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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#RELEASE DAY: Riding for Redemption by Bonnie R Paulson

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RR2FrontDesperate to find her place in the world, Sara Beth dreams of applying for the Miss Wrangler Montana competition that tours with the rodeo circuit.
Riding horses has become her anchor until a near fatal accident takes more from her than she’d ever willingly sacrifice.
Determined to prove his business training, Johnny seeks out the Rourke family to call in an old favor. When he embroils himself in Sara Beth’s life, he has to prove they’re nothing more than friends.
Seeking independence, both Sara Beth and Johnny lean on each other more and more, until love threatens their friendship. Will they seek out each other or be confused by their dreams?
Can either of them leave their past and embrace their future?

Add to your TBR list on Goodreads
Pre-order on Amazon






Bonnie
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.
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Monday, December 29, 2014

#REVIEW:Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah by Albert L Blackwell


Title: Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah
Series: none
Author:  Albert L Blackwell
Published Date: September 26, 2014
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 160
ISBN: 0664259987
Genre: Christian study
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Handel's "Messiah" is one of the most beloved musical works of the western world, playing an especially sentimental role in many people's Christmas traditions. The libretto of the work, taken directly from the King James text of fourteen books of the Bible, has turned many otherwise forgettable phrases into memorable, singable, cherished lines of Scripture.

This gift-worthy book will delight and inspire classical music fans and those for whom "Messiah" is a beloved Christmas tradition with essays exploring the theological, historical, and pastoral implications of the Scriptures that make up Handel's "Messiah."

Forty reflections journey in order through the oratorio, taking the reader deeper into less-often studied texts like Malachi 3:3 and bringing new light to oft-recited passages like Luke 2:9-14. Each reflection offers the libretto from "Messiah," the same passage in NRSV, and a brief commentary on the text, written by a respected scholar or pastor. Readers can peruse the book at leisure or examine one reflection per day throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. 

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
Most people are familiar with Handel’s “Messiah”, if not all of it, then certainly the Hallelujah chorus, which is often played during the Christmas season. It is one of the first things I remember singing in a chorus as a 6th grader.
This book brings us through snippets of the entire Messiah work, focusing on the Scripture that it quotes, leading into a commentary by the author on the Scripture. Some of these Scripture passages are hardly heard, like the verse in Malachi, some are very well-known, like the scene with the shepherds or the manger scene.

I thought this would be less Scripture, and more of the musical work, but this whole book worked well. The author successfully used this as a jump point for a well-written commentary on each of the scenes in Handel’s Messiah.

#BLAST and #GIVEAWAY: University Park Series by CM Doporto #winningblast

Will she succumb to the temptations enticing her?
Publication Date: May 16, 2014
Genre: New Adult Sports Romance (18+)
Series: University Park Series, #1
College senior, Lexi Thompson, finds herself in a relationship to be wed to the university’s star baseball pitcher, Collin Norris. Collin’s damn hot, but his lack of spark has Lexi thinking twice before she says ‘I Do’. When she’s forced to tutor bad boy football quarterback, Raven Davenport, she soon discovers all the things she’s missing in her relationship with Collin. Will she succumb to the temptations enticing her, or will Collin be able to convince his sweet, innocent fiancĂ©e that his love for her is genuine despite his lack of affection? (This story will be told in three installments.)
Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


Publication Date: September 5, 2014
Series: University Park Series, #2
The engagement's off and with Collin behind her, Lexi has decided that the temptations of Raven Davenport are too strong to be ignored. It doesn’t take long for Lexi and Raven to find themselves wrapped in each other’s affection, but not without the challenges that life poses. But can she withstand the world he’s created or will the forces that are against them rip them apart? Love, faith, betrayal, and heartache ripple through their lives as they fight to be on the same side.


Publication Date: December 21, 2014
Series: University Park Series, #3
Lexi’s determined to keep her word and stand by Raven’s side because her love for him is too strong to deny.  As Raven learns to deal with the issues that are destined to destroy him and their relationship, their love is taken to a new level. As doors are closed and new ones are opened, Lexi and Raven find themselves in a heavenly bliss, but not without the challenges from Raven’s past. With a true test of love, Lexi and Raven have to decide if they are willing to do whatever it takes to be on the winning side.

CM Doporto lives in the great state of Texas with her husband and son enjoying life with their extensive family along with their Chihuahua, Mexican Redhead Parrot, and several fish. She writes Young Adult and New Adult stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest | Instagram

Sunday, December 28, 2014

#REVIEW: Doctor Who and The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker


Title: Dr Who and the Crawling Terror
Series: Dr Who: The New Series Adventures #55
Author:  Mike Tucker
Published Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Format: ebook
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780804140911
Genre:  Dr Who Fan Fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: "Well, I doubt you'll ever see a bigger insect."

