Thursday, May 31, 2012

Monthly Reflections #5: May 2012


This was a great reading month for me! I hit my goals and went beyond, with a total of 27 books read, and 36 blog posts which included 9 reviews! One of the things that helped me with my reading was participating in the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon. It was really fun and a great motivator.

Books I Read
There were some amazing books, some great books, and some ehh books this month, but I had a blast reading them. My favorites were: Submerged by Dani Pettrey,  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt, Corridor by Robin Parrish, The Charmed Life Series by Jenny B. Jones, and Baroness by Susan May Warren. I was also super excited to finish Little Women finally!

Reviews I Wrote:

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon

In June I Hope To:
Read at least 30 books
My sister challenged me to read a book a day in June and I accepted.
So here's hoping I can actually do it!
Write at least 8 reviews

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

About the Book
When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

My Thoughts
Another great book by Lisa T. Bergren! Granted the River of Time Series will most likely always be my favorite but this book was not a disappointment. I love the setting for this series: a grand tour of Europe! How cool would it be to be able to travel around Europe with all of your expenses paid for?! Another great thing about this novel was the fact that it wasn't one where you had to think overly hard. The story just swept me along allowing me to just enjoy it. That being said I really wasn't focusing on the little details so I can't say much  more than I loved this book and can't wait for #2!

About the Author
Lisa T. Bergren is the award-winning author of over thirty-five books, with more than 2 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, Lisa now divides her time between writing, editing, parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of her next trip to Italy. She lives in Colorado Springs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Booker Award

Hey! I was super excited to be given this award by Faye from Labor Not In Vain. Thank you. Faye.  Faye is an amazing person and a great blogger so be sure to head over to her blog and find out yourself!

The Rules:
1. This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blogger's blog must be 50% about books (this includes writing blogs or reader blogs).
2. When you accept this award you must also share what your top five all time favorite books are. Going over five is encouraged.
3. You must pass this award on to five to ten other book blogs that you adore :)

The Books:
Here are some of my favorite books in no particular order!
Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake
Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake
That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake
Lassoed in Texas Series by Mary Connealy
Montana Marriages Series by Mary Connealy
Sophie's Daughters Series by Mary Connealy
The Kincaid Brides Series by Mary Connealy
A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren

The Drifter by Lori Copeland
The Maverick  by Lori Copeland 
Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke
The Californians Series by Lori Wick
The Yellow Rose Trilogy by Lori Wick
Team Hope Series by Susan May Warren
Mission: Russia Series by Susan May Warren
Missions of Mercy Series by Susan May Warren
Daughters of Fortune Series  by Susan May Warren 
The O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
Uncommon Heroes Series by Dee Henderson
Discarded Heroes Series by Ronie Kendig
Heroes of Quantico Series by Irene Hannon
The Chase by DiAnn Mills
Submerged by Dani Pettrey
Sweet Seasons Series by Debbie Viguie
The Charmed Life Series by Jenny B. Jones
Hollywood Nobody Series by Lisa Samson
Miracle Girls Series by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Notes From A Spinning Planet Series by Melody Carlson
Diary of A Teenage Girl Series by Melody Carlson
A Bride For A Bit by Novella Collection

And the Five blogs I'm giving this award to are:
Holly Renee@Shelf Life

Thanks again Faye!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten Books I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

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

I shortened this week's top ten so the title wasn't so long but the full name is: Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years. As usual I'm gonna kinda cheat and do series.

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

#2) The Hunger Games Trilogy

#3) The O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson

#4) Team Hope Series by Susan May Warren

#5) Discarded Heroes Series by Ronie Kendig

#6) The Charmed Life Series by Jenny B. Jones

#7) Heroes of Quantico by Irene Hannon

#8) Lassoed in Texas, #9) Montana Marriages, 
#10) Sophie's Daughters, #11) The Kincaid Brides 
by Mary Connealy

Monday, May 28, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #21

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Happy Memorial Day!

Here is what I finished last week:
Yes I finally finished Little Women! I really enjoyed it but was so happy to finally reach the end. As for the other three books, I absolutely loved all of them! The JBJ ones were really funny and well written and Baroness was a phenomenal emotional ride.

What I am currently reading:
In Six Days is my current non-fictional/educational read that'll probably take me a but to finish. Under the Cajun Moon is pretty good so far-I'm a little over 1/3 of the way through.

