Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Book Trek

I know that I have disappeared as of late, but I saw this great challenge and decided to hop onboard. If you are reading, check it out for yourself. You simply read great fiction written by LDS authors (you don't have to be LDS to enter, just read books by authors who are :) ) in the month of July, then follow the directions found here to enter to win book prizes.

The new books that I plan to read in July are (list may be added to as the month progresses):

Mansfield Ranch (The Jane Austen Diaries)
What is Hidden
The Complete Aliso Creek Series
Old West Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology)

I also plan to revisit books I have read in the past (maybe other as well):

Goose Girl
THe 4th of July
Kissing Cousins

Saturday, February 1, 2014

South Carolina Brides by Vickie McDonough

South Carolina Brides: 3-in-1 Historical Collection (Romancing America)
by Vickie McDonough
length: 352 pages
file size: 729 KB
pub date: Feb 1, 2014
by Barbour Publishing
current ebook price: $6.39
source: Netgalley

Synopsis (from Netgalley)

Visit historic South Carolina where secrets disrupt the lives of three women. A cousin’s quest takes a drastic turn when she falls for the man she thought she despised. A young woman’s sheltered world crumbles after she finds a badly beaten stranger on a nearby plantation. And a sister’s heart is torn when the neighbor who killed her brother in a duel returns home a changed man. Between betrayal and lies, is there room for love?

My Thoughts

This was a very enjoyable collection of sweet, Christian romances. I am never sure what I will think when I grab a Christian romance. They have a tendency to get a bit preachy and Christian historicals can often feel forced. They often give historical characters religious views that are not consistent with those of the times in which they lived. This book did a little of this, but the stories were sweet and entertaining. I really like that they follow the same family through multiple generations on the same land.

Each story takes an unlikely couple and throws them together and love blossoms where it is least expected. Amidst the challenges of life during different eras in South Carolina history, these stories show that love can bloom and grow through it all.

Rating: 4 stars

Content: clean

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ebook steal

Are you looking for a great read at an even better price? I was scanning through Amazon, looking for deals and found this one for you. I am a huge Sarah M. Eden fan and I absolutely love everything that she has written. The first book I ever read by Eden was The Kiss of a Stranger: A Regency Romance. I was instantly drawn in and couldn't wait to get my hands on more of Eden's books. You can read this fantastic ebook for only $2.99. This is a steal for a fantastic book by an established author (her other full length ebooks run around $10).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth

by Veronica Roth
length: 501 pages
file size:706 KB
Pub Date: May 3, 2011
by Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)
current ebook price: $4.66
source: won a paper copy 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts

I have had this book for over a year now and began reading it shortly after receiving it, but another book I had been wanting to read became available and I never returned to Divergent. At my son's soccer practice last week I was chatting with another mom about books and she mentioned that she had enjoyed Divergent and I remembered my copy sitting on my bookshelf at home, collecting dust. I grabbed my copy to read this weekend as we went out of town for a soccer tournament.

I tried reading some other ebooks first, but struggled to get into them, so I grabbed my copy of Divergent and began reading Friday morning. By Friday night I had read all 501 pages and couldn't wait to download a Kindle copy of book two! 

I don't always enjoy the dystopian genre. I have read a few and enjoyed some of them (like Hunger Games), but I have found that the genre has been a bit overdone lately so I usually find my self avoiding them. This one grabbed me pretty quickly and I was sucked in to the story. Tris is a bit of a classic character in the genre: a strong female lead that is not like the others around her. I like the romance angle added to the story (I am a sucker for a romance, a book without one is lacking, to my way of thinking). The faction concept is an interesting one. Breaking down human strengths and weaknesses and emphasizing one at the exclusion of others is intriguing.

