Thursday, January 27, 2011

Masquerade Marriage


Title: Masquerade Marriage
Author: Anne Greene

A SECRET LIST

To protect his loved ones and escape the dark fate of his brothers, a noted warrior abandons his identity. Hiding from relentless soldiers who want him dead, Brody MacCaulay vows to protect the woman he loves more than life, more than freedom, more than Scotland. But his presence throws her into danger.

A VOW HONORED

To escape an arranged marriage to an abusive noble, a Lowland Lady weds a stranger to save his life. But vows spoken do not make a marriage, especially when Megan MacMurry holds a different love inside her heart.

A SACRIFICE MADE

Outlawed, and with a price on his head, Brody condemns himself to a life of heartbreak without Megan. Wanting her desperately, knowing he can't have her, he heads alone to certain death... 


My Take:

I love books about historical Scotland. There is something about the people and that time that tugs at my heart and challenges me at the same time. These were people not afraid to die for what they believed in. They held concepts like loyalty, family, freedom, and faith sacred. I think there is a lot to learn from them. Sometimes they were a wee bit stubborn and prideful... but there was a lot of strength and courage in heroes of Scottish history. 


This story is a great example of how that sense of honor and self-sacrifice was lived out among not just the giants of history, but so many of the families. It's also a story of how many of them tried to pick up the pieces after Culloden. They had dual desires. Part of them wanted to live to protect their families and fight another day. Another part felt like it was somehow dishonorable to hide and give in to what the English wanted. 


Unlike many romance novels, there was no silent, aggressive hero and a damsel in distress. Megan also didn't fit the other extreme ~ She wasn't the kind of woman who had to be in charge all the time, wear the pants in the family and didn't like being a woman. She was just a strong woman who was intelligent, capable, practical and wanted to help the patriotic men who had fought and were in danger of losing their lives. She was willing to risk her own life and happiness to do just that.


Brody fought for a cause he believed in. War changes him inside though. Afterward he isn't sure what he believes and wishes his life hadn't been spared. When he finds out that Megan has chosen him as husband to spare his life, he hopes for happiness with his friend from childhood. He soon learns that she did it as a patriotic duty and was engaged to someone else who died on the battlefield. His presence puts her family at risk and he struggles with that nearly as much as his feelings for Megan. 


I enjoyed this book a lot and suggest it to anyone who likes this time period.


In case you haven't read it yet, here is an excerpt:



Like a determined hero, the fugitive warrior strode through the door at the far end of the tiny stone kirk.
            Megan’s eyes widened. Her clenched jaw relaxed. Some of her dread dissolved.
            “Impressive.” Molly, Megan’s Irish maid, whispered from where they stood together in the vestibule.
            He stopped in front of the hand-carved altar and half-turned toward her. Megan pulled in an uneven breath. This Highlander, wearing formal kilts, was no scrawny lad grown older, nor was he a big, hairy Scot with a bushy beard. The tall, strapping soldier stood with legs braced as if about to do battle.
            Her heart skipped. Though she’d known Brody when she wore short skirts, this blond warrior was far more than she expected. Her pulse throbbed in her temples. Doubt niggled her brain. Brody was too tall, too obviously a Highlander. How could she hope to pass him off as a Lowland Laird? He appeared to have too big a chip on his shoulder to let her command him.
            Brody’s thick sandy hair swept the collar of his linen shirt. Lace-trimmed cuffs matched the white jabot at his muscular throat. A silver broach clapsed his crimson and black tartan to his wide right shoulder. His Claymore, dirk, and thick sword belt startled her.
            Megan suppressed a shudder. The English outlawed kilts. With his dress, Brody spat in the face of the English and further imperiled his life. Why?
            His intense sapphire stare blazed a trail across the empty wooden pews toward her. His eyes made her feel dizzy as if she just danced a fast reel with a lively partner.
            Molly grinned and handed Megan the bridal flowers.
            What had she gotten herself into? 

2011 Christian Historical Fiction Challenge


This challenge is hosted by Margaret at Christian Historical Fiction. I'll keep track of the reviews for the books I read for the challenge in this post and the total number along the side of the blog. You can read the rules for the challenge or sign up by clicking the link above.

My reviews:

  1. A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
  2. Valeria's Cross by Kathi Macias and Susan Wales
  3. The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen
  4. Masquerade Marriage by Anne Greene
  5. Love on Assignment by Cara Lynn James 
  6. The Gunman's Bride by Catherine Palmer  
  7. A Heart Most Worthy  by Siri Mitchell

Monday, January 24, 2011

Interview With Anne Greene from Masquerade Marriage

A SECRET LIST

To protect his loved ones and escape the dark fate of his brothers, a noted warrior abandons his identity. Hiding from relentless soldiers who want him dead, Brody MacCaulay vows to protect the woman he loves more than life, more than freedom, more than Scotland. But his presence throws her into danger.

A VOW HONORED

To escape an arranged marriage to an abusive noble, a Lowland Lady weds a stranger to save his life. But vows spoken do not make a marriage, especially when Megan MacMurry holds a different love inside her heart.

A SACRIFICE MADE

Outlawed, and with a price on his head, Brody condemns himself to a life of heartbreak without Megan. Wanting her desperately, knowing he can't have her, he heads alone to certain death... 


ANNE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. She writes both historical and suspense novels. After falling in love with several countries and their people, Anne set a number of her books in exotic locations. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited twenty-five countries, including three communist countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her newest book release, Masquerade Marriage, published by White Rose Publishing. When she’s not deployed with her husband, Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Two of her four children live nearby. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, Dallas. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne and to view pictures from her extensive travel, visit her at AnneGreenAuthor.com.


Which authors have inspired you?


That’s a hard one to answer. When I read a really good book, I just want to sit down and write one as good—or better.

Masquerade Marriage is a book of my heart. My paternal ancestors are Scotch of Clan Gunn, which was located in the far north of Scotland in the Cathness area where Vikings intermarried with the Scots. I visited Scotland with the purpose of setting one or more historicals there, and fell in love with the country. The final battle between the English and the Scottish Highlanders changed the Highlands forever. A way of life ended. The drama in this story appealed to me, and so I wrote Masquerade Marriage. I love this time in history and so enjoyed living it as I wrote the book. I hope the reader finds a new world to love as he reads my book. I’m working on a sequel and a possible third book now.


What distracts you from writing the easiest?
At the moment, I’m doing a lot of publicity for my new book. But, when I’m writing, the only things I let distract me are family, friends, and errands. I’m very dedicated. 


What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My family thinks I’m pretty quirky. I’m often accused of living in my own world-whatever that means! I do sometimes get so involved in whatever story I’m writing that I forget appointments or show up at a social event on the wrong date or at the wrong address. I think I’m rather like the Absent-minded Professor. 


What is your strangest habit?
Lots of writers like to work in their pjs. I like to be completely dressed, including make-up. Who knows when I’ll want to run out and see a friend for lunch or run an errand? I’m pretty spontaneous. I can only write for a period of time before I need some social interaction. But then it’s back to the grindstone.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Exercise! Going to the gym. So easy to pass that by. When my mind is occupied with a book, my body wants to sit in that chair and write. Time passes and before I realize it, the day is gone. I don’t dread any part of the writing process. And I love to rewrite and polish. I love working with words and images and bringing them to life. 


Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love to write about redemption in every form. Second chances, forgiveness, grace, finding God’s will, and finding and walking with the Savior. I love the grace of God, and His unexpected ways of showing His love. The spiritual theme of my books come directly from the characters and whatever problems they struggle with. 

I hope you enjoyed the interview with Anne today. Please take a moment and visit her website at Anne Greene's Website.  You can get information about this book or any of her other projects. Plus -- if you can't wait until I share my review in my next post, she has an excerpt from Masquerade Marriage on her website as well. :o)

Thanks for your time, Anne. I wish you all the best with this and all your books.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quote It Saturday



"Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?" -- Jane Austen

Quote It Sat is hosted by Freda @ Freda's Voice.

An Amish Love

Title: An Amish Love
Authors: Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, & Kelly Long


Two of today's most popular genres--Romance and Amish fiction--together in one volume.
"Healing Hearts" by Beth Wiseman: Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman are alone for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina wasn't expecting him to be gone a year. Now that he's back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and fall in love again?
"What the Heart Sees" by Kathleen Fuller: A tragic accident rocks a peaceful Amish community, leaving Ellie Chupp blinded and Christopher Bender's future shattered. But they find love and forgiveness in a place they least expect.
"A Marriage of the Heart" by Kelly Long: Rachel Yoder is tired of her Amish lifestyle and her domineering father's ways. When handsome Joseph Lambert comes back from the Englisch, she lies to force a marriage of convenience, providing the perfect means to escape her father's rule. But Rachel never imagined she'd fall in love with Joseph so quickly or irrevocably.

