Friday, December 20, 2013

Working on Reading

So frustrated!

I have been such a bad reader this semester. One, I haven't read too many books that have interested me and, two, I just haven't had much time to read because of school. So, I have not been taking care of this blog like I would like. But, I am reading some good books so here are my impressions so far on them:

Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel: Good storyline but a little slow. Also, this is in first person where as the second book, Serpent of Moses, which I read first, was in third so that is new.

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney: A funny autobiography of a woman's journey of the dating world and not getting a boyfriend. I find this funny and witty and at times kind of sacrilegious on some religious aspects. Release date: January 14, 2014

And, I'm looking forward to read:

Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black: I read this author's Kingdom series which were good (read them if you are interested). So, this should be a good book as well. Release date: March 18, 2014

So, no definitive opinion on these books but I have high hopes. Some other good books are becoming available soon so I hope to get my reading back on track. But all of you keep reading and, if you have any recommendations, let me know. Thanks.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Grab Bag Giveaway

Hey Everyone!

So sorry about not posting for so long. Life has been crazy and I haven't had much time to read or write reviews. But, I decided to hold a giveaway to do a little house cleaning of some of the books I've gathered for giveaways or some I'm just okay with not owning anymore. So, this is how it works. I have five iteams to giveaway. They are:


1. CIAO by Melody Carlson (ARC Copy)
2. Swipe by Evan Angler
3. If We Survive by Andrew Klavan
4. Merlin's Importals (Books 1 and 2) by Sigumond Brouwer
5. The Youngest Templar (Books 1 and 2) by Michael P. Spradlin

Some good books, right? Anyways, there will be five winners (one prize per person) and they will be random. To enter, just use the Rafflecoptor below by answer the question in the comment tab in the comment section below and any other sections that you want. There will be five winners. Now, each book has been assigned a number (not in the order above) and will be given to the corisponding winner. The funny part... The winner won't know what they have won until I email them to get their address. Fun, right? So, enter and I hope to get a book read soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Unglued

"Making Wise Choices
In the Midst of Raw Emotions."
(Picture to Come)
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms

Abou - Ever blow up when stressed or angry? Stuff everything down so deep that no one knows what's worng yet it affects your relationships? Ever feel guilty for these things and your angry feelings? Lysa TerKeurst has felt the same way but is also learning how to make "imperfect progress" in overcoming these struggles. She wants you to come along on this journey and find God's healing and change into a better human being. Start learning to stop coming unglued today.

Author - Lysa TerKeurst

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 18 and up

Personal Opinion - I enjoy TerKeurst's funny, insightful, and true to life writing so much. Not only is she engaging but also shares to true life examples that others can understand. Also, the Biblical answers are really good and make great impressions on the memory. I previously read her Devotional of this same book and found that it had a lot of the same information with only a couple differences. Not that that is a bad thing (I bet the same could be said about the Devotional). I did like how figuring out how you either explode or stuff was done differently in this book and how the information was more put together in a block than just a few pages a day. So I think this book is great but so is the Devotional. So I would recomend that if you like smaller sections at a time, read the Devotional. But, if you like more information at a time, read this book. But, if you want to read both, I wont stop you. :) 

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Other Reviews for this Author - Unglued Devotional - Review

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Anomaly

"Question. Feel.
Believe."
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms

Storyline - Thalli is not like the rest of her pod mates. She feels and is curious, traits the Scientist have taken out of others. But when she can on longer hid it, she is take to the scientist. But instead of being annihilated, she is tested. Things begin to be strange as she meets people who are allowed to feel and meets an old man who has strange ideas about a Designer who created everything. As tests continue, she begins to wonder what is real and not, what is true, and what is right.

Author - Krista McGee

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Thalli enjoys  (hangs out with) the company of a couple guys but is learning about God. Thalli lies a couple times. The Scientist lie and try to control others. Berk does what he can help Thalli.

Personal Opinion - The story was good. It had twists and turns that I didn't see coming and had interesting characters. I found the story to go a bit slow at first and was a bit contradictory on a couple of points at one point but that got cleared up with one of the twists in the story. I was concerned at first that it was going to be a lot like other Dystopias that have characters who aren't allowed to feel or think but this one was different. The details were well done so I was able to see most of the locations and the twists were new. I loved how Thalli spoke about music and compared things with it because she was a musician. But I couldn't seem to connect with the story. There were technical aspects that were done that I didn't like. But, I love Krista McGee's other books and this was an interesting read none the less.

