Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book Challenges 2013 ~ Recap

I participated in four reading challenges for 2013.  I finished all 4 goals for the year.  Here are the challenges and what I was able to accomplish.

The first goal that I had was to read 155 books for the year 2013.  I surpassed that goal ~ I read 214 books.  To be fair, a few were children's books and there were a few novella's.

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Lisa has completed her goal of reading 155 books in 2013!

This challenge is run from a Goodreads group.  If you are interested in joining the challenge for 2014, you can do so here.

Here is my list of books read "Just for Fun" each month.

JANUARY ~ The Mapmakers Union by MJ Fletcherhttp://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
FEBRUARY ~ Zel by Donna Jo Napoli http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
MARCH ~ "Courting Miss Lancaster" by Sarah M Eden http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
APRIL ~ "Seeking Persephone" by Sarah M. Eden http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
MAY ~ "Princess of Glass" by Jessica Day George
JUNE ~ "Today" by Amanda Tru http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
JULY ~ "Short-Straw Bride" by Karen Witemeyer
AUGUST ~ "Venom" by KC Grant http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
SEPTEMBER ~ "Edenbrooke" by Julianne Donaldson http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
OCTOBER ~ "Friends and Foes" by Sarah M. Eden
NOVEMBER ~ "Quest for Merlin's Map" by W.C Peever http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/2...
DECEMBER ~ XVI by Julia Karr

It was interesting to me that some of the letter's of the alphabet are a little harder to find than others.  I admit that sometimes I didn't count a "The" of "A" at the beginning of the title, just like at the library!

~ "Blud and Magick" by Preston Norton 2/9/13
C ~ "Courting Miss Lancaster 3/8/13
D ~ Do Over by Shannon Guymon 2/8/13
~ "Finished Being Fat" by Betsy Schow 1/6/13
G ~ "the Grimm Chronicles Volume II by Ken Brosky & Isabella Fontane 4/2/13
I ~ "the Impossible Engineers" by M.J. Fletcher 1/3/13
L ~ the Locket by Amanda Tru 6/3/13
M ~ "Mary's Son" by Darryl Nyznyk 6/4/13
~ "the Other Marlowe Girl" by Beth Fred 4/2013
R ~ "Runes" by Ednah Walters 6/10/13
S ~"the Soul's Mark: Found" by Ashley Stoyanoff 4/3/13
T~ "Tide Ever Rising" by Mandi Tucker Slack 3/1/13
Untimed by Andy Gavin 2/20/12
~ "Venom" by K.C. Grant 8/24/13
W ~ "Witch in the Wind" by Brenda M Collins 1/24/13
X ~ "XVI" by Julia Karr 12/18/13
Z ~ "Zel" by Donna Jo Napoli

I made my goal.  I opted to read 8-10 books that have a Witches or Witchcraft theme.  I read 9!

#1 Witch in the Wind by Brenda M Collins
January 24, 2013

#2 Blud and Magick by Preston Norton

#3 The Conjuring Glass by Brian Knight

#4 Easy Bake Coven by Liz Schulte

#5 The Soul's Mark: Found by Ashley Stoyanoff

#6 White Witch by Trish Milburn

#7  Hidden by M. Lathan


#8 A Fantasy Christmas by Sherry Gammon, Cindy Bennett, and Stephanie Fowers

#9 Hold Tight by Cherie Coyler

Monday, December 30, 2013

"15 Winter Reads" Boxed Set ~ Book Blast + giveaway!!

Winter Reads Cover

Sit back, relax in your favorite reading chair and enjoy 15 Winter Reads from 15 bestselling YA authors. There is something to delight every reader in this box set – paranormal romance, futuristic sci-fi, historical, time travel, and contemporary. Many of the Indelibles have given you access to both the first and second books in their series – you’ll be reading well into the New Year!

LIMITED TIME BOX SET - from 15 bestselling YA authors ON SALE 12/29 - 1/11 for just $1.99

Amazon  * Barnes & Noble

15 Winter Reads includes:

Iron ButterflyThe Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn

Escaping an experimental prison, Thalia tries to hide her past and her gifts, from her friends. But her past isn’t always easy to escape, especially when it hunts you down.

TrembleTremble (Celestra Series) by Addison Moore

Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.

ExiledExiled by RaShelle Workman

Venus wakes to find herself no longer on her home planet of Kelari, but on Earth with a week to get back or she'll die.

Dragonfly CoverDragonfly by Leigh Talbert Moore

Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.

Amazon  * Facebook  * Twitter  * Goodreads  * Pinterest

open mindsOpen Minds and Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

 Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Wattpad * Goodreads

untraceableUntraceable by S.R. Johannes

When Grace's forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a new hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.

