Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books That Would Make Great Book Club Picks

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! It's a weekly meme to post books from certain topics. This week's topic is Top Ten Books That Would Make Great Book Club Picks. 

Having never been part of a book club I am going to just wing this one, and I'm posting about books that I would gladly sit around with a group of friends and talk about. And it would have to be an open minded group for those romance/naughty novels! 

1. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. A long book but it is totally worth the read. The opportunity for discussion is every where throughout this book. There are so many moral issues.

2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. A great book! I could sit and talk about it for hours, and I have done so with people who have only seen the movie. This book would be great for discussions and debates on the choices that are being made.

3. Amongst the Ruins (The Chronicles of 2020) by Saewod Tice. This is a great dystopian young adult novel that would work well for a group. So much is going on in this book!

4. Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens. This is one of those slightly naughty books. The plot in this book would be a great topic for discussion. Affairs, falling in love, break ups, deadly beatings. Most definitely a book to talk about!

5. Kiss Me, I'm Irish by Bella Street. This book is full of magic and love. It would work well for book club discussions . It's a fun love story with adventure.

6. Heartsent by Kay Springsteen. This a great love story where with conflict. Two firefighters in love who can't admit it and throw in a baby who needs parents and you've got something to talk about. 

7. It's All Relative by S.C. Stephens. Another kind of naughty. As the reader you know what the characters do not, and that is so hard. It makes you want to yell at them the whole time. This would probably raise some interesting discussion topics. 

8. The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I think this is a highly under-read book. People either read Twilight and loved it so they didn't move on, or the hated it and didn't give her other novel a chance. This book is so full of conflict! It is a great read and would work great for a book club.

9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I haven't read this book yet but I really want to. I've been told by many people how good it is. I'm going with it being a good pick, maybe just because I want to read it so much.

10. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. Nicholas Sparks books could all go on a book club list. I haven't read this one but it is on my list of books to buy. I think it would make a good book club read.

Well, that's my list. Hope you enjoy it! Come back next week for the Top Ten Books You'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Belle's Tales Zombie Giveaway!!


A Belle's Tales is holding an awesome zombie giveaway! She is giving away some great books, a very helpful survival guide, some t-shirts, and even more zombie swag. You won't want to miss this! 

Source: google.ca via Lannis on Pinterest

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How Did I Get Started In Book Reviewing?

What a great question! Stephanie over at Ever After PR asked book bloggers this question today. 

I have always loved to read. I think that my love probably became an obsession pretty early on, when I read the Little House on the Prairie series. I read them all constantly, then I moved on to all the other books that branched off from that series. I moved on to Goosebumps (much to my mom's dismay) and oh how I loved R.L Stine! I read every Goosebumps book I could get my hands on. I also enjoyed the Dear America series. 
My love of books moved on and I fell in love with Jean Craighead George, Gary Paulsen, and Lois Lowry. I read Where the Red Fern Grows so many times I had to buy a new copy. 

Although I will forever love the books from my childhood I moved up in my reading as I grew up (as we all do, I suppose). I started reading James Patterson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. I love the Left Behind series, the Harry Potter series, and the Twilight Saga. When I started using an e-reader I expanded my reading list. I have now been enjoying romances, paranormal fiction of all kinds, Young Adult fiction, dystopian novels, and any thrillers I can get my hands on.

It is pretty obvious that reading is a true passion for me. I also always wanted to write. I would have all these stories rolling around in my head, sit down at a computer or some paper, and just go blank. I have never been able to put what sounds so amazing in my head down on paper. That is something that, for now, I have put away. 

It was after my latest writing attempt that I realized that I could still reach people. There are so many book lovers out there. Look around a little and you will find book bloggers every where. I figured I might as well add my voice. I started my blog by just reading and reviewing books I already owned or had won in contests. I also started networking and joining sites like Book Blogs and a great group of Newbie bloggers, and just recently Ever After PR. Now I have a list of books from authors that I am working on reviewing. 

Just because I can't write my own books doesn't mean that I cannot write about the great books I read. Now I can still share my thoughts, and books I love, with other readers out there. I hope I can grow my blog and work with new authors. I have really enjoyed the books that I have received from first time authors. They need their voice heard, and I love being a part of making that happen(even if, for now, I am a very small part).

I selected this post to be featured on www.bookreviewblogs.com. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Iris And the Dragonflies by Rosemary Danielis

After dragons, in the form of spell-bound dragonflies tell Iris she is their long-awaited Dragon Seer, Iris takes the first step toward her destiny by challenging the greedy mayor who wants to destroy the local creek, the dragonflies' home.  But evil never works alone and a man with his own mysterious connections to Iris will do anything to stop her.

