Saturday, May 31, 2014

May in Review

Well, the month of May has just passed me by in a hurry. It has been busy and full of fantastic books!

The variety of books has been everywhere this month which has been a lot of fun. I've gone from Kids Illustrated stories, to Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction, and Parent Help books.

Review:
 Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett (Litfuse Publicity)
Blog Tour: 6/2-6/19
A Perfect Pet for Peyton by Gary Chapman & Rick Osborne (MP Newsroom)
Cassie & Caleb Discover God's Wonderful Design by Susan Hunt & Richie Hunt (MP Newsroom)
Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade (Litfuse Publicity)
Blog Tour: 5/22-6/10
While Love Stirs by Lorna Seilstad (Revell Blog Tour)
Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogal Sawyer (Blogging for Books)
One More Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong (Revell Blog Tour)
30 Days to A More Beautiful You by Kyle Bisutti (Tyndall House)
Daises are Forever by Liz Tolsma (Litfuse Publicity)
A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert (Revell Blog Tour)
Blog Tour: 6/1-6/8
Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg (Bethany House)

 Inspy Reads:
 The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen (Bethany House)
Duchess by Susan May Warren (Summerside Press)
A Nobel Groom by Jody Hedlund (Bethany Press)
Though My Heart is Torn by Joanne Bischof (Multnamough Press)
Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz (Revell Publishing)


Bought:
 The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg


How was your month? Did you read anything you've been waiting for?

Stacking the Shelves (46)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Each week offers the oppurtunity to spotlight the books you have either received for review, bought, borrowed, or won.

Review:
 A Moment in Time by Tracie Peterson (Bethany House)
Body & Soul: A Girl's Guld to a Fit, Fun, and Fabulous Life by Bethany Hamilton w/ Dustin Dillberg (Zondervan)

Won:
 The Wife Campaign by Regina Scott
The Husband Campaign by Regina Scott
Thanks to Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Reviews for hosting the fun giveaway!

Bought:
 Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson


So many books I can't wait to read!

How was your week? Get anything you have been waiting on?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Armchair BEA Day 5: Middle Grade/YA

It's the last day for discussions on the Armchair BEA. And I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself for only missing one day. I've enjoyed the topics that were posted this year and reading many responses.

Today's topic focuses on Middle Grade/ Young Adult Books. And there is also the ability for a free topic.

Middle Grade/ Young Adult
Our final genre of discussion is one that we know is a popular one these days: books for the younger crowd, from middle grade to young adult. If you do not normally talk about this genre on your site, maybe you want to feature books that you remember impacting you during this stage in your life. If this is where you tend to gravitate, maybe you want to list your favorites, make recommendations based on genres, or feature some titles that you are excited to read coming later this year.

I will say, I did not get in to YA until I was in my 20's and I'm still reading them in my 30's. I have found they can be a great light read with fantastic plots.

I don't think I will ever stop reading these books either. It will help stay updated to what kids are reading as my littles keeps growing and it will give me and the littles something else to talk about when she is older.

Here are some of my favorites:
 The River of Time Series by Lisa Tawn Bergen
Time traveling teenagers. It is a fun adventure packed story and I can't wait for the 5th and final book!
The Safe Lands by Jill Williamson
A fast paced story. I can't wait for the third book to come out this year.

I also can't forget....
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I just loved these books.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
So much awesomeness.
I'm also looking forward to reading the Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I have it, but haven't gotten around to reading it. Along with, These Broken Stars, Doon, The Selection, By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson, and Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore. These are currently sitting on my shelf.

There are many others that I have enjoyed, but these are the ones that are my favorites.


As far as Middle Grade, I haven't read much new stuff in that genre yet, but I think it will be picking up in the next couple of years.

At that age I was reading the classics: Jane Eyre, Little Women, Little House of the Prairie.

I have discovered Rick Riordan and have enjoyed his recent works. I've also found Amanda Flowers' new series Andi Unexpected which was great.


What about you?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Title: Here to Stay
Author: Melissa Tagg
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 364
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1133-1
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014

Synopsis:
After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events...

If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave.
Review:
Did you ever have a book that you just want to gush about? Well, this is one of those stories. Here to Stay has a gorgeous setting, a fantastic cast of characters, and a wonderful story.

 I feel in love with Melissa's first book Made to Last. In her debut novel, we were introduced to Blake "Blaze" Hunziker. Oh, my goodness, what a fantastic secondary character he was. He offered the perfect comedy with his laid back, klutzy self. There was an undertone of something he was hiding though. Beneath that fun loving, easy going self, something hurt him.

In Here to Stay, we get to have Blake as the star of the story as he plays the prodigal son returning home. Blake shined in this story and was not a disappointment. As fun loving as he is, he is trying to get over past problems and hurts. He has things that haunted him and he wanted to prove himself.

Autumn Kingsley I connected with so well. This was a girl who had a dream and was so close to obtaining it when circumstances changed and she was forced to take over the operations of the family's hotel. It took Autumn years, but she believes her dream has resurfaced and things are falling into place, except for the income that her family's hotel needs. I understood where Autumn was coming from with her desires to pack up and go quickly. I couldn't help but root for her, but also hope that she got what she was truly meant for. It's amazing though when your dreams and God's plan don't match up though. The new dreams that come from it are much sweeter.

Melissa has a wonderful writing ability. She is able to sweep you up into this wonderful little lake side resort town and make you apart of the story. I want to visit Whisper Shore. It is the perfect little town. All of the characters worked together so well, and they felt so life like.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft-and-coaching community for writers.  When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.




Thank you to Bethany House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Armchair BEA Day 3: Expanding Your Blogging Horizon & Novellas

We are on to day 3 of the Armchair BEA and on to some more interesting topics of discussion.

Expanding Blogging Horizons
What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons? Is it a redesign of your blog? Have you branched out into freelance writing or even published a novel of your very own? Or, have you moved into a different venue like podcasts or vlogging? This is the day to tell us about how you have expanded on blogging in your own unique way.

This past year, I have to say, I have expanded my blogging horizons this past year. Last year at this time, I had no idea really what I was doing to get my blog promoted or how it should look, or really how to work Blogger. I was lost. After the BEA last year and seeing all the beautiful blogs, I started to research. I began the over-hall on my own and safe to say, it didn't go as planned and I discovered some fantastic designers and found the one that fit my personality. I learned that a good looking blog catches the eye.

As far as writing, I love to write. I wrote a novel in highschool...safe to say, it sucked. All 250+ pages, but I loved the creativity. In the last couple of years I've started working on a couple of manuscripts. I would love to one day to become a profession writer, but I know I still have much to learn. That's why I love to read as much as I do, it is one of the best teachers out there.

Podcasts and vlogging, I don't think that will be something that I will ever do.


Novellas/Short Stories 
Now it is time to give a little love to those little stories in your life. Share your love for your favorite shorts of any form. What is a short story or novella that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves? Recommend to readers what shorts you would recommend they start with. How about listing some short story anthologies based upon genres or authors?


I've been a fan short stories and have for a while. I use to only read the novellas where only one author wrote all the short stories, but I've started to branch out and read multi-author books. I also enjoy the short stories that authors have put out as a bridge between novels or fun little prequels to the first novel in a series.

 I have read many of these and have enjoyed them. A couple of them I'm hoping to read soon. These are just the most recent of short stories. There are others from years ago.