Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Intercessors Arise by Debbie Przybylski

NavPress (March 15, 2008) 224 pages

Description: (from Navpress)
Intercessory prayer connects God’s power with the needs around us. This type of prayer needs to be cultivated with passion and discipline.

Using teachings that build on each preceding concept, author Debbie Przybylski shares how to expectantly and purposefully wait on God and identifies the obstacles that keep us from drawing close to His heart.

My Review:
This is a wonderful book to help inspire and encourage your prayer life! Debbie gives lots of examples of people and how prayer helped them. She also has Bible verses and examples of prayers that you can say. She ends each chapter with a personal application, where she gives you Bible passages to read, questions, challenges, and just ways to put the chapter into practice.

There’s probably not anyone who agrees 100 % with another person, so like all books, there’s some things I don’t necessarily agree with, but it’s still a wonderful tool to have.

There’s one passage about how we have to listen to God and really understand what He is saying. I couldn’t help but laugh because it was so funny. She tells of a translator interpreting for an American.
The American said, “What happened was so funny that it tickled me to death!” The translator asked him to repeat himself several times, and then hesitantly translated, “ It was so funny that I scratched myself until I died.”

I think this book is set up to be a chapter a week Bible study, and there’s even exercises that require multiple people, like a church class. This would still be great for an individual study. For me, I like it as a chapter every 2 to 3 days. That gives time to answer the questions honestly and really soak in the information. For review purposes, I read it a bit quicker than that this time.

There’s lots of great advice in Intercessors Arise. If you need a prayer boost, you would definitely benefit from this book. Every time I picked it up, I started singing, “Soldiers of Christ Arise.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Encouragement Needed :)

No, not me. ;)

S. Dionne Moore over @ The Borrowed Book could use some encouragement and a good laugh!!! I can't seem to find my picture that would guarantee her a laugh, so y'all go take a shot at it. 25,000 words in 6 days!!! She deserves some love and encouragement!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I've Got Something To Celebrate Giveaway Week @ Reading To Know

Carrie, at Reading To Know is having a "I've Got Something To Celebrate" Giveaway Week. Not only is this her birthday week, but she's celebrating having a new little one on the way. How exciting!!!! Be sure to check it out.

Click here to go to Reading To Know.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman

Greenwillow Books (April 28, 2009) 288 pages

Description: (from Book-A-Million)
He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more--something dangerous and exciting--something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who--and what--she really is.

My Review:
I felt a little odd reading this book. I've always been intrigued by mythology, but I really don't know much about it. I don't think I had ever heard the original story of Persephone, so this book was new to me. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but if you like mythology and all, you'll probably enjoy this book.

Parental Concerns:
I saw this book on a "clean book" list at another site, so I was a little surprised that is had the "d" word over and over. I also wouldn't really recommend it for young readers. There's a scene that talks about throwing baby pigs into a snake pit as sacrifices. There's not any sexual scenes, but they are implied very slightly. Overall, it was pretty tame compared to most young adult books, but I still wouldn't consider it clean.

Winner of Hot and Forgotten

I almost forgot about this!! I'm so sad. I used the list randomizer at Random.org and had with extra entries a total of 31. The winner's name ended up in both the 1st and 2nd place spot.

The winner is.....................

Christ is Write

Congratulations!! Be looking for my e-mail. If I don't hear back in 72 hours, the person in the 3rd slot will be the winner.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart

Thomas Nelson (August 31, 2010) 320 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
Charleston's past is full of romance. Does Anne's future hold the same?

Charleston's Anne Brumley has long dreamed of love while rining the bells at St. Michael's, but those dreams are beginning to fade. Her sister Alisha and cousin Della encourage the thirty-six year old to move somewhere new for a fresh start.

Widower Roy Summerall has happily ministered to the country folks of Church of the Good Shepherd for years. So why would the Lord call him and his daughter away to Charleston--the city that Roy remembers from his childhood as pretentious and superficial? Surely the refined congregation of St. Michael's won't accept a reverend with a red neck and a simple faith.

Meanwhile, Anne's sister, Alisha, struggles with her husband's ambition, which seems to be taking him further from their dreams of a happy family. And Cousin Della's former fiance has returned to Charleston, making her wonder if she chose the wrong path when she married her gifted but unemployed-artist husband.

Family, friendship, and faith converge in a beautiful story about how God's transforming love works in the Holy City of Charleston.

