Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!


I've said this so many times today already, but I will say it again... 2013 flew by so fast!! And what a wonderful year it was. Even though I wasn't around the blogosphere for the first 6 months of the year, I still managed to "meet" some amazing new blogger friends and reconnect with old ones. I read wonderful books and discovered authors that I probably wouldn't have if it weren't for blogging. I'm so grateful to be part of such a kind community and I can't wait to see what's in store for us all in the new year. Even though we only know each other through the internet, I still cherish the friendships and I hope to be able to do this for as long as possible with you all. Thank you guys for sticking around, you're the best and I'm so grateful to know you!

As for reading goals, I just want to read as much as I can and enjoy some good books! I don't have a specific number I hope to read, but since I'll be in school full time, squeezing in some reading time will be an accomplishment in itself. LOL! I hope you have a wonderful time ringing in the new year with your loved ones. I'm so ready for 2014!!

Let's make this a great one you guys! 
Happy New Year and God Bless You!


Last Minute Read-a-Thon Wrap-up!

· Runs from December 26th-30th ·

So... I didn't reach my goal of 3 books. I'm totally ok with that, though! I was able to finish 1 book and 1 novella so I was close. I had so much fun and this read-a-thon is a new favorite of mine! I hope to participate in it every year from now on :)

Here's the final tally:

Books finished: Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore, The Ghost Runner by Jennifer Hartz
Pages read: 441

That's it! Hope everyone who participated was able to get more reading done than me! LOL! :D

Friday, December 27, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon Day 2: Rainbow Book Spine + Update

· Runs from December 26th-30th ·

-Day 1 update-
Books read: Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore
Pages read: about 20 :/
Books finished: 0

-Day 2 Challenge-
Rainbow Book Spine

Grab books from your shelf that have the following spine colors to make a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & violet.


-The Books-
Red: Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand
Orange: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren
Yellow: Taking Tuscany by Renee Riva
Green: Nothing To Hide by J. Mark Bertrand  
Blue: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
Violet: Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins

What a fun challenge! I couldn't find a book with more orange so I decided to go with Glamorous Illusions :D  As for reading... I didn't do as well as I hoped I would for day 1. Today will be different! I have nothing else to do other than read, read, READ! But before I do, I'm off to check out everyone else's book spine rainbows!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon Day 1: Goals!

· Runs from December 26th-30th ·

Yay for day 1! I haven't read anything today so far, but will start right after I post this. I'm hoping to read 3 books by the end of this read-a-thon. I've already started two of them, but I'm not too far in so I'm still counting them :)

Books to read:
Finish Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore (I'm 30 pages in)

Finish Desecration by Jennifer Hartz (I'm 20% in)


I hope I'm able to reach my goal! We'll see :) 
Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-Thon Sign-up!

· Runs from December 26th-30th ·

I found out about this read-a-thon after I saw some blogging friends signing up for it earlier this week. I wasn't going to join because I'm going to be kinda busy for the rest of 2013 and didn't think I'd get any reading done. But I couldn't resist a little challenge and gave in... Let's do this!
Requirements
· You must post a Sign Up Post and put your link in the Linky widget.
· You may put up your post on your blog or Facebook.
· You must have button with links to the hosts' blogs.
· Once the read-a-thon begins, you must post your launch post, on Dec. 26th, with your reading plans/goals.
· Have fun!
I'm looking forward to starting tonight at midnight! Not sure what my goals are just yet. I'll post them tomorrow morning. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 23, 2013

End of the Year 2013 Reading Cram Read-a-thon Wrap-up!


I know, I'm a couple days late with this post... But at least it's up now, right? :)

Those two weeks just flew by! Even though I didn't reach my goal of 8 books for this read-a-thon I still had lots of fun. I was able to finish 5 books and I'm very happy about that. It also helped having some blogging friends(@SeasonsHumility, @LoveBeingVegan, @iBlog4Books, @TooReadorNot) doing this read-a-thon with me and motivating me to keep going!

I want to thank Juliababyjen's Reading Room & DanaSquare for hosting this Read-a-thon. You two did a wonderful job putting this together! Can't wait for next year :D

Here's the final tally:

Books I read:
Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
Teardrop by Travis Thrasher
Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore

Pages read:
1,150

Challenges: I wish I participated in more!!

Well that's it! I hope I can finish a couple more books before the end of the year. We'll see how that goes :D

Happy Reading!

