Saturday, September 13, 2014

#TackleTBR Opposite Book Cover Challenge

The Challenge that I am working on is opposites.  I'm only using books that I have read, so that makes it a little tricky.

Here are the rules to the challenge:

1. Find two books whose covers or titles are opposites.
2. List or make an image of the books and post somewhere (Twitter, Facebook, your blog, Instagram, etc.)

Demons Vs. Angels

Summer Vs. Winter

First week update of Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon #TackleTBR

My goal is to read four or five books over the next two weeks that are from my TBR shelf.

I guess I'm on schedule. I have read and reviewed two!

The first was:
Miracle in a Dry Season
This book was completed on September 8th, the first day of the challenge.

The second book was:
Chances Are
I completed Chances Are on September 10th.

At the moment I am reading a review book for Monday, but I hope to finish it and start a challenge book this weekend.

One of the challenge questions this week was to pick your five favorite books.  For me this is a huge problem.  I love too many books.  I picked five that are some of my favorites, but I honestly do not know what my favorite book is.  I think they have all become a little jumbled in my brain, but these particular books stand out! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book review ~ "Chances Are" by Traci Hunter Abramson

Chances AreChances Are by Traci Hunter Abramson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from the Publisher to review
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description: Maya Gupta is a survivor. After escaping an impending arranged marriage in India as a teenager, she has thrived in America. But now she faces her greatest challenge yet—cancer has invaded her life, and unless she finds a way to participate in a clinical trial in Washington, DC, this may be one battle she loses. When Maya’s best friend Kari offers Maya the lifeline of a place to stay—her brother’s currently vacant DC apartment—the young woman eagerly accepts and goes to meet her fate . . .

Ben Evans’s plans have changed, and he’s heading home for some much-needed rest and relaxation during his off-season in the major leagues. Upon arriving at his DC apartment, however, Ben is shocked to find Maya—his sister’s friend, who he hardly knows—in residence. He soon finds himself trapped between protecting his above-reproach reputation and searching for a way to help a woman he is coming to admire. When Maya’s fight to survive her disease becomes more complicated than ever, she and Ben scheme an extreme solution to her predicament that tests to what lengths they’re willing to go together to save Maya’s life.

My thoughts: This book tore at my heartstrings. The characters are lovable and kind. The main characters, Ben and Maya, portray hope and acceptance in impossible circumstances.

The premise of the story is that Maya has cancer. She has a tumor at the base of her skull that must shrink before it can be removed. Her budding tennis career abruptly ends. She is very ill. She cannot work and he bills are piling up. She ran from her home country, India, to escape an arranged marriage with a man who is much older than her and very creepy.

She is given an opportunity to participate in a medical trial in Washington DC. The problem is that she has nowhere to stay and doesn't have the means to support herself. Fortunately, her best friend has a brother who has an apartment in DC he is not using, he's a professional baseball player and it's his off season.

The friend seizes the opportunity to have Maya live in the house, without her brother's knowledge. The problems begin when he comes home unexpectedly to find Maya living in his home.

The book is a story about hope. I love that Maya keeps a positive attitude even though her odds of living are 50/50. This book is about looking beyond ones self and finding ways to help another person. I loved the characters, I loved the story.

This book is squeaky clean. There is a small amount of mild kissing.

About the Author:  Originally from Arizona, TRACIHUNTER ABRAMSON spent much of her childhood exploring the little town of Pinewood. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. Since leaving the CIA, Traci has written multiple novels, including the Undercurrents trilogy, Royal Target, and the Saint Squad series.

When she’s not writing, Traci enjoys spending time with her husband and their four children. She also enjoys cooking, although she prefers an electric stove to the wood-burning variety.

This is the second book read in the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon Challenge!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spotlighting "Hope After Suicide" by Wendy Parmley

This is a book that I wish I could have put in my review schedule.  On December 1, 1993 my husband's sister, Alaina, took her own life. She was 17 and in High School. At the time Steve and I  had  been married a little over a year.  I was with the family through  many of the struggles.  Although it has been 20 years, it is not easy.  Things are better, but not perfect.

Today is Suicide Prevention Day. It is a day to raise awareness and hopefully help prevent premature death.

Hope after Suicide: One Woman’s Journey from Darkness to Light
Wendy Parmley
We all have a story—hidden secrets buried in dark and rocky earth. Our task is to unearth—to release the pain and discover the good, discover the healing, discover the love. Uncovering the darkness makes space for the light.
After her mother took her own life, Wendy Parmley learned firsthand the heartache, despair, and loneliness that accompanies losing a loved one to suicide. At one point she even contemplated taking her own life as well. In this uplifting true narrative, you too can discover how to:
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Open your heart
  • Seek help when you need it
  • Draw closer to the divine

Embrace the light and learn how to heal your soul and overcome loss as you read this touching and tender account of a woman opening her heart years after her mother’s suicide.