My Review:
This book ended up being SO much more than I anticipated! It deals with real issues.
Love, Charleston is written in third person perspective, but the chapters alternate between Roy, Della, Lish, and Anne.
For me, Lish’s story stands out so much more than the others. She’s a mom to 3 and suffers from severe depression. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fiction book about depression, but it’s such an important issue. I’m so glad Beth included this in her story! I think it proves how so many husbands are in denial or don’t understand the symptoms. I just wanted to smack Lish’s husband upside the head! I’ve always said that when these women are on the news for doing something to themselves, their children or husband, that I guarantee you they begged for help, but maybe the signs weren’t understood or taken seriously. I would even suggest this book for husbands as far as Lish’s story. Being a mom is SO HARD!!! I sometimes don’t think husbands fully grasp that. (I know there’s some wonderful husbands out there. I’m not husband bashing here. I’m very grateful for all my husband does for our family). :) It’s just such an important issue! I think that all moms suffer from depression in varying degrees.
It also really stresses the importance of friends and family. Everyone, especially moms need to be surrounded by a loving network.
This book also goes on to deal with the effects of the recession, adultery, and also includes a sweet romance. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but I really enjoyed this book! I do think that the older readers will enjoy this book more than the younger ones, but I still recommend it! :)

*A huge thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review copy. This is my honest opinion.

Have you enjoying reading any of Beth's work or just want to leave her an encouraging comment? I'm sure she would enjoy hearing from you! :)

Beth's e-mail address: bwh@bethwebbhart.com

Beth's website: http://bethwebbhart.com/

Beth's facebook page

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge

Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2010) 300 pages

Description:(from Christianbook)
Jayne Tate loves her life as it is-living in a big city, working as a reporter for a fast-paced newspaper, and dating a guy who knows nothing about her past. When her father passes away though, she's forced to take another look at what she wants out of life. After losing out on the big career opportunity she was hoping, for she decides to escape to Oregon Amish country, seeking solace and maybe a big story.
Even in this land of buggies and bonnets, Jayne finds life more complicated than she expected. Can she persuade herself that her growing friendship with the mysterious and handsome Levi Burkholder is just about research? And what's a latte-drinking, laptop-using, motorcycle-riding reporter to do when this new life starts to change her?

My Review:
Many times Amish stories paint them to be perfect. While I love parts of the Amish lifestyle, like working together and the simplicity, there are many things that I don’t agree with. Plain Jayne gives you the good, along with the bad. I love that Hilary gave both sides.
I do want to point out that this isn’t really an Amish story. While they do play a big part in the story, for the most part scenes don’t even take place at the community. (Some do, though). So for those of you bored with that type of book, this might be a bit different. I've still only read the one Amish book, so I'm not overly qualified to decide. :)
I can’t wait to read Simply Sara, which will be coming out September 1st. It will be from Sara’s perspective. Plain Jayne was from her perspective. If you like your endings to be a surprise, don’t read the description of Simply Sara before you’ve read this one. It will giveaway the ending. Although, part of it shouldn’t come as a surprise!
From my understanding, this was Hilary’s debut book, so I’m very impressed, and can’t wait to see what else she writes!

Who Would You Pick For Julie Lessman's O'Conner Family???

After I saw on Relz Reviews that Julie picked Brad and Reese for Cluny and Katie, I thought it would be fun to see who we thought should play the rest of the family if a movie was ever made. I'll admit when I read the books, I probably won't picture most of these. I usually create how the character looks in my head. Sometimes, I like to pick movie stars, though, to make it fun. And some of these will have to be pictured with the character's hair style/color and age. Here's my picks:

Gerard Butler as Patrick

Elizabeth Reaser as Marcy

Jesse Metcalfe as Colin

Kate Winslet as Faith (Of all the covers, Faith and Colin's cover models fit them the best to me. I pictured them exactly like the cover, so it was a little hard picking someone for them).

William Holden as Mitch (I'm looking forward to seeing what Mitch was really suppose to look like in Julie's newsletter)!!

Scarlett Johannsen as Charity

Jake Gyllenhaal as Brady

Katherine Heigl as Beth

Eric Dane as Cluny (This was the hardest one for me!! I literally looked through over a thousand actors on a webpage that has lots listed. I finally decided on Eric Dane. I tried to find a younger picture of him, but couldn't).

Kate Hudson as Katie (I still like Reese as Katie, too).