Blog Tour-

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Publisher

Other Book Reviews for this Author - First Date - Review
                                                             Starring Me - Review

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher/author through Team Novel Teen.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fairy Tale Novels: Books 4 & 5

"A Fairy Tale Retold"

Bookworm's Ranking - 4-5 Worms
Storyline -

The Midnight Dancers - Rachel's life is boring. Proper girl with no adventure and her parents strict on what she wears and behaves. Not only that, she has to share a house, and room, with eleven other sisters and live in a new house. But she is determined to have an adventure. So when she and her sisters are able to escape to the island across from their house and have parties with the owner's son, what else can they do but sneak out of the house, made increasingly difficult with their father's friend Paul hanging around. But the house that seemed like dream come true might just be a nightmare.

Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves - Alex's family, who has struggled to make ends meet for years, finally came into some money, a million dollars worth. But something is up with it that only Kateri, Alex's girlfriend, seems to see. How on earth did a million dollars just show up in his mail? If that wasn't bad enough, his family decides to by hotel with the money, which Alex just has to give a job to Kateri as she struggles to find work. But when the owners of the money come looking, it will take all of Alex's and his families martial arts skills and intelligence as well as Kateri's sensibility and cunning to overcome the cyber thieves.

Author - Regina Doman

Publisher - Chesterton Press

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Girls disobey their parents and sneak out and lie. Fights against evil and those trying to hurt the ones they care about. Some computer hacking.

Personal Opinion - More great reads by Regina Doman. They retell classic fairy tales excellently and make the characters come alive and real. Each character struggles and each comes to see what is important and have a spiritual growth, changing them. The details in the novel are wonderful, seeing each location as clearly as on the TV (nothing graphic though). Something about Alex O'Donnell, though, felt like there could have been more. I can't place my finger on it but it needed... something. That one is still a fun story and the martial arts is just cool.

Reviews of Other Books by this Author - Fairy Tale Novels: Book 1-3

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Labor Day... Belated

Hi Bookworm Readers!

So sorry about being so quiet lately and no post this last weekend. Sadly, I haven't been able to finish too many books lately (keep reading stuff that I lose interest in) and school has started again and it was a holiday weekend. But fear not! I will have a review this coming weekend and there will be a book tour later this month. I'm also considering what the next giveaway should be (any suggestions?). So, see you again this weekend!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Aquifer

"Truth Lies Just Below
the Surface."
Bookworm's Ranking - 2 Worms
 
Storyline - Luca has always been different. Being the son of the Deliverer who goes down once a year to the "Rats" in order to make a trade of light for the only water reserve known on earth is hard enough but knowing he will one day have to follow in his father's footsteps makes it worse. Especially when he can do nothing to help the innocent people who are hurt by his government. When Luca's father doesn't return from the exchange one year, he knows something is wrong and has to do something. But when it is revealed that his life is in danger too, he will have to make the decent and have his world, and conceptions, change forever.

Author - Jonathan Friesen

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Kids disobeyed parents. Luca seemed more interested in the main girl because of how she looked at first which did change a little bit but still seemed to think of her physically. Fought as hard as they could against oppression. Broke the law to save another.

Personal Opinion - I thought the premise sounded really interesting for this book but I never got into it. The first chapter was actually enjoyable but then it kinda went down hill. The characters weren't developed enough for me and it seemed they were just running from one place to another. It felt the main character was reflecting on what happened the whole time, like he was telling this story that took place in the past and would make comments that brought me out of the story, such as "Another lie." The language, how the sentences were arranged or the new names for things, cause more confusion than anything else. It was just too strange for girls to be called "hers" and emotions to be called "wrinkles." Even though this is a dystopian society, it just seemed to go too far in change that wasn't believable.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Zondervan through the Z Street Team.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fairy Tale Novels: Books 1-3

"Once Upon a Time in New York City..."
Bookworm's Ranking - 5 Worms
Storyline -

Shadow of the Bear - Blanche and Rose are trying to fit into their new world of New York City after their father died a year ago. School, the city, and their mother at work are all new. Rose finds it magical while Blanche is frightened of it. So when a ragged, dread lock boy who calls himself Bear shows up on their doorstep, they both take different approaches to him. Slowly, they become friends. But as a deep secret of Bear's starts come into their lives, the girls investigate, mixing themselves up in the mess. But this mystery could cost them their lives.

