Monday, January 28, 2013

The Rake's Redemption- Regina Scott

My Rating: 5 Stars

Description: Even infamous duelist and poet Vaughn Everard has qualms about dragging an innocent lady into his quest for revenge. But Imogene Devary is the daughter of the man suspected of murdering Vaughn's uncle. Surely that makes her fair game in order to uncover the truth!

Can the man who writes such moving verse be beyond redemption? Imogene can't believe so. In taming Vaughn's heart and healing the rift between their families, she's sure she's found her calling. Then his mission to unmask a killer reveals a terrifying plot. Only together can they safeguard his legacy, their newfound love and England's very future.

My Thoughts:  This is the second book in The Everard Legacy that I have read. The first was a bit unrealistic but this one was great. Vaughn is a lovable guy and Imogene is hard not to respect. The book is short, sweet, and I will definitely read the next.

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Liebster Award.

I was awarded the Liebster Award by Open the Page. Thank you!

If you are wondering what the Liebster Award is, the rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Well, I have done 1 and 4 so far. Now on to 2!

 The 11 Questions From My Nominee:

1. What are some pet peeves you have when reading a book?
How, that is a good question. I guess that what I hate the most is when the author lists everyone's ages. I once read a book where the author wrote something like this: 

"I saw the brothers coming closer. Reggie was twenty-five, tall and muscular. His brothers were Logan, twenty-three, and Sid, Twenty.
  Behind them was Cookie, the head cook. At fifty-three and a half, he was lucky to still hold a spoon....ect."

I did not like it.
2. What is your favorite genre?

My favorite genre is fantasy with historical fiction a close second. They go so well together, don't they?
3. Are you participating in any challenges this year?

So far my only challenge is the Goodreads Summer Reading challenge. I have it set at 49 books so far, but it will probably become more.
4. What is your absolute favorite book cover?

This one:

 Isn't it pretty?!

5. What is your favorite place to read?
On my couch. Magnificent place if I must say so myself.
6. Do you like to listen to music when you read?

That depends. I need to have noise of some kind when I read. The TV works but if I am home by myself I will listen to music.
7. If you could live in one world from a book, which would you choose and why?

Narnia, hands down. I love animals and for them to actually talk, that just makes it all better. Here's a map of my would be home:

8. Do you prefer first or third person Point of View? Why?

Third Person. First often throws me for a loop because I'm not used to it. I have a hard time placing myself in the hero's place because I read "I" or "Me" and I know they are not really my thoughts.
9. Why do you enjoy book blogging?

Well, I started earlier this year (yes, I know it is still January), and so far I like the interaction with other bloggers. Most people I know in person do not love books as much as I do so it is great to talk to them. (It's also fun to read how many views I have had, but don't tell any body).
10. Why do you enjoy reading?

I have enjoyed reading since I was around eight. My mom was one of those mothers that read to their kids. Now I know you are saying, "Go Mom!", but I hated it. For some reason I don't like it when people read to me, not even audio books. So I taught myself to read so that she would stop.

 My first love was The Boxcar Children

11. What is the best book you read in 2012?
I have no idea, but I would have to say The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner.

11 Random Facts About Me:

1) I collect fossils. And cool ink pens. And glass dolphins...
2) I was home schooled until I was twelve. After that, I skipped the 7th grade.
3) I hate math, but for some reason I once had a teacher who thought I wanted to be a math teacher. Eww.
4) I have written one book and am currently writing two more. Here's the first two paragraphs of one:

Up on a hill outside the town of Vanor, Lan lay back in tall grass while watching clouds move by. In a low whisper, she named off the images they formed as the white puffs bunched together and then pulled apart. “A bunny, a ladle.”

A bird flew overhead, its blue plumage momentarily drawing Lan’s attention. She smiled when it landed in a nearby tree and spread out it’s tail to attract its hen a few branches below. Obliging, the hen cooed in affection. Soon the pair made their way to a mid-way bough and nestled together, rubbing heads.

5) The only real song that I know all the words to is "Amazing Grace".
6) I have another blog, Expanding Horizons
7) My to-read pile is huge!
8) I am running out of facts.
9) I read Ted Dekker's Black when I was twelve. Anyone who has read that knows it is a challenge.
10) I have never read Twilight. I don't plan to either.
11) I like blue jeans. Actually, I like them so much it was the nick-name my mom gave me when I was little.

11 Bloggers I Gave the Award to:
At the moment, only two. But I'll get there! If you have suggestions, let me know.

The 11 Questions for my Nominees:

1)What is your favorite fantasy realm? If you don't read fantasy, just say Narnia.
2)What book are you planning to read next? Have you read the author before?
3)When did you start blogging?
4)Do you drink coffee or tea?
5)What is your least favorite genre?
6)How many books on average do you read a week?
7)Do you have any hobbies other than reading?
8)Do like it when books become movies?
9)Did answering my questions take a while?
10)Do you review everything you read or only the books you like?
11)Where do you get most of your books? Bookstore, library, amazon....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Betrayal- Robin Lee Hatcher

My Rating: 3 stars

Description: It's the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him. Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she's going to have to trust someone if she's to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband's half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door? The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God's love no matter the circumstances.

