Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 4: Non-fiction and Ethics

Welcome to Day 4! Today's theme is non-fiction, along with the option to write about ethics in blogging. So here we go!

I'll start with ethics. Ethics became a big topic of discussion recently when there was an issue with plagiarism with a well-known blogger. Also, there is always times when reviews get plagiarized. In my opinion, blogging is not necessarily a profession, but reviewers are respected by authors and publishers and should hold themselves accountable to any plagiarism. Even simply abiding by the FTC guidelines and stating when a book is a gift for review can clear up any possible problems down the road. It's really not that simply to only post your own words.

And now on to non-fiction! I didn't used to read a lot of non-fiction, but I'm beginning to read it more and more. I mainly read non-fiction Christian books, such as devotionals, books on relationship and family, etc. However, nothing can change my love for good old-fashioned fantasy! I love my non-fiction, but it's starting to take a back seat.

What are your opinions on blogging and ethics? What about plagiarism in reviews? What sort of non-fiction books do you read? Let me know!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 3: Literary Fiction

Today is Day 3! Sorry I'm so late in posting this, I worked until 4:30PST so I'm just now sitting down to check out everyone's posts. Today's category is literary fiction!

I honestly don't read a lot of literary fiction. I don't know why... maybe just because I prefer fantasy novels. As I mentioned, I do love Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, but I hate to use those as examples again!

Are there any literary novels you think I would enjoy? What are some of your favorites? What are some new ones that have come out? Let me know!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 2: Fiction

I'm back for Day 2! How is everyone doing so far? Today's category is fiction. I love love love fiction! It is definitely my favorite general category. I tend to focus on a few subcategories under fiction, all of which I love many different books.

The main subcategory that I definitely consider my favorite is fantasy. All of my favorite authors are fantasy novelists, and most of my favorite books are fantasy based. One series I consistently recommend, and I'm going to recommend it again, is The Edge Chronicles series by Paul Stewart. Seriously, if you love fantasy go read these books! They are so worth it.

Another subcategory I enjoy, but don't read a lot of anymore, would be contemporary fiction. I didn't start to read contemp novels until the last few years or so, and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoy them. Because I was so accustommed to reading fantasy, I didn't expect to love them so much! Sarah Dessen is well-known for her novels, and it the author I recommend most people start with when venturing into contemporary.

Do you know of any other fantasy or contemporary books I would enjoy? What fiction books do you read? Let me know below!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair Bea Day 1: Introduction, Classics, and Instragram

Yes, I am alive! I know it has been sooo long since I've posted anything on here, and I am so sorry. I will be doing a vlog soon updating you all on the craziness of my life, and I will start having more reviews up soon now that summer is approaching!

This week, starting today, is Armchair BEA week! I am a little behind in posting this, but today's post will combine my introduction post and the day one post, as well as touch on what activities I will be participating in this week. Here we go!

  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? 
  2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 
  3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? 
  4. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 
  5. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. 
  6. Name your favorite blog(s) and explain why they are your favorite(s). 
  7. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read? 
  8. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why? 
  9. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why? 
  10. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? 
  11. Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

  1. My name is Ariel, and I'm currently 22 years old. I am going to Chemeketa Community College studying Computer Information Systems, with my goal to get a Master's in Library Science. I have been blogging for quite a few years now, but I've only had this blog for about three years. I love writing, so I started my personal blog as a means to get my feelings out in a healthy way. As I started reading other blogs I discovered book blogs, and started that in my personal blog. However, as I did more and more reviews, it just made sense to split the two blogs, and so this blog was born!
  2. I live in a small town in Oregon, called Dallas. No, I do NOT mean The Dalles. There is a difference! For a random fact, we just got a Taco Bell in our town about a year ago now, which was a huge deal! We only have about 14,000 people, which is a little less than the Taco Bell franchise likes to have in a city, but so many people have wanted a Taco Bell for years that it was a success! I won't share a photo today, but I will for the Instragram photo challenge, which I'll mention below!
  3. Yes! I believe this is my third year. I love Armchair BEA because while it kind of stinks I can't go the to actual BEA and BBC event, I can save money and still enjoy some of the fun!
  4. I'm reading a couple of books right now, but the one I'm trying to finish up is called Pastor's Wives. I'll have the review up sometime soon!
  5. Let's see... well, I'm left-handed! It's actually kind of frustrating because both my brother and I are left-handed, but no one else in our family is so we have to plan who sits where at the dinner table so we aren't bumping elbows!
  6. A couple of my favorites are well-known blogs. I love Pure Imagination, and Lori is such a sweetheart! I also love The Story Siren, and Kristi was one of the bloggers that inspired we to start book blogging. Finally, I love Emily's Reading Room! She often posts books I tend to enjoy myself.
  7. Definitely my review of The Annihilation of Foreverland. I know my review sounds pathetic, but I only give a book five stars if it blew me away, and this book did!
  8. Maugin from The Edge Chronicles series. I was would ask her why she never told twig she loved him!!! Yes, I am a little angry about that. :)
  9. Does Paris count? I know it's in so many books... but I just want to visit so badly!
  10. I love that people will help others even if they barely know who they are! And I love that my followers won't abandon me even if I don't post for two months ;)
  11. I'm going to focus this more on myself... I plan to get better about posting on here. I know I say that so often... but I really do miss it!
So there's that! I hope you learned a little about me! If you stopped by for the first time, please link your post(s) below so I can check them out as well!

