Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Clean Fiction Versus Christian Fiction--What's the Difference?

Check out this post by Christian author, Cathy Bryant on how to distinguish "clean fiction" from "Christian fiction." She makes some great points. Click here.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Thanking the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for their service, their loyalty, their courage, and their sacrifices.

Monday, May 18, 2015

First Chapter Review: Angels at the Gate by T.K. Thorne

The first chapter of this epic historical adventure novel was sent to me by the author.

BLURB:  Secretly raised as a boy in her father's caravan and schooled in languages and the fine art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic life and independence. With the arrival of two mysterious Northmen, rumored to be holy men, Adira's world unravels. She loses everything she values most, including the "Angel" who has awakened her desires. Caught between her culture and freedom, and tormented by impossible love, she abandons all she has known in a dangerous quest to follow the "Angels." With only her beloved dog, Nami, at her side, Adira must use all the skills she learned from her father to survive the perils of the desert, Sodom, and her own heart.

Angels at the Gate is a story of adventure and the power of love, a compelling saga based on historical research about the ancient biblical world of Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the woman who "became a pillar of salt."

COVER: Stunning. The color close up of the woman against the pencil drawn background is definitely eye-catching. The pencil drawn figures remind me of drawings from old picture Bibles and prayer books we used to own.

FIRST CHAPTER: The reader meets fifteen-year-old Adira, or Adir as her father calls her. She is secretly being raised as a boy and learning much from her father; though she finds obedience difficult. She is taken with two mysterious strangers, especially the graceful, muscular Raph.

CONTINUE READING: Fascinating! That's what this first chapter is. Adira is narrating, which draws the reader close to her from the very beginning. The eloquent style is so appropriate for a story of this nature and the time period in which it takes place. Being familiar with the Biblical significance of this woman, I am eager to see how this novel unfolds.

File Size: 2491 KB
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Cappuccino Books Publishing (March 5, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase here!

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bargain E-Books: Foundlings by Richard Levesque

Derek Chandler had it all—the education, the promising future, the beautiful wife—but a tragic accident changed everything and his life now stands in ruins. Haunted by the ghosts of what might have been, Derek tries to lose himself in his new job, but what begins as a minor academic mystery soon unravels, leaving him with the burden of a second truncated life: that of long-vanished science fiction writer, Kichiro Nakamura.

Convinced that finding Kichiro is somehow the key to finding his own peace, Derek is drawn into a frantic search of modern and post-war Los Angeles as he tries to reconstruct the shattered kaleidoscope of American and Japanese cultures. And the key to everything just might be the beautiful—and very suspicious—tattoo artist, Yuki Kamikaze.

File Size: 1161 KB
Print Length: 346 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1506148522
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Purchase here for only 99 cents!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Musing Mondays - May 11

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you have a “kindred” reading buddy — someone who very closely shares your taste in books? If not, do you wish you did?

I am really loving these weekly questions. They make me consider things I never did before.

While I can't say my oldest daughter and I are reading buddies, we often like the same books and talk about what we are reading. Being thirteen, she takes her excitement to a crazy level, being a member of several fandoms. Of course, when you consider my Little House and Anne of Green Gables obsessions, I guess I partake in my own fandoms too.

What about you? Are you part of any fandoms--even if they aren't really called that? Who do you most enjoy talking books with?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: From Tours to Paris by Linda Kovic-Skow

Escape to a world of romance and adventure in From Tours to Paris, the second book in the French Illusions series by Linda Kovic-Skow.

Having moved on from her dreadful au pair experience, Mademoiselle Kovic is ready to get her life back on track. Enrolling at a French Institute, she hopes to learn French well enough to fulfill her dream of becoming an international flight attendant. But when her boyfriend Adam returns from holiday with a shocking announcement, all her plans are up in the air. Her new direction leads her to Paris, where her money struggles continue, but she discovers a great deal about life and herself.

I had the pleasure of editing the first book in this series, French Illusions, so I was thrilled when Linda contacted me and asked me to edit her latest memoir, which is a follow up to Book One.

In some ways, the books are similar: the beauty of France, the spontaneous adventures of being in a foreign country when you are young and untethered, the sheer joy of being in love. For the most part, however, From Tours to Paris is a very different story told in the same elegant and engaging manner. While the first book finds Linda dealing with the consequences of a decision, in From Tours to Paris, the reader watches as she blossoms: moving out on her own, learning French, and meeting new people. In addition, the reader is left sympathizing with her as she is dealt a terrible blow and must once again move in a different direction, and cheering her on as she becomes more decisive.

