Showing posts from March, 2011

Book Review: "Homemade Haunting" by Rob Stennett

Summary from Charlie Walker doesn't believe in God or the supernatural. But Charlie's views change when he takes the biggest risk of his life—he quits his job to write the novel he's always wanted to write.

The problem is that Charlie is a method writer. Since he's writing horror, he needs to experience horror. Charlie begins to dabble with the supernatural and experiences the paranormal around his house. Messages appear on mirrors, furniture moves, and his kids start seeing things.

Charlie is so lost in his book that he can't see how it's affecting his family. He thinks if he just stops, it will all wash away. It doesn't. Friends convince Charlie that his only choice is to find God to save his family and home.

Charlie becomes the unlikely hero in a supernatural battle. As he fights for his home and family, he meets his guardian angel and the demon assigned to him. Is Charlie going crazy? Is there really a supernatural war taking place around Charlie&…

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Book Review: "The Mountains Bow Down" by Sibella Giorello

Summary from A cruise to Alaska sounds like the perfect vacation--it's a geologist's dream and will give Raleigh space to sort out her feelings about her recent engagement. But before the ship even reaches its first port, a case manages to find her. The producer of a movie that's being filmed on board goes missing and is then discovered hanging from the railing. Suicide seems to be the cause, but Raleigh quickly realizes the pieces don't add up. When the Seattle field office sends Jack Stephanson to assist her in the investigation, her personal uncertainty skyrockets. Why is it that she forgets to even call her fiance back in Virginia. And Jack seems to know her as well as she knows herself. She'll have to wait to sort out those feelings, though, because she and Jack only have five days before the cruise ends to solve this case.

I think this was the best book of the series. The mystery is well written and the killer is not revealed until the end …

Book Review: "Double Shot" by Erynn Mangum

Summary from Now that Maya Davis is engaged to her longtime friend and sweetheart, Jack, there should be no more worrying about the future, no more questioning God. Everything should be perfect, right? Actually, it’s just the opposite: Things are complicated. Where are they going to live? What kind of wedding do they want?

And when Jack is offered a once-in-a-lifetime job in Seattle, things begin to unravel even more. Can Maya trust that God is in control even when things seem to be a disastrous mess?

In danger of being a Bridezilla? Can't get enough of My Fair Wedding or Say Yes to the Dress? Well if you're in the mood for weddings, this is a great book for you. As the third book in the Maya Davis series, it's finally time for Maya and Jack to start planning their own wedding. There's lots of talk about dresses, flowers, cakes, etc but not in a Bridezilla type of way because Maya is really laid back about everything. I really liked that too because while…

False Pretenses by Kathy Herman

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingFalse PretensesDavid C. Cook (March 1, 2011)byKathy Herman

Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy…

Book Review: "An Eye for Glory" by Karl A. Bacon

Summary from Michael Palmer is a good man, a family man. But honor and duty push him to leave his comfortable life and answer the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country. This "citizen soldier" learns quickly that war is more than the battle on the field. Long marches under extreme conditions, illness, and disillusionment challenge at every turn.

Faith seems lost in a blur of smoke and blood . and death. Michael's only desire is to kill as many Confederate soldiers as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets. Until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible.

It's in the heat of battle at Gettysburg and the solemn aftermath that Michael begins to understand the grave cost of the war upon his soul. Here the journey really begins as he searches for the man he was and the faith he once held so dearly. With the help of his beloved wife, Jesse Ann, he takes the final steps towards redem…

My Library Reads No. 10

My Library Reads is a spotlight on the library books that I have read during the previous week. This is not a post on what books I borrowed but books that I read. Since I don't review library books, this is a way to still be able to showcase them on my blog.

BTW, if anyone knows of another meme that is like this on another blog, could you please let me know? I don't know of any myself, but if there is one already in place, I'd like to give credit where credit is due!

