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Showing posts from April, 2011

Review (YA Fiction): Percival's Angel by Anne Eliot Crompton

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Percival's Angel
by Anne Eliot Crompton
Copyright 1999, 2011
Sourcebooks Fire
234 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4022-3784-3
Young Adult Fiction

From the publisher:
Lili, an apprentice of the Lady of the Lake, is the childhood friend of Percy, the boy who will become one of Arthur’s greatest knights. But as they grow older, Lili begins to see their differences. She has otherworldly magic while he has the magic that lives within the Human Heart. Lili dreams of knowing human love while Percy dreams of finding the Holy Grail. Neither can succeed without the other.

My Review:
I did not enjoy this author's style of writing. I did like the story but the broken sentences and dialog were very hard to follow. I found myself having to go back and re-read too many sentences to enjoy this story as I felt I could have if it were easier to read. The relationship between the two characters, Percival (human) and Lili (Fey) was indescribable. I didn't know if they were real friends or just two companions on a jo…

Clash of the Titles Winner: The Green Veil by Naomi Musch

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Naomi Muschand the opening paragraphs from her historical novel, The Green Veil.



CONGRATULATIONS, NAOMI!



Naomi takes the title in her clash against the very worthy runner-up, Karen Baney, author of A Dream Unfolding.



A snippet from Naomi's winning passage:

Pain seared Colette's temples, neck, and shoulders. Behind her eyelids, everything blazed like a powder keg of dynamite going off inside her. Explosions roared and blasts glared - red, and now and then a streak of hot white. She stirred on the bed, and her satin dress rustled.

(read the full excerpt here)


Naomi says her best ideas come from overlooked portions of history she stumbles upon and in The Green Veil those include lumberjacks, land barons, and mill owners racing to control the pine lands in 1840s Wisconsin Territory. To read more about the book and find out what her favorite reads of the last year were, check out her interview ith COTT's Senior Editor April Gardner here.



What did readers have to say? A few comments f…

Review (Christian Fiction): The Dawn of a Dream (At Home in Beldon Grove, Book 3) by Ann Shorey

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The Dawn of a Dream (At Home in Beldon Grove, Book 3)by Ann ShoreyCopyright 2011Revell Books352 pagesISBN: 978-0-8007-3334-6Historical Fiction
From the publisher:
Her dream is within her grasp--but can she leave her past behind?

Luellen O'Connell is stunned when her husband of just one month tells her he is leaving--and his reason devastates her. Deeply wounded by his betrayal, Luellen decides to follow her dream to become a teacher, a desire she had set aside when she married. But can she truly hide her past? Or will it destroy her ambitions forever?

A moving story of tenacity and perseverance, The Dawn of a Dream will inspire you to discover and follow your own dreams.


My Review:Marry in haste, repent at leisure has never been more truthful than for Luellen O'Connell. Stunned at the sudden departure of her husband of one month, she has no choice but to try and make a life for herself on her own. Upon yet another stunning revelation her life as a student at the Allenwood Normal Sc…

Happy Easter!!

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Review (Christian Fiction): Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer

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Beside Still Waters by Tricia GoyerCopyright 2011B&H Books320 pagesISBN: 978-14336-6868-5Christian Fiction/Contemporary/Amish
From the publisher:
Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.
Although she is also in her rumschpringe years and not obligated to move, Marianna makes the journey to dutifully help her mother who is expecting another child. Surprisingly, from strangers on the cross-country train ride to the less rigid stance of the new Montana community, many Englisch influences awaken within Marianna—and even her father—the desire to pursue a deeper kind of joy and love for God.

After an accident, Marianna tells her friend Ben a defining story about the S…

Recipe: Harvest of Berry Dreams Smoothie

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Merrie Destefano one of my very favorite author friends is hosting a wonderful sweet treats giveaway to celebrate the release of her second novel, Feast: Harvest of Dreams. One of the requirements to be entered is to post a favorite dessert recipe. I love anything sweet and if it has fruit in it all the better! Since summer is just around the corner I thought I'd share my very own smoothie recipe with you guys. If you're a fan of the McDonald's berry smoothie you will be over the moon for this one, trust me!
Harvest of Berry Dreams Smoothie
Ingredients:2 containers of Yoplait Yo-plus Blackberry Pomegranate yogurt
2 Tb sugar
3 Tb water
3 Tb milk
1.5 packages or approx. 12 ounces of frozen fruit: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry blend
Blend all ingredients in blender until all berries are chopped up and mixture is smooth, you may need to add more milk by the tablesp…

Waiting on Wednesday: Firethorn (Discarded Heroes, Book 4) by Ronie Kendig

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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.
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Yes we're not even halfway through 2011 and I already have a book wishlist started for 2012! I know crazy right? Well check out the cover and blurb for the this book and I can almost guarantee that you'll be starting your own 2012 list if you haven't done so already!
Blurb:
Former Marine and current Nightshade team member Griffin Riddell is comfortable. So comfortable he never sees the set up that lands him in a maximum security prison, charged with murder. How will he ever prove his innocence stuck behind iron bars?

