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!!

 
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