Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Reading Challenges I'm Joining

After two years of enjoying reading challenges I couldn't resist signing up for a bunch again this year! I will be keeping track of my progress HERE throughout the year! All of the hosted by links will take you to the sign-up posts if you're interested in joining in!

2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

I read a huge selection of Historical Fiction so this is the perfect challenge for me! And I'm so glad they added an extra level this year! I am choosing the highest goal which is Prehistoric-50+ books read!

2014 Everything YA Reading Challenge

I always enjoy a good YA book! This challenge is just to see how many YA books you can read but I am challenging myself to read 40+!

2014 Rewind Challenge

The goal of this challenge is to read the books that have "gotten lost in the shuffle" of all the new books coming out. Those books that were released awhile ago but you still haven't read! There are no levels so I am choosing to challenge myself to read 40 books that were published before 2014!

Full House Reading Challenge 2014
Hosted by Book Date

This challenge looks really fun! There is a card with all different descriptions of books for you to read and you are trying to read one book for each of the things listed!

Anne & Kristilyn's 2014 Book Bingo Challenge

Imagine bingo only with books and that's what this challenge is! There are tons of different categories and you are trying to find books for each of them!

Seriously Series Reading Challenge

This challenge is to read series! Whether they are already started series, new series, or series rereads! 

Series Started Before 2014-Super Seriously Serious 13-18 books
Series Started In 2014-Semi-Serious 1-6 books
A Series Reread-Seriously Serious 7-12 books

2014 Chunkster Challenge

A Chunkster is defined as a YA or Adult book that is over 450 pages! There are no levels for this challenge but I am going to challenge myself to read 10 chunksters!

2014 Dystopia Reading Challenge
Hosted by Blog of Erised

I've been really enjoying Dystopian books so this look right up my ally! I'm going for Level 2: Rebel (7-12 books)

New Author 2014 Reading Challenge

I love this challenge! It has continued to surprise me how many new authors I find throughout the year! Since the past two years I have found a large number I am going to shoot for the goal of 50 new to me authors!

Read It Again, Sam Challenge

This is a rereading challenge and since I literally have dozens of books I want to reread I couldn't resist signing up! I'm going for the Living in the Past (16+ books) level!

2014 Quick Fix Challenge

This challenge is about reading books with less than 300 pages! I'm going for the Duck Tape (25 books) level!

2014 Prequel & Sequel Challenge
Hosted by Novel Heartbeat

This challenge looks fun and I have a lot of sequels and prequels I want to read! I'm choosing the Advanced (51-75 points) level!

2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge

This challenge is about reading that very last book in a series and I'm shooting for Level 3: 10-15 books

2014 Series Challenge

Yup another series challenge! I'm aiming for the Gold Badge which is finishing 7-11 series!

2014 Ebook Reading Challenge
Hosted by Workaday Reads

Even though I am a die hard physical copy fan I can't deny the ease of ebooks especially for travel so I'm once again signing up for the ebook challenge! I'm choosing the Memory Stick level which is 50+ ebooks

What's in a Name? 2014
Hosted by The Worm Hole

Read a book for each of these categories:
A reference to time 
A position of royalty 
A number written in letters
A forename or names
A type or element of weather

What Countries Have I Visited 2014
Hosted by Christian Novels (AKA me!)

I had such fun hosting this challenge that I decided to do it again and I chose the Adventurer (20 countries) level!

Reading Challenge Addict

This is a challenge to complete reading challenges! I'm choosing the In Flight (11-15 challenges)level!

Top Fifty Books Read in 2013

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

Yeah there was no way I was gonna be able to pick just ten favorites! I read so many amazing books this year that narrowing it down to 50 out of the 219 I read was already hard enough! I'm going to separate these into genres so you're not entirely overwhelmed! So without further ado here are my fifty favorite reads of 2013!

Top 21 Historical Fiction
A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman
A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman
A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman
A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman
The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund
A Noble Groom by Jody Hendlund
Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen
A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears
Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer
Duchess by Susan May Warren
A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano
A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano
A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller
A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin
A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin
Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin
With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

Top 11 Romantic Suspense
Talon by Ronie Kendig
Beowulf by Ronie Kendig
Shattered by Dani Pettrey
Stranded by Dani Pettrey
Vanished by Irene Hannon
Trapped by Irene Hannon
Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon
Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris
When A Heart Stops by Lynette Eason
When A Secret Kills by Lynette Eason
No One to Trust by Lynette Eason

Top 6 Contemporary Romance
I Really Do Miss Your Smile by Susan May Warren
Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren
Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter
Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter

Top 12 Young Adult
The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
In Between by Jenny B. Jones
On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones
The Big Picture by Jenny B. Jones
The Homelanders by Andrew Klavan
Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White
Fairchild's Lady by Roseanna M. White
Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna M. White
Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan
Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker
Anomaly by Krista McGee

Monday, December 30, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon: Wrap-Up

This read-a-thon was really fun and definitely a great idea! Thank you Vonnie and Maria! I was able to finish a total of 9 books and even though several were novellas I still had a total of 1,686 pages read! All in all a great time of reading!

