Guidepost books
Available:  Now
Source:  Litfuse

Genre:  Christian Fiction
Rating:  Very clean..suitable for all ages

About the Book:
35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces.
As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.
Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.

My take:
I absolutely fell in love with this book.  To say it was amazing is simply just an understatement!  The writing touched every nerve of my brain.  This book had it all, torn family, long lost love, unresolved history and so much more!  The research that had to go into this book is just incredible.  The history of WW2 is almost gone with so many of our troops aging and dying that this book is perfect as a lasting tribute to those who served during that time.  Even if you don't like historical books, I'd suggest you pick this up and give it a's so much more than history, and Ms. Goyer does a wonderful job of weaving past with present and making it seem so real.  And knowing that this is based on a true life story...well... pick it up and read it already and I dare you not to come away with a tear in  your eye and a smile on your face!

Click here what other reviewers have to say!

About the author:

Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German MoonThe Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. On Tricia's weekly radio show, Living Inspired, she shares stories of inspiration and encouragement. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.
For more about Tricia and her other books 


Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her novel, Remembering You, with a KINDLE Touch Giveaway for you ... and for the friend of your choice. Then on 11/29 she'll be wrapping up the release of Remembering You with a Book Chat Party!

During the first half of the party Tricia will be chatting, sharing a sneak peek of her next book, and giving away a ton of great stuff. Then she'll head over to her website for a Live Chat! Readers will be able to chat with Tricia via video or text.

Don't miss your chance to win a Kindle Touch for yourself ... and to "remember" a friend this holiday with a Kindle Touch for them!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Touch and a Kindle Touch for a Friend (winner's choice!) 
  • A copy of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer for each
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 29th. Winner will be announced at Remembering You Facebook Party on 11/29. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away copies of her other WWII books and gift certificates to Starbucks and So grab your copy of Remembering You and join Tricia on the evening of the 29th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.. No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a favorable review.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I welcome a guest post with Tricia Goyer as she tells us all about the background and research that went into Remembering You (review to come).  Don't forgot to check back for more info on the kindle giveaway too!

In the last ten years since I started interviewing veterans for my WW11 novels, most have passed away.  Some of them-realizing their days on earth were coming to an end-returned to Europe one last time with their family members to walk along the paths they've never forgotten.  Those trips inspired my most recent novel, Remembering You.

Hana and Pete
One of the most amazing experiences was when I received an email from a woman named Hana.  She'd heard of my book and knew I'd interviewed some of the veterans.  She asked if I'd interviewed any medics.  Then she told me an amazing story.  Hana was born on a cart just outside of Mauthausen.  Her mother had survived being a prisoner of another camp and was being transported to Mauthausen at the end of the war.

Hana was just three weeks old when the Americans arrived, and she was very ill. Because of the filthy conditions she got a skin infection and sores covered her body. No one expected her to live. Yet one of the medics saw the small baby and knew he had to do something. Even though it took most of the day, he lanced and cleaned all Hana's sores, saving her life. Over the years she'd wanted to find the medic, but didn't know where to start.

I was amazed by Hana's story and told her I knew one medic—maybe he remembered who that man was. I gave Hana the contact information and I soon heard the good news. My friend LeRoy “Pete” Petersohn was the medic who'd saved her life! The two were soon reunited! After all these years Hana was able to look into the eyes of the man who saved her and thanked him. After all these years Pete was able to meet the woman he saved. “Baby!” he called out when he met her.

Remembering You is a work of fiction, but the experiences of the men are true. The experiences of the main character, Ava, are also true-to-life. I was busy with life when God pointed me to an amazing story, and to even more amazing men. I'm so thankful I took time to listen and care. I'm so thankful I allowed these men to share what … and who … they remembered most.

Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of four and an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia's written numerous novels inspired by World War II veterans, including her new release Remembering You. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. You can find out more information about Tricia at

Friday, November 25, 2011


Title:  House of Hope
Author:  Elisabeth Gifford
Publisher:  Monarch Books
Available:  Now
Source:  Litfuse Tours and publisher

Genre:  Non-fiction

100% of the proceeds of the book go to support the work of 
Hope Foster Homes (please visit their site to learn more) 
The more we buy the more kids we can help!

About the book:
From the Publisher:
One couple’s powerful ministry to some of China’s most vulnerable children
Robin and Joyce Hill lived in a gated community in Beijing. Their family’s life was marked by luxury and the security of Robin's job as an engineer. Then one day, as members of their church, they had a chance to tour a state-run orphanage. Haunted by the needs of the children they saw there, for the next four years they tried to help the institute in meaningful ways.

In 1998 the Hills planned to leave China, but instead felt a sudden call from God on their lives. They left their gated community--reserved for only non-Chinese residents--moved their family into a small apartment miles outside of Beijing and immediately began to take in foster children.

They took in any child, but especially those that needed extra care—terminally ill children that couldn't receive care elsewhere, and those that needed complicated and expensive surgeries that the Hills soon began to coordinate and sometimes pay for out of their own savings.

What began as Hope Foster Home is now New Hope Foundation. As they continue their work, the Hills enjoy support from major corporations and high-profile philanthropists as well as the trust of the Chinese authorities. The Hills' story is an inspiring example of God's care and provision for those whom society does not value. Learn more about Hope Foster Homes here:

"I strongly support Robin and Joyce Hill's New Hope Foundation which is saving so many orphan lives in China. Read this amazing story of God's grace and accept the challenge to make a difference!"
--Steven Curtis Chapman

"I had the privilege of going to China and witnessing the work that God is doing through Robin and Joyce Hill. They are wonderful servants of God who lovingly care for the 'least of these.' I hope that many will read this book and consider their example."
--Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love

My take:
Speechless, I have no words to adequately describe the feeling I had while reading this book and the thoughts and  feelings that I had once I shut the book.  This book can change the lives of countless people, not only because of the monetary impact the sale of the book will have on the Foundation, but for every person reading it.  It only takes one more person to listen to God and follow is commandments to make a change like the Hill's.  The writing is very simplistic and tells the story from the point of view of those living it.  There are the happy moments and the devastating moments all included to learn how this awesome ministry started and has continued to grow to help the ill children in China.  I loved the fact that we found out what happened to many of the children mentioned and the pictures were also a great addition.  I started and finished this book in an afternoon because I became emotionally attached to the children and the Hills.  I am going to go out and buy copies of this book for my family members to further help the cause and I hope you do too..  Not only will you be blessing your family but also yourself as you read the stories!  

About the author: 
Elisabeth Gifford is a journalist who has written for the London Times and the Independent Newspapers. She lives in Kingston, England, and teaches children with dyslexia.  Kudos to you Ms. Gifford for the help you are giving the Hills. 

Contest and Giveaway
The publisher is sponsoring a $50 "GET / GIVE" GIVEAWAY: One winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for themselves AND $50 will be given in the winner's name to Hope Foster Home. 
(or you could give your $50 back to Hope Foster Home too)

To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using #HFH) about The House of Hope or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use #HFH. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy. 

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:

TWEET THIS:  Couple gives all to rescue babies in China! 100% proceeds go to #HopeFosterHome RT 4 $50 to @amazon & $50 to #HFH

(must use hashtage #HFH to be entered)

FACEBOOK THIS: The House of Hope: One couple abandons a comfortable life to rescue abandoned children. Robin and Joyce Hill have helped over 1300 Chinese orphans with severe medical problems. Purchase a copy for everyone you know - the book is a gift that gives a gift. 100% proceeds to help support the work at Hope Foster Home! Learn more here: Share this for a chance to get a $50 GC and $50 in your name to Hope Foster Home! Details:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Title:  Something Witchy This Way Comes
Author:  Veronica Blade
Publisher:  Crush Publishing
Available:  Now
Source:  From Publisher on behalf of PUYB Tours

Genre:  YA Romantic Paranormal
Rating:  PG13

About the Book:

Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her hope of an escape from her inadequate life. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s objective. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other.