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. 'Mummy there's a daddy longlegs in my room!' Then the screaming starts... Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face — a spider's web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows... Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But it isn't the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn't the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn't an old man's garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have avoided reading this book because honestly, I’m freaked out by spiders, and as you can see from the cover of the book, there is a very very large spider that plays a large part of this book.
As heart-pounding as the subject of this book is, I love the Doctor, even as I’m still trying to adjust to the newest incarnation of him. From previous reviews of this book, I knew it was hit or miss, as are most fan fictions of the Doctor. Either the author gets into the Doctor, or it ends up being a bland two-dimensional character that happens to be called the Doctor with a sonic screwdriver. However, I think the author of this book did an incredible job of getting into the newest incarnation of one of my favorite heros.
Once I dug up enough courage to actually read this book, it flew through my hands. The action started from the very beginning, and as most Doctor Who books, we didn’t truly find out who the “bad species” was till almost the very end. The author brought us from modern day England to World War II, and back again flawlessly.

Despite the terrifying massive spider, this was an incredible book to read.

#REVIEW: CS Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian by Gregory Cootsona

Title: CS Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian
Series: none
Author:  Gregory Cootsona
Published Date: October 6, 2014
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 160
ISBN:  9780664239404
Genre: Christian nonfiction biographical
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: C.S. Lewis has long been recognized as a beloved author of children's literature and an apologist for Christian belief to a skeptical modern world. In this new volume, Gregory S. Cootsona shows us how Lewis can also serve as a guide to the ups and downs of the Christian journey. Like many of us, Lewis suffered from a variety of crises of faith and personal experience. Like us, he came to faith in a world that no longer respects Christian commitment or offers much room for belief in God. Like us, he felt the absence of God when those closest to him died. Like us, he wrestled with doubt, wondering if God is real, or simply the projection of his own wishes onto the screen of the universe. Like us, he knew the kinds of temptations he described with such poignancy and humor in "The Screwtape Letters."

By examining these and the other crises of C.S. Lewis's life, Cootsona shows us how Lewis found God in each one, and how he shared those discoveries with us in his writing. All those wishing to deepen and enrich their own spiritual journey will find much guidance and wisdom in these pages. 

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.
This was a very slow book for me to read, but only because it shifted my normal reading mind from flying through a book packed with action, romance, suspense, etc etc, to slowly reading through this book to truly understand one of my favorite children’s fiction authors, CS Lewis. No, I have not read any of this other works, though I am eyeing The Screwtape Letters. I have read the Narnia Chronicles as a child and as an adult, and I believe I actually enjoy them more as an adult. Perhaps this coming year I will delve into his non-fiction apologetic works.
The author does a good job of showing us Lewis’ work through the lens of Lewis’ life and the reasons behind the writing of each. As the author put it, when Lewis found himself in a crisis, he would sit down and write through it. This book caused me to read a paragraph, then go back and re-read it, and then go back and re-read it a third time to truly understand the thought process behind Lewis’ apologetic works. For a scientist like myself, it is not easy at times to follow the process of subjects that are so amorphous at times.

Over all, though, it was a good book, and one that introduced me to a part of Lewis’ life that I avoided.

Friday, December 26, 2014

#NEW RELEASE and #GIVEAWAY: Whiskey Witches Season 1 by SM Blooding

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New Release - The Complete First Season of Whiskey Witches Detective Paige Whiskey comes from a long line of witches. They may not all be the most powerful, but they are outspoken and supportive of their community. She alone has no gifts. She can’t summon fire, can’t read minds. She knows the arcane. She’s studied it. That, along with her connection to the Whiskey Witches, lands her some pretty strange cases. Like the sacrificial murders of St. Francisville, Louisiana. There’s a killer on the loose, choosing people in a vain attempt to raise a demon. Not just any demon, though. A man born long ago, made a demon in order to protect the Gate to Hell. Together with demon hunter, Dexx Colt, her kitchen-witch grandmother, and her paranormal investigator brother-in-law, they unravel a conspiracy far bigger than a few simple murders, and re-discover Paige’s gift. She’s a demon summoner and she’s key to the killer’s plan.

