Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Title:The Near Witch
Author:Victoria Schwab
Disney Books
Hyperion Books for Children
Pub. Date:8/2/2011
ISBN:1423137876 (ISBN13: 9781423137870)

Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)

Lexi has heard the stories of the Near Witch her entire life. Her father made sure she knew the tales of what had happened in her town. As new children begin disappearing though, Lexi learns that what she knows may not have been the entire story. As her village is ready to punish the mysterious stranger that recently showed up, Lexi feels sure it wasn't him. Now she has to prove it, but that is going to be one of the hardest things she's ever done. Combine that with trying to protect the rest of the village children (including her younger sister), and Lexi has her hands full very quickly.

I found this to be a very entertaining book. I thought the author did an amazing job of creating a sense of atmosphere. You are very quickly pulled into this book, and you feel a sense of urgency for the characters. I loved that the story was as simple as it appeared. This book does a great job of showing what people can do when they feel threatened and scared. Their irrational behaviors can cause them and others problems. It also shows how things that were done in the past can come back to haunt you in various forms. Watching Lexi try to prevent a repeat of what happened before is very intriguing.

This book was a very quick read. I found it to be a bit spooky, and you feel Lexi's urgency throughout. I loved the fairy tale feel to the story. It almost feels like a dark fairy tale. I really enjoyed this book, and I think the author had a great writing style. Definitely check this book out!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just a Quick Note

Hi! So yes, I am still alive. I know it's been a couple weeks since I posted. I am just crazy busy. I'm sure you all know how that is. Things should be getting back to normal this week. I hope. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry

Title:The Next Door Boys
Author:Jolene B. Perry
Cedar Ford
Pub. Date:10/4/2011
ISBN:1599559102 (ISBN13: 9781599559100)

With her body still recovering from last year's cancer treatments, Leigh Tressman is determined to be independent. Despite the interference from her overprotective brother, physical frustrations, and spiritual dilemmas— not to mention the ever expanding line of young men ready to fall in love with her— Leigh discovers what it actually means to stand on her own and learns that love can be found in unexpected but delightful places.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Leigh is ready to move on with her life. Having been declared in remission for cancer, she can't wait for things to get back to normal. When Leigh goes back to school, things don't run as smoothly as she plans. As frustrating as this can be, Leigh gets some small amount of comfort from her "next door boys," the boys living in the house next door to her house. Leigh's brother and his roommate are amazing guys who help her out even when she doesn't want them to. As Leigh experiences the ups and downs of college life, her next door boys help her see things in a whole new way.

I really enjoyed this book. There are a couple interesting aspects to this story, making it stand out from your typical romance-type book. The first involves Leigh's healing process, both physical and mental. This puts her in a unique position in a couple ways. She doesn't want people to know about her run-in with cancer, because she doesn't want them to see her as frail or weak. Of course, this is an issue with her family as well. On the other hand, she actually does have to take it easy as she is still healing. Trying to find a balance between what she wants and what her body can take is hard for Leigh, and I found this very interesting to read. I also enjoyed Leigh's gradual friendship with her neighbor. Watching her learn to be supportive and supported by others was great.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. I thought it was sweet and romantic without being overly cheesy. It was also interesting to see Leigh's perspective as a slightly "older" student at BYU. I thought this book was very fun. It didn't really surprise me plot-wise; you'll basically know where this is going from the start. That doesn't make it any less interesting. The journey to the end is where all the enjoyment is. Leigh is one of those characters that helps to pull you into her story and make you care all of those around her too.

Galley provided for review.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Comeback Love Tour

Welcome to the Comeback Love by Peter Golden!

ISBN-10:  1451656327 
ISBN-13:  9781451656329 
Format:  Paperback, 288 pages 
Price:  $15.00 ($17.00 CAN) 
On Sale/Pub Date:  04/03/12
Pub Month:  April 2012 
Imprint:  Washington Square Press/Atria Books 

Like Nicholas Sparks and Robert James Waller, first-time novelist Peter Golden knows how to write the kind of nostalgic fiction that men and women alike fall for. In Comeback Love, a universal story about lost love, he offers an evocative debut that begins in the tumultuous 1960s and ends in the feverish thrill of present-day New York City. 
Over thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without. 
Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globetrotting consultant with a grown son, an ex-wife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they become caught up in the passions that drew them together before tearing them apart. And as the evening unfolds, Gordon finally reveals the true reason for his return. 
Comeback Love is a bracing journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s. Plumbing the depths of youth, regret, and desire, Peter Golden deftly illuminates the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change. 

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, biographer, and historian. The author of several works of nonfiction, including Quiet Diplomat, about U.S. diplomacy with Israel, Comeback Love is his first novel. He lives outside Albany, New York. 


Gordon was immediately drawn to Glenna when they met. Drawn in by her passion, Gordon had a tumultuous and emotional relationship with Glenna. Things gradually begin to go wrong though, and soon something that seemed very right is very wrong. Thirty-plus years after a horrible end, Gordon is once again seeking Glenna. As the grasp to figure out what went wrong in the past, they also work together to figure out their futures. Can you relive the past?

I found this story very interesting. The book begins in the present, and cuts between the past and present to tell the story of Gordon and Glenna. What happened to them is very relevant to what is happening to them now. They were a pair of passionate people who found support with each other. This attachment and support though is one of the things that helped drive them apart. I really found myself drawn to these characters even though I didn't really relate to them. I didn't really understand why they were doing what they were doing at times, but I couldn't help but like them. They sucked me into their relationship much the same way they drew each other in.