When Hayden Anders, the most delinquent kid in school — and the toughest — offers self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, the timing couldn’t be better. Though the idea of hanging out with a bad-boy thattempting is unnerving, staying alive amidst warring witches takes priority. She vows to hold onto her values and not surrender to the bad-boy she begins to secretly want.
Together, Tessa and Hayden uncover the truth about the two factions — a truth that explains why the covens will stop at nothing to lure her to their side. Tessa has only a matter of weeks to form an alliance with one coven or the other, but the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all those she loves — including Hayden.

My Take:
This is a sweet romance with some paranormal activity thrown in!  But...I didn't say I didn't like it!  It was the age old nice girl falling for the bad boy..but the bad boy maybe isn't all that bad!  It was a very easy and fast read and I really liked the alternating narratives between the love interests. 
While there was a lot of action at times, the paranormal aspects seemed to take a backseat to the romance and the day to day problems more than the witch story.  Not a bad thing, unless you really just wanna read about weird stuff!  The witch story was what made me stick with the book...I had to find out why the coven disagreed and why they both wanted her.   I did like this book and I think there might be more books coming along this line...but the ending didn't give away any hints about that!
There is a bit of sex talk and underage drinking so probably more for the upper teen age.  

About the Author:
Veronica Blade is married with children and living in Southern California. By day she runs the family business, but each night she slips away to spin her tales. She writes stories about young adults to relive her own childhood and to live vicariously through her characters. Except her heroes and heroines lead far more interesting lives — and they are always way hotter.

Join Veronica Blade at the Pump Up Your Book Live! November Author Chat / Book Giveaway Party on Friday, November 18 starting at 8 p.m. eastern!
Veronica will be giving away a copy of her book! You could win a copy of Something Witchy This Way Comes simply by attending the chat and asking Veronica a question. All there is to it!
For details on chat, visit the official chat page for the November authors at Pump Up Your Book Live!

I was given a copy of this book for review.  No other compensation was given and I was not required to give a good review.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Title:  Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles #1)
Author:  Julia Crane
Publisher:  Valknut Press
Available:  Now
Source:  author

Genre:  YA paranormal

About the book:
Elves have been long misunderstood.  They are not the
tiny magical Santa's helpers as we have all been led to
believe.  They actually have descended from Ireland and stand
about 4'9" to 5'2" and are more prone to have red hair.
They live in harmony with humans and other magical creatures but
in secret.  Keegan is sixteen and trying to get all she can out
of her teenage years before meeting her predetermined mate at
the age of 18.  However, her brother, Thaddeus has seen the
not so distant future and knows she may not make it to that
meeting.  So...Rourk finds himself learning his mate is Keegan and
is now trying to guard her.  They dark and light elves have
been in constant friction for a long time and a war is on the horizon.
Can Rourk and Keegan actually fulfill the roles that have been
laid out before them?

My take:
The story was a quick fun read that dives into the elfin society.  It is
less than 160 pages and kept the suspense up throughout the whole book.
I do wish that I could have experienced some parts of the book rather
than being told about it...maybe more dialogue between characters or
even internal dialogue.  I loved the fact that the main character wasn't
a misunderstood teen, but a teen with friends and boys and was loving
her life.  There were some minor characters that we didn't really learn
too much about and not sure if that was intentional because this is a series
or if they just weren't developed enough.  However, I still loved
reading about the elfin society and trying to figure out if any of my friends
and family are maybe not all human!  Julia Crane knows how to weave a
story and keep it going til the end...well...okay...she keeps it
 going through the end as we are left with an unpredictable twist that
leaves a reader needing the next book!  It is a very fun clean read
that I would recommend for all ages, it was clean enough for
middle grades to read.

