Monday, March 31, 2014

Monthly Reflections (#27) ~ March

Photobucket

Monthly Reflections, where we take the time to reflect on the previous month.

My goals for March were...

Read 14 books

Books read:



Favorite Read This Month:

I'm going to go with It Had To Be You, though I also loved The False Prince.

Reviews:


My thoughts on March:

Pretty good month. I didn't reach my goal of 14 books for the month, but I did complete my goal for "March 2014 Take Control of Your TBR Pile".

Looking ahead:

My goal for April:

I want to read 12 books. Including at least one nonfiction.

If you want to do your own Monthly Reflections, feel free to grab the button and post about it on your blog, then leave a comment with the URL - otherwise, please share your thoughts in a comment!

Now it's your turn! What did you accomplish in March, what do you hope to accomplish in April?

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #12

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up (March 25th)


Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and hope to read this coming week, and (when applicable) the current giveaways/giveaway winners. Occasionally I'll post some other stuff as well. Be sure to follow my Pinterest boards "Free Kindle Books" and "Book Deals" to see the good deals/freebies I share about. :)

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've accomplished (reading-wise) this past week. :)

 What I've read this week:



What I'm currently reading:

Fiction:


Finished the second of four novellas in Smitten Book Club. I liked it a lot more than the first one. ;)
I thought I was going to finish Dark Vessel last week, but time got away from me. :/
On chapter seven of Undeniably Yours.

  What I hope to read next week:


I also want to start my next nonfiction read:



Reviews posted this week:


Current Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to win a Kindle copy of God's Daughter! Giveaway is open INT. Ends 4/3 Link: 

~Thank you for the feedback~

The results from the poll question "Should I start posting some of my reviews of mainstream YA novels on this blog?" 

Yes
  22 (61%)
No
  7 (19%)
Either way is fine with me
  7 (19%)

Votes: 36 
Thank you for sharing your opinion! :) 

There you have it, that is what I'm reading this week! What about you?
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Heather Day Gilbert ~ Author of God's Daughter!


Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Heather!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Sure! I've been writing for a long time, but finished my first book about six years ago for a NaNoWriMo contest (National Novel Writing Month). Since 2009, I've had three agents and three books on submission. Now I'm an indie author, self-publishing my own books.

What is your novel, God's Daughter, about?

It's historical fiction based around the true story of Gudrid, a Christian Viking woman who sailed to North America with her third husband. She was the first recorded European to have a baby on these shores. My second novel in the series, Forest Child, will be about Gudrid's sister-in-law, who also traveled to North America and was the daughter of Eirik the Red. My novels include many details from the Icelandic sagas, such as how Gudrid went from being pagan to Christian, how the Vikings clashed with the Native Americans, and how Viking life wasn't only about plundering and raiding.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I loved reading and writing from the time I was young, but I did sense an affinity for writing around age eleven, when I started writing poetry. The poetry got increasingly angst-y when I went to college! But I didn't believe I could write an entire book until I participated in NaNo and completed a book in a month.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Sometimes I have dreams about my characters. That might be totally normal; I have no idea! But they really are very real to me. I think that's why I love writing in first person--I'm totally in my main character's head.

Where do you like to write? 

I do have an "office" (guest room) where I write, although I wrote my last book on the loft. When I wrote my first book, it was in a cold basement with cats that constantly used the litter box. NOT a fun experience, but I loved writing so much, I hardly noticed!

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

Since I'm an indie author, I'm constantly working on marketing and I really don't get out much, sad to say. But when the weather brightens up, I'll be happy to work around in my flowerbeds. I also like playing video games--I'm currently trying to beat Tomb Raider: Anniversary. I'm a homeschooling mom, so that keeps me busy when I'm not doing author stuff.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?

Lately, it's contemporary fiction. I can't seem to get enough of it and I can't FIND enough of it. Luckily, my critique partner, Becky Doughty, writes it (Elderberry Croft and her upcoming Waters Fall). But overall, I'm a classics girl. I love Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Thackeray; that kind of thing.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 

Definitely Newfoundland, Iceland, and Greenland--where my Vikings lived.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 

God has brought so many favorite verses to my attention along this loooong author pathway. One I really like is Isaiah 59:1: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save." Even when we feel like God doesn't hear us or doesn't care, we can't see the whole picture. He HAS heard and He WILL move.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie? 

Oh, good question! I like a lot of songs, but one I've appreciated on this author road is Brandon Heath's "Your Love." Talks about how God knows the sacrifices we've given and exactly what they've cost us.

And movie? I really love A Room with a View.

I love that song! What is your favorite holiday? 

I love Easter. It's such a time of joy and happiness, with spring on the way and celebrating all Christ did for us.

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?

I love spring...I'm glad we were able to be married in May (been married 17 years this year). Not too hot, not too cold, and there are TULIPS. Everything is greening up and new.

Some this-or-that questions:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Silenced (Alaskan Courage) by Dani Pettrey


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're
eagerly anticipating.

 This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Silenced (Alaskan Courage) by Dani Pettrey
Bethany House / ISBN#978-0764211959
Expected Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Find on: AmazonGoodreads

About the book:

Jake Knew Something Was Wrong. 
But He Never Guessed How Wrong.

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.

Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine. 

