180 Movie - An Eye Opening Documentary

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Seek the Stars Contest!!!

Wayne Thomas Batson is holding another one of his legendary contests to promote his newest book, The Errant King (Book 2 in The Dark Sea Annals).

I highly recommend that you check it out. They're so much fun and you can win awesome prizes like owning your own star, getting a character named after you, or winning every book he ever writes signed and free for the rest of your life.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

Georgia Gail is a switchboard operator who is independent and a bird lover. But she is annoyed when they send a man to look over her shoulder. But Luke Palmer is not who he appears. He would rather be catching bad guys and throwing them in jail then repairing telephone lines. But both are surprised when they find their lives - and hearts - on the line.

I love the cover on this book. I'm fascinated by old-timey switchboards. It reminds me of Little House on the Prairie. I liked the beginning of this book and the story, but I wasn't crazy about how heated the romance became. I don't think it was realistic for the time period and even if it was, I don't want to read about every lustful, passionate thought they have about each other.

I did enjoy reading about women standing up for the lives of birds that were being used to decorate their hats and clothes. I had never read about that before and really enjoyed reading about it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Alice Grace Ripley is a book-nerd and librarian rolled into one. Her nose is always stuck in a book as the rest of the world suffers through the Great Depression. But after she loses her job at the library and her boyfriend, Alice decides to do something drastic. So she sets off with her aunt and uncle to deliver donated books to a tiny coal-mining town in the Kentucky mountains. Her little trip ends up becoming the biggest adventure of her life - way better than any book she's ever read.

This book was funny, exciting, and different. I love books set in the Depression. I thought the main character, Alice, was perfect. I could relate to her because we both have a somewhat unhealthy addiction to books! I do believe that you can read too many books, as Alice discovers, and it keeps you from living out your own story in life, whatever that may be.

I think this book reminded me a lot of Christy by Catherine Marshall (Just imagine a stuck-up Christy!). I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Austin's next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Annabel used to be the daugher of a wealthy merchant. Now her father is dead and she lives with her family who are too proud to work with the rest of the village. For her family's punishment, Annabel goes to work for Lord Ranulf le Wyse, a frightening man with a mysterious story. In the end, she must decide between spending the rest of her life in a nunnery or following her heart.

I was not a big fan of Dickerson's The Healer's Apprentice. In fact, I strongly disliked it. But lots of people loved it and it almost won a Christy Award. So when I realized I had agreed to review another one of her books, I was not looking forward to it. But to my surprise, I actually liked it.

I loved the cover. I love the story of Beauty and the Beast. I thought the book was exciting, interesting, pretty realistic, and a great spin of the classic fairy tale.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Why You Should Read Classics (even if you think you hate them)

I used to despise classic books. Like non-fiction, they just seemed boring. But one summer (I was about fourteen or fifteen) I picked up a cheap $6 copy of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Barnes & Noble and I was blown away. A couple years later, and it's still my favorite book.

From then on I bought the cheap classics at B&N whenever I had any babysitting money. It was torture having to pick between The Lost World and Wuthering Heights. I discovered the magical world of Five Children and It, the sad but beautiful tale of Jane Eyre, and life in the jungle with Swiss Family Robinson. The summer I turned sixteen I discovered Jane Austen. Wowzers.

The great thing about classics is that their is a wide variety. You have romance, steampunk, sci-fi, fairy tales, pirates, jungles, dinosaurs, shipwrecks and on and on. They even came out with modern editions of classic books to appeal to today's Twilight fans.

And whimisical covers for book lovers of all ages.

And then there are re-written, easier to understand classic books. I hate those with a passion. Don't mess with a best seller that has stood the test of time. When you chop it up, you take away the magic, the whole reason it was so popular in the first place.

Read any classics lately? Love or hate them?

Monday, 3 October 2011

Just In Case You're Curious...

Why do I have a video on the top of my blog? This past month, I viewed an amazing documentary. I am excited to say it's available for the general public to view. Please take 30 minutes to sit down and watch this. I promise you 180Movie will be life-changing and you'll want to share it with everyone you know. It may cause your friends and family to make a 180 in their beliefs about abortion.

After watching it, I hope you'll post your comments here about who you shared it with. Share it with people you know that are not pro-life. Like the people in this documentary, they may do a 180 from being pro-choice to an unwavering pro-life view. To find out more about this amazing documentary, visit the 180 Movie's website.

My List of Inspiring Non-Fiction Books

If you're like me, you like made-up stories. Or as the world calls it, Fiction. That is such a boring word. Sounds like friction. I prefer to call them made-up stories.