Black as Night - Blanche is on the run and hiding with seven frier's to escape someone who wants her dead while Bear is overseas. Upon his return, Bear searches for Blanche and looks into what lead to her disappearance. As Blanche gets comfortable with the frier's, she looks into the mystery as attacks on her life continue. As Bear, Blanche, and the killer move in together, it will take all their courage to over face the evil plaguing them.

Waking Rose - Rose is starting college and trying to forget Fish, Bear's brother, who she desperately in love with. Fish, on the other hand, doesn't return the feeling, and is dealing with his own problems. As Rose settles in to her dorm, she makes new friends and gets to know these crazy boys who seem to have a lot in common with her. But then tragedy strikes and Rose ends up in a coma. As the months ware on, Fish starts investigating the accident... and starts to think that what happened was more than just an accident.

Author - Regina Doman

Publisher - Chesterton Press

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* The characters are unwilling to let the evil win and do fight for their friends and what is right. Their belief in God helps them to keep going. Adult issues come up in the books. Lots of fighting but not graphic.

Personal Opinion - Some of the best books I have ever read and some of the most believable characters and storylines. They are excellent retellings, showing how real life can reflect fairy tales. The girls, and guys, are great role models. The characters aren't perfect people but they do their best. They do their best to live Christian lives but make mistakes on occasion and have real struggles. I love how a bit of the fairy tale is at the beginning of each chapter so you can see how it is adapted. Regina Doman is the best and her books are worth the money.

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Special Notes - If you are thinking about reading this series, read Shadow of the Bear first. The books can be read individually but thing in previous books will be spoiled if read out of order.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Frame 232 and Author Interview

 
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms
 
Storyline - When Sheila Baker buried her mother, she did not expect to be left with answers to an historic mystery. But she was. A tape, taken on November 22, 1963, reveals that not only was her mother at the Kennedy Assassination and is the Babushka Lady, but confirms what conspiracy theorists have been saying for years. There was a second shooter. Not knowing what to do with the tape and fearing the government, Sheila contacts a man, Jason Hammond, who has made himself famous for uncovering historic mysteries but is also struggling with ghosts of his own. As they set out to discover who the man was and what was behind it, they must also out run a killer set on their trail to solve one of the biggest mysteries of the century.

Author - Wil Mara

Publisher - Tyndale Publishers

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* The assassination was a bit grizzly in description. A pretty violent, and creepy, man is after them. A hooker is mentioned briefly. The two main character, Sheila and Hammond, won't let fear or the people after them stop them from finding the truth.

Personal Opinion - This novel is extremely factual on the assassination as well as in depth in the mystery and characters. Each character was developed to realism with believable backstories and feelings. Not knowing much of the Kennedy Assassination, I learned a lot more than I knew before. One particular part of the novel was an action scene were there was two or three paragraphs from one person's perspective before jumping to another (the bad guy's) perspective. This was a new technique for me and it made the action that much more exciting. But, this book had at least one pit fall that made it difficult for me which was how detailed the backstories got. Not that it was a bad thing but the story was kept from moving forward until some backstory of a character or the historical events, which would sometimes take several pages. This made it read slowly to me and the mystery was only being touched shortly before the halfway point of the novel. I am hope that, since this was the first book about Jason Hammond and his historic mysteries that the backstories won't be as detailed in the future or, at least, written in a more interesting way. I will probably give the next book a try.

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Author Interview -
I would like to thank Tyndale for providing this interview with Wil Mara and giving some interesting background to this novel.
 

1. What inspired you to write a novel around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? I have always been fascinated by the assassination, which, obviously, was one of the most pivotal and enigmatic events in American history. And when I heard about the ‘Babushka Lady’---one of the few people in Dealey Plaza that day who remains unidentified---and the possibility that she may have filmed the shooting, an idea came to mind that seemed too good to disregard.

2. How much research did you do for this project? An unbelievable amount. I spoke with assassination experts, read literally hundreds and books and articles, pored over countless photos...you name it. My goal was to write a fictional story around the established facts rather than alter the facts to serve the story. Thus, I had to know pretty much everything. I ended up loading my brain with more data than I really needed...but I didn’t mind.

3. How has your research informed your own theory of what happened during the JFK assassination? My personal theory, prosaic though it may be, is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. If you want to be convinced, get your hands on a fairly rare book called Lee, which was written by his brother, Robert. Once you understand the mind behind the eyes that looked through that rifle scope, you will be convinced.

