Monday, April 30, 2012

Monthly Reflections #4: April 2012


Well to say that April was busy would be a great understatement, but I still managed to get some stuff accomplished. I read 16 books, wrote 37 posts including 9 reviews, and participated in two read-a-thons. So I completed both of my goals (15 books and 8 reviews) with one extra! 

Books I Read
Picking a favorite from this list is like picking a favorite child-it can't be done. There were so many astoundingly good books that I read this month!

Reviews I Wrote
Crater by Homer Hickam
Discarded Heroes by Ronie Kendig
Wildflowers From Winter by Katie Ganshert
Echoes of Titanic by Mindy Starns Clark and John Campbell Clark
The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter
Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klaven
To See The Sun by Peggy Blann Phifer


Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon

Where Did All These Books Come From Read-A-Thon

In May I Hope To:
I've decided to just keep the same goals for this month!
Read at least 15 books
Write at least 8 reviews

WDATBCF? Read-A-Thon Recap

So yeah I kinda stunk at keeping up with this read-a-thon and posting updates but anyway here's what I accomplished:

I finished 10 books (2 were started previously), and started another for a total of 2,562 pages!
Yeah I pretty much loved all these books! They were so could that many of them I didn't want to put down ever! So if you like good books and are looking for some new ones, try any of the above and I promise, they don't disappoint!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #17

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I read last week:
Absolutely lovedThe Hunger Games, totally lived up to my expectations! Crazy Dangerous was good too, but a little strange so not a top favorite.  And To See The Sun was a pretty awesome read!

What I am currently reading:
No Little Women progress this week, and very little in Already Compromised. This past week has been INSANE so I'm hoping this week is a little slower paced! The Guardian Duke is really good so far!

What I hope to read this week:
Super excited to read Catching Fire-I'm gonna start it tonight! And Submerged and Code of Silence both look pretty interesting, so I'm looking forward to them too!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #16
Top Ten Favorite Characters in Books
"Waiting On" Wednesday #8: You Don't Know Me
Talkin' Thursday: Book vs. Movie
WDATBCF? Read-A-Thon Days 2-6: Progress Report
The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy
Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klaven
WDATBCF? Read-A-Thon Day 7: Progress Report
In My Mailbox #4
To See The Sun by Peggy Blann Phifer

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

To See The Sun By Peggy Blann Phifer

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:

CreateSpace (January 6, 2012)

My Thoughts
Pleasantly surprised doesn't seem to cut it so I'm going with, joyously stunned! This book wasn't what I was expecting at all, which turned out to be a very good thing. I normally don't pick up self-published books, because I'm wary of why it wasn't able to be published by a publishing house. But in the case of To See The Sun, I'm very glad that I didn't know it's publishing origins before I got it. 
The author did an exceptional job with the characters and story-line. There were so many twists and surprises that you had no clue about, and kept you guessing till the end. I honestly can't believe this is Peggy Blann Phifer's first book and I can't wait for the second and third books in the series and will be sure to try and get copies when they release. I'm hoping for Larke or Alex's story-or maybe Larke and Alex?! To See The Sun gets a five-star rating from me and I can't wait to see what else this author has up her sleeve!

***Special thanks to  Peggy Blann Phifer  for sending me a review copy.***


 Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader and loves to escape between the covers of a good book. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband Jim.

To See the Sun is Peg’s debut novel, released January 2012

Visit her blog, Whispers in Purple.

Visit the author's website.


Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her . . .

Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.

When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband's gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, was predictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger.

With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help . . . and it just might be her undoing.

Product Details:
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (January 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1468121081
ISBN-13: 978-1468121087


