While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: The Sara Chronicles Book Three: The Return

Thanks to Reader Spoils and the author for letting me review this one.

About the Book

Braccus had invaded Sara's mind to destroy her.
What he had failed to consider was, as he did so, he had also made himself vulnerable to her...
A golden-haired girl named Sara lies in a deep sleep. It has been four years since the evil Braccus entered her mind, making it impossible to communicate with her friends without pain and nausea; worse, she was absorbing the powers of other children when she came in contact with them. Sara had been afraid and alone when Olie, her good friend and mentor, stepped in to ease her suffering with a sleeping spell.
Many changes have occurred while Sara has been comatose. Some of the members of her small, gifted group of friends-drawn together by their special abilities-have changed and, in some cases, moved on without her. Braccus is still causing trouble and attempting to gain control of the worlds, but Sara has become more powerful and unpredictable while in her sleep state. What powers will she wield when she awakes, and how will Sara deal with becoming a young woman left behind by the world she knew?

For more information about The Sara Chronicles: Book Three please visit L. Hughes' blog.

As always you can purchase a copy of The Sara Chronicles from my Amazon Store.

My Review

This book picks up shortly after book two. Sara's in a "coma" until they can figure out how to wake her without harming her and trying to release Braccus' hold on her spirit. Her friends have continued to grow up and strengthen their abilities all the while their friend sleeps without knowledge that the world around her has gone on without her.

As Sara is in her sleep-like state we're taken into her mind to see where she has been spending her time. The world created for her by her friends is beautiful and full of mystery but Braccus is still in her mind and as she explores this world Braccus' control makes it a bit scary too. It's a true representation that good and evil are all around us. Even in the most beautiful places there is still evil lurking waiting for the moment to strike.

Sara becomes a bit unpredictable in this book. As the story progresses she's doing things that she normally wouldn't do and having feelings that are irregular for her. Most of this stems from the fact that she's been gone for so long that even though she's changed physically her mind is still where it was when she was put into her slumber. The way Sara deals with all these changes is pretty normal. I can't imagine the emotions that  I would experience upon waking up after so long. I think Sara handles herself quite well given all the changes that have occurred with her friends and her world.

This book was written very well. The world created by Hughes both in Sara's mind and the world she returns to are beautiful. The ugliness of Braccus' creatures is described so well that the contrast between the beauty of the world around them is quite vivid. I had a much better picture of this world and all its faucets reading this book than I did with book two. While it's still the same story, the same characters, and the same locations I had a much better connection with this book than with the last one. It's as if the story progressed the ideas Hughes wanted to share were much more concise. I didn't feel as if I was missing anything. And the dialogue was much better with this book.

I'm very drawn into this series now. The characters, new and old, have a place in my life now and I can't wait to see how their journey ends. What I like most about these books is that they've both ended with some finality, but yet there's so much left unanswered that I can't wait to get my hands on the next one to see where the story is going to go.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Literature In the News: Precious Stolen Book Recovered

Here's the article: Swedes Find Stolen Atlas in New York

Photo from: New York Times 

There are a few things about this article that I felt the need to share. First off, most librarians I know of are passionate about literature and preserving the written word. So for a librarian to be the person responsible for stealing rare and historical publications just seems to be so wrong on so many more levels than simply that of stealing. Even if the person(s) he was selling these publications to was avid about preserving literature: having them in a library - accessible to the general public - rather than in a personal collection is a much better way of preserving literature. So shame on the librarian and shame on the buyer for taking something so rare and precious away from the general public.

Then for him to kill himself is just crazy. Not only did he kill himself, but he could have killed other people given that his chosen method involved cutting a gas line that blew up part of his apartment building. I can't imagine ever wanting to kill myself and theft seems to be such a minor offense - at least not worth the taking of a life. But I'm guessing he was pushed into stealing these books, I don't think he just woke up one day and decided I'm going to steal from the library. So maybe he was is much worse trouble with people much worse than the Swedish government.... Who knows - that's a part of the story he unfortunately took with him.

The silver lining to all of this is that now that this book has surfaced maybe more of these precious publications can be returned to their rightful place. The man who purchased the atlas from Sotheby's was refunded his money and Sotheby's returned the atlas to the Royal Library. Yeah to Sotheby's for doing the right thing. But it seems as if a ball was dropped somewhere once the librarian took his life. A list of the stolen books was never published (during the beginning of the investigation - one is out now.) How could anyone know they were selling/purchasing a stolen book if the book was never reported stolen?!?!?!?