Photo courtesy of Alyse Neibaur at Diamond Eye
About the Author: Wendy Parmley suffered a disabling bike accident in September 2011.  Unable to return to her 20 year nursing career because of the continued effects of her injuries, Wendy began the slow and painful penning of her angel mother’s story and Wendy’s healing journey following her mom’s suicide death.  Wendy’s mom took her own life when just 31 years old, leaving behind her husband of thirteen years and their five young children.
Wendy has long advocated for suicide prevention and has participated on various professional and community based groups dedicated to that end.  She also recognizes the need to unashamedly support those who must continue to live in the painful aftermath of a loved one’s suicide and passionately lends her voice to that cause.
Prior to her bike accident, Wendy worked in nursing leadership for 14 years, earning her MBA degree from Brigham Young University in 2007.  Despite her continued limitations, Wendy is grateful to spend more time with the love of her life, her husband Mark.  She is ever grateful for his support and the support of their three married sons and their wives, their amazing daughter, and their beautiful two grandchildren who fill their life with sunshine.

Book Spotlight ~ "Challenging Destiny" by Cherie Coyler + giveaway

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons.
Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana.
Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity.

Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?

Read an Excerpt

She put her hands on my waist and rose to her tiptoes. “It’s a sweet thought,” she said, her breath warm on my lips. “But my fate has already been sealed.”
Her perfume seemed to wrap around me, filling me with the urge to pull her closer even though my brain screamed for me to step back. I wondered if this was how the people I made suggestions to felt—compelled to please me—because right then I wanted to sweep Kira up in my arms and kiss her. Although something inside of me clung to the thought that I needed to stay focused on why I was there, every other fiber of my being coaxed me to just let down my guard and enjoy being in a secluded place with a pretty girl. 
Kira brushed her lips against mine. 
“I’m not what I seem,” she said in a husky whisper.
She kissed me before I could reply. Her lips were too hot against mine. My mind exploded with images of burning rivers and pillars made of bone. Lifeless trees reached out of the ground like the hands of the dead. Fire and brimstone rained down on the living. I could hear the screams of people I couldn’t see and smelled decaying flesh. Nausea overcame me, breaking the spell I was under. I shoved Kira away, doubled over at the waist, and threw up.

“Like I said, don’t trust me,” she warned.

About the Author:  Cherie believes there’s a little magic in everyone. She also believes in following her dreams and never giving up. Her books are proof of that. Besides writing, Cherie enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, the great outdoors, and she loves a challenge. While she has had many great experiences, what she finds most satisfying is seeing her children and stories grow into their own exciting and distinct entities. Cherie lives in Illinois with her family. This is her second book for young adults.

 Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Pintrest 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Review ~ "Miracle in a Dry Season" by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Miracle in a Dry Season (Appalachian Blessings, #1)Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Bethany House Publishers to Review
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Book Description: It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the small town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle. 
Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor...until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique way with food brings both gratitude and condemnation, placing the pair in the middle of a maelstrom of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

My thoughts: Realistic and powerful themes are found in the pages of Miracle in a Dry Season. The book is set just after the Korean War and reflects many of the beliefs and customs of the time period.

Perla left her parents home hoping to escape the scorn and gossip surrounding her because she was an an unwed mother. She hoped to give a better life to her daughter, Sadie. She hoped to find peace and happiness in a town where her past was not know and she could be free.

Bad news and gossip followed her to Wise, West Virginia. She soon became the center of animosity when some blamed her for the drought. The pastor suggested that the sinner be exiled from their presence, so God would stop punishing the town. No matter how much she tried to help the people, there are always some who try to put someone else down to make themselves feel better, and Perla was caught in the cycle.

Casewell had dreamed of finding a virtuous woman to settle down with and have a family. Somehow it was Perla that he dreamed of and she soon became the focus of his attention. He couldn't let himself have a future with her, because she was a "fallen woman".

This book centers of the need for understanding, forgiveness, repentance, love, and the destructive power of gossip. I loved the groundwork that Sarah Loudin Thomas laid in showing a small town society where religion is a strong center of the community. Many characters are lovable. Sadie pretty much stole the book for me. Children will often be the teachers of adults, they love unrestrained and are innocent.

I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to read this book. It has given me a few things to ponder.

There is a novella that takes place in a time period  before this book.  It is the story of the aunt and Uncle Perla comes to stay with.  It is free as an ebook!  You may want to give it a try!

About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) I’m a Christian, wife, fundraiser and writer living near Asheville, NC. I grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV. I used to say “rural WV,” but realized that’s largely redundant. I LOVE my home state and the fact that I’m the seventh generation to grow up on the family farm. My love of the Appalachian Mountains informs my writing. I want you to be as wild about these hazy, blue mountains and the wonderful people who live in them as I am.

I’ve been married for eighteen years and I not only love my husband, I really, really like him. We started our journey together with three big dogs–Crockett, Precious and Sammy. We now have one small dog that requires more energy than the first three did together.

This is the first book completed for the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon!

"Pride" by Rosie Somers ~ Book Blitz + giveaway

PRIDE by Rosie Somers
Surge, Anaiah Press

22365515.jpgSeventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.

Release Date: September 9, 2014

About the Author: Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

"Tess in Boots" by Courtney Rice Gager ~ Trailer Reveal

Tess in Boots banner

Anaiah Press is proud to present the book trailer reveal of Courtney Rice Gager's contemporary romantic novel

Tess in Boots

Release date: December 2, 2014

About the book:
Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear. 
Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made. 

And now, for the books trailer…

Courtney Rice GagerAbout the Author: Courtney Rice Gager graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. Courtney is also the author of The Buggy List. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Courtney:
Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook