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Saturday, December 13, 2014

2015 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge

I love reading challenges so I am looking forward to participating in the Book Vixen's 2015 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge. 

2015RS Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015 (books read prior to 1/1/2015 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2015. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read as many romantic suspense novels as you’d like. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down. Remember, the idea is to challenge yourself.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are 100 pages in length (give or take), as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • To join the challenge, grab the 2015 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge button below and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2015 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge and yourprofile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.

Levels:

  • Civilian: read 1–5 romantic suspense novels
  • Hunter: read 6–10 romantic suspense novels
  • Marksman: read 11–15 romantic suspense novels
  • Sniper: read 16–20 romantic suspense novels
  • SWAT: read 21+ romantic suspense novels

I think I’m going to go for the Sniper level.  Have fun!!!

Join me in the Show Your Shelves Some Love: A No Book Buying Challenge! #ShelfLove

My bookshelves are overflowing with books that I haven’t read yet and let’s not even discuss my virtual shelves on my Kindle.  To fix that, I am going to participate in the Show Your Shelves Some Love: A No Book Buying Challenge! #ShelfLove. 

    showyourshelves_zps8f6e8b06-png320x480

    The Guidelines

  • Abstain from spending money on books for one calendar year (or follow a monthly book budget).

  • Gift cards OK,  audible account OK, but no buying extra credits (Rose!!!)

  • Encourage other challenge participants via comments, social media and emails.

  • Participate in the monthly posts. (The link up post will go live on the first of each month and be open for 30 days.)

  • Library books do not count for this challenge. This challenge is mainly for books you already own.

  • Netgalley books can count for this because you have the book, so read it!

    No Book Buying Challenge Step 1: Select your goal

Yellow Belt —-> 1-10 books: shake hands with your shelves

Blue Belt    —->11-20 books: pat your shelves on the back

Green Belt  —->21-30 books: give your shelves a warm friendly hug

Purple Belt —->31-40 books: regular date night with your shelves

Brown Belt —-> 41-50 books: my shelves are now my bff

Black Belt —->51+ books: my shelves and I are going steady

My Spending Goal:  Because we have our local Friends of the Library book sales twice a year, I am not going to kid myself into thinking that I will not buy any books.  Instead, I am going to set a spending goal of $30 to spend on books purchased from the FOTL book sale only.  I will either spend it all in April or October or divide it between the two sales. 

Other than that, I will not purchase any other books this year.   My shelves will be thankful for that.  

My Reading Goal:  I am going to be realistic for 2015 and aim for the Purple Belt.  I usually read a lot of books.  In 2012, I read over 300 books, over 200 in 2013, and over 100 in 2014.  But I am starting school in 2015 so I am setting my goal lower this year.  

To join the challenge check out Chapter Break's site.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review: A Promise to Protect (Logan Point Book #2) by Patricia Bradley

unnamed (1)

In a steamy small town riddled with broken promises, one woman's secret could change everything.

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But all too soon, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh from the people after her brother. With Leigh doing everything in her power to avoid Ben, it's no easy task. And the secret she is keeping just may change their lives forever.

"A taut story of mistakes and betrayal, a mother's fierce love, revenge and danger--and the redeeming wonders of faith and love."--Lorena McCourtney, author of the Cate Kinkaid Files and the Ivy Malone Mysteries

"Old secrets, second chances at love, and a skillfully crafted small-town suspense. You will fall in love with Ben and Leigh and cheer them on as they fight for their happy ending. I'm making room on my shelf for all of Patricia Bradley's novels!"--Susan May Warren, bestselling and award-winning author of When I Fall in Love.

Patricia Bradley is the winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award and a 2012 Touched by Love Award and was also a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award. The author of Shadows of the Past, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.

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This book was not one of my favorites.  I felt the story was not original.  I also felt there were critical conversations between Ben and Leigh were missing. 

This book was also very unrealistic.  The author expects you to believe that Leigh went to college, then went onto medical school and got a job as a doctor all while raising a baby with no delays.   I am not saying that it would be impossible to do this, but I think it would be very difficult and parts of your education process would be delayed.  As a single mom, who had her baby when she was 19, I can tell you that it took me longer to get my degree.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review: Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley

unnamed (2)AN INVITATION TO BREATHE:  Catastrophe or no catastrophe, if you are unhinged, disoriented, suffocating, or otherwise generally dragging, I'm inviting you to pull up a chair at this table . . .

Breathing Room is a beautiful release of self-condemnation, a discovery of the rest that comes when we offer ourselves some space to breathe. Vulnerable and winsome, Leeana Tankersley shows you how to stop beating yourself up, how to be radically on your own team, and how to truly experience grace. If you've been putting on a strong front and yet are secretly coming apart, you'll find in these pages a trusted friend.