Friday, December 13, 2013

#ReadingCram Day 5 - Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation

 
It's day 5 of the read-a-thon and it's going great! Here's how I'm doing...
 
Books finished: 4 (Two of them were novellas. 71 & 103 pages long)
Pages read: 966
Currently reading: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore
 
 
Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation
 
 
 
Catching Fire
 
 What an incredible movie it was! It was very true to the book and everything about it was phenomenal. I absolutely loved this movie and can't wait to see it again soon!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson

Critical Reaction
by Todd M. Johnson
Bethany House Publishers (November 2013)
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review
Amazon | Goodreads

When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night, the Worst Has Happened

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens--a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attempts to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend--inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize their case is sunk without more help.

Emily's estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he's grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it's a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger--and more dangerous--the case gets.
 
I'm not a big fan of legal thrillers, but the synopsis for Critical Reaction caught my attention so I decided to give it a try. Now that I've read it I have mixed feelings. The plot was definitely interesting and held my attention most of the time, but I did have a hard time getting into the story. The beginning was filled with details about the explosion and pretrial stuff. I felt lost at times with all the legal talk and kind of skimmed over those parts. It wasn't until the last 150 pages that things began to pick up and we got some much needed suspense and action. At that point, I was unable to set the book down and was flipping those pages as fast as I could.

As for the characters, I never connected with any of them. I felt like they weren't fully developed and I didn't get to know much about them. I did like Poppy Martin and I enjoyed reading from his point of view the best. The several points of view was something I thought worked really well with the story. I liked how each of them connected and came together so effortlessly in the end. Speaking of the end... I wasn't too crazy about it. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I won't say anything else other than it was abrupt and a little disappointing.

It may sound like I didn't enjoy the book, but I did! I told you I have mixed feelings about it. It was interesting to read about the nuclear industry and plutonium and how those things work. By the way I worded that you can tell I know nothing about nuclear stuff, LOL! There were a couple unexpected twists that I really liked and thought made the story better. It wasn't an edge of your seat kind of book, but it was still a good read with little violence and no bad language or inappropriate content. This just might be the book for you if you enjoy legal thrillers!
My Rating - 3.5
 
About Todd M. Johnson
Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. Todd's
career experience blends with his passion for writing in his novels published through Bethany House.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law, and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Mr. Johnson's first novel, debuted in 2012. Todd's second novel, Critical Reaction, will be released in November 2013.

Todd lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife Cathy and children Ian and Libby.
 

#ReadingCram Read-a-thon Progress Updates


I'll be updating my daily progress in the read-a-thon on this post. You can check back here to see how I'm doing. My goal is to read at least 8 books. Let's see if I'll reach it! :)

Monday 12/9
Books read today: Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson - Finished!
Books finished so far: 1
Pages read so far: 354
TBR Challenge

Tuesday 12/10
Books read today: Made to Last by Melissa Tagg - 47% done
Books finished so far: 1
Pages read so far: 434

Wednesday 12/11
Books read today: Made to Last by Melissa Tagg - Finished!
Books finished so far: 2
Pages read so far: 642

Thursday 12/12
Books read today: The Last Night of Alton Webber by Robin Parrish - Finished!, Teardrop by Travis Thrasher - Finished!
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 818

Friday 12/13
Books read today: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore - 44% done
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 953

Saturday 12/14
Books read today: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore - 77% done
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1055

Sunday 12/15
Books read today: None :/
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1055

Monday 12/16
Books read today: None :/
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1055

Tuesday 12/17
Books read today: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore - 85%
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1079

Wednesday 12/18
Books read today: None :/
Books finished so far: 4
Pages read so far: 1079

Thursday 12/19
Books read today: Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore - Finished!
Books finished so far: 5
Pages read so far: 1126

Friday 12/20
Books read today: Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore
Books finished so far: 5
Pages read so far: 1126

Saturday 12/21
Books read today: None :/
Books finished so far: 5
Pages read so far: 1126

Sunday 12/22
Books read today: Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore - read about 30 pages
Books finished so far: 5
Pages read so far: 1150

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reading Cram Read-a-Thon Day 1: TBR Challenge

 
It's day 1 of the Reading Cram read-a-thon and I'm SOOO excited to be taking part in it! I'm going to be reading like crazy for the next two weeks and hopefully get lots of books checked off my TBR list. For today's challenge all we have to do is post our TBR list for the read-a-thon. Super easy, right?!
 
