Thursday, September 29, 2011

Catt Chasin' by Shana Burton

Catt Chasin'Head research and development chemist Jamal Ford has narrowed his love-life down to a science through the creation of his 30-Day Dating Plan, a guide intended to weed out the drama queens, gold-diggers, and baby mamas from his ideal: a part goddess, part sex kitten, and part Stepford Wife mate. The shallow, fun-loving 33-year-old knows he's one of Charlotte, North Carolina's most eligible bachelors, and he won't settle for anything less than the trophy wife of his dreams.

Catherine "Catt" Cason has never let scheming co-workers, her loving (but overbearing) father, or her full figure slow her down. The brilliant formulating chemist takes being labeled "the cute fat girl" in stride as she fast-tracks her way to a top position with her cosmetic company, Telegenic. While she would enjoy the love of a good man, Catt refuses to risk her career or her heart being broken again just to have a warm body at her side. Besides, why settle for the love of an earthly man when she is the fiancée of Christ?

When Jamal is paired with Catt to launch a new product for work, it's loathe at first sight. She thinks he's arrogant and incompetent. He thinks she's a sanctimonious kill-joy. What each believes they want may not be what God knows they need. In this game of love, rules don't exist, and no heart is safe. The Lord is speaking, but will they all be too caught up in their own agendas to listen?

I Give This Book:1 star

My Thoughts:
I got this book because it was labeled Christian fiction. But now after reading it, I don't think that was a proper label to give this book. I found many things in this book very offensive and thought that a novel labeled as Christian shouldn't condone such behavior.

I was willing to overlook Jamal's actions because he wasn't a Christian, but the way that Catt behaved I found to be completely the opposite of someone who claims to be a Christian. Yes, people may be tempted to sin, and may even give into that temptation, but we shouldn't go putting ourselves into situations that we know are likely to cause that to happen. I am not of the belief that it is alright to fornicate as long as you pray for forgiveness afterwards. I believe that you shouldn't even let it happen and if it ever happened ONCE, you should know never to put yourself into a situation like that again and again. You would especially think that a pastor's daughter would know that.

Now you might think that there has to be more to the story besides this - think again! There didn't seem to be a point to the story, except for the carnal desires of the main characters (even if they didn't act on it, they talked about it enough - and being consumed by lust, almost gave in on several occasions).

Catt is overweight, but she is confident in her body - so no story there. Jamal is a womanizer, but he never really changes (even after becoming a Christian) - so no message there. The whole story just seems to be centered around Catt and Jamal's sexual tension and Catt's supposed "good morals" - which I don't think exist.

I was very disappointed in this book. I thought the story was going to be one of reforming a bad boy, but it seemed more like the bad boy was confirming the bad in Catt. As I am sure you can guess, I don't recommend this book.

*** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Dee Gospel to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done***

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Passion to Action: How One Family Stepped Out on Faith, Hit the Road, and Discovered the Keys to Courage and Purpose by Jay and Beth Loecken

Passion to Action: How One Family Stepped Out on Faith, Hit the Road, and Discovered the Keys to Courage and PurposeOne family makes a daring decision, discovers the power of purpose, and encounters a God-sized passion for living. Something kept pulling at Jay and Beth Loecken, telling them there’s more to life than the pursuit of a large home, nice cars, and all the trinkets and trappings for a suburban family of six. They felt something stirring, a feeling that God had a different purpose for them, and they knew they had to do something—something big—to get started. Passion to Action is one ordinary family’s tale of pursuing an extraordinary dream. It’s a story about asking big questions, seeking answers every day, and along the way discovering a big faith. What happens if you make a dramatic change? How does God sustain you in your new life? What will the people around you say? Find out for yourself what happens while listening to the journey of Jay and Beth Loecken. See just how far God takes them in their desire simply to serve - as a family - in soup kitchens, community projects, and churches across America. In this audio you’ll hear about Beth’s personal struggle with a troubling past, Jay’s battles with ambition, and the amazing solution they discover as they inspire others to take ten real steps to finding meaning and purpose. Through the story of the Loeckens, see how God leads us to places we’d never imagine, be inspired to better live from your life’s passion, and find the courage to turn it to action.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
I think that this family's desire to serve and to inspire others to serve is commendable, but I don't think that they need to travel around the country to do it. Throughout the book, they say you don't have to do what they did to serve - that you can just help out locally. I wonder whether or not this would have come to mind if they had not had a deep desire to go RVing full-time. Because in some ways, it seems to me that by the time they get settled in to a new place and know where to help, it is time to leave again (two month is not a long time).