I absolutely loved this book. Iris' journey of self discovery was beautifully told. Starting with a very devastating moment for Iris, this book catches you right away. At times I became upset with Iris' father, Declan, who always seemed to be trying to stop her wonderful imagination. He could be a bit discouraging. But where he discouraged, Iris' mother, Rhea, uplifted her. Rhea was a very understanding mother, and I could tell how much she wanted her daughters to be happy. Iris' older sister, Bella, was  a typical older sister. A little grouchy, maybe a little jealous of Iris.

One of my favorite parts was when Iris and her family travel to Ireland. The Irish dialect was beautifully shown, especially when Cormac was speaking. The wonderful stories that Cormac and Iris' grandmother told were fun to read. I felt like I was getting an entertaining history lesson throughout the book. 

Another thing about this book that I love is that the teacher, Ms. Aldrich is teaching her students to save the Earth. In our time, this is a great lesson for children, and I think that it will help to make them interested when they read about it in Iris And the Dragonflies. 

The details of the dragonflies, the creek, and all the places in Ireland are so beautiful. I would love to go see that crumbly castle, or that peaceful creek. In my mind those places have taken form thanks to Rosemary Danielis' wonderful descriptions. The artwork in the book was also very beautiful. 

This book would be great for middle school students and older. I truly enjoyed it, and I cannot wait until I can share it with my own children. Rosemary Danielis will by on my authors to watch list. I cannot wait to continue on in Iris' journey and see what else Danielis has in store! You can find our more information about Iris And the Dragonflies on Rosemary Danielis' website and also her Facebook fan page.

Rating:5 out of 5

 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Favorite Fictional Couples

I am joining in on Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I am so excited to be joining this meme, and I cannot wait to get started on my weekly post for it. 

This Tuesday is freebie day where I get to pick my own topic. I went back through old topics and decided that I will post my top ten favorite fictional couples. I am one of those people that as long as the love story is good, I fall in love, too. I'm a bit of a romantic I guess, and narrowing this list down to just ten is incredibly hard to do. 

**Warning, some couple descriptions may contain book spoilers!!**

1. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I knew without a doubt that Ron and Hermione would make my list. I never get tired of reading about their relationship. The constant bickering and jealousy are so wonderfully written that the drama becomes very real. Typical teenagers struggling with their feelings for each other, all while fighting along side Harry to save the wizarding world. Although I am usually not a "movie based on a book" lover, I even enjoyed their relationship struggle in the films. They are perfect for each other.

2. Shilo and Kain from Amongst the Ruins (The Chronicles of 2020) by Saewod Tice. Shilo and Kain went through so much to end up together. Living in a post nuclear world things are not easy for them. Shilo wants freedom and will do anything to stay independent of a man, and she thinks Kain hates her. When they get married she thinks it is only a marriage of convenience. Eventually she realizes that she truly loves Kain, and Kain has always known he loves Shilo. My heart broke for them when they were tragically torn apart in this book. Their journey to find their love was beautiful and I can only hope that in some way it may continue.

3. Kiera and Kellan from Thoughtless and Effortless by S.C. Stephens. I truly love these two! In the first book they are not even a couple. Kiera is dating Danny, but while he is away on business she falls in love with his best friend. Kellen is a lead singer of a band, and he carries that bad boy, womanizing image well. In reality he is the biggest softy. He falls deeply in love with Kiera. So ensues their forbidden relationship with many twists and turns. In the second book their love, now as a couple, is tested by distance and jealousy. They may not always have a healthy relationship (ok, almost never) but they love each other so strongly that I cannot help but root for them through these books.

4. Wanderer and Ian from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Wanderer is an alien who has taken over a human's body and fallen in love with another human. This love story was amazing. There was so much struggle and heart break and at times I was convinced that they could never be together. Although there is very little physical relationship between them, the emotional connection between them is strong. Their story made me cry from sadness when I thought they would never be together, and joy when they found a way to live their love story.

5. Cameron Williams and Chloe Steele from Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Who would expect to find love during the end of times? I loved reading Cameron (Buck) and Chloe's love story. Even in the dark days of being left behind by Christ and living through the Tribulation, they found love for each other. Their love is so sincere and heartfelt. A beautiful Christian romance. I was so heartbroken after Chloe's horrible death, but Buck never gave up their love or his faith that they would be together again with Christ.

