Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Announcements, announcements, announcements!

I have a lot of announcements for you all today! First of all, yesterday was my 21st birthday! :D I wore my 21st Birthday sash and tiara all day long, and my family went to dinner at our Mexican restaurant, Mira Mar. I ordered a margarita... but funny story. The waitress made me a virgin one! :P

Afterwards, my mother and some of her and my own friends went bar-hopping. I only had two drinks, but they were pretty fruity and not very strong :P I did get slightly tipsy however. The whole night was fun!

My "margarita" :P
Next, I have a request of my followers. I was nominated for the 2012 Fascination Awards in the Librarian Blog category! You may have noticed the button on my sidebar, as I'm trying to raise awareness for all of the fantastic blogs that were nominated! I would greatly appreciate any votes for me you would be willing to offer :) Simply click the button for more info!

Finally, my first giveaway is over! The winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations Beverly! I sent you an e-mail, so be on the look-out for that!

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and keep on reading! :)

Mini Review and Blog Tour: What's Wrong With Me?

What's Wrong With Me? by Daree Allen

Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Kharacter Distinction Books
Genre: Devotional
Pages: 200
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Premarital sex. Drugs. Dating violence. Dropping out of school. So many choices, good and bad, are available for youth in America today, and girls continue to be especially vulnerable. They often blame themselves for things that go wrong in their lives, even when it s not their fault. They ask, What s wrong with me?, or they hear, What s wrong with you?! and brace themselves for the denigrating comments to follow. It s a timeless theme: girls grow up in every generation struggling with self-esteem, confidence, body image issues, uncertainty about dating, and insecurity about their identities. Where do they turn for answers or role models? Friends and peers don t make for such great influences and mentors when they are floundering themselves. Images of women of color in the media (TV and music videos) reinforce an impossible ideal and lack of self-esteem. How do girls today make decisions that will positively impact their future and not become victims of their surroundings? How can they affirm their Christianity proudly and not succumb to the deteriorating values of modern society? In this empowering Christian self-help book, Allen weaves her memoir from 20 years of journaling with lessons that still ring true for girls today, about such topics as accepting their identity, adopting a healthy body image, dating relationships, dealing with toxic friends and family members, avoiding or delaying premarital sex, building self-esteem, developing a positive attitude, dressing for success, setting goals, spending money wisely, handling anger and depression, and embracing their singleness, discovering their life purpose, and keeping God first.
I received the review request for this book at a time when I really was wondering, what's wrong with me? This book has been a huge blessing n my life. I struggle a lot with not living up to the expectations people have of me, but I just need to remember that the only one whose expectations really matter is God! This book was a great resource in my life, and I plan to share it with a few friends who could use it as well. Great book for anyone needing a confidence boost in their life!

I received this book free for review from the author. I was not required to post a positive review, simple an honest one.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mini Review and Blog Tour: The Wishing Pearl

The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O'Dell
Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Barbour Books
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction
Series: Diamond Estates #1
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield dreams of a land far, far away. . .
A land far away from her stepfather’s abuse and torment.
A land far away from her mother’s blind eye.
A land far away from the haunting memories of her past.
But then reality sets in, and Olivia knows she must make the best of her dire situation—at least until her high-school graduation. But when poor choices lead Olivia to the brink of a complete breakdown and she finds herself dealing with the unexpected death of her best friend, she comes to a crossroads. Will Olivia find the path to ultimate hope and healing that her heart longs for? Or will the demons from her past prove too much to bear?

This book was so good! I was very impressed by the vivid story-telling. I also connected with many of the major themes, such as wanting to be away from people. This book would be a great resource for any teenage girls dealing with major issues of their own.

This book was received free for review for a Teen Novel Teen blog tour. I was not required to give a positive review, simply an honest one.

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Found in Translation by Roger Bruner by clicking on the links below, and check out for more information about Team Novel Teen.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Words Spoken True

Words Spoken True by Ann Gabhart

Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father's newspaper offices. She can't imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855. Then Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over failing competitor the Herald, and the battle for readers gets fierce.

When Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit tea, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune's future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story--and the girl. Can he do both before it's too late?

Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold readers in its grip until the very last page. Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart once again delivers an enthralling and enduring tale for her loyal and ever-expanding fan base.
I very much enjoyed the rivalry in this one! Normally rivalries are either too much, or not enough. This book had just the right mix while making the romance believable. Also, Adriane's character had plenty of spunk, which I love in a character! This book pleasantly surprised me, and I look forward to more by this author!

I received this book free for review for a Revell Blog Tour. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: 40 Ways to Get Closer to God

40 Ways to Get Closer to God by Jerry MacGregor

Release Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Devotionals
Pages: 189
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Sometimes faith demands action. This practical book gives Christians ideas for how to adjust their hearts to get closer to God. 