My Take:

I was confused at first by the summaries. Goodreads listed them in reverse order from what you read in the book and on the back cover it is actually last, first, and then second. I don't understand why they would do it that way - specially since the stories do relate to each other. Characters overlap from one story to another and the changes from the first story are referred to in the third.

As for the stories themselves, one of the things I liked about them was that there was the kind of ending you expect in a romance novel and none of them were cliff hangers - making you wait for another story to see what happened. Although I appreciate this genre, I've read some that were so sad it turned me off the series - or they didn't resolve the story for our main characters until the entire series was over. So you had to wait three or four years to find out if your leading lady found love. Realistic maybe, but I read romances for... romance. :o)

These keep that wonderful atmosphere and feeling you get from Amish fiction without cliff hangers or depressing endings. Having said that, my favorite story was the first one. I think it was the most romantic. Abby, her father, and Joseph start off in a relationship based mostly on manipulation, self-preservation and distrust. They don't realize how badly they all need each other - and how much better life will be when they stop acting like a family and truly become one.

The story of Ellie and Chris was my least favorite. I don't think I really bonded with the characters as well as I should have. There was a lot of character growth and change that had to happen in a short amount of time. Some of the change was so sudden and I don't think I totally believed it. It was still a nice story with good themes about forgiveness.

The last story also dealt with forgiveness. It was confusing to me for a while because Naaman never seemed to give any good motivation for leaving home. He never seemed to understand it himself. I could relate very well to his children who resented his coming back after so long with no explanation and just picking up where he left off. Regardless of that - his love story with his wife and how they worked to re-build their marriage was very touching. I also liked the bit of mystery that was worked into this story.

If you like Amish fiction, it's a good bet that you'll enjoy this anthology. It was provided to me by Thomas Nelson as part of the Book Sneeze program with the understanding that I would give an unbiased review. I thank them for my copy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wish I'd Read That Challenge 2011


I totally forgot to make a post in order to keep track of my reviews for this challenge. For those of you interested in signing up, you can click on the picture on the side of my blog and it will link you to Hannah who is hosting the challenge this year @ Project Journal.

My reviews so far are:
  1. A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 

The Justice Game


Title: The Justice Game
Author: Randy Singer

Goodreads Blurb:

After the target of an investigative report storms a Virginia Beach television station, he kills one of the anchors before the SWAT team takes him down. Following the victim's funeral, her family files a lawsuit against the gun company who manufactured the killer's weapon of choice. The lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant-Kelly Starling and Jason Noble-are young, charismatic, and successful. They're also easy blackmail targets, both harboring a personal secret so devastating it could destroy their careers. Millions of dollars-and more than a few lives-are at stake. But as Kelly and Jason battle each other, they discover that the real fight is with unseen forces intent on controlling them both.

My Take:


I rarely read legal fiction. This one intrigued me because not only was it based on a real (and highly controversial) case, but the author was involved in that case. No matter how you feel about the issue, this book is riveting. The author manages to remain amazingly objective and you walk away from the book caring about the people on both sides. The real villain is the person who tried to manipulate the system - and was willing to kill to do so.


I think that is one of the reasons this kept me glued to my Kindle. The stakes couldn't be higher. Justice for the court case was hanging in the balance - that's true... Both lawyers had issues in their past and were struggling with how to and whether they could face them and make things right... On top of it all was the fact that somebody was manipulating the outcome and making more and more serious threats.


The pace of the book was just right and the plot kept me guessing right up until the end. Both Kelly and Jason are like-able, but not perfect. They are surrounded by a lot of interesting people. I would love to sit and have a purple milkshake with them anytime. {Read the book to know what that's all about.} 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Proper Pursuit


Title: A Proper Pursuit
Author: Lynn Austin

Goodreads Blurb:

When Violet Hayes ventures to Chicago during the time of the World's Fair, her one goal is to find her mother, who has been missing from her life since she was nine. Naïve, impressionable, and highly imaginative (having secretly ingested a diet of romance novels and true crime stories at school), Violet stays in Chicago under the care of her grandmother and her three great aunts. It is here that her perspectives on life are opened as she is exposed to the world about her--from high society to the poor immigrant families; from the suffragette movement to the security of a suitable marriage match. As Violet contemplates what course her life will take, she will discover the missing parts of her family's past--and, ultimately, Violet will discover herself.