Throughout the book, I read how tight money was and how they couldn't afford to buy certain things that they needed. Then how miraculously someone would give them what they needed or they would get it at a very reduced price. Example: Ben, their eldest son, needed a microscope for his studies, but they didn't have the funds to purchase one for him. Then the next place they go, someone gives them a used one and also a few other school supplies that they will need. Yet, they can spend money to travel back and forth to meet with people to discuss a reality show or a book deal (can you guess which one they picked). But, the most annoying thing to me was their acknowledgements at the end of the book. Right after thanking their financial donors, they leave the link to their website, which to me is a not so subtle hint for you to give money. I just don't like when people do that.

They say in the book how you can help your LOCAL homeless shelter, LOCAL nursing home, LOCAL shut-ins, etc., yet that is not what they did. They sold their house, their extra cars, a lot of their possesions (they rented three storage units for some of their stuff) and bought an R.V. to travel the country to do their charitable work. That seems very contradictory to me. They talk about how hard this life-style is and how everytime they ask the kids if they should stop, the kids say NO! I wonder why? Yes they serve others, but they get to experience so much. Traveling around the country, meeting new people, and people have given them free things (i.e. ski lessons, free day(s) at Disney World, a hot air balloon ride, and the list goes on and on). And when they get tired of being in the RV? Well, people have offered them houses to stay in or invited them to share a house that they had rented and let them stay for free and many times they have a place for them where they can park their RV. for free too. So no wonder they want to continue to do this, they get to have their dream (traveling in a RV), when it gets too tiring, they get to stay in a house and they have perks of free vacations and free things. They have the best of both worlds. It means a lot more to me when you don't do things for the recognition, and I know that they would say they aren't but...

I felt that the whole message of this book could have been said in one chapter and that the rest of the book was filled with their doubts, worrys and perks. I found reading this book to be a chore. While I do admire their desire to serve, I would not recommend this book.

*** I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers through FIRST Wild Card Tours. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done. ***

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FIRST Wild Card Tour: Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Thomas Nelson (August 30, 2011)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Kim Cash Tate was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. Her mother, a manager with AT&T, and her father, an educator, divorced when she was young. Even after the divorce, one thing her parents agreed on was the importance of education. She attended both public and private Catholic schools, and college was a given. Tate chose the University of Maryland.

After completing her undergraduate degree, she distinguished herself as a law student at George Washington University. She was invited to join the Journal staff, and a summer job at a respected law firm in her beloved Washington, D.C. followed by a one-year clerkship with a federal judge in Madison.

Tate’s law career took off in Madison. Once the clerkship ended, she was hired on at a large firm. In spite of her success, she was plagued by constant feelings of discontentment and loneliness for the racially diverse environment she left behind in D.C. She began seeking faith, simply as a means of maintaining sanity. After she and Bill married, the couple began attending a local AME church, and they both felt Jesus calling.

When her children were young, Tate left her thriving law career to stay home. A passionate and persuasive communicator, she tried her hand at writing. More Christian than African-American shares her story of finding her identity in Christ rather than in her race, which had been a major focus for her. Her first novel was Heavenly Places, followed by Faithful and her newest release, Cherished. Tate was a speaker for Women of Faith in both 2010 and 2011.

Visit the author's website.


As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Kim Cash Tate explores Psalm 103:12 as she takes her readers down the path to God’s forgiveness and reconciliation in her newest novel, Cherished. Readers will discover that God can still use them in spite of their worst choices. And He doesn’t just forgive them, but they are truly cherished!

Tate’s story will show her readers how God can bring beauty from ashes. She has a unique way of weaving her characters’ lives together, leading back to one great point—God’s tremendous mercy and grace. In the words of one of her characters, “I wasn’t sure what to expect. I felt like it would take a while to work my way back into God’s good graces, but it was like…”—she flung wide her arms—“…He just embraced me.” We too can be embraced by the same great love when we learn that true forgiveness for ALL of our sins is right before us.

Growing up in Saint Louis, Kelli London dreamed of becoming a songwriter and glorifying God with her songs of praise. But after falling into sin, she walks away from her dreams. Heather Anderson’s life has spun out of control—first an affair with a married man and then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band. Broken and alone, she discovers the only one who can save her. Brian Howard grew up as a science geek. But after making the worst mistake of his life after high school, he finds forgiveness in Christ and is being led down a completely different path. Now he must choose whether to continue pursuing his PhD in biochemistry or to become a full time Christian rapper.