Library Books read from 3/20/11 - 3/26/11

Matched by Ally Condie (Dutton Juvenile, 10/30/10)

YA - I'm still kicking myself for not picking this book at BEA. I somehow missed it on the showcase floor. Then when I was helping Amy pack her boxes to ship back home, she pointed out an extra copy lying on the discarded pile table. However at that point, my hands were filled with 20lbs (ok it felt like it) of books so I was like, I can wait until it actually comes out. Well as you can tell, I…

Movie Review: "True Grit"

I am normally not a big fan of westerns whether in books or in movies. They are ok but not really my favorite genre. True Grit was first made into a movie in 1969 starring John Wayne who won the Oscar for Best Actor. I haven't watched all of that version but from what I did see it's drastically different from this new version. In fact, even though I had heard good things about the movie and that I had liked some of the other Coen Brother movies I had seen in the past and the actors in the movie were all excellent, if this movie hadn't been nominated for Best Picture, I probably would have passed it over. I'm so glad I didn't! It turned out to be one of my favorite movies at the Best Picture showcase.

Jeff Bridges is fantastic as Rooster. He's a drunk but I really liked his character. I love how you can tell he has a soft spot for Mattie though it's clear that he's a bit baffled about her. It's a bit hard to understand him at times but I thought h…

Book Review: "Love Amid the Ashes" by Mesu Andrews

Summary from Readers often think of Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job's life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family?

Through painstaking research and a writer's creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau's tribe and Jacob's daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashes breathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.

I'm one of those readers who is a big fan of biblical fiction because I love seeing familiar names from the Bible being fleshed out. As long as the author does their research and does not make the characters do anything that would go against their custom, I love learn…

Vicious Cycle by Terri Blackstock

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingVicious CycleZondervan (February 22, 2011)byTerri Blackstock


Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

Besides entertaining her readers, Terri tackles issues that she hopes will change lives. Her recent book, Predator, was inspired by her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and her concern that people posted too much personal information about themselves. The book deals with an online predator who uses social networks as his playground. She hopes the book will change readers’ online habits. Her New York Times best-seller, Intervention, was inspired by her own personal struggles with a daughter on drugs. In the book, a mother hires an interventionist for her drug-addicted daughter. But on the way to treatm…

Book Review: "Bound By Guilt" by C.J. Darlington

Summary from Roxi Gold has been shuttled from one foster home to another for most her life. She longs for a family and will do anything to fit in even if it's against the law. Soon she's traveling the country in an RV, stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores. She knows it's wrong, but if she refuses, she'll be put out on the streets.

Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work. Her ex-husband wrested her daughter away from her in a bitter custody battle. The job she once loved has become a chore, the world isn't any safer, and there's no joy in her life.

One fateful night a man's innocent blood changes both Roxi's and Abby's lives forever. One searches for justice; the other finds herself on the run until a first edition of The Great Gatsby catches up with her. Will the power of forgiveness set them free, or will they both remain bound by guilt?

I really enjoyed all the talk about books in this stor…

Book Review: "All You Get Is Me" by Yvonne Prinz

Summary from Things were complicated enough for Roar, even before her father decided to yank her out of the city and go organic. Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit a reluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’ market and developing her photographs in a ramshackle shed. Caught between a trouble making sidekick named Storm, a brooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy, and a father on a human rights crusade that challenges the fabric of the farm community, Roar is going to have to tackle it all—even with dirt under her fingernails and her hair pulled back with a rubber band meant for asparagus.

Yvonne Prinz's first book THE VINYL PRINCESS was one of my favorite reads of 2010. Therefore I was really looking forward to her new book because I really enjoyed her style of writing. I wasn't disappointed. Right from the beginning I was sucked into the story. It's not a fluffy teen lit tale. There are serious issues that are discussed throughout the book. The topics involvin…

Jane Eyre Prize Pack Giveaway

I don't know about you but I'm really excited for this movie. I love the story of Jane Eyre and even though there have been several adaptation already released (including my favorite starring Timothy Dalton) each one brings new light to the story.