"Leeana says out loud the things we all feel, and she says it with grace and eloquence. Reading these pages is like sitting with a friend."--Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine.

"Leeana refuses to reach for easy answers, instead leading the reader on a journey of accepting our own humanity. Quite simply, this is one of the most thoughtful books I've read all year."--Emily P. Freeman, author of A Million Little Ways.

Leeana Tankersley holds English degrees from Liberty University and West Virginia University. She and her Navy SEAL husband, Steve, are currently stationed in San Diego, California, with their three children: Luke, Lane, and Elle. Leeana writes about living from the spacious place on her blog, www.leeanatankersley.com

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I love this book.  Leeana is a real person and you can tell from this book.  You can feel it in what she says and how she says it.  My favorite quotes:

“I haven’t always known how to inhabit my own feelings.  I haven’t always known how to let life be both hard and good.  I haven’t always known how to make peach with the paradoxes and texture of life…”

“Let go of the lies on the exhale, so we can take in the truth on the inhale.”

“If today, if this hour, if this year has not been what you had hoped you can begin again…We must wake up and choose to live in each minute, each day, each year.  Moment by moment…”

  “We know it’s not OK to bully other people, but somehow we forgot—or never learned—that it’s not OK to bully ourselves.”

The opposite of holding our breath isn’t inhaling. It’s letting go.”

“Show up and participate in what life has in front of you, in what God is doing in your life. Continue to lean in. Continue to open your eyes. Continue to scout the beauty. Continue to create. Continue to love.  Continue to get well. Continue to breathe.” 

Leeana reminds us of the most important thing….it is okay to feel what you are feeling.  Sometimes when we voice our feelings, those around us tell us we are not “allowed” to feel that way because life is too good, or you’re too skinny, or so good at your job, or whatever, to feel that way.  Leeana reminds us that you don’t have to justify your feelings, whatever, they may be.  You can feel it. It’s okay.

Leeana is so good at encouraging you to keep going.  I would recommend everyone who is going through a rough patch or has ever gone through a rough patch to read Breathing Room.

This book is considered a Christian book which is good.  What I really liked is that it talks about faith and grace.  I found it refreshing to read about a woman who has faith who still experiences sadness and depression and everything that goes with those feelings who takes a normal, healthy approach to getting through it. 

I consider myself a Christian in that I believe in God and have faith but I don’t particularly care for books that tout Scripture endlessly. I want to hear from real people like me who experience these feelings but find a way to pull through it.  So this book was perfect for me!

 

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Book Review: Thunder:A Stone Braide Chronicles Story by Bonnie S. Calhoun

unnamedThe Time of Sorrows is long past.
The future of Selah and her people is shrouded in mystery.
And the clock is ticking.

Hidden in the tall grasses along a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city, a hunter crouches. It is the eve of her eighteenth Birth Remembrance and high time she proves to herself and her brothers that she can stand on her own two feet. Selah Rishon Chavez waits not for game but for one of the small boats that occasionally crash against the desolate shoreline. Because inside one of these boats she will find her quarry--a Lander.

These people from an unknown land across the ocean are highly prized by the Company and bring a good price--especially if they keep the markings they arrive with.

Everything falls to pieces when the Lander whom Selah catches is stolen by her brothers, and Selah wakes the next morning to find the Lander's distinctive mark has appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her--Bodhi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell in the Mountain.

With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of disturbing scientific advances, devious political conspiracy, and survival in a hostile wilderness, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a society more like our own than we may want to admit. From the tension-laced first scene to the captivating last page, Thunder is an epic journey into the heart of humankind that explores how far we are willing to go when we're pushed to the limit.

Bonnie S. Calhoun loves to write, but it doesn't make her happy unless there are the three Bs: body count, blood, and blowing things up. She also has mad skills at coding HTML and website design. Bonnie lives in a log cabin in the woods with fifteen acres and a pond full of bass. But she'd rather buy fish, ready to eat and under plastic, at the grocery store. She shares her domain with a husband, a dog, and two cats, all of whom think she is waitstaff.

To see an exclusive video trailer and to get more information on the Stone Braide Chronicles, go to www.BonnieSCalhoun.com.

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I am not usually a fan of the whole dystopian future books.  However, there was something about this book that I enjoyed.  The writing was clear and evocative.  The storyline was intriguing.  The characters were very well developed. 

What I liked best about this book was the interaction between Selah and the Lander.  It was very realistic.  I also liked the portrayal of Selah and her feelings when the mark appears. 

What I did not like about this book was how many extra characters there were .  It felt like there were too many names and people to keep track of. 

Right now, you can get the prequel Tremors: A Stone Braide Chronicles Story for free on Amazon here:

tremors

Tremors was great because it did a really good job of setting the scene.  I would recommend everyone go and grab this now and read it.  Then, be sure to read Thunder and keep an eye out for the next Stone Braide Chronicles Story.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.