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Showing posts from March, 2010

Nancy Drew Challenge March Recap

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The Nancy Drew Challenge is a reading challenge for 2010 for readers to attempt to read all 56 original yellow hardbacks that were in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. Click here for more information or to sign up for the challenge. At the end of each month, I will put up a post where participants of the challenge can recap how they did during that month.


Whoops! I totally forget to post this until tonight! It's been a loooong month heh.

Anywho, this month I was able to catch up on my reading and read 9 books this month. I've noticed that the writing is starting to get a lot better. The mysteries are getting more complex and actually starting to be real mysteries. Also the books are getting more violent. Obviously they are not in the same league as harder mysteries but they are definitely not the innocent books that started the series. In those, the worst that happened to Nancy is that she would be locked in closet. Now she's getting hit on the head on purpose with t…

Book Review: "Where Do I Go?" by Neta Jackson

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Gabrielle Fairbanks has nearly lost touch with the carefree, spirited young woman she was when she married her husband fifteen years ago. But when the couple moves to Chicago to accommodate Philip's business ambitions, Gabby finds the chance to make herself useful. It's there she meets the women of Manna House Women's Shelter; they need a Program Director-and she has a degree in social work. She's in her element, feeling God's call on her life at last, even though Philip doesn't like the changes he sees in her. But things get rough when Philip gives Gabby an ultimatum: quit her job at the shelter or risk divorce and losing custody of their sons. Gabby must take refuge, as in the song they sing at Sunday night worship: "Where do I go when there's no one else to turn to? . . . I go to the Rock I know that's able, I go to the Rock."

This is a book that I don't know why I kept delaying to read. I loved the original Yada Yada Prayer …

Waiting on Wednesday

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My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Releases: June 1, 2010

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to unders…

Book Review: "The Promise of Morning" by Ann Shorey

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Ellie Craig grieves the loss of three infant children, and when long-hidden secrets are brought to light, she must find a way to contact the family of her long-lost father. Meanwhile her husband, Matthew, faces controversy in his church and competition from a new arrival in Beldon Grove, who claims to be both a minister and the son of the town's founder. Will Matthew find the courage to reclaim his church? And will his unexpected travel companion help Ellie's heart mend?

The beginning of this book makes you feel horribly sad for Ellie as the reader learns about how she's buried three children all before the age of 30. Then just as she's starting to get over from that, more tragedy strikes. Honestly, I don't think there's anything sadder than having your children die at a very young age. Then she finds out that her dad (who she had thought was dead all these years) has actually now really died and that her relatives had been keeping the truth from her al…

Book Review: "Hollywood Nobody" by Lisa Samson

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Fifteen-year-old Scotty Dawn has spent her young life on the road, traveling to movie sets with her single mom, Charley, a food designer. Yet even though Scotty is wise beyond her years, she still struggles to find her identity. Complicating matters is a mother who offers no guidance and a father she's never met.

Now Scotty is determined to discover what she wants from life. She's even documenting the journey on her "Hollywood Nobody" blog. But as Scotty begins to find dark answers to tough questions, will her story have a happy ending?

Lately, I seem to picking up YA book after YA book about teens in Hollywood. They've been ranging from teen actors to behind the scenes looks but each has given a unique perspective into what it's really like in the movie industry. Some have been more realistic than others but overall I've found them to be really fun to live vicariously through these characters. What makes this book stand out from the others is that even tho…

Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa
Summerside Press (March 1, 2010)
by
Melanie Dobson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Beroth Dobson is the author of the inspirational novels Together for Good (2006), Going for Broke (2007), The Black Cloister (2008), Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana (2009), Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (2010), Refuge on Crescent Hill (2010), and The Silent Order (2010) as well as the co-author of Latte for One and Loving It! A Single Woman's Guide to Living Life to Its Fullest (2000).

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen y…

Canvas Print Winner

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Congrats to the winner of the Canvas Print Giveaway!


Book Review: "Songbird Under a German Moon" by Tricia Goyer

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The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler's Germany. The first nights performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they're housed in and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp Photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty's dear friend, Kat, turns up missing. Betty soon realizes Franks photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences and the two lovebirds hearts may find the answers...in each other. But will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.

Tricia Goyer has a knack with turning almost any historical event into an interesting, page turning read. She's brilliant at using intense historical research mixed with an intriguing story line.…

Book Review: "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" by Seth Grahme-Smith

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While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

I have been getting a bit tired at all the mash-ups that seem to have popped up in the past year. While I thoroughly enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it was because when it came out it was the first and therefore unique. After that book became a hit, I swear ever…

Waiting on Wednesday

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Reality Check by Jen Calonita
Releases: June 14, 2010

Sixteen-year-olds Charlie, Keiran, Brooke, and Hallie have just been signed up for their own reality television show. They can't even believe it. "You'll be The Hills meets The Secret Life of the American Teenager," the Armani-suited executive tells them, "and the hottest thing on our network." How could they say no?

