31 October 2010

Yackety-yak: Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween sweets!

Reading anything spooky in honor of the holiday?
Or are you like me; i.e. cheating and starting your Christmas reads?

Credit: Image and arrangement courtesy of Poetic Home.com

30 October 2010

Well Said: Why Books STILL Rock

"Books are still very much a part of the total entertainment picture. They're portable, commercial-free, recyclable, and use no batteries."
- Stephen King as featured in Entertainment Weekly (12.06.)

29 October 2010

Contest Winner: Over the Moon

Happy Friday my lovelies! I am proud to announce the winner of the Over the Moon contest is the super clever Kay of The Infinite Shelf. Congrats darling! I will be contacting you via email for your address.

Kay was selected with help from Random.org. Please stay tuned and continue to check my right hand sidebar for more upcoming contests.

27 October 2010

Pearl in the Sand: Review & Christian Fiction Book Club Discussion

Authoress: Tessa Afshar
Pages: 316 (Paperback)
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Tagline: "Striking beauty comes at a price."

My summary: Forced into prostitution by her father at the age of fifteen, Rahab believes she will live out her days as a lonely high prostitute. Until the walls of Jericho are threatened and Rahab unexpectedly finds God. Through God, Rahab finds forgiveness, a new life, and even love.

My say: I read what I would say is a fair amount of Christian Fiction. I love them. They are like chicken soup; they usually lift me up, make me smile, and leave me inspired. But Pearl in the Sand was different for me. Pearl in the Sand accomplished something I do not remember any other CF book ever accomplishing. It moved me to tears several times. I didn't weep, but I can honestly say I felt Rahab's longing to be forgiven, redeemed, and made anew. This beautiful, swift, yet deliberate tale not only moved me but it stayed with me long after I had finished the book and dried my tears.

My cover thoughts: Rarely am I so pleased with a cover. Everything about this cover perfectly fits the novel. Even the skin tone, eyes, and significance of the red cord is in tune with the book.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My kiddie-o-meter: While everything is tasteful, there is plenty of death and mentions to child sacrifices and prostitution.

My recommendation: If you enjoy Historical Christian Fiction, then you MUST try this book. This story lives up to the cover and the cover truly honors the story.

My Christian Fiction Book Club Discussion Q & A:

Pearl in the Sand was the Christian Fiction Book Club pick for October. After reading the novel, each member picks one discussion question from the back of the book to feature and discuss in a blog post. This is mine.

(SPOILER WARNING! Please highlight to read)

Q: Salmone calls Rahab his Jericho. What does he mean?

A: God told his people to go to Jericho and take it down. When they arrived they found an impossibly strong wall and army. But because his people had faith in spite of the insurmountable odds, God brought down the walls of Jericho. When Salmone calls Rahab his Jericho, he is referring to the huge seemingly impenetrable walls around Rahab's heart and mind. He seems to be saying that just like God brought down Jericho, God will see to Rahab's walls.
My final say: This is by far one of the best Christian Historical Fiction stories I have read all year.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

Thank you to Moody Publishers for making this review possible.

26 October 2010

Well Said: Battles

"There were different kinds of battles, that much he could acknowledge. Some were necessary to fight. Others were demanded by a sense of honor and concern for those he loved."
The Language of Souls by Lena Goldfinch
So far this beautiful little eBook has been a lovely escape and pleasant surprise.

25 October 2010

Roving Reader: Jane Austen's BFF

Happy Monday lovelies! Did you do anything special or deliciously bookish this weekend? I spied this perfectly splendid cover yesterday.

Have you read it or heard anything about it?
Did any books stop you in your tracks this weekend?
The Roving Reader was created by GMR at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. It features eye catching covers captured via cell phone.

24 October 2010

Cover Wonderment: Roses

Isn't this cover pretty? It features 3 of my favorite things: pink roses, a blue background, and the word "serendipity". In the story she makes scents and soaps with a special rose recipe. I heart anything rose scented.

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake

Have any covers captured you lately?