My Thoughts: Usually I would give Hatcher's books four stars. This time I just could not do that.

As always, Hatcher writes a story with believable characters and honest hurts. However, this book did not have much a climax. I kept waiting for something to happen, for someone to be shot or thrown in jail. Nothing. The hero is accused of a crime but then does not even spend a night in jail. When I got to the end, I could not believe it was done because nothing really happened.

I really liked the first book in the trilogy and I will definitely be reading the next. I just wish this one had lived up to my expectations.

Sister Says: This was the first book I read from this author. I know it is the second one of the series but I really only read it because my older sister asked me to. I don't really know why, but she wanted me to read it and write a review.

I'm actually really glad my sister asked me to because I really liked this book. The characters situations were really interesting in how they were put to use at the end of the story. It really teaches you to share your past hurts and secrets with the people you love so dearly, and that you need to believe that they will accept and love you back anyway. And that no matter what happens God will always be there for you when others aren't.

The only thing I did not like about this book was that I think the writing was a little choppy, and that it switched to much between Hugh and Julia's thoughts. Other than that it was a good and fast read. I finished it in one day:) Hope you all like it too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Cast of Stones mini theme and Giveaway

Look for my review on Febuary 8th!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Only on this Tour... the author shares the Creation, his Goals, some Visuals and Excerpts on each of these mini-themes:

The Herbwomen of secret lore
The World of The Staff & the Sword
The Readers of the cast lots
The Watchmen, elite warriors
The Clergy of power

See the Tour below to catch all the great Guest Posts and Reviews!!

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)A Cast of Stones
by Patrick Carr
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication: February 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers


In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom. 

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

Available 2/1/13:

About the Author:

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Awards: ACFW Genesis Competition 2010 Finalist for “A Cast of Stones” in Speculative Fiction.

Find & Follow:

The herbwomen.


When I set up the structure of my world, one of the things I wanted to show was a church that was a little off-track because it operated mechanistically in their decision making. It was, in essence, a rule-based theology. Their predicament was understandable, they’d lost their version of the scriptures centuries before so they were forced to rely on their memories of a liturgy and those who possessed the ability to cast lots. I wanted to show the beginnings of people who believed in Deas (God), but didn’t require the use of lots. In my mind, the herbwomen were the seeds of a reformation in my fantasy world.

Once I’d decided on the use of herbwomen as a foil to a mechanistic church, most of the research went into the herbs for healing that were used. When I could, I tried to use herbs or poisons that could actually produce that affect. For example, I use zingiber root to combat seasickness. Zingiber is another name for ginger and ginger actually does help to calm the stomach. It didn’t always work. Sometimes I just had to make up something that sounded good. Veritmoss, for example, is an herb used to encourage people to speak the truth. It’s completely fictional, but it’s my version of truth serum.

Tour-Wide Giveaway: Add your name to the cast below. :)

Grand Prize (USA & Canada):  Print copy of entire series of three books (#2 & #3 as they are published) + A Cast of Stones Mug + Lend your name to a character in book #3!!

2nd Prize (USA & Canada): Print copy of A Cast of Stones

International: eCopy of A Cast of Stones

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and sponsored by Bethany House & the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catch the entire Tour!!

1/23 - Backing Books - Herbwomen
1/24 – Christian NovelsReviewWorld
1/25 – I Am a Reader, Not a WriterReaders

1/27 – Reads to ReelsWatchmen
1/28 – LDS & Lovin’ It - Clergy
1/29 – Proud Book Nerd - World
1/30 – Open the Page - Herbwomen
1/31 – Wonderings of One PersonReview - Readers

2/3 – Simple Wyrdings - Watchmen
2/4 – Bookworm Lisa – Review – Clergy
2/5 – Passion & LifeReaders
2/6 – Kari’s Crowded Bookshelf – Review Herbwomen
2/7 – Coffee, Books & Me - Readers
2/8 – Backing Books – Review – World

2/10 – Letters to the Cosmos - Watchmen
2/11 – Jill WilliamsonReview – Clergy
2/12 – ADD Librarian Herbwomen
2/13 – Worthy 2 ReadReviewWatchmen
2/14 – Hey, Tara!World
2/15 – Pieces of WhimsyReview - Readers

2/17 – CTF DevourerReviewClergy
2/18 – Pause Time - Readers
2/19 – A Backwards StoryReviewWorld
2/19 - Christy’s Cozy CornerHerbwomen
2/20 – Min Reads & ReviewsReview Watchmen
2/21 – FINALE BLAST, Winner announced

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sushi for One?- Camy Tang

Rating: 4.5 stars

Description: Lex Sakai's family is big, nosy, and marriage-minded. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the oldest single cousin in the clan.