I've always avoided non-fiction books because they're usually boring. But I've discovered some awesome nonfiction books this year and thought I would share it with any other made-up story lovin' people out there.

Winner of The Non-Fiction Book That Inspired Me award goes to "Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption" by Katie Davis with Beth Clark. Actually, I'm in the middle of reading this, but it's amazing.

Winner of The Non-Fiction Book That Strengthened My Faith award goes to "The Cause Within You: Finding the One Great Thing You Were Created to Do in This World" by Matthew Barnett with George Barna. You can read my review here.

Winner of The Non-Fiction Book That Taught Me To Dream Big award goes to "Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas" by Abby Sunderland and Lynn Vincent. You can read my review here.

Winner of The Non-Fiction Book That Made Me Cry award goes to "Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice" by Kristen Jane Anderson with Tricia Goyer. You can read my review here.

Winner of The Non-Fiction Book That Opened My Eyes award goes to "A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's Daughters" by Chai Ling. You can read my review here.

Winner of The Non-Fiction Book That Made Me Think award goes to "Surprised By Oxford: A Memoir" by Carolyn Weber. You can read my review here.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays (Chapters 12-28) Yupp, I'm Way Behind...

I'm sooo behind on Waterfall Wednesdays! I'm blaming it on school, homework, and that week I was sick. So I'm going to cram THREE Waterfall Wednesdays into ONE. Yeah, it's going to be epic. Just read on.


1. In Siena, on her way to the ball at Palazzo Pubblico, Gabi likened her experience to being on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the goal being "to see and be seen." If you were a peasant, watching from the crowd, what would you be thinking as this procession passed by?

I would be totally excited! It's always fun to see a famous person so you can brag to your friends later (Like, I met Lucas Till's mom this past weekend. It didn't meet him, but still! I've met his mom! And I bragged to all my friends :).

2. Though quite nervous about dancing at the ball, Gabi discovers a strange feeling of connection to the time, the people, and the society through the unified beauty of the dance. Have you ever been in a position where you felt out of your element, but, in one, pinpointed moment, became a part of or connected to something bigger than your fear?

Hmmm.....I thrive on stepping out of my comport zone, but I can't think of a moment where I just connected all of a sudden. I'm sure it'll come to me later and I'll wonder why I didn't think of it then.

3. The kiss. Oh, the kiss. When Marcello finally kisses Gabi, he believes the experience to be proof that they are meant to be together. What did you think about his assumption? Were you surprised at Gabi's reaction to it? Have you ever experienced a kiss that seemed to be prophetic in a similar (or opposite!) way?

I'm saving my first kiss for my wedding day, so no, I don't have any kisses to compare it to! Even if I wasn't though, like Gabbi I usually only attract the dorks and weirdos. I think his assumption was far fetched (even though I agree that they should totally be together!). If a kiss proved true love then couples wouldn't break up and and families wouldn't be torn about by divorce. I think Gabrielle was right not to say, "Yeah, totally! Break up with that evil Rossi chick and marry me right away!" She knew she had to think things out, find a way home and all that jazz.

4. Many go through their teen years with a subdued sense of immortality. Do you think Gabi has a sense of this teen feeling? And did you think Gabi's converse observation, "Sometimes death came hunting and there was no way to cut it off at the pass." was informed more by the experience of losing her father, her self-admitted closet hypochondria, or the forced maturation of being transported to a different time? How does this observation show Gabi's growth as a character?

I think the time in which she finds herself in is full of death, either through fighting or sickness, and she is sorta shocked by it. I mean, the first thing she sees is a guy killed right in front of her. Later she helps doctor Fortino and sees how close he is to death. You can't see all that and not be affected in some way. So yes, I think that observation just show her growth as a character. That was one of the things I loved about Gabi. She actually grows and matures in these books.

5. In the span of a few moments, Gabi goes from sword-wielding teen beauty to man-killing warrior. Did you think her realization of the finality of death -- and her justification for its necessity -- was realistic? A
nd, in her slippers, could you have done the same?

Like I said, it was different back then. More fighting, killing, and sickness. Gabi found herself in many situations where she would have died if she didn't defend herself. I personally don't think I could ever bring myself to kill someone, even in self defense. I might be able to injure them so they don't attack me, but not kill.


1. Gabi and Lia both face several life and death situations in these chapters, having to pick up weapons in defense of those they love and experiencing first hand the brutality of close combat. If you had the choice between picking up a weapon and standing on the front lines or staying behind to tend to the wounded as necessary, which would you choose?

Eeek! I could never kill someone and I hate hospitals. But I would totally choose tending to the wounded over fighting. I'm just not that brave, skilled, or okay with running my sword into someone's stomach.

2. Both girls get to wear extraordinary gowns to their victory celebration; what would your dream medieval gown look like?

Yay, I like this question way better! I could do a whole blog post on this question! I love all of Susan's outfits in the Narnia films.

3. Gabi has crude stitches put in and must endure both their removal as well as the cauterization of the wound. How is your threshold for pain? Do you think you would have simply gritted your teeth as Gabi does?

Double eeek! NO, NO, and NO! I was wincing and gasping all through that part of the book! I'm hardly ever sick and I can deal with pain, but that is asking too much.

4. Marcello wants to properly court Gabi after they express mutual feelings of affection, wanting to speak with her mother about his intentions. What do you think is the most romantic aspect of medieval courtship?

Aw! This is what makes Marcello so cute! Besides the good looks and everything :) That is definitively romantic. Most guys don't talk to the parents before taking the girl out and I think that's sad. I think it really shows that he is serious about the relationship and cares about the girl a lot.

5. Gabi and Lia find themselves with conflicting desires toward the end with Lia wanting to return home and Gabi hoping to stay. Do you think that Gabi is being unfair to Lia for wanting to stay, or is Lia being unfair to Gabi for demanding they go? A little of both?

Probably a little of both. I think Gabi should listen to Lia though because the plan has always been to find each other and the go back to the tomb. It wouldn't be fair if she suddenly backed out.


1. After Gabi is injured, the doctor gives her a tonic. Gabi questions the doctor several times what is in it but he refuses to tell. Would have you taken the tonic in Gabi situation?

I don't know...if I was in a lot of pain, probably yes. But if it was bearable pain, I probably would have been more suspicious. Or just scared of their medieval medicines. I don't even like to take medicine today unless I'm really sick.

2. Before the games Gabi asks Lia to let Lord Forabosch win in the archery event as people especially Lord Forabosch are becoming suspicious of them. But during the games Lord Forabosch upsets Lia trying to throw her off her game. So Lia decides to win. Do you think she did the right thing by not letting Lord Forabosch bully her or do you think she took an unnecessary risk?

Yes and no. I see why Gabi didn't want her to do it, but I also see why Lia did it. I'm with Lia on this one :)

3. When Gabi is dying and she and Lia decide to return to the tombs so they can get the cure at home but they have to tell Marcello the truth. Even though Marcello thinks that it is madness that they are from the future he believes in Gabi because he loves her. Do you think this is believable? What would you have done if you were Marcello?

It could be believable because they showed up in a tomb wearing weird clothes and they knew basically nothing about the culture back then. It would all add up, but I wouldn't believe them until I saw it for myself. If I was Marcello, I would have helped them even though I had my doubts.

4. In the end Gabi and Lia return home. Do you think Gabi will return to Marcello? Would you go back?

The only path back...to love. (Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren, page 369)

I hope she goes back! Actually, I already know the answer because I read "Cascade" and "Torrent!" I don't think I could go back. It would be asking to much from my family to go back to a time where I had almost died numerous times. But if he was the one...I don't know. I guess I would have to go back or die unhappy and single.

5. Looking back at Waterfall what was your favorite moment?

Everything! I loved the whole book. It was all wonderful.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

"Night of the Living Dead Christian" by Matt Mikalatos is about a guy named Luther on the run from his werewolf-self. He turns to his neighbor Matt for help and together they try to find someone who can help him overcome his inner beast before Borut (a lethal hunter with too many weapons) finds him. Throughout their journey they run into a mad scientist with an android, a horde of zombies, a vampire, secret lairs and not-so-secret lairs, and a robot Jesus.

I'm a big fan of Mikalatos' first book "Imaginary Jesus." So I was pleasantly surprised when I read and saw that this book was a follow-up. I loved the whole monster theme because it was refreshing to see someone write about monsters as they really are, not some gushy I-love-you-and-yet-I-want-to-suck-your-blood-really-badly vampire book.

"And so we return to my most pressing need, the desire for transformation, the burning passion to have a more manageable and less destructive nature. Of course, the Christians say they can help with that. Or God can. But I look at their lives and see far too many zombies." - Luther the Werewolf, page 95

This book is an spiritual allegory. Christians claim to have been resurrected in Christ, but we sometimes act like a zombie, experiencing a resurrection that is 90% death and 10% life. Or like vampires who satiate themselves at the expense of others. In Luther's case, he was a werewolf who couldn't control his base desires.

