Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review, Trailer, & Author Interview: Sweetness (Bold as Love #1) by Lindsay Paige

PG-13, 2 Stars

Lindsay Paige is a young adult romance author from North Carolina.  She is a huge hockey fan with her favorite team being the Pittsburgh Penguins, which she reflects in her character Emily in the series Bold as Love.

What are your favorite genres to read?

YA, Romance, and Historical Romance.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Jessica Park, Laura Kreitzer, Jodi Picoult, and Nicholas Sparks.

What author, dead or alive, would you most like to meet?

I think Jessica Park would be a fascinating person to actually meet.

What was your favorite book as a child?

It wasn't until middle school that I really started reading.  My favorite book from that time period would be The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.

When is your ideal writing time?

With a new job, whenever I can!  I like writing in the evenings the most, though.

What inspires you to write?

Life.  Music.  People.  Reading.

How do you combine going to school and being a published author?

My life is all about balancing.  I usually reserve two days away for schoolwork and schoolwork only.  That helps a lot, as long as I stick to it.

What is your opinion on negative reviews and criticism?

I honestly don't believe there are negative reviews.  There's some quote that basically says no one reads the same book.  Everyone has an opinion and every opinion is valuable to me because it helps my writing.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I would want to try living in London!  I've always wanted to go and I'm positive I would love it.

How did you become a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins?

I used to be a Carolina fan and then they traded my favorite player across the nation.  I needed to find a new team to like and the Penguins were it.

Twilight or Harry Potter?

Twilight.  I've never read Harry Potter.

Facebook or Twitter?


How did you come up with the title for the book, Sweetness, and the series, Bold as Love?

A friend of mine actually came up with the title for the book.  I chose Bold as Love for the series title because my characters must be bold as love in order to stay together.

What character from the series do you feel you most relate to?

Emily is very much like myself, but I can relate to Jake as well.

Do you have a favorite quote or passage from Sweetness you'd like to share?

"Right then, hearing the tears that had to be falling from her beautiful brown eyes, I wanted nothing more than to take each piece and put it back together again until she was whole.  I had to do it.  I had to for her and me.  Maybe if Emily can be restored and healed, then maybe, just maybe, so could I."

For more visit her website:

My review of the first book in the series, Sweetness.

Has great potential, but needs proper editing.

The story feels very reminiscent of Twilight.  There is no supernatural.  No paranormal.  No vampires or werewolves or anything of that sort.  It's a love story between Jake and Emily.  The love story is very much like Bella and Edward's.  Emily has everything wrong with her.  She's not a happy girl.  She lives with her dad and her mom is gone.  She has no friends. It's a sad state for her.  Jake is no Edward, but he is supposed to be her knight in shining armor like Edward is to Bella.

I was not very happy with the character of Jake.  He's very Gary Stu, if you will.  He seems to be that knight in shining armor for everyone and that's just a little much for a teenage boy.  He's supposed to be everything and more.

The story did get better.  Emily has problems she has to deal with.  I'm not going to spoil it by saying what those problems are or how she deal with them.  There are some good things in this book and that is one of them.  The story is sweet and gentle.

But, like I started out, the book needs proper editing.  There are many errors everywhere.  I was able to get through them, but will the average reader put up with them?  Most of the story is in present tense, but there are a few times it switches to past tense for no reason.  Sometimes a word was missing or the wrong was used.  Simple editing can take away these mistakes.  There were times when the dialogue didn't seem natural.  It was too proper, too educational than the way people really talk.  Reading the dialogue out loud can overcome this issue in writing.

Lindsay Paige has the potential to be a great writer so don't give up on her.

Read as a review request using the Kindle app on my laptop.  All opinions stated are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Book Review: What I've Learned... So Far Part II: Angels, Chimps, and Tater Mitts by Mike Ball

PG, 3.5 Stars

What I've Learned So Far... Part II is a humorous and touching collection of articles written by 2003  Erma Bombeck Award-Winning humorist Mike Ball.  He was also a finalist for the 2011 Robert Benchley Award.  The Erma Bombeck is a writing competition hosted every two years by the Washington-Centerville Public Library and the Erma Bombeck Writer's Competition.   The Robert Benchley Award is given out annually by his society to humor writers.

Aside from being a writer, Ball has formed a nonprofit group that conducts song writing and performing workshops with incarcerated kids named Lost Voices.  Some of the essays in this book are about the Lost Voices.  He touches lives.

