Saturday, March 31, 2012

Month in Review: March 2012

What did I do?
  • I was so glad to be able to get a little more reading done this month! I read two books that were from new-to-me authors and I loved them. I was also able to reread one of my all time favorite books. And I read the newest addition to the River of Time Series, Bourne. It was awesome!
  • I wrapped up Future Savior Week at the beginning of the month. You can go back and read the last three posts HERE.
  • I was tagged by Eve from Essence of Eve. You can read my answers here and answer my "this or that" questions too!
  • I saw the Hunger Games last friday. It was just as great as I thought it'd be! I was so happy with the way it turned out =D
Blogger Interviews...
I Read...
  • Corridor - Robin Parrish
  • Bourne(River of Time #3.1) - Lisa T. Bergren*
  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (You know I just had to read it again before watching the movie!)
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon - Tricia Goyer
Favorite of the month*

I Reviewed...(title, author, rating)
Awards Received...

From Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Reviews.
Thank you!



Giveaway Winners...
  • Lori, winner of my Leap Into Books Giveaway.
  • Gigi, winner of The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
So that's my Month in Review. How was your March?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blog Tour: By the Light of the Silvery Moon

By the Light of the Silvery Moon
by Tricia Goyer
Barbour Books (March 2012)
Source: from Litfuse Publicity to review for this tour
Amazon | Goodreads

Amelia Gladstone's hopes are tied up in the Titanic--hopes for a reunion with her sister and an introduction to an admirer. But when she offers a spare ticket to a down-and-out young man, her fate is about to change.

Quentin Walpole is stunned when a sweet lady secures his passage to America--and even more surprised to find his wealthy father and older brother on board the ship. Suddenly Amelia finds herself caught between the attentions of two men, but who should she entrust her heart to? As the fateful night arrives, will Amelia lose everything to the icy waters?

I love anything that has to do with the Titanic. The story, the sinking, and anything else about it has always intrigued me. When I first read the synopsis of By the Light of the Silvery Moon, I knew this story would be nothing short of amazing. I'm so pleased to say that it did not disappoint. Honestly, it's been a while since historical fiction captured my attention like this did. For a day and a half I was taken back in time aboard the R.M.S. Titanic! I loved it!

Tricia is such a talented author. Her research and attention to detail shines through on every page of this book. I felt like I was on that ship experiencing all the excitement of first setting foot on deck. And then feeling the piercing cold and paralyzing fear the people felt on the night the ship sank. When we got to the scene where the ship hits the iceberg it was so hard to set the book down. The suspense! I wanted to know who made it and who didn't. Even though I knew the Titanic's tragic end, I still wanted to read what would happen.

By the Light of the Silvery Moon is a story about second chances and trusting God in the midst of heartache, loss, and tragedy. I loved every second I spent in this story. Suspense, drama, and history fill the pages of this fantastic book. And the romance! *sigh* So, so sweet.. I could almost hear the song "My Heart Will Go On" in the background. I loved the characters, they came off as real people. I felt so emotionally involved with them so it was hard to say goodbye to some. Again, I loved this story. It's one I highly recommend!

 
 

{About the author}
Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

More info: Living Inspired (http://toginet.com/shows/livinginspired) and www.triciagoyer.com.




{A Giveaway}
Celebrate the release of By the Light of the Silvery Moon with Tricia by entering her giveaway and RSVPing to her Titanic party.

One "unsinkable" winner will receive:
  • Flip HD video Camera (Make your own dramatic saga!)
  • Titanic movies from the ages {Titanic (1953) Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Titanic (1997)}
  • Secrets of the Titanic (Get the facts from National Geographic.)
  • And the Band Played On (Music Played on the Titanic.)
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer (Be swept away in this tale of love and courage.)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 9th. Winner will be announced at "Silvery Moon" Titanic Facebook Party on 4/10. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club). During the live chat Tricia will have a *special guest* join her. More details coming soon!
So grab your copy of By the Light of the Silvery Moon and join Tricia on the evening of the April 10th for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Titanic?) and lots of giveaways. 

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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 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.

Giveaway open to US only. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below. This idea was inspired by Nearly New Books For You hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Books to choose from:
Not in the Heart ARC - Chris Fabry
The Baker's Wife - Erin Healy
Wayward Son - Tom Pollack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry


Not in the Heart
by Chris Fabry
Tyndale House Publishers (February 2012)
Source: from B&B Media Group for review
Amazon | Goodreads

Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.

With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.

As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.

Four words. I loved this book. 

Not in the Heart is not a light read at all. It touches some pretty tough issues and it brought out so many different feelings and emotions in me. I was so unprepared for the emotional ride I was about to go on when I started it. I couldn't decide whether I disliked Truman, was angry at him or felt bad for him. He was stubborn and sarcastic and half the things he did made me wanna slap some sense into him. But as the story progressed I saw how truly lost he was. He had a gambling addiction. His daughter wanted nothing to do with him. His relationship with his wife, well I wouldn't even call it a relationship. And his son was in a hospital bed dying of a failing heart. And what does Truman do? Run.

He kept running from it all. But when he's given the chance to write the story of Terrell Conley, a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart to Tru's son, he stops running and takes this opportunity he has to give his son a second chance at life. It isn't long until he discovers something about the murder Terrell was convicted of. This discovery could mean his son won't be getting a new heart after all... unless he's willing to let an innocent man be put to death. 

What an unforgettable story Not in the Heart turned out to be. I had expected it to be a sad story but I really didn't think it'd have such a big effect on me. It definitely made me think. The characters and everything about this book stayed with me long after I finished reading it. The situations they were in were so real and they came off as real people with real problems and struggles. And the ending! I was so shocked by the ending, it made me tear up a bit. I didn't see it coming at all.

Before this, I hadn't had the chance to read any of Chris Fabry's books. I've heard great things about them but never picked one up. After reading this book, I'll be looking out for more by him. He has gained a new fan. Once again, I loved this book and highly recommend it.
 


Monday, March 19, 2012

DNF: Unhallowed Ground by Mel Starr

Unhallowed Ground
by Mel Starr
Monarch Books (October 2011)
Source: Publisher
Pages read: 134 of 240
Goodreads

Thomas atte Bridge, a man no one likes, is found hanging from a tree near Cowleys Corner. All assume he has taken his own life, but Master Hugh and Kate find evidence that this may not be so.

Many in the town had been harmed by Thomas, and Hugh is not eager to send one of them to the gallows. Then he discovers that the worldly and corrupt priest John Kellet had been covertly in Bampton at the time atte Bridge died.

Master Hugh is convinced that Kellet has murdered atte Bridge - one rogue slaughtering another. Searching for proof he sets out of Exeter, where Kellet now works. But there he finds that the priest in an emaciated skeleton of a man, who mourns the folly of his past life.

Hugh must return to Bampton - and discover which of his friends has murdered his enemy...

Here's another book that has made it to my DNF pile. I read a little more than half of Unhallowed Ground and not much happened. After Thomas atte Bridge's body was discovered hanging from a tree I expected things to take off from there. They didn't. After 134 pages, things still hadn't picked up and so I decided to stop reading.

I'll admit the medieval vocabulary used also contributed to why I didn't finish. It often confused me to the point where I'd have to read a passage more than once. And the four-page glossary provided in the beginning wasn't a big help. With all the flipping back and forth between pages the whole story became disjointed, confusing, and had no flow to it. I just couldn't get into this one.

There were actually a lot of four and five star reviews for this book. So, don't go by my opinion alone. You should definitely read some of the other reviews to see if this is a book you think you'd enjoy. Unfortunately, it just didn't cut it for me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Remember me?

Hey guys, remember me? It's been almost 10 days since I last posted. I've missed you so much! After I got sick I decided to take a little blogging break until I felt completely better. It was nice not worrying about having a post up on time or review deadlines to meet. Not that I don't enjoy all of that! I just needed the break :)

Anywho! I just remembered I was tagged about two weeks ago by Eve from Essence of Eve. Since I'm here, why don't I just answer all the Q's right now? Enjoy!

The Rules...
If you are tagged, post 11 random things about yourself. Answer the questions I (the tagger) asked you, then create 11 new questions for the people you tag, and go to their blog and let them know they've been tagged.

11 Random Things About Me...
1. I'm turning 21 this year!
2. I've never seen snow :(
3. My favorite show is Once Upon a Time.
4. I've lived in the city all my life. I would love to visit the country someday and give my lungs a real breath of fresh air.
5. I don't like Horror movies. I'm a chicken when it comes to those kinds of things.
6. I'm super duper excited about watching The Hunger Games movie in 8 days! (You know I just had to throw in a little something about THG!)
7. I'm afraid of riding big roller coasters. I can't stand that stomach drop feeling.
8. I love anything that has to do with the Titanic.
9.  I don't know how to swim. I'm ok with that though! I'll stick to floating around on a swimming noodle =D
10. I can only come up with 9! Sorry =/

11 Questions from Eve...
1. If you could meet with any fictional character, who would it be? 
Easy! Katniss.

2. If you were offered a vacation to Middle Earth (or another favourite fictional world/place) in exchange for carrying a whole bag full of all kinds of creepy crawlies, five miles on foot, would you do it? (sorry. I know I'm being mean here ;P)
Oh my goodness! I get creeped out by bugs that are just on TV, so I don't know if I'd be able to hold a bag full of them.

3. What's your favourite band and/or favourite musician?
Abandon and Tenth Avenue North are bands I never get tired of listening to. I LOVE their music.

4. If you could have anything, ANYTHING, what would it be? (only one thing. wishing for 1000 wishes isn't valid.)
More time to read!

5. Have you ever dreamed of meeting one or more of your Internet friends? If so, who where they, and what did you do when you met (if you remember, of course)?
I think it'd be pretty cool meeting one of my Internet or blogging friends, but I've never dreamt of that happening.

6. What are the top five best books (or book series) you've ever read?
I'm just doing 3:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren
The Future Savior Series by Jennifer Hartz

7. Can you do a standing bridge?
What's that? Hold on I'm gonna Google it... Ooooh! Umm, no.

8. What's your favourite quote (or one of your favourites)?
One of my favorites is.. "A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her." -Max Lucado

9. How often do you listen to music (i.e. every day, every week, several times a month, etc.)?
Every day

10. What's your favourite song?
Hero by Abandon

11. The weirdest, most embarrassing thing you remember doing/thinking/believing as a little kid:
I remember thinking that if I swallowed a piece of plastic, I'd have to get plastic surgery.

12. Quick! What's the first thing that pops into your head when you think of the colour blue?
 A bird... LOL!

11 Questions by Me...(I'm doing a this or that version)
1. Facebook or Twitter?
2. Print or Ebook?
3. M&M's or Skittles?
4. Cat or Dog?
5. Call or Text?
6. Summer or Winter?
7. City or Country?
8. Chocolate or Vanilla?
9. Sandals or Sneakers?
10. The Hunger Games or Twilight?
11. Spring or Fall?

I'm not going to tag anyone since a lot of the blogs I follow have already done this. If you want to participate, feel free to answer the questions in a comment or in a post! Please leave a link so I can see your answers :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blogger Interview ~ The Overweight Bookshelf

Getting to know the blogger behind the reviews!

Yup, it's time for another blogger interview. I've been wanting to do an interview with this blogger for a long time and was so SO happy when I emailed her about it and she said YES =D So please help me welcome Lydia from The Overweight Bookshelf

Overweight BookshelfThank you so much for joining us today, Lydia! How long have you been blogging?
I started a lifestyle blogger, Woes of the Single Christian Female, in 2007. In effect, it was a trial to find my blogging “voice” and niche. In 2010 I decided to move my book reviews over to a subject-specific blog tailored for book addicts like myself. And so, The Overweight Bookshelf was born.

What got you started in blogging your book reviews?
Screaming “Read this book!” in the middle of a library was a little too obvious and turning my favourite authors’ books to face outwards in a bookstore didn’t seem enough, so I decided to join the masses and unleash my recommendations on the Web. Have you ever sat in a cafe and noticed someone reading a great book? Doesn’t every fibre of your bookwormish being want to lean over and say “Just wait until you get to this part!” Well, book blogging allows me to do just that without looking like a book creeper.

What genre is your favorite and why?

My blog focuses primarily on Christian fiction, but my favourite sub-genre would have to historical romance. I adore inspirational fiction because it ministers, encourages, provokes, and draws readers to a closer intimacy with God. The purpose of inspirational fiction is the not solely to entertain, but to interact with readers through insightful writing and an inherent message of hope.

Who are your 3 favorite authors?

Historical: Julie Lessman, Laura Frantz, Deeanne Gist
Contemporary: Susan May Warren, Denise Hildreth-Jones, Ronie Kendig
Suspense: Kristen Heitzmann, Ronie Kendig, Sibella Giorello
YA: Jenny B Jones, Lisa T Bergren, Melanie DIckerson

 Do you enjoy doing memes? 
If so, which ones can be found on your blog?