 Twitter * Facebook * Blog  * Goodreads

date an alienHow to Date an Alien and How to Break Up With an Alien by Magan Vernon

Alex Bianchi takes an internship at an alien operations center to pad her college applications but doesn't plan on falling in love with one of its residents. But as Alex’s senior year progresses, everything changes and she can’t figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.

flutterFlutter of Luv by L.M. Preston

Dawn, the neighborhood tomboy, is happy to be her best friend’s shadow. Acceptance comes from playing football after school with the guys on the block while hiding safely behind her glasses, braces, and boyish ways. But Tony moves in, becomes the star Running Back on her school’s football team, and changes her world and her view of herself forever.

watchedWatched by Cindy M. Hogan

It takes more than a school trip to change Christy's life. It takes murder.

 Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

clockwiseClockwise and ClockwiseR by Elle Strauss

A follow up to Clockwise, Casey and Nate travel back in time and race against the clock to rescue Casey's rebellious brother Tim from frontline battle in America's civil war.

 Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Wattpad * Goodreads

5.5"X8.5" Post Card TemplateGlimpse (Zellie Wells #1) and Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

While working together to figure out what their shared vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her - if only she wanted him to...

 Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

spy like meA Spy Like Me by Laura Pauling

After dodging bullets on a first date, Savvy must decide how far she'll go to protect the ones she loves.

 Blog * Twitter * Goodreads

Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

An eternal soul mate, a supernatural family who has known her for centuries, and lifetimes of erased memories: this is Maryah Woodsen’s life. She just doesn’t know it yet.

 Twitter * Facebook * Blog * Goodreads

lacrimosaLacrimosa by Christine Fonseca

In the world of angels and demons, one thing is clear - some sacrifices should never be made. Even for love.

spruce knollThe Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

The town of Spruce Knoll hides many secrets—and many dangers, among them are that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that she is far more than she realizes.

 Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Wattpad * Goodreads

Giveaway Details
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review ~ "Inhuman" by Kat Falls

Inhuman (Fetch, #1)Inhuman by Kat Falls
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley ~ Received to Review
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian YA

Book Description: In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts or her father’s life is forfeit.

America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.

Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.

Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy.

My thoughtsInhuman is a creative story about the world when science has gone too far.

Lane lives behind a gigantic wall. The other side of the wall is where the human/animal hybrids live. One bite from an infected manimal will infect a person, dooming them to a life in between two animal kingdoms.

Lane is forced to complete a mission venturing through the manimal side of the wall. She must retrieve (fetch) an item for a corrupt government official to save her father. She is better prepared than she originally imagined, her father has been crossing the wall and telling her bedtime stories about the hybrid kingdom. He has trained her, claiming it was for self defense, to be prepared in times of peril or crisis.

I enjoyed the underlying message of what makes a person human. Because someone has contracted a disease, are they any less human?

The book has a little bit of a love triangle. Everson and Rafe are both great characters. At first, Rafe rubbed me wrong. He is sarcastic and self centered. As the story progressed, I could see where he was coming from and the reasons behind his behavior. Everson also has reason behind his drive to find a cure and help Lane on her journey.

I enjoyed this book. There were times when it seemed to lag, but getting to the ending was worth it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Review ~ "Contrition" by Lee Strauss (The Perception Trilogy #3)

Contrition (The Perception Trilogy, #3)Contrition by Lee Strauss
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Science Fiction/ Dystopian/Romance YA

Book Description: Zoe, Noah and the other plane crash survivors are stranded in the Arizona desert.

They all have secrets and reasons to hide. But they’re not alone.

Cyborg soldiers...war...humans and humanoids.

Who can be trusted?

Zoe’s life is in danger. Noah must make an impossible choice.

Will their love survive their brokenness?

Will the world as they know it end before they can find out?

My thoughts: Contrition ends with a bang. The book is pretty much non stop action from beginning to end.

The book begins with Noah and Zoe still on the run from the corruption of the US government. Zoe's grandfather is the President and a very evil man. His aim is domination. He wants power and will do anything and everything to achieve his goals.

Noah and Zoe both face emotional growth and learn that the desire of their hearts is each other. There emotional ride is one that is fun to read and sometimes you wish you could smack them upside the head and make them do what you want!

The ending of the book was a surprise, but at the same time, Lee Strauss left many clues that didn't leave me wondering what happened. She set up the framework for the ending at the beginning of the series. She had the trilogy well set up and plotted.

This is a trilogy that is worth reading. Particularly if you are a sci-fi, technology, dystopian, romance fan. She has many different genre's present in this book.

The book has mild swearing and intimacy that is not described.

It's $3.99 on Kindle and Nook

Check out the first books in the trilogy!

