Showing posts from January, 2010

Nancy Drew Challenge January Recap

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.

So the first month of the Nancy Drew Challenge ends today. How have you guys done?

I've read the first six books in January. These first few books have been reread by me many times over the past few years as I have attempted to read all the books. I always read about the first 10 before I end up having to postpone reading them.

Several thoughts I had while reading:

- Did Nancy recently graduate from high school? She's supposedly 18 and still lives with her dad. She doesn't go to college, doesn't have a job, and (at the time) does not have a serious boyfriend for potential husband material. So what exactly is she doin…

Shelf Discover Challenge Report: Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan

Why is Rachel the only one to sense the evil that surrounds Julia?

From the moment Rachel's cousin Julia arrives that summer, she seems to seep into Rachel's life like a poison. Everyone else is enchanted by her--including Rachel's boyfriend. But what does Julia really want?

When I was in middle school, I was a HUGE Lois Duncan fan. My absolute favorite book of hers is Locked in Time. To this day, I will read that book and still get chills and then start over thinking. Also it was around that time when the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer came out and everyone wanted to go back and read the book that the movie was based on. However, somehow I missed out on four of Duncan's books that are considered some of her classic YA thriller stories. This is the first of them that I read for the Shelf Discovery Challenge.

Rachel is a teenage girl who is preparing for what will be a normal yet exciting summer for her. She's made a bunch of plans, plus the guy she likes has fi…

Book Review: "Becca by the Book" by Laura Jensen Walker

Adventurous, off-beat Becca Daniels will try almost anything—purple hair, skydiving, even her book club’s crazy challenge. To prove she’s not commitment-phobic, Becca agrees to twenty-five dates with whoever asks her out next. When “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—calls, the hilarious and eye-opening dates could lead to Becca’s greatest adventure yet.

Ever since I was introduced to the Getaway Girls Book Club in Daring Chloe, I have wanted to become an honorary member. Seriously, they read the best books and then go on exciting adventures based on the books. What more could you ask for? This book speaks to us from Becca's point of view, which I knew was going to be interesting considering Becca had been my least favorite of the Girls. Something about her in the previous books just kept rubbing me the wrong way. I'm not sure if it was her attitude or what, but I found myself getting annoyed with how she acted in the other books in the series. I was hoping that th…

Courteous Cad by Catherine Palmer

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:

Catherine Palmer

and the book:

Courteous Cad
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 3, 2009)
***Special thanks to Christy Wong of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Catherine Palmer lives in Atlanta with her husband, Tim, where they serve as missionaries in a refugee community. They have two grown sons. She is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and holds a master's degree in English fro…

Book Review: "Deliver Us From Evil" by Robin Caroll

A beautiful yet tough woman working in a beautiful yet tough setting, Brannon Callahan is a search and rescue helicopter pilot for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Strong faith and a decorated history of service have kept her one step ahead of on-the-job dangers, but there's no precedent for what's about to happen. After a blizzard takes down a small plane carrying U.S. Marshal Roark Holland (already haunted by a recent tragedy), Brannon must save him in more ways than one and safeguard the donor heart he's transporting to a government witness on the edge of death. Otherwise the largest child trafficking ring in history-with shocking links from Thailand to Tennessee-will slip further away into darkness along the Appalachian Trail.

I have been reading Robin Caroll's Love Inspired Suspense books for years and have greatly enjoyed them. Therefore when I heard she was having her first trade paperback release come out this year, I knew I would be wanting to read it.…

Tea With Hezbollah by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis

(I really really want to read this book but with school starting and other emergencies popping up, I just haven't had the time to before the blog tour, so check back later for a true review, for now here's the publisher's info)

Is it really possible to love one’s enemies?

That’s the question that sparked a fascinating and, at times, terrifying journey into the heart of the Middle East during the summer of 2008. It was a trip that began in Egypt, passed beneath the steel and glass high rises of Saudi Arabia, then wound through the bullet- pocked alleyways of Beirut and dusty streets of Damascus, before ending at the cradle of the world’s three major religions: Jerusalem.

Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as readers join novelist Ted Dekker and his co-author and Middle East expert, Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room convers…

Book Review: "The Last Place I Want to Be" by P. Buchanan

At fourteen, Amy is supposed to be hanging out with friends and enjoying life as a carefree teenager. Instead, her father announces he's moving the family across the country—away from home, away from friends, and away from the school newspaper that Amy adores. And all to open a bed-and-breakfast in a tiny Northern California town. Why her? Why now?

Feeling like the newbie she is, Amy is left out and alone. How is she supposed to fit in where she is obviously not welcome? And how can she help her family with their new business when she is so unhappy? When finally Amy seeks God's guidance, she quickly learns that God's answers to prayer are never what we expect.