But soon enough, cameras following them everywhere and interfering producers surreptitiously scripting their lives start to affect the four best friends' relationship. Brooke seems to want all the screen time. Keiran is abruptly written out of the show-and consequently the group's friendship-when she doesn't rate well. As soon as Charlie realizes what's going on, she figures out the perfect way to give the studio and her home audience a much-needed reality check.

Because friends don't let friends do reality shows.


"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at B…

Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Heart Of StoneZondervan (March 1, 2010)
by
Jill Marie Landis


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jill Marie Landis is the bestselling author of over twenty novels. She has won numerous awards for her sweeping emotional romances, such as Summer Moon and Magnolia Creek. In recent years, as market demands turned to tales of vampires, erotica, and hotter, sexier historical romances, Jill turned to writing Inspirational Western Romances for Steeple Hill Books. She truly feels back in the saddle again, working on stories that are a joy to write. With her toes in the sand and head in the clouds, Jill now lives in Hawaii with her husband, Steve.





ABOUT THE BOOK
Laura Foster, free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood has struggled to make a new life for herself. Now the owner of an elegant boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura never forgets that she is always just one step ahead of her pas…

Book Review: "As Young as We Feel" by Melody Carlson

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Once upon a time in the little town on the Oregon coast, there were four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was 47 years and four lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all—the New York lawyer, the empty nester, the frustrated artist, and the aging starlet—together again in their old hometown, at a crossroads in their lives. They’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts…and there’s no statute of limitations on friendship.

Unlike the characters in this book, I never had the privilege of sharing my name with anyone in my classes. Deborah has been a popular name in the 50's, it seemed to die down by the time I entered this world. Even though the characters are in their 50s, I still enjoyed reading about their experiences. Class reunions are always fun to read about because it's interesting to see how the…

Book Review: "Scattered Petals" by Amanda Cabot

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Longing for adventure, Priscilla Morton leaves Boston and heads for Texas, never dreaming that the adventure she seeks will leave her badly injured and her parents dead. Priscilla is determined to rebuild her life and make a home for herself in the beautiful Hill Country. But the bandits who took her parents' lives also destroyed her hope for the future.

Ranch foreman Zachary Webster knows what the future holds for him, and it's not a woman like Priscilla. She deserves a cultured East Coast gentleman, not a cowboy who's haunted by memories of his mistakes. The best thing he can do is leave her alone.

When necessity draws them together, Priscilla and Zach begin to forge a life that, like the scattered petals of her childhood, is filled with promise. But then the past intrudes, threatening their very existence.

Oh historical romances tend to be hit or miss with me. While I love historical books, most of them tend to be modern day romances set in historical settings…

Canvas Print Giveaway

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Thanks to the folks at Uprinting.com I have a giveaway for you guys! The prize is an 16 x 20 Rolled Canvas. Turn your most precious moments into masterpieces! Get that artist’s feel and transform your favorite photos or work into canvas art. These thick and high-quality canvases are ultra durable and will a long time. You can click here to find more information about Canvas Prints,where you can also print online.

To enter, please fill out the form below with your information. YOU MUST FILL OUT THE FORM TO BE ENTERED. Any entries left in the comments will NOT be entered.

Open to US entries only (no PO Boxes as the prize will be shipped by UPS).

I'll pick a name and draw a winner on Sunday, March 28. Good luck!

In a nutshell

Prize: 16 x 20 Rolled Canvas Print for One (1) Winner

Specifications: 1 Business Day Turnaround

Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping

Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only



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Spring Reading Thing 2010

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FINISHED!!!!!



Well it's that time of the year again! Katrina at Callapidder Days is issuing out the command to get our reading lists out and done!I started these twice-yearly challenges because I thought it would be fun to share my love of reading with other bloggers and to push myself to read some books I might not otherwise read, or to finish some books I had started and then abandoned & stashed under my bed. I thought there were probably others out there who would appreciate the accountability and encouragement that a challenge can provide. And along the way, I discovered there were lots of people who — whether they needed the extra push or not — loved to share what they planned or hoped to read during the upcoming months. So that’s the point of the Spring Reading Thing: sharing some reading goals with all the other participants and doing it in a way that works for you. If you want to push yourself, go for it! Or if you just want to share what you’re hoping to g…

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday

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My Friend Amy, who brought us Book Blogger Appreciation Week has a new carnival in the works, the Faith 'n Fiction Saturday.
Each week she will post a blogging prompt, which participating bloggers will answer on their own blogs. Then they head back to the original post and sign Mister Linky! This way we can all come to know each other more closely.


Today I'd like to talk about YA fiction for Christian teens. The Christian fiction market for YA is still quite small and not varied. It seems heavy on fantasy or girly books. Let's be honest.