Friday, March 26, late afternoon

What a fantastic day. A bid won. A contract signed. The job of a lifetime that would put Stuart and Macintyre at the top of the construction heap, not just in Las Vegas, but all of southern Nevada.
Whistling, Justin Macintyre pressed the keyless remote of his Cadillac Escalade, tossed his briefcase across the console to the passenger seat and slid behind the wheel.
To top it all off, after seven long years, he and his wife, Erin, were going to have a baby. A baby! He laughed aloud at the overwhelming joy of it.
"Hey, world, I'm going to be a daddy!"
He shifted the SUV into gear and pulled out of the Mt. Charleston Lodge area onto Kyle Canyon Road and headed down the mountain to the Las Vegas Valley below. Despite the successful day, Justin couldn't banish his worry over a recent discovery of some irregularities in the company's finances. Nothing concrete, and his Uncle Sebastian, S&M's CFO, assured him everything was fine. Nevertheless, Justin's uneasiness had prompted him to send what little proof he had to his long-time friend, Clay Buchanan, a private investigator in Texas.
Preoccupied with his thoughts, he vaguely registered the yellow and black blind curve warning sign. Too late he saw the stalled car across the center line. No time to stop! He spun the  wheel to the right.
I'm going too fast! God, help me . . .!
Seconds passed and silence settled once more over the mountainside. A shadow emerged from behind a Joshua tree and stepped to the edge of the ravine. After a moment, the form walked to the car in the road and drove away.
Erin Macintyre stretched her arms along the balcony's balustrade of her twenty-seventh-floor condo above the streets of Las Vegas. Beyond that, the lower edge of the setting sun kissed the still snowy peaks of the Spring Mountain Range and Mt. Charleston.
Justin would be home soon.
"Erin, where's the zester?"
Erin returned to the kitchen. "In the utility drawer."
"Which is the utility drawer?" Magie Gifford, Erin's dearest friend, pulled out drawer after drawer.
Erin giggled and reached across Magie's arm and slid out the utility drawer.
"You changed it." Magie snatched the zester and bumped the drawer shut with her hip. "That's not where it was last time."
Erin wrapped her arms around her friend and hugged. "No, Mags, I didn't change anything." She waited a beat. "Can I interest you in a memory enhancement program?"
"Very funny." Magie pushed Erin aside and proceeded to rub a lemon across the gadget and then whisked the zest into a frothy mixture of olive oil, Italian herbs, and balsamic vinegar. "Okay, just drizzle this over the salad and stick it in the fridge."
That done, Erin checked on the lasagna in the oven. The garlic toast waited on the foil-lined cookie sheet ready to pop under the broiler. Everything was ready.
Erin glanced at the kitchen clock. "He's late."
"Posh. You should know by now how those meetings can drag on."
"Yeah, I know. It's just—"
"Get over here, Erin. He'll be here when he gets here."
Erin joined her friend in the breakfast nook off the kitchen and adjacent to the balcony. She scooped up a dozing Siamese cat from her chair and sat, settling him back on her lap.
"You spoil that critter." Magie brushed off the chair cushion before sitting.
"Yeah, I do. But you love him, too. I saw you sneaking him some treats earlier." Erin smiled. "Not to mention the romp you had with him in the living room when you got here."
"Busted. But he's so much fun, aren't you, Kazimir?"
At the sound of his name, the cat uncoiled, left Erin's lap and jumped onto Magie's. She snorted. "So much for protecting my black slacks."
"Thanks for coming over to help with this meal. I wanted it to be special and I never know when the nausea will hit." She raised an eyebrow. "But you will leave as soon as Justin gets here."
"You think he'll get that bid?"
Erin tapped her heart and nodded. "I know he will."
The first five descending notes of Welcome to My World sang out in the condo's foyer. Justin! No, he wouldn't ring the doorbell. Puzzled, she stepped across the tiled floor and rose on tiptoes to peer through the peephole. She gasped and jumped back.
The doorbell chimed again.
Fingers trembling, Erin released the security lock and opened the door to two uniformed police officers.
"Mrs. Macintyre?"
Erin nodded as Magie moved to her side.
"What is it, officers?"
"I'm afraid there's been an accident, Mrs. Macintyre. Your husband . . ."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In My Mailbox #4

Books Mentioned

A Cowboy's Touch by Denise Hunter
When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason

Code of Silence by Tim Shoemaker
Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato
Submerged by Dani Pettrey 
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

Gifts (For my 18th Birthday!)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Grace by Max Lucado ARC
World Religions in a Nutshell by Ray Comfort
The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Jason Lisle
In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
Baroness by Susan May Warren
Ireland by Melody Carlson
Playing With Fire by Melody Carlson
Payback by Melody Carlson
I'm So Sure by Jenny B. Jones
So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones
Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

Kindle Books
Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke
Heartless by Anne Elizabeth Stengl
The Glory of Green by Judy Christie
Downtown Green by Judy Christie
Deep in the Heart by Staci Stallings
Honor Redeemed Loree Lough
Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren
When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason
A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson
Hook, Line, and Sinker by Susan May Warren
The Voyage of Promise by Kay Marshall Strom

WDATBCF? Read-A-Thon Day 7: Progress Report

Finished Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klaven (220 pages today)

Started To See The Sun by Peggy Blann Phifer (20 pages today)

Started The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie (9% today)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klaven Book Review

About the Book
"You probably want to hear about Jennifer and the demons and how I played chicken with a freight train and—oh yeah—the weird murder . . . you're definitely going to want to hear about that."
Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with a bad crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.
But one day, Sam sees them harassing an eccentric schoolmate of his named Jennifer. When Sam finds the courage to face the bullies down, he loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.
Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons and the devil and death. And here’s the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies—prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.
With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.