6. Bella and Edward from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. I am one of plenty who love this love story. But Bella and Edward's love is just beautiful to me. She gives up everything for her love of him, including, in essence, her life. I know people say she set women back with her blind devotion but I still found it to be amazing. To love someone so completely that you would willingly leave everyone else behind. And Edward's devotion to her is no less. Cliche or not, this is one love story that I will always enjoy reading.

My final four picks all come from the same series, but a different couple (or trio in one case) in each book. I could not just choose one couple from this series, as I loved them all.

7. Olivia and Baird from Claimed by Evangeline Anderson. Olivia pretty much hates Baird. He stole her from her home, drug her up to his alien ship orbiting Earth. He stole her away from her twin sister, and she has to live with him for a month without bonding with him to be able to go home. Baird loves Olivia to no end. He does everything he can to win her affections, and despite all her efforts to deny him, Olivia does fall in love. 

8. Sophia and Sylvan from Hunted by Evangeline Anderson. Sophia hate needles, so it would figure that Sylvan drinks blood as part of the bonding. Sylvan has a vow to never fall in love again. Regardless of these issues they do fall in love. They are probably my favorite couple. He is such a stern quiet male, but when he is with Sophia he is so loving and gentle. He is everything she needs and she warms his frozen heart. Love it!

9. Kat, Lock, and Deep from Sought by Evangeline Anderson. Kat and Lock actually fall in love so quickly in this book, but Lock and Deep are a package deal. A bonding with Twin Kindred requires both males. That terrifies Kat (and lots of other people, I bet). It doesn't help the fact that Deep is broody and hateful all the time. A partial bond threatens Kat's life and Deep's love starts to show through. By the end of this story I was so happy to see them end up together, and I secretly felt Deep was my favorite of the twins.

10. Lauren and Xairn from Found by Evangeline Anderson. Xairn kidnaps Lauren from his evil father, who kidnapped her from Earth. Their love is a truly unexpected thing. Xairn is terrified that he will hurt her, because his race is very violent towards women. Lauren teaches Xairn to love again, though. I felt so bad for Xairn, his past was so horrible, I was glad that he found love with Lauren.

Well that is my list. I hope you stop by next Tuesday for Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks. Comment below with your favorite fictional couples!

Monday, January 23, 2012

National Reading Day

Grab a book and read! Today is National Reading Day. Read a book for school, read a book with you child, read a book just for fun! Just be sure to read. 

Where I live it is a rainy day out, so this is the perfect time to just curl up under a warm blanket with a good book. I'm currently reading Iris and the Dragonflies by Rosemary Danielis. I have been really enjoying this book and I cannot wait to get started on my review. 

If you are looking for a new book, I have a few suggestions. If you need a new series and you are interested in paranormal romance Brides of the Kindred series by Evangeline Anderson is a great series. It is an adult series filled with aliens, adventure, erotica, and love. If you are looking for a new Young Adult book Amongst the Ruins (The Chronicles of 2020) by Saewod Tice is an excellent read. You can find my review here. If you need a new author Nicky Charles has out some really amazing books. She has a wonderful Lycan series. If you don't want paranormal (sorry that's been my theme lately) then Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens is a great love story about a girl falling in love with her boyfriend's best friend. I seem to be on a YA, paranormal, romance kick. :) 

So let me know, what are you reading? Do you have any suggestions for books? Leave a comment!

Cozy Up with a Book Hop


Welcome to the Cozy Up with a Book Hop hosted by Mommy Reads too Much and e-Reading on the Cheap. There are 50+ blogs participating, so be sure to hop through the linky below and enter as many as you would like to.

Reading It All will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift code, which will be emailed to the winner. Thank you all for hopping by!

ETA - Sorry about the unreadable rafflecopter! I hope it doesn't cause any issues.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Enchantment (The Channie Series) by Charlotte Abel - Review

Channie was a witch who had always lived her life within a magic community. She lives with her father, mother, sister, and her triplet nephews. Channie is studying to become a healer with her aunt. 

Suddenly Channie's whole life is changed. Her father get's into some trouble and uproots the whole family, taking them to live in an entirely non-magical community. Channie's parents go even farther by changing her name with a powerful curse. Now Channie zaps any boys who are showing too much interest in her. 