But that doesn't mean there's not a wealth of great books published in the general market for Christian teens. Today's challenge is to compile a list of recommended books, Christian or general market for Christians teens.

I've been reading a lot of mainstream YA lately and while I enjoy them very much, many of them include some cursing, sex, or drinking that some Christian readers might be offended with. …

Book Review: "Coral Moon" by Brandilyn Collins

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Leslie Williams hurries out to her car on a typical workday morning and discovers a dead body inside. Why was the corpse left for her to find? And what is the meaning of the message pinned to its chest? In Coral Moon, the senseless murder of a beloved Kanner Lake citizen spirals the small Idaho town into a terrifying glimpse of spiritual forces beyond our world. What appears true seems impossible. Or is it?

Kanner Lake doesn't seem to be a place that welcomes newcomers. Dead bodies pop up as often as they do in Cabot Cove, home of Jessica Fletcher. It's sad because the setting of the town seems like it would be the perfect place to settle down no matter what stage of life you are in. The characters in the story really make the novel. I really like hanging out with the crew at Bailey's. I could totally see myself hanging out there, grabbing a cup of coffee and catching up with the local gossip. Collins creates a wonderful blend of small town charm with spine ting…

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

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This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Here Burns My Candle

WaterBrook Press (March 16, 2010)

by

Liz Curtis Higgs
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books, workbooks, and videos, Liz Curtis Higgs breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous—and intriguing—women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew. Her best-selling historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebecca, Leah, Rachel, and Dinah to eighteenth-century Scotland, have also helped her readers view these familiar characters in a new light. And her nonfiction book, Embrace Grace, winner of a 2007 Retailers Choice Award, presents her message of hope in an engaging and personal way, speaking directly to the hearts of her readers.

A veteran speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,600 encouraging …

Book Review: "Balancing Acts" by Zoe Fishman

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Charlie seemed to have it all—beauty, brains and a high-paying Wall Street job far away from her simple Midwest upbringing. Then, in the middle of her “quarter life crisis,” she decides that the banker’s life isn’t what she wanted after all, quits her job and opens her own yoga studio in Brooklyn. But like any new business, finding customers is an uphill battle. When she hears about her college’s 10 year reunion, she straps on her best salesman smile and invades midtown—determined to drum up some business.

Unexpectedly, she reconnects with three college classmates—women who, like Charlie, haven’t ended up quite where they wanted to in life. Sabine, a romance book editor, still longs to write the novel brewing inside of her. Naomi, a child of the Upper East Side, was an up-and-coming photographer and social darling, but now is a single mom who hasn’t picked up her camera in years. Bess, a California girl trying to make it in New York, dreams of being the next Christiane Amanpour, but in…

Book Review: "Scrapping Plans" by Rebeca Seitz

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The focus moves now to youngest sister Joy who was adopted from China as an infant. Always the quiet one, she and her husband’s struggle with infertility is being drowned out by sister Kendra’s wedding day, her daddy’s new romance, and another Sinclair sister who may see that double pink line on a pregnancy test before Joy does. Will a trip back to China help Joy understand that God’s timing is perfect, and His plans are the ones to follow?

When I first picked up this book, I was very excited. There aren't many Christian fiction books that feature an Asian American as the lead character (or even background characters really). Therefore I was really excited to finally see another POC character in the spotlight.

Sadly, I was little disappointed as to how Joy's character was handled. First off, she's adopted. Now I understand that all the girls in the series are adopted which is the purpose of the series. But I swear, except for a handful of books, every time ther…

Waiting on Wednesday

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Alice in Charge by Phyllis Reynolds Nayor
Releases: June 15, 2010

Alice’s memorable last year of high school is being overshadowed by some very difficult situations. A sudden increase in vandalism at the school leads Alice to discover an angry and violent group of students—teenage Neo-Nazis. Then an awkward hallway encounter gets a classmate to confess that a new, attentive teacher has been taking advantage of her. All at once, Alice’s safe and comfortable school starts feeling strange and serious—all this plus the normal senior year pressures of college applications and life-making decisions. Alice has two options: step up or melt down. The choice is simple, and true to the character that readers have loved for years….Alice steps up—in a big way.

The Right Call by Kathy Herman

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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 author is:

Kathy Herman

and the book:

The Right Call
David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2010)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kathy Herman is a best-selling suspense novelist who has written fifteen novels since retiring from her family’s Christian bookstore business. Kathy and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and five grandchildren and …

Book Review: "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver

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What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High, from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12 should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Fortunately, she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Don't let the size of this book hinder you from reading it. Yes it's almost a 500 page book but believe me it's a page turner and you won't want to stop reading. There's a lot that goes on this book and it can be a bit confusing at first as to where it's all heading but once you get sucked i…