This book runs through about a year of essays, articles written by Mike Ball.  He calls them essays I call them articles for his syndicated column.  He pokes fun at Bill O'Reilly's "War on Christmas" but other than that he really stays away from politics, which is a good thing.

His articles are short, but not too short.  They're easy to get through and fun to read.  I enjoyed this book.  It wasn't the best thing I've ever read, but it was pretty good.

Read as a review request.  Every opinion here is my own.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
     Of course one of the most familiar and universal wedding customs is music at the reception, provided by either a live band or a DJ.  In either case, in addition to playing "The Bunny Hop" and "Mony Mony", it is the entertainer's job to keep the party going and to make sure that the couple perform important rituals like the Garter Exchange, in which the wedding party at large gets a good view of the bride's underpants.
p.39 What I've Learned... So Far Part II: Angels, Chimps, and Tater Mitts by Mike Ball

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review Policy

Genres I will review:
Christian Fiction
Amish Fiction
Chick Lit
Christian Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fantasy (to some extent)
Realistic Fiction
Short Stories
Independent Publishing
Contemporary Fiction
General Fiction
Literary Fiction
Celebrity & Pop Culture (to some extent)
Music, Film, & Entertainment

Genres I will not review:
Science Fiction
Gay and Lesbian
Graphic Novels
Military and Espionage

Anything not listed I may take a chance at reviewing.  It depends on the story.

I don't read books quite as fast as I am capable.  My schedule is full enough that any new reviews requests I will not posting for about a month.  I will do an author interview if the author so desires.  I will also host giveaways if I think the book deserves it.

Contact me at leah49 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Review: Narrative Loserdom: From Journal One by Ryan Collins

PG-13, 3 stars

Narrative Loserdom is the journal of a young high school male.  I felt like I was reading a Seinfeld-esque journal.  It was a story about nothing, about a boy's year in high school.  There was no high or low.  It just was.

In some ways it was interesting, in some ways it wasn't.  I think it was a unique idea for a story, but could have been better fine tuned.  The story is set in 2001 and it's funny reading about Justin, the journaler, watching music videos on MTV.

Justin is trying to be Christian. He's been saved.  He doesn't put himself in the best environments, though, especially with his friend, Adam.  He tries to break into a Coke machine for money.  He's always trying to get free cable and look at porn.

There was no real plot, so to speak.  The story is just about daily events in this boy's life.  He has a crush on a girl who doesn't like him back.  He spends time with different friends.  The story's just not very exciting.  There's no thrill.  There's no ride.  Where's the adventure?

However, I did enjoy reading the book.  Each chapter was short and easy to get through, not that I need that in a book.  I did rate it 3 stars, because it is not a bad story.

I read this book as a review request from the author and as an ebook using the Kindle App for my laptop.  All opinions are my own.


Friday, April 20, 2012


I am no longer updating the Giveaways.  It took too much of my time that I need to devote to other things, like my writing.  When the last giveaway is over I will be deleting this page.

Reader Views
Prime Crime 
Sherryl Woods
Stella Cameron 
NAL Authors 
Madeline H>unter 
Marie Bostwick 
Nicole Jordan 
Ann Roth 
Carly Phillips 
Catherine Anderson 

The Secret Writer
Kindle and Me

Free Book Friday
Show Me the Money Mondays hosted by Lori's Reading Corner

Family Fiction
I'm officially done with this. It's a great idea in theory, but such hard work. There were times where all I was doing was updating this page and not getting anything else done. It drove me crazy. I guess I could go about it in a style like I Am a Reader Not a Writer's Got Great Giveaways with a Linky, but I don't know. I think I'll take a break for now.

Book Review: Artemis Fowl & The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

PG, 3 stars

I still think this series is better suited for pre-teen readers, maybe male pre-teen readers.  It's just not my type of series.  I'm not sure I want to finish it, to be honest.

This story takes place with Artemis ditching school to find his father.  His mother's better so he has to attend school now.  In the book before, he was able to not attend school because his mother had no idea.  Artemis meet back up with Captain Holly Short.  They work together to find Artemis Fowl Sr. in the arctic.

I think pre-teen boys will enjoy this book, maybe other ages, too.  It just wasn't up my alley.  I read it for pure pleasure as an e-book provided by


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Ellen was nonplussed.  "I want to talk about my son's adoption."
p.61 Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review: Delicacy by David Foenkinos

PG-13, 2 stars

I won this book in a giveaway.  It's a French novel originally published under the title La délicatesse and translated into the English by Bruce Benderson.

