Showing posts from November, 2009

Book Review: "Secret Society" by Tom Dolby

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

Tom Dolby makes his teen fiction debut with this riveting novel about a dangerous society so secret that once you get in, you can never get out.

Secret societies and c…

Book Review: "Duplikate" by Cherry Cheva

To Do List: Ace SATsAce finalsAce AP physics project Avoid murdering lab partnerSubmit Yale applicationResolve possibly evil twin situation Due date: December 15thCountdown: 11 days By the time Kate Larson accidentally fell asleep at three a.m., she'd already done more work in one night than the average high school senior does in a week. Getting into Yale has been her dream for years—and being generally overworked and totally under-rested is the price of admission. But when she opens her eyes the next day, she comes face-to-face with, well, her face—which is attached to her body, which is standing across the room. Wait, what? Meet Kate's computer-generated twin. Kate doesn't know why she's here or how to put her back where she belongs, but she's real. And she's the last thing Kate has time to deal with right now. Unless . . . Could having a double be the answer to Kate's prayers? After all, two Kates can do more work than one. Or will keeping her twin a sec…

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking the day off from blogging due to the holiday. We've traveled to be with family and I'm planning on stuffing myself silly. Probably not going shopping the day after but we shall see. Anywho I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes. Granted if you're not a fan of this show, it wont' make you laugh like it did to me but since I consider all of you my "friends" here ya go!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Book Review: "Scared" by Tom Davis

Stuart Daniels has hit bottom. Once a celebrated and award-winning photojournalist, he is reeling from debt, a broken marriage, and crippling depression. The source of Stuart's grief is his most famous photo, a snapshot of brutality in the dangerous Congo. A haunting image that indicts him as a passive witness to gross injustice. Stuart is given one last chance to redeem his career: A make-or-break assignment covering the AIDS crisis in a small African country. It is here that Stuart meets Adanna, a young orphan fighting for survival in a community ravaged by tragedy and disease. What seemed like a chance encounter will forever change their lives. This sweeping, dramatic story explores the most vital social issues facing our world and offers a unique perspective on the tragedies taking place in Africa today.

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, one does a lot of thinking about what they are thankful for in their life. For many, it's family or having a job or…

500 Books in 2009

Yeah I'm pretty amazed myself. I finished my 500th book of 2009 today. This one was a powerful read and my review of it should be up in the next few days-weeks.

I pretty much don't know what else to say. I've far and beyond gone past any goals I had for this year. All that's left to say is that there is still over a month left in the year!

Book Review: "The Restorer's Journey" by Sharon Hinck

When a foreign threat invades their comfortable home, Susan and Jake soon find themselves drawn back through the portal to the world of the People of the Verses. Now Susan will struggle to love a people who have become her captors, while Jake suffers a tragic betrayal and discovers his destiny as the next Restorer.

I'm still not a fantasy fan but this is one series that I have enjoyed thoroughly. This is mainly due to Sharon Hinck's writing and her ability to suck you into the story even if you are totally unfamiliar with the genre, like myself. The story picks up right where The Restorer's Son left off it's a shocker right from the beginning. Two from the other world have now come into our world and the Mitchell family has to figure out a way to get them out. Mishap and mayhem occur as Mark, Susan and Jake do their best to return to Lyric. I would have liked a bit more time seeing how the outsiders fared in our world but it's not really an issue. When returni…

Book Review: "Dear Pen Pal" by Heather Vogel Frederick

For the mother-daughter book club, everything changes in eighth grade.

Could the book club break up? When Jess is offered an anonymous scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, she's not sure that leaving home -- and her friends -- is what she wants to do. Meanwhile Megan's grandmother comes for a long visit and turns everything in the Wong household upside down; Emma crusades against her middle school's new uniforms; and Cassidy finds out there's a big change ahead for her family.

Inspired by Jess's unexpected opportunity, the book club decides to read Jean Webster's classic Daddy-Long-Legs, and there's an added twist this year when they become pen pals with the girls in a book club in Wyoming. There's plenty to write to their new friends about, from a prank-filled slumber party to a not-so-secret puppy -- and even a surprise first kiss.

In this third book in the beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club series, the girls learn that as long as they have one a…

The Nancy Drew Challenge

Update 12/19: There are now prizes!