Here are the books I'm hoping to read during the read-a-thon.
 
 
Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
Broken Wings by Shannon Dittemore
Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore
Desecration by Jennifer Hartz
Defy by Sara B. Larson
Teardrop by Travis Thrasher
Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand
Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand
Nothing to Hide by J. Mark Bertrand
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
 
My goal is to finish at least 8 of these books.
 
So that's my TBR list! I'm off to get more reading done :D
 
Happy Reading!!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

River of Time Giveaway winner!


It's time to announce the winner of my River of Time giveaway!! Thank you to all who entered, I hope you stop by again soon :)

The first winner I chose through the Rafflecopter didn't complete the entries correctly so I had to choose another. Congrats to...

Brooke over at I Blog 4 Books!!!
 
Yay! She chose book 2 in the River of Time series, Cascade. Ooh! Good choice :) I'll be emailing you in a bit to get your mailing address.
 
Thanks again everyone! I hope to have another fun giveaway for you all to enter in the near future. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Until That Distant Day

 
Paris, France
1792

Colette DeMer and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.
 
Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?
 
Coming April 25, 2014
____________
 
About the author

 
Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader's Choice Award-Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.
and Carol Award-winning
____________

Giveaway

Jill is offering an enormous bundle prize of ten print novels and novellas, including her award-winning Faithful Traitor, several novella collections, and her three-book Longtree series. These will all be autographed! (US and Canada only, please.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

End of the Year 2013 Reading Cram Read-a-thon!! (Sign-up)

End of the Year 2013 Reading Cram · Hosted by Juliababyjen's Reading Room and Dana Square · Runs from December 9th-22nd

The year is almost over and I'm nowhere near reaching my reading goals for 2013. The Reading Cram Read-a-thon is the perfect opportunity for me to check a couple more books off my TBR shelf. Here's a little more info on the read-a-thon from the hosts:

Why should you participate?  
1. To chisel off some of your TBR pile.
2. Do all the fun challenges and win some prizes.
3. Encourage others to read like a speed demon (and yourself) + reading with others is loads of fun.

So let's get in our last books of 2013 together in the #ReadingCram!  

 Requirements 
 You must post a Sign Up Post (Must be linked down below in the linky, this is to spread the word)
 Must have our graphic Links to our blogs 
Name, dates of the read-a-thon 
Any personal goals (optional) 
They may put up their posts on their blog, Tumblr, or Youtube (if they don't have a blog) 

Please tweet using #ReadingCram. To stay updated and to share what your reading.

My goal for this read-a-thon is to read 8 books and they're most likely all going to be review books. I have a lot that have been sitting on my shelf for a while and they need to be read asap. I'm also hoping to participate in some of the challenges. At this point I don't know which ones, but they all sound like they're going to be fun!

  If this sounds like something you'd like to join, visit the hosts blogs for more info on how you can sign up! Dana Square and Juliababyjen's Reading Room

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Angel Eyes
Series: Angel Eyes, #1
by Shannon Dittemore
Thomas Nelson (May 2012)
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Goodreads

Once you've seen, you can't unsee. Everything changes when you've looked at the world through . . .Angel Eyes

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She's come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can't seem to shake.

Jake's the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what's going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons-and Brielle-can perceive.
 
Brielle Matthews has suffered a great loss. While attending school in the city her best friend, Ali, is murdered by her boyfriend. This tragedy has left Brielle feeling guily, broken, and full of grief because she feels like she could have done something to prevent it. Now she's headed back home to Stratus, Oregon to finish high school and try her best to leave all the events that are weighing her down behind. On her first day back to school she meets a new kid, Jake. There's more to him than meets the eye and it isn't long before Brielle finds out exactly what it is that draws her to him.

I had to re-read Angel Eyes before starting this review because it was about a year ago when I first read it and I didn't remember too much about it. It's a good thing I decided to read it again because I enjoyed it so much more this time around. I guess I just had to be in the mood for something like this and I definitely was! I read it all in almost one sitting and found it very hard to set my kindle down.

This story started out a bit slow as Brielle settles back into things at home. We can really see how much her guilt is weighing her down as she struggles to do simple daily tasks without falling apart. The details about her friends murder aren't revealed right away and that's what kept me turning the pages during this slow start. Things really pick up when Brielle begins to confide in Jake and a friendship blossoms between the two. It took time for Brielle to trust him, especially after she thought he was stalking her. But their relationship didn't feel rushed into or forced and that's something I really liked. I was especially happy there wasn't a love triangle in this story!

I thought the switching POV was done really well. It switched between Brielle, Jake, Canaan(Guardian Angel), and Damien (a demon). We were able to get a bigger picture of what was happening and I loved that. The storyline was unpredictable and things got intense toward the end. I thought this story was beautifully written and I loved how the author portrayed fear. The way fear was seen in the Celestial(Spiritual) realm was like a thick tar that oozes out of its victims. It's almost paralyzing and weighs heavily on them. I've experienced the kind of fear these characters felt where you can't shake the feeling of being suffocated and held back. I really liked how she described it and felt like I could totally relate to the way the characters felt.

A lot of people mentioned the similarities Angel Eyes had to Twilight and I definitely saw them, but I wasn't bothered by them at all. I actually prefer this book and would choose it over Twilight any day. Overall, I thought this was a great read! There's a nice mix of supernatural, fantasy, and romance thrown together to keep you engrossed in the story. Shannon Dittemore is a fantastic story teller and I'm looking forward to reading the other two books in the series.

 
About Shannon Dittemore  

Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California. Angel Eyes is her first novel.


Friday, November 15, 2013

End of River of Time week + a Giveaway!

River of Time week has come to a close and I want to thank anyone who visited and commented on my reviews. It was fun! I've said this 100 times already, but this series is one of my favorites and I absolutely loved taking the dive back in time with Gabi, Lia, Marcello, and Luca. There's something about this cast of characters that I admire and can't get enough of. Thank you to the fabulous author of this fantastic series, Lisa T. Bergren. These stories you thought up took so many readers on an exciting adventure they won't forget and we love you for it!

To end this week with something fun I've decided to do a giveaway! I'm giving you the chance to win the book of your choice from this series! Whether you haven't started reading it or are nearing the end, you can enter the giveaway! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Thanks for visiting and Happy Reading!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Bourne & Tributary by Lisa T. Bergren

BOURNE & TRIBUTARY
by Lisa T. Bergren
Series: River of Time, #3.1 & #3.2
CreateSpace (July 2012)
Source: Purchased my copy
Amazon | Goodreads

It's possible to beat a She-Wolf. But you cannot keep her down... The Betarrinis and the boys they love are back with these two novellas that follow Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent. In Bourne, the story picks up right where Torrent left off...Find out what has happened to wounded warriors returning from battle, to the Betarrinis, fighting for the men who've captured their hearts, and what will happen to them next... A year later, in Tributary, Lia struggles to overcome the fear that constant battle has heaped upon her; Gabi and Marcello face an unexpected crisis; and Lord Greco may be ready to leave the grief and loss of his past behind him, so that he might grab hold of the future...
 
Lisa Bergren is the best! I love the fact that she listened to her readers and brought back our favorite River of Time characters in two novellas, Bourne and Tributary. Each of these books are about 1/3 of the length of a novel, but let me tell you, they didn't lack any of the thrill, suspense, or adventure the full length novels had! They didn't disappoint and were just as gripping as the first 3 books.
 
I loved the dual perspectives in these books. I got so used to reading from Gabi's POV so I wasn't too sure if I'd like the switching back and forth between her and Lia, but Lisa pulled it off so well! I actually really liked Lia's voice a lot. My favorite thing about getting into her head was that we got a better glimpse at the growing romance between her and Luca. She has always played hard to get with him, but in these novellas she allows herself to get closer to him. Their relationship felt so believable and I loved seeing it grow into something more.
 
Of course, it was great getting back to Gabi. You can really tell how much this girl has grown since book 1. Her life has changed so drastically and the time period and situations she's faced have matured her a lot. Now that she's married to Marcello, Gabi has responsibilities to her people and we follow along as she adjusts to her new role as Lady Forelli. She still finds herself fighting a couple more battles in these books and there's still plenty of danger all around and people who would love the She-Wolves dead. All the intense scenes just makes it even more addictive and so hard to set the book, or in my case Kindle, down.
 