Ambition and Perception are current FREE on kindle.  The boxed set is $6.50.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review ~ "Volition" by Lee Strauss (The Perception Trilogy #2)

Volition (The Perception Trilogy, #2)Volition by Lee Strauss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre:  Science Fiction/Dystopian YA

Book Description: What doesn't kill you...

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody. 

They're in love.

Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.

My thoughts: Zoe and Noah are on the run from the corruption of the government and genetically enhanced privileged society.

Zoe is genetically enhanced and her grandfather is a high level politician. She knows too much of his plans and the illegal activities he has participated in. She has suffered too much from his hands and lives life as a wanted fugitive.

This book follows Noah and Zoe as they flee. In some ways they are trying to figure out how to get their anti-government message across without getting caught.

It also tells of the evolution of their relationship and the influence of others as they try to figure things out.

This book is written well and full of action and adventure. There is a little bit of romance, but it is minimal in this book.

Get a copy for $2.99 on Kindle or Nook:

Read my review of the first book ~ Perception.

Perception is currently FREE on kindle and $2.99 on Nook.

Read the Prequel ~ Ambition FREE on kindle

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a  happy and healthy Christmas and holiday season.  May you enjoy time with  your family  and friends and have the spirit of peace.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Book Review ~ " A Candlelight Courting" by Joyce DiPastena

A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas RomanceA Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance by Joyce DiPastena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Took advantage of a Free Promotion!
Genre: Christmas/Historical romance

Book Description: When Burthred comes courting on Christmas Eve, Meg rejects his advances. She has her heart set on becoming a nun and insists that he call her Christina, the spiritual name she has chosen for herself. She tries to make him swear on her box of holy relics that he will not pursue her, but he carefully words his oath to allow him to stay in her candlelit chamber and try to change her mind. 

What Meg does not confess is that her reliquary box holds a secret. 

Burthred needs a wife, and no one will satisfy him except Meg. He swore on his father’s deathbed that he would marry her. But Burthred has a secret, too. When they come together before the Yule fire, their shared revelations will either join their hearts together or tear them apart. 

My thoughts: Meg is a young woman living with her parents, hoping to join a convent. She excuses herself from the Christmas festivities, trying to live a pious life.

Her solitude is interrupted when her father thrusts her betrothed into her room, demanding that Burthred change her mind. Her fathers plan backfires, Burthred is a kind man who courts Meg by candlelight and shows her that her dreams can be fulfilled without joining a convent.

Joyce DiPastena is meticulous in her research and does a wonderful job at creating a realistic historical fiction story. Even in this short Christmas story, her love for the medieval times shines through.

I loved the compassion and consideration that Meg and Burthred showed one another. This is a wonderful short story to read on a cold winters day.

Amazon * Smashwords * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository
It's currently 99 cents on Kindle!

Book Review ~ "The Perfect Match" by Kristan Higgins

The Perfect Match (Blue Heron, #2)The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Adult Romance

Book Description: What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise? 

Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there… or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done. 

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind. 

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancĂ©, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love.

My thoughts: Honor Holland is thirty-five and has just been informed by her Dr. that her biological clock is ticking and will pass her by if she doesn't do something about it. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Honor decides to propose to her "Friends with Benefits" partner. They have been close friends for many years and she has been secretly in love with him for most of them.

It backfires on her. So, her eggs still need a father, so she begins looking at on-line dating sites. Luck brings her to a man who lives in her hometown who is in search of a wife. He needs a green card, she may help him to stay in the US and close to his late finance's son.

I enjoyed reading about Honor and Tom's journey to get to know each other and try to make a relationship work from a less than desirable beginning. There are many instances miscommunication and moments where they are not considerate of each other. Their struggles seem real and make for a great story.

The intimacy in this book is not graphic, but present. The "F" bomb is dropped several times in the story. This book is for adults.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review ~ " A December Bride" by Denise Hunter

A December Bride (A Year of Weddings)A December Bride by Denise Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Clean short story romance

Book Description: Their first date was spontaneous---neither had a date to a particularly awkward wedding. But what started as a whim has turned into an accidental---and very public---engagement announcement, leaving Layla O’Reilly fit to be tied. Under normal circumstances, Derek Murphy---rich snob and best friend of her cheating ex-boyfriend---would be the last person she’d want to date, much less marry. But the news of their upcoming nuptials has convinced a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency---which could put her fledgling home-staging business in the black.Derek Murphy’s pronouncement at the wedding seemed crazy to Layla, but he’s loved her secretly for years, even when she was dating his best friend. He’s sure she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then. But maybe, just maybe, he can convince her. When Layla agrees to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client, Derek couldn’t be happier. The race is on.For Layla it’s the chance to save her career. But for Derek, it’s the chance to win her heart. If they can make it to the end of the year, maybe she’ll be his December Bride.

