Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Month in Review: November 2011

What did I do?
  • Once again this month wasn't too good for me. I wasn't able to read as much as I wanted to. As for reviews... UGH!! I just wanna slap myself.
  • I signed up for some pretty cool 2012 reading challenges. I'm looking forward to trying to reach my goals :)
  • I signed up for Christmas in July, in December. It starts tomorrow so I need to start reading!
  • My blog got a brand spankin' new design by Lori from Imagination Designs. I love it!
  • I started Blogger Interview. A new feature where I spotlight other book bloggers.
Blogger Interviews
Books Read
  • Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (reread)*
  • Resurrection: Future Savior Series, Book 2 by Jennifer Hartz*
Favorite book(s) of the month*

Blog Awards Received

Thank you!

Giveaway Winners
  • Elizabeth, winner of a $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • Wendy, winner of Becoming Me by Melody Carlson
That's my month in review. How was your November?

Blogger Interview ~ Wall-to-Wall Books

Getting to know the blogger behind the reviews!

Here's another interview for you guys. Today we have Wendy from Wall-to-Wall Books with us. Yay! 

Wall-to-Wall BooksTell us a little bit about your blog.
I love being a book blogger! It is one of the best - fun things I do. I try to post at least a few times each week. I do full post reviews, as well as what I call "Speed Reviewing" which is several short blurbs about books I have read over the past weeks that didn't get a full page. People seem to love these!

I also do LOTS of giveaways! I like doing giveaways because I love to "share the wealth", it costs so little to send out a book. So even if I send 4 books per month I am only spending - 10 - 12.00 I don't think that is too much so others can enjoy the books I have loved.

I've always loved your "Speed Reviewing" posts. It's a fun idea!  :)

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging in general since Jan of 2008! but always included a few book reviews in some of my posts. I decided to separate my blogs in 2009. So now I have a book blog as well as my personal blog - itsJUSTme About living life in the Fingerlakes area of NY.

What genre is your favorite and why?
I have many, are you ready?
Historical Fiction (as well as Christian His. Fiction)
Fiction (Woman's Fiction, Christian Fiction)
Magical Realism
Memoirs (Bios. etc.)
Travel memoirs
And some Paranormal (but NO Vampires!)
About the only thing I do not read is - Fantasy, Sci fi, and Mystery

What is/are your favorite book(s) of all time?
Ha! I actually do have a list!
Jenny's Mountain - by Elaine Long (out of print)
Bittersweet Country - by Elaine Long (also out of print)
Tilting at Windmills - by Joseph Pittman
The Believers - by Janice Holt Giles (also out of print, hmm this seems to be a trend here!)
And my favorite newest book is - The Help - by Kathryn Stockett

I've heard so many good things about The Help. I need to read it soon!

Who are your 3 favorite authors? 
Wow, this would be way too hard to choose! I will just pick 3, but they might not be my top favorite but 3 of the top favorites, does that make sense?
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Christian Fiction)
Ted Dekker (Christian Suspense)
Joshilyn Jackson (Contemporary Fiction)

Do you enjoy doing memes?

If you had to pick one, what's the best book you've read in the past year?
Hmmm, again very hard to answer, there were so many I loved! but I would have to say my favorite was Demonglass -by Rachel Hawkins (book 2 in the Hex Hall Series, AWESOME!!!!)

Have you read a book that you would like to rewrite the ending of? 
Not really, BUT... One of my pet peeves is a non-ending! I hate books that don't really have an ending unless they are part of a series of course. So i would like to go and write endings for all those non-ending books

How many books do you read in a month - roughly?
I read a lot! Prob at least 2 - 3 every week, so maybe 8 - 10 per month!

Which do you prefer, Ebook or Print?
Ya know.... A year ago I would have told you Print. But I saw the nook color advertised and HAD to have it! Received it as a Christmas gift last year and LOVE it!!!!! Now I don't know how I would ever live with out it! I probably read about 50/50 between print and eBooks.

What do you like to do when you aren't blogging? 
I love to knit! I knit almost as much as much as I read! Almost... heehee

What advice would you give new book bloggers? 
Just go for it! Do it, take that step! There's no reason not too. It is so much fun, and you really can't do anything wrong!
* * *
That's great advice! Thank you so much for the interview :)

Find Wendy

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From my shelf to yours

I have a lot of books on my shelf that are in need of new homes. I've already read them once and have no use for them anymore. This does not mean they weren't great reads. It's just that I'd much rather share them with other book lovers than watch them sit on my shelf collecting dust. Books are meant to be read!

I want to give my readers a chance to win some of my old books and that's why I host From my shelf to yours giveaways every couple of weeks. They last a week from the day they're posted and one person will win the book of their choice.