Covert operative Kazi Faron is tasked with reassembling Nightshade—the black ops team someone dissected. Breaking Griffin out of a federal penitentiary amid explosive con…

Hook, Line, or Stinker?

Authors and readers agree, those first words of a book are of vital importance. Some allow several chapters to convince them, others—no more than a few paragraphs.

Authors feel the weight of this responsibility as they sit down to pen those first lines. At least they should!

The older I get, the pickier I become about which novels I finish. I realized this last month, when I started a book and was struck by the lack of white space—those gaps between paragraphs. More white space = more dialogue. I flipped through the first chapter, then the book, and when I found massive paragraphs dominating the pages, I tossed it in my “donate to library” pile. Apparently, I like dialogue--so much, that a lack of it made me close the book before finishing the first page.

I used to feel compunction over setting aside a book that didn’t hold my attention.  Now, my free time is more scarce and thus, more valuable. When I only have an hour a day to enjoy a book, I want it to be a good one. I want to be swep…

Want to be an Influencer?

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Hey everyone, I don't normally post things like this but one of my favorite authors, Kaye Dacus is looking for influencers for her upcoming inspirational novel, The Art of Romance (Matchmakers, Book 2) which is being released through Barbour Publishing. If you might be interested in reading this book and helping Kaye get the word out, visit her website below for details on how to get your review copy!
http://kayedacus.com/2011/04/18/call-for-reviewers-and-word-of-mouth-influencers-for-the-art-of-romance/
Happy Reading!

Review (Christian Fiction): Tomorrow's Garden (Texas Dreams, Book 3) by Amanda Cabot

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Tomorrow's Garden (Texas Dreams, Book 3)by Amanda CabotCopyright 2011Revell400 pagesISBN: 978-0-8007-3326-1 Historical Romance
From the publisher:
As a seed awaits the spring sunshine, so one young woman hopes for a brighter tomorrow

Harriet Kirk is certain that becoming the new schoolteacher in Ladreville, Texas, is just what she needs--a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. What she didn't count on was the presence of handsome former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood--or the way he affects her fragile heart. But can Harriet and Lawrence ever truly conquer the past in order to find happiness?

My Thoughts:
Harriet Kirk had the spark taken out of her soul by the tragic fire that took the lives of her parents. On her own, with her younger siblings to care for she decides it's time to move on. When given the opportunity she moves to Ladreville, Texas, with hopes of starting anew and leaving the past behind. What ensues is nothing short of a…

Review (Christian Fiction): To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

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To Win Her Heartby Karen WitemeyerCopyright 2011Bethany House Publishers352 pagesISBN: 978-0-7642-0757-0Historical Fiction
From the publisher:
Do They Have a Fighting Chance at Love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she's reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she's finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi's prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished her…

Coco's Birthday Party: Winners!

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The party's over, the plates are being cleaned
Thank you all so much for stopping by this week! It was such a fun party that I wish I could do it every day. Thank you to all the guest bloggers this week too, you totally made my week sharing all your pet memories and stories. I might just make this an annual event! What do you think?
Anywho I know you are all anxious to see who won the prize packs so as chosen by random.org the winners are as follows...
Grand prize: Lassie dvd and 2 booksLAURA FRANTZ
First Prize: 2 booksAMBER
Second prize: 1 bookCHRISTY (Southern Sassy Things)
Congrats ladies! I will be emailing you shortly to get your mailing addresses so I can send your prizes out ASAP! I hope you enjoy!

Coco's Birthday Party, Final Day: Author Ronie Kendig on Military Dogs

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I absolutely love Ronie Kendig and her inspirational suspense fiction series, Discarded Heroes and her next series looks like it's going to be another winner! Read below and see why I wanted to feature her during pet week!
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Last year, a dear friend forwarded an email with an incredible story about a military war dog who had miraculously saved his handler from a POW camp in Iraq. Enthralled with the story and being an author of military stories, I had to check out the story. I quickly learned the story was a hoax, but that research threw me onto the path of a new breed (ahem, pardon the pun) of warriors—military war dogs!