For today's book category, we're focusing on classics. I shamefully admit I haven't read many classic novels! However, one of my favorite novels is one I consider a classic, Through the Looking Glass! Honestly, I've only read Alice's Adventure in Wonderland one, and it was okay. Although with the new spin-off show coming out, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, I'll have to re-read it soon! However, Through the Looking Glass has always been a book I love every single time I read it. I don't even really know why I love it so much. I think I just enjoy the complete randomness of it, and I love the small poems scattered through-out it! If you love classics and have not read it, I definitely recommend considering it!

What other classic are out there? Are there any you would recommend to me? Let me know below!

One final thing for today's post! This year Armchair BEA is participating in an Instragram challenge! I am obsessed with Instagram, so naturally I will be participating. My handle is angelvelvet, so follow me if you like! Although let me know that you're participating through Armchair BEA, and link your blog as well so I can find you!

Enjoy the week! :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Pastors' Wives

Pastors' Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Plume
Genre: Christian Fiction, Novel
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
What’s it like when the man you married is already married to God? asks Pastors’ Wives, an often surprising yet always emotionally true first novel set in a world most of us know only from the outside.

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen’s debut novel Pastors’ Wives follows three women whose lives converge and intertwine at a Southern evangelical megachurch. Ruthie follows her Wall Street husband from New York to Magnolia, a fictional suburb of Atlanta, when he hears a calling to serve at a megachurch called Greenleaf. Reeling from the death of her mother, Ruthie suffers a crisis of faith—in God, in her marriage, and in herself. Candace is Greenleaf’s “First Lady,” a force of nature who’ll stop at nothing to protect her church and her superstar husband. Ginger, married to Candace’s son, struggles to play dutiful wife and mother while burying her calamitous past. All their roads collide in one chaotic event that exposes their true selves. Inspired by Cullen’s reporting as a staff writer for Time magazine, Pastors’ Wives is a dramatic portrayal of the private lives of pastors’ wives, caught between the demands of faith, marriage, duty, and love.
This book is not what I expected. For some reason, I was expecting a self-help book advising pastors' wives on how to handle their marriage. Yes, I'm aware the cover clearly says it's a novel, but I was still surprised. However, I did enjoy the book, for the most part. I enjoyed the real struggles between the three women, their families, and outsiders. I liked seeing into their lives, as if they were real.

I didn't like how Candace treated Ginger. I feel like she does not represent Christians well and I was very offended by her demeanor at times. I also did not like the "mini" affair that occurs between two of the characters, who will remain unnamed for the sake of this review.

Overall, I felt this book was well written, considering the author is not a traditional Christian author. I will be curious to see what she writes in the future.

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Stalking Shadows

Stalking Shadows by Tahlia Newland

Release Date: March 15, 2013
Publisher: Catapult Press
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Diamond Peak Series #2
Pages: 576
Format: eBook
Buy It: Amazon
BookRipped from the safety of our world and thrust into a
strange hidden realm on a quest to save her mother, Ariel aims to confront the
Master Demon, but first she must defeat his bodyguard and reach the safe haven
of Sheldra. She negotiates dangerous terrain and battles demons, spirits, rogue
Magicians, giant water snakes and her own conflicting emotions.

Ariel wants to retain a clear focus on the task at hand so,
despite Nick's protests, she insists of a friends-only relationship with him. But
the very thing she hoped would simplify her quest only complicates it with
emotional, energetic and hormonal turmoil.

Despite Walnut's continued guidance, Ariel finds herself
constantly forced to rely on her own resources. Will she find the inner strength
and wisdom she needs to defeat Amic and continue her journey? summary
Just like the first book, this one kept me on the edge of my seat! With all of the unknown, the dangers, the battles, and the romance, you never know what is coming up next in this story. I was so engrossed in the storyline, and again was so frustrated when the ending came along!

One of my favorite parts was the romance with Nick and Ariel. It took them so long to admit their feeling in the first book, and then Ariel decides to focus on saving the world? Oh my, was I frustrated! While I understand her decision, I can't imagine trying to deal with those feelings while trying to save two different worlds.

Then there is the heightened concern of her mother, and how she is faring after her capture. With that shocking story, you can bet there would be more, and there was! This story is never what you expect. I eagerly await the next book!

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