22 October 2010

Key Lime Pie | Book Review & Contest Too

Series: A Culinary Mystery Book #4
Authoress: Josi S. Kilpack
Pages: 360 (Paperback)
Publisher: Deseret Book
Goodreads: Key Lime Pie
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Female Sleuth

My summary: This time Sadie follows her crush (Eric) to Florida as he searches for his missing daughter. While Eric hunts the truth, Sadie hopes to unravel the secrets of her heart and Eric.

My say & recommendation: While I savored English Trifle, I labored through Key Lime Pie. What could possibly be the difference you ask? While English Trifle was very much a murder mystery, Key Lime Pie felt more like chick lit with a dash of intrigue. I often found myself wishing Sadie would stop worrying about her heart and start working the case. For that reason, the story felt slow to me. However, while this failed to entice my mystery loving palette, I do think it's perfect for fans of contemporary women's literature and/or chick lit.

My whodunit verdict: The ending and mystery was tart, creative, and I did not see it coming.

My star rating: 2 stars

My contest: Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotions, I have 2 signed paperbacks up for grabs. If you are interested and live in the US or Canada, comment with your email address below. The winners will be announced November 25th.

My final say: Have you ever had chocolate dipped key lime pie? It is divine!

Review copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

Thank you to Pump Up Your Book Promotion for making this review possible.

Key Lime Pie is my 10th entry in my Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Book Chick City.

20 October 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': An Unexpected Mystery & Fairytale

Goodreads blurb: "T
his suspense-packed sequel to Pride and Prejudice recasts Darcy and Elizabeth as a husband and wife detective team —the Nick and Nora of England’s Regency era. "
Nick and Nora murder mystery? Be still my heart! I need to buy this one immediately.


Goodreads blurb: "
After a fall, CC is whisked away to a hospital. As she drifts in and out of consciousness, she is haunted by vivid dreams that seem strange—yet somehow familiar. Thus begins CC’s emotional journey back to a privileged life lived eight hundred years ago during the Song dynasty."
I love this cover, concept, and blurb.

19 October 2010

Well Said: Half Angel

"So you're saying...you're saying that you're half angel," I said slowly. "Yes."
"Mom, really, come on." I wanted her to laugh and tell me that the angel stuff was some kind of dream she had, like in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy wakes up and finds out the whole Oz thing was a big, colorful hallucination from getting conked on the head.
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is SO good so far. I am having the hardest time putting it down. Last night I wanted to forfeit sleep and today I want to forfeit laundry and cooking. Oh and I love that her mom is part-angel too!

17 October 2010

Christian Fiction Sunday Contest: A Passion Most Pure

Despite my very best efforts, I can not get into Julie Lessman's book A Passion Most Pure. But my loss is your gain. If you are interested in winning my brand new signed paperback copy, post a comment with your email address. You must be a resident of the US or Canada to enter. A winner will be announced November 21st.

Please note: The book's inscription is to "Juju".

16 October 2010

Roving Reader: Cloaked

Happy Saturday chickadees!
I hope whatever you're doing is fabulous, relaxing, or both. So while I was visiting books in their native habitat yesterday (that beautiful enchanting place I rarely visit thanks to the convenience of the world wide web otherwise known as the book store) these 2 super covers caught my attention. A Marked Man looks perfectly mysterious and old world, while Christmas at Harrington's makes me smile and ponder the upcoming holidays. Can you believe Christmas is only a little over two months away? I don't know if I should squeal in delight or worry that I haven't started shopping yet? So what books have stopped you in your tracks lately?
The Roving Reader was created by GMR at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. It features eye catching covers captured via cell phone.

15 October 2010

Well Said: Pearl of Wisdom

"A life lived differently shows a change in the soul."
Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

First Words: Periodically

"There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me - not forever, but periodically."
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

So far the story is a bit crass but totally funny.

14 October 2010

Moonstone, Moon Rise, and Moon Spun | 1-for-3 Book Review

Series: Unbidden Magic Series
Authoress: Marilee Brothers
Available formats: eBook, Paperback
Goodreads: Moonstone, Moon Rise, Moon Spun
Genre: YA | Fantasy

My summary: Allie is a poor, yet totally normal girl, that lives in a travel trailer with her slightly neglectful but well-meaning mom. Until one day, a nearly fatal accident causes her to use powers she didn't know she had. This series follows Allie's adventures from discovering and grappling her abilities, to falling in and out of love, to learning how to protect her self.