Since these novellas are so short, I really don't want to try and give you my own synopsis of the stories. And I'd probably end up giving a bunch of spoilers :/. But I will say that these were fantastic additions to the River of Time series. I can't get enough of these characters. They embrace life and all the wonderful things it has to offer, even in the midst of war and tragedy. They cherish their lives and each other and are all about love and sacrifice. I'm hoping Lisa decides to continue their story, I can't say goodbye just yet.
 
 
About Lisa T. Bergren
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 books, with
more than 2.5 million copies sold. Her most recent works includes a YA series called River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary), God Gave Us Easter, a devotional called Upside-Down Prayers for Parents and the Grand Tour Series (Glamorous Illusions, Grave Consequences, and Glittering Promises). She’s currently at work on a new YA series called Remnants, coming out in 2014.

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, and working on ducks with her husband, Tim (RMrustic.com). Tim’s a worship leader, graphic designer and duck-sculptor. They have three kids–Olivia (18), Emma (15) and Jack (10).

The Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren

TORRENT
by Lisa T. Bergren
Series: River of Time, #3
David C. Cook (September 2011)
Source: Won my copy in a giveaway
Amazon | Goodreads

When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.

But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

It's very rare to find a series that keeps getting better and better with every book. The River of Time series is one of those. With each book that has released I've fallen more in love with these characters and setting. Waterfall and Cascade took me on an exciting, action-filled adventure that I absolutely loved. I had no doubt in my mind that Torrent would be just as good, and guess what?! It has everything I loved about books 1 & 2, plus so much more!

Cascade left us with a huge cliff-hanger ending that made the 3 month wait for Torrent horrible. I re-read the first two books a couple times to keep me from going crazy. Anyway, back to the story. After being successful in their attempt to save their Dad just before the deadly accident that took his life, the Betarrini ladies return with him to Medieval Italy. With the ever growing threat to their lives and the soon arrival of the Plague, the Betarrini family are still willing to stay for good in this time period they've come to love. But obstacles are constantly being thrown their way, trying to keep them from having their happily ever after. With a plot twist you won't see coming, Torrent will leave you breathless and unable to set the book down.

Thrilling, suspensful, passionate, unpredictable, and NON-STOP are a few words I'd use to describe Torrent. My jaw was constantly dropping because of all the twists the story took. Oh my goodness, Gabi! She's so courageous, kind, and strong. I felt so bad for her when one obstacle after another was placed before her. But her strength and refusal to sit back and watch her love and happiness be taken away from her was amazing to see. She is one tough chick and I couldn't believe how much she went through in this book. But it was all worth it in the end. Gabi is someone who loves others passionately and puts her life on the line to ensure the safety of those she cares about. She has matured so much since book 1 and became a lady who fit right in with the medieval time period.

It's so easy to get caught up in the story and the lives of these wonderful characters. I read this book late into the night because I didn't want to miss a thing. Everything about it leaps off the pages and comes to life before you. It was such a pleasure to read! It was great getting back to Lia, Luca, Marcello, and Lord Greco. Seeing the Betarrini family finally being together again was pretty emotional, too! I think it's safe to say these characters captured my heart. I've gotten to know them so well and feel like I have been with them through so much!

I honestly don't have anything else to say other than THIS WAS AMAZING. If you haven't read these books yet, you just need to take the dive already! The water's great and I can guarantee you'll be swept away by the characters, time-period, action, romance, and edge of your seat suspense! This is a series that can't be missed. Once you read it you'll wonder why it took you so long to finally pick it up. Torrent was originally the conclusion to this series, but Lisa Bergren is so awesome to her readers that she brought the She-Wolves of Siena back in two novellas, Bourne and Tributary! I'll be reviewing those next :)

About Lisa T. Bergren
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 books, with
more than 2.5 million copies sold. Her most recent works includes a YA series called River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary), God Gave Us Easter, a devotional called Upside-Down Prayers for Parents and the Grand Tour Series (Glamorous Illusions, Grave Consequences, and Glittering Promises). She’s currently at work on a new YA series called Remnants, coming out in 2014.

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, and working on ducks with her husband, Tim (RMrustic.com). Tim’s a worship leader, graphic designer and duck-sculptor. They have three kids–Olivia (18), Emma (15) and Jack (10).

The Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

CASCADE
by Lisa T. Bergren
Series: River of Time, #2
David C. Cook (June 2011)
Source: Purchased my copy
Amazon | Goodreads

Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.