Why I want to read this book:

I love this series! Dani Pettrey knows how to write great inspirational romantic suspense books. Can't wait to read Kayden's story! :)

What's your "Waiting On" Wednesday selection this week?
Monday, March 24, 2014

Breathtaking: Seven Bestselling Novels of Love and Suspense Boxed set is only $0.99 March 24th through March 29th.

Breathtaking: Seven Bestselling Novels of Love and Suspense
Boxed set is only $0.99 March 24th through March 29th. 






Unbelievable by Sherry Gammon
Deliah Dreser's in town to take care of family business. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but there's more to Lilah than meets the eye. Cole's in danger of losing his heart when this firestorm throws sparks his way. Is she simply playing him for the fool in order to exact revenge for her brother's murders?
Bestselling author Sherry Gammon's reviewers exclaim; "She has a gift for touching her readers with beautiful, gripping stories that you can’t put down."




Home Before Dark by Christy Barritt
Nothing good ever happens after dark. Those were the words country singer Daleigh McDermott’s father always repeated.
Now her father is dead, and Daleigh finds a hidden journal hinting that his death was no accident. Small town mechanic Ryan Shields is the only one who seems to believe Daleigh. As the two work to unravel the mystery, it becomes obvious that someone wants them dead. They must rely on each other—and on God—if they hope to make it home before the darkness swallows them whole.
Award-Winning Suspense Novelist and Bestselling Amazon Author, touted as "scary, funny, passionate, and quirky" by USA Today.

Baggage Claim by Amanda Tru
Rachel Saunders is looking forward to her all-expense paid weekend trip to New York. But, when her luggage is lost and she is accosted by an infuriating Homeland Security agent, events take a dangerous turn.
Amanda Tru, Bestselling Amazon Author of Romance and Suspense. Discover the author who, as an Amazon reviewer raves, “continues to impress me and dominate my time with a book I can’t put down even after it’s ended.”


Cassie's Cowboy Crave by Kimberly Krey
In a moment of weakness, Shane steals a kiss.
In return, Cassie steals his heart…
When Cassie is forced to join the witness protection program, she fears her life is over… but then she meets Shane Emerson — the hunky cowboy posing as her husband. Will this sham marriage turn into the real thing, or will a hidden danger put it all at risk?
Kimberly Krey writes romance that’s clean without losing the steam. What’s Beyond Forks calls this Best-selling Western Romance author “the master of romantic tension.”



A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis
Cami DiCarlo is not happy when her father forces her into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel and unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, insisting they live together while they launch the new resort.
When she meets Vince, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything.

You Belong with Me by Shannon Guymon 
Layla Kendall is a burned out social worker one step away from a major depression. When she and her sisters inherit their grandmother's bakery, she doesn't know if she can trust her good fortune or not. But the chance to be with her sisters and get away from the heartache and pain she's faced day in and day out is a chance she's going to take. With Layla's new life, come new friendships, including Michael Bender, a single dad. She doesn't trust men but Michael's little girl grabs her by the heart and won't let go.
Shannon Guymon is an Amazon Bestselling Author of lighthearted and clean romance who according to her many fans, has the ability to paint pictures of her characters so real that readers would know them if they saw them walking down the street.

Blog This by Cami Checketts
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot exposes the dangers of Matthew Chrysler's violent video games, bankrupting and humiliating him. Chrysler sends a hit man after her. In a race against time, can Natasha expose Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?
Bestselling author Cami Checketts has been touted as, "A genius! She writes about topics that aren't widely discussed, and she does such a brilliant job of crafting these things into wonderful stories that touch your heart and remain with you for days afterwards."

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #11

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Take a Picture: Plus Bonus Short Story: Chain Reaction, Prequel to Haunting Joy by Lena Goldfinch



About the book:
Troy Alexander chases fame as a lead singer in New York City, but finds nothing but heartbreak. So he takes a job as a paparazzi to earn enough money to go back home. His assignment lands him in the path of Ashlyn Sunshine, teen pop star. They end up spending one memorable summer afternoon together, but could someone as amazing as Ashlyn ever like a guy like him -- or is he headed for another heartbreak?

Bonus Short Story:
CHAIN REACTION (Prequel to HAUNTING JOY)
When a "reveal your secret crush" chain letter goes awry, Joy gets caught in the middle.

A lighthearted contemporary romance for teens and young adults.
Novelette & Short Story

My rating:
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
My thoughts:

Take A Picture


Take A Picture was a short, fun story. It's the first one I've read by Lena Goldfinch and I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot was interesting and the writing was good. It held my attention and I was never bored. I liked the whole celebrity/paparazzi aspect - fun! Overall, Take a Picture was a great YA novelette!

Bonus Short Story: Chain Reaction

I had pretty much the same feelings about this bonus story as Take A Picture. Interesting story, good writing, and it kept me reading. Chain Reaction was much shorter than the other one, but it makes me want to read Haunting Joy someday (since it's a prequel to that book). I'm not sure how I feel about the ghost/haunting aspect in Chain Reaction, but I still really enjoyed the story.

Overall

All in all, a great combo collection. Both stories were good, though I enjoyed Take A Picture a little more than Chain Reaction. If you enjoy YA novels, you might like these stories. Clean reads.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*