The parallels between what was going on in the past and what is going on now was somewhat astonishing. I really admired Glenna's work in the past and present, but sometimes I found Glenna's personality a bit too tempestuous for my liking. I couldn't really decide what I thought of Gordon. Together though, I think they were a very interesting pair. I found myself wanting desperately to know what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. Luckily I got answers along with a few surprises. I think this is one of those books that can really suck people in, and before they know it they've read a whole book without moving. It holds your attention well and ultimately leaves you feeling good.

Galley provided for review.

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!

We'll actually be doing Easter a week late with family, so I'll have plenty of time to enter a bunch of giveaways...

I have for you all a

$10 Amazon gift card!!

For all of your international book lovers, you may order a book worth $10 or less from Book Depository (please check to ensure they deliver to your country).

How do you enter?

Choose one or any or all of the following:
1. Follow on GFC
2.  Follow on Twitter
3. Like on Facebook
4. Friend on Goodreads

That's all!

Review: The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge

Title:The Replacement Wife
Author:Eileen Goudge
Open Road Media
Pub. Date:3/27/2012

Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone. 

But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming. 

At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Camille Hart has a great job, great family, and really great husband. As a matchmaker, Camille gets to help people find as much love as she has found. Then one day, Camille discovers the cancer she thought she had beat is back with a vengeance. As Camille tries to make plans for the future, she realizes her husband is not ready to be a single father. Camille decides to use her matchmaking skills to find her own replacement, but this proves to be much more difficult in reality. Everyone's lives will be changed as Camille tries to deal with it all.

This was a very interesting book that gave me a lot to think about. Camille knows she is dying, and she really wants to make sure her family will be taken care of after she is gone. Naturally, her husband Edward resists this idea. However, a friend suggests to Edward that he humor Camille's wishes, he goes along for the ride. Camille soon finds that doing what you think is right can still be very hard, especially as you see something you love slipping away. I was left wondering what I would do in my situation. Would I want my husband to find someone new as quickly as possible? I'm not so sure. I think Camille vastly underestimated Edward's ability to take care of things (or hire someone who would). Of course, she did have her past experience from her previous battle with cancer to go on, but I still think things would have been different.

I was enjoying this book greatly up until a point. I don't want to give away any plot points, but there is one thing I cannot abide no matter what. I was greatly disappointed when this happened, and I could no longer like a character that I had felt a lot of admiration for. This really pulled me out of the story and just kind of made me angry. The ending was very sweet for what it was, but I was still unsatisfied. That was just me though. I think a lot of people will enjoy this more than me (and probably be way less judgmental than I am). I did appreciate how Camille handled things though. I thought she was a great character, and I found myself liking her even more in the end. I wouldn't consider this an easy read, but it is a very interesting one nonetheless.

Galley provided for review.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blog Tour: By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Welcome to the blog tour for By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Trisha Goyer!!

Amelia Gladstone's hopes are tied up in the Titanic--hopes for a reunion with her sister and an introduction to an admirer. But when she offers a spare ticket to a down-and-out young man, her fate is about to change.

Quentin Walpole is stunned when a sweet lady secures his passage to America--and even more surprised to find his wealthy father and older brother on board the ship. Suddenly Amelia finds herself caught between the attentions of two men, but who should she entrust her heart to? As the fateful night arrives, will Amelia lose everything to the icy waters?

Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Buy the book here.


Amelia Gladstone is ready to start a new life. Following her heart, she has accepted passage to the United States to meet a man she has been writing to. She's not the only one looking for a fresh start though. In helping Quentin Walpole gain a place on the ship, Amelia has opened up whole new set of problems. Quentin is on the run from his past and his family, both of which seem ready to collide with him very soon. Amelia has also happened to catch the eye of a handsome first-class passenger. However, all of them will have to face some very hard choices when their ship, the Titanic, forces them to look death in the face.

The story of the Titanic is familiar to many people, and it holds a lot of interest for people even today. Wrapping this story around Amelia's was quite intriguing. Amelia was a very sweet girl, and you are able to easily tell that she would help almost anyone and everyone. Quentin came across as quite mysterious. This made me want to keep reading to find out more about his story. Amelia's various romances were also interesting. The premise for getting her on the ship could have seemed a bit thin, but I think that it never really did. The use of letters from Mr. Chapman helped to really flesh out why Amelia would be so interested in meeting him. Amelia's on-board romances were a bit more standard, but they still were able to hold my attention.

I found that knowing about the fate of the Titanic helped to create an interesting sense of atmosphere to the book. As the time of the ship's accident crept nearer, it added an extra sense of urgency to the plot. The characters were all living their lives in a low-key fashion, but I wanted to be able to urge them to take care and enjoy their lives as much as possible. There is also a bit of intrigue in just trying to figure out who will survive the ship's sinking. I thought this was a very sweet and fun read. It's a rather quick read, and knowing the fate of the ship just adds to the plot. Fans of romance and history (specifically the Titanic) will find a lot of enjoyment in this book.

Book provided for review.

Win an Flip HD Camcorder during @TriciaGoyer's Unsinkable Titanic Giveaway and RSVP for 4/10 Titanic Party! Celebrate the release of By the Light of the Silvery Moon with Tricia by entering her giveaway and RSVPing to her Titanic party.

One "unsinkable" winner will receive:
  • Flip HD video Camera (Make your own dramatic saga!)
  • Titanic movies from the ages {Titanic (1953) Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Titanic (1997)}
  • Secrets of the Titanic (Get the facts from National Geographic.)
  • And the Band Played On (Music Played on the Titanic.)
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer (Be swept away in this tale of love and courage.)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 9th. Winner will be announced at "Silvery Moon" Titanic Facebook Party on 4/10. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club). During the live chat Tricia will have a *special guest* join her. More details coming soon!
So grab your copy of By the Light of the Silvery Moon and join Tricia on the evening of the April 10th for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Titanic?) and lots of giveaways. 

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour!