Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: Anomaly by Krista McGee

Title: Anomaly
Author: Krista McGee
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages:320
ISBN:978-1-4016-8872-1
Release Date: July 9th 2013


Synopsis:
Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world ended in a nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won’t threaten their lives again.

But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli’s secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.
She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.

As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer—someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.

Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out…

Review:
Talk about starting a series off with a bang! Krista McGee nailed it with Anomaly. I have read many different kinds of dystopian books and Anomaly is now at the top.

Thalli is a seventeen year old girl, who lives in a place called The State. The world as we know it is gone. People are no longer created in the "primitive" way. Instead people, like Thalli, are genetically created. There are no mothers, no fathers, no families. Just groups of people created for each generation. Thalli, is apart of the third generation. People are bred to bring a specific specialty to each generation. Thalli's is music, since it has been shown that music helps productivity. With the genetic enhancements, sickness is almost eradicated, along with emotions...or so The Ten thought. Every so often, an Anomaly occurs.

When Thalli is discovered as an anomaly, she is brought to the Ten. They want to test her out and find out why she is different, and during her time, she meets an old man, John. He introduces her to thoughts and ideas that she had no idea were there. She learns from John about the Designer and the things that the Ten wanted to eradicate from their new way of life.

Anomaly had several twist in the story and the ending I didn't see coming at all. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

For more information about Krista McGee check out her site HERE.
And for more information on Anomaly or you would like to pre-order, check out Thomas Nelson or Amazon.

Thank you to Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson, I received this book for free for an honest opinion.

Super Six Sunday


Super Six Sunday is a new meme hosted by the girls at Bewitched Bookworms and inspired by "Top 10 Tuesday", which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks topic: Six authors you have met, or who you would love to meet.

Sadly, I haven't met any authors in person, but I have visited with some over the internet through email, groups, Twitter, and Facebook. I would love to be able to meet these authors in person some day. These ladies who I have spoken with online have been wonderful to visit with.

1. Janet Bly














2. Mesu Andrews











3. MaryLu Tyndall















I also hope to one day meet these other authors as well.

4. Gwen Cooper














5. Phil Robertson










6. Cliff Graham














Each one of these authors have written something that has touched my heart and I would love to meet them to thank them for the wonderful books they have shared.

Who are the topic 6 authors you would like to meet...or that you have met?



Saturday, June 29, 2013

June Review

June is coming to close. It is crazy to think that we are now half way through the year. June was a busy reading month for me. I read more books this month then I have in any other given month....14! It brought my total up to 32 for the year with only 23 more to go!


My Too Reads for the month, in no particular order:





How was your month? What were your likes, dislikes, and so-so's?


*Look at that, I finished another one before the day was out! Yay!


Review: Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson

Title: Prairie Song
Author: Mona Hodgson
Publisher: Water Brook Press
Pages: 303
ISBN: 978-0-307-73116-6
Release Date: August 6th 2013

Synopsis:
The first step in a challenging journey is often the one that means the most. 
 
Though it means saying goodbye to the beloved friends and spiritual mentors of her St. Charles, Missouri quilting circle, Anna Goben is certain that she needs to enlist her family in the Boones Lick Company wagon train. The loss of her beloved brother in the Civil War has paralyzed her mother and grandfather in a malaise of grief and depression and Anna is convinced that only a fresh start in the Promised Land of California can bring her family back to her. Although the unknown perils of the trail west loom, Anna’s commitment to caring for her loved ones leaves no room for fear—or even loving someone new. 

During the five-month journey, trail hand Caleb Reger plans to keep a low profile as he watches over the band of travelers. Guarding secrets about his past and avoiding God’s calling on his life, Caleb wants to steer as far from Anna as she does him, but she proves to be just as he assessed her from the beginning— independent, beautiful trouble.

Led by a pillar of hope, the group faces rough terrain that begins to take a toll on their spirits. Will the wilderness of suffering lead them astray, or will the gentle song of love that echoes across the prairie turn their hearts toward God’s grace and the promise of a new home?