I still don't have a good enough mental picture of the O'Conner boys, so I couldn't pick anyone for them.

Who would y'all pick for the O'Conner family?????? :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Abingdon Press (May 1, 2010) 352 pages

Description:(from Amazon)
Highland Blessings is the story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise he made to his dying father. Bryce MacPhearson, a highland warrior, kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. While Akira s strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment when he forces her to wed him, hoping to end a half-century-old feud between their clans. While Akira begins to forgive, and Bryce learns to trust, a series of murders leaves a trail of unanswered questions, confusion, and a legacy of hate that once again rises between their families. Clearly, a traitor is in their midst. Now the one man Akira loves no longer trusts her, and her own life is in danger. Can Bryce look beyond his pain and seek the truth? Will Akira discover the threat against her before it s too late? How will God turn a simple promise into bountiful Highland blessings?

My Review:
I was a little distracted by the language at first. I kept re-reading the lines trying to truly “hear” them with an accent. I quickly got used to it, though, and enjoyed learning not only the language, but the customs and traditions of the time.
I was surprised by the “who did it?” mystery that developed toward the end. I enjoyed it, though. Who doesn’t love a good guessing game?! If I had read the description above, I wouldn’t have been surprised. I don’t always read the long description of a book before I decide to read it. It’s fun sometimes to not know so much before reading.
My heart went out to Akira who was torn between the two clans, and they all struggle with loyalty/betrayal. I found it interesting to watch all the relationships grow in different ways.
Highland Blessings has Christianity, romance, action, and mystery. I really enjoyed it!

*This was an e-book from Amazon.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Movie Review: Bride Wars

April 28, 2009 Run Time: 89 minutes Rated PG

Two best friends become rivals when they schedule their respective weddings on the same day.

My Review:
I love this movie! It's mostly clean, but there's some minor issues, so I didn't want to put it on Sweet Movie Madness, because I try to keep those really clean movies. I don't always watch or re-watch the movies I list on there, so I apologize if any of them do have issues that I overlooked.
I get a little more detailed with my "parental concerns" in the PG movies. There are several drinking scenes, along with skimpy clothing. At one point Kate is wearing a bra with a blazer over it. There's nothing drastic, though. There was only one cuss word that I noticed, but it was gd, which is the worst for me.

Movie Review: Julie and Julia

December 8, 2009 Run Time:123 minutes Rated PG-13

A culinary legend provides a frustrated office worker with a new recipe for life in Julie & Julia, the true stories of how Julia Child's (Meryl Streep) life and cookbook inspired fledgling writer Julie Powell (Amy Adams) to whip up 524 recipes in 365 days and introduce a new generation to the magic of French cooking. Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) co-stars in director Nora Ephron's delicious comedy about joy, obsession and butter. Bon app├ętit!

My Review:
Today has been all about laying on the couch watching movies. I got in a couple for me while little boy was sleeping. I had planned on doing more movie reviews on my blog, but I rarely ever watch movies these days.
Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are two of my favorite actors/actresses, so I was looking forward to this movie. It would have been great, except for the language. The lobster scene broke my heart, so there are cooking scenes that I didn't like. There's also one with a calf's leg. Gross!
There are several scenes with profanity. The sexual scenes are more implied than anything, although there is a back shot of Amy in bra and panties. The bad parts of the movie outweigh the good for me. It's very unfortunate, though, because Meryl was so great as Julia. I loved the scenes with her! It was a very funny movie for me.

A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kasza

Putnam Juvenile (September 29, 2003) 32 pages

My little boy has been getting books in the mail from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for about a year now. I don't know how he ended up getting them, but I'm very grateful for the sweet person that signed him up for the program! He has been running a fever the past couple of days, and not feeling well at all, so it was a wonderful little surprise for him to get a new book in the mail today! :)
I normally don't review these books, but the one he got today is so cute, I decided I need to start throwing out some kid book ideas, too.
A Mother for Choco is a perfect book for an adoption family or foster care family. (Not that it isn't cute for all the other families, too)! The one we have is a board book, but I think you can get it paper-paged, also. The pictures are adorable! This book teaches the lesson that it doesn't matter what you look like, you can still be a family and love each other. It's a short story, so it's more of a baby-preschool book.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2 Book Giveaway: Forgotten and Hot

I'm going to giveaway Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless and Hot by Laura L. Smith.

Click Here for my review of Forgotten.