Buy on Amazon / Kobo / Barnes and Noble

What reviewers are saying - "How can you go wrong with a Demon summoner and a Demon hunter?Did I mention a battle between Angels and Demons. "
"OMG OMG OMG - this is the first book of S M Blooding that I have read and I can now say that I hope to read more!!!"
"The dialogue is witty, the action is non-stop, and there is the promise of romance. While the immediate threat in this story is handled, there is the promise of another on the horizon, so this isn't a cliffhanger, but I defininitely need the next book."

Meet the Author:

SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation. She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories. She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Find out more about her at:

Facebook /Twitter /Website

In celebration of the release of Whiskey Witches The Complete Season One SM Blooding is giving one lucky reader a Funko POP Television: Supernatural Dean Action Figure. Open to US addresses only. Must be 18+. Ends 1/6/15 a Rafflecopter giveaway

#AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Pauline Creeden

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In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. It is also the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Winner in Historical Fiction.

Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Readers’ Choice Gold Award for Best YA Horror Novel.

Her other books include: First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban/paranormal fantasy and was just released in March 2014.

Abiding Flame: A Catalyst Novel is a Christian Science fiction/dark fantasy that has been described as a Star Trek episode with Frank Peretti influences, released with Prism Book Group’s new ILLUMINATE line.

Chronicles of Steele: Raven is a steampunk fantasy set in an alternate universe. First released in a 4-part serial and now is in a complete pack.

Sign up for her newsletter HERE


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

#REVIEW: NKJV Note-Taker's Bible


Title: NKJV Note-Taker’s Bible
Series: Note-Taker’s Bibles
Author:  various
Published Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: hardcover
Pages: 896
ISBN: 9780310434139
Genre: Bibles
Purchase: Amazon | Zondervan

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Finally, a hardcover Bible that has plenty of room for taking notes during public or private worship, small-group fellowships, or any other time or place you feel the need to make comments on the Bible. No more cramped writing in tiny margins—the New King James Version Note-Taker’s Bible makes it easy to stay organized and neat. Personalize the text of God's Word to your life as never before, and treasure this record of your spiritual journey. Includes the complete text of the popular New King James Version.
 Features: 
• Deluxe wide margins for note takers
• Complete New King James Version text
• Double-column text for easy reading
• Words of Christ in red letter

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This Bible is similar to the Single Column Journalling Bible put out by Crossway. The concept is the same: room for you to write in your bible. Yes, you read it right. You are encouraged to write in this Bible.
If you don’t feel it is appropriate to write in a Bible, don’t get this Bible. There are plenty of other New King James Version Bibles out there that don’t encourage you to actually put pen, or marker, or crayon, or any other medium of self-expression to the pages. However, if the idea of self-expression in the form of writing utensils while studying your Bible appeals to you, this is a Bible for you!
The pages are minutely thicker than a normal Bible page, and you have about an inch margin to write in at the outer edge and bottom of the pages, perhaps half an inch at the top.
The type however is in probably a size 2, which makes it absolutely tiny and crazy to try to read. Please don’t try to read this Bible in a candle-lit service; you really do need a well-lit area to work on this.

Personally, I am using Pinterest to see how to creatively use these margins in my Bible study in 2015. I am also looking for creative ways to spruce up this cover, because under the jacket it is a plain, boring black.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

End of 2014 Update: Goal Accomplished!



As of December 22, 2014, my yearly goal of reading 150 books was accomplished! Does that mean I take a break from reading for the next 8 days?  Nope! I may slow down a little and finish up the reviews I haven't done yet, but I plan on reading at least 2 more books.




#RELEASE DAY: Immortal Rising by Magen McMinimy


Released: 12.23.14
Title: ImmortAl Rising
Series: Immortal Heart
Author: Magen McMinimy

When the Fates meddle, everything changes… All the things the warriors had come to accept, what they thought they knew, will be tested.
Death and loss have formed the man that Cree has become. One wrong move—one misstep in battle—and the love that once heated his soul was taken from him. While trying to find solace in his remaining family, he is haunted by dreams of a future he can’t reconcile. Awoken from one of those dreams, Cree finds himself wandering the Light Fae castle, when a familiar form appears in the silent halls of his home—nothing will ever be the same.
Confused, with no memory of herself or her life before the time she spent in the Immortal Three’s domain, Rowan is back among her people and struggling to unlock the memories that are just beyond her reach.
Pain and joy battle within the walls of the warriors home as they try to jog Rowan’s memory, while keeping her return a secret from everyone outside their inner circle. Meanwhile, Esperanza, now queen of the Dark Fae, schemes to take down the Fae she once called family with a secret weapon of her own.
Come get lost in love, longing, betrayal and passion in the final installment of the Immortal Heart series.





 

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