The Books

What Countries Have I Visited 2014

So I thought of this idea this last year and thought it would be really fun to create a challenge to see how many countries I could visit through books. I had a lot of fun doing it last year and decided to do it again! I'm still rather new to this so feel free to make suggestions or ask questions!

         The Rules:
  • Anyone can join!
  • You don't have to have a blog to participate
  • Your own country does not count towards your number
  • Only actual countries! No made up places!
  • The whole book doesn't have to take place in the country and you can use one book for multiple countries
  • Reviews are not required but feel free to review the books you read if you choose!
  • Leave a comment with the level you are choosing and leave a direct link to your sign-up post (if you have a blog) in the linky below!

      The Levels
  • Tourist-Visit 5 countries
  • Vacationer-Visit 10 countries
  • Business Traveler-Visit 15 countries
  • Adventurer-Visit 20 countries 
  • World Traveler-Visit 30+ countries
I am choosing the Adventurer level again since I was just able to make that last year! I hope you'll join me!

What Countries Have I Visited 2013 Challenge: Wrap-Up

Last year I began thinking about all of the countries I had "visited" through the books I'd read and I thought it'd be fun to keep track. An then I decided to turn it into a reading challenge so others could join! Now I'll be the first to admit I haven't been the most active host and I really have nothing to blame except forgetfulness and some busyness. I'm going to be hosting it again for 2014 (sign-up will be up in a bit) and I hope to be much more proactive this year! I chose the Adventurer level which was to read books that take place in 20 different countries. I managed to "visit" 22 countries and it was fun keeping track! I'd love to see how you all who participated did and I'm also open to any suggestions you have for next year! Please leave the link to wherever you posted your final progress in the linky and I'll be sure to check it out!

Here are the countries I "visited"!

1. Ireland-Flight of the Earls by Michael K. Reynolds
2. France-Bon Appetit by Sandra Byrd
3. Belgium-Duchess by Susan May Warren
4. England-A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin
5. Mozambique-Learning to Love by Heidi and Rolland Baker
6. Greece-Isle of Shadows by Tracy L. Higley
7. Austria-Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergren
8. Italy-Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Switzerland-Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergren
10. Israel-Fearless by Robin Parrish
11. Djibouti-Talon by Ronie Kendig
12. Philippines-Inside Story by Susan Page Davis 
13. Germany-Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin
14. Vietnam-Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West
15. Algeria-With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
16. Tunisia-With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
17. Egypt-City of the Dead by T.L. Higley
18. Mexico-The Others by Kristin Bryant
19. Russia-Measure of a Man by Susan May Warren (Chance Encounters of the Heart novella collection)
20. The Netherlands-Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma
21. Afghanistan-Beowulf by Ronie Kendig
22. Canada-Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina

Last Minute Read-a-thon: Day 4 Update

Day 4 Update
Books I Read Today: No One to Trust by Lynette Eason (214 pgs)
A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant (120 pgs)
A March Bride by Rachel Hauck (120 pgs)
The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen (214 pgs)
Books I Finished Today: No One to Trust by Lynette Eason
A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant
A March Bride by Rachel Hauck
Pages Read Today: 678
Total Books Finished: 8
Total Pages Read: 1476

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #103

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I finished last week:
A had a fun week of reading and definitely got more read than I expected to during the holiday! Granted five of the eight books are novellas but I still feel like I got a lot done! Brilliant Devices was really good, A Home for Christmas was good and cute, I'm really enjoying The Year of Weddings novellas, Carolina Gold was ok, and I absolutely loved No One to Trust!

What I am currently reading:
I'm halfway through this one and thoroughly enjoying it!

What I hope to read this week:
Going to be slowing down a bit in prep for the Bout of Books Read-a-thon but I am hoping to get these two review books read!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #102
Last Minute Read-a-thon: Sign-Up
Bout of Books 9.0: Sign-Up
Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me
Last Minute Read-a-thon: Goals

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, December 29, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon: Day 3 Update & Remembering 2013 Challenge

Day 3 Update
Books I Read Today: Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love (118 pgs)
A January Bride by Deborah Rainey (91 pgs)
No One to Trust by Lynette Eason (112 pgs)
Books I Finished Today: Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love
A January Bride by Deborah Rainey
Pages Read Today: 321
Total Books Finished: 5
Total Pages Read: 798

Day 3 Love It or Hate It Challenge
Remembering 2013: Answer the following...

1. Best Book of 2013-Impossible for me to pick just one! I have 89 books that I rated five stars this year and almost that many four star ones!

2. Worst Book of 2013-Afloat by Erin Healy The synopsis really interested me but the actual book bored me and I ended up not liking it much at all!

3. Favorite New Author-Sarah Sundin&Melissa Tagg-Sarah has five books out so far all of which I read this year and loved and Melissa is a debut author who blew me away with her awesome book!