Click Here for my review of Hot

U.S. entries only, please.

Mandatory Entry:
*Just leave a comment saying you want to be entered.

Extra Entries:
*Be or become a follower.
*Advertise in any way. (You'll get one entry per method-blog, sidebar, facebook, tweet)I don't use twitter, but this is always an extra entry on other blogs. ?;)

You can put all entries in one comment or separate. Just put +1 by each entry.

This giveaway will end on August 25th, and I'll announce the winner Thursday morning, the 26th.

Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless by Melody Carlson

NavPress (August 1, 2010) 208 pages

Description:(from Amazon)
With absent parents, overdue rent, and no one to turn to, Adele is forced into the hard, cold world of homelessness. While striving to maintain the pretense of a “normal” life, Adele attempts to finish high school, all the while concealing her secret. But is she strong enough to keep up the act?
Forgotten will propel teen readers into a world where promises are broken, life is not fair, and challenges seem unbearable, while still offering assurance that solid faith, loyal friends, and a persistent spirit will prevail.

My Review:
It never seems to stop amazing me at the childishness and selfishness of some parents. I think this story could be told by entirely too many teens. Although, I do think that Adele’s story was very calm in comparison to what happens for many homeless people. This story only gives you a glimpse of what homelessness is like, although I’ve never been without a home and pray I never experience that hardship. This observation is purely from other books and documentaries. It was still heartbreaking to read Forgotten. It really teaches you to not be so judgemental of others. We should be more accepting of each other.
It made me thankful for my parents!! I’m so grateful to my parents that I never had to worry about if I would get a meal. I can’t imagine what that is like.
The only issue I had was the ending. It was somewhat rushed and we never learn what happens with the parents. It’s still a book I recommend, especially to teens. There’s lots of great messages that can be taken away.

* I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still House Pond by Jan Watson

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 19, 2010)400 pages

Desription:(from Amazon)
Lilly Gray Corbett loves living on Troublesome Creek, but she would much rather play with her best friend than watch her little brother and the twins. Her mama, Copper, is often gone helping to birth babies, and Lilly has to stay home. When Aunt Alice sends a note inviting her to visit in the city, Lilly is excited to go, and Copper reluctantly agrees to let her. Later, when they hear the news that the train crashed, Copper and her husband, John, rush to find out if their daughter is injured . . . or even alive.

My Review:
I really liked reading Still House Pond. The only problem I had was that there were so many characters introduced at the beginning that I had a hard time keeping them all straight. As I finished the book, there was a couple I still don’t have lined up. I kept going back re-reading trying to remember who a character was. I haven’t read Jan’s other books, and I really think that would have helped. Even though I haven’t read them, I do recommend you read them in order to learn about the characters a little more slowly, as opposed to all at once.
Christy by Katherine Marshall is one of my favorite books and Still House Pond somewhat reminded me of that book. Life during that time was so hard. I can’t imagine the work they had to endure just to survive. Some days I feel I work hard, but I’ve never , a day of my life, had to endure what they did. This book really helped me put things in perspective. I loved how the children played. And even how the adults played with them. At one point the children cut “dolls” out of old magazines. How clever!
I’m looking forward to seeing what else happens in the next book, and I do plan on finding out more details of what has happened in the first book of this series, Sweetwater Run . The series before this one (Troublesome Creek Series) has the same characters, too, as far as I could tell.

*Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for my review copy. This is my honest opinion.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Philantrophy for Families by Helen, Justin, and Alexis Deffenbacher

Green Philanthropy for Families.Org (May 1, 2010)130 pages

Description:(from Amazon)
Green Philanthropy For Families is a collection of 160 simple ways in which people of all ages can practice random acts of kindness toward the Earth and its inhabitants and for which only a small amount of money--or none at all--is required. There are twelve chapters, one for each of the following categories of green philanthropy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Repair; Simple Living; Community Service; Ecoliteracy; In Your Own Backyard; In the Garden; Food; Water; Urban Habitats, Wild Places & Wildlife; Saving Forests; Additional Natural Resources Conservation; Green Philanthropy Fundraisers