I'm not sure if it's me, or that I'm not French, or not reading it in French, but I just didn't get the book.  The story is about Natalie.  She meets Franḉois, they fall in love, and they get married.  Eight years later he gets killed while out running.  I'm not spoiling anything.  This happens very early in the story.  It takes Natalie a while to get back to her old lifestyle.  That includes going to work.  Her boss is anxious to get her back because he has a humongous crush on her, even though he's married.  It's a major reason why he hired her.  There's also another guy at the office.  A guy who thinks he doesn't  have a chance.

I never related to the characters.  They felt so distant.  We only got to skim the surface of each one.  Along with that is the story, itself.  It didn't feel like we were going deep into the story.  Another skim over the surface.

The chapters were really short.  That didn't bother me.  What did bother me was interspersed were snippets of what I felt were unimportant things, like the lyrics to the song Natalie and her date listened to on the radio or a paragraph on the invention of the wall-to-wall carpet simply because in the last chapter Natalie wondered who could have invented it.  Does this move the story along?  NO!  It's just so weird.  This book was nominated for all five major French literary prizes and was turned into a movie.  I don't get it.

So, anyway...

I rated this book PG-13.  It doesn't have anything bad in it, it's just not a story suitable for the younger audience.  I read it for pure pleasure as I won it in a giveaway.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pictures: Snowshoe Images

I found these wonderful images of art done in snow by a man wearing snowshoes.  Here are some examples of his work:

To view the rest of the images go here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour County #1) by Laura V. Hilton

PG, 3.5 stars

I picked this book up as part of the CFD Author Challenge.  Having it available at my library made it an easy decision.

This is the story of Jacob Miller and Becky Troyer.  I don't want to spoil the story, but I'm sure when you pick this book you will have some kind of idea of what's going to happen.  Reading is not about the ending, it's about the adventure.

Jacob Miller has been shipped from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Seymour County, Minnesota in a trade of Amish boys.  Amish communities do this sometimes to bring in new blood and have less interfamily marriages.  He believes he will be going back home later in the year to his girl, family, and farm life.  The family that takes Jacob in are the Troyers, Becky's family.

Becky Troyer did not go wild during her rumschpringe, but she did meet a young Englischer.  She ended up pregnant with his child.  She confessed to her church and became a member.  She was shunned for a short period of time, but not anymore.  She doesn't feel comfortable attending singings or any frolic with people her age.  She doesn't think she'll ever get married.  The Bishop in her area wants her to marry Amos Kropf, an older widower with children.  She's afraid this might be her only chance at marriage.

This is the story of Jacob and Becky.  What is the adventure they take us on?

I did enjoy this book.  I felt some things were stretched too far, but overall it was a sweet Amish tale.  If you like Amish stories, I think this is a good one to read.

I checked this book out of my public library and read it for pure pleasure.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

G, 4 stars

I read this book as a kid, but I didn't remember much of it so when I came across it at I decided to have the book sent to me in email form.  This site allows you to choose a book and they will send emails of the book from the beginning of the book to the end daily.  It's a fun way to read a book, but it's a lot slower than other methods.

The couple living at Green Gables in Avonlea are expecting a child to come by train.  They are to adopt a boy chosen for them by a friend.  Unfortunately, the child that arrives is a girl.  The child is red-headed Anne.

Anne of Green Gables is the story of Anne's growing up years with the Cuthberts.  They wanted a boy, but they take in Anne and learn to love her and her imaginative, adventurous ways.  The end is a little sad, but overall it's a great book and I want to read the rest of the series.  I've only read a few of them before and don't really recall much from them anyways.

This book and the series is good for girls.  If you haven't read them I do recommend reading them.  Every girl needs to get to know Anne Shirley.

I read this for pure pleasure from emails provided by

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Then something decisive happened.  An insignificant factor that would enlarge into a major development.
P. 184 Delicacy by David Foenkinos translated by Bruce Benderson

Newbie Blog Hop

Welcome to my giveaway in the Newbie Blog Giveaway Hop hosted by Weidknecht Events Going Crazy.  This is my second time participating in a giveaway hop.  I am excited to present the gift of a book shipped from The Book Depository costing no more than $15!  Just fill out the rafflecopter below and then hop on over to the next blog.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Review: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

PG, 3 Stars

In honor of the upcoming release of the final book in the series, allowed instant access to the first two books in the Artemis Fowl series.  I've been meaning to read this series for a while, but have not gotten around to it, so I took advantage of this offer.