4. Book that surprised you-The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson-I don't know why but I had really low expectations for this book and I ended up loving it!

5. Book that disappointed you-Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden-I read all three of this author's first books last year and each one was better than the last, with Against the Tide being one of my absolute favorite books. So I had insanely high expectations for this one and it really didn't come close to meeting them though it was still an enjoyable book!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon: Day 2 Update & Love It or Hate It Challenge

Day 2 Update
Books I Read Today: Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love (175 pgs)
A December Bride by Denise Hunter (94 pgs)
A January Bride by Deborah Rainey (14 pgs)
Books I Finished Today: A December Bride by Denise Hunter
Pages Read Today: 283
Total Books Finished: 3
Total Pages Read: 472

Day 3 Love It or Hate It Challenge

"Post book covers that you love and hate explaining why."

 Since I have so many covers I love I narrowed my choices down to only books read this year-and even then it was a little hard! So I just chose the ones that really stuck in my head! And as for the "hate"category I couldn't find any that I absolutely abhorred so I just picked a couple that I really wish they'd have changed one thing about!

Book Covers I Love
I love this cover because it is just so sweetly beautiful! I am a huge WWII story fan and I love the look and feel of that time period so this cover is right up my alley!

This cover is just all around gorgeous! From the model to the dress to the setting! Just perfect!

I loved the mix of playfulness and beauty in this cover! You have the gorgeous dress and the place where the title is and then the fun smile and barefeet!

Covers I Didn't Like As Much
I wasn't a huge fan of the models they chose for this series. Bella was ok but I really didn't think this guy fit DJ. Other than that though they are fine!

I didn't really like the model or the dress she was wearing for this cover, but the background is pretty!

Stacking the Shelves #35

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 to Review
I've read and really liked the first two and I can't wait to read the other four!

Books I Was Given
I got all of these books for Christmas, except The Captive Maiden which was a super late birthday gift. I've read that one as well as The Accidental Bride and Chasing Jupiter and I'm really looking forward to the other five!

Books I Won
I've been wanting to read the bottom two for awhile now so I was quite excited to win them and I'm looking forward to reading my first Jill Williamson books!

Books I Bought
I've read all of these before except Les Miserables!

Kindle Books
Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson (FREE)
Postcards from Fred by Brad Whittington (FREE)
Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer (FREE)
A December Bride by Denise Hunter (REVIEW)
A January Bride by Deborah Raney (REVIEW)
A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant (REVIEW)
A March Bride by Rachel Hauck (REVIEW)
An April Bride by Lenora Worth (REVIEW)
A May Bride by Meg Moseley (REVIEW)
A Home For Christmas by Mary Connealy & Robin Lee Hatcher ($2.99)

Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina (WON)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon: Day 1 Update & Rainbow Spine Challenge

Day 1 Update
Books I Read Today: A Home for Christmas by Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher (91 pgs)
Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina (69 pgs)
Carolina Gold (29 pgs)
Books I Finished Today: A Home for Christmas by Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher
Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina
Pages Read Today: 189
Total Books Finished: 2
Total Pages Read: 189

Day 2 Rainbow Book Spine Challenge

Grab books from your shelf that have the following spine colors to make a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & violet.
The Books:
You Don't Know Me by Susan May Warren
Ransome's Honor by Kaye Dacus
Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones

Friday Memes 12/27

Book Blogger Hop

The Question:
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

My Answer:
Haha-this is a dangerous question to ask me! I just did a post on this for a read-a-thon challenge so I'm just gonna copy it over here!
Luminary by Krista McGee
When I Fall In Love by Susan May Warren
A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr
Mindwar by Andrew Klavan
For Such A Time by Kate Breslin
Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings
Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell
Season of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
Stuck Together by Mary Connealy
Fair Play by Deeanne Gist
Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
Revolutionary by Krista McGee
Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren
Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg
Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green
Circle of Spies by Roseanna M. White
Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund
Silenced by Dani Pettrey
Fatal Exchange by Lisa Harris
In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin
It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren
A Match of Wits by Jen Turano
Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck 
With Autumn's Return by Amanda Cabot
A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden
Dating, Dining, and Desperation by Melody Carlson
Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes
Four Weddings and A Kiss by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, & Robin Lee Hatcher
Deceived by Irene Hannon (cover not released)
Deluge by Lisa T. Bergren (cover just released)

Hosted by: Rose City Reader

"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

In a quiet alcove off the hotel lobby, Charlotte Fraser perched on a worn horsehair chair, nursing a cup of lukewarm tea. A wind-driven freshet lashed the windows and roiled along the bruise-colored sky, sending the pedestrians along Chalmers Street scurrying for shelter, jostling one another amid a sea of black umbrellas.
Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

My Thoughts
Honestly I was a little bored by this beginning, it didn't draw me in at all and the only questioned it really raised was what the word freshet means. (I looked it up and it means an overflowing of a stream due to rain or snow, and a swelling quantity. Neither of those make sense though so I look at it's synonyms one of which was downpour and I think that's what the author was talking about-just a little word lessen for y'all!)