It's always a joy to read Linda's work. I hope she will continue to create captivating stories for her loyal--and growing--audience.

File Size: 2572 KB
Print Length: 294 pages
Publisher: Dreamland Press, LLC; 1 edition (April 29, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

I served as an editor on this book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

What are you "waiting on" this week?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Musing Mondays - May 4

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What would you do if you wanted to buy a book for someone, but didn’t know what they like to read? Would you ask them? Would you choose something you, yourself, like? How would you go about buying them something?

What an awesome question for this week. I would definitely ask the person. Unless they are someone I know from a particular civic or religious group, which would give me some insight into their preferences, I want to make sure what I buy is something they are interested in. If it's for a child, I usually just buy something my kids have enjoyed.

How about you?

Book Blast: Getting It Right by A.M. Arthur

For a dramatic male/male read, look no further than Getting It Right by A.M. Arthur. This contemporary romance is full of heart-wrenching moments guaranteed to draw you in and leave you wanting more.

Detective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four--because he's too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.

Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as Tag, he’s the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James’s drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he’s close to becoming the worst version of himself.

After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn't sorry for the kisses that James can't remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.

Book Excerpt:

He smoked his way through two more cigarettes before Nathan’s beat-up Ram pickup pulled alongside the curb. For a city cop, he was still adorably country. Nathan leaned across the console to shove open the passenger side door, and James gratefully slid inside. The simple, familiar presence of Nathan nearby made James’s nerves unfurl a little bit more. Nathan was the one thing in James’s life that had always made sense. Had always been easy.
Weariness settled into his bones, turning his drunken daze into extreme fatigue. He wanted to pass out and soon.
Nathan shoved a bottle of water at him, then eased the truck back into the street. He cracked both of the front windows, probably because James reeked of smoke. Nathan had never been shy about telling him how gross his habit was. Nathan was also smart enough not to engage in conversation until they were shuffling up the short sidewalk to Nathan’s half of a two-story duplex. Nathan slung an arm around James’s waist, and the heat of the other man’s body so close felt amazing. Real. Not like the fake closeness of dancing with strangers in a crowded bar.
He finally got a good look at his friend as Nathan crossed the narrow living room to the kitchen in the rear. Flannel pajama pants and a spring coat. James had woken him up.
Yeah, I’m a douche bag.
“You hungry?” Nathan shouted from the kitchen.
“No.” In the familiar, somewhat cluttered warmth of Nathan’s home, he had a safe place to wallow in the shame still burning in his gut.
Nathan’s place was the definition of a straight bachelor’s pad—which worked since Nathan was a straight bachelor. Dark leather furniture right out of a magazine’s page, decorated exactly the same because he couldn’t be bothered. A monster, sixty-inch flat screen mounted on the wall over an entertainment console boasted two gaming systems, alongside a Blu-ray player and hundreds of movies. Only a handful of photos hung on the wall, mostly of his rather large extended family that lived in southern Delaware.
James paused to stare at a familiar photo of himself with Nathan, taken right after Nathan had graduated from the police academy. They were both grinning, arms slung around each other’s shoulder. Nathan so handsome in his uniform, James in a gray suit that hadn’t been stylish in a decade. Because that’s how long it had been. Nathan had made detective last year, so he didn’t wear his uniform anymore. James sort of missed it.
Nathan came back into the living room sans coat, a white wifebeater showing off his muscled arms and flat stomach. He was one-eighth Nanticoke Indian on his mother’s side, which gave his skin a lovely golden hue. His short hair was shiny black, and was always soft on the rare occasion James had a reason to touch it. His dark brown eyes often seemed to be smiling at him, even when things were serious, like right now.
He was carrying a bamboo tray loaded down with two shot glasses, a bottle of Kentucky bourbon and a bag of barbecue potato chips. He settled the tray on his magazine-covered coffee table, then poured them each a shot.
James sank onto the couch next to Nathan and accepted the glass. After a silent toast, he threw it back. The harsh, smoky liquid burned its way into his stomach.

Nathan refilled both glasses. “Does your mom know?”
No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and "bromance" (and "The Young Riders") with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

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