Occasionally. I think memes are a great way to network with other bloggers, explore different sites, and-to be frank-help offer new content to readers when writer’s block looms. I enjoy “Mailbox Monday” and “Teaser Tuesday” but am always on the lookout for new and fun ideas.

If you had the chance to invite some book characters over for dinner, who would you choose? Any one of Jenny B Jones’ heroines. Mind you there wouldn’t be a lot of eating at this dinner because I would have indigestion from all the laughing. 


Is there a particular movie or TV series that you preferred over the book version? 
A movie could never capture all of the nuances of a character and their innermost thoughts and yearnings. I certainly enjoy movie adaptations and seeing how they compare to my imaginations of characters and setting, but I usually find them wanting.

What are you reading at the moment? How do you like it so far?

In Too Deep by Mary Connealy. An entertaining read so far with the quintessential Connealy humor, spunk, and action.

A character you love to hate?

What is it with “bad boys”?! Lisa Bergren’s Lord Greco has me twisted, confused, and intrigued.

How many books do you read in a month - roughly?

My goal is 8-10 books a month depending on my schedule.

Which do you prefer, Ebook or Print?

I am undeniably a lover of the physical book-the cracking sound the binding makes when you open a new book, the musty smell of a well loved novel, the little notes made in the margins of particularly thought-provoking page, the dog eared corners of works in progress, how beautiful they look lined up on shelves or stacked on bedside tables. But, I have succumbed to the e-reader craze out of necessity. I infamously (at least in my family) filled a carry-on rolling suitcase during one of my extended trips visiting my parents and nearly wrenched my arm out of its sockets lifting that sucker into the overhead compartment. My Kindle is quite convenient when I travel, and I love that I can download books instantly. However, there are certain authors that I have to have a hard copy of their books. My bookshelves would not look complete without a physical copy of their newest release.

What do you like to do when you aren't blogging?

I live and breathe my job as a high school teacher and it brings me almost unparalleled joy and entertainment. I love being actively involved in my home church and desire to participate in more international missions. I come from an Italian family. Does that require more explanation? Let’s just say we like to spend time around each other eating, laughing, and being merry. I also enjoy candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach... :)

What advice would you give new book bloggers?

In terms of actual blog posts, my biggest plea with new book bloggers is to understand the difference between a book review and a book summary. You should not be giving a summary of every high and low point of the plot. If your review needs the tagline “Approach with caution,” then it is not truly a review. You are risking the reader’s enjoyment and disrespecting the author’s hard work by over-sharing and not allowing readers to discover the book for themselves.

Book blogging is all about building relationships through books-whether it is with readers, bloggers, authors, or publishers. The book blogging community has afforded me the opportunity to meet incredible people from around the world, who I now consider my friends. Your common bond may be a love for books, but the friendships you build will enrich your whole life.


* * *
Thanks again for the interview! I had loads of fun getting to know you more =D

Find Lydia

Saturday, March 3, 2012

FS Week Giveaway Winners

This past week went by super fast! I guess it's because I was having so much fun =D If you missed any of the posts, you can go back anytime. Here are the links:


It's time to announce the winners! First I want to thank Jennifer Hartz for providing the prizes and for joining us all week long. Thank you!! 

Winners of Future Savior One: Conception are
Brittany Rose
Paromita Gupta
Nicole Sender

Winners of signed Conception post cards are
E. Susan Baugh
Sarah Spicer
Sallie Mazzur

Congrats to the winners! Jennifer will be contacting you all soon. Thanks so much for joining us this week! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

FS Week Day 5: Guest Post with Jennifer Hartz

Hey guys, it's the last day of Future Savior Week :( I had lots of fun and I hope you did too! So to end this special week long event, we have a super fun guest post from Jennifer Hartz. Here's what she had to say...

* * *
I thought it might be fun to cast the book! People like to ask me who I would cast as the characters in Future Savior if it ever became a movie (dream big!) so I thought it would be fun to share my picks with all of you.

Christina:


Ugh! She's the hardest one to cast! I think since Future Savior Book One: Conception, I've picked about five or six different actresses for Christina. Here are some of them: Alyssa Milano, Serena Gilroy, Kate Beckinsale. Right now? I like Sarah Bolger from The Spiderwick Chronicles. She might be a little bit young for Christina, but I think she would do well. What do you guys think?




Shaw:



 Excuse me while I drool for a second…. Okay, I'm back. I don't think I would let people make a movie of Future Savior unless they cast Kellan Lutz as Shaw! If they wanted to do it without him I wouldn't sell the rights to it! He IS Shaw.





