Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer Review

Here's the blurb from Amazon:
As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a cherished dream. Libby wishes to become a famous journalist, Pete plans to study to become a minister, and Bennett wants to join a fraternity and have as much fun as possible. But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends' differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well. And when Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete's family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?

My Review:
First of all, let me thank Amber so much for sending me In Every Heartbeat. I am so glad you did!!

This was my first book by Kim Vogel Sawyer and most definitely will NOT be my last. I was so pleasantly surprised on so many levels.

This book follows three best friends as they venture into a new part of their lives as college students. The year is 1914 as Libby, Petey, and Bennett become freshman in college. All three are orphans, raised in the same orphanage, but all having different experiences there. Though they start out with the stongest bond, they soon realize that their relationships are going to change, some for the better and some for the worse it seems.

Now I don't want to give anything away, but I loved this book! Lol...I felt like the characters were quite relatable, especially the feelings because I am in that weird transition face, as they are too. Though I did not completely relate to Libby, she is much more outspoken then me, I related to her on a deeper level. One of the same desires as her. I have to admit that I did not love Bennett's character. He almost became the person you love to hate, but not quite. However....Petey. Oh my goodness. I think I fell for Petey...hard! He was so sweet and true to himself and his beliefs. I don't know how you couldn't not like him. Just seemed like such a perfect guy to!

Anyway, I say bravo to Kim for her success!! As soon as I finished this I went out and bought A Hopeful Heart on Amber's recommendation ; ) Well the next! Great job!

Have a great day!

Season of Love Blog Party!!!

Okay is getting very near that wonderful day of romance, chocolate hearts, and roses. Yep, you guessed it! Valentine's Day! our suite here at school it looks as though (and I quote) "Cupid puked all over our walls". Bahahahaha! We've got paper hearts everywhere, arrows, etc. It's crazy, we'll just say ; )

So on that note I want to mention the Season of Love Blog Party!

This is going to be sooooo fun, I'm convinced! And why shouldn't it be? Now to steal from Amber's invitation on her blog:

"Who: Everyone is invited!

What: A progressive blog party

When: February 7th through the 14th

Where: Various blogs

Why: To celebrate the wonderful gift called love!

And here's a peek at the tentative schedule, with links to the blogs that will be featured each day:

Monday, February 7th: Amber at Seasons of Humility--Interview with MaryLu Tyndall and a giveaway
Tuesday, February 8th: Renee Ann at Doorkeeper--TBA
Wednesday, February 9th: Casey at Writing for Christ--Interview with Kristin Billerbeck and a giveaway
Thursday, February 10th: Hannah at Project Journal--TBA
Friday, February 11th: Joy at Edgy Inspirational Romance--TBA
Saturday, February 12th: Julia at Darkglass Ponderings--Interview with Jody Hedlund; "romantic" menu of recipes from a chef!
Sunday, February 13th: Renee at Black 'n Gold Girl's Bookspot--Interview with Laura Frantz and a 3-surprise-Christian-fiction-books giveaway
Monday, February 14th: Visit Seasons of Humility for a Mr. Linky listing of all the blogs writing a special Valentine's Day post; winners announced on the participating blogs."

Yes, I'm still TBA. I am waiting to hear back from my author, though, who will hopefully agree! Anyway, I hope that you all will join us because it's going to be a fun time!

Thanks to Renee for making the awesome blog button! And a huge thanks to Amber for getting this ball rolling!!!
Talk soon,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Blurb: For over twenty-five years, Ellen Raskin's Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite. It has sold over one and a half million copies. This highly inventive mystery involves sixteen people who are invited to the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. They could become millionaires-it all depends on how they play the tricky and dangerous Westing game, a game involving blizzards, burglaries, and bombings! Ellen Raskin has created a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot filled with humor, intrigue, and suspense.

My review: The Westing Game is one of the only books I will actually choose to reread. Why, you might ask? I have no clue actually! I first ordered this book from the book order in 4th or 5th grade. Since then I reread it at least once a year.

What starts out as a strange storyline, quickly becomes something much more. You become so attached to the characters that you don't know which way is up! There are quite a few main characters but no minor characters really to keep track of. So, in a way it works itself out.

The book is a murder mystery, of sorts. It is extremely interactive, but I'll warn you, it WILL keep you guessing up until near the very end. Just when you think you have it figured out, Ellen Raskin finds a way to turn it all around.

Like I said, I've been reading this for years and it never ceases to delight me with every page turned. No matter your age, I think you will enjoy this wonderfully written mystery that might just leave you in tears by the end too! I really hope some of you consider picking this one up : )

Later, taters!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wish I'd Read That Reading Challenge 2011

Like Amber, I am hosting a book challenge this year. I am taking it over for Alaine @ Queen of Happy Endings blog. I participated in this one last year also and didn't completely commit lol! But this year I'm ready for it because I have some that definitely go into this category ; )

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This challenge is for all those books you wish you'd read. It might be Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, a Nora Roberts Romantic Suspense, the Outlander series or a childhood classic Winnie the Pooh. I have a very long list of books that I've been wanting to read for years, not to mention the list of books I've added to it since I've been blogging. These don't have to be books you currently own, you can buy them, borrow them or beg for them. This is a great challenge for getting those TBR piles reduced. So go have a look at what you might read and challenge yourself.

This is kind of a catch-all challenge. A good one to start with, if you ask me!

Challenge Guidelines:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 books.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 books.

-- Addicted – Read 12 books.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 books.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2011.