My Thoughts
As I searched for words to describe this book the only one that seemed to fit was, interesting. The author did a good job with the story and it was one of those books that just seems to be read faster than others. The characters were really well written and the story sucks you in. Since the story was so strange and kinda complicated, I feel that sharing any more of my opinions would probably end up spoiling parts of the book for you. So I'm going to leave you with the fact that it was an intriguing read and let you decide whether this book is for you or not!

About the Author
Andrew Klavan has been nominated for the Mystery Writer of America's Edgar award five times and won twice. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Don't Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas, True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Empire of Lies. He is currently writing a series of thrillers for young adults called The Homelanders. The first two novels in the series are The Last Thing I Remember and The Long Way Home. Klavan is a contributing editor to City Journal and his essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other places. His satiric video commentaries can be seen on

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Sound of Red Returning
Kregel Publications (December 9, 2011)
Sue Duffy

While the premise of this book intrigued me the actual book did not and I ended up stopping partway through. There wasn't necessarily anything wrong with the book, it just wasn't for me.


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. She is the author of Mortal Wounds (Barbour, 2001), Fatal Loyalty (Kregel, 2010), and The Sound of Red Returning (Kregel, 2011). Sue has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children.


After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace she usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can't shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past . . . and by someone following her. When she spots a familiar and eerie face in the audience of a concert she's giving for the president in Washington, DC, the scariest day of her life comes back to her with a flash.

It has been fifteen years since Liesl watched her beloved Harvard music mentor assaulted on a dark night in Moscow and just as long since the CIA disclosed to her that he'd been spying for Russia. She had seen that man-that eerie face-the night Professor Devoe was attacked. And now he's back-and coming for her.


“Sue Duffy has mixed the mayhem of political intrigue with the melody of romance.” —Dick Bohrer, author, editor, and former journalism professor

“Intrigue and suspense come together in an incredible story of love and betrayal, commitment and courage, power and danger . . . and a God who controls it all. Sue Duffy is a wonderfully gifted writer and this book is a must-read.” —Steve Brown, founder and president of Key Life and host of Steve Brown Etc.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sound of Red Returning, go HERE.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

WDATBCF? Read-A-Thon Days 2-6: Progress Report

Well I have officially stunk at keeping up with the progress reports for this giveaway. As I looked toward this week I saw a couple things on the calendar, but then as we headed into it I got a full taste of what crazy busy really means. On Saturday I participated in a 24hr Read-A-Thon so was busy that whole day, then Sunday was pretty calm and I ended up staying awake until 6:15 am in order to finish The Hunger Games. Monday I had friends over from a little after I woke up until 4 and then babysat from 4:40 until 10ish. Tuesday my best friend and her mom took me out for my birthday, and we had breakfast, shopped, then saw The Hunger Games, and about an hour later I had another babysitting job. Wednesday was my 18th birthday and after my party I spent the night at my sisters and we stayed up until after 6am. Then when we got up we did some stuff and my brother picked me up to take me home and when I got there some friends were over and they stayed till after dinner. So as you can see I had practically no time to read so I haven't finished anything except for the books for the 24hr Read-a-Thon and The Hunger Games. Hopefully the rest of this week will be better!

Talkin' Thursday: Book vs. Movie

Book or movie? Which is better? This is a topic that has been talked about a lot but I've decided to put my two cents in as well.

I think it's almost a 100% guarantee that I will always like a book better than the movie adaptation. Maybe it's just because I'm a book person, but I think the better explanation is that the books are so much more in depth. By reading the book you get to fully understand the characters. You are able to be inside their heads and thinking what they think, hearing what they hear, seeing everything through their eyes, and feeling what they feel. But when watching a movie you only get to know the things that people actually say. And occasionally you can get a small feel for the characters feelings by their facial expressions. This is not to say that I don't like movie adaptations, on the contrary I usually really enjoy watching them.

Here is a list of books turned it to movies that I've both read and seen:

The Hunger Games: I enjoyed both the book and the movie but the book a little more. See above for reasons why.

The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe: I liked these pretty equally

Prince Caspian: Book a bit more because the movie had some stuff that wasn't in the book.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Same as Prince Caspian

The Lord of the Rings: Pretty equal

Love Comes Softly Series: Books so much more. The movies were so off base it was ridiculous. I could rant all day about how off they were but we don't have time for that! The movies were ok as long as you take them as a completely different story.