My Review:
There is a wealth of information in Green Philantrophy for Families! I highly recommend it for all families! It is full of helpful website addresses, free downloads links, gift ideas, and suggestions of how to save our planet. It has tons of activities and fun ideas. I think it would be perfect for homeschool moms interested in teaching a green life style. This is a wonderful teaching tool for children. (and adults)
There’s links to vegetarian recipe sites, which I really appreciate. And lots of places listed that we can donate our unwanted items. I’m amazed at the stuff people throw away! There’s so many charities that could make use of it.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the greenest person out there! I’m not the worst, but there’s so much I could do to help the planet more. I live in a small town and recycling is harder. I honestly don’t know of anywhere even close to me that recycles! I need to do my research, though, and start recycling, or at least use products that have less of an bad impact on the Earth.
Before reading this book, I was one of those people who prefer bottled water. I’m going to try hard not to buy anymore bottled water. This book is so much more than the basic “Go Green Tips,” though. We all know the basics of recycle, change to energy efficient light bulbs, turn off the light, etc. This book gives you so many more simple ideas that most of us probably haven’t thought about.
Many times going green results in being thrifty. I know there’s all those “green” products that will truly cost you. I’m a SAHM, so all that expensive stuff isn’t in my budget. The ideas in this book can be applied by everyone, no matter what the budget.
Once again, I really recommend this book!
Green Philantrophy for Families is available on kindle at Amazon and in e-book form at other sites. It’s still available in paper form, too.
*Thanks to the authors for my copy of this book that I won on Goodreads. This is my honest opinion, and I was not required to give a review.

I encourage you to go to the author's website, which is http://www.greenphilanthropyforfamilies.org/
I truly admire this family for the work they are doing!

100 Prayers God Loves To Hear: 100 Praise Song by Stephen Elkins

Thomas Nelson (August 17, 2010)208 pages

In 100 Prayers, 100 Praise Songs, best-selling author Stephen Elkins brings an exciting and educational way for children to learn about prayer by teaching them 100 prayers to pray to God and providing 100 songs to sing Him praises.

God loves to hear from His children and this book will help kids feel comfortable talking to God and singing praise to Him. Prayers include classic prayers such as “Now I Lay Me;” Biblical prayers such as “The Lord’s Prayer;” topical prayers such as how to pray when I am afraid or what to pray when I am thankful; and prayers from famous believers. Familiar Bible verses tell of God’s promises and encourage little ones to talk to Him every day. This is a great resource to help kids memorize 100 Bible verses. Includes two CDs with 100 new praise songs written and recorded by Grammy-nominated producer, Stephen Elkins.

My Review:
This book is precious. It would be perfect for a child’s gift! While the little prayer reminders in the book are for kid’s, they are great for the parents, too! For example, one of the reminders says the following: Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment and keep it. –Corrie Ten Boom
We can all apply this to our lives. While I think that prayers should be from the heart, and not memorized, the prayers in this book will give your child some great examples. I even use the prayers in devotional books to give me new ideas for a prayer need. I now pray about important things that I wouldn’t have thought about originally. The pictures are adorable, too. There are so many great lessons to be learned with this book!
The CD’s are also very cute. The songs cover a variety of ages. Some seem to be for very young children, and some seem to be for slightly older kids. This is perfect if you have multiple children! I know for most of you this won’t be an issue, but I thought I would mention it, just in case music is important to you or if it’s an issue. There is music with the songs. I prefer a cappella, not only for religious reasons, but because I think a child singing is angelic, and for me, music takes away from that. The songs are still cute, though.

*Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review copy. This is my honest opinion.

Faith in Action: 7-Day Challenge: Day 1-Do Something For God

Don't forget about the Faith in Action 7-Day Challenge that started today.
Today's challenge is to do something for God(showing our love for Him). Here are a few ideas:

I found this Read Through the New Testament in 30 days reading plan. Click Here for plan. I think this is great! Imagine what we could learn if we read through the New Testament EVERY month.
You can even click on the plan and it will take you to the books, chapters, and verses of the New Testament. Sometimes it may be easier to read the verses of the day straight from your computer.
There's also other plans, including a 90 day plan.
Mom's Toolbox has a 90 day reading schedule for the whole Bible.

I think we show love for God when we take care of His creations. This could include visiting the sick, elderly, those in the nursing homes.
My mom "sits" with a lady in an assisted living home. They love puzzles and books! And just a listening ear. I think God is happy when we love and care for each other.
I know that this idea gets somewhat into Day 7, but I think showing our love for God has such a vast area of ministry! :)

Start a prayer journal or a blessings journal. Sometimes writing our thoughts and prayers down helps bring us closer to God. And later, you can look back at those prayers, and see just how much God has blessed you.

