Christian Fiction Review: Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart

Monday, August 30, 2010

Love, Charleston
by Beth Webb Hart
Copyright 2010
Thomas Nelson Publishers
314 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59554-201-4
Fiction/Christian/General

From the publisher:
Charleston's past is full of romance. Does Anne's future hold the same?

Charleston's Anne Brumley has long dreamed of love while ringing the bells at St. Michael's, but those dreams are beginning to fade. Her sister Alisha and cousin Della encourage the thirty-six year old to move somewhere new for a fresh start.

Widower Roy Summerall has happily ministered to the country folks of Church of the Good Shepherd for years. So why would the Lord call him and his daughter away to Charleston--the city that Roy remembers from his childhood as pretentious and superficial? Surely the refined congregation of St. Michael's won't accept a reverend with a red neck and a simple faith.

Meanwhile, Anne's sister, Alisha, struggles with her husband's ambition, which seems to be taking him further from their dreams of a happy family. And Cousin Della's former fiance has returned to Charleston, making her wonder if she chose the wrong path when she married her gifted but unemployed-artist husband.

Family, friendship, and faith converge in a beautiful story about how God's transforming love works in the Holy City of Charleston.

My Review:
I was really excited to read this since the cover was so beautiful and Beth Webb Hart was a new author to me. While I did like it Love, Charleston wasn't one of the best books that I've read. I believe that it is part of Thomas Nelson's women's fiction line so I wasn't expecting a lot of romance so I wasn't disappointed in that respect. I did like the characters but I felt that there were too many of them for one book! Lish, Anne, and Della deserved their own full length stories. There was just too much going on and the fact that the book covered so much time, April 2008 to June 2009, in so few pages there wasn't a lot of room for details and I don't think I became as attached to the characters as I should have. However, they were some of the most realistic fictional characters I've been introduced to in a while. They all had insecurities. They had to deal with things such as debt, marital issues, illness and death and they were dealt with in true to life ways. I would consider reading this author's work in the future because I like that authenticity and would like to see how she focuses on one or two characters rather than a big group.

To learn more about the author visit:
Her WEBSITE

*I received my complimentary review copy through Thomas Nelson's blogger book review program, Booksneeze in exchange for posting my honest review.*

Note From a Collector!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Since there's been such a great response to my "Note From a Book Collector "and "Note From a Postcard Collector " posts I think I'm just going to make this a regular thing! I'm going to try to post every other week if I'm not too busy. This week I decided to share a cute framed print that I have in my dining room. It's not really my print but my mother's but I love it so much I wanted to share it.

I love ANY print or picture that features animals especially if they're getting into mischief. This picture hung in my great grandfather's home for many years and before he passed on he left a note on the back that my mother was to get this picture since she always liked it so much. I'm not sure of the age but I know it's old. I don't recall seeing a print like this anywhere. It's called "Three Little Rascals."


Click photos to enlarge (sorry for the flash glare.)





I have more pictures of different prints to share on another post. I have one to share in a few weeks that features a Collie dog. It's a famous print that you've probably seen many times but I still love it!

YA Fiction review: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3) by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)
by Suzanne Collins
Copyright 2010
Scholastic Press
400 pages
ISBN: 978-0439023511
YA fiction

From Goodreads:
My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

My Review:
There really aren't words to describe this series except it's brilliant. Mockingjay is a beautiful ending to The Hunger Games trilogy. It is thought-provoking, violent, sad and yet it has beautiful moments as well. The ending is perfect with no unrealistic "happily ever after" stuff that wouldn't have fit with the series. Without giving too much away I'd almost like to see what happens next to the two people who we are introduced to in the epilogue. I can't say much else without spoiling the book but if you liked Hunger Games and Catching Fire I think you will be satisfied with this book! I don't know how Suzanne Collins can top this series, I loved it!

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the book, I'd love to hear them!