Product Details:

  • List Price: $15.99
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595548556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595548559


Kelli London took her place on the piano bench and waited for her cue, grateful that her jittery hands were hidden from the crowd. She shouldn’t have agreed to do this, but she loved her brother and had never seen him happier. How could she say no to singing at his wedding?

But it was the song Cedric had asked her to sing, one he’d heard only by chance. He had no idea what it meant to her. He didn’t know that singing it would unleash memories of the last person she ever wanted to think about.
Laughter rose from the pews, and Kelli looked up, wondering what she’d missed.
“. . . and I’m sure Cedric wants me to get to the vows ASAP,” Pastor Lyles was saying, “so they can get to that kiss they’ve been waiting for.”
Kelli had only met the pastor once before, at her brother Lindell’s wedding last fall, but it didn’t take long to love his spirit and his style. A black man in his late fifties, he’d started Living Word Community Church decades ago and watched it grow into a multi-ethnic megachurch. At least a couple hundred members were here today. Kelli guessed none of them thought twice about the various hues and accents that had gathered to see this black couple wed. She loved that spirit too.

Cedric was shaking his head with a shamefaced grin as the pastor called him out. Cyd was smiling up at him, gorgeous, beaming like the bright light she’d become in Cedric’s life.

Pastor Lyles continued. “But I don’t think he’ll mind one last song, and it’s a special one, written by his sister.”

Kelli drew a deep breath as Cedric and Cyd smiled over at her, Lindell and Stephanie too—the flip side of last fall. Then Stephanie and Lindell were the bride and groom, and Cyd and Cedric were maid of honor and best man, which was how they met. Kelli loved the story, how Cyd turned forty on her younger sister’s wedding day, thinking she’d never marry herself. Now here she was—a June bride. It was romantic that her brothers would now be married to sisters, but it somehow added to her melancholy, that each of them had found the love of his life.

Kelli gazed at the piano keys, and knowing they had to, her fingers tapped the first notes. She fought to stay in the moment, in the church. Her eyes swept Cyd and Cedric, imagined the lyrics were just for them . . .
I will love you till the stars don’t shine

And I will love you till the oceans run dry

I will love you till you know every why

I will, I will

Her eyes closed, and he was there. A shiver of remembrance danced down her arms. She could still see that distant look in his eyes, could even hear him, that tone of indifference that echoed forever in her head. Kelli opened her eyes to capture another image—any image—but he was everywhere now. And her heart allowed itself to be crushed all over again.
I will love you like an endless stream

A million miles won’t take your heart from me

I will love you every breath you breathe

I will, I will

Almost to the bridge, Kelli could feel her emotions cresting with the song. She closed her eyes again as they took over, filling her voice, magnifying her range, powering her through. She played the final chords with the salt of tears on her lips and bowed her head at the last note . . . and heard—applause? She looked out and saw the guests on their feet and Cedric and Cyd fully turned, facing her—Cyd wiping tears from her cheeks. With her own anxiety about singing it, Kelli hadn’t given thought to whether people might actually like the song.

She pulled a tissue from the box atop the piano, dabbed her cheeks, and blew her nose, then muscled a heart-heavy smile to acknowledge everyone’s kindness. When she moved back to the front pew beside her mother, only then did the guests stop clapping and sit.

“When did you write that?” her mother asked, patting her thigh. “That was beautiful.”
“Thanks, Mom. I wrote it . . . a long time ago.”

She turned her gaze to the ceremony, her heart beating a little faster still, puzzled by the response to the song. It coaxed a different memory to the surface, and as Cyd and Cedric exchanged vows, Kelli thought about her long-ago dream of writing music that God would somehow use. Then the better part of her brain kicked in,

reminding her that she’d left songwriting behind, that she knew better than to dream.
That all those dreams had turned to dust.

“Kelli! Girrrl . . .”
Kelli looked up—midpivot in the Electric Slide—and saw Stephanie threading her way through the line dancers in her champagne-colored dress. Soon as the song started, it seemed everybody left tables and mingled to claim a spot on the parquet floor. Kelli waved her sister-in-law over.

“I’ve been looking for you.” Stephanie scooted between Kelli and Devin, a nine-year-old cousin, as rows of people sidestepped to the right. “I haven’t had a chance to tell you . . . girl, you sang that song. I had no idea—hold up, am I doing this right?” She was headed a different direction from everyone else. “Why am I even

out here? I hate this stupid dance.”

Kelli laughed. “Back, Steph. We’re going back.”

“Oh.” Stephanie checked Devin to get in sync, then leaned her head Kelli’s way again, her voice elevated. “Anyway, I told Lindell I couldn’t believe he didn’t tell me about that song, ’cause I would’ve had you sing it at our wedding. And he said he’d never heard it . . . and then I couldn’t believe that.”
“I know. Crazy, right? This way, Steph. Pivot left.”