Pick the areas in your life that you struggle with the most and start a devotional book on that subject. For me, it's being a Godly wife and mother! I do struggle many times!

These are just a few ideas. Have fun! :)

The Christian Scroll Contest

The Christian Scroll is having a contest. It ends August 10th, so hurry over there! These are the prizes.

If you enter, please say Bluerose sent you. :) Thanks!

Friday, August 6, 2010

House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo

Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008) 304 pages

Description:(from book)
Dream house . . . or bad dream? When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land. But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house. They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school. Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

My Review:
This book really creeped me out! I did read most of it while my husband was gone and my little boy was asleep. It was storming pretty bad, and me and puppy dog are terrified of storms! So that setting may have contributed to the creepy factor.
The ending is a major cliffhanger, so I strongly recommend having the next one lined up. I don't, so now I have to wait. I will read the next one outside in the daytime. I don't think I'll be so creeped out that way. (I do want to make note that I read a lot of paranormal books, and there's only been one other book this year, that I remember, that creeped me out. That was The Lovely Bones). Some of you would probably read this and not be phased at all, but I do get creeped out pretty easily, contrary to my last sentence. :)
I stayed on the edge of my seat throughout this book, waiting to see what happened next. You're still left with a lot of secrets and unanswered questions at the end. I so wish I had the next one!!
This is a Christian book, but there's nothing Christian mentioned at all. So you will enjoy House of Dark Shadows, even if you don't like religious books. It's perfectly clean, though. I'd be careful with this book as far as young readers, though. I think it will scare them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Patillo

GuidepostsBooks;(February 1, 2010) 272 pages

Description:(from Amazon)
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

My Review:
I liked that all the characters in this book are real. They have many imperfections, just like the rest of us, and noone is painted to be a perfect hero or heroine.
I went back and forth throughout the story as to who Claire should be with, but I was happy with her final choice. I do wish there were more details about the characters, though. We really don’t learn a whole lot about any of them.
The author’s version of what Pride and Prejudice could have been when it was First Impressions was very interesting. I definitely like the version we have now better, but it makes you think how much could have changed from that first version.
I haven’t read Jane Austen Ruined My Life, so I don’t know if any of the characters are the same or if this is a series. I liked MDBMH enough that I would like to read JARML. This was a fun, clean read.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Winner of Scrapbooking Giveaway!!!!!

I had the winner drawn at Random-Draw.com.

And the winner is..................


She is having a giveaway for a Cupcake book on her blog Katie's Literature Lounge, so be sure to check that out.

Congratulations!!!!!! Be on the lookout for my e-mail. :)

Latte Daze(A Maya Davis Novel) by Erinn Mangum

NavPress (July 1, 2010) 304 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
When Maya Davis’ ex-boyfriend proposes to her roommate, Jen, their apartment becomes Wedding Central. As if that weren’t awful enough, Jen’s obnoxious mom moves in to help with the planning!

Maya's relationships really start to get crazy when her genius brother and sister-in-law announce their pregnancy, and then to top it off there’s Jack—could it be love? Who wouldn’t need a coffee break!

This fun, lighthearted fiction novel for teens uses strong characters, humor, and quiet faith to promote trust in God.

My Review:
Latte Daze is a perfect light, summer read.
The characters were so real and sweet. I couldn’t help but think of the movie Bride Wars while reading this book and pictured Anne Hathaway as Maya. (Although, Maya and Jen were in no way fighting in this story). Maya and Jen have such a great friendship. They just seem so adorable. I completely fell in love with Maya’s dog, Calvin. The way her parents dote on him reminds me of my dog!
Most of my Christian reading seems to be historical books, but it’s so refreshing to read Christian chick lit. There’s great messages throughout the book, too, so it’s not just thoughtless reading! I loved how Maya stands up for her beliefs without being pushy. I think there’s great lessons on how to deal with those who don’t share Christian beliefs. I feel she was respectful of the other person, and gained respect in the process. And she kept a Christian attitude about Jen’s mother throughout the story.
The description says the book is for teens, but the characters are in their 20s, so I think that adults would enjoy this book, too.
I haven’t read the first book in this series, Cool Beans, but I do plan on reading it now. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any part of the story. I was filled in with important information from the first one as far as I could tell. I can’t wait to see what else happens with Maya and Jack, and Jen and Travis in Double Shot, which comes out in October.

*I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.