Books I Loved in 2012!

Monday, December 31, 2012

It's that time of year again, the toughest part of the year when I choose my top ten favorite books of all I read in the past 365 days. This year I did read some great stories but I didn't quite read as many 5 star books but that doesn' t mean this isn't a difficult task! I read a bunch of different genres so although this blog features mostly the Christian fiction I've decided to include some young adult fiction in the list. Please be aware that not all (but most) books on my list will be "clean" so if you're interested in a book but have questions about content feel free to ask me and I'll try to help.

Here are my top ten in no particular order:

Obsidian (Lux Series, Book 1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
because aliens are the new vampires.

Baroness (Daughters of Fortune, Book 2) by Susan May Warren
because I love the 1920s.

Fathom (The Chronicles of Crescent Moon Bay, Book 1) by Merrie Destefano
because I love spooky stories and Celtic legends are intriguing.

Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt
because llamas are crazy.

Love's Reckoning (The Ballantyne Legacy, Book 1) by Laura Frantz
because of the drama and romance all together in historic Pennsylvania.

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
because fueding and romance work surprisingly well together. 

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, Book 1) by Dani Pettrey
because Alaska is beautiful especially when there's a great romance to warm things up.

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
because an old house and old hurts are mended.

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert
because two different people clash and the sparks fly!

The Keeper (Stoney Ridge Seasons, Book 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher
because I cried.
What books made your top ten list? What titles are you looking forward to reading in the coming year? I know my wishlist and TBR lists are already HUUUUUUUGE!
Happy Reading!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family. I appreciate each and everyone of you! Thank you for following Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot and for encouraging me throughout the year with your thoughts, comments, emails, tweets and Facebook chats! I wish nothing but the best for you in the upcoming year.

Now that most of you have opened your gifts and indulged in holiday feasts, what are your plans? Hint: Mine has something to do with the picture. ;-)

Image from BBC's Doctor Who Facebook Page

Merry Christmas!

A "Yummy" Review: THINaddictives Flavored Almond Thins

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thanks to Klout and THINaddictives I was given the opportunity to try three of THINaddictives newest cookie flavors, Cranberry, Pistachio, and Cinnamon Raisin. Normally I'm not one for "healthy" food (just look at my Tweets from last night, I was baking a batch of brownies at almost midnight) but these THINaddictive snacks are TO DIE FOR! At only 100 calories a pack I didn't have to feel guilty about eating a pack and then going back for another pack -- yeah, they were pretty awesome so I had to go back for seconds. The THINaddictives website mentions that they are "cookies" but don't let that fool you, the texture is more like a biscotti than say, a sugar cookie. I think these would be great with a cup of hot tea or coffee. I love crunchy cookies and anything with almonds so if you or your kids are looking for a sweet but guilt-free snack THINaddictives might be something to add to your next grocery list. The ingredient list is pretty minimal which is great if you don't like a whole lot of "unpronounceable" stuff in your food. Everyone in my family, my mother, my father, and even my 17-year-old brother raved about them so I can safely say THINaddictives has won my family over and we are now fans for life.

From L to R: Cinnamon Raisin, Pistachio, & Cranberry

A Little About THINaddictives (taken from the THINaddictive website HERE):
THINaddictives® brand delicious "so thin soo crunchy sooo addictive cookies" are a cherished family recipe passed on from generation to generation. How lucky are we to have the last of a great generation, our mother, to see our state of the art facility producing her famous almond thin cookie. Our gift to the past generations is to strive to keep her treat looking as hand made as if it just came out of her warm loving oven itself. She always prided herself on letting us know that no two cookies were never exactly alike. Some were thinner, some were thicker. The ones that she so carefully sliced from the beginning of her cherished loaf were always smaller and always just that much more special to her adoring family.

To learn more about THINaddictives and where to purchase them visit the THINaddictives website.