Stephanie was behind her now, and Kelli turned to make sure she was following, but Devin had it under control.

Like a traffic cop, he moved his hands left, then right to direct her which way to go next. “And pivot,” he announced, to the amusement of those around them.
Side by side with Stephanie again, Kelli continued. “Lindell and Cedric had already moved out of the house by the time I started writing songs in high school, so it was easy to kind of keep my music to myself.” She shrugged. “Cedric overheard it because I didn’t know he was there.”
“Hmph,” Stephanie said. “If I had that kind of talent, everybody would know about it. They’d have to tell me to be quiet.”

The music switched, and they could hear people near the center of the floor cheering, “Go, Cyd! Go, Cedric! Go, Cyd! Go, Cedric!”

Kelli and Stephanie craned their necks, moving toward the action.

“Oh, goodness,” Stephanie said, laughing. “Look at your brother. He’s at it again.”
Kelli laughed too, remembering Cedric and Cyd on the dance floor at Stephanie and Lindell’s reception. Now the two had cut a wide swath in the middle of the floor with a different line dance, this one a little livelier.

Kelli and Stephanie worked their way to a spot in the inner circle.

“Have you seen this version?” Stephanie asked.

Kelli nodded. “But you know Cedric’s gonna add his own twist.”

Instead of a simple sidestep, Cedric led Cyd in bouncy moves to the left, with a slide before going right. And instead of a normal pivot, they did some kind of kick, kick, turn—with Cedric twirling Cyd into a two-step before moving back to the line dance, all of it seamless. The crowd was fired up.
After a couple of rounds, Cedric spotted Kelli and pulled her to the center.
“I don’t know if you can hang with a twenty-five-year-old, big brother.” Although Cedric was a fit forty-two, Kelli didn’t miss an opportunity to tease him about his age. “I’d hate to embarrass you in front of your guests.”
“Oh, you got jokes? We’ll see about that, baby sis.”

Cyd led the cheers this time as Kelli whipped some different moves on him. Cedric paused, then mimicked every last one to let her know she couldn’t show him up. Lindell dragged Stephanie out there—literally—and Kelli was in stitches watching them try to copy what she and Cedric were doing. Soon everyone on the

floor had joined in again, and then the music switched to Motown, which got its own cheers.
Cedric draped one arm around Kelli and the other around Cyd and led them off the floor. They stopped at the bridal party table, which had emptied of all but Dana, one of Cyd’s bridesmaids.

“Why aren’t you on the dance floor?” Cedric asked. “We need all the forty-and-over folk representing.”

Dana glared at him. “Let’s see how well you ‘represent’ with some heels on. My feet are killing me.” Then she nodded toward the dance floor. “My husband left me. He’s out there with the kids. And last I saw, Scott wasn’t representing too well either. He looked almost as bad as Stephanie with that Electric Slide.”

“I heard that, Dana,” Stephanie said, walking up with Lindell. “I could learn the dumb dance if I cared to. And since you’re trying to clown me, I might do it just to keep my black rhythm points. Can’t have a white guy showing me up.”

Dana got a kick out of that, laughing as auburn wisps fell about her face. “How about a white girl? Let’s tell the deejay to play it again and see who’s got it.”
Stephanie eased into a seat. “Uh, no thanks. I always told you, you’re one of those black white girls. You can go on the dance floor.”

Dana eyed the dancers out there. “Well, pray for Mackenzie. I think the poor thing takes after Scott. Look at them.”

Kelli’s heart was smiling. Because she lived out of state, she didn’t know these women well—not even her sisters-in-law—but from her brief interactions, including last night’s rehearsal dinner, she could tell she would like them.
Cyd pulled out a chair and sat, her beautiful gown, passed down from her mother, swishing over the sides. “Ahh . . . think I can get away with sitting like this for maybe five minutes?”

Cedric massaged her shoulders. “You’re good. The Jackson Five’s got everybody occupied.”
Dana touched Kelli’s arm. “The bridal table was talking about you earlier.”
“Me? Why?” Kelli took a seat.

“Are you kidding? That song. It was beautiful.”

Kelli blushed. “Thank you.”
“That’s my little sister.” Cedric beamed.

“Mine too!” Lindell said, giving her shoulder a squeeze. “So proud of you, girl.” He looked at the others. “Just got her master’s too, from UT–Austin.”
“I heard,” Dana said. “Is your degree in music?”