Each chapter contains a unique challenge and a brief explanation that puts the challenge in context. Exercises include acts of service to others, extended prayer, Scripture memory, fasting, a day of gratitude, media fasting (no TV or Internet), evangelism, and much more. The challenges are broad in scope, allowing people with varying personality types and learning styles to benefit from them.
This book is very helpful for those Christians who desire to grow in their relationship with God. Each of the 40 days gives one tip or idea for growing in your relationship. I didn't do all of them, such as the one the requested fasting. I do not support fasting  myself, but I know it can be a helpful tool for others.

This book was a great resource in my relationship with God and I plan on using some of the tools I learned in the future to grow even more!

I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mini Review and Blog Tour with Giveaway: Mornings With Jesus 2012

Mornings With Jesus 2012 by Multiple Authors

Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Guideposts
Genre: Devotional
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
“Be still and know that I am God.” is one of the most beautiful verses from the Bible, but it’s not easy to practice in this busy world. Mornings with Jesus will help you do just that—“be still” in Jesus’ beautiful and powerful presence. For those who are seeking a deeper experience in their relationship with Christ, Mornings with Jesus offers a fresh perspective of who Jesus is (the Healer, the Son of God, the Comforter, the Good Shepherd) and what that means for day-to-day life. With a warm and friendly voice, 365 short devotional writings on the character and teachings of Jesus encourage readers to greet each day by drawing near to Him and inviting His presence into their day. Spend time with Jesus at the beginning of each day and experience His nearness and peace in a new way throughout the year. Each day’s selection includes: • a Bible verse • an entry based on Jesus: His words, miracles, and parables; His wisdom, compassion, and comfort; His mystery, power, divinity, and humanity • a “faith step” that will inspire and challenge readers to apply the day’s message to their lives 
This devotional has been so encouraging to me. I currently try and read three different devotionals, and will read two in the morning and one at night. Often in the mornings I'm rushed and don't want to read them. but this book made it so I was eager to read them each morning. Many of these messages applied to me, but the ones that have really meant something to me are the ones about God's love. I struggle a lot with realizing how much I mean to God, so having that reminder in the morning helps keep it in my mind throughout the day. This book is a great resource, and I was kindly given a second copy for one of you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

IMM: 2/19/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

For Review:
Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith
You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth
Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble
The Beautiful Wife (plus Prayer Journal and Mentor's Guide) by Sandy Ralya

TTYL by Lauren Myracle
Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Beyond Molasses Creek

Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz

Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: 320 pages
Format: ARC
Buy It: Amazon

Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek. 

Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship-he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she's stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn't through with her yet.
As Ally's wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there's more to her story than she's ever been told, and she's determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.
A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.
I LOVED this book. I wasn't so sure how I would feel about the multiple viewpoints, since that often confuses me. However, the chapters were all clearly labelled so there was no room for confusion. I loved getting to know each of the three main characters in their own ways, and how their stories intertwined with each other and Molasses Creek. This was a lovely read!

I received this book free for review from LitFuse Blog Tours. I was not required to post an positive review, simply an honest one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

IMM: 2/12/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

For Review:
The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall
The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O'Dell

Sweet Reward by Christy Reece (Thanks Romance at Random!)

Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman (Thanks Catherine!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

IMM 2/5/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

Sorry, no vlog this week! I was gone all day and now my hair is up in curlers and I don't want to show them off :P

For Review:
Embraced by God by Babbie Mason

Mini Review and Blog Tour: The Jerk Magnet

The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson

Release Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Romance
Pages: 218 pages
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
What if beauty is more than just skin deep? 
When Chelsea Martin's future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it's the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She's attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they're jerks. Oh, and stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't exactly make her BFF material for the girls.

Finally a great guy catches her eye. But he's the only one around who doesn't give her a second glance. Can Chelsea come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will her new image ruin everything?
I could relate to Chelsea so much at first! Being told her father was remarrying someone she barely knew is a huge deal. It's not easy. However, I felt she became superficial when she got her makeover. I know she wasn't thrilled about it at first, but she still went along with it and it changed who she was. Then when it didn't work to her advantage she didn't like it anymore. Sadly, many girls are this way now. However, I did enjoy the book and recommend it as a quick, light read.

I received this book free for review from the Revell Blog Tours program. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Summer of Promise

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot

Release Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Romance
Series: Westward Winds #1
Pages: 416 pages
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. When her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day. 

Abigail plans to marry when she returns to Vermont, just as soon as she attends to her sister. As the summer passes, she finds herself drawn to this rugged land and to a certain soldier determined to persuade her to stay. When summer ends, will she go back East, or will she find her heart's true home?
I enjoyed this book from the start! The action of the stagecoach being attacked drew me in quickly. I also loved the matchmaking in this story, mainly due to the fact that I love matchmaking myself. This a lovely and romantic read that I highly recommend!

I received this book free for review through the Revell Blog Tour program. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February RAK

Book Soulmates

I'm participating again! It's been awhile, due to lack of money to send out books but I will be able to send out a few this month!

For those who would like my wishlist, it is here on Amazon. Not everything on there is book related, so feel free to ignore them if you wish :)

Also if you feel so inclined... my 21st birthday is the 28th of this month! I'm sure I will have quite a few books at the end of the month :)
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