One of these boys, Josh, doesn't run from Channie (much). He is all washboard abs and beautiful blue eyes. Channie is very attracted to him but her curse prevents them from even the simple act of kissing. Channie and Josh do not give up, though. Instead they go on a rocky ride together to find a way to break the curse. Through all the pain and mishaps they begin to fall in love. 

With her family in danger and being unable to truly be with Josh, Channie makes some hard decisions. 

This story was very captivating. I enjoyed reading about the power struggle between Channie and her parents, never sure whose side I was on. I loved watching Chanie and Josh's relationship grow. The magical descriptions were well written, and I had fun watching Channie learn about her powers. 

Enchantment (The Channie Series) by Charlotte Abel was a beautifully written Young Adult novel. I loved reading it and I cannot wait for the next book to come out. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Gifted Ones by Lisa Vaughn - Review

The Gifted Ones by Lisa Vaughn was a beautiful memoir of a girl's journey to find love and who she truly is. 

Lisa lived in a typical small town in the Midwest while she was growing up. She was raised Catholic. Lisa found herself in a constant power struggle with her mother, but she and her younger sister were overall well behaved children with two typical parents. Dad working outside the home, mom raising the children and keeping up the house. 

When Lisa was in Junior High she met Selena and so began their amazing journey together. They started out as friends but soon found that they were so much more. Together they would face many challenges that would test their love. Discovery in a world that did not yet accept their feelings was one major issues. They learned to hide their relationship. Together they found jobs, dealt with family problems, made their way through school, and discovered their independence. 

This was the first memoir I have ever read, so I was unsure if I would enjoy it or not. That was never an issue. It is a truly captivating story that had me wondering what would happen next. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dolphin Girl by Shel Delisle - Review

Ever since a childhood experience Jane has loved dolphins. She understands them. Jane longs to be free, like dolphins. 

Jane's life was a fascinating tale. Her mother was a very controlling person, to an OCD point, I thought. Her father seemed indifferent to what was going on with his family. Her brother, John, was moving on with his life with Desiree. 

In school, everyone stayed grouped together in pods. They socialized within their pods, stayed in one location during free time, and there wasn't intermingling between pods to a great extent. 

Suddenly Jane finds herself becoming friends with someone from a different pod. A boy named Sam that she finds attractive. They spend lunch together, and began to enjoy each others' company. Jane starts to fall in love. 

Things don't go easily for Jane. Being grounded, a horrible date, losing Sam to her ex-best friend, dealing with her mother's constant controlling, and running away from home. 

This book was a beautiful story of a girl trying to find herself in the world. A story about falling in love, being hurt, learning to forgive others. A story of family overcoming obstacles and hopefully coming out better in the end. 

I loved this book. It was very well written and I found myself unable to put it down. I would recommend this book to anyone over 14 who is looking for a great young adult romance with a lot of meaning. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Amongst the Ruins (The Chronicles of 2020) by Saewod Tice - Review

From the very beginning of this story, during a delivery performed at knife point, I was hooked. This story was a non stop adventure through one girl's life in a world that is trying to recover from nuclear disaster. 

Shilo is different and that is something that her family tries very hard to hide from everyone. Shilo and her family live in a world that is trying to recover from the Nuclear Disaster of 2020. Few people still populate the world, and all that do have formed 8 clans. It is a world where, for the most part, men rule everything. Men decide who live and die, men decide where everyone will go, men decide what a person's job will be, and men decide who the women will belong to. Women seem to have just two jobs, and that is to serve the men and repopulate the world. This is why Shilo is hidden. She is very rare in this new world. 

We get to follow Shilo's journey through this world as she grows and discovers herself. She makes a very important decision to never let a man own or dictate her. So many things happen to Shilo. Shilo trains as a soldier, and she moves, not usually willingly, through many different Clans' regions. Her escapades are many and at times I felt so sorry for her that so many things could happen to one girl. Eventually Shilo has to make a very important choice. She can be with a man who she knows only views her as property, or she can be with a man who truly loves her, although Shilo seems to not know this. 

The characters were amazing. They were all explained so well, everyone from Shilo's mother Kahrn to the twisted mutants, the Nigredo. This post nuclear world was explained beautifully. In my mind I could clearly picture these people and places thanks to all the descriptions. 

I loved so much about this book. I only had a few problems. One is that every once in a while there were weird punctuation problems, or spaces missing between words. These were small issues though, and they did not take away from the book for me at all. My other problem is where is the next book? I want to know what else happens to Shilo. I want to know what happens to this world and all of it's people. Saewod Tice will definitely be on my authors to watch list. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. 

Rating: 5 out of 5