4. What role does your Christian faith play in your writing? It is embedded throughout this story, in a fashion both subtle and direct. I was raised Christian and have been a firm believer all my life, so my belief system is threaded into just about everything I do. Anyone who carries even the most fundamental faith will recognize the important elements in this book. The most obvious example belongs to the main character, who recurs throughout the series---he is suffering a deep crisis of faith, and the core of that crisis should be familiar to even the most devout follower. We are human, plain and simple, and as such we experience doubts about the Lord in our lifetime. So it won’t be hard for anyone to connect with him.

5. What lessons do you hope readers will come away with after reading Frame 232?
I can’t interpret the story for anyone but myself, but there are a few themes at work that strike me as particularly valuable. One is that God’s path is always the right one in the end, even if it seems unimaginably rocky at times. Another is that tragedies occur in every life, that these misfortunes usually happen for a reason, and that the reason may not be apparent for some time. A third is that we need to treasure our loved ones for as long as we have them around, because they can disappear in a heartbeat. Also, it’s important to keep getting out of bed and moving forward every day because life is a gift, and God does not favor those who waste their time and talents. If you are blessed with ability and resources (and Jason has plenty of both), you should use them.


6. What do you have planned for your future Jason Hammond books?
Jason will be tackling other high-profile (and, later on, some lesser-known) mysteries as the series progresses. Readers will also get to follow his ongoing struggles as he rebuilds his faith and gradually assembles his ‘new normal.’ Plus, we’ll further explore the lives of those around him (including a budding love interest, who will appear in the second book). It’s also worth noting that not every book in the series will follow a strictly linear chronology. The one I’m writing now, for example(The Nevada Testament) begins about six weeks after Frame 232. The one I’ll write after that, however (Gardner Island), occurs before the events of Frame

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the Tyndale Blogger Network.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Helium-3 Novel: Crescent

"She Was Born to Kill,
Born to Die."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - After a battle, Crater takes a crowhopper hostage. No one in Moontown is happy with the crowhopper, Crescent, but, as she learns more about the people, she begins to change her outlook on them. But, when someone is murdered, Crescent is accused and Crater has to find the truth to save her. Meanwhile, Maria is making great accomplishments in her family's business. But when an attempted kidnapping takes place, she will have to run for her life.

Author - Homer Hickam, Jr.

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 14 or 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Spurting blood at one point. Crater puts himself on the line multiple occasions to help others. Crescent is only seen as a "creature" by most people but we get to see she is more than that. Issues of how others should be treated come up.

Personal Opinion - The second novel in the Helium-3 series was fun. I engaged with it more than the first but there were a few occasions where wording of sentences irritated me. But, mostly, it was fun. The action sequences were well described and the characters were more interesting. But Crater seemed angrier than the first book which just seemed out of character for him, a little too much change from book 1. One of the most interesting parts was here all the moon locations. That gave it the creativity of a fantasy novel as well as a historical one because the moon does have names dedicated to places. Getting a little background on historical moon landings was sweet too, especially for someone like me who knows little of the moon but find it interesting. Call me strange, but I love the Author Notes at the end of the novels. I would read about events or things on the moon and find out in the Author Note that they are based on more reality than I thought. In the end, it was a fun read with a pretty well developed story. Looking forward to book 3.
 
Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Other Reviews for this Author - Helium-3 Novel: Crater, Book 1- Review

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Conspiracy 365: September - December

"The Countdown Continues...
12 Books. 12 Months."

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Four months to go and Cal is still struggling to decipher the clues to the Ormond Singularity. But he and his friends have a plan. As they work to discover the truth, they have to out wit and out run rich criminals who want them dead and the police hunting him for a crime he did not commit. A deep held family secret is also discovered.  Cal's world is about to turn upside down but will he be able to discover the truth and clear his name before the midnight of December 31st?

Author - Gabrielle Lord

Publisher - Kane Miller: EDC Publishing

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Cal is willing to put his life on the line to protect his family and discover the truth. Cal's friends also make sacrifices to help their friend and put themselves in jeopardy. Multiple times, Cal and his friends have to lie to protect themselves and Cal steals from and spies on the bad guys. People want to kill him, and try several times to do so.