In my research, I learned that war dogs have existed since war itself. Ancient Romans deployed huge hounds called Molossus that could knock a man off a galloping horse and disembowel him. Roman General Gaius Marius was routed in Gaul by a team of snarling, snapping hounds under the command of women handlers! In Vietnam, military war dogs saved more then ten-th…

Coco's Birthday Party, Day 4: Interview with Fellow Blogger and Pet Lover, Hannah!

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Hannah is a great gal and one of my very first blogger friends, she wrote the answers for this interview while she was sick! Her furry friends are sooo adorable and I hope you think so too! Please be sure to visit Hannah's terrific blog, Project Journal!


What was your first pet?
Our very first pet…brings back fantastic memories : ) Mom and Dad surprised my sister, Alicia, and I with a dog for Christmas one year! Yes, it was a little early a week or so before I think, but it was such a surprise!! Her name was Molly Belle Star lol! She was a 5 year old Cocker Spaniel puppy, black and white with the cutest lil tail you've ever seen! Oh we loved our babygirl so much. We got her from a retired minister who's kids were making him move to be closer with them. It was just him and Molly and he used to feed her half of his sandwich every single day at lunch! LOL! We had to break her from her begging habits lol….Right after we got Molly, our grandparent's heard some meowing that so…

Coco's Birthday Party, Day 3: Author Catherine West and her Border Collies!

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I fell in love with Border Collies after we got our first dog, Allie, back in 1995. We didn't know anything about the breed, we were just looking for a puppy, and there happened to be a litter on the island. Allie was a wonderful dog from the get-go - her favorite sport being 'chase the children'! I think she thought they were her sheep and she had to round them up. She was a loving and faithful companion to us all, and enjoyed her life in Bermuda as well as summers spent on the lake in Northern Ontario, Canada. It was with great sorrow that we realized her time had come to an end in January '09 and we had to say goodbye.

Noah, now two, came to us from a breeder in the UK. He and Allie spent a wonderful year together, and we realized we had unintentionally created Noah and Allie - from The Notebook! LOL. Noah is a very high-spirited young man and likes to do his own thing most of the time. Of course he has all the Border Collie intelligence and knows a lot of tricks and…

Review (Christian Fiction): Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones

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Save the Dateby Jenny B. JonesCopyright 2011Thomas Nelson Publishers312 pagesISBN: 978-1-59554-539-8Fiction/Christian/Romance
From the publisher:
When Alex and Lucy pick out wedding invitations, they wonder if they can be printed in vanishing ink.

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancée in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?

My Review:
Looking for fun, faith, football and some knock-off designer pumps? look no further than Jenny B. Jones's Save the Date. I absolutely loved every word of it. From the first zinger dished out by sassy Lucy to the tender moments with her "Han Solo" I was hooked. Lucy…

Coco's Birthday Party, Day 2: Angie and her Miracle Dog, Hope

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I've followed Hope's story ever since Angie first posted about her on Never A Dull Moment and I gotta say she's one special pup. Read this story by Angie and you'll find out why!

One day last summer my husband called and told me that he had just rescued a puppy he found on the side of the road. She was actually in the middle of a busy intersection, on one of those concrete island things that divide the road. He didn’t stop at first but was almost home and couldn’t get her little face out of his mind so he turned around and brought her home. Our plan was to find her a home, so the next day I took her to the vet’s where I work part time to get her shots and a check-up. My husband asked around work if anyone was interested in her and a couple of people were so we were happy that it wouldn’t take long to find her a home.

Then I get the call from the vet and she tells me that the little puppy is in need of surgery. See her diaphragm had a hole in it so her intestines were up …

FIRST Wild Card Blog Tour w/ Review: A Cowboy's Touch by Denise Hunter

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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:

Denise Hunter

and the book:

A Cowboy's Touch
Thomas Nelson (March 29, 2011)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing e…

Coco's Birthday Party, Day 1: Author Sandra D. Bricker and Her Rescue Dog

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I don't even know Sophie and she already has a spot in my heart not only because she's a collie but she's a rescue dog! Yay! I encourage you to go to your local shelter or rescue and consider adopting a pet or just donating your time or some food and supplies if you can!

Here's Sandie and her furry pals, past and present!

When writing the sequel to Always the Baker, Never the Bride, I had to create some new characters as memorable and compelling as the ones in the first book. When Sherilyn, my heroine, emerged, a sweet and organized Type A, I wanted to give her something or someone to butt heads with. My dog Caleb sprang instantly to mind!

When I first brought Caleb home, he was quite a nightmare. An Old English Sheepdog, so dirty and matted that you could hardly tell what kind of dog he was! ... but somehow I managed to fall in love with him beyond appearances. His behavior, however, was another thing entirely. The dog ate anything that wasn't nailed down, and often…