Kelli shook her head. “One’s in communications and the other’s in public relations.”
“Wow, two?” Dana nodded. “That’s awesome.”

“Well . . . not really. Just means I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Kelli didn’t mind admitting it. “But I’m done being a professional student. I’m looking for a job now—”

“—in Texas.” Cedric’s tone made clear what he thought of that. “What part of Texas?” Stephanie asked. “Are you trying to stay in Austin?”

“I’ve been looking at possibilities in Austin and Houston . . .and Dallas.”
“Mostly Dallas, I’d bet,” Cedric said. “That’s where her boyfriend is.” He looked around playfully. “Where is he anyway? I wanted to meet him, see if he measures up. What’s his name? Miller?”

Kelli smirked at her big brother. “Miles. Miles Reed. He wanted to meet you all too, but he had a conflict.”

“I’m sure we’ll get another opportunity,” Cedric said, “if I can get you to move back to St. Louis.”

Cyd perked up. “Ooh, Kelli, I’d love that. Any chance?”

“I . . . doubt it.” Kelli hedged to be polite; her mind had said a fast no. She hadn’t lived in St. Louis since she left for college, and the distance had been good. Her mother had relocated to Little Rock to care for her mother, so Kelli had gone there on school breaks.

“How’s the job market in Texas?” Cedric asked. “Improved any?”

Cedric knew the answer perfectly well. He was a VP at a head-hunting firm. He’d made some calls for her, but nothing had materialized.

“Not exactly,” Kelli admitted. “I’ve been looking since early in the year, and, well . . . it’s nearing the end of June.”

Lindell rubbed his chin. “I’m thinking you can be unemployed in St. Louis just as well as in Austin.”

Cedric gave a big nod to his brother. “Better than in Austin. In St. Louis, you can be unemployed and hang out with your brothers.”
Cyd raised a hand. “And sisters. Don’t forget about us.”

“All of us,” Dana said. “We’d love to plug you into Daughters’ Fellowship.”

“What’s that?” Kelli asked.

“It started years ago with Dana, Phyllis, and me.” Cyd pointed toward the dance floor at her other bridesmaid. “Real informal. We’d do potluck and talk about—sometimes cry about—what God was doing in our lives. Stephanie crashed the party last year.” Cyd smiled at her younger sister. “It’s evolved into kind of a Bible study/gabfest.”

“Emphasis on gab,” Cedric said. “Amazing how two hours can turn into five—every single time. You’d think you’d run out of things to talk about.”
“Now, now, brother,” Lindell said, “don’t exaggerate. I think it was four and a half hours last time.”

Cedric and Lindell shared a laugh as the women pounced.

“We’re praying too, you know,” Dana said. “Getting that fuel we need to be the best we can be.”

“Lindell knows.” Stephanie gave him the eye. “I left the house with an attitude before that last meeting. Came back changed. Didn’t I?”

Lindell threw up his hands. “Hey, I’m not complaining. I might be the biggest DF fan at the table. Stephanie’s not the same woman I married.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Babe, that’s a good thing! I’m just sayin’.”

Kelli laughed as Lindell backpedaled. For years her brothers had been busy with their careers, living the bachelor life. Hadn’t occurred to them or her that they should live near one another, be a part of each other's lives. But now they were both settled down, with wives Kelli would love to know better. She’d always wanted sisters. And it was strange that she, Cyd, and Stephanie kind of looked alike—all of them tall with honey brown skin and long brown hair.

And Daughters’ Fellowship sounded great. Her own relationship with God wasn’t where it should be. She’d known that for some time. Just wasn’t sure how to get it back on the right track. The thought of getting together with these women, talking and learning from them, felt like water to her parched soul.

If only it were in another city . . .

Kelli sighed as she looked around the table at the laughter, the ribbing, the love. Did she really want to stay in Austin, away from all of this?

And what about Miles? They’d been dating almost a year. Although he’d graduated from UT–Austin last December and moved back to Dallas, the distance didn’t seem so great with them both in Texas. Still, they were already several hours apart. Would a few more make a huge difference?

Kelli looked up as her mother stopped at their table.

“Hey, it’s my gorgeous mother,” Cedric said, placing an arm around her.
“No, it’s my gorgeous mother,” Lindell said, hugging her other side.

Francine London glowed with pride. “You boys are something else,” she said. “And I didn’t come to see y’all. I came to see how my daughters-in-law are doing.”
“Oh, it’s like that now?” Cedric asked. “I get married, and I get kicked to the curb?”
Francine laughed, keeping her arms around her sons’ waists. “I’m wondering what’s gonna happen when you all start having my grandchildren. I’m not gonna like being all the way in Little Rock.”