This story is kind of sad. It makes me wonder what was going on in that man's life. And how did this go unnoticed for so long? Libraries and the wonderful pieces of history they contain are (in my opinion) one of the greatest assets we have. Stealing books from a library is like removing a piece of history. I wish he would have been caught sooner and I hope that now a published list of stolen items is available these books will be returned. I understand wanting a special book to add to your collection (not that any of mine are worth as much as this atlas, or anywhere near as rare) but to keep something like this for yourself and not let it be shared for all to access and learn from is kind of disheartening.

What do you think about this? Is it a big deal or am I getting worked up over something insignificant?


Review: Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

Thanks to Tyndale Blog Network for letting me review this book.

About the Book

As Christians, believers claim to experience Christ's resurrection power, but they sometimes act like werewolves who can't control their base desires. Yet through it all, they are longing to become fully human, the way Christ intended. "Night of the Living Dead Christian" is the story of a werewolf desperate to find someone who can help him conquer his inner beast before it's too late.

For more information about Night of the Living Dead Christian please visit Matt Mikalatos' website or visit his Facebook page

You can also purchase a copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian from my Amazon Store

My Review

This book was pretty good. My favorite thing about it was how humorous it was. There were so many great puns, one-liners, and just general humor that even if the story had been bad it would have still been entertaining. And the fact that the story was good made the humor an even bigger plus! 

The story deals with monsters - zombies, werewolves, vampires, the whole kit and kaboodle. Which may not seem "right" in christian fiction, but it worked so well. As the story progresses we meet so many great characters. Each one is a bit quirky and even more unique than the last. There are monsters who don't want to be monsters, people trying to kill monsters, people who are unaware of the monsters, and people who are just trying to stay out of the way of the monsters.

What I got from this story is that no one is perfect. We all have faults, but God loves us anyway. Even trying to live a good life we're going to falter, and that's ok. As long as we understand our relationship with God we will still live in his graces. 

Overall a pretty good book. Very entertaining and a good message! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Giveaway: Choose which book you want to win

Here's another great giveaway from SaraLee's Deals and Steals!

This Giveaway is done by SaraLee's Deals Steals & Giveaways

Thank to Modern History Press I am able to bring you this giveaway. Three people will get to win their choice of book from the options below:
More True Stories from EMS and the ER

More Confessions shares
the raw and honest feelings of emergency service professionals through true
'story behind the story' revelations. Disclosing experiences from both sides of
the gurney, Sherry and other EMS, ER, paramilitary, and firefighter responders
walk you along their fragile line of sanity. Using humor as a life raft during
perfect storms, workers reflect upon how they endure and survive personal and
professional tragedy while trying not to care too much, and what happens when
they fail in that attempt. A graduate student in psychology, Sherry is a
paramedic, trauma nurse, and crisis interventionist who led a national
paramilitary crisis response team and continues conducting crisis management
training throughout the U.S.

More than 200,000 tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies will be performed on
children this year. Will you be ready?

The new 2nd Edition of this
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emotional components that accompany their child's surgery. In an easy to follow
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patient and family. Parents with this book will:

  • Get the facts about tonsils and adenoids in simple terms

  • Reduce your own anxiety about surgery

  • Learn how to support your child through the medical and emotional events
    surrounding the procedure

  • Take away the mystery regarding what to say to your child

  • Discover the sequence of events leading up to surgery and how to prepare for

  • Find out what you need to have at home while your child recuperates

  • Become confident in knowing that you have maximized your child's comfort and
    adjustment during the weeks surrounding surgery

  • Recognize symptoms of possible complications and take action

  • Child Protection Services have been involved with Billy and his mother for some
    time now. He has been happily settled in a kinship placement with his
    grandmother and enjoys his pet cat, interacting with neighbors and even taking
    piano lessons. As the story unfolds, Billy's grandmother has unexpectedly passed
    away and so the story of Billy Had To Move begins.

    Billy's mother cannot be located. Mr. Murphy, Billy's social worker, places him
    in the foster home of Amy, Tim, and their baby "Colly." Billy experiences great
    loss resulting not only from his grandmother's death, but also the loss of the
    life he knew. Billy's inner journey therefore has also begun and with the help
    of Ms. Woods, a Play Therapist, there is hope.

    Now for the giveaway: Three lucky people will win a copy of the book of their choice from the 3 options. Book can be Hard cover, Nook, Kindle, or Kobo. This is
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    Closed: Giveaway: Hana-Lani by Christine Sunderland

    Thanks to SaraLee's Deals and Steals for this great giveaway!

    This Review & Giveaway is done by SaraLee's DealsSteals & Giveaways

    Book Description:

    Only opening their hearts will keep them from plunging into the dark
    abyss. Old Nani-lei lives in Hana-lani, her family home in rural Hawaii.
    She looks after her grandson Henry, 52, and his daughter Lucy, 6, who
    have returned to Maui from Berkeley after the death of Maria, Henry's
    wife. Henry and Maria, both professors, had been working on A History
    of Ethics, and now the grieving Henry struggles to finish it. City girl
    Meredith Campbell, 36, fast-paced, self-centered, and beautiful,
    believes her body will ensure her happiness. After losing her job and
    finding her lover unfaithful, she flies to Maui, sure he will
    follow...but her plane crashes near Hana-lani. As their worlds collide
    in a natural world both beautiful and dangerous, Henry will be forced to
    act on his words, and Meredith will come face-to-face with her own life
    choices. A poignant journey that unravels T.S. Eliot's "permanent
    questions"- what is goodness, truth, and love? By the author of the
    thought-provoking trilogy Pilgrimage, Offerings, and Inheritance.

    About the Author:

     Christine Thomas Sunderland (1947-), the daughter of a Presbyterian
    pastor, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and came of age in the
    tumultuous Vietnam war years. Her inspirational novels, set in the
    present day, reflect the larger questions of our world today: What is
    civilization? Why is our past important? How do we understand where we
    are going? She is also fascinated with the interaction of matter and
    spirit. Her trilogy explores the legacy of Western European culture:
    Pilgrimage (OakTara, 2007), tells of a mother's search for healing of
    body and soul in Italy; Offerings (OakTara, 2009) tells of a redemptive
    journey through France (Bronze Medal winner in the Independent Publisher
    Book Awards 2010); Inheritance (OakTara 2009) tells of a life-saving
    trip through England. A fourth novel, Hana-lani (OakTara 2010), set in
    Hana, Maui, is a love story about the role of family in American
    culture. She is currently working on a mystery about Mary Magdalene set
    in Rome and Provence.

    Christine is Vice-President of the
    American Church Union, the publishing house of the Anglican Province of
    Christ the King. She has written numerous publications for children,
    including the Jeanette Series, novellas set in France and San Francisco,
    8+, and has edited the Anglican Confirmation Manual and The American
    Church Union Church School Series (http://www.Anglicanpck.org/). She
    lives in Northern California with her husband and two incredible cats.

    Visit Christine's website at www.ChristineSunderland.com


    My Take on the book:

    I love reading books like these because they remind me of a Life Time movie. I got into the plot of the story and kept wanting to read more so I could get to good part lol I personally could relate to the characters in the story because my husband & I are two different people and a flat tire brought us together. This will be a good read for anyone who reads it.

    Now for the Giveaway:  One lucky reader will win a copy of  "Hana Lani" by Christine Sunderland just by filling out
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    Blogger Opportunity: 10 Book Group Giveaway!

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    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Review & Giveaway: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

    Thanks to LitFuse for letting me be a part of this awesome blog tour!

    About the Book

    Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


    Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

    Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

    Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

    A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

    For more information about Angel Eyes please visit Shannon Dittemore's website. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

    As always you can purchase a copy on my Amazon store.

    My Review

    Angel Eyes was a fascinating story. The premise that angels live among us - and also demons - wasn't anything new but the way Dittemore "twisted" it made it not just another "good vs. evil" novel. It was captivating right from the beginning. As we're brought into the story we know that something tragic has happened, but it takes a but for Brielle to let us in on what's going on. As her story unveils itself we're also introduced to Jake who keeps showing up when Brielle least expects it. As the story gets more involved things really start to heat up and it becomes a fast-paced, intriguing, action packed story. What starts as a saddened girl going home to bury her anger and her guilt turns into a powerful heroine who helps fight in a battle against the evil forces at work.