"If you never see yourself the way you really look, it's pretty easy to be satisfied with your life." - Lara the Vampire, page 122

I really enjoyed this book along with the laughs and watery eyes that came with it. The discussion guide in the back was awesome and very thought provoking, great for a small group to get together and discuss. There was also a fun Are You a Monster? guide in the back of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

180 Movie - An Eye Opening Documentary

This is an eye opening documentary on the topic of abortion. Ray Comfort amazed me at the way he answered questions and the questions he threw back. The world needs more people like him who aren't afraid to stand up, even if they're the only one, and fight for what they believe in. The truth is, they're are tons of people fighting for what they believe in - but what they believe goes against God. It's time Christians stood up, not the gays and the pro-choice people.

Watch it. These 33 minutes will rock your world.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling

The dramatic and fascinating story of Chai Ling, commander-in-chief of the student protesters at Tiananmen Square and witness to the massacre of thousands of Chinese civilians. Risking imprisonment and possible death for her leadership role in the student democracy movement, she was on the run in China for ten months while being hunted by the authorities. She eventually escaped to the U.S., completed her education at Princeton and Harvard, found true love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. But her desperate quest for freedom, purpose, and peace—which she had sought in turn through academic achievement, romantic love, political activism, and career success—was never satisfied until she had an unexpected encounter with a formerly forbidden faith. Her newfound passion for God led to her life’s greatest mission: Fighting for the lives and rights of young girls in China.

I loved this book so much. It made my heart thump, the beats echoing one word: freedom. In America, we take it for granted everyday. How we express ourselves, where we go to school, how many children we have, where we work, who is in charge of our country, etc.

"If I criticize the president," one congressman told me, "the worst that can happen is the White House won't give me a dinner invitation." - Page 233

I had never heard of the Tiananmen Square massacre, so this was opening up a whole new world to me. Thousands of college students going on hunger strikes and gathering together to stand up for a right to speak is a truly amazing thing.

Chai Ling also touched on the topic of abortion. China's law that each couple is only allowed on child has led to many abortions.

In both China and India, families eliminate girls in hopes of raising boys. This crime, called gendercide, is done through prenatal sex selection, infanticide, and abandonment. China's one-child policy makes it worse - with only one baby allowed, who wouldn't choose a boy? Girls cannot carry on the family line and will marry and leave when their parents grow old. For security, every family wants a son. Now in China, six boys are born for every five girls. - Page 299

I had recently read a blog post about this and it really opened up my eyes. I remembered my mom telling me about China's one-child policy when I was younger, but no one really talks about it and I slowly forgot. Now it is becoming an increasing problem in China with lots of boys and a shortage of girls.

The preference for sons and the one-child policy are a lethal combination. Daily, thousands of baby girls are aborted or killed simply because they are girls. With so many girls now "missing" in China, the surplus of thirty-seven million unmarried young men is bound to cause security and economic problems. With a shortage of available mates for all the eligible bachelors, trafficking of little girls and young women is now out of control in China. - Page 300

Now, the whole book isn't about abortion but she does devote a good bit to it at the end. The rest of the book records her amazing journey from a small Chinese village to China's most wanted woman.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris

Elizabeth Evan has traveled to Texas to help her brother take care of his house and daughter after his wife's recent death - and join his newspaper staff. But before she can ever write her first article, there is trouble and danger along the U.S.-Mexican border. Manuel Diego has a bone to pick with her brother and Elizabeth is kidnapped. Texas Ranger Jake shows up and sets out to rescue her, never expecting to fall in love with the smiling, dark-haired beauty he is looking for.

The whole idea for the book is great, but I'm not the biggest fan of historical romances. So I gave it a try, but didn't really like it. I love all of Bethany House's books and this is the very first one I've never enjoyed.

The story just seemed to be lacking something. Maybe that was because it was a shorter book and a quick read. It was also very predictable. Ya know, two people who don't want to get married fall in love and get married. Not a lot of brain work right there. I like romantic books to be realistic and not cheesy, but that really is a matter of opinion. I heard that there was a debut book called The Vigilante’s Bride that lots of people enjoyed. So maybe if I had read that book first I would have enjoyed this one better.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber

A "girl-meets-God" style memoir of an agnostic who, through her surprising opportunity to study at Oxford, comes to a dynamic personal faith in God.