*I was given a free product because I'm a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.*

Clash of the Titles: October Winner, A Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Winner of our October New Releases Clash is:

A Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes

A hearty congratulations to Laurie Alice!

We had a tremendous response for this Clash. So many said they wanted to vote for and loved all of the books. A special thanks to the other authors for their wonderful books and for being a part of this week. 

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley
A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman
Callie’s Mountain by Katt Anderson
Murder in Marietta by Deborah Malone

About A Flight of Fancy

Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?
Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the Earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra’s heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes so much of her thoughts.

When a terrible accident compels her to end her betrothal, Cassandra heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. With time on her hands and good friends to help her, she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when Lord Whittaker slips back into her life, she finds her heart torn between her love for flight and her abiding love for the man she fears will no longer want her once he knows of her hidden scars.

What Voters Had to Say about A Flight of Fancy

I love Laurie Alice's deft use of craft and I love her spunky (though not anachronistic!) heroines.

Fabulous read of a passionate couple. Well done. Laurie Alice Eakes

All the books sound great, but I've read Flight of Fancy, and it's a wonderful story.

Title is adorable. Very creative.

Keep writing! I love reading and love your books.

Love this book! It's one of Eakes's best.

Every book I've ever read by Laurie Alice Eakes, I've loved.

Great Review for A Flight of Fancy
Romantic Times
Four Stars

“Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the
top. The second Daughters of Bainbridge House story has romance, mystery,
suspense and characters who transcend the stereotype of stiff English formality. …”

Endorsements for A Flight of Fancy
“Eakes seamlessly blends romance and intrigue, faith and history, into a story that readers won’t want to put down.”—Booklist

“Masquerades, English manners, romance, and intrigue abound in this historical series. Regency romance aficionados and fans of Nicole Jordan will adore this.”—Library Journal

“Eakes weaves the fine silk threads of historical richness, dangerous intrigue, and forbidden romance into a flawless literary tapestry . . . that will leave readers breathless.”—Louise M. Gouge, award-winning author of At the Captain’s Command

About Laurie Alice Eakes

Bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn’t wake anyone else up. Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. Family Guardian, her first book,  won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, five books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that takes her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.
Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.

Buy Links for A Flight of Fancy



Barnes and Noble

Family Christian



Books A Million

Clash of the Titles Hostess Gail Pallotta After a career as an editor and article writer Gail started to follow her dream of writing fiction. In 2004 the American Christian Writers Association named her a regional writer of the year. In 2010 an excerpt from Love Turns the Tide, her first romance, won the Clash of the Titles Challenge in the best nature / weather scene category. She published her first short story, “Lifeline,” in Splickety Magazine in January 2012. When she isn’t writing, she loves to bargain shop with her daughter, swim, read and visit with friends and family, especially at the beach.

Happy Reading!

Clash of the Titles: Deadly Additive by Donn Taylor

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Clash of the Titles hopes you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food and fellowship! Today, we are thrilled to talk to you about Donn Taylor's newest book, Deadly Additive. What an exciting book!

To soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge it seems like a simple job: Rescue an heiress and her journalist friend Kristin Halvorsen from their kidnapping by Colombian guerrillas and collect a sizable paycheck. But Kristin has other plans. After stumbling onto a mass of dead bodies, she won't leave Colombia without the proof she needs for the story of a lifetime. While she and Jeb wrangle over her obstinacy, they discover a hidden factory where the guerrillas build a new and deadly type chemical weapon for the international black market. Their discovery triggers a raid on the factory, followed by a desperate search through the Caribbean and the U.S. to prevent a catastrophic attack by weapons the factory has produced. But who is behind that attack, and what are the planned targets? Finding out brings Jeb and Kristin again into peril for their lives and leads them both into an unexpected spiritual Odyssey.