My thoughts: Layla dreads attending the wedding of her ex-fiance and her cousin. Her date has just cancelled and she is desperate to find someone to go with. It would be hard for her to go alone.

Seth happens to be in the right place at the right time. He also doesn't have a date, and he feels bad that he is the one who accidentally got the bride and groom together. He has had feelings for Layla for a long time and wants to help her.

In a moment of snobbish behavior from Layla's cousin, Seth and Layla announce that they are engaged. They have less than a month until their imagined wedding and Seth will do whatever he can to win Layla and make it a real wedding.

This book is very cute. Seth and Layla are wonderful main characters. They both have issues to overcome until they can fully give their hearts to one another. The book is full of humor.

This is a perfect romance fix when you don't have a lot of time for a book. It's clean too.

Blog Tour ~ "One More Day" ~ A romance anthology (10's list) + giveaway

One More Day by L.S. Murphy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: YA Fiction Anthology

Book DescriptionWhat if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying ... that's where you’d be ... forever.

Unless ...

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened ... to you?

My thoughts: This book is written by several author's. Each has taken the subject of what if it were your last day? What if time stopped around you leaving you alone? What would you do?

Each of the author's has written a unique story. I was impressed at the range of subjects and ideas that they dreamed up. The stories range from fairy tale to science fiction.

I really loved some of the stories and other's I liked. That is why I gave it a 3 star rating. The range in story content is very broad. This is a good book. I think there is a story that will appeal to everyone.

Each story is short and easily read. There is some swearing and mention of sexual activity without details. I would recommend for ages 16+.

Tens list from Marissa Halvorson


Top ten things I would do if I only had one more day left:

1.      First thing I would do is talk to my parents. I have a lot of things to thank them for. That might take a good portion of the day. Maybe all of it, actually.

2.      I have a ton of unfinished stories lying in wait for me on my computer. I’d take one of the shorter ones, and finish it, just to prove that even on my last day of existence, I can still be productive.

3.      This would be the day that I face most of my fears, such as my fear of heights, my fear of bees/wasps/hornets (don’t judge!) and my fear of spiders. Not entirely sure how I’d face the last two if my final day was in the middle of the winter, but I’d definitely face my fear of heights. Go parachuting or something. Let’s hope this never happens, because I shudder just thinking about it.

4.      Along the lines of things that I’m afraid of, I think I’d speak out. Not against anyone, or anything like that. I’d probably tell someone I like how I feel. Perhaps the same to someone I don’t like, although I think, even on the last days of my life, I’d still try to be the polite person I’ve always been. I don’t think I’d want to die as someone everyone hates.

5.      I’d confess all my secrets. I’d confess my deep, dark secrets, as well as the truths to however many lies I told as a child to my parents and friends. I’d confess my lies to every person who I ever deceived.

6.      I would definitely burn all my school stuff. I don’t care if I paid $4000 to go to school this semester. If there is not going to be a world tomorrow, all of that stuff can suffer a torturous and burning death. Not to be psychopathic, or anything.

7.      A little bit irrelevant, but I would wear something daring. I’d go out, and buy something that shows off a lot of my skin, and I’d wear it for that whole day. Just to be brave and daring, since I am quite the opposite in day-to-day life.

8.      I’d probably stuff myself full of chips, popcorn, pop, and cake. It is, after all, my last day. Who cares if I get fat? Who cares if it’s really unhealthy? I’m not going to be around tomorrow to face the health issues. Besides, I need comfort; I’m going to die/not exist tomorrow!

9.      Okay, so a little off topic, but I’ll tell you something I wouldn’t do. I would not, under any circumstances, go to sleep. Better to use all of my final time to its full potential. Run down the streets, bother neighbors, say goodbye to my parents and family, maybe go shopping (possibly without money). But not sleep. I will NOT sleep.

10.  Being the coward that I am, it is a possibility I might just curl up in a corner, crying and rocking back and forth. It’s a great possibility, actually. So probable, in fact, that it might void items 1-9 if it happens.


About Marissa:  Marissa’s dream of writing came about when she was ten, after reading a particularly inspiring story of dragons and elves. She instantly fell in love with the fantasy genre, and characters soon began to manifest to satisfy her adoration. It started with a forty page handwritten novel, which she dubbed “Dragon Girl” and continued on to more challenging (and better written) works. 

Marissa has been writing on and off for eight years with the ultimate goal always being publication. She has written and given up on more than ten novels and joined Scribophile as a way to improve her writing. Since then, a few of her smaller flash fiction works have been published online with Linguistic Erosion and Yesteryear Fiction. The boost in confidence from those publications only lasted long enough to push her to finish her current WIP, a novel she'd been working on for over two years.


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