Carolyn Weber arrives for graduate study at Oxford University a feminist from a loving but broken family, suspicious of men and intellectually hostile to all things religious. As she grapples with her God-shaped void alongside the friends,classmates, and professors she meets, she tackles big questions in search of love and a life that matters.This savvy, beautifully written, credible account of Christian conversion follows the calendar and events of the school year as it entertains, informs, and promises to engage even the most skeptical and unlikely reader.

I loved following Carolyn Weber as she found God (er, God found her) in her book, Surprised by Oxford. The book follows Weber throught her years at Oxford as she is studying Romantic literature. She struggles through issues such as growing up without a father figure, feminism, and questioning how could a loving God let so much bad happen.

This book is a jem. It's so rich and real, and yet tough and gritty. I laughed, I held my breath, and I pondered. I also fell in love with TDH right along with Weber, that Sweet-Talkin' Son of a Preacher (Chapter Seven's title).

There is some language in the Prologue, but you can skip it and start on the first chapter.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays (Chapters 7-11)

1. Gabi's search for her sister is made increasingly difficult by the fight for territory between Castello Forelli and Castello Paratore. At this point, do you think the rivalry is warranted? Why or why not?

War isn't fun, but if Paratore is attacking Forelli more and more then they should protect themselves. I didn't really get at first why they wanted each ot
her's castles, but the more I read the more it made sense.

2. Gabi aids Fortino by having his sickroom cleaned out and using steam to loosen the phlegm inside his lungs so he could breathe better. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that required you to rely on home remedies to aid yourself or another? What are some of your favorite home remedies?

Thankfully, I have never had to doctor someone besides giving them Sudafed or a band-aid. Nursing is at the top of my Things I Stink At list. I also hate hosp

itals. Home remedies? Zip, zap, zero. I did love reading about Gabi helping Fortino get better though.

3. Marcello and his men don't hide their surprise when they learn that Gabi is skilled with a sword. What did you think of this development? Has your initial impression of Gabi changed? Do you have any secret skills?

I loved Gabi's skills with the sword! I was impressed right along with Marcello. My secret skill is that I'm a beast at Swordplay on the Wii. Okay, well, I can beat the first level. Fear me.

4. "Our lips were so close, I could feel the heat of his breath on my skin." Gabi and Marcello's feelings for one another are beginning to stir. What do you think of Marcello as a romantic interest thus far? What do you think of his intended?

Oh, it's so vexing! I want them to fall in love and yet I don't want to see Marcello get hurt if he dumps Lady Rossi. I would have fallen for Luca. So much less drama. Lady Rossi is a puzzle. You think she's mean one minute and then nice the next.

5. Marcello and Luca take turns teaching Gabi the dances of Toscana. Would you have liked to attend a ball like the one Gabi was practicing for? Do you like to dance? Do you know any cool dance moves? Extra (not really) points if you YouTube yourself dancing and share the video. Come on, it will be fun! :)

I can't dance to save my life, so I would totally be begging for dancing lessons before I went out and humiliated myself. I would love to attend a ball though. They say white people can't dance and I'm living proof of that. Sorry, no video! (:

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays (Chapters 1-6)

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, shes depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?

I wish I could spend a summer at an archaeological dig, but every summer? That would be a bit much. I think every girl can relate to Gabi wanting to spend her summer meeting a nice guy and not digging around in the dirt.

I connected with Gabi because I know what it's like to have a boring summer. One of the things I loved about Gabi was that I was so much like her. Seventeen, brunette, and a little bossy with my younger sister who is fifteen years old with long, straight blonde hair like Lia. I immediately loved the fact that this series was going to be about two sisters.

2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?

I love the 1950's with all the musicals and bright Technicolor films. If I was interested in being an actress, I would go back in time to then. But since I have no desire to be an actress, I would probably go back to The French and Indian War. Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Spear is one of my favorite books. It's fascinating (and sad) to see all the prejudice between the English settlers, the French and the Indians.

3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of mens mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

Well, Gabi wants their help, but she also wants to do things her way. If someone asked me for help, I would expect them to at least respect and listen to me. I think Marcello is being a gentleman in helping Gabi, even though she does some strange stuff like riding a horse like a man, but he does expect her to submit to his authority and protection.

4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?

If I was almost in a war, I think I would be a little suspicious of outsiders. That's just plain common sense. Is it fair to the person they are judging or perhaps misjudging? No, not really. I think everyone has felt like that were an outsider at one time or another. I especially feel it when my family is visiting churches and I have to make friends with teens who have grown up in that church.