Review: 
 Prairie Song is the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series. The characters in this book are characters that were first featured in Mona Hodgson's The Quilted Heart Stories. When I started reading, Prairie Song didn't feel like book 1 in a series because of the history of these people in the story, but the history of the people is explained in a quick and smooth fashion.

Anna Goben felt a push to marry her good friend who was apart of a wagon train moving west, however, Anna knew, her friend could only be her friend and she backed out of the wedding. Anna still wanted a fresh start for her mother and grandfather. Her family has been in a constant state of grief upon finding out her brother had been killed in the Civil War. Anna takes on the burden and grief of her family, to the point of hiding her family's secrets at all cost. So to get away from the gossip of the only home she has really ever known, Anna has her family set out west. Anna is strong girl and has taken on more responsibility than anyone of her age. The story follows her through her decisions to help her family move forward and be the support that they need in the physical and spiritual sense.

Prairie Song is a very moving story about overcoming grief, addiction and the pain it brings to a family, and forgiveness, plus knowing that none of those things can't happen without relying on God. All of these trials are hard things to face, but the story handles them well. There were just a couple of things that did take away from the story a little bit. When I started reading, my idea of the time frame was longer then what I thought this book was going to be. The book only spans two months instead of the five mentioned in the synopsis and it made me question the pace of the book, but knowing that this is the first of the series now, helps.

 Too Read!
4 out of 5
For more info on Prairie Song please check out Water Brook Press.

About the Author:

Mona Hodgson is the author of Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series and The Quilted Heart Novellas. Mona's writing credits also include nearly thirty children's books, including Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional, Bedtime in the Southwest, and The Princess Twins and the Tea Party. One of Mona's favorite things to do, besides writing or eating dark chocolate, is to speak at women's retreats and conferences. Mona lives in Arizona with her husband, Bob. For upcoming news, you can check out Mona Hodgson's Web Site.





Thank you to Blogging For Books, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for an honest review.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Kid Favorite Friday

This week the kiddo has been all over the place with her books, and I love it! She is in the midst of learning to read, so we are leaning more toward the easier types of books for her to slowly understand, although that has backfired from time to time and she tries to help read the story by pictures. That is ok though. She is having fun with books, and that is what counts!

 Cookies Week by Cindy Ward and Tomie dePaola is such a cute book. It is a great book for kids learning to read with just a sentence on each page and the lettering big for them to see. It's also a great check list for all you cat owners to what your cat might destroy  in your house that week!
 We are in a Bearenstian Bears kick around here right now. She reads them during school and wants to read them later on too. The Bearenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Stan and Jan Bearenstain is a fun book and a good reminder to messy little kids.
 The Bearenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food is another fun on by Stan and Jan Bearenstain. The kid loves reading this books, since she gets to look at candy.
And finally, we have come to her favorite for the week. The kid recently discovered the Cars movie and is in love. This A Little Golden Book of Cars by Ben Smiley is great little condensed movie in a book. The pictures are fun and the reading is easy and is a good book for beginner readers.








What were some of your favorite books growing up?





Thursday, June 27, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday #3

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. It's a fun meme and blog hop where you can meet a whole lot of other awesome bloggers. Each week, there is a different topic or activity to discuss.

This weeks topic:

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

I am stuck in the old ways. I am a fan of printed books. Either hardback or paperback. I will say however, for sake of comfort, I prefer paperback, because when you have 1,000 page+ read, oh, how it can hurt the wrist. I don't even own an e-reader, but I will say with experience from my phone, if you drop an electronic device on your face, it hurts far worse than an open book. 

Plus, I love seeing books on my bookshelf when I've finished reading them. They are my little trophies. 



 
So, what is your preferred reading method? I would love to hear!









One last thing, I  would like to be followed on Bloglovin'. With everything going on with GFC and its possible demise on July 1st (which stinks!).

Follow on Bloglovin

I do also have RSS, Twitter, and Facebook as well.
Thanks!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Sisters of Mercy Flats by Lori Copeland

Title: Sisters of Mercy Flats
Author: Lori Copeland
Publisher: Harvest House
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0-7369-3022-2

Synopsis: (From Harvest House Publishers)
From noted author Lori Copeland (more than 3 million books in print) comes a romantic new story of God’s faithfulness when hope seems lost.