Rayliex:



Hayden Christensen is another actor who I had picked a long time ago. Rayliex is the tortured bad guy… who better to play that then Darth Vader! Plus he really looks the part.

 



Drexton:



Ryan Reynolds has the perfect amount of cheeky charisma to pull off Drexton. He's hysterical, but can also show a serious side when need be… plus he's easy on the eyes which helps too!





Beliza:



Not only is Mandy Moore so beautiful, but she also has the singing chops that Beliza needs.






Charis:


I've always liked Carla Gugino for Charis. I'm not sure what it is about Carla that fits, but every time I see her in a move I say, "Hey, it's Charis!"




I hope you've enjoyed casting the book with me. Sure there are many other characters in Future Savior that would be fun to cast like Leticia, Jonus, Brezkin and Trayd. Maybe we'll hit those characters up next time.

But now it's your turn to BECOME PART OF THE STORY! You could become a character in Future Savior! Please go to my website to find out how to enter this exciting contest: http://jenniferhartz.com. And who knows, maybe someday we'll be casting you in the book 
* * *
There you have it! Wasn't that fun? Thank you so much for joining us this week! I hope you decide to read this awesome series and find out for yourselves how great it is.

Tomorrow we'll be announcing the lucky winners of the giveaway, so make sure you look out for that post :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

FS Week Day 4: Character Interview & Release Day!

I know I'm pretty late with this and I'm so so sorry. Yesterday I started feeling sick and of course today I'm feeling worse :(  I'll be fine though. Today has actually been a good day because Future Savior Three: Evacuation was released! Woohoo! I've got my copy right here next to me. It's kept me company as I rest :D Ok, let's get to the interview with Christina and Shaw now!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead if you have not read Conception or Resurrection! Continue reading at your own risk..

Good afternoon, Christina, Shaw. I’m so glad you two could be here with us today! Would you like to introduce yourselves to the readers?
Christina: I'm Christina Vaughn, originally from Pittsburgh until Charis, the prophet, somehow transported me to Meric. Apparently Meric needs me to save them from the evil tyrant Leticia. She has the ability to control people's thoughts. I've discovered that I can move things with my mind and I have visions of the past, present, and future. Leticia also has a very powerful son, Rayliex. Basically, I'm just trying not to get myself killed!

Shaw: Hello. I am Christina's Watcher. It's my job to keep her safe. I also have shape shifting abilities.

If you could describe yourselves in 4 words or less, what would they be?
Christina: Ugh! I hate this question! Okay… let me think… sarcastic, brave, kindhearted and adventurous.


Shaw: I would have to say: honorable, dutiful, strong, devoted.

Christina, what do you miss the most about home?
Christina: Indoor plumbing, hands down! Meric would be way better if I could take a hot shower!

Ahh yes, the good ol' indoor plumbing. It's a luxury we take for granted. Shaw, were you ever homesick for Meric during the time you were keeping watch over Christina?
Shaw: Although I grew up in Meric and it is my home, I never really belonged. I had to live with the Elves since I was a small boy. I was the only human with the Elves and, yes, they were very accepting of me, but I was still an outcast. I did miss King Davis and Queen Lorna, but Davis was dead by my hand… honestly, I think I liked being away so I didn't have to deal with killing my friend and king.


So how are things between the two of you since I last heard from you in Jennifer’s accounts of your adventure in Future Savior Two: Resurrection?
Christina: Actually, not very good at all. I just left Shaw at the altar because I found out he killed my father. The love of my life killed my father. How would you feel?

Uhh... well, I'm sure I'd be horrified to get news like that. I'm sorry you had to find that out the way you did. Shaw?
Shaw: I just hope Christina can somehow forgive me. I'm the reason she had to grow up away from Meric and never knew her father.

Hmm.. Let's try something. Christina, what is your fondest memory of Shaw?

Christina: Fondest memory? Well, I will never forget the first time I set eyes on Shaw. He had just transformed right before my very eyes into the most handsome man I had ever seen! It was amazing! 

I remember that.*sigh* And Shaw, what is your fondest memory of Christina?
Shaw: The first time Christina and I kissed. It was right after she came back from the dead. It seemed like I had waited a hundred years to kiss her. I'll wait a hundred more if that's what it takes for her to forgive me.

You see! Those are the memories that can help you get past this bump in the road =D Remember the good times and how happy you were together! I just know you two will be fine. Thank you so much for talking with me!
 
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