Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I received a copy of THE FINAL HOUR by Andrew Klavan, from Thomas Nelson via Booksneeze. It is the fourth, and final, book in the young adult Homelanders series. I read the previous book, and liked this one better, but probably because it contained a satisfying conclusion. While this book had positive and negative aspects, overall I enjoyed it. In a short summary, the story is about Charlie West stopping a terrorist strike by regaining his memories.

I will start with the good. There is lots of action. The book is a true page-turner and kept me on the edge of my seat. From my education classes, I know that is a winning feature for children’s books. There is no time for the reader to become bored. My favorite character is Mike. He has a great sense of humor and is an all around good guy. I also love Beth, Charlie’s girlfriend. Although she has a minor role, she stuck with her man even when he was accused of heinous crimes. The descriptions are also great. On page 230, the author describes a needle going into Charlie’s arm. I literally cringed.

Now, for the bad. The story was a bit predictable. I knew that Rose would help Charlie in the end, and I knew Charlie would live. I also felt that the plot pushed Charlie along, rather than letting him choose his own course of action. When Charlie is in prison, I thought it would be a great chance for the author to show teens how horrible prison life is – but instead, he concentrated on how the government wouldn’t help Charlie get out because they were suspicious of him, and how a gang was sent by the terrorists to kill him.

Overall, this is a great action story for teens, and anyone else who seeks a fast-past adventure.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ruffled Shirt

I finished another knitting project. It's a ruffled top done in simple St stitch, with a crocheted border (which my mom did for me after my 10th time messing up). The border can be found here:

Overall, I like the shirt, but I used the "large" pattern and it still came out too small. It was fast to complete, though, and I might make another sometime, and use slightly larger measurements.


I received a copy of OPEN SPACES: VOICES FROM THE NORTHWEST from University of Washington Press and GoodReads. The book is comprised of a selection of short stories, edited by Penny Harrison. Some of the stories are lumped together in categories, such as Wildlife and Energy. Each short story reveals a glimpse into the life of someone in the Northwest.

The stories are short, so they are easy to read through, and each is exciting in its own way. My favorite of the collection is RHAPSODY FOR BLACKBERRIES by Sandra Dorr. Reading it made my mouth water for blackberries.

For someone like me who lives in New York, this book is like taking a trip across the country, accompanied by friendly, knowledgeable tour guides. The picturesque cover accurately depicts the amazement you will find within the pages.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I received a copy of THE RIVER QUEEN by Gilbert Morris, from B & H Fiction. I had never read a book by this author before, but after reading this, I know why he is one of the most popular Christian writers. His novel contained not only a fascinating setting and breath-taking action, but the characters are unique.

The story involves the Ashby family, although the main character is Julienne Ashby. Her family is prominent. She lives for fashion and suitors, but her wealthy world ends when her father learns they are broke. Shortly afterward, Julienne’s father perishes from heart trouble. The family is forced to surrender their home, plantation, and belongings. Then, Aunt Leah discovers that they still own an old riverboat. The once prominent Southern family decides to fix up the boat and forge a way of life on the Mississippi.

The action is really nonstop, but sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed and would have liked a breather. For example, toward the beginning, Julienne and her servant board a riverboat to take a trip. Then, only pages later, the boilers blow up. Julienne and Dallas, a handsome young man working on the boat, are the only survivors. Her maid is dead, and Dallas must take Julienne home. The whole incident felt rushed through. I could not savor the tension.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and found the ending very satisfying. This story will appeal to fans of romance, historical fiction, and Christian fiction…or anyone who seeks a good, fast read.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I received a copy of THE QUOTABLE ROUGE: THE IDEALS OF SARAH PALIN IN HER OWN WORDS by Matt Lewis from Thomas Nelson through BookSneeze. It is a book where Matt eloquently outlines statements and comments of Sarah Palin over the last several years. No matter if you like or dislike Sarah Palin, this is a must read book. If you are a fan of Sarah, it gives you the actual statements she has made. If you dislike her, the book gives you insight into how the media has gone out of their way to take statements she has made and altered them to make her controversial. The book transports you into Sarah’s world, helping to understand her feelings, thoughts and character by her statements and conversations. The book covers over 30 topics; from education, gun control, politicians, taxes and running for office. The book finishes with a number of comments form a wide range of people on what others are saying about Sarah. People that dismiss Sarah as not being intelligent or not capable of holding a high office forget that she was governor of the largest land mass state in the union. Her statement to the “Alaska Business Monthly” in December 4, 2008, “I want people to remember me as having always conducted the state’s business in an upright and honest manner. I want them to understand that I put Alaska first in every decision I made,” clearly sums up her character as being a politician that was hired to do the work of the people and not doing it for her own gain.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I received a copy of KILOTON THREAT by William G. Boykin and Tom Morrisey, from B&H Publishing. It is not quite the normal type of book I enjoy reading. The story involves nuclear weapons in the modern day Middle East. I do not usually enjoy modern war novels, but this sucked me into the story. The characters are not only realistic; they remind me of people I know in real life. The action scenes are intense and kept me on the edge of my seat.

My favorite part of the book is that one of the authors, LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin, also known as “Jerry,” has first hand experience with the topics mentioned in the book. Knowing that brought the book to a new level. I was transported to a different world and able to live it myself, albeit vicariously through the characters. I learned a lot of new things, including that you can use rice to draw moisture out of electronics.