The three wily and beautiful McDougal sisters can swindle a man faster than it takes to lasso a calf. But their luck is running out, and they’re about to be hauled off to jail. When the wagon carrying them falls under attack, each sister is picked up by a different man. Unfortunately for Abigail, she’s grabbed by a twit of a shoe salesman, Mr. Hershall Digman. She steals his horse and rides off to the nearest town, not giving him another thought…until she discovers those secret papers in his saddlebags. Could Mr. Digman be a Confederate spy? 

As if to prove it, the man who comes storming after her is no shoe salesman, but a handsome captain who wants his papers back…at any cost. And Abigail wants a ride back home. Together they embark on his mission, determined not to trust each other…or the God who won’t seem to let them go.

Review:
We start the story off with the three sisters Abigail, Amelia, & Anne-Marie  together, and we are briefly introduced to each of them, however after an accident happens, they are split up. I am so glad that this split happened, it would have been hard to keep up with all three stories at once. After a brief farewell to two sisters, our attention is brought to Abigail.

Abigail is a fun character! She is smart, but also sneaky, a bit of a liar, trickster, a blatant thief, and she has sharp whit about her that can easily be perceived as sarcasm. She is flawed. She isn't perfect and she knows it. She also knows that she just wants her sisters back. Getting back isn't as easy as she hoped though. Her rescuer Hershall Digman is just as much as a con artist as she is, but for political cause. He is not meek or mild and a good balance for Abigail's willful ways. Both of the star characters are flawed, they each have their own problems with faith and their weakness tends to guide them at times. And in its own way, it is refreshing to read about them, they feel real. The things Abigail says in her rants or in sarcasm remind me of something I would say.

The Sisters of Mercy Flats is set during the Civil War and even though this was a very hard time in history, Lori Copeland was able to give it a lightness to it, which can be hard considering it is a depressing time. She was also able to capture the openness and grandness of Texas in her descriptions of the landscape. You can also tell that Lori Copeland has done significant research on the political climate of Texas and The South during this time from conversations between characters and I was happy to read it.

The Sisters of Mercy Flats was a fun story for me read and it was hard to put down!
Too Read!
5 out of 5


 Lori Copeland is the author of more than 90 titles, both historical and contemporary fiction. With more than 3 million copies of her books in print, she has developed a loyal following among her rapidly growing fans in the inspirational market. She has been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books’ Best Seller award. In 2000, Lori was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Lance, and their three children and seven grandchildren.

Too see more books by Lori Copeland please check out Harvest House Publishers web site.

You can buy Sisters of Mercy Flats at Amazon or ChristianBook.com.





Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for this free book for my honest review.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Merchant's Daughter

Title: The Merchant's Daughter
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0-310-72761-3

Synopsis: 
An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.  

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart. 

 This is the second book by Melanie Dickerson that I have read, and I have to say, her stories are great. In the Merchant's Daughter, Melanie Dickerson sticks to the new twist to an old favorite with fairy tales. She is able to make one of my favorite fairy tales and add a new light to it and make it real, which I would have thought would have been hard considering the beastly nature of a character, but it was achieved in a smooth effort.

Melanie Dickerson has done a wonderful job creating characters that are completely loathsome. My goodness. Several times, I wanted to reach into the pages and hit Annabel's brothers upside their heads. She has also been able to create a balance to those characters with the gentle spirit of Annabel. Even though  Annabel starts off very quiet, she grows as the story progresses and becomes stronger from her struggles. 

Just as Annabel grew into her strength, Lord Ranulf grows in his own ways as he tries to overcome a past of physical and emotional hurt. He is new to the village and doesn't mind that a reputation has proceeded him. He also believes in truth and justice. So when Annabel's mother comes before the town court for not paying the required fines needed of them and the family not doing any of the work required of them, he issues a fair sentence, to either pay the lump sum, or have one of the family members come work as a servant for three years to pay off the debt accrued by the family. He is surprised to find Annabel on his doorstep, willing to give herself over to his house hold for three years instead of one of her brothers. 