To learn more about Suzanne Collins and her books visit:
Her WEBSITE

My review of The Hunger Games, Book 1
My review of Catching Fire, Book 2

Content Note: Some graphic violence

*I purchased this book from Amazon and was not obligated to provide a review.*

Special Giveaway: God and Dog by Wendy Francisco

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thanks to Anna Balasi @ Hachette Book Group I have TWO copies of God and Dog by Wendy Francisco to give away to two lucky winners!




GOD AND DOG is a phenomenon. First appearing on YouTube, the video of Wendy Francisco's charming animated illustrations and moving song
tells of the unconditional love of both God and Dog.
With over 2 million YouTube viewings to date, Francisco's story appeals
to all ages, to animal enthusiasts, to people of religious persuasions,
and especially to anyone who has been loved by a dog.

Now in book format, Wendy's touching narrative will be expanded on
through additional lyrics, illustrations, photographs and some of the
powerful mail that is continually being sent to Francisco.



Giveaway Rules:
-Only to US Residents AND for the first time on my blog, Canadian residents too!
-No P.O. Boxes, please.
-Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, you will receive only one copy of the title in the mail.
-Winners will receive their copies directly from the publisher sometime after September 1.
- Please leave a comment with your email address in a format something like this to prevent spam: steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com
- For ONE extra entry let me know why you love dogs!
- Giveaway open until September 1, 2010 @11:59pm. Winners will be announced September 2. They will have 48 hours to respond to the email that I send them or another winner(s) will be chosen.


Good luck and be sure to look for my review soon!!!!!

Cold Weather is Around the Corner, Get Your Snuggie Alternative Now :-P

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

funny dog pictures-Better Snuggie
see more dog and puppy pictures

First Wild Card Blog Tour + My Review: The Berenstain Bears and A Job Well Done by Jan and Mike Berenstain

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 authors are:


and the book:


The Berenstain Bears and A Job Well Done

Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)

***Special thanks to Krista Ocier of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:



Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.


Visit the authors' website.

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310712548
ISBN-13: 978-0310712541

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


My Review:
This is a sweet story that I would recommend for anyone who's a young child or a kid at heart. With it's easy to read print and colorful illustrations of that classic bear family it's hard not to like this book. The classic Berenstain stories that we grew up with are still going strong and if this book is any indication they will be enjoyed for years to come. My cousins, Michael and Matthew, go nuts for these stories, unfortunately I forgot to give them this book when they last came to visit but I'm sure that they will love it as will most 4-7 year olds.

YA Fiction Review: Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Copyright 2009
Scholastic Press
392 pages
ISBN: 9780545123266
Fiction

From Goodreads:
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

My Review:
I'll admit I didn't like werewolves. After reading the Twilight series I have always been Team Edward. Don't get me wrong, a muscley Jacob Black as played by Taylor Lautner is nothing to frown at but I guess I like my heroes to be cold, hard as marble and immortal LOL! So needless to say, going into this book I was prepared to not like Sam, our hero as he is a werewolf but...yeah...I kinda like him...a lot (he reads books). So I guess that means you can chalk one up for Team Werewolf. Team Vampire people need not worry after all there is Damon, Stefan, Edward, Jasper, Eric, Dimitri etc etc and Team Werewolf only has Sam and Lord Conall Maccon from Soulless by Gail Carriger.

Although the whole werewolf/human, forbidden romance theme of Shiver isn't new I still enjoyed this book very much. While I was a little weirded out by Grace having an obsession for an animal who she thinks is a wolf at the very beginning, (not a werewolf and therefor can't shift back into a human) I let that go and just enjoyed watching the relationship unfold between Grace and Sam once the werewolf truth came out. It is a teeny bit Twilight-esque but from what I understand the original story was written before New Moon was even printed. Since I love the Twilight series so much, if a book seems a little similar it doesn't really bother me, the more vampire or werewolf love stories the merrier in my opinion. So in short, if you like a great romance with a lot of sizzle read this. If you like paranormal stories, read this. If you're a fan of YA, read this. I loved it and I'm super excited to get my hands on book 2, Linger soooo if any of you have an extra copy around.... *cough cough*

To learn more about Maggie Stiefvater visit:
Her WEBSITE
Her BLOG
Twitter

Content Note: Some strong language and a love scene that's pretty tame. I'd recommend it for older teens and up.

