Showing posts from August, 2011

Book Review: "Plain Fear: Forsaken" by Leanna Ellis

Summary from Hannah cannot move on.

She pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her.

But Jacob is gone now, buried.

Levi's love for Hannah burns just as strong. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives. And he lives with that lie every day.

So when a stranger named Akiva comes to their community, he carries with him two secrets that will change their lives forever: he is in fact Jacob, whom Hannah had lost. And he is now a vampire.

When passions stir and secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love. But it's more than a choice of passion; it's a decision that will determine the fate of her soul.

I feel like this book has been a running joke in the reading community for a long time. You take the two genres that are s…

Book Review: "Ten Beach Road" by Wendy Wax

Summary from Madeline, Avery, and Nikki are strangers to each other, but they have one thing in common. They each wake up one morning to discover their life savings have vanished, along with their trusted financial manager- leaving them with nothing but co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront house.

Throwing their lots in together, they take on the challenge of restoring the historic property. But just as they begin to reinvent themselves and discover the power of friendship, secrets threaten to tear down their trust-and destroy their lives a second time.

Summer's winding down and I was in the need for a good beach read to end the season. I actually have not been to the beach this year so I figured that a book set on the beach had to be the next best substitute. I also read this book during Hurricane Irene so it added even more of a beachy feeling as well.

The story focuses on three women: Madeline, Avery and Nicole. These three women couldn't be more different fro…

Book Winner

Congrats to the winner of Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

Book Review: "Tout Sweet" by Karen Wheeler

Summary from In her mid-thirties, fashion editor Karen has it all: a handsome boyfriend, a fab flat in west London, and an array of gorgeous shoes. But when her boyfriend, Eric, leaves she makes an unexpected decision: to hang up her Manolos and wave good-bye to her glamorous city lifestyle to go it alone in a run-down house in rural Poitou-Charentes, central western France.

Tout Sweet is the perfect read for anyone who dreams of chucking away their BlackBerry in favor of real blackberrying and downshifting to a romantic, alluring locale where new friendships–and new loves–are just some of the treasures to be found amongst life's simple pleasures.

I love stories that take place in other countries. I especially love travel memoirs that take place in foreign countries. It's probably because I would love to live abroad myself and experience the life that the author is living. I also think it's great to get a different perspective from different authors as well as th…

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A Girl and Her Books and is being hosted by Staci of Life in the Thumb this month.

Here are the books I got this week.

For Review:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Queen by Steven James
Christmas in Sugarcreek by Shelley Shepard Gray
Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston
A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Contest Win:

Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt

Book Review: "Blue Skies Tomorrow" by Sarah Sundin

Summary from When her husband becomes a casualty of the war in the Pacific, Helen Carlisle throws herself into volunteering for the war effort to conceal her feelings. But keeping up appearances as the grieving widow of a hometown hero is taking its toll. Soon something is going to give.

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit. His stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life--and a convenient excuse to ignore his deepest fear. When the beautiful Helen catches his eye and captures his heart, he is determined to win her hand.

But when Ray and Helen are called upon to step out in faith and put their reputations and their lives on the line, can they meet the challenges that face them? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

This is the third book in the Wings of Glory series that focuses on the Novak brothers during WWII and the women they fall in love with. Those boys can never get a girl easily it seems as they have to…

Book Review: "The Twelfth Enchantment" by David Liss

Summary from Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible. With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of anc…

Book Review: "Breath of Angel" by Karyn Henley

Summary from When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without settling an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.

There's a reason why I normally turn down about 98% of books that are fantasy based. I just cannot get into the world. I guess I need something more down to earth and of this world in order for me to comprehend the surroundings, characters an…

Book Review: "Before Ever After" by Samantha Sotto

Summary from Three years after her husband Max's death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max–same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose–he could be Max's long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well.

As outrageous as Paolo's claims seem–how could her husband be alive? And if he is, why hasn't he looked her up? – Shelley desperately wants to know the truth. She and Paolo jet across the globe to track Max down–if it is really Max– and along the way, Shelley recounts the European package tour where they had met. As she relives Max'…

Mailbox Mondays

Trying out a different format this week, we'll see how it works.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A Girl and Her Books and is being hosted by Staci of Life in the Thumb this month.

Here are the books I got this week.

For Review:

Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock
Promises, Promises by Erica James
The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming by Miralee Ferrell
Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey
Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

For INSPYs Judging:

Under a Desert Sky by Diann Mills
Love Letters in the Sand by Diann Hunt
Love Finds You in Groom, Texas by Janice Hanna
Love Finds You in Camelot, Tennessee by Janice Hanna

From Paperbackswap: Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller
Against the Wind by Brock and Bodie Thoene

Contest Win:

Book Review: "The Colonel's Lady" by Laura Frantz

Summary from In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father's place as scrivener. Before long, it's clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own--some of which have to do with her father's sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?

This story takes place during a time when Kentucky didn't end with a y and relationships between the British and Americans equal war. For Roxanna and Cassius, they find themselves being put together in a unique situation because of the circumstances surrounding them. After losing her father, she becomes the colonel's scrivener, a position not normally held by a woman. The two find themselves attracted to each other but secrets come out revealing that there is going to be …

Interview with Paige Harbison

I'm happy to have here today on my blog, Paige Harbison, author of Here Lies Bridget.