“You need to move back too,” Lindell said.

Francine dismissed it with a shake of the head. “Your grandmother’s not doing well, can’t get around, so we’re better off staying put.”
“Well, help us convince your daughter to move back,” Cedric said. “We’ve been working on her.”

Francine looked at Kelli, nodding. “I was thinking about that today, how nice it would be if you could be around your brothers and their wives. You know I’m big on family.”

“Yes, I know, Mom.” Kelli cut them off at the pass. “So . . . which one of you would be willing to let your little sister move in?”

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeh Eulberg

Prom and PrejudiceAfter winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
'Prom & Prejudice' was a sweet variation of a classic story. I thought that the whole idea of putting all the characters into high school was a neat idea. I liked how the book even had Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mary and Kitty in it - though they played a very minor role.

Lizzie Bennet is an only child of middle class parents. She has a music scholarship at Longbourn Academy. Longbourn is a girl bording school, where the elite send their daughters. Because Lizzie is a scholarship student, she is relentlessly bullied and has very few friends. Her only friends at school are Jane and Charlotte (the only other scholarship student in her class). Her music teacher, Mrs. Gardner, is the only other person, besides her friends, that she feels close to at school.

The highlight of the year is prom, usually the girls from Longbourn go with the boys from Pemberley (the school where the elite send their boys). Jane is hopeful that Charles Bingley will ask her to prom, but there are many setbacks, one being her sister Lydia. Lydia makes a fool of herself in front of everyone at a party and the video quickly goes online. Lydia is very vain, doesn't see what she did as embarassing and is in fact very pleased with all the attention she is getting.

Jane and Charles behave in almost the same way as they did in the original story, always thinking the best of everybody and only seeing the good in them. Lydia of course acts the same, if not even more reckless, than the character in Pride & Prejudice and Wick (George Wickham) seemed even more horrendous in this story.

The book also has the characters of Colin (Mr. Collins), Cat (Lady Catherine de Bourgh) and Georgiana Darcy. I thought that the spitefulness of Cat did a great job of channeling what Lady Catherine de Bourgh as a teenager would have been like. And Colin was such a bore, just as I would have pictured Mr. Collins as a teenager. Georgiana was as sweet in this story as she was in the original, but I thought that this book made her seem sickly at times - when I had always pictured her as just shy.

Of course no story based on Pride & Prejudice would be complete without Darcy, and in this book I thought that his character was the best written. Will Darcy has had his trust broken by Wick and because of it is very leary of new people. So when he meets Lizzy for the first time, he makes a horrible first impression and she thinks that he thinks that he is better than everybody else. But just like the original story, you will adore Darcy.

I really enjoyed reading 'Prom and Prejudice'! I hated to put this book down, but everytime I had to do so, as soon as I could, I picked it up to continue reading. If you, like me, can't get enough P&P fan fiction books, you should enjoy this book too. Or, if you are looking for a book that a teenager will love, I think this would be perfect. I totally recommend this book.

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Here are some of the places where you can purchase 'Prom & Prejudice': Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository.

Product Details:
  • Reading level: Ages 13 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Point; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545240778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545240772
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day Three: The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson

When I signed up to do the CSFF Blog Tour for the third book in this series 'The Monster in the Hollows', I got the first two books from the library so that I could read them in order and to get the most out of the third book. Here is the third book in the Wingfeather Saga:

The Monster in the HollowsJanner Wingfeather's father was the High King of Anniera. But his father is gone. The kingdom has fallen. The royal family is on the run, and the Fang armies of Gnag the Nameless are close behind.

Janner and his family hope to find refuge in the last safe place in the world: the Green Hollows--a land of warriors feared even by Fangs of Dang. But there's a big problem. Janner's little brother-heir to the throne of Anniera-has grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows he looks like a monster.

But Janner knows better. His brother isn't as scary as he looks. He's perfectly harmless.

Or is he?

Join the Wingfeathers on an adventure filled with mystery, betrayal, and sneakery in a land of tasty fruits. There's a monster on the loose and the truth lurks in the shadows.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
'The Monster in the Hollows' is the third book in the "Wingfeather Saga" series, and it is great! I am really surprised by how much I like reading these books, because they are geared for a younger audience. In this book the Wingfeather family has escaped from the clutches of Gnag the Nameless's army and have made it to the Green Hollows, the land where their mother grew-up.

While in the first two books they had action and adventure, 'The Monster in the Hollows' has something that they haven't had in a while - hope. A hope that they are finally free from the danger of the Fangs of Dang. But upon arrival, the town takes Kalmar into custody and it is only after a high price is paid that he is allowed to leave.