* This book was read by me for my personal enjoyment, I was not obligated to review it but I did because I love you and want to help you find good books to enjoy.*

Note From a Postcard Collector!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have bloggers block so I'm posting this a day early. I'll try to think of something interesting to post Friday and who knows I might share some more of my "finds."

In keeping with last Friday's post, Note From a Book Collector and at Carrie's (from In the Hammock Blog) request ;-) I'm going to share some of my very favorite postcards. Most are used so they have neat messages and a lot of them have local postmarks! They are dated 1909-1912.

If you're not familiar with postcards here's a link to a helpful site.


This is a cute baseball themed postcard.


The postcard on the left is very patriotic, it even incorporates the famous "cherry tree" theme! The postcard on the right is an Easter card from overseas.


A very pretty "Happy Birthday" greeting is on the top and a Christmas themed card featuring a pretty kitty.


If you click on the picture you will see it says "There is a woman in the case." (Sorry for the glare from the camera's flash)

Short and sweet message.

Litfuse Blog Tour + My Review: Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington
by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss
Copyright 2010
Summerside Press
341 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60936-000-9
Fiction/General/Romance

From the publisher:
The Second World War has stolen Rosalie’s fiancĂ© from her. But rather than wallow, Rosalie throws herself into her work at the Boeing plant in Victory Heights, shooting rivets into the B-17 bombers that will destroy the enemy. A local reporter dubs her “Seattle's Own Rosie the Riveter,” and her story lends inspiration to women across the country. While Rosalie’s strong arms can bear the weight of this new responsibility, her heart cannot handle the intense feelings that begin to surface for Kenny, the handsome reporter. Fear of a second heartbreak is a powerful opponent—but will it claim victory over love?

My Review:
Summerside Press publishes some great faith-based romances and Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss are two terrific authors I've been introduced to through Summeride's Love Finds You collection. Their second collaboration, Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington, is a great addition to any Christian romance lovers library. Not only is the cover beautiful but the story as well.

Personally, I've always loved those iconic WWII posters featuring Rosie the Riveter and I loved that the authors made Rosalie, the heroine of this story, the "Rosie" of Seattle. She was a hard workin,' no nonsense, kinda gal if a bit on the shy side. And that Kenny, *sigh* what a dreamboat! Without giving too much away I'll just say he makes the ending of this story.

While this book didn't include a whole lot of drama or anything unpredictable between the characters, I still really enjoyed it. I especially loved that the dialogue between characters was authentic to the 1940s. You don't hear "doll" and "sweets" used much these days! Tricia and Ocieanna did a good job with this one. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next!


To read what others are saying about the book click HERE!

To learn more about the authors visit:
Tricia's Website
Ocieanna's Website

Visit Tricia's site HERE for details on how you can win FIVE of her books including Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington!

*I received my complimentary review copy through Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for posting my honest review.*

First Wild Card Blog Tour + My Review: Misadventures in Travel, A Missionary's Experience in Brazil by Paula Edwards

Monday, August 16, 2010

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:




Misadventures in Travel: A Missionary's Experience in Brazil



Hannibal Books (June 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Jennifer Nelson, PR Specialist, Hannibal Books for sending me a review copy.***



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Paula Edwards, a native of the piney hills of north Louisiana, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Louisiana Tech University. Besides having served God on the mission field, Paula also has been a schoolteacher and enjoys riding and training horses. She and her husband, Van, are parents of two grown daughters. The Edwardses live in North Louisiana, in which Van serves as pastor.