This is a very personal reading challenge for myself. I have tried EVERY year for the past 15 years (I honestly kid you not) to try to read every one of the original 56 Yellow Spine Nancy Drew books. But every year other obligations or loss of interest cause me to stop after a few books. However I have determined that 2010 is the year I will finally accomplish a goal that has plagued me over half my life.

While there are other types of Nancy Drew books out there (Files, Notebooks, Clue Crew, On Campus, River Heights, Girl Detective, Supermysteries with Hardy Boys), I am going to focus on the original Nancy Drew Mystery stories. I have tried reading the original versions from the 1930s, but I just could not get into the language. Therefore this challenge will be spotlighting the revised Yellow Spined hardback books that were reprinted and are universally recognized when you think Nancy Drew. The books for this challenge will be 1-56 (The Secret of …

Shelf Discover Challenge Report: Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

For all of her nine years, fragile Elizabeth Ann has heard her Aunt Frances refer in whispers to her "horrid Putney cousins." But when her aunt can no longer care for her, Elizabeth Ann must leave her sheltered life to live in the wilds of Vermont with those distant relatives.

In the beginning, Elizabeth Ann is shocked by country living--pets are allowed to sleep in the house and children are expected to do chores! But with country living comes independence and responsibility, and in time, Elizabeth Ann finds herself making friends and enjoying her new family. When the year is up and Aunt Frances comes to get her niece, she finds a healthier, prouder girl with a new name--Betsy--and a new outlook on life.

I will admit, even though this book is touted as being really famous and a landmark in children's literature, I had never heard of it before I picked up Shelf Discover. The reason how I picked up this book was that I randomly opened the book and chose the book the pages …

Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocienna Fleiss

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

Tricia Goyer
Ocieanna Fleiss

and the book:

Love Finds You In Lonesome Prairie, Montana
Summerside Press (December 1, 2009)
***Special thanks to Amy Lathrop of LitFUSE Publicity Group for sending me a review copy.***


Tricia Goyer was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year" in 2003. Her book Night Song won Book of the Year from ACFW in the Long Historical Fiction category. Her book Life I…

Christmas Present Time!

It's about that time! Are you looking around for presents to get for the holiday season? Well make sure you stop by Keepsakes, Etc.'s website. They are an online store retailing in theme throws and wall decor.

Among their products include photo throw Blankets, Custom Designed Throws, Blanket Throws, Mink Faux Fur Blankets, Wall Tapestry, Wall Tapestry Hangings, personalized throw blankets, Fleece Blankets, Furniture Throws, College Stadium Blankets, tapestry throw pillows and College bedding. There are over 2500 gift items available on their website.

I received a Christmas throw blanket for gratis and let me tell you it's really nice. I chose the Thomas Kinkade Christmas throw blanket.

My mother is a HUGE fan of Thomas Kinkade (you should see the house) and I also like his paintings as well. It's really pretty and quite warm and snuggly (and HUGE!) as evidenced by this picture here:

You can get your gift monogrammed as I did which I was really geeked to do as i…

2010 100+ Reading Challenge


Ok, this is a total no brainer for me so i HAD to join this one. I've decided to join a few challenges this upcoming year. I figure, I'm going to be reading these books anyways so why not?

This challenge, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, is to read 100+ books during 2009. This is a great challenge for me as I have, as of today, read 491 books for 2009. Yeah, I know. But believe me, I am definitely NOT going to be reading that many next year! Even so, I think I can still crank out 200, so 200 is once again going to be my goal for next year. I chose that number because I am shooting for 100 at least for library books alone so I figure the other 100 will either be review books or books I own.

To sign up for the challenge, go here.

To see other challenges I'm participating in, go here

I will be adding to this post as the year goes by with the books I have read.

1. The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
2. Love Finds You in Holiday Florida by Sandra Bricker
3. The Choice by …

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge


Another challenge, I can't resist! It's that time of year again and I've decided to join a few challenges this upcoming year. I figure, I'm going to be reading these books anyways so why not?

This challenge, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, is to read YA books for 2010. I love YA so why wouldn't I do this challenge?

There are four levels:

--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.

--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels

I'm going to go with the Super Size Me option. Surely I can find 75 YA books! If you want to join in on the fun click here to sign up.