Janner and Leeli are thriving here, but Kalmar is not. Because of the Hollish people's great fear of Fangs, Kalmar is treated with contempt and people are afraid of him. This fear causes them to take drastic measures and puts the Wingfeather Family to their greatest test yet.

Janner, in particular, has the hardest challenge yet. He is tired of being Throne Warden and having to look out for Kalmar, his younger brother and the High King of Anniera. He thinks that when they arrive in the Hollows, things will be different and he won't have to guard Kalmar every second, but when Kalmar chooses the most dangerous guild, their mother wants him to join Kalmar, so that he can protect him. This means giving up the guild that he wanted to join, Bookbindery, but he reluctantly agrees.

When a monster is suddenly on the loose and with the town's fears running rampant, Janner realizes he may have to guard Kalmar more than ever.

'The Monster in the Hollows' has some action in it, because in the school that they attend, the boys are in the Durgan Guild - where they learn to fight, sneak, spy and all the other things that a warrior must know. But on top of their official school learning, their mother still is teaching them T.H.A.G.S. (Three Honored and Great Subjects), the subjects that they as Annierian royalty must learn.

I can't wait to read the conclusion to this series. I so hope that the ending will change Kalmar and Artham back into the humans that they really are and maybe change all the Fangs back into their original forms as well.

If you love fantasy, you should love 'The Monster in the Hollows', but to completely enjoy this book, you should definitely read 'On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness' and 'North! Or Be Eaten' first.

*** I received a complimentary copy of this book from CSFF to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done. ***

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You can purchase the third book here - The Monster in the Hollows
Find out more about the series here -

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Here are the links to the other participants blogs:

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Seers by Heather Frost

For Kate Bennet, surviving the car wreck that killed her parents means big changes and even bigger problems. As she begins to see auras and invisible people, Kate must learn to trust Patrick O'Donnell, a handsome Guardian, or risk her life being overrun with Demons. She soon realizes that both she and her heart are in big-time trouble.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
Ever since the accident that caused the death of her parents, and her own near death, Kate has had the ability to see people's auras - everyone's, that is, but her own. No one knows about her secret ability except her best friend, Lee - not even her boyfriend, Aaron. When she meets Patrick, a new foreign exchange student at her school, she learns that he is a Guardian. A Guardian is a person that when they died choose to stay on earth to guard Seers. Kate also learns that she is a Seer and that there are forces who know about what she can do. Forces who want to use her ability for their own purposes and she must decide if she wants to help the Guardians or not.

I didn't like how Kate kept stringing Aaron along, when she knew that she was no longer interested in having a relationship with him. I didn't feel that was fair to him, she should have just broken up with him. This didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story, I just didn't like it, but I didn't let that affect my rating of the book. Besides that, there wasn't anything else I disliked.

'Seers' was a great book, one that I could see myself reading again. I hope that there will be a second book, because I think that the story ended too abruptly for this to be just a stand-alone novel. If you like books that have a supernatural element to them, you should really enjoy this book.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley to review. I was not required to give a positive review, but only to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

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Author Bio:
I was born in Sandy, Utah, a few days before Halloween in 1989. I lived in Salt Lake City until I was about six, and then I moved North and settled into the place I still call home. I'm the oldest daughter and second oldest child in my family. I have six brothers, and three sisters. My parents chose to home-school all of us, and I'm surprised that they held onto their sanity after having us home so much. Still, I'm very grateful to them for all of the many sacrifices they made which enabled me to get the education that I did.
Author's Official Website:

Click the banner above for a list of all the blogs participating in this blog tour.
To learn even more about this book, check out the official website.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day Two: North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

When I signed up to do the CSFF Blog Tour for the third book in this series 'The Monster in the Hollows', I got the first two books from the library so that I could read them in order and to get the most out of the third book. Here is the second book in the Wingfeather Saga:

North! or Be EatenJanner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

In order to survive, the Igibys must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest, the thieving Stranders of the East Bend, and the dreaded Fork Factory.

But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart, and Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
In 'North! Or Be Eaten' the Igiby/Wingfeather family faces a more perilous and treacherous journey then any of them ever imagined. There is of course the danger of the Fangs and the creatures of the forest, but now they have to deal with Stranders, Trolls, Dragons, a bunch of other terrifying monsters, and people who are more than willing to turn on them for money.