Product Details:

List Price: $14.95
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Hannibal Books (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934749796
ISBN-13: 978-1934749791

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:




Chapter 1 -- The Beginning


Everything started innocently enough. One evening we were sitting in our living room doing the usual things. The TV was on, I had a magazine of some type; my husband, Van, was browsing on his laptop. I had no idea what he was studying on his computer, although I was reasonably certain it was something harmless. Wrong assumption.

All of a sudden Van called out, “Found us a job.”

That was interesting to me, because I didn’t know we were looking for one. Anyway, what he said got my attention. To learn more I leaned toward his chair. Turns out he was browsing the site of the International Mission Board of the Southern

Baptist Convention; he was surveying opportunities to serve overseas.

At the time Van was the pastor of a small Baptist church in North Central Arkansas. We had been at this church for about three years. In some ways our time there had been good, but we also had experienced many challenges. Recently we had talked about believing that our usefulness at this church had reached an end and that God seemed to be calling us elsewhere. The way God speaks to His children is amazing. We both heard Him; we both heard the same thing—which brings me back to Van’s announcement.

“What?” I asked

“I said I found us a job.”

“Oh, yeah? Where?”

“Brazil.”

“Brazil? Doing what?”

“Mapping.”

“Mapping? What does that mean?”

Van can be maddeningly persistent in making me drag everything out of him without offering any unnecessary information that I don’t specifically ask for.

“For Pete’s sake, tell me!”

“It says ‘mapping team needed to explore fishing villages in northeastern Brazil’.”

My heart went thump-thump. I figured he could hear it, but I wasn’t ready to reveal the excitement those simple words caused in me.

“Hmm. That could be interesting.”

We spent a few minutes discussing the possibility; then I picked up my magazine and pretended to become absorbed in an article while at the same time I watched Law and Order. Actually my mind was spinning. I can be maddeningly persistent in hiding my true feelings . . . for a while anyway.

The next day while I was at my job as a band director/ music teacher, I had the opportunity to check out the job for myself. I had a study hall that had only one student in it. Our relationship was more one of friendship than teacher-student. I read the job description and then turned and looked at her.

“I’m going to Brazil,” I stated bluntly.

She gave me a confused look, so I told her about what had happened the night before and read the job description from the computer in front of me. A slow smile spread across her face. She said, “You’re going to Brazil.”

I really believed this was going to happen, but at the same time I couldn’t imagine going back overseas. I have two grown daughters whom I love fiercely; at the time I had two small grandchildren. How could I leave them for two years? How could I miss out on everything that would be going on? On the other hand, I knew God was speaking to me. If you have ever been in that position, then you understand that when He calls you to a job, you never will be happy doing anything else. If you never have been in that position, you won’t understand the way I was feeling at that moment. Believe me, the call is unmistakable.

For two weeks I wrestled with the idea, even though I knew what the final decision would be. I knew I would go to Brazil, but convincing myself actually to admit it out loud in words was difficult. Finally one Sunday after church Van and I went out to eat. Van had mentioned the job in Brazil a couple of times, but he hadn’t pressed the issue. He was absolutely ready to go. Now. This minute. But, you see, when a couple accepts a call to missions, it has to be a joint acceptance. If both parties aren’t completely on board with the idea, then some sort of compromise has to be reached. This decision is best not forced on anyone. So Van hadn’t pressed, but I knew exactly where he stood. The time had arrived for me to let him in on the fact that I was right there beside him. For a long time we sat in the restaurant and talked. I cried. I was so torn. I knew what God wanted me to do. And I wanted to do it, too, but I still had that nagging desire to stay near my family. After spending the biggest part of a year serving in Guatemala in a previous short-term missions assignment, I knew how difficult the separation would be. Ultimately, though, I knew I couldn’t put my family and my desires ahead of God’s will for my life. So we left the restaurant knowing we would pursue employment with the International Mission Board.

To be accepted for service with the IMB requires an exacting process, but we were hoping the fact that we had served before would hasten the schedule. It must have, because we went home that Sunday night and emailed the IMB, which meant that on Monday the agency received our communication. On Tuesday we had a response. We could begin the procedure to fill the mapping-team position. We were ecstatic. Having finally crossed that line to submit to God, I now was eager to get things on the road. All of this happened in February, but we had lots of things to do before we actually could go to Brazil.

The first item on our list was to resign from our present jobs. I was teaching, so I finished the school year. At the end of May Van resigned his post. In June we sold our house and most of our possessions and moved across the state to Fort Smith to be closer to our daughters while we made preparations to go to Brazil.

Another thing we had to do was to go to Richmond, VA, for training. While there we talked to our advisor. We learned that we could go to Brazil either for two years or three years. We chose to extend our term to three years. In the back of our minds we were thinking we eventually would spend even more time than that in Brazil. We also learned about the requirements to get a visa to Brazil. This sounded as though it was a very straightforward procedure, but from conversations with missionary colleagues in Brazil we knew that getting a visa for that country would be tougher than for Guatemala. The process turned out to be much tougher. Van, the planner and detail person in our unit, began gathering all the things we would need such as his diploma from seminary, his ordination certificate, and birth certificates and our marriage license. Once he was satisfied everything was ready, he sent it to the mission office in Richmond. The mission office promptly wrote back and said the birth certificates and marriage license we had submitted would not be acceptable at the Brazilian consulate. We needed certified copies of our birth certificates and our marriage license. Both of these things had burned in a house fire. So, even though we had the certified copies we had gotten for Guatemala, we would have to get new ones for Brazil from the agencies in the states in which they had been issued: Louisiana and New Mexico. When we checked online about having them sent to us, we discovered that just going to get them would be about as inexpensive and much quicker, but that required a road trip to those two states. We combined business with pleasure by visiting with family in Louisiana and then made the long trek to New Mexico to get my birth certificate. At last we believed we had everything we needed. All that remained was to go to the consulate in Houston and present everything to Brazilian officials there. Two days were necessary to get in to see the consul. When we finally sat down with him, he sat on one side of the glass and we sat on the other as he flipped through the huge pile of documents in front of him. He arrived at my birth certificate—the one we had traveled all the way to New Mexico to get.

“Who’s this?” he asked.

“Me,” I replied.

“I don’t need this,” he sneered as he tossed it back to us through the slot at the bottom of the window.

We were flabbergasted. They had specifically asked for originals of our birth certificates.

“But, you asked for it!” Van exclaimed. “We went to New Mexico to get it!”

“No, we never ask for that. It is not in our policy,” he asserted.

“But . . .,” Van began; then, thinking better of the matter, he let it drop.

After checking through the rest of the papers, the consul told us we could return the next day to get the visas. We were so relieved! The process had been long and tedious; at last it was over.

We were so excited as we arrived early for our appointment the next day. In just a matter of minutes we would have the visas in our hands and we would be on our way.

The consul entered. We sat together on a love seat; he took a chair near us. Although his attitude seemed a little lighter than it had the day before, he still was a pretty sour person. He began to speak, but we were surprised that he didn’t talk about us; he talked about his job and what a thankless position he held. He complained about his co-workers and his work environment. He was a miserable little man. I felt sorry for him. Then he shifted the subject to our visas. That was more like it. I was squirming in my seat.

“Your visas have been approved. You may return to this office next Friday and pick them up.”

My sympathy evaporated. Sometimes I am too impulsive; I opened my mouth to argue with him, but Van beat me to the punch.

“Next Friday will be fine. Do we both need to be here, or can I pick them up?”

My jaw dropped as I gaped at my husband. Then I realized the wisdom of his words. Even though this would require another trip from Arkansas to Houston, the process would be over. If we argued, who knew what additional hoops they could find for us to jump through?

The miserable man did his best attempt at a smile.

“You may come alone. We will see you next week.”

The next week we did get the visas. We were only a month behind our expected departure date. That was not bad.

On January 21, 2007, we boarded the plane for Brazil. It was a trip into the unknown—the first of many adventures . . . although the word misadventures ultimately would describe much of what lay before us.




My Review:
Although you may believe differently from all the fiction and romance reviews that I post on this blog I do occasionally read nonfiction...and I enjoy it! When I had the opportunity to review Misadventures in Travel: A Missionary's Experience in Brazil by Paula Edwards I thought it would be interesting to read and compare the author's experience with my grandparents and my mom's experience as missionaries in Brazil in the 1970s.

It was amazing to me how much has changed and how much has stayed he same. While my mother was in one village the entire time the Edwards' traveled throughout the countryside, if you can call it that, to map the area's Baptist churches and find areas where more were needed. From reading this book I really got feel for town life and the overall friendly nature of the locals and what it might be like to travel really without a clue of what to expect.

While maybe not the most well written book I've read it was definitely interesting and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read about missions or travel in foreign countries. I'm definitely passing this on to my grandmother and mom to read in the future! I'm sure if I catch one of them reading it they'll be nodding their heads saying, "Been there, done that!"

Winner!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I always enter everyone's name in the list randomizer @ random.org and whichever name the randomizer chooses as NUMBER ONE is the winner! Sooooo the lucky winner for this week's drawing of A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer is...




List Randomizer
There were 16 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1.casey
2.joy
3.carrie
4.barbarajan
5.janice
6.amber s
7.michelle
8.emma
9.ashley
10.juju
11.julie
12.maureen
13.linda kish
14.theresa
15.merry
16.sara
Timestamp: 2010-08-14 04:21:06 UTC

Casey has been sent an email for her mailing address info if she doesn't respond within 48 hours another winner will be drawn. Thank you all so much for your continued interest and support of my blog. Look for more giveaways soon!

Romance Review: Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan




Captured by Desire
by Kira Morgan
Copyright 2010
Forever Romance/Hachette Book Group
384 pages
ISBN: 9780446548182
Historical Romance

From the publisher:
In 16th century Scotland, young Miss Florie Gilder runs away from her drunken foster father to find her real father and her noble heritage. Along the way, she is accused of theft, becomes a fugitive hiding in a forest, and is accidentally wounded by a handsome local huntsman. The huntsman--a Robin-Hood figure who poaches wild game from the landowner's estate to feed the starving poor--carries the beautiful maiden to a church where she is guaranteed 40 days of sanctuary from the law. During that time, he learns her true story, falls in love with her, and helps her in her quest, at the risk of his own life.

My Review:
I'm a huge fan of Highlander romance and going in I thought that this was going to be one of those types of reads with a sweet Scottish lass and a big strong Highland hero. As far as the heroine, Florie, yeah she fit that mold but the hero, Rane definitely did not! He was definitely big and strong but he wasn't a Highland warrior, he was a hunter and of Viking descent...not something I read about everyday so I thought he was marvelous. As for supporting characters, Father Conan was so sweet and the old rectory cat, Methuselah was a cute little add in. Josselin, Rane's youngest admirer was adorable! I was thinking to myself, this girl needs her own story and what do you know she's getting it in Kira Morgan's next book, Seduced by Destiny!

As for the story line itself I'll admit I was a little bored after the first few chapters but once Florie's injuries started to heal and she became her saucy self I became more interested. I'll be honest and say that I didn't really feel a love connection between Rane and Florie, it seemed more lustful. However by the end of the book I was satisfied that they really did love each other and Florie was ready and willing to give up everything to be with her love.