So sorry for taking my time about getting it posted, you've lost 14 days already!!!! AHHHHH! Joking ; ) But I am still sorry about that lol. I did decide, however, that for me personally I'm not going to necessarily pick a category. Throughout the year I will instead keep my list updated! Lol! So here's what I have so far:

1) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

2) The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

3) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

4) House Rules by Jodi Picoult

5) Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

6) The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

7) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I'm going to stop there for now, but check back occasionally because I bet you I will be updating this as I actually browse my shelves : )

Now bear with me, folks. I'm trying Mr. Linky for the FIRST TIME! if there are problems I'm working on it. If it doesn't work, you'll get to just sign up in the comments.

So, who wants to try this challenge with me!?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Contentment Reading Challenge

I'm back again, folks! Lol...

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Today I'm posting my official launch post for the Contentment Reading Challenge 2011 made by Amber @ Seasons of Humility blog. She is a very dear friend, obviously, so how could I resist supporting her on her very first reading challenge! So now, taken from her blog, this is what the challenge is about and the guidelines:

"The "Contentment Reading Challenge" is based on the idea that we, as avid readers, have many books scattered around our homes (on shelves, in the closet, under the bed, etc.) that we have hoped to read again but have not made the time to do so. It is also based on my own struggles with greed and selfishness--continuing to buy more and more books, while forgetting the wonderful library I already own.

If you perhaps are going through similar struggles or have had similar ideas, I would love to have you join my reading challenge. This is more of a personal challenge, so don't feel like you have to strictly follow all of the rules in order to be involved. What really counts is our heart attitudes, and while this isn't an overnight change, it's something we can be working on together.

Here are the guidelines:

•Anyone can join--just leave a comment below saying you want to be a part of the challenge. I will be posting off and on throughout the year about the challenge, and I would love to hear your feedback at those times on how you are doing and what you might be learning along the way. I'd love to have this become a community event, where we can encourage and pray for one another, as well as share in each other's joys as we re-visit some of our favorite books!
•In order for this to be a "challenge," it's good to set some goals. There's no pressure--just choose whatever level you think would be good for you if you would like to have an overall goal. Since the ocean is the theme for the devotional posts on this blog ("Sundays by the Sea") here are some of the themed levels you can aim for:
◦Floating: Re-reading 5 books you already own. Skimming the surface.
◦Wading: Re-reading 10 books you already own. Getting your feet wet in your ocean of books.
◦Swimming: Re-reading 15 books you already own. Immersing yourself again.
◦Diving: Re-reading 20 or more books you already own. Going deep into the stories you love.
• The challenge officially starts on January 1, 2011 and officially ends on December 31, 2011. I'm sure there will be some fun activities along the way for those involved, and maybe even a celebration at the end, so I hope you can join me!"

I am so very excited to start right in on this!! Who else will join us???

So now, here's my list that I've compiled so far:

1) The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

2) Pictures of Hollis Woods - Patricia Reilly Giff

3) Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

4) Green Angel - Alice Hoffman

5) Flavor of the Week - Tucker Shaw

6) Someone at the Door - Richie Tankersley Cusick

7) Crooked - Laura and Tom McNeal

8) Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

9) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

10) The Farther You Run - Davida Wills Hurwin

11) A Soldier's Promise - Cheryl Wyatt

12) The Color Purple - Alice Walker

13) Cell - Stephen King

14) A Child Called "It" - David Peltzer

15) The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks

16) Plain Truth - Jodi Picoult

17) The Pact - Jodi Picoult

18) Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult

19) Second Glance - Jodi Picoult

20) The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

21) A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

Disclaimer: These book titles are subject to change. I might change these twenty, but it also may be that I add more.

As you can tell, I've chosen the Diving category. Now, I must admit that I didn't intend to do this necessarily! Instead, I went through my books and found the books that immediately jumped out at me and grabbed them! we'll see how things go this year : )

So, Amber, I just wanted to say thank you for putting this challenge out there for all of us this year!! Happy Reading in 2011, people!! Check back in often for more book reviews : ) If you want to join this challenge go HERE to sign up!


Monday, January 3, 2011

SORRY!! And winners :)

*big sigh* Soooooooooooooooo sorry I haven't been around lol! I've been meaning to make this post, draw winners, etc. But I didn't get to it, until now lol...

There's really not much new news for me. Today school started back for mom and my sister. I'm working a little more (20 hours this week) and am still on break. I'm a little glad that the blogfest is over because it wore me out a little having to get a post out for everyday or try to! However, as long as my good friend, Amber, doesn't mind I might steal her idea of doing themed weeks. That's shorter and I'd love to be more regular about posting, just need things to post about :P So, I am going to try and commit to posting somewhat regularly, a few times per week, or as much as I get up to writing between school and everything else. So once again, thank you all so much for coming around my blog! I LOVE meeting you all and making some really great friends.

So now onto the winners! Firstly, I thought it was appropriate to have this background because it was titled: And the Winner is.... I was like, holy cow! That's so appropriate :) Lol....anyway! All the winners have been notified. They have through Wednesday to reply to their email, I know that's harsh, but if I don't get an answer I'd like to let someone else have a chance. So that's the only reason why : ) Soooooo here are the winners!!

"Mystery Giveaway"


Winter's End by Ruth Logan Herne


Three Kneeling Santa Ornaments


Renee Ann!!


Christmas Peril by Debby Guisti and Margaret Daley


The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall


$10 Amazon Gift Card


CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!!! This has been so fun and I really hope you all stick around still! I'm currently working on planning some fun things for you all : )

Thanks so much, congratulations again, and stay tuned for some fun and more medical updates as I get them!
See you soon : )