180 Movie - An Eye Opening Documentary

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?