 What others are saying:
 "An edge-of-the-chair plot in prose that reads like satin, with a nails-tough hero who still has time for introspection."
                -Donna Fletcher Crow, author of A Darkly Hidden Truth, The Monastery Murders
 "I loved Deadly Additive! In this wonderfully written story, Donn Taylor offers up a perfect blend of suspense, intrigue, humor, romance, and inspiration. I savored every page and didn't want it to end."
                      -Ann Tatlock, award-winning author of Traveler's Rest
 "Donn Taylor continually thrusts his two leading characters into impossible situations, but their escape is always believable. His characters are well drawn, authentic.  You find yourself physically trying to help them out of a certain-death trap.  I recommend it without reservation."
                     -James Callan, award-winning author of Cleansed by Fire

 "…reached the level of making me forget I was reading. It was an intellectual action novel with likable characters…reminded me of Tom Clancy's novels."
                   –author Rose Munevar on Goodreads

Sounds good to us! Want to take a peek?

Opener from Chapter 1: 
By habit, Jeb Sledge disapproved of people who pointed weapons at him. The present offender's tuxedo did not qualify him for an exception, and the silencer on his pistol only aggravated the offense…

View the video book trailer:

Preview Deadly Additive and other suspense novels on Donn's Web site:

A bit about the author:
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature (especially Renaissance) at two liberal arts colleges. His novels The Lazarus File and Rhapsody in Red have received excellent reviews, and he has also authored Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. He is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences such as Glorieta and Blue Ridge. He and his wife live near Houston, Texas, where he continues to write fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics. His Web site is

Clash of the Titles always wants to know what YOU think.

Please take a moment to vote for this month's favorite New Release.

Happy Reading!

Giveaway: No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Howdy! This is the FIRST TIME EVER for me using Rafflecopter to host a giveaway so pleeease bear with me as I try to acquaint myself with this newfangled way of running a contest. If something isn't working or looks off please feel free to let me know in the comments section of this post.

Now...for the fun stuff! Check out my review of No Safe Harbor HERE by Elizabeth Ludwig and then come back and enter to win your own copy of the book. Be sure to read the rules on the Rafflecopter form to make sure you are eligible and then enter away! Good luck!

About the book:
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.

With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Reading!

Winner of the ARC of The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanks to everyone who entered to win The Husband List! The lucky lady who gets her very own ARC copy before the book officially releases in January is...


Rissi has already claimed her prize. Don't be sad if you weren't the winner, be on the lookout for another giveaway later this week -- a Christian historical suspense!

Happy Reading!

Great New Historical Suspense: No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom, 1) by Elizabeth Ludwig

No Safe Harbor
by Elizabeth Ludwig
Copyright 2012
Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764210396
About the Book:
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.

With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?

My Thoughts:
I'm a huge fan of general market historical suspense/mystery by authors like Deanna Raybourn and Carol K. Carr and I'm so glad that Elizabeth Ludwig wrote this Christian historical novel so I can add her to my must-read suspense author list. I've read a bunch of contemporary suspense in the Christian fiction genre but I can't recall reading one with a historical setting in recent months. No Safe Harbor was a refreshing, detailed read that I really enjoyed. I'll admit to finding it a bit hard to get into (there were a lot of characters to keep straight) but as the chapters went the suspense kept building and I found myself unable to put the book down. The gritty streets and seedy docks of New York fairly leap off of the page. Add to it politics, gangs, and revenge and you get a pretty serious tale that just isn't a "fluffy" story of boy meeting girl and fighting for love but a story where they're also fighting for their lives. This really was an entertaining book with drama to the nth degree. Ms. Ludwig has definitely left the story open for a sequel or two as not everything was tied up in a nice bow. Hopefully the next book brings more answers as to just who a few of the key characters introduced in No Safe Harbor really are and just what they will do when they reach Ireland. I for one can't wait to read what happens next in Dark Road Home!

Please stop by Elizabeth's website to browse the books and say hi!

 ~ My Rating: 4.5 stars ~ 

*I received my free copy of this title from the author as an influencer. I would not have reviewed the book if I couldn't honestly say I enjoyed it.*

Happy Reading!