The time period of the 1300's was a great time for this story to be set in. It's a time period that isn't used much, but it works beautifully with this story. 

Too Read!
5 out of 5 

Top Ten Tuesday






Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks feature is the top ten favorite books you've read this year. So far, I've read 28 books this year, that's almost a 1/3 of all the books I've read....and it's safe to say, I've found quite a few books this year that have joined the ranks of favorites. It was tough to narrow it down to ten, but I did. They vary in genre.


Biography:





The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson w/ Mark Schlabach



YA:


 The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
Waterfall & Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren


Historical Fiction:



Day of War & Covenant of War by Cliff Graham
Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz
Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews


Fiction:


Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper


What have been your Top Ten Favorite this year?


Monday, June 24, 2013

The Healer's Apprentice

Title: The Healer's Apprentice
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 261
ISBN: 978-0-310-72143-7

Synopsis:  
 Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.


If you like fairy tales, you will like The Healer's Apprentice. It is a new twist on an old classic. I didn't do much research into this book before I started to read it. I saw that it was a fairy tale based book ans started to read, that is rare for me. It was fun to figure out which fairy tale this story was based on. (I will admit, that I have a tendency to read the last couple of pages of the book right after I start reading, and I couldn't figure it out that way.)

I loved the setting of the book. The Healer's Apprentice is set in what is now Germany in 1386. We are placed right in the middle of the Middle Ages. The descriptions in the books are great. The clothes, the buildings, and the way of life is portrayed and it isn't bogged down. The story flows smoothly and keeps you wanting to read more.

Our heroine Rose, is the daughter of the village wood cutter. She knows in her heart that she doesn't want to marry and becoming the apprentice healer to Frau Geruscha is the right path she needs to go, to keep herself from becoming ensnared in her mothers schemes to marry her off. Rose is girl that does her best at learning the healer's ways, even when she feels ill,. She also has her own mind about what is happening around her. She is a strong lead character and even when her emotions become involved, she doesn't let them carry her away. She lets her faith and common sense lead her, even when it leads her to a hard decision.

When Lord Hamlin returns from his time away at the university, he knows his duty and he knows he needs to stand by his word of honor. When he is brought to the Healer after he is injured, Rose is the only one there to help him. After their first meeting, a friendship between the Lord Hamlin and Rose start up and slowly grows to something more for Lord Hamlin when he realizes, he doesn't want to see Rose hurt by certain people around her. Wilhelm, Lord Hamlin, has to decide if he should stick to his honorable word and do the duty his family placed before him or go his own course. 

The decisions that Rose and Wilhelm have to make give this fairy tale a realistic feel. 
Too Read!
4/5

Blog Following Options

We are now a week away from July 1st. And what that means is, GFC may or may not be leaving us. I've been trying to keep up with everything with that, but I see post about how it is certain that it will be gone and other posts that say it should still be there.

I don't know which is right, but for safe measures, I recently set up an account with Bloglovin' to make it easier to follow this blog. I've also set up away to follow through RSS, and I've provided links for Twitter and Facebook. You can find all the buttons to the right of the blog in the Follow Me section. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you my followers to be able to keep following with some options.

We are in the wait and see phase, only time will tell what will happen to GFC on the 1st.













Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super Six Sunday #2

It's time again for Super Six Sunday, a weekly meme hosted by Bewitched Bookworms
This weeks topic:

Super Six Podcasts about Writing and Books


Alternative topic:  Favorite Authors to follow on Social Media

 

I don't listen to podcasts much, so I'm thankful for the alternative topic today. So with out further ado, Super Six Sunday: Favorite Authors to Follow on Social Media, in no particular Order.