But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

 
Yeeesssss! The She-Wolves of Siena are back and Cascade is just as fast-paced and intense as Waterfall was. After returning to their own time period for a short while, Gabi and Lia travel back to the 1300's. Only this time they brought their mother with them. Upon their arrival they find out that there's even more of a threat to their lives than before. Gabi, Lia, Marcello, and Luca go on such an exciting and dangerous adventure in this book, you'll find it very hard to set it down.

Cascade didn't disappoint at all with its great plot development, a beautiful setting, and tons of intense battles. Like I said about the first book, I felt like I was transported back in time with these awesome characters and was in the middle of all the scary situations they found themselves in. I didn't think there was a way for me to fall even more in love with this series, but this book showed me that it was possible. These girls, especially Gabi, go through so much and it seems like they hardly have a chance to catch their breath before they're attacked again. I don't want to spoil anything, but Gabi goes through a tough ordeal and wow! It was pretty scary. It was really interesting to see how she dealt with it. I felt so bad and was very scared for her, but in the end I was happy with the way things turned out.

Something I was really happy about was that we got to see a lot more of Lia and Luca. There's also a sense of romance growing between them and I couldn't help but grin every time they were together.. they're so sweet together! Luca was just as funny and charming, he's such a likeable character and I love his humor. I liked that there were a lot more fighting scenes where Lia got to show off her archery skills. I'd love to be half as good as this chick. We also get to know Gabi and Lia's mom a bit and I thought she was so cool. She adapted so well to this time period like if she had always lived there. A new character we're introduced to is Lord Greco. Ahhh!!! ^_^ I. LOVE. HIM. Go look at the cover of BOURNE. Yup. That's him. *SIGH* He's so purrty... Ok, that's enough of me drooling over him.

A perfect amount of action, romance, danger, and suspense is mixed into this book and the cliff-hanger ending leaves you wanting more! Be grateful all the books in the series are out because you will be dying to know what happens next! You definitely want to read the books in order, you'll understand everything a lot more. I don't think I could say how much I love these characters enough. I feel like Gabi, Lia, Marcello, and Luca are a bunch of friends I've gotten to know so well. I love them all for different reasons and it's so very exciting to know that I will be reunited with them again in book 3, Torrent.

About Lisa T. Bergren
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 books, with
more than 2.5 million copies sold. Her most recent works includes a YA series called River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary), God Gave Us Easter, a devotional called Upside-Down Prayers for Parents and the Grand Tour Series (Glamorous Illusions, Grave Consequences, and Glittering Promises). She’s currently at work on a new YA series called Remnants, coming out in 2014.

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, and working on ducks with her husband, Tim (RMrustic.com). Tim’s a worship leader, graphic designer and duck-sculptor. They have three kids–Olivia (18), Emma (15) and Jack (10).

The Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

WATERFALL
by Lisa T. Bergren
Series: River of Time, #1
David C. Cook (February 2011)
Source: I purchased my copy
Amazon | Goodreads

What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological 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.

Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
 
I'm just going to start off by saying I loved this book so, SO much. From the start I knew I was going to love it, a couple pages in and I was hooked. Lisa knows how to get you in a place where you're so immersed in the story that you feel like you're right there experiencing it all for yourself. I felt like this book sucked me into the same time portal Gabi and Lia went through and plopped me right into the fourteenth-century! I love that!

Waterfall starts out with Gabi and Lia spending yet another summer at an archaeological site in Italy. Their mother and late father were archaeologists so they've spent every summer like this. When Gabi decides she no longer wants to sit around and do nothing, she talks her sister into joining her to explore ancient tombs among all the rubble. The two become curious about a pair of handprints inside one of the tombs that match their hands perfectly. How could they resist touching them?! After placing their hands on them, Gabi and Lia find themselves going through some sort of time portal. Once she releases her hand from the print Gabi soon realizes that she arrived alone. This is where her adventure in 14th century Italy begins as she searches for her sister. And boy is it a wild journey!

Oh my goodness what a fantastic story this is! It's told from Gabi's perspective, I absolutely love her voice, humor, and everything about her personality. Her character growth is something I enjoyed seeing throughout the novel. By the end she had become one of my favorite heroins. She's so strong and brave, not because that's how she always is, but because the situations she finds herself in require her to be. I thought it was so cool that she could wield a sword. How awesome is that?! I also love the relationship between her and Lia. You can see how much stronger they became when they were together.