To enter, fill out the form below. This idea was inspired by Nearly New Books For You hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  

Books to choose from:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to take the time to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful day with your loved ones and enjoy all the yummy food!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 
Psalm 107:1

Have a blessed one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blogger Interview ~ Christian Bookshelf Reviews

Getting to know the blogger behind the reviews!

Blogger Interview is a new feature I'm doing to spotlight other book bloggers. Joining us today for my very first Blogger Interview is Melanie from Christian Bookshelf Reviews.

Thank you for being with us today Melanie! Tell us a little bit about your blog.
Hi Crystal! Thanks for having me here. My blog is Christian Bookshelf Reviews and I review mostly Christian fiction books (which you can probably tell from the title). I also interview authors and host giveaways.

What got you started in blogging your book reviews?
One of the reasons I started this blog is because I love to read and having a blog is a great way to read more books (that I otherwise might not have had the opportunity to read). I also like sharing my opinions about books and helping others decide if a book sounds interesting to them or not.  

How long have you been blogging?
February 4, 2011 is the first time I posted on Christian Bookshelf Reviews! I'm so excited about my blogoversary (I'm planning a BIG celebration)!

Ooh! Sounds like fun! I'll be watching for that :)

Do you enjoy doing memes? If so, which ones can be found on your blog?
Yes! I love participating in memes! I've participated in a variety of memes, but I don't participate every week. Some of my favorites are Book Blogger Hop, Musing Mondays, Top Ten Tuesday, and WWW Wednesdays. I also host a meme called 'Weekend Report' - it's where you sum up what you've accomplished the previous week. (i.e. books read, reviews posted, current giveaways, etc.). 

What genre is your favorite and why?
Definitely Suspense/Thriller! Why? I guess because I love being on the edge of my seat, anticipating what's going to happen!

What is/are your favorite book(s) of all time?
Abomination by Collen Coble; Vigilante by Robin Parrish; Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren; The Queen by Steven James; The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz; Skin and The Boneman's Daughter by Ted Dekker ~ and that's just a few of my favorite books! :)

If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island, what 3 books would you want with you?
Wow! Tough question. How can I choose just three? Besides the Bible, I'd probably pick Abomination by Colleen Coble and Cascade & Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren

Cascade & Torrent would most likely be my choices too!

Which do you prefer, Ebook or Print?
Without a doubt print! I like ebooks, but I much prefer reading print.

Is there a particular movie or TV series that you preferred over the book version?
I can't think of a book that I've read that is also a movie or vice versa. I did like the movie 'The Last Sin Eater', but I haven't read the book...yet! :o

Have you read a book that you would like to rewrite the ending of?
Yes! Yes, yes, yes, and yes! I would really like to rewrite the ending to 'Inside Threat' by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn! I cried so much over that ending....I'm not going to say what happened, but it's really sad.

Favorite book character?
I don't have a favorite book character, but I really like Patrick Bowers (from the Patrick Bowers Thrillers by Steven James).

How many books do you read in a month - roughly?
I'd say normally around 8-10 books.

What book are you currently reading? How do you like it so far?
Right now I'm reading Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee! It's great so far!

What do you like to do when you aren't blogging?
Watch NHL games, read, listen to music, and play games.

* * * *
Again, thanks for being with us today Melanie! It was fun interviewing you :)

Find Melanie

I'm Baaaack! With a New Design!!!

Just Another Book Lovin' Girl

My blog got a makeover!!! Thanks to the amazing Lori from Imagination Designs! She did a fabulous job don’t you think? If you’re thinking about getting a custom design, you should definitely check her site out! Her prices are the best I’ve seen and her designs are beautiful. She is just so awesome!

Ahhh!! <--- that was a high pitched scream… My ratings are little ladybugs! CUTE! And so is my favicon =D She also did a few other things like, my blog button, my signature, and banners for my Month in Review posts and my From my shelf to yours giveaways! There's another one, but I'm not showing you until later. ;)

I love every single thing about this design and I cannot stop looking at it. I'll probably just sit here all day and stare at it. :)

Once again, thank you so much Lori!!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giveaway Winner

The winner of last week's From My Shelf to Yours giveaway is...
 She won Becoming Me by Melody Carlson. Congrats!

Thanks to all who entered. You'll have another chance to win the book of your choice next week!


Hi everyone! I'm sorry I  haven't been posting much these past two weeks(again!) I'm working on some new things for the blog and on a special giveaway =) I think you guys are really gonna like the changes that are coming. I might not post much the next few days, but I'll still be reading comments and replying to them.

Thanks for being so awesome!

FIRST Blog Tour: 40 Days to Better Living: Depression

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group – for sending me a review copy.***

From the time Scott Morris was just a teenager, he knew he would do two things with his future—serve God and work with people. Growing up in Atlanta, he felt drawn to the Church and at the same time drawn to help others, even from a very young age. It was naturally intrinsic, then, that after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia he went on to receive his M.Div. from Yale University and finally his M.D. at Emory University in 1983.