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?

Um, how bout all the manly hunks hanging around the castle? I've always wanted a knight in shining armor! The worst part would be the bathrooms. No showers, toilets, or shampoo. Yuck. Also, my hair would be a constant mass of frizz without my Pantene conditioner and blow dryer...

Did you enjoy this first week of Waterfall Wednesdays? Come back next Wednesday for more on this great book! In the meantime, check out Lisa Bergren's website or The River of Time Series Facebook page.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Great Mogul Diamond by G. P. Taylor

Join the Dopple twins and Erik Ganger on another exciting adventure! Sadi and Saskia were adopted by a write named Muzz Elliott, but Muzz Elliott has been acting suspicious lately. Crimes from Muzz Elliot's own books are being acted out and Muzz Elliot is the prime suspect! The twins call Erik for help and he and Dorcas Potts race to get to the diamond first - before the real thieves do.

I really enjoyed this third book in the DG the Dopple Ganger Chronicles. Of course, the art work was wonderful and quirky (in a good way). I love the combination of comic strips and regular book pages. This book is a must for the reluctant reader. The mystery and adventure in this book will keep kids flipping pages.

I loved the dilemma Erik was put into. Should he steal the diamond before the real thieves do to protect it even though he swore to never steal again? All three of the kids have to ask themselves what do you do when you aren't sure what's right?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Vigilante by Robin Parrish

Nolan Gray is an elite soldier, skilled in all forms of combat. After years fighting on foreign battlefields, witnessing unspeakable evils and atrocities firsthand, a world-weary Nolan returns home to find it just as corrupt as the war zones. Everywhere he looks, there's pain and cruelty. Society is being destroyed by wicked men who don't care who they make suffer or destroy.

Nolan decides to do what no one else can, what no one has ever attempted. He will defend the helpless. He will tear down the wicked. He will wage a one-man war on the heart of man, and he won't stop until the world is the way it should be.The wicked have had their day. Morality's time has come. In a culture starving for a hero, can one extraordinary man make things right?

This is was a very suspenseful book. I kept drifting from liking it to disliking it. The beginning wasn't all that captivating, but then I read some more and liked it. Then I read the end and I didn't like it that much. I think this is more of a guy book.

Nolan's plan and equipment was very cool. The action was exciting and the gadgets were cool. But his past experiences of being tortured were a little weird to me. I didn't like seeing him being driven close to crazy. Besides that, I liked it. I do wish I could have seen more of Coral Lively though, I think she was my favorite character.

If you like action, suspense, and guys with military background, then you'll like this book. Ladies, its more of a guy book, but if you think you will like it, give it a shot!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A Classic Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

*Spoilers Included in Review*

Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre, led a very sad life. I read her biography. The first part of Jane Eyre is based on Bronte's own experiences in a boarding school, where her two older sisters died. The story starts out with orphaned Jane Eyre living with her aunt and cousins, who mistreat her. Later she is sent away to Lowood, a boarding school for girls. Jane stays there eight years, six as a student and two as a teacher, and finally leaves to be a governess at Thornfield.

She falls in love with Mr. Rochester, the owner of Thornfield, and later becomes engaged to him. But at the altar she learns that Rochester is already married to a mad woman he keeps locked up on the third floor. Jane refuses to marry him and runs away to a small town.

After a number of years as a teacher of the town's school for girls and living with her cousins Jane finally returns to Thornfield. To her horror, the house is burnt down and deserted. She learns that Rochester's mad wife had escaped from the third story and set the house on fire and went on top of the roof. Rochester went after he, trying to get her down, but she slipped and fell, immediately dying. Rochester himself did not escape without becoming blind and injuring his arm.

After learning Mr. Rochester's new whereabouts, Jane immediately sets out to find him. They have a happy reunion and are married.

I really enjoyed this book and the author got me into it. I gasped with Jane at the sight of Thornfield reduced to ashes, and cheered as she refused to marry St John since he did not love her. Jane Eyre is acknowledged to be a work of genius and I agree.

Chapter37 - pg. 643

'My Master,' he says, 'has forewarned me. Daily He announces more distinctly, "Surely I come quickly!" and hourly I more eager respond, "Amen; even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

*Many spoilers will be included in this review. Beware. Read at your own risk.*

My curiosity was too much and I had to pick up a copy of The Hunger Games at the library. The whole idea of being forced to fight to the death is intriguing and a heck of a lot more interesting than a pale, sparkly dude who won't eat ice cream with you.