Personal Opinion - Done! This is perhaps the longest series I have ever read. The action, adventure, the mystery with tieing in history, and the characters and storylines for each book was great. It was also fun to read a book that took place in another country because I found it funny how in April as Cal kept saying it was getting colder I was thinking it should be getting warmer. :) Unfortunately, I felt this series ended with with a Deus ex Machina ending and might have been a bit rushed. Not that it wasn't an interesting twist but there wasn't enough build up to it in the series. And I wish there had been a longer epilogue. Cal's stealing and lying also bugged me but I could see why it happened (not that I approve). It was a fun adventure though to read it and the author did a great job of creating characters that came alive and stories that made you want to read the next book for 12 books

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Other Reviews for this Author - Conspiracy 365: January - April
                                                    Conspiracy 365: May - August

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Outlining Your Novel

"Map Your Way to Success" 
Bookworm's Ranking - 5 Worms
 
About - Ever wished you had a way to organize all your notes for your next novel? Have an idea for a novel but have no idea how to plan it? Think that outlining is just that boring system you learned in school? No worries. K. M. Weiland discusses these and much more. She has you forget that old way to outline and introduces ways that are just as creative as writing itself but also give a guide to follow on your next writing excursion. Weiland introduces basic ideas for plotting your story as well as a look at her system as well as advice from other writers in the business. Discussing ways to go deeper into your character and story world as well as ways to discover new ideas for your novel, Weiland writes simply and understandingly and practically for experienced and new writers. Go a head and take a look at this new tool for creating your next story.

Author - K. M. Weiland

Publisher - Pen for a Sword Publishing

Age Group - 15 and up

Personal Opinion - I have watched K. M. Weiland's youtube videos on writing before and found them insightful. So when I saw this book, I had to get it and this book gave me some great ideas on future outlining. I tried not outlining (big mistake) before so it didn't need to convince me that it is important and helpful to outline. I have also tried using outline systems taught in school (works pretty well). But this books suggested technique sounds a lot funner and challenges you to not just know what event will happen next but plan characters, setting, and consider multiple events before writing out what will happen. K.M. Weiland's examples to demonstrate what was being discussed were excellent and really gave a concrete situation to think about to grasp the concept. Her writing style is also engaging and kept my interest. I will be reading more of her books in the future. This is something I will be referring back to and using in the future. I might change a thing or two in my process but that is encouraged and will help me the best.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On Tour: The Backup Singer

"What is the Color of Friendship?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Shanice's cousin, Tawny, and her brother have moved in for the summer and it is the last thing Shanice wants. Tawny makes a point of teaser her for acting "white" when she is "black" yet that is not how Shanice sees herself. But Shanice hopes to wade through the summer with minimal contact with Tawny by working with her band mates. Yet Tawny's teasing gets worse and starts to affect Shanice, making her doubt her friends. Will Shanice loose her friends? Is there something more to Tawny's teases and accusations? Is skin color really the problem?
 
Author - Barb Huff

Publisher. - Barbour

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Shanice is often angry and frustrate with her family for not listening to her and her cousin being spoiled. Tawny is often bringing down Shanice for "acting white" and looks down on white people. Issues of trust and race come into the book and the characters learn how to see the truth.
 
Personal Opinion -  This book was interesting in that respect and also because the was so much more to the situation than just skin difference. It takes a while but it seems there is more growing on with Shanice's cousin and her discouragement than just racial differences. I liked how there was more going on with her than just being a jerky girl, that there was a reason and a growth experience for the cousin. I could also understand the distance and the feeling of not being part of the group that Shanice feels at one point. One thing that did make it difficult to completely engage with the book was that Shanice started bitter and angry, not that I never read a book like that but it might have been too much with very little positive stuff for a while. Still trying to find the last book in this series and I'm looking forward to it.
 
Buy - Amazon
Other Book Reviews for this Author - On Tour: Books 3-4 - Review
 
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Limitless

"Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life" 
Bookworm's Ranking - 5 Worms

About - Nick was born without arms or legs, was bullied while growing up, yet knows the love of God and that he was made with a purpose. He had felt the highest hope and deepest despair and travels around the world sharing his story and encouraging others to not give up and to find a purpose in their life. Now, Nick shares this same massage in 50 daily devotions to encourage readers to over come their obstacles, find hope and love in God, and to find their purpose in life.