My Take:

I know it's cliche, but I tell you all the time that I have a HUGE wish list of books - and only so much time and money. This is one that had been on the list for a while and I'm a little ashamed to say that I didn't put as much emphasis on it because the cover just didn't grab me. Let me tell you something - what's inside is one of the most entertaining stories I've read in a long time.  I instantly added Lynn Austin as a favorite author after finishing this book.


Violet is such an incredible character. She experiences so much through the course of this novel. She sees things she never dreamed of, meets interesting people, has to learn some harsh truths as well as some beautiful ones, solves some mysteries, gets several marriage proposals, sees life from varying perspectives, and has her very first kiss. 


I laughed so hard while reading this book that I cried. I could picture everything in my mind so clearly - from the Liberty Bell made from oranges, to the frilly dresses at the parties and even the shocked looks on the faces of people when bloomers for women were suggested as an option. The descriptions made you feel like you were part of it. I can still remember exactly how Violet described Silas when she first saw him.


Speaking of Silas, that was another great thing about the book. Violet wasn't the only interesting character. Silas kept you guessing about what kind of person he really was and what he wanted, each of her aunts had their own strengths and personalities that made the book fun & interesting, her grandmother was yet another holder of mysteries and the one who led her to the "seedier" side of town to do charity work, Nelson is more than just another rich bachelor who "plays the game," and I could keep going. 


The story was well-written, it had elements of mystery, a lot of wit and funny dialogue, romance... This was a great story. If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, I hope you add it to your list. :o)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quote It Saturday



"Every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory." -- C. S. Lewis

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
  -- Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)

Quote it Saturday is hosted by Freda @ Freda's Voice.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dragons of the Valley

Title: Dragons of the Valley
Author: Donita K. Paul

Goodreads Blurb:

With an invasion of her country imminent, Tipper Schope is drawn into a mission to keep three important statues from falling into the enemy’s clutches. Her friend, the artist Bealomondore, helps her execute the plan, and along the way he learns to brandish a sword rather than a paintbrush.

As odd disappearances and a rash of volatile behavior sweep Chiril, no one is safe. A terrible danger has made his vicious presence known: The Grawl, a hunter unlike any creature encountered before.

To restore their country, Tipper, Bealomondore, and their party must hide the statues in the Valley of the Dragons and find a way to defeat the invading army. When it falls to the artistic Bealomondore to wield his sword as powerfully and naturally as a paintbrush, will he answer Wulder’s call for a champion?



My Take:


I'm a huge fan of this author. This book is the second in The Chiril Chronicles and is related to the DragonKeeper Chronicles. The story takes place in a different place and time, but some of the characters overlap. Now that the background information is out of the way...


This time the book opens with everyone thinking that peace has just been obtained, the bad guys defeated so everyone should be able to relax. Suddenly there are mysterious summons and told the statues must be removed for their own safety. No details, no reasons... no knowledge of who the enemy is or if they should even trust this summons. So the journey begins.


It is a journey in every sense of the word. They travel distances and meet new people, learn new skills and challenge many of the ideas they've accepted. The force they are up against can't be beat if they don't trust each other - and some have trouble trusting even themselves. As is so often the case, they are badly outnumbered and need the help of the only one who can help in such cases - God - or as He is called in this book, Wulder. Tipper and Bealomondore don't trust in Him though. They aren't even sure if He's real. 


Then there is this new creature, a sort of mercenary called The Grawl. He is very formidable and not the kind of... person/thing you would ever want to meet in a dark forest. He's hunting them and wants the statues for himself - among other things.


Like all the books, there is plenty of action, well-drawn characters, a fantastic story world and the kind of dialogue and writing that you quote to people as you're reading. There are places you laugh out loud, some you may feel pity for a character, others that have you mad and wondering why that person was being so mean. You feel totally connected to what the characters are going through - like you are one of the people on the adventure with them. What could be better than that?