One thing that bothered me was that in many places, the authors mentioned “chai tea.” “Chai” is another word for tea, so it made me feel as though I was reading: “tea tea.” It can probably we worded either way, though.

Even if you are not a fan of war stories, the relevance of this book on today’s world will blow your mind away.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I received a copy of HOW HUGE THE NIGHT: A NOVEL by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn, from Kregel Publications. The front of the cover says, “A teenager’s choices in the shadow of WWII will change him forever…” Instantly, I knew this was a book I could sink my teeth into, because I have a special admiration for historical stories. I have read numerous accounts of WWII and the Holocaust, but this was the first that dealt with a strong, religious background. The main characters relied heavily on their faith of God to help through their trials.

The characters act like believable teenagers, from how to interact with their friends and the need to do something more with their lives, so this book will appeal to today’s youth. The book also deals with major historical events and deadly choices, so it will also keep an adult’s attention. The authors, a mother-daughter team, kept an even balance between action, emotion, and description. I look forward to reading more of their work. The only thing I did not care for was their use of slang. When the characters said something, such as “screwed up,” it seemed too modern and pulled me out of the story. However, it should help today’s teens connect to the characters on an even playing field.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Boucle Shrug

I finished knitting this sweater a while ago, but found it didn't fit well - too big. I tried it on again and decided to add lacing to the back. I used a snippet of "trellis" by Lion Brand and attached it with silver jump rings. It fits much better now. Too bad it's summer, haha. I'll have to wait for the weather to cool off before I get to wear it again.

The pattern is found here:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crochet Cap

Yes, I did it. I crocheted a cap. For those of you who know me, I hate crocheting. Too much counting, haha. I decided to buckle down, though, and try it for real. After many tries and a great deal of help from my mother, I completed the project. I used black yarn, since black is my favorite color, and to add a splash of radiance, I laced some rainbow yarn through the middle and tied a bow at the side. I also made it a little longer, because after I tried on the finished product, it felt weird.

The pattern can be found here:

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I review for BookSneeze®

Writing Workshop with Maria V. Snyder

My friend, Maria, is hosting a writing workshop for the Utica Writers Club.

Where: Kirkland Town Library

When: July 16, 2011 / 1 pm to 4 pm

Price: $25, limited seating

For more information and the registration form, check out this link here:

I hope to see you there! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011


I received a copy of THE FINAL SUMMIT by Andy Andrews from Thomas Nelson. The story is about David Ponder, a Traveler. In a nutshell, that means he is able to travel through time with help from the Archangel Gabriel. There are other books in the series that explain this more, and after reading this one, I cannot wait to get my hands on them. This book was a fast read – I literally could not put it down until I was done.

The Archangel Gabriel takes David to a meeting of Travelers. Gabriel tells them that time is running out for humankind and they must decide how to, essentially, save the world. However, they only have five guesses to figure it out. Among the other Travelers are Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Amelia Earhart, Eric Erickson, King David, and Benjamin Franklin. Andy Andrews uses the real views of these historical figures to paint their arguments as they reach an answer.

Despite the fact that this book is mainly about a meeting, the dialogue is rich and the historical content is fantastic. I was hooked from the first chapter. The cover is also very intriguing – it shows a feather and three pennies, with a different texture than the rest of the print. This is the perfect read for anyone who loves history and religion.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I received a copy of THE SWEETEST THING by Elizabeth Musser from Bethany House. On first glance, I found the cover to be extremely engaging. A young woman glances over her shoulder, with a mansion in the background, and old-fashioned tinting gives the scene a mysterious flavor. It reminds me of my grandmother’s childhood photographs.

I love the story. The theme of poverty amongst beauty strikes close to home, since the country is now in hard times, money-wise. The novel is fast paced and flows smoothly, until the end, where it begins to drag. The characters have a mystery to solve, but they seem to put that aside and concentrate on day-to-day activities instead.

The story jumps between Dobbs and Perri, the two main characters. That is easy to follow, since the sections are clearly labeled. Each girl learns to love God in her own way. Their struggles are powerful to read about, and the happy conclusion brought a smile to my face. The author summed up the characters’ futures in a prologue, but I long for a sequel.

The best part about the book is that the author based many things off real life, such as the setting and school. This is a trip back in time you should not miss!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I received an advance copy of THE CHAIR by James L. Rubart, from B&H Books. The cover depicts the corner of a chair, highlighted, against a wooden floor. Although plain, it is intriguing, and foretells a fascinating book. I sat down with only half-an-hour to read, and four hours later I was done with the story, although my household chores still needed completion. Overall, this is a fast, thought-provoking story with friendly characters.

Without giving too much away, the novel involves Corin Roscoe, the owner of an antique story. A mysterious woman gives him a chair, and her cryptic messages lead Corin to believe the chair was made by Jesus Christ. When he first touches the chair, he feels an electric shock, but then nothing. Shortly after, a little boy has an asthma attack in his store and sits on the chair. The boy and his family believe that the chair healed his asthma and the news story is placed on the Internet. With the help of the chair, Corin faces his belief in religion and his fears within himself.

The message in the story is very powerful, and opens the reader’s eyes to new beliefs in religious relics. The ending brought a huge smile to my face.