Artemis Fowl is a twelve year old boy.  He's rich.  He's smart.  He's a criminal.  His dad has been missing for years, thought to be dead, but a body has never been found.  This has put his mom in a very depressed state allowing Artemis to do pretty much whatever he wants, which includes not attending his private school.  The first adventure in the series is pretty much about him kidnapping Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit.

I feel sort of eh about the book.  It's good for kids, middle grades probably.  I think it was just too young for me.  It was a nice story.  It was well-written.  It just didn't really hold my attention like I thought it would.  I do plan on reading the rest of the series.  I want to know what happens to Artemis and if he finds his dad.

I read an Adobe Digital Copy provided by for pure pleasure.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Review: Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury

G, 3.5 stars

5 years later no one expects problems with an adoption, right?

Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury deals with this problem.  The biological father of the child was in jail when the mother found out she was pregnant.  He had physically abused her and she was afraid of putting her child through that so she did not tell him about the baby.  She forged his signature on the adoption papers.  Five years later he gets out and she tells him before someone else, like a neighbor, can do it.  He immediately wants the child back and since he never actually signed the papers it seems like it's a done deal.

This story looks at both sides of the equation--the birth parents and the adoptive parents.  Like other works by Kingsbury, it is full of emotion.

The adoptive mother's sister moves to town. The two were very close growing up, but their husbands didn't really get along with each other.  The sister's family is Christian in spirit, but the adoptive mother is just Christian in name only.  She doesn't really attend church. The biological mother is also Christian, but her husband not so much.  This book is about more than adoption.  It's about how God plays a role in our lives.

This story took me in.  I constantly wondered how Kingsbury was going tie everything up in a nice Christian bow.  She did it, amazingly.

I rate this book G for it's suitable for all audiences, but the younger audiences aren't going to understand it the way Kingsbury wrote it.  I don't want to spoil the ending, but it sort of takes a look at Solomon's issue with the two mothers.

This book was made into a movie in 2009 starring Mira Sorveno.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review: Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

PG, 3.45 stars

Knowing I own and love my copies of A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends when my mom came across Every Thing On It at Sam's Club she picked it up for me.

Every Thing On It is a collection of never before published poems by Shel Silverstein put together by his family after his passing.  It's not bad.  It's not his best work, but it's still quintessential Silverstein.  I believe some of the themes and ideas might be a bit mature for the younger audience which is why I gave this book a PG rating.  If you are a fan of Silverstein you should enjoy this.  

I do wonder what Silverstein thinks of this publication. It's a mish mash of poetry with no real connection.  In a posthumous collection like this that's okay, but it really has the poems speaking for why they weren't chosen for previous anthologies.  Not everything Silverstein writes is gold.  It's still nice to get another book by him.

Rating System

I have decided to implement a more detailed rating system on my blog. Any reviews from here on out will refer to this system. I think it helps to express how I feel about a book and just where the book fits in categorizing and such.

 Rating System:
1 - Do Not Recommend At All.
2 - Not as bad as a one star.  Not my type of book at all, but I don't think it's unrecommendable.
3 - Good.  I like it.  May read it again.  Enjoyable.
4 - Love it.  Will read it again.  Absolutely recommend it.  Go pick up your copy.
5 - Favorite.  Above and beyond most books.  If you haven't read it get yourself to a bookstore or a library now!

MPAA (USA) Rating:
G - General Audiences - Everyone can read this.
PG - Parental Guidance Suggested - Not really suitable for kids under the age of 7.  In book world, I would say reading level second grade
PG-13 - Parental Guidance under the age of 13 - Not really suitable for kids under the age of 13.  In book world I would say reading level eighth grade.
R - Restricted - Not suitable for kids under the age of 17.  An Adult Book with Adult Themes and/or Language.
NC-17 - No Children Under the Age of 17.  An Adult Book with Adult Themes and Everything Else Under the Sun -- unless I've been hit in the head by a Bludger you will not see these books here.

TV Ratings I like to use to get the point across:
D - Suggestive Dialogue
L - Coarse or Crude Language
S - Sexual Situations
V - Violence
FV - Fantasy Violence/Cartoon-type Violence (ex. coyote getting hit in the head with an anvil in his chase to get the road runner).

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Anyone can playing along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away!  You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Annie nodded.  "Jah.  Did Jacob demand answers?"
"Not 'demand' so much as ask for them."

P. 233 Patchwork Dreams by Laura V. Hilton