This was a nice romance I would recommend to readers of general market romance who are looking for something a bit different from the norm. I finished it on once day so it's a relatively quick read. Also it's mass market paperback so it's just the right size to take a long in your purse. :-)


Content Note: This book contains some coarse language and a few love scenes.

To learn more about the author visit:
http://www.glynnis.net/books/index.php
http://www.sarahmckerrigan.com/

*I received my copy from Anna Balasi @ Hachette Book Group in exchange for posting my honest review.*

Note from a Book Collector

Friday, August 13, 2010

I love books, (that's pretty much a given right)? Well I also happen to love history and that in itself lends to my other hobbies of antiquing, yard saling, and thrift store shopping looking for pieces from our countries past. I don't think I've ever spent over $20 on a object but still I have a rather eclectic mix including glassware, postcards and of course, books. A lot of these books probably aren't the kind of books that you're thinking of but rather, old school primers. I didn't have a particular fascination with them but after finding a cool looking grammar book at a local auction from a local publisher I started to collect.

Here's one of my favorites not because of the cover or the condition (which is awful), but what's written inside by one of it's many users. I love "old stuff" that looks like it has lived a long, full life. When I purchased the book I didn't even realize it was written in but once I brought it home and browsed through my new acquisition I was pleasantly surprised. The inscriptions written inside this book by a girl who, I'm sure was a creative student, just made me love this book even more. Did I mention that Carrie lived about 15 minutes from my hometown which makes it even more of a treasure?

So check out some of the pictures that I took of the book let me know what you think! If you don't collect vintage books or antiques I would love to hear what interests you outside of fiction! I love to learn more about my blogging friends!

Book is part of the Progressive Series and is titled Osgood's American Fourth Reader for School and Families by Lucius Osgood. Published by A. H. English & Co. 98 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. 1872.














If you'd like to enlarge the book just click on the pictures!



Blog Question

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

As you know from my sidebar I review mostly Christian fiction on this blog and from the feedback you gave me on my poll a few months ago it's going to stay mostly Christian fiction. I do however like young adult fiction, a few general market romances and even some non-fiction. I won't be overloading the blog with those types of reviews but in the upcoming weeks I'll be featuring a few reviews (only 3 in total) from those categories. I know that some of you only like Christian fiction and some are open to all types of fiction but wouldn't be interested in reading a review of say, a memoir.

Soooo what I want to know is would it be helpful if I gave the type of review in the title of my blog post? For example, I just reviewed a young adult fiction book and posted this as the title "Young Adult Fiction Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols." I did this to be helpful to you, my beautiful blog readers! Is this at all helpful? What do you think?

Thank you in advance for any comments/thoughts! :-)

Waiting on Wednesday: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6) by Richelle Mead


Jill over @
Breaking the Spine hosts a weekly meme that features one book that you can't wait to be released! Be sure to visit Jill's site to see what she and other readers can't wait to get their hands on.


This week my pick is Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead! I loved the first 5 books in the Vampire Academy series so I'm uber excited for the final book...I want to see how it ends! BTW I'm Team Dimitri ;-)



Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.

Pre-Order HERE!

If you love paranormal/vampire romance this is a terrific series.

*Shhhh* don't tell but I think I like it better than the Twilight series!

Young Adult Fiction Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Going Too Far
by Jennifer Echols
Copyright 2009
MTV Books
245 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4165-7173-5
Fiction

From the publisher:
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....


My Review:
When looking for a new author to read I stumbled across Jennifer Echols and her 2009 release, Going Too Far. I can definitely see why this book has so many 5 star reviews and I am not sad that I spent good money on this. It's terrific!

I'll admit that I've always been a pretty good girl so I didn't think I would be able to relate to bad girl, Meg but once again surprisingly I could. Not in some of the things that she did like drugs, alcohol and casual sex but what made her do those things like frustration with her 'rents and a pretty tough situation that I've never had to face but would imagine would make me do some pretty crazy things too. And wow can you say angst? This girl definitely has it down and I can't say as I blame her!