A Walk to Remember: It's been awhile since I read the book but I'm pretty sure I liked the movie better on this one. Maybe because I watched it a lot before reading the book.

Dear John: Equal

The Inheritance: Book way better!

Little Women: Still in the middle of reading this one and while it is really good I grew up watching the movies so I think I like them better.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday #8: You Don't Know Me

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're
eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren
Tyndale House Publishers-October 1, 2012

About the Book
To everyone who knows her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses her kids’ sporting events, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.
No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the sleepy town of Deep Haven, Deidre got a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker. Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her. When Agent Frank Harrison arrives with news that the man she testified against is out on bail and out for revenge, Annalise is forced to face the consequences of her secrets. Will she run again, or will she finally find the grace to trust those she loves most with both her past and her future?

Why I Want It
If you have ever visited this blog before you probably already know why I want this book-it's Susan May Warren. She is my all time favorite author and I'm slowly gathering all of her books, which is not an easy task since she is constantly writing a new one! And besides just wanting it because it is a SMW novel, the plot actually sounds pretty interesting with the whole witness protection thing. I've already pre-ordered it and can't wait for October!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Characters in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Today's Top Ten is favorite book characters. I'm not usually one to gush of particular characters but I decided to give it a shot. Then as I started looking through my books the characters that stood out the most were all guys. Not that I'm boy-crazy but, male characters tend to leave stronger impressions. So I decided to go with it and made a list of my Top Ten Male Characters. I'm really tired and have a crazy schedule so I'm not elaborating just give the names, book, author, and cover.

#10 David Curtiss-Wiser Than Serpents by Susan May Warren

#9 Sam Houston-True Honor by Dee Henderson

#8 Jim Micah-Flee the Night by Susan May Warren

#7 Dakota Rawlings-A Texas Sky by Lori Wick

#6 Beau Claxton-The Drifter by Lori Copeland

#5 Canyon Metcalfe-Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

#4 Tim Creighton-Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake

#3 Jack O'Malley-The Protector by Dee Henderson

#2 Sean Donovan-Sean Donovan by Lori Wick

#1 Luca-The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #16

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I read last week:
Yeah I know that's a lot, but I participated in Dewey's 24hr Read-A-Thon on Saturday. Which jumped my list from 2 to 7. I absolutely loved all of these books! Honestly this was one of the best reading weeks ever! Though I will unashamedly admit that I loved The River of Time Series best. I was super giddy excited the whole time I was reading them and they were phenomenal! You can learn to write inspirational books like this by taking creative writing courses.

What I am currently reading:
Yes people, I'm finally reading The Hunger Games! My best friend and her fam are taking me to see the movie on Tuesday for my B-day (which is Wednesday!), so since I want to read the book first I'm quickly trying to finish! It's pretty good but-and please don't kill me-I haven't quite grasped what all the hype is about. It's not that I don't like it, it's just doesn't hit me as the best book of the century. But hey maybe it just hasn't hit me yet, or maybe it just pales in comparison to the River of Time Series!  I made a little progress on Little Women, but not much, and Already Compromised is my current Non-Fiction read.

What I hope to read this week:
I have a decent amount going on this week but both of these look like pretty easy reads so I'm hoping to be able to finish them!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading #15
Top Ten Books I'm Dying to Read
Made to Crave for Young Women Review
"Waiting On" Wednesday #7 Full Disclosure
Talkin' Thursday: Rearranging Books
The Accidental Bride Review
"Where Did All of These Books Come From?" Read-A-Thon
WDATBCF? Read-A-Thon Day 1: Progress Report
Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon Begins! & Introductory Questionnaire
We Are On Hour 5 of Dewey's Read-A-Thon: Update and Mini Challenges
Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon: Halfway Update and Mid-Event Questionnaire
Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge Hour 16: Rereading
Done! Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon End of Event Meme

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Done! Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon End of Event Meme

Well I did it! I made it through my first Read-a-thon! I read five books which was a total of 1300 pages! Here are the books I read: 

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren

Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren

Waiting For Dawn by Susan May Warren

65 Pages of The Sound of Red Returning

Which hour was most daunting for you? 21 I was exhausted and finally went to bed at hour 22 cause I had church in the morning. But I didn't feel good when I got up so I stayed home.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren it'll keep you going for hours!
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? nope
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? idk
How many books did you read? 5
What were the names of the books you read? look above
Which book did you enjoy most? The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren
Which did you enjoy least? The Sound of Red Returning
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I'll probably do it again-as a reader!