To see other challenges I'm participating in, go here

I will be adding to this post as the year goes by with the books I have read.
1. Ruby Unscripted by Cindy Martinusen - Coloma
2. Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
3. Suspicion …

Book Review: "Green" by Ted Dekker

At Last . . . The Circle Reborn The story of how Thomas Hunter first entered the Black Forest and forever changed our history began at a time when armies were gathered for a final battle in the valley of Migdon. Green is a story of love, betrayal, and sweeping reversals set within the apocalypse. It is the beginning: the truth behind a saga that has captured the imagination of more than a million readers with the Books of History Chronicles.But even more, Green brings full meaning to the Circle Series as a whole, reading as both prequel to Black and sequel to White, completing a full circle. This is Book Zero, the Circle Reborn, both the beginning and the end. The preferred starting point for new readers . . . and the perfect climax for the countless fans who've experienced Black, Red, and White.

I think Ted Dekker is one of the most brilliant authors out there today, Christian or general fiction. I have enjoyed every single one of his books and have been amazed at how he takes a …

2010 Library Reading Challenge


Wee hooo. It's that time of year again and I've decided to join a few challenges this upcoming year. I figure, I'm going to be reading these books anyways so why not?

This challenge, hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, is reading to support your local library. And we all know what a HUGE fan of the library I am. Who needs a bookstore when you can get books for free from the library?

You can chose from four options:

--The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.

--Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.

--Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.

--Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.

I'm going to go for the max and say that I challenge myself to read 100 books from the library in 2010. This year I read, 50 like it's nobody's business so I should have no problems doing 100!

To see other challenges I'm participating in, go here

I will be adding to this post as the year goes by with the books I have read.

1. Suspicio…

Book Review: "Leah's Choice" by Marta Perry

Amish schoolteacher Leah Beiler is content nurturing her young "scholars" and helping out on her large family's Pennsylvania farm in Pleasant Valley. She has long since recovered from the defection of her former fiance Johnny Kile, who left the Amish community several years ago. But now Johnny has returned. Working at a local medical clinic on research into inherited diseases common among the Amish, he asks for Leah's help in circumventing his "shunned" status and reuniting him with his family, in particular with his twin, Rachel, who is also Leah's best friend. Johnny also encourages Leah to help out at the clinic, working as a liaison with the Amish community. Is Johnny secretly hoping to convince Leah to leave the community and join him in an "English" life together?

This book is one of few Amish books that I think really gets it. By it, I mean it allows the reader to enter the Amish world, yet does not try to push Amish beliefs on them, do…

Book Review: "Jillian Dare" by Melanie Jeschke

Jillian Dare leaves her Shenandoah Valley foster home behind and strikes out on her own as a nanny at a large country estate in northern Virginia. She is delighted with the beauty of her new home, the affection of her young charge Cadence Remington, and the opportunity for frequent travel to the Remington castle in England. She is less certain about her feelings for her handsome but moody employer, Ethan. In spite of herself, Jillian realizes she is falling for her boss. But how can a humble girl ever hope to win a wealthy man of the world? And what dark secrets from the past is he hiding?

I will admit that I have not actually read the original version of Jane Eyre. I have however watched several movie versions, including my favorite starring Timothy Dalton as Rochester. Therefore I remember the original storyline even if parts might be a bit fuzzy. This tale is a modern updated version of Jane Eyre. In place of Jane, we have Jillian a 20 year old nanny who has been hired to take c…

Book Review: "The Secret of Joy" by Melissa Senate

As 28 year old New York paralegal RebeccaStrand's widowed father lays dying, he confesses a secret: he had an affair 26 years earlier when Rebecca was just a toddler. Now he wants Rebecca to deliver the secret stash of letters he wrote, but never mailed, to the daughter he fathered. Rebecca's lawyer boyfriend, Michael, is adamant that she forget the woman exists. He's sure the woman will be an opportunist who will demand half of Rebecca's father's million-dollar estate. But Rebecca, now without any family in the world, can't help but wonder about her one living relative. With her relationship with Michael in tatters, Rebecca drives from New York City to Maine to find Joy Jayhawk, who operates a Weekend Singles Tour service out of an orange mini-van that her regulars dub "The Love Bus." Enter a cast of lovable, colorful characters, from Joy's eccentric mother to the singles on The Love Bus, and a sexy carpenter for whom Rebecca finds herself unexpe…