Marcello is a noble knight Gabi meets when she comes out of the tomb. Right off the bat she notices how attractive he is, and by the way Lisa described him, he sounds like one handsome fella :) From there we can see what great chemistry the two have, the only problem is Marcello is betrothed to the daughter of a powerful man. And, oh yeah, how could they ever be together when Gabi is from almost 700 years in the future. Way to pick'em Gabi! Anywho, the blossoming romance between the two is so sweet, I couldn't help but root for them to end up together.

We don't see a whole lot of Lia in this book, but something we quickly learn about her is that she knows her stuff when it comes to using a bow and arrow. That skill sure does come in handy in this time period. I could tell she was just as brave as her sister in times of trouble and the scenes where she needed to use her mad archery skills were some of my favorite.

Luca is Marcello's cousin and right-hand-man. He's hands down my favorite male character at this point. He's so funny, charming, sweet, and apparently another good looking guy. I was constantly smiling while reading the scenes he was in. He just does that to a girl, you know? ;)

There is so much to like about this book, let's just name a few shall we? Strong female characters, swoon-worthy knights, non-stop action and adventure, and characters who say things like 'on the morrow' and 'fortnight.' Oh my goodness I love the way they talk! I would crack my family up when I'd randomly start speaking to them in this medieval language. They'd say I was reading a bit much, but you and I know that isn't even possible! Pssh! They're crazy :D

This book has a lot of history in it but it was never boring. Lisa weaved it all so nicely into the story and it was always interesting to read. It was so neat to read about how they did things before there was any kind of technology, or even toilets and indoor plumbing!

There were parts in the story that literally had me laughing out loud. I found this scene in particular to be hilarious. And it's even funnier to me because Gabi isn't in the best circumstance to begin with!

"I looked over my shoulder to Lia. There had to be an antidote. I'd taken it too long ago to throw it up. There had to be another option. If only we could Google it..."

Haha! I guess I find that so funny because of how much we rely on google to get information these days. When was the last time you googled something? Exactly.

This was such a fun, addictive book and I absolutely loved everything about it. All the action had me at the edge of my seat unable to stop reading. Waterfall is at the top of my 'Favorites' list' and I don't see myself getting tired of re-reading it anytime soon. Definitely check it out if you haven't already!

 
About Lisa T. Bergren
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 books, with
more than 2.5 million copies sold. Her most recent works includes a YA series called River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary), God Gave Us Easter, a devotional called Upside-Down Prayers for Parents and the Grand Tour Series (Glamorous Illusions, Grave Consequences, and Glittering Promises). She’s currently at work on a new YA series called Remnants, coming out in 2014.

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, and working on ducks with her husband, Tim (RMrustic.com). Tim’s a worship leader, graphic designer and duck-sculptor. They have three kids–Olivia (18), Emma (15) and Jack (10).

The Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

River of Time series!!

Waterfall · Cascade · Torrent · Bourne · Tributary

Lisa T. Bergren's River of Time series is one of my all time faves. I just can't get enough of these books! They're jam-packed with lots of adventure as we follow the Betarrini sisters, two kick butt chicks who find themselves traveling back in time to medieval Italy. These girls always seem to be in the middle of fierce battles and they never back down, especially when someone they love is in danger. The threat of death is always around the corner, but these sister refuse to allow that to keep them from really living. I couldn't help but fall in love with fourteenth-century Italy and am always up for another trip back there with these characters I've come to know so well.

Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne, and Tributary make up this fantastic YA series. It has been out for a while now and I just realized something today.. I never even posted reviews for them! I think I've been afraid of not doing them justice. Anyway, I finally made the decision to just do it! I want to show my love and support for this series and the amazing author who wrote them by posting my reviews for each book everyday this week! Yay :D

River of Time week starts today on my blog and I want to welcome you! I didn't announce ahead of time that I'd be doing this because I literally just decided to do it on Saturday and have been busy writing my reviews. I hope I can encourage anyone who hasn't read these books to give them a chance and see what they've been missing :)

My review of WATERFALL should be up soon so be sure to check it out! I hope you join me this week and show your love for the series, too! I will be linking my reviews on this post as they come.
 
 
Feel free to link your reviews for these books in the comments. I'd love to read them.
 
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