The beginning was boring. Nothing memorable, nothing too exciting. But when it got to the part where they were drawing names for the Hunger Games, it started to get interesting. It wasn't hard to figure out that they would draw Prim's name. I did like the part when Katniss took her place though.

Let's talk characters real quick. Gale vs Peeta. Who did you like better? I'm with Gale 98%. Peeta was just too...lovestruck? Foxface was definitely one of my favorite female characters. Thresh was also a favorite.

Katniss was an awesome character. She was smart, quick, and strong. Seeing her handle a bow and arrow so well was interesting. I'm used to reading books where the main characters usually use swords when fighting. Instead, I got to see sling shots, spears, and knives.

There is a lot of violence in this book. Twenty-two teens die. I was interested in seeing the movie when it came out until I actually read the book. It's one thing to read about a knife being thrown into someones back, but it is a whole another thing to see it played out on screen. I'm really concerned about how violent the film is going to be. I'm guessing the rating is going to be PG-13.

Peeta and Katniss also do a lot of kissing to make it look like they are in love. Nothing descriptive, you just read stuff like "he pulled me close for a long kiss."

Katniss also stands around naked quite about in this book, like when her prep team is trying to find her something to wear or after the doctors look her over. I kept thinking, Is this really necessary? Just stick some clothes on her already! It added nothing to the story.

All-in-all, it was a good book. Not fabulous, not bad, just good. Most people love this book and I liked it, so if you are looking for a book to read then I recommend it.

What did you think when you read The Hunger Games? Like or dislike? Are the sequels worth reading?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays- A Read-Along Event

I'm super excited to announce I will joining a read-along of Waterfall by Lisa Bergren, one of my new favorite books! Check out Tina's Book Reviews blog for more information.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Revenge of the Red Knight by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker

In Peril in the Palace, Beth and Patrick had been transported by the Imagination Station to an unknown time and place. Now, in Revenge of the Red Knight, they must find a thief and get back home. This exciting adventure includes a wounded knight, stolen treasures, and jousting tournaments. Will Beth and Patrick be able to find the thief before Albert is locked up in Lord Darkthorn's tower? And will they ever make it back home to Odyssey?

I loved this fourth book in the Imagination Station series. Beth had a bigger role in this book and has to find Patrick by herself after he was taken away from being accused as a thief. I liked seeing her character grow more in this story. There was also a surprise in the jousting tournament - the red knight is not who you think he is! Also, there is a chance for Beth and Patrick to get home by using Mr. Whittaker's ring, but it's snatched away by the bad guy! Now they must get it back before it's used to cause all kind of trouble in the past.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Bookstore Dilemmas

Question: What bookstore is your favorite to get YA Christian books?

Mine is Books a Million. They actually have a decent YA Christian fiction section, yay!

Lifeway is eh. I never actually see any teens in there looking at books. Maybe because it's right next to Veggie Tales...Plus, they don't have a good selection and they get new books in months after they've already been out. By then I've bought it somewhere else.

Barnes and Noble is the worst. They keep the Christian YA fiction on one shelf at the very bottom of the NON-FICTION YA Christian books bookshelf. This makes no sense whatsoever. I occasionally go through and count how many Christian YA books are in the secular YA section, and my highest count is five so far (Starlighter by Bryan Davis, Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston, one of the Carter House Girls books by Melody Carlson, The Final Hour by Andrew Klavan, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis).

I literally gasped out loud when I saw Starlighter in the secular YA section. Not from horror, but from delight! A store employee heard me and asked what I was so excited about. When I told him, he said, "Yeah, you usually don't find those kind of books in this section."

But I think it's progress. Lisa Bergren, author of The Rover of Time Series, said on Facebook,
"Barnes & Noble finally recategorized WATERFALL to teen fantasy and adventure! Huzzah! (It was in Christian nonfiction--bizarre.) So...yay!

Is it just us, or is your local B&N putting Christian fiction books in the non-fiction section also?

My New Favorite: The River of Time Series

I recently got Waterfall, book one in The River of Time series, by Lisa T. Bergren for free on my Kindle. I read it, loved it, went to Barnes & Noble, and bought the sequel, Cascade.

Y'all. If I spend money on a new book - not used - you know I love it. I only buy books from used book stores because I'm a tightwad. Like Fred Mertz. Ok, well, I bought The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue from Lifeway the other day because it was on sale for $8.

It was amazing. They both were. I think I liked Waterfall better, but they were both really, really good.