I love finding little gems of reading goodness that I would have never come across had it not been for being a book blogger. This book was one of those little nuggets of reading joy. Honestly I just could not get over how much I enjoyed reading this book. It had everything I love in a YA book - food, friendships, chara…

Book Review: "Beautiful" by Cindy Martinusen - Coloma

Since childhood, 17-year-old Ellie Summerfield has fought to overcome her grandfather's painful words by becoming driven, determined, and successful---even to the detriment of others. But when tragedy strikes, she's confronted with her deepest fears. What is her life really worth? Experience one girl's journey to rebuild herself and discover true beauty.

"Wow" is all I could say after finishing this book. Cindy Martinusen-Coloma has most definitely found her niche in writing YA fiction. This was an extremely profound and moving read yet at the same time really enjoyable to sit back and relax.It's thought that Ellie has the perfect life with everything going for her. Meanwhile her older sister Megan feels overshadowed and never noticed. Then a tragic accident happens which changes both sisters' attitudes, personalities and how they view life. I felt that I could understand why both girls acted the way they did. Everything they thought they knew had comp…

Book Review: "Jenna's Cowboy" by Sharon Gillenwater

Jenna Callahan has a young son and rewarding work on her father's ranch. She's content. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago. And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever. Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.

I had read Sharon's earlier books in the past and had really enjoyed reading them. Therefore I was looking forward to her newest book as it had been a while since she had a new one released. From the cover, the book looks like it would be a light casual romance but it was much more than that. The townsfolk are charming and bring life to the story. The chemistry between Jenna and Nate is done really well and I enjoyed watchi…

Kelly's Chance by Wanda Brunstetter

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Kelly’s Chance Barbour Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2010)


Wanda E. Brunstetter


A Note From Wanda:

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.

It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (

My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over …

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday

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.

This week: Today we're sharing some of the Christian fiction books we're looking forward to in 2010. I'm going to show the ones that have covers. Note to publishers: put up your covers early!

Priceless by Tom Davis
Photojournalist Stuart Daniels has found purpose in life. After suffering the fallout of a tragic assignment, Daniels rediscovered his faith while helping a young African orphan. Now his photo work carries a greater mission: To educate people about social injustice happening around the world. Daniels next assignment carries him back overseas and into the heart of Russia. Once there, Daniels is persuaded by an old frie…

Book Review: "Gone to Green" by Judy Christie

Lois goes from being a corporate journalist at a large paper in the Midwest to the owner of The Green News-Item, a small twice-weekly newspaper in rural North Louisiana. The paper was an unexpected inheritance from a close colleague, and Lois must keep it for at least a year, bringing a host of challenges, lessons, and blessings into her life.

When Lois pulls into Green on New Year's Day, she expects a charming little town full of smiling people. She quickly realizes her mistake. After settling into a loaned house out on Route 2, she finds herself battling town prejudices and inner doubts and making friends with the most surprising people.

Having both worked on my school paper and being a high school correspondent for my local paper, I always enjoy reading books about newspapers. There's something about having to meet deadlines, getting all the facts and discovering stories that could have major impact that always make for a good read for me. Therefore reading this book had grea…

Book Review: "Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart" by Beth Pattillo

Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone - she's been engaged to Neil, a sensible actuary, for three years, even though she can't quite bring herself to set a wedding date.

But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzy Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's …

Book Review: "Knit, Purl, Die" by Anne Canadeo

Gloria Sterling had it all — money, looks, and a new sexy young husband. So when she's found floating face down in her own swimming pool, shock waves ripple through tiny Plum Harbor. At the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, Maggie Messina and her circle are devastated to lose their dear friend — a woman as colorful as her fabulous yarn creations.The police are quick to call it an accident, but sorting out Gloria's final hours leaves too many loose ends to satisfy her friends. The vivacious, fiftysomething cougar had her French manicured tips in more than a few pots, and the threads of some inside deals stashed in her chic knitting tote.Who was the last person to see Gloria alive on that quiet summer night? Two empty wine glasses suggest she wasn't home alone knitting the entire evening.... The Black Sheep need to know the truth and set out to unravel — stitch by stitch — the weighty secrets that pulled poor Gloria under.

I have been wanting to really get into reading mainstream co…

Book Review: "Thicker than Blood" by C.J. Darlington

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. Shes putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn't commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents untimely deaths. Soon, Christy's fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could Mays Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven shes searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before its too late?

I have been waiting for this book since I found out that C. J. Darlington had won the First Novel Contest from Tyndale publishers. I was definitely not disappointed when I finally finished it. Normally debut authors can be hit or miss with their work, but I felt like I had been reading C. J.'s books for years. I really got su…