Friday, February 28, 2014

March 2014 Take Control of Your TBR Pile

Take Control of Your TBR Pile 2014

I love month-long challenges, so when I found out about this one, I knew I wanted to participate! My goal is to read 10 books from my TBR pile.


  • Link-up! This is open to everyone. If you do not have a blog then link your Facebook or Goodreads account.
  • Make a Goals/updates/Results post (can be combined)
  • Beginning March 1st, 2014 and ending March 31, 2014 at midnight read books from your TBR pile ALL books must have been published before March 2014.
  • Post a review to Goodreads, your blog or Facebook then link it to the Rafflecopter for an entry. (review only needs to be a short one)
  • You can combine events, challenges etc.
  • No novellas for this one peeps
  • The rafflecopter will allow you to enter up to two books daily, so update as soon as you finish a book.
  • Earn an extra entry for adding Take Control Button to your blog, or facebook (with link-back)
  • Use hashtag #TakeControlTBR
  • Rafflecopter will close on April 2, 2014 at midnight and a winner will be chosen. Open internationally as long as Book Depository or Barnes and Noble ship to you. Prize: New 2013 release. I will do pre-orders as well. (may request eBook copy)


1. The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson
2. A March Bride by Rachel Hauck
4. The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall
9. Own It by Hayley and Michael DiMarco

Monthly Reflections (#26) ~ February

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

My goals for February were...

Finish 15 review books
I did finish 15 books, though - 11 review & 4 non-review (The Substitute Bride, Bellflower, Take A Chance On Me, and Revolutionary).

Books read:



Favorite Read This Month:

Without a doubt, my favorite read this month was Revolutionary (publication date: July 15, 2014)! Such a great conclusion to the Anomaly trilogy! Look for my review sometime in June/July.

Reviews:


My thoughts on February:

I read fifteen books (so happy about that), but failed my Review Copy Cleanup goal by four books. Hopefully I'll be able to read a lot of review books in March.

Looking ahead:

My goal for March:

Read 14 books

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 February, what do you hope to accomplish in March?

Weekend Wrap-Up (February 28th)


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:


On chapter nine of The Dream Dress (hoping to finish it today), chapter three of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, haven't read any of It Had To Be You or Undeniably Yours this week...hopefully I'll be able to get back to those soon!

Audiobook read:


Around 26% done with this audiobook. It's interesting so far!


  What I hope to read next week:


I hope to read at least five of these books next week.

Reviews posted this week:


Current Giveaways:

Book Giveaway!

Enter for the chance to win a copy of A Fall Of Marigolds by Susan Meissner! US only. Ends 3/04

Book Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Worth The Wait by Laura Jackson! Giveaway is open internationally. If the winner is from outside the US, they will receive an e-book copy; but, if the winner lives in the US, they can choose the format they want (print or e-book). Ends 3/06


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

CFBA: Dating, Dining, and Desperation by Melody Carlson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column. But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.
Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World by Marian Jordan Ellis

Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World by Marian Jordan Ellis
Bethany House / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:
Can purity survive real-world temptation?

"True love waits"--but what exactly are you waiting for? After all, we're constantly bombarded with Hollywood's idea of romance--that sex is no big deal, that everyone is doing it, that it's the only path to a happy ending. Maybe you've even begun to wonder, What am I missing? Is the wait really worth it? 
Marian Jordan Ellis has been there. She knows the pitfalls of giving in to temptation--but also the blessings of God's best found in waiting after she committed herself to Christ and to sexual purity. Now, from one Christian woman to another, she hopes to spare you from the heartache of sexual sin and instead point you toward God's best. Marian offers lots of practical advice, backed by biblical truth, to equip you with the tools to overcome past mistakes and future temptations.

You are cherished. Whether you are happily single, casually dating, or have found "the one," your purity is worth fighting for.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

"Sex and the Single Christian Girl" isn't the best book on purity I've read; there were things I didn't like, but there were also some good things in the book.

Let me start by saying that the rom-com movie quotes were neat. I also really liked some of the other quotes from people that were listed. "Sex and the Single Christian Girl" started off great and ended great -- it was just the middle that I didn't like all that much.

At times the book got to be a little redundant, because the same things and/or Bible verses were quoted/stated several times. Also, there was just something about the writing style that didn't connect with me. I did like the message of "Sex and the Single Christian Girl", though.

Here are some random quotes from "Sex and the Single Christian Girl" that stood out to me:


"I love a good romantic comedy as much as the next girl, but obviously, many of them are not edifying. Honestly, discernment is the key. I'm not writing this book in hopes that women will boycott movies or burn their favorite DVDs. That's not my style. My desire for this book is to expose the battle that rages around sexual purity." -- page 14


"Our culture promotes the authority of self and feelings as supreme. The mantra "follow your heart" is the warm and fuzzy notion depicted in romantic comedies that says our hearts will lead us in the right direction. I don't want to offend anyone with this next statement, but honestly, that thinking is straight from the pit of hell. Our feelings are fickle. Our emotions cannot be trusted as a reliable guide." -- page 116


"In many ways, sex outside of marriage is presented as a tasty "forbidden fruit," and God is depicted as the cruel withholder of our pleasure." -- page 125


"Behind each lie is the Enemy enticing us to meet our legitimate need in an illegitimate way." -- page 154

Overall, I liked this book. I've read other books dealing with this topic (purity) that I thought were better, but the rom-com aspect was unique.

*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.*

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: The Ghost Runner by Jennifer Hartz


The Ghost Runner by Jennifer Hartz
Desert Breeze Publishing / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:
The boy was 8-years-old when he died. Decades later he came to play with us.

Almost every kid grows up playing with ghost runners, imaginary people who run the bases for you when you don't have enough kids to play. Twelve-year-old Chandler Dean is no exception, but nothing could surprise Chandler more than a real ghost joining the game.

Chandler must uncover the mystery of the ghost runner all the while dealing with middle school adolescence, including his best friend moving away and awkward interactions with a new crush. Chandler's search for answers uncovers both past and present tragedies. Is Chandler strong enough to endure why the ghost runner has come?

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Before "The Ghost Runner", I'd read four of Jennifer Hartz's books: "Conception", "Resurrection", "Evacuation", and "Desecration". This story was different from those, as it's a middle grade story and "ghosts" are talked about and in the book.

The characters were good. For being such a short story, there was still some depth to them. I really liked how the story alternated between present day and Chandler's memories of past events. I was very surprised by something that happened in the story...I did not expect something like that to happen! (I won't go into details, because that would definitely be a spoiler). It did make me a little misty-eyed, though.

I'm not too fond of the "ghost" aspect to "The Ghost Runner" or what happened in the final scenes, but as a whole, I liked the story and found it interesting. If you typically like this type of story, you'll probably like "The Ghost Runner".

*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.*