A movie producer was reading it back in June, so cross your fingers! I would love to see this series make it to the big screen.

Check out the River of Time Series Facebook page!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Win a Copy of Sketchy Behavior at Erynn's Blog

You can win an autographed copy of Sketchy Behavior by Erynn Mangum here!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

New Trends on the Horizion

Thank goodness, librarians are predicting that this paranormal romance craze (Twilight, other vampire/dead people books) is going to be overtaken by steampunk and dystopias (Hunger Games, Matched).

And where ever secular YA goes, Christian YA follows. I do remember seeing a couple Christian vampire books come out, but I really don't think they were that popular. I may be wrong though.

I'm going to be totally jazzed if sci-fi becomes really popular. I really have no idea what books go into the steampunk category, but Wikipedia's desription sounds promising.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually the Victorian era Britain—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy.

So, what do you think? Excited about these changes that might be coming? Or do you wish another genre would become the next trend?

Kindle Freebie: Reinventing Leona by Lynne Gentry

Leona Harper loves being a pastor's wife. Her impressive resume touts thirty years of coaxing hot water from rusty parsonage plumbing, planning church potlucks, and standing beside her husband while members take potshots at his sermons. Except for the little tiff with her grown children, Leona feels her life is right on track with the wishes of the Almighty . . . until her husband drops dead in the pulpit.

When the church board decides to fill the Reverend's vacated position, Leona is forced to find a paying job, mend her fractured family, and tackle her fears. With life spiraling out of control, Leona might find the church members' antics comical if she weren't so completely panicked. Can the faith of an overwhelmed widow withstand the added heartache of two resentful children and several underhanded church members? If Leona can't trust God, how will she learn to trust

Click Here!

Kindle Freebie: Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

Kindle Freebie: Ransome's Honor by Kaye Dacus

July 1814. The war with France has ended, and Captain William Ransome, known for never letting women aboard his ship, has returned to Portsmouth, England. Julia Witherington, considered an old-maid at 29, discovers that she must marry immediately to receive a large dowry. Julia knows that the only man she doesn’t want to marry is William Ransome. And the only man her father will approve of is…William Ransome.

When the couple strikes a financial deal to feign marriage for one year, the adventure begins. These stubborn people face humorous and hard situations that reveal what else they have in common—a growing affection for one another. This intriguing tale of faith and loyalty is a wonderful new offering for readers of all genres.

Kindle Freebie: The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and kidnapping a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expects to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from him, but ends up with a feisty copper-haired orphan thrown over his shoulder who was on her way to marry Sullivan's bitter enemy. Emily McCarthy is an orphan out of options. Forced to marry because she was too old for her orphanage, she doesn't take kindly to her "rescue." Still she trusts God can turn any situation to good especially when it seems Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Sullivan's crossed a dangerous man unused to losing and Emily may just be the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.

Click Here!

Kindle Freebie: The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz

Lovely but tough as nails, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's former captivity with the Shawnee Indians, as well as the secret sins of her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. Though she faces the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, and the affection of a Shawnee warrior, Lael draws strength from the rugged land she calls home, and from Ma Horn, a distant relative who shows her the healing ways of herbs and roots found in the hills. But the arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself--and the power of grace and redemption.

This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman. Laura Frantz's debut novel offers a feast for readers of historical fiction and romance lovers alike.

Kindle Freebie: Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Whitson

In 1872, sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community." Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledging community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them. These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances--especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Kindle/Nook Freebie: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

Monday, 1 August 2011

Kindle Freebie: Miss Match by Erynn Mangum

Lauren Holbrook has found her life's calling: matchmaking for the romantically challenged. And with the eclectic cast of characters in her world, there's tons of potential to play "connect the friends." Inspired by the recent success of matching her sister and new husband, Lauren sets out to introduce Nick, her carefree singles' pastor, to Ruby, her neurotic coworker who plans every second of every day. What could possibly go wrong? Just about everything. When Lauren's foolproof plan begins to unravel, she learns that a simple introduction between friends can bring about complicated results. And as she reconsiders her new role as Cupid (as well as her vow to stay single forever), will Lauren finally decide that God's plan is always good enough?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

99 cent eBooks by Bryan Davis

Hey, y'all! Three of Bryan Davis' books (Starlighter, Beyond the Reflection's Edge, and Eternity's Edge) are on sale for 99 cents at all ebook vendors, including Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), & Christianbook.com (epub). This sale is over on August 1st, so check it out and tell all your friends!