What I hope to read this week:

Not sure if I'll actually get to all of these, but a girl can hope! I'm not overly excited about the first two books but we'll see how they go. I'm really looking forward to the Bride Backfire!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #20
Top Ten Blogs/Sites That Aren't About Books
"Waiting On" Wednesday #12: When Love Comes My Way
The Anniversary Waltz by Darryl Nelson
The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie
Book Blogger Hop: Negative Reviews
A Duke's Promise by Jamie Carie
Stacking the Shelves #6
By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer

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, May 27, 2012

By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer

About the Book
Remember the Titanic 100 years after its doomed voyage with Tricia Goyer’s fictional portrayal of one woman’s journey. To Amelia Gladstone, this ship means promise of seeing family again. To Quentin Walpole, the Titanic represents a new start in America…if he can get onboard. All seems lost until Amelia offers him a ticket, securing his passage—and bringing him face-to-face with his railroad tycoon father and older brother, Damian. As Amelia works to reconcile father and son, she finds herself the object of both brothers’ affection. Can she choose between two brothers? Or will she lose everything to the icy waters of the Atlantic?

My Thoughts
This was an extremely good story that drew me in from the very beginning. As the story began to unfold all of the characters I found myself anxiously awaiting the time when Amelia would have finally met both brothers and I could determine which was better. It took me a little while to realize that the story was like that of the prodigal son (with quite a few twists). Which is actually a good thing because when authors try to make their stories to much like Bible ones they can be kinda corny, as was evidenced when it got to the reunion part in this book. Though it wasn't too bad, just seemed like it was maybe trying too hard to be the same as the biblical reunion. The author did a great job of portraying the emotions of the passengers on the Titanic and it actually had me in tears. This was a very well done book that I would recommend to all historical fiction lovers!

About the Author
Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Beside Still Waters, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. Visit for more about Tricia and her books.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Books Mentioned

Books I Purchased
Claim by Lisa T. Bergren
Nosy in Nebraska by Mary Connealy
Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy
The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguié
The Winter of Candy Canes by Debbie Viguié
The Spring of Candy Apples by Debbie Viguié
Rugged and Relentless by Kelly Eileen Hake
There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
Heist Society by Ally Carter

Kindle Books
Crossfire by Jeanette Windle
The Messenger by Siri Mitchell
Triumph in Grace by Kay Marshall Strom
Hailey's Heart Cindy Adkins
A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes
Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot
Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey
H20 the Novel by Austin Boyd & Brannon Hollingsworth (NetGalley)
Read Me Dead by Emerald Barnes

A Duke's Promise by Jamie Carie

About the Book
From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her husband has promised a wedding trip to take them to the place where her imperiled parents were last seen -- Italy and the marble caves of Carrara -- but a powerful Italian duke plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured by Gabriel’s affliction to the breaking point, they must learn to work and fight together. The mysterious key is within their grasp, but they have yet to recognize it. This journey will require steadfast faith in God and each other -- a risk that will win them everything they want or lose them everything they have.

My Thoughts
This was probably my least favorite of the Forgotten Castles series. Not that I didn't enjoy it, there were just a couple things that were a little off for me. The first being the fact that intimate relationship between husband and wife was focused on a lot more than necessary. And there were other references to the same thing only not between two married people. Which was a disappointment since the first two books were so clean. The second thing that kinda rubbed me wrong was the fact that Gabriel's hearing appeared to be fluctuating based on the amount of his surrender to God, which is rather unbiblical. But maybe that was just what I saw and not what the author intended to portray.

And now on to what I liked about A Duke's Promise! I really enjoyed getting Alexandria's parents' POV, it add an interesting element to the story. And as for Jamie Carie's unique twist (in book 1, it was the Duke's hearing loss and book 2 was having a lot of the story in Iceland) the character's traveled from France to Italy in a hot-air balloon. That was an insanely awesome idea! I also loved the fact that Countess Beauffremont had a pet pig. Lastly I think Jamie Carie should write a book about Lord Ashbury and Annabelle, the people hired to pretend to be Gabriel and Alex. Just think of how awesome of a story that would be!

About the Author
Jamie Carie is the author of Snow Angel, a ForeWord magazine Romance Book of the Year winner, USA Book News National “Best Books 2007” Awards winner, and 2008 RITA Awards® Best First Book finalist. Her third novel, Wind Dancer, was a 2010 Indiana State Library Best Books of Indiana finalist. She lives with her husband and three children.

I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: Negative Reviews

Book Blogger Hop

This Week's Question:
How do you handle the writing of a negative review?