Lex has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the perfect man. But the one man she keeps running into doesn't seem to have a single quality on her list. It's only when the always-in-control Lex starts to let God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.

 My Thoughts: I did not read this book when it first came out, I will admit. The title just did nothing for me. It seemed like the story would revolve around sushi and that seemed weird. So I never got the book. I wish I had.

After reading Protection for Hire (which I did not realize at the time was the same author) I decided I liked Tang's writing. That's when I found out she had written Sushi for One?, which I had avoided. So then I spent the next year trying to find a copy. Bookstores did not have it anymore, library didn't have it even though they had her other books, but at last I found it at the used bookstore.

I am so glad that I finally read it (though now my sister is having the same issue with the title). It is a hilarious story about a spunky Asian trying to balance her American life with her Japanese heritage. Not only that, but her life is caving in around her while she tries to figure everything out on her own instead of giving it to God. I think she learned that it is like trying to fix a pool with masking tape.

The reason the book is not a full 5 stars is because of Aiden. He was an awesome guy and I loved him, but his issues with faith did not seem real. Maybe that was because the reader does not see most of the changes in him.

Buy at Amazon.
Buy and Barnes & Nobles.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Change of Fortune- Jen Turano

I did not enjoy this book but believe some might so I have posted two reviews.

Rating: 2 Stars

Description: Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiancé, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society—all the female ones, at least—are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.

Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence.

When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

My ThoughtsI really wanted to like this book. The cover is great and my sister read it and told me it about the funniest book she had ever read. But I couldn't get into it.

The people were unrealistic, with all of high society actually speaking to and fine with a governess attending one of their parties. I could understand some of them not being snobs about it, but not all.

Also, the dialogue.... What can I say about it but that everyone talks way to much. Maybe they should stop to take a breath. With almost every character speaking in whole paragraphs, it was just too much.

The heroine is supposed to be the daughter of a Count. She did not act like it. At all. Her problems might be great, but the way she goes about solving them certainly would not happen before the feminist movement (And since she is British nobility, probably never). To top her off, she goes through a lot of trouble to stay unnoticed and hidden, to in the next moment making a scene or telling her whole life story and spiritual beliefs to her employer's daughter (who then becomes her side-kick)in their first conversation.

Yes, there were a couple amusing parts. However, not nearly enough to make me want to finish it. I read the first 100 or so pages and then skipped to the end. After that, I knew I was not mistaken in putting it down.

My Sister's ThoughtsGood book! I told my sister about it and she did not like it as much as I did at all. After listening to her reasons I get what she means, (she wrote a review about it too). However, even because it might not be realistic in the least doesn't mean it's not good and you can't get a laugh out of it.
I thought the characters were hilarious. Eliza Sumner is a high class lady that had her fortune stolen from her by her Fathers business partner and his wife. She is now disguised as a governess in New York trying to reclaim her wealth and status.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett is a man of New York Society who lost his wife 2 years past and is now left with two children.

After meeting at a party Mr. Beckett is intrigued by the young and beautiful Miss Eliza Sumner that he met, but he has no idea that Eliza is a lady of high and wealthy society. One night he catches her in the act of breaking into some ones house. After he learns her story he joins her in her mission because he has also been spurned by someone who might be in cahoots with the man who has stolen her fortune. But as they get to know each other and family is put at risk they start to gain each other’s trust and love.

Granted again, it might not be realistic, but I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes a little romance, comedy, and crime.

Buy at Amazon.
Buy at Barnes & Noble

Moonblood- Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Rating: 4 Stars

Description: A New Novel for Fantasy Readers Young and Old.
Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe. 

Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed. 

With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching, when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon's sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it's too late for Rose Red...and all those he loves.

My Thoughts:  I have a soft spot for fantasy and pretty covers, I will admit. Well this book (As well as the rest of the series) probably has the prettiest cover I have ever seen and I think most people agree with me. 

Stengls books remind me of the Chronicles of Narnia (depth of history), Alice in Wonderland (The one with Johnny Depp), and The Circle Trilogy (depth of writing).

Moonblood has moments that make you laugh and then gasp out loud. The shenanigans of the characters are unforgettable and perfect comic relief. But this book is not a beach read. Those who read it should be prepared to spend some time if they want to get anything out of it. 

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes & Nobles.
Buy from Christianbooks.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Love's Reckoning- Laura Frantz

Rating: 4 Stars

Description: On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. "Love's Reckoning" is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

My thoughts: I really liked this book. The romance was good without being too mushy and the writing was beautiful. The people are real, with real hurts, feelings, and sins. Nothing upsets me more than to read a story where people are cookie- cutter and all around perfect.

It was only at the end were had any problem. When Eden and Silas had there issues (Don't want to give it away so I wont tell you what), it seemed that they then forgave and forgot far to easily. Sure it was over a few years, but for me it was a few pages. And Silas' thing with the other girl did not seem necessary.

Over all though, it was worth reading and I can't wait for the second book, Love's Awakening.

Buy from Amazon here.