About the author:
Julia crane is the author of the Coexist: Keegan’s Chronicles. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination. Although she’s spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.

I received a copy for review from the author for my honest opinion.  A good review was not required!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Title: Shadows from the Past
Author:  Ashley Dawn
Publisher: Suspense Publishing
Available:  now
Source:  Lightning Book Promotions

Genre:  Christian Suspense

About the Book:
Aurora Kavvan watched in horror as her only remaining family member met his untimely death. With that one incident she shut everything and everyone out of her life, including God and focused solely on her job as a LAPD officer and her hunt for the killer.  When her long term partner is shot, she once again turns the blame on herself.  Jordan, her ex-fiance comes back in the picture to not only protect her but also to help her find her way back to God and possibly to him.

My take:
This was a good romantic crime novel.  I really liked the interaction between the characters and while I found part of the romance a bit long winded for those who love romance it will be a great fit!  There was quite a bit of action to go along with the romance, but not at every turn of the page as some suspense novels.  The action was very well written and I found myself caught up in the story and not being able to put the book down during those scenes.  I enjoyed meeting these characters and sharing their love of God and watching Aurora try to find her way back to God after pushing him away for so long.  There were a lot of secondary characters that I'm sure we will be hearing more from.  I believe the next two books in the series are already out and I'll be looking for them to find out more about Aurora, Jordan and the rest of the gang! 

Buy It Here:   It's only $.99 for Kindle right now..
 About the author:
She a mom of two little ones and makes her home in Texas where she is hard at work on more wonderful novels for us to devour!  She is also a fellow book reviewer and blogger whom I have followed for quite some time without realizing who I was following!  You can find out more about her on her author website or follow her book reviews on Ashley's Bookshelf

Recommendation:  If you like a romantic read with action pick it up today!

I was given a copy of this book as part of the blog tour for an honest review. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Title: The Canary List
Author: Sigmund Brouwer  
Publisher:  Waterbrook Press
Available:  Now
Source:  Blogging For Books

Genre:  Christian Suspense

About the Book:
Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you?
 She’s just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t—something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.
 All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone.
 But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction.
 Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world—the Vatican.

My Take:
I wasn't sure how to take this book.  When it started out I hated it.  Why should I read a book about a troubled girl when there is so much wrong in the world now.  But..the book began to get involved. There is a lot of talk about the Vatican and the Catholic religion, but I actually learned a little more about the Vatican during the reading.  There are several spots that will make you wonder if murder and deceit is acceptable when a greater good is involved, which will lead you to examine your own faith if you are religious.  However...  if you like a good suspenseful read with just a slight bit of religion..this would be a good pick.   

My recommendation:  Don't pick it up if you are looking for something light hearted for the season..but if you need something to sink your teeth in, pick it up!
I was given a copy of this book for the sole purpose of an honest review.


Title:  The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale
Author:  Elena Pasquall
Illustrator:   Sophie Windham
Publisher:  LION
Available:  Now
Source:  Kregal blog tours

Genre:  Children's Picture Book

About the book:
This is a retelling of the folktale of three trees who go on to do great things.  Long ago three trees reached their branches toward the heavens and told of the great things they wanted to do.  The Master Builder had greater things in mind as they were each taken away to become an amazing part of Jesus' life.

My take:
I had never heard this particular folk tale but I was very impressed with this retelling.  The illustrations were so wonderful that I could look at this book for hours.  My daughters were equally mesmerized by the story and pictures.  I thought at first it was a Christmas story, but it is an all year story.  All along we can learn that what we want for our lives, may not be what God intended, but what God intends for our lives is the very thing we needed!  What a great present for a young boy and girl on your Christmas list!

Recommendation?  Buy it NOW!

I was given a copy of this book for review..  No other compensation was given and I was not required to post a positive review.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Thank you to Kathy at I am a Reader Not a Writer and All-Consuming Books!

It's that time of the year!  A time to thank all of my followers with an awesome giveaway!  So I won't keep you waiting any longer!