Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible

I received a copy of THE LION COMIC BOOK HERO BIBLE by Siku, Richard Thomas, and Jeff Anderson from Lion via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.

This is a beautiful book.  It explores the Bible using colorful, bright, glossy pages, the story told in comic fashion.  This is top quality.  My boyfriend reads a lot of comics, and the artwork greatly reminded me of those.

I ended up sharing this with my mom, so this will be a joint review.  She gives it five stars.  For me, it is more of a four-star book. 

There are many positives.  We both found it easy to read.  I actually had trouble reading and it wasn’t until I was in fourth grade that I learned how to read – using comics!  My mom and grandmother spoiled me with comics.  The little thought bubbles weren’t overwhelming. 

This comic makes the Bible stories concise.  It is a great idea to get youth interested in the Bible.  For my mom, it made her want to read the actual Bible stories so that she could read the real version.  That’s where my lower star rating comes in.  I worry that youth might not read the Bible to get the full story.  The comic also uses catchy nicknames, like Rainmaker – my mom loved this aspect – and I worry that it will make the reader forget the real name.  For example, Noah is the Rainmaker. 

Overall, this is an interesting take on the Bible and one to inspire today’s youth.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Dream Literary Collection

Ryan of Invaluable contacted me to see if I would like to be one of a few book bloggers willing to share their dream literary collection.  Um, YES!  I have always been an avid lover of literature.  The shelves in the cellar have always been filled with books.  Oh, so many books.  Those I love I want to treasure.
If you’re wondering what Invaluable.com is, an online auction market place that has a range of things up for auction daily, including collectible and first edition books. I highly recommend you check them out!

Here's the link to the first edition books page: http://www.invaluable.com/first-edition-books/sc-EWAP7WGAFQ/

Lot 572: Early The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum Copyright 1944 Grosset & Dunlap New York

The first book on my list for a dream literary collection is THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum.  He was born in a town close to mine, so I’ve always been interested in his works.  My mom and I love to read books together and discuss them, as well as then watch a movie if applicable, and we have been working through the Oz series for a few years.

Pride and Prejudice

My mother and I also read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, then saw every movie version we could find.  Everyone talks about the book, so we wanted to be able to add intelligently to such conversations.  It is an excellent book and there is lots of merchandise you can find based on the characters, like paper dolls! 

My Bookhouse

This is a series of short stories and poems for kids.  My grandparents got this for me when I was an infant, and I have always loved them.  My fondest memories happen to be listening to my grandmother read aloud to me from the hardcover books.  They also inspired me to become an author – I would make up my own stories based on the illustrations!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Abbess of Whitby

I received a copy of THE ABBESS OF WHITBY: A NOVEL OF HILD OF NORTHUMBRI by Jill Dalladay from Lion Fiction via Kregel Publications. 

I dove into the book with great excitement because of two main reasons, but people who follow my reviews now that I LOVE historical fiction.  I still love it, but that’s not where my excitement came from.

The first reason for my extreme excitement is because I am familiar with this period in history.  I have read a lot of fictional books on it, and I love getting different takes.  I am no expert, but when I saw the book I was able to say, “Ooh, Northumbria in the seventh-century.  Cool!”  It wasn’t completely foreign to me even though I’ve never lived in that land and I wasn’t alive during that time period.

The second reason for the excitement is because the novel is about Hild.  Before reading this, I had come by chance across another Hild book in a used bookstore.  That book was okay, but it was dry and heavily laden with facts.  I did learn a little about Hild, so I was able to say, “Cool, another book about Hild!”  I’m happy to say that I liked this book better.  It was more of a story than an encyclopedia. 

This book follows Hild’s life.  I was able to feel a connection to her and I am in awe of everything she was able to accomplish as a woman in England at that time.

I highly recommend THE ABBESS OF WHITBY!

Signs of Life

Signs of Life Banner_Blitz_Final I'm thrilled to take part in the excerpt Blitz for Selene Castrovilla's SIGNS OF LIFE (Rough Romance #2, sequel to MELT)! Check out the books below and along with an excerpt from the beginning of SIGNS OF LIFE, and be sure to enter the giveaway below.

MELT (Rough Romance #1)MELT by Selene Castrovilla by Selene Castrovilla

MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? Told in dual first person, Joey's words are scattered on the page - reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason - until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away? MELT is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul. Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

SignsOfLife_coverSIGNS OF LIFE (Rough Romance #2) by Selene Castrovilla Publication Date: March 29, 2016 Publisher: Last Syllable Books

No good deed goes unpunished…The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force sequel to MELT. Now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he made her to better himself – even though she’s gone. Joey tells his story “now ”—nearly a year after the shocking conclusion of MELT. Dorothy tells what happened “then”— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it’s too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story, which begs the question: Can love really conquer all? Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble - Available for pre-order!

SIGNS OF LIFE - Chapter One

Note: In SIGNS OF LIFE, Dorothy's thoughts/words our now scattered on the page.

Selene CastrovillaAbout the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads
Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website: www.SeleneCastrovilla.com.


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Monday, December 7, 2015

Totally Wasted

Why did he have to bring a mother into this? “I realize how crazy I seem. Maybe I am nuts… but I had to try. Nothing adds up. I want to know who’s responsible. I think you want to tell me the truth.” I glanced around the restaurant, trying to sort out my thoughts. Spark had been my focus, then Judah, and then all of Osiris. I had foolishly pushed all of my other feelings under the rug. Now, none of those other distractions were here. I was left to think about everything else I had left behind. Brooklyn Hess had been a person, and people missed him.

C. Elizabeth VescioAbout the Author

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Wasted Series Website

Elizabeth Vescio is the author of the Wasted Series and Adventures of the Dress. She published her first book, Elegantly Wasted in 2012. Cara is also a photographer, gamer, cosplayer and animal enthusiast. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four mutts. She’s passionate about Shakespeare, Paul Simon and Loki as portrayed by Tom Hiddleson.
  Totally Wasted by C. Elizabeth Vescio


Win a set of the Wasted Series art cards, plus a $25 gift card!


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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Until the Dawn

I received a copy of UNTIL THE DAWN by Elizabeth Camden via Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. As I always say with Bethany House – I knew this would be a winner.  Not only is it historical fiction (one of my favorite genres!), but it is well written.  This story takes place on the Hudson River in 1898.  My maternal grandmother grew up on the Hudson, so that made it extra special for me.

I have reads other books by Elizabeth Camden.  This featured her trademark realistic dialogue and unforgettable characters.  In this adventure, the main character, Sophie van Riijn, wants to put up a rooftop weather station and Quentin is the owner of the land Sophie wants it on.  I loved their dynamic.  I also loved the descriptions of the land.  It made the story feel like a Gothic, which is another of my favorite genres. 

As a note, this book felt different than the other Elizabeth Camden novels I have read.  I think that’s a good thing!  It made it feel fresh.

This story features mystery that will keep you riveted, as well as a beautiful romance.  The touch of religion is makes the story sweet and meaningful.  I am excited now for my next trip to the Hudson River!