 

Jody Hedlund and an author of Christian Historical/Romance Fiction including The Doctor's Lady, The Preacher's Bride, and Unending Devotion. She keeps everyone up to date on her up and coming releases and she also posts a lot of interesting writing articles. Twitter

These are two of my most favorite authors. The books I've loved the most are Christian Westerns that are Historical Fiction. To name a few, The Belles of Lordsburg Series, The Stuart Brannon Series, and The Carson City Chronicles. Sadly, Stephen Bly passed away a couple of years ago. His wife Janet is still writing and posting a lot of wonderful book information and seminar information. Twitter







3. Cliff Graham 
Cliff Graham is the author of the Lion of War Series: Day of War and Covenant of War. He posts a lot about his series, but also info about the upcoming movie that is soon to be made from one of his books. Facebook









4.  Max Lucado
He is a pastor and author of many wonderful inspirational books including Grace, Cure for the Common Life, and 3:16 The Numbers of Hope. He posts a lot of uplifting words of encouragement. Facebook

Gwen Copper has written several books including Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Felines Tale and Love Saves the Day. She is also the owner of Homer, the blind wonder cat. Gwen posts a lot of wonderful information on helping disabled cats and helping kitties find a forever homes.

Author of Divergent and Insurgent. I like how she posts about her adventures in publishing. She likes to give an inside look to writing and publishing and keeps everyone up to date with her next book Allegiant that is coming out soon! Facebook





 

 


 



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cascade

Title: Cascade
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C Cook
Pages: 399
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6431-7

Synopsis: Gabi knows she's left her heart in the fourteenth century, and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, months have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence--while their enemies will go to great lengths to see them dead.

Even in the midst of the battles, Gabi's heart is increasingly drawn to Marcello, just as Lia's is to Luca. In medieval Italy, the sisters discover things inside themselves that they couldn't seem to understand in the present--connection with their mom, courage within, and the understanding that a life well lived often means encountering sacrifice. But in a world long past, many things still keep Gabi from giving Marcello her heart forever...and one thing in particular calls all three of the Betarrinis home.

I have to start off by saying, I liked Cascade more then waterfall! The River of Time Series seems to keep getting better with each book.

Cascade picks up right where we left off in Waterfall. Gabi and Lia have made it back to the present and they are discovered by a group of archeologist in the area working on excavating the tombs of the ancient Italians. At the end of Waterfall, Gabi was slowly recovering from a bad wound when she was poisoned. Lia and Gabi knew, that the only way for her to be healed was to head back to modern medicine. However, in the trip through the time portal, Gabi was healed and she was ready to head back. The archeologist on the other hand wanted these two teenagers out of their area.

Gabi and Lia find their mother at the sight wondering if she would have been worried at their disappearance, only to find just thirty minutes have passed, even though they had spent three weeks in the past. Their mother is mortified over the fact that they were at a dig site, but then realizes what they are wearing. Too stunned to believe what is being said, Gabi and Lia drag their mother back to the handprints on the tomb wall. After a debate, all three head back in time.

Even though Gabi and Lia had only been back in the present for just thirty minutes, three months have passed and they arrive during the fall. Luca and Marcello have left things in the tomb for the girls, with hopes that they would bring their mother, and come back to them.

Cascade's story was fast paced! I loved every minute of my time in Medieval Italy. The character's continue to grow and the story keeps growing with them. Marcello broke off his betrothal to Romona to wait for Gabi and in the time that Gabi is gone, Romona had a betrothal set up to Marcello's older brother Fortino. The city of Siena want to celebrate the victory that the sisters help bring about. However, woven into the story are lines of betrayal, double crossing, and battles.

The strength that the sisters show in these stories is fantastic! They do not sit on the side lines waiting for someone to do something for them, they know when they must help whether it be helping the sick or picking up their weapons. I liked that in Cascade, we got to see more of Lia.She is just as strong as her sister Gabi and as lethal.

Marcello and Luca are back (yay!). They are right up their now on my list of top literary men. They are guys of faith, respect, and protectiveness, and thankfully like other YA books it does not go into the area of stalking. Marello and Luca are the definition of gentlemen.

No spoilers, I promise, but I loved the ending. I can't wait to get the next books.

I loved Cascade, it is a Too Read!
5/5.