My Answer:
I'm really not a fan of writing negative reviews, but sometimes it must be done. If I don't like a book that I've read I try to say so in a respectful (and I hope nice) way. I usually point out the things I didn't like but I also try to find some good things about the book. I also almost always point out that just because it wasn't for me doesn't mean others won't like it. Because honestly there are so many different opinions out there, nothing is going to be liked by everyone! And I don't review books that I don't finish unless I have a blog tour for them.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie

About the Book

Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.
Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.
The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

My Thoughts

The way book one in this series, The Guardian Duke, ended made me want to immediately start this one. I was not disappointed. I loved the fact that this book was set mostly in Iceland which is an uncommonly used country. This author has a knack for the interesting and unexpected as well as an ability to keep her main characters apart for ages. Gabriel and Alex were once again rarely in the same place, except toward the end. And while this had to happen for the plot to work, it's kinda annoying not to be able to watch the hero and heroine interact. The fact that Gabriel's hearing still fluctuated added layers to the story and really helped give a good look at his emotions. All in all it was another great story from Jamie Carie that left me anxious to read book three, A Duke's Promise

About the Author
Jamie Carie is the author of Snow Angel, a ForeWord magazine Romance Book of the Year winner, USA Book News National “Best Books 2007” Awards winner, and 2008 RITA Awards® Best First Book finalist. Her third novel, Wind Dancer, was a 2010 Indiana State Library Best Books of Indiana finalist. She lives with her husband and three children.

I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Anniversary Waltz by Darrel Nelson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Anniversary Waltz
Realms (May 15, 2012)
Darrel Nelson

My copy of this book has not arrived yet but I will post my review after I receive and read it!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Word from the author:

I am a schoolteacher by profession and have taught school for (thir—ahem!) years. I grew up in Raymond, Alberta, and attended the University of Lethbridge after graduating from high school and serving a two-year mission to Japan. During university, I met and married Marsha Smith, and we are the parents of four children, which has grown to include their spouses and our ten grandchildren.

I have always loved to write. I started writing stories before I was old enough to realize I was writing stories. It seemed a natural thing to pick up a pencil and paper and create a world simply by using words—worlds of adventure in steaming jungles (Tarzan was an early influence on me) or realms of adventure in outer space (Buck Rogers). But as I have grown older, I have discovered that the real inspiration for me is exploring the theme of love and how it can make such a difference in the world.

I’ve had an article published in Lethbridge Magazine and have written several dramatic plays, two of which won provincial recognition and were showcased at a drama festival. I won the CJOC radio songwriting contest two years running, and have had one of my songs receive international airplay. I have written four novels intended for the juvenile market. They are unpublished as yet, but I read them annually to my fourth grade students and my students tell me they love them, the darlings.


At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story—a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.

It’s the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.

If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of The Anniversary Waltz, go HERE.

"Waiting On" Wednesday #12: When Love Comes My Way

"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:

When Love Comes My Way by Lori Copeland
Harvest House Publishers-June 1, 2012

About the Book
Michigan, 1873—As Tess Wakefield wakes from a frightening wagon accident, she discovers she has lost her memories. In her recovery, she loses her heart as well to handsome lumberjack Jake Lannigan. It’s not a two-way street, though. Jake thinks he knows exactly who she is—the spoiled Wakefield Timber heir—but he believes the accident provides the means to show her that she has a responsibility to replant the trees and not to merely invest her inheritance opening another of her silly millinery shops.
Then he slowly he begins to fall in love with her. Jake wants to tell Tess the truth, but before he can her true identity is uncovered, and then both of them find the emotional stakes too high. Will God intervene and show this headstrong couple that only He in His wisdom could have paired them together? 

Why I Want It
Ok honestly, can you read that description and not want to read it?! And besides that I've read a lot of Lori Copeland's other books and loved them a lot!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Ten Blogs/Sites That Aren't About Books

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

This week's Top Ten is blogs/sites that we visit that are not about books. I don't really have too many but we'll see how far I get!

1. TV Breakroom-Yeah this is my sister's blog but hey I visit it often and I'm not above bragging on my sibs! This is a site where she talks about all things TV-related: upcoming shows, cancelled shows, news tidbits about actors, you name it she's got it. And every Monday she hosts a week-long poll-This weeks is Favorite Tv Couples!

2. Stuff Christians Like-A really fun look into different christian and church related things-written by Jon Acuff

3. Climb Ridges-This is a blog written by one of the pastors at my church, Matt Frey. His sermons are really good and I love reading the insightful and sometimes funny things he posts.

4. Dirt and Dickens-Written by Peyton or "the country girl" it's mainly just about the life of a christian country girl. She does occasionally talk about books but it's not the main focus of the blog.

5. Crochet Pattern Central- Amazing site with bucket loads of free crochet patterns!

6. iPiccy- Super cool photo editing site that I found after my old favorite picnik closed down.