Janner and Tink have to deal with jealousies towards each other. They both also have many other issues that they have to deal with. Tink's fear of the responsiblity that comes with being the High King of Anniera. Janner,Throne Warden of Anniera, is tired of always looking out for Tink. Because of this, some things are said that hurt someone's feelings, and some terrible things happen. Here is what happened...I not going to say, as it will spoil the story for you, but trust me it is huge!

I greatly enjoyed reading 'North! Or Be Eaten' and have already started on the next book 'The Monster in the Hollows'. These books may not be for everyone, but for those who love to read action/adventure/fantasy novels these books will be right up your alley. I think that these also would be great books to read to the whole family, as I believe that young children would love this story!

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You can purchase the third book here - The Monster in the Hollows

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day One: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

When I signed up to do the CSFF Blog Tour for the third book in this series 'The Monster in the Hollows', I got the first two books from the library so that I could read them in order and to get the most out of the third book. Here is the first book in the Wingfeather Saga:

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of DarknessOnce, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Andrew Peterson spins a quirky and riveting tale of the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness presents a world of wonder and a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to discuss for its layers of meaning about life’s true treasure and tangle of the beautiful and horrible, temporal and eternal, and good and bad.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
'On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness' by Andrew Peterson is a wonderfully crafted tale! The characters are so well written that I connected to them immediately. The story moves at such a fast pace, that I was able to this book in one sitting. The 'Jewels of Anniera' are mentioned all throughout the book and I kept wondering "What do they look like?" and "Where are they?". When I reached the end of the book, I finally found out where they were and why they were so important.

There were a couple of times that the story was a bit slow. It is for this reason that I didn't give it five stars.

Though Fantasy isn't a genre that I usually read, I found this book to be very enjoyable and will definitely be reading the next book 'North, or be Eaten'. I think that this is a book that all ages can enjoy.

If you found this review helpful, please click yes here. Thanks!

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You can purchase the third book hereThe Monster in the Hollows
Find out more about the series

Places to find the author on the web:

Here are the links to the other participants blogs:
Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Cynthia Dyer
Amber French
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
* Eve Nielsen
Joan Nienhuis
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Megan's Secrets: What My Mentally Disabled Daughter Taught Me about Life by Mike Cope

Megan's Secrets: What My Mentally Disabled Daughter Taught Me about Life
Mike Cope's best teacher was his mentally disabled daughter. Megan taught her father secrets more profound than anything he'd learned in college and seminary. This moving book shares those secrets in a way that will make readers laugh and cry and find new hope.

She was a beautiful pint-sized girl with a big love. And the best scholars in the world couldn't teach what she did in her brief life. Megan died at age ten. But her life has exposed some of the insanities of the world and revealed four life-giving secrets.

One secret is simply this: Second choices don't mean we miss out on life. Sometimes our second choices define and shape us in ways we'd never change even if we could.

Lovingly written by Megan's father, this unique inspirational book wraps these four secrets in stories that will restore hope to those grieving a death or second choice, and all who have a heart for a spunky little girl whose only spoken words were, ''I'm Megan!''

All readers who long to see modern-day examples of the ''little ones'' Jesus held on his lap and loved will be inspired and moved to laugh and cry and exult in God's incredible wisdom spoken through a disabled child.

What Mike discovers is that life with Megan--who slept only three hours a night--was exhausting, challenging, even disappointing, but also filled with joy and secrets that he is ready to tell the world.

I Give This Book:1 star1 star1 star1 star

My Thoughts:
We are a society that obsesses over physical appearance and care very little for the inner man - only about the exterior. 'Megan's Secrets' shows that sometimes the people we are ready to write off are the ones that can teach us the most. That sometimes the older you get, the more vain we are about the people around us. And that sometimes the wisest and most insightful people are the little children, who only care about a person's heart and they are not superficial.

Most people, when they see a handicapped child, pity the parents for having to deal with the child. But I think that Mike would say that we are the ones who should be pitied, for not knowing the unconditional love and the great joy that a child like that can bring.

Megan was only ten years old when she died, but she lived her short life to the fullest that she could. She slept for only 2-4 hours a night, as if she knew that she would only have a short time here on earth and wanted to do the most she could.

"Painful as it is, grief is a gift - a part of the healing process." (pg. 145)

I feel that this quote summarizes a large part of the point of the story. A father grieved the loss of a daughter and in some ways is still grieving - as I am sure every parent is who ever lost a child.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, however there were parts that I found to be a stretch and a bit over-the-top. It is for this reason that I didn't give 'Megan's Secrets' 5 stars. This was a moving story and while it touched my heart, I don't plan to reread it any time soon. I would recommend this book, but probably only to those who are in a similar situation.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was not required to give a positive review, but only to give my honest opinion - which I have done. 

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