Now for Officer John After...all I can say is why doesn't my small town have a hunky police officer like him? He's pretty much the total opposite of Meg and while I find it a teeny bit weird to picture a 19 year old as a police officer it does work for this book. He has some issues from his past the he's dealing with too, which I think makes him the perfect compliment to Meg's character.

It's great to read a romance where everything isn't "happy happy happy," all the time and the rough spots of life aren't skimmed over. There is some strong language, drug/alcohol use, and mention of sex so if that bothers you, you might want to stay away from this book. I however loved Going Too Far and will definitely be reading Forget You, Ms. Echols's latest book and from reviews I've already read it will be just as good!

To learn more about Jennifer Echols visit:
Her WEBSITE
Her BLOG

*I purchased this book from Amazon to read at my leisure and was not obligated to provide a review.*

My Review: Autumn's Promise (Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book 3) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Autumn's Promise (Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book 3)
by Shelley Shepard Gray
Copyright 2010
Avon Inspire
320 pages
ISBN:9780062006783
Christian fiction/Romance


From the publisher:
Some promises are meant to be broken. . . .

Until Robert Miller met Lilly Allen, his world had been dark. A widower after only two years of marriage, he'd been living in a haze, feeling that, at twenty-four, his life was already over. But thanks to his friendship with Lilly, he now has new reasons to wake up each day. He knows his connection to her doesn't make sense. She's only nineteen, with a past the whole town talks about. Even more, she's not Amish, like Robert. A marriage between the two of them could never happen.

Lilly's heart is drawn to Robert, not to his faith. No matter how much she admires his quiet strength and dependability, she doesn't think she could ever give up her independence and reliance on the modern world. Is their love doomed before it even begins?

My Review:
Seriously depressed by the lack of anything different in Amish fiction I was reluctant to give this new series by Shelley Shepard Gray a try but boy am I glad I did! I liked Winter's Awakening, Spring's Renewal was really good and this book, Autumn's Promise was terrific.

I love the stories where two seemingly very different people fall in love and Lilly and Robert were definitely very different and yet they were the same. Both went through so much in their very short lives (Lilly is 19 and Robert is 24) and you couldn't help but root for them and hoped somehow, against the odds, they would find happiness. The ending of this book was most satisfying and didn't end like I expected it too from having read so much Amish fiction in the past few years. I was pleased. While I didn't really understand some aspects of the book I still loved the story and was so happy for Lilly finally getting what she deserved! If you're looking for a quick summer read, I suggest this light Amish romance from Shelley Shepard Gray.

My Review of Winter's Awakening
My Review of Spring's Renewal

To learn more about the author visit:
Her WEBSITE
Her BLOG

*I bought this book from Amazon for myself and was not obligated to review it.*


Mailbox Monday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

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This month Chick Loves Lit is hosting Mailbox Monday. This is the chance for you to showcase all the great reads that you have received during the past week. Also it gives you an opportunity to check out what great books others received too! Be sure you stop by the Chick Loves Lit site...you never know, you might get some ideas for your wishlist!

I just came back from a weekend trip to the mountains near my home to find 4 books waiting for me! Here they are!


Love Finds You in Deadwood, South Dakota
by Tracey Cross
Copyright 2010
Summerside Press
320 pages
ISBN: 9781609360030
Fiction/General/Romance


Courting Emma (Little Hickman Creek, Book 3)
by Sharlene MacLaren
Copyright 2008
Whitaker House Publishers
382 pages
ISBN: 9781603740203
Fiction/Romance


The Vigilante's Bride
by Yvonne Harris
Copyright 2010
Bethany House Publishers
304 pages
ISBN: 9780764208041
Historical Fiction


Going Too Far
by Jennifer Echols
Copyright 2009
MTV
245 pages
ISBN: 9781416571735
Young Adult fiction



I hope you received some great books this week too! :-)