Author - Nick Vujicic

Publisher - WaterBrook Press

Age Group - 15 and up

Personal Opinion - This book was so wonderful. I loved Nick's story and message before from watching his youtube videos. And this book incorporated everything he talks about and I found it so encouraging. Using his own experiences and journey and other's stories, he gives advice for overcoming your difficulties, for finding your purpose and living your dreams, and to remember that God loves you. Nick truly found his calling in what he does because he delivers those messages perfectly and it speaks to the heart. I wish there had been a spot to write my own thoughts but perhaps that is normal for devotionals. Will be reading this again and giving it as a gift. Perfect for encouragement and inspiration.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Rank this Review - 
 This ranking system is provided by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I never see or have access to the emails and they will be kept private. After you confirm your email (you only have to do that once), you will not receive anything more unless you leave the check mark for receiving updates from the publisher. I would very much appreciate you ranking my review.


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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Safe Lands: Captives

"One Choice Could Destroy Them All." 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms 

Storyline - The village of Glenrock follows their Elder, Papa Eli, in living lives obedient to the teachings of the Lord and listen to his warnings to stay away from the Safe Lands and their destructive ways. But the Safe Lands are unable to have children without the Thin Plague and are willing to do whatever it takes to get some surrogates and donors who do not have the disease. So when Omar, one who is different to most of the men in Glenrock, betrays his people, the men and women are kidnapped to create uninfected children for the new lands. The Safe Lands are intriguing and new, catching their interest, yet something isn't right about this place. Several of the Glenrock work to find a way out but will it be enough and one of the Glenrock people, Mason, thinks he might be able to find a cure for the people.

Author - Jill Williamson

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Women are required to artificially become pregnant and men have to donate. Some fights and shooting, characters die but the events are not graphic or gory. The characters enjoy the pleasures of the Safe Lands but they see where things are not right and try to get out. Lies are

Personal Opinion - The world was colorful and original and new, with new technology which was interesting and believable that one day we could get to that. The language was cool in how it changed from how we speak today. The characters were diverse and realistic, with real dreams and pains and struggles. There were a couple of times the character reactions didn't seem believable such as how they started enjoying the Safe Lands after being kidnapped, seen family killed and taken away, and told they will have children against their will yet don't fight too hard and eat the food and dress in their clothes. The pacing was good, moving a long and introducing the world pretty well as the story went. I found it a bit slow though but I can't seem to pin point what made it feel that way. Most of the reasons I come up with are all me so I'm leaning towards that is the reason. Still, Jill's books are good and this one was still interesting and the characters are good so I will be reading the next book in the Safe Lands series.


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Other Book Reviews for this Author -  By Darkness Hid - Review
                                                           To Darkness Fled - Review
                                                           From Darkness Won - Review
                                                           Replication: The Jason Experiment - Review
                                                           The Mission League: The New Recruit - Review
                                                           The Mission League: Chokepoint - Review
                                                           The Mission League: Project Gemini - Review (Coming Soon)
           
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Author Interview: Heather Burch

Hello Bookworms,

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Heather Burch, author of the Halfling series, whose newest book, Avenger, was released in March. Heather's books are very popular and follow the adventures of Nikki Youngblood and her Halfling, half angel, half human, guardians as they try to keep her alive and discover why the forces of Darkness want her so badly. As they adventures continue, they find hiden secrets and seek strength in God as the battle. Heather was nice enough to answer some questions so here they are for everyone to enjoy.