7. Pandora-A great music site that builds a radio station based on a song or artist. 

8. Etsy- Great online shopping place that lets people sell their homemade items as well as other crafty stuff.

9. IMDb-Internet Movie Database-Tells you everything there is to know about movies and actors.

10. YouTube-Ok if you don't know what this is you seriously live under a rock! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading #20

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I read last week:
Yeah it's a lot but in my defense I was participating in a read-a-thon! I at least liked, if not loved all of these books. Except Twelfth Night, that made NO sense to me at all!

What I am currently reading:
Yep still on Little Women and In Six Days is my new non-fiction read. I'm only about a sentence into I'm So Sure but based on how much I loved So Not Happening I can't wait to get in!

What I hope to read this week:
I'm pretty excited about all of these!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #19
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Top Twenty Favorite Fictional Couples
The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
"Waiting On" Wednesday #11: Starring Me
Book Blogger Hop: Favorite Character
Talkin' Thursday: Read-A-Thons
Book Blogger Hop: How Many Books?
River of Time Series-Sale!
Bout of Books Read-A-Thon Wrap Up

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!

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon Wrap Up

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Well I did it! I survived the week-long Bout of Books Read-A-Thon! My goals were to: 1) Read/Finish 7 books (I would love to be able to do more but I'm gonna set realistic goals!) 2) Write at least 3 reviews
 3) Have FUN! I nailed (and surpassed #1&3 but fell one short on #2 (honestly I forgot I made this goal!). I read 14 books for a total of 3,346 pages! I had an absolute blast and was pretty pleased with my accomplishment! If you want to see my day by day updates as well as my entries for the mini-challenges see my update post HERE

Books Read

Saturday, May 19, 2012

River of Time Series-Sale!!!!!!!

Everyone probably knows by now how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren. So when I saw how cheap they are currently on Amazon I had to share! You can get each of the books for about $4 each! I don't think I need to tell you how amazing of a deal that is!! Click on the covers below to be taken to their amazon page.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: How Many Books?

Book Blogger Hop

This Week's Question:
How many books do you own? This can include books in your to-be-read (TBR) pile(s) and books you have already read that are on your keeper shelf.

My Answer:


There are a few books missing of my shelves that are being borrowed by friends and fam but other than that this is my current collection. I'm constantly getting more books though, so my number keeps increasing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Talkin' Thursday: Read-A-Thons

Sorry that this is going up late and that it is going to be a rather short post. As I was thinking about a subject to talk about, that I could do quickly so that I could get back to reading books for the read-a-thon I'm participating in, it dawned on me to just write about read-a-thons.

I first discovered these in April when a fellow blogger told me about Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. I thought it sounded fun so I decided to join. I loved it! The thrill of pushing yourself to read more and stay awake as long as possible was exhilarating. I got a lot of reading done and had fun connecting with other bloggers. Around that same time I joined another small (only a handful of participants) 10 day read-a-thon but wasn't as pushed to succeed.

Then just last week I found out about the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon that was taking place this entire week. I was really excited and jumped on board right before it began. I'm pretty pleased with my progress and can't wait to see how much more I can do before the week is done!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: Favorite Character

Book Blogger Hop
This Week's Question:
Who is your favorite book character?

My Answer:
I have a LOT of book characters that I absolutely love but when it came to picking a favorite, one seemed to stand out. And that person is....

Luca Forreli

From Lisa T. Bergen's River of Time Series!
I just love his quirkiness and humor and his serious, heroic side! He is featured on the newest River of Time book Tributary which releases sometime in June!

"Waiting On" Wednesday #11: Starring 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:

Starring Me by Krista McGee
Thomas Nelson-July 10, 2012

About the Book
Kara McKormick is told she's auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. But it's what she isn't told that could change her life.
The feisty New Yorker moves to sunny Orlando to participate in a month-long audition, where she'll live with nine other contestants and an eccentric housemother. Kara knows that the show already has a big-time celebrity lined up for the co-host, but she doesn't know who it is.
Chad Beacon quickly rose to fame after winning America's Next Star, but he doesn't want his entire career to be about singing. There is so much more he wants to do-like act. The new variety show sounds like the perfect next step for him, but his parents want him to have a co-star who shares his faith since they'll be spending so much time together.
Acting is high on Kara's priority list. But a relationship with God? Not so much. In fact, she's tried to stay away from anything religious. But God is after Kara's heart and He's put people in her life who are showing her there's far more to Christianity than rules and judgment.
And just when it seems that Kara's going to have to give up her acting dream, God reveals that she may have a starring role after all-in a story so big only He could write it.

Why I Want It
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, First Date especially Kara's character. So when I heard the next book was about her I was super excited and I can't wait to read this!