About the Film: Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) star in the romantic drama based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, from acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”). In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. As she reflects upon the people and emotions that have defined her, it is clear that the isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. She must now act decisively to secure her own future and come to terms with the past that haunts her – and the terrible secret that Mr. Rochester is hiding a…

Book Review: "Wither" by Lauren DeStefano

Summary from By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric …

Book Review: "The Lying Game" by Sara Shepard

Summary from The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

I must admit that last year I discovered the Pretty Little Liars series and they quickly became one of my guilty reading pleasures. I haven't seen the TV show (mainly because I know it's different from the books) but I devoured th…

Spring Reading Thing 2011

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 ge…

CSN Does It Again

I really have enjoyed working with CSN Stores. The items that I've received and the customer service have been top notch. And from looking around the blogosphere, their items have received high praise from other bloggers. I can totally vouch that what I've gotten is very good quality. My bookcase is still holding up very well though it's pretty much crammed to breaking point full of books.

CSN Stores has over pretty much anything you want to look for from home decor, cookware, pets, kids, fitness and cookware. They also have some pretty sweet LCD TV Stands which I might have to consider getting for the 'rents as they finally got their first HDTV this past holiday season.

This post was written with the advance knowledge that I will be received a GC from CSN Stores to use to review an item in the future.

Movie Review: "The Kids are All Right"

Ok, I'll admit that if this movie had not been nominated for Best Picture and hadn't been showing at the Best Picture showcase, I probably wouldn't have seen it. It's just not my type of movie. That being said, I am glad however that I did see it. While it's not really my cup of tea, it was an enjoyable and thought provoking movie.

The premise of the story is that the children of a lesbian couple want to find their birth father. He was the same sperm donor to both of their mothers. The movie takes a twist on the average All-American family story by placing a same sex couple as the main parents. The writing of the movie is well done. It's funny at times (though not a comedy as the Golden Globes seems to think it is), serious and very realistic. The acting is very good especially I felt done by the teens. Joni is quite level headed and Laser is pretty much your typical teenage guy but he's a good kid. Something I found rather interesting was that when…

Book Review: "The Caregiver" by Shelley Shepard Gray

Summary from Lucy is traveling by herself via train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie, recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Trying to overcome the sudden death of her husband, she's glad to get away and focus on someone else for a while.

The only other Amish people on the train are Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie. When their train breaks down outside of Cleveland, Calvin and Lucy band together to face the outside world. But Calvin also carries the weight of past hurts. When an altercation brings both their wounds to light, they question whether they can trust each other.

Once in Jacob's Crossing, Lucy is occupied with caring for Mattie, while Calvin does his best to run his family's farm. But they can't stop thinking about those special hours spent together. Will the bond they formed last? And will Lucy and Calvin be able to put away the pain in their pasts to recognize the happiness that is suddenly in their grasp?

As I'…

Book Winner

Congrats to the winner of the Crafty Chica 2 book set:

Book Review: "The Liberation of Alice Love" by Abby McDonald

Summary from the publisher: Alice Love keeps her life (and job, and family) running in perfect order, so when her bank card is declined, she thinks it’s just a mistake. Sadly, someone has emptied her bank account, spending her savings on glamorous trips, sexy lingerie, and a to-die-for wardrobe—and leaving Alice with lots of debt. As a dashing fraud investigator helps her unravel the intriguing paper trail, Alice discovers that the thief is closer to home than she ever imagined. What’s more, it seems like her alter ego’s reckless, extravagant lifestyle is the one Alice should have been leading all along. As the little white lies begin to stack up, how far will Alice go to find the truth?

And whose life, exactly, is she fighting for?

Identity theft is a scary thing. Our identity is the most precious thing we can have and when someone takes that away from us, what really do we have left? Alice discovers that someone close to her has been using her identity, taking everything that was p…

Book Review: "Bathsheba" by Jill Eileen Smith

Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king's wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps—and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David's charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God—and David—forever?

With a historian's sharp eye for detail and a novelist's creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David's most famous—and infamous—wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.

I don't know …