    This was such a fresh perspective on angels and their roles in our lives. I loved the whole premise. Although it did take a bit for me to figure out what everyone's roles were going to be it was worth the wait. I can't say enough how much I liked this idea of Angel's and how they can be a part of our world and still be a part of the celestial world.

    The writing was amazing. When Brielle looks into the celestial realm what she sees was described so well that I could picture every bit of it. And it was amazing. I could feel the power that surges through Brielle when she is looking at our world in a whole different light. And when Jake's touch warms Brielle I got goose bumps because I swore I could feel it too. Even with all the seriousness and intensity of the story there was a lighter side. There were so many great humorous references to pop culture that really made me giggle. They were interspersed throughout the whole story and really added to the book. It was lightening an otherwise very intense book.

    This is the first book of a trilogy and I can not wait for the other two books. I think this is one that I will be able to read over and over again.

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Ended: Giveaway: Kindle Fire ends 7/13

    I have to thank Literary Addicts for letting me be a part of this awesome giveaway! Maybe a Just Jennifer Reading reader will win!!! Good Luck - I'll have my fingers crossed for you all :-) 

    Welcome to the Literary Addicts Kindle Fire Event where we have teamed up with 10 Amazing Authors and several awesome bloggers to celebrate the
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    Immortal Voyage

    Before the time of the great pyramids, there was a place like none other, a city of glass and metal rising from the depths of the ocean. Shrouded in mist, the island of Hy-Brasil and its capital Atlantis lay hidden from the rest of the world by its people, a race of long lived, interstellar nomads.

    Read more and purchase for only $2.99

    Give Me - A Tale of Wyrd and Fae

    All she wanted was a vacation - but Dumnos offered a new life.

    Lilith Evergreen has always lived in the California desert, but when she receives an antique ring as a gift, she dreams of a castle by the sea, a magnificent tree at cliff's edge, and a mysterious woman who bids Lilith to come to Dumnos, a land of mist and rain.
    Read more and purchase for only $3.99 Paperback

    Slow Boat to Purgatory (Slow Boat to Purgatory #1)

    Gaspar De Rouse, an immortal Knight Templar, a man murdered by his brothers for the secret he possessed, resurrected and given a second chance at redemption. Dominicus Bureau, a renegade priest, torn between his vows and the secret he pursues, a secret protected by an immortal. Alex Donovan, a modern day warrior thrust into an ages old war, a war between good and evil, heaven and hell.Read more and purchase for only $2.99 Paperback

    Mark of the Witch (Boston Witches Book 1)

    Magic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed. Purchase for only $2.99 Paperback

    The Marriage Bargain

    Camille Chandler is a tabloid journalist whose career is right on track--until her boss sees a curious ad in the L.A. Trades.
    Wanted: Single actress for an extended gig abroad.
    France's mega-rich playboy Julian de Laurent is up to something and Camille's boss expects her to find out what. Who knew the eccentric gazillionaire was looking to hire a temporary wife?

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    Descended by Blood (Vampire Born #1)

    Brooke Keller is a high school junior who has never spent much time living in one place. She is finally in a town long enough to almost snag the boy of her dreams, until her life is threatened after killing a fanged man in his attempt to kidnap her. Brooke begins a dangerous journey in an effort to find out who is after her and how to stop them. In a world with powerful and prejudiced vampires, Read more and purchase for only $2.99 Paperback

    Dirty Blood

    I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. Read more and purchase for only $2.99 Paperback

    Taming the wolf (anna avery series, #1)

    Attacked by a wolf while hiking in the mountains, Anna Avery's life just got a little hairier. Living in the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming, with a group of werewolves who are more animal than human, Anna must try to hold onto her human side. It's not easy when the alpha continues to persuade her into his bed, while another wolf is chomping at the bit to become her mate. To top it all off, dead bodies are showing up and ..Read more and purchase for only $2.99

    Fearless (Kings Series)

    Tasmyn Vaughn didn't expect much when her dad’s job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn’s ability to hear other’s thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town’s secrets aren’t just bizarre, they’re deadly. Purchase for only $3.99 Paperback

    Secrets (Guardian Trilogy)

    While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the Abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn't know and sometimes what you don't know can kill you. Read more and purchase for only $2.99

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