The only weakness I could possibly come up with is that I think it reads better as part of the whole series and not as a stand alone book. I just don't think you'd enjoy it as much or get as much out of it without the other books. Like all the books in this and her DragonKeeper series, I think it could be enjoyed by upper elementary all the way to old fogies like myself. :o) 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quote It Saturday


"There is a latent desire in every human being to do something of worth that will have lasting significance. There is a longing in most people to do something that will make life better for others." --- Tony Campolo

"Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught." --- Winston Churchill

Quote it Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Valeria's Cross


Title: Valeria's Cross
Authors:  Kathi Macias & Susan Wales

Goodreads Blurb:

In the 3rd century, pampered Roman princess Valeria falls in love with Mauritius, captain of the Theban Legion. She sends him off to battle, where he suffers under the schemes of a notorious pagan general with an ambition for power and a lust for Valeria. In a scene based on true events, the evil Galerius kills Mauritius and his entire legion for their Christian faith. And in a shocking turn of events, the grieving Valeria is forced to become Galerius’ wife against her will. Never has a marriage been set up for such failure. Valeria loathes her new husband, but he seems to undergo a change of heart, adopting a child for her and giving her power and authority, and even love. She struggles with the commitment she knows she must keep, and the love she knows she will never find again.

My Take:

This book did a fantastic job setting the stage and making you believe you were there with Valeria - living what the early church went through. I felt her pain as she heard the news about Mauritius and his entire legion being killed for their faith. Even more telling, I felt the misgivings and pain of the soldier ordered to kill Mauritius. 


Nothing is black or white in this story world. Valeria hates what her father has done, but worries about his health and cares about him and wants him to accept Christ. You see her have problems saying things from the old religion she grew up with just because it's habit and comfortable. She goes through a period where she isn't sure what she believes anymore. When she is forced to marry the man who is chiefly behind the persecution of the Christians, she rebels and is angry for quite a while. She has moments of jealousy - even towards her best friend. In short, Valeria reacted just like I think a real person in her position would have.


I don't like to read books that depress me. There were a lot of... negative things that happened in this book but because of the way the characters interact with each other, it never feels like you need to walk away. In fact you pull for them more and care about what will happen to them and wonder how they're going to handle the next obstacle that comes their way.


This is one of the best books I've ever read about this time period. It's a contender for my best books of the year as well. The plot moves along at a good pace, the authors did a fantastic job developing their characters and their is some nice romance - and true love - to sweeten it all up. I wouldn't hesitate to suggest this book to anyone. It's a great read.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Being a Jane Austen Mystery Reading Challenge 2011





I thought I was done with challenges. Then I saw this one and you know how I love Jane Austen. I haven't read these books before so I don't know how good they are. For that reason I'm only signing up as a neophyte and promising to read 1 - 4 books. They have good ratings though and I may end up reading far more.

This challenge is hosted by Laurel Ann at AustenProse - A Jane Austen Blog. You can find out all the details by visiting her blog. I can't wait to discover this new series!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Girl in The Gatehouse


Title: The Girl in the Gatehouse
Author: Julie Klassen

Goodreads Blurb:

Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret. Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made. When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

My take:

I don't know about you, but when I was a young girl I always dreamed of being a princess in a castle and that is just the feeling I get when I look at the gatehouse on the cover of this book. In the author's note she says the one pictured is exactly the building she had in mind when writing the book. It's an amazing cover and setting.


Those dreamy ideas I had aren't what sends Mariah to the gatehouse though. Her family has sent her away in disgrace. One of the many things that makes this novel so great is how she reacts to her situation. Mariah doesn't sulk and throw a pity party for herself. She doesn't just concentrate her efforts on self preservation. She maintains her dignity and looks to the needs of those around her. She doesn't want a hand out - just a chance to make it and looks for ways to help people she meets in the poorhouse nearby as well. 


Captain Bryant is intrigued by Mariah. She has helped him and seems like an intelligent person. He knows she's hiding something though and he doesn't like the idea that she would be lying to him. He's confused also because as much as he's drawn to Mariah, he has been waiting and planning to woo another woman who had been out of his reach before because he had been deemed "unworthy" of her. Now that he has made his fortune at sea, he's certain she'll change her mind.