All in all, an enjoyable book, that while long, is an easy, fairly quick read!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Content: Mostly clean, there is mention of young people consuming alcohol, as with most dystopian, there is definitely violence, and some mention of sex but no descriptive scenes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tale Spins blog tour

tale spins tour 
tale spins banner

tale spins 
Tale Spins A trilogy of alternative fairytales and retellings. Discover the real Snow White story through the eyes of Creepy, the unknown 8th dwarf! Meet a teen princess who hires "The Frog Prince" witch to get revenge on a Mean Girl at school! And learn how the giant, boy thief and magic beans tale truly went down!  
  Praise for Tale Spins

" Not usually enamoured of either re-tellings or poetry I was totally taken aback by just how much I relished this trilogy of alternative fairytales and re-tellings aimed at the Young Adult market." ~Tracy (Goodreads)
"TaleSpins was like walking into a vintage store and finding a true treasure. This book takes the fairytales we all grew up on and gives them an interesting and modernized version that I enjoyed". ~Rose (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I found these twisted versions of classic fairy tales funny and enjoyable. A little on the darker side (but then again, most fairy tales started out pretty dark, we have just lightened them up since their original tellings), these tales tell another side of some of our most beloved fairy tales.

 mike mullinAuthor Michael Mullin Michael Mullin is a native New Englander living in Pasadena. He is the author of TaleSpins, a trilogy of alternative fairy tales and retellings for YA readers. TaleSpins stories (in the 1-book collection) are "8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf"; "The Plight and Plot of Princess Penny"; and "Jack'd". Michael is also the co-author of the successful "Larry Gets Lost" children's book series. His screenplay "Zooing Time" was recognized by the WGA's Written By magazine. Before all this writing, he taught preschool and college, two positions he found disconcertingly similar.
  Tour Giveaways Giveaway #1 - Open to US only
Mike Mullin Giveaway
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/21/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inn the Doghouse by Heather Horrocks

Inn the Doghouse (Who-Dun-Him Inn Cozy Mystery #2)
by Heather Horrocks
length: 242 pages
file size: 544 KB
Pub Date: November 30, 2013
by Word Garden Press
current ebook price: $3.99
source: purchased

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

When single mom and mystery buff Vicki Butler pays a visit to her husband’s grave, she stumbles across the body of her twin sister Liz’s estranged husband—the same brother-in-law she argued with just yesterday.

Since Vicki is caught standing next to the body and her sister stands to inherit millions in her dead husband’s will, the twins suddenly find themselves “persons of interest.”

Will they identify the real murderer in time to avoid the slammer? Or are they about to learn firsthand just how many innocent people one doghouse can hold?

My Thoughts
This is a fun cozy mystery. It is the second in a series and I definitely recommend reading the first book (Snowed Inn which is available for only $.99 right now!) before starting this book. You would miss quite a bit of background information that plays into this story. Having said that, I do believe you could jump in here in book #2 and still catch yourself up as you read, it would simply make more sense quickly if you were already familiar with the characters.

There is a hint of romance mixed in (which always makes a cozy mystery better, in my opinion), which helps drive the story forward in places. There are additional side stories scattered throughout the book that will easily carry into additional books, so I definitely want to read the next in the series.

The characters are likeable (except those who aren't supposed to be) and have great quirks (I love a quirky character!). I especially love Liz and Vicky's grandmother. In the opening scene she is causing a disturbance at an anniversary party by loudly demonstrating her Karate skills (and that is just the beginning, this unique lady has her part to play in solving the whodunnit).

I highly recommend this and Heather's other fantastic ebooks. You can find them on her Amazon Page or read more on her website.

Content: Clean

Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mile 21 by Sarah Dunster

Mile 21
by Sarah Dunster
length: 336 pages
file size: 3581 KB
Pub Date: October 1, 2013
by Cedar Fort, Inc
current ebook price: $7.99
source: Won a paper copy on facebook

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The singles ward is the last place Abish wants to be. But after the unexpected death of her husband (and after being kicked out of her mom’s place), she has to move into single-student housing to finish up her schooling. Maybe training for a marathon and winning the heart of the handsome executive secretary are exactly what Abish needs to get a personal best.

My Thoughts

What I like most about this book is Abish. She feels like a real person dealing with real issues and feelings. Her pain is so achingly real and her stuttering attempts to deal with it fill me with the desire to reach out and try to help along with her boss/bishop. But, then I realize she is just a character in a book and I must simply read and hope that she will find the help she needs to move on as best she can, in her own way.

While the title and cover image make you believe the book will center around running, the running takes back stage to the development of Abish as a character and her growth and emergence from her pain. Runners and non-runners alike will enjoy this book for it's story.

Content Clean

Rating 5 stars