After completing his residency in family practice, Morris arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1986 without knowing a soul, but determined to begin a health care ministry for the working poor. He promptly knocked on the doors of St. John’s Methodist Church and Methodist Hospital in Memphis inviting them to help, and then found an old house to refurbish and renovate. By the next year, the Church Health Center opened with one doctor—Dr. Scott Morris—and one nurse. They saw twelve patients the first day and Morris began living his mission to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and spirits.

From the beginning, Morris saw each and every patient as a whole person, knowing that without giving careful attention to both the body and soul the person would not be truly well. So nine years after opening the Church Health Center, he opened its Hope & Healing Wellness Center. Today the Church Health Center has grown to become the largest faith-based clinic in the country of its type having cared for 60,000 patients of record without relying on government funding. The clinic handles more than 36,000 patient visits a year while the wellness center, which moved to its current 80,000-square-foot location on Union Avenue in 2000, serves more than 120,000 member visits each year. Fees are charged on a sliding scale based on income.

Visit the author's website.

Depression is a serious condition—and 40 Days to Better Living: Depression provides clear, manageable steps for people to manage it, through life-changing attitudes and actions. Readers can select one or more elements of the 7-step Model for Healthy Living—Faith, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotional, Family and Friends, and Nutrition—and follow the 40-day plan to improve their lives, just a bit, day by day. With plenty of practical advice, biblical encouragement, and stories of real people who’ve taken the same journey, this book—from the Church Health Center in Memphis, the largest faith-based clinic of its type in the U.S.—may be one of the most important books your customers will read this year.

The 40 Days to Better Living series offers clear, manageable steps to life-changing attitudes and actions in a context of understanding and grace for all people at all points on the journey to optimal health. With plenty of practical advice, spiritual encouragement, and real stories of those who have found a better life, this simple and skillfully crafted book inspires readers to customize their own path to wellness by using the 7-Step Model for Healthy Living as a guide:

· Nutrition: pursuing smarter food choices and eating habits

· Friends and family: giving and receiving support through relationships

· Emotional life: understanding feelings and managing stress to better care for yourself

· Work: appreciating your skills, talents, and gifts

· Movement: discovering ways to enjoy physical activity

· Medical care: partnering with health care providers to optimize medical care

· Faith life: building a relationship with God, neighbors, and self

Along with tips from the Model for Healthy Living, the easy-to-read format features a Morning Reflection and an Evening Wrap-Up as well as a place for documenting plans, progress, and perspectives. Targeted scriptures and prayers that undergird the focus of each day’s message make this compact book an excellent choice for a daily devotional.

Subsequent titles in the Better Living series will be released bi-monthly and address key health topics including hypertension, diabetes, depression, weight management, stress management, aging, and addiction. All promise substantial support to those who are ready for a newer, better way of living—body and spirit.

Product Details:

List Price: $7.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616262664
ISBN-13: 978-1616262662

AND NOW...THE FIRST FEW PAGES: Click on the images to see them larger:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

December Reading Challenge

Look at what I just signed up for! Wall-to-wall Books is hosting this super fun reading challenge, Christmas in July, in December! Here's more info on it...

* * * *
So here's the challenge -
*During the month of December to read only Christmas books (or as many as you can) there is no set number as to how many Christmas books you have to read. Read at least one and post about it.

*To do giveaways involving Christmas books (I have quite a few planned!) Please do at least one Christmas book giveaway for the challenge.
* * * *

I'm not too sure how many book I'm going to try and read for this challenge. I'm hoping to read a decent amount =D I already have an idea of what I want to do for the giveaway(s) though! To sign up go here. The challenge begins December 1st,  so make sure you head over to her blog and sign up soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 Reading Challenges

2012 is the first year I'll be doing reading challenges. I don't want to sign up for too many and be overwhelmed later, so I think I'll just do two. Here are the ones I signed up for:

I'll be posting my progress here.

Are you doing any reading challenges in 2012??

Monday, November 7, 2011

From My Shelf to Yours

I have a lot of books on my shelf that are in need of new homes. I've already read them once and have no use for them anymore, this does not mean they weren't great reads. It's just that I'd much rather share them with other book lovers than watch them sit on my shelf collecting dust. Books are meant to be read!

I want to give my readers a chance to win some of my old books and that's why I host From my shelf to yours giveaways every couple of weeks. They last a week from the day they're posted and one person will win the book of their choice.

To enter, fill out the form below. This idea was inspired by Nearly New Books For You hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Books to choose from:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gift Card Winner!

The winner of the $10 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N is...


Thanks to all who entered! Keep watching for this month's GC giveaway!
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