 
HB: First, let me say thanks for letting me drop by today!
BW: I'm glad you're glad that you stopped by today and thank you very much for agreeing to the interview.
What first made you interested in being a writer?
HB: I have always done a lot of writing … mostly just for myself. But when I met my husband and discovered his mom and sister wrote novels, I couldn’t believe it. “You mean real people write books?” I don’t know who I thought wrote books, but they were just people. Just like me. Only older. I decided right then to write a book.
BW: Sounds like a cool discovery. I'm glad you decided to write novels.
What have you enjoyed most about being a writer? Least?
HB: I love getting to go out and meet fans. It’s magical when someone says something like, “Your book got me through a hard time.” I can’t even describe how it feels. It’s the best. I love traveling so promoting the Halflings Series has made it possible to visit some great cities.
Since I’m traveling a lot, I’m gone from home and that’s the hardest thing. I really miss my guys when I’m out there. But they are great about it and usually cook me an awesome dinner when I’m headed home. And they clean the house. They have to, they trash it while I’m gone.
BW: That would be unbelievable and must make you feel very good. Traveling sounds like fun but does have that downside. Glad the men clea for you at least.
If you ever have, what do you do when you get Writer's Block?
I keep writing. Even if it’s not what I’m supposed to be working on. I guess I write right on through it. You can’t let the muse push you around or you’ll find yourself shoved in too many directions. Now, I’m talking about regular old normal writer’s block. There is another kind, I believe, that has to do with a writer’s emotions being drained. Family crisis, personal tragedies, things like that can cause the other writer’s block. That’s different. It means you don’t have anything to pour out of yourself. See, I think writers have a reservoir of creativity and an overflow. We should always be writing from our overflow. If we start dipping into the reservoir, we run the risk of running dry. When dealing with that type of writer’s block, I think you have to take a step away. Allow yourself time to heal from whatever has happened. Put the writing on the back burner until words begin to gurgle inside again.
BW: Never thought about that, that your emotions causeing block, but it makes sense. Great insight.
What is your favorite genre to read?
 HB: Love, love, love YA. Not all YA books are my cup-of-tea, but so many are fabulously written with really deep characters and intricate plotlines. I can lose myself in a fabulous YA novel.
BW: What has been the funnest scene you've written?
HB: I had so much fun writing the scene in Avenger where Nikki and the Halflings get to test new motorcycles. The area I wrote them into is an actual area in my home state of Missouri where I used to ride as a teen. So much fun! Felt like I was revisiting my own memory lane. And once I knew Nikki was going to be in a leather jacket on the cover of Avenger, I knew I’d be adding a motocross scene.
BW: Those motercycles were pretty cool. And I had been wondering if trails like the ones described existed.
Do you have plans/want to ever return to the world of the Halflings?
HB: Is it terrible that I want to live in the Halflings world? I think I could go on writing these for … I don’t know … forever. There are still so many stories and interesting characters to dissect and inspect. Like Viper. He is one of my favorite characters, but we only get a glimpse of him in Avenger.
BW: I don't think it is a terrible thing to want to live in the Halfling world. I would like to live in other worlds sometimes.
Are you currently working on a project? If you are, can you tell us a little about it?
HB: I have a few things in the works right now. One is a twist on a modern day fairytale. It’s been so much fun because I’ve been able to introduce things that I couldn’t in a more “realistic” feeling storyline. For instance, the two main characters are inside an enchanted cave being chased by monkeys who throw … you guessed it … enchanted poo at them. Okay, so maybe that’s gross and more information than you wanted, but I’ve had a blast writing it. Also, I'm looking forward to continuing the Halflings Series. Raven has an exciting adventure ahead of him and I want to share that journey with the world! 
BW: I am excited for Raven's story and that other one sounds... interesting. And yes, a little gross, but I will read it. Sounds like fun. Make sure to tell your characters to duck when the poo is being thrown. 
Thanks again Heather for the interview, I had fun and I hope you did too. Thanks everyone for reading and be sure to chew on a good book today.

Halfling Series: Avenger

"Sometimes Facing Your Destiny
Means Risking Everything." 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Nikki is growing into her true self since learning that she is a Halfling. As the group hopes for a resite, a dark creature is discovered to be hunting Nikki, one that has never been known to be killed. Raven and Nikki run to head off the creature and save their friends, but they still have to find a way to over come it, discover Vessler's next move, and overcome his plans. But when a dear friend is in trouble, Nikki will have to make hard decisions, including ones that could not only cost her life, but others as well.
 
Author - Heather Burch

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Occasional kissing between Nikki and guy characters. Several fights scenes but not detailed or graphic. A couple characters are beaten but is not detailed. Nikki faces her opponents straight on and leans on faith and God to over come them. Raven begins to grow.
 
Personal Opinion - Great continuation for the series. Nikki picks her guy and grows so much more in her faith in God and learns to lean and trust in Him. The world also came alive like in the previous books and the characters changed and grew with the story. I loved how Raven started growing as well and I'm so glad that I learned there will be another book about him because I can see Raven growing so much more. The characters sacrificed and did so much to protect each other. The only complaint I have is the climax was a bit quick for me, I thought there would be more. But, I look forward to Raven's story and seeing where they go next.

P.S. Make sure to read the author interview with Heather Burch.
 
Video -
 


Other Book Reviews for this Author - Halflings, book 1, Review
                                                              Guardian, book 2, Review
                                                              2 Halfling enovellas Review

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the author.

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