I see that you're from the DC Metro Area. What is the best/worst thing about living in this area?

Well, to mention a typical gripe, the traffic. I hate having to base my activities for the day on whether or not I’ll be able to get home afterwards.

Your computer with your latest manuscript has crashed and there's no way of retrieving what was on the hard drive. How do you react?

I freak out and call all my techie friends. Of course, the rewrite is always better…but who feels like doing that??!
A muggle's wish come true: you've been granted magical powers from Harry Potter's world! What's the first spell you use?

I find that luck potion and run right to the lottery.

When you saw the first finished copy of your book, what was going through your mind?


Star Wars fan? Yes? No? If no, why not?? (this is a question i ask everyone, as i am a huge star wars geek, will not be off…

Book Review: "Unforgettable" by Trish Perry

Summary from Rachel Stanhope tries to see the good in everyone.

But Josh Reegan tests even her good graces when they meet outside her Arlington, Virginia, dance studio in 1951. He's attractive, yet his cynicism and cockiness are hard to tolerate.

A journalist and former World War II Air Force pilot, Josh considers ballroom dancing a frivolous waste of time. Although Rachel's confident nature is a refreshing challenge, he wouldn't tangle with her if his newspaper hadn't assigned him to cover her studio's competition in New York City.

Between the melodrama of ballroom antics and the real drama of political corruption, Rachel and Josh have their hands full. The last thing either of them expects is mutual need and support. But once they stop dancing around the truth, the results are unforgettable.

There are many reasons why I enjoyed this book. One, it is set in Northern VA where I live. Two, the main female character is older than most heroines in a romance no…

The Inspys Awards Needs Judges!

I've borrowed this from My Friend Amy

If you are a Christian with a love for faith driven literature and have time to devote to reading five books this fall for the INSPY Awards we need you!

The INSPYS are blogger awards so we need bloggers who review books to take the next round! You could be part of choosing the next INSPY winner!

Be a blogger
Provide a sample book review in the application
Agree to our statement of faith
Be responsible to obtain their own copies of the books they are judging
Agree to read all five of the short listed books and turn their decision in by the deadline of December 10th.

The INSPY categories are
General Fiction
Literature for Young People
Creative Nonfiction
Speculative Fiction
Mystery & Thriller

Please go visit the INSPY site and sign up now if this is of interest to you

Book Review: "Murder in Plain Sight" by Marta Perry

Summary from Did a sweet-faced Amish teenager brutally murder a young woman? To save her career, big-city lawyer Jessica Langdon is determined to defend him—against the community's bitter and even violent outrage. Yet without an understanding of Amish culture, Jessica must rely on arrogant businessman Trey Morgan, who has ties to the Amish community… and believes in the boy's guilt.

Jessica has threats coming from all sides: a local fanatic, stirred up by the biased publicity of the case; the dead girl's boyfriend; even from the person she's learned to trust the most, Trey Morgan. But just when Jessica fears she's placed her trust in the wrong man, Trey saves her life. And now they must both reach into a dangerous past to protect everyone's future—including their own.

While I do read a lot of Amish books, I really want to read more books that feature them that are not faith based. I don't want to feel like I'm getting preached at while reading …

Book Review: "Bumped" by Megan McCafferty

Summary from When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep.

Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from…

Mailbox Mondays

I have been thinking about doing this for a while but I never seemed to get around to it.
I'm not sure how long I will do this or if it will be done every week but I'll just try it for a while. Have a feeling I will NOT be sticking with this format...

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A Girl and Her Books and is being hosted by Staci of Life in the Thumb this month.

Here are the books I got this week.

The Survivor by Shelley Shepard Gray (publisher for blog tour)
Signspotting 4 by Doug Lansky (publisher)

Reasons to be Happy by Katrina Kittle (publisher for blog tour)

The Focus on the Family Clubhouse Collection by Ray Seldomridge (paperbackswap)

Little Black Dress by Susan McBride (publisher)
The Year Everything Changed by Georgia Bockoven (publisher)

Mercy Comes Morning by Lisa T. Bergren (publisher for LibraryThing ER)

Book Review: "The One Who Waits for Me" by Lori Copeland

Summary from Bestselling author Lori Copeland sets her brand-new story in North Carolina the months after the Civil War. In the midst of chaos, there is also a sense of possibility and the hope of love when:

Sisters Beth and Joanie run from a vindictive uncle toward healing Trella, a pregnant young slave, leaves a plantation for freedom Gray Eagle, a Cherokee military scout, finds refuge for the young women Captain Pierce, a quiet man of faith, heads for a plot of land and a new life Samuel, a black soldier, longs to follow his father’s preaching legacy
The intersecting lives and tales of these engaging characters and those they meet along the way create an uplifting story of tested faith, growing seeds of love, and the challenge and gift of believing God’s promise of a future.

I hate to admit that this is not Copeland's best work. I felt many times the story to be cliched, stereotypes were being used and characters were underdeveloped. I wasn't really…