This novel is not only my first for the year, but it is also my first to hit the list of favorites. The cast of characters was superb. Each of them taught me something and made it seem like real life instead of a show with only two stars. The loyal but gruff Dixon - who stayed with Mariah even into her exile, the mysterious man running about the poorhouse roof. He had honor, self-sacrifice, generosity and humility. Then we have Martin - the epitome of a surprise character. He really brings home the point about not judging people too quickly or by their appearances. Mr. Hart who had such strength despite his injury and refused pity. I could go on and on - but you really should meet them yourself.



This isn't just a romance either. There are a few mysteries throughout the book that have to be solved. Also, just like in real life, more than one couple is romantically linked. I thought it was the kind of story that kept you hooked from beginning to end both because the story was so interesting and because the people she populated the story with were so genuine that you cared what happened to them.
 
I have to mention one other thing I loved about the book. There are quotes at the beginning of each chapter and they are wonderful. Many of them are by Jane Austen. I kept running in to share them with my family as they rolled their eyes at me (they're men). They usually ended up laughing with me at the funny ones though. If you are at all a fan of this era of historical fiction I think you have to add this to your wish list. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2nds Challenge 2011






Have you read a book by an author that you really enjoyed and felt moved to read another of the author's works? Or are you thinking to give an author another try even if you didn't like your first taste of their work? If yes, then this challenge is for you! You're going to go back for seconds of an author that you've only read once. The great thing about this challenge is that it's not just for your second in a series books, but the second time you've read an author as well.

This challenge is hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages.



Guidelines for the 2nds Challenge 2011

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. If you're not a blogger, leave your information in the comments.

2. There are four levels to choose from in this challenge:
  • Just a spoonful - Read 3 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author. 
  • A few more bites - Read 6 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
  • A full plate - Read 12 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
  • All you can eat - Read 20 books (or more) that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you. Any genre counts.

3. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2011. Don't start reading until January.

4. If you're a blogger, write up a sign-up post that includes the URL to this post so that others can join in. Feel free to use the button above. When you sign up in the Linky, put the direct link to your 2nds Challenge sign-up post.

The reviews I've done so far for this challenge include:

  1. Dragons of the Valley By Donita K. Paul
  2. Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie
  3. Love on Assignment Cara Lynn James


Saturday, January 1, 2011

1st in a Series Challenge


This challenge is hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages. I LOVE to read books in a series so I think this challenge is fantastic. :o)



Guidelines for the 1st in a Series Challenge 2011


1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. If you're not a blogger, leave your information in the comments.

2. There are four levels for this challenge:
  • Series Novice: Read 3 books that are the first in any series.
  • Series Lover: Read 6 books that are the first in any series.
  • Series Expert: Read 12 books that are the first in any series.
  • Series Fanatic: Read 20 books that are the first in any series.
You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you. Any genre counts.

3. The challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2011.

4. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2011.

Here are my reviews for this challenge:

  1. Medicus by Ruth Downie
  2. The Unpleasantness of Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron

2011 E-Book Challenge



This challenge is hosted by at The Ladybug Reads. Since my hubby gifted me with a Kindle as an early Christmas, a lot more of my reading has been e-books. This challenge is a way for me to track just how many books are paper or electric these days. lol

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-bloggers: Include your information in the comment section. (of her blog)

2. There are four levels:


-- Curious – Read 3 e-books.

-- Fascinated – Read 6
e-books.

-- Addicted – Read 12
e-books.

-- Obsessed – Read
20 e-books.

3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1, 2011 and lasts until December 31, 2011.


These are the links to the reviews of the books I have read so far for this challenge:

  1. The Justice Game by Randy Singer
  2. A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
  3. Valeria's Cross by Kathi Mathias and Susan Wales
  4. Where There's a Will by Katriena Knights
  5. Medicus by Ruth Downie
  6. Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie
  7. Persona Non Grata by Ruth Downie  
  8. Sunrise by Jacquelyn Cook
  9. Love on Assignment by Cara Lynn James 
  10. Letting Go by Michelle Sutton 
  11. The Gunman's Bride by Catherine Palmer

Quote It Saturday





"Learn from the past, work for the present, and plan for the future." -- Janette Oke

"A new year can begin only because the old year ends." -- Madeleine L'Engle

Quote it Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.