My happy thoughts: What makes this series so delightful is the incredibly spunky and snarky heroine. Marilee is incredibly gifted at humor and the inner voice. I laughed and laughed at Allie's take and thoughts.

My mad thoughts: While the first two books rocked with originality, the third (Moon Spun) just didn't work for me. I'm really bad at sports anaologies but it is in an entirely different ball park with too much going on. I could rant and rave about all the things I disliked about book three, but the important thing is...
Don't let book three detour you from books one and two.
My kiddie-o-meter: While Allie is a good girl, she does occasionally curse and there are mentions to sex and alcoholism when pertaining to her mother. There is also minor mentions to an incubus impregnating a nun and the author does poke fun at some hypocritical Christians. Neither are major nor ruffled my feathers.

My love-the-love: Kudos to Marilee for writing a young heroine who is strong enough not to define her self by her boyfriend. When one doesn't work out, she moves on. Yea Allie!

My star ratings:
Moonstone and Moon Rise = 4 stars
Moon Spun = 3 stars

My final say: Despite my dislike for book three, I really liked one and two and I am really hoping for another book. Have you ever had that happen to you? Have you ever loved parts of a series?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

12 October 2010

Well Said: Loss & Joy

So far The Lace Makers of Glenmara has completely enchanted me. So much so, that I am sharing several teasers from the book.
"The Irish tunes called up something in her. She felt them in her veins; a deep place moved her to tears. It wasn't sadness, not entirely. It was more complicated than that; everything at once - joy, pain, hope."

"You're too young to give in to disappointment. The joy will come again, and when it does it will be all the better because of what you've suffered."

"Kate shifted through the past, what might or might not have been, seeking a reference point, a place to say: This is the beginning. A spot on the map: You are here. Or where here. Or might be here. You belong."

11 October 2010

Yackety-Yak: Faking It

Ok so I am not generally a big fan of Jenny McCarthy, but have you seen her new cover? It is hysterical! Right down to the macho mullet and the golden cell phone.

10 October 2010

Free Christian Fiction Reads!

Dawn's Prelude by Tracie Peterson & Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley are both currently
FREE on Amazon for the Kindle. Note: I remember loving the Yukon Quest series by Tracie.

Happy Sunday & 10/10/10!

Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Consider downloading the Kindle reader (for free) for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone. Own a nook? Check out Free Friday at Hott Books.

09 October 2010

Well Said: Restful Nights

"Let books be your dining table, And you shall be full of delights.
Let them be your mattress, And you shall sleep restful nights."
-Author Unknown

Image courtesy of PinkParasol.

The Shifter | Book Review

Book: The Shifter
Series: The Healing Wars Book 1
Authoress: Janice Hardy
Pages: 370 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins
Goodreads: The Shifter
Genre: Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Superpowers

My summary: In a time when pain is purchased and sold, a young girl must decide how far she is willing to go to save the life of her sister.

My say: The Shifter is one of the best middle grade books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The story is gripping, genuine, different from everything else on the market, complex, and action-packed. The characters are multifaceted and presented with incredibly difficult circumstances with no clear right or wrong. It is impossible to read this story without asking your self, "What would I do in this circumstance? Would I do something I knew was ethically or morally wrong to save the life of my sister?"

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I am proud to own this thought-provoking book.

My kiddie-o-meter: While the subject is serious, everything is handled gently without the use of foul language or gore. This is a great book for tweens.

My author notes: I met Janice last April at the UCF Book Festival in Orlando. Here is what struck me about her; she is a down-to-earth, morning person, who likes to challenge her characters.

My book notes: Book two in the series (Blue Fire) just released Tuesday, October 5th.

My final say: What is the best sister story you have ever read?

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

08 October 2010

Free Kindle eBook Alert: Shadow Bound

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison is currently FREE for the Kindle.

Don't have a Kindle but still interested? Consider downloading the Kindle reader (for free) for your for PC, BlackBerry, or iPhone. Own a nook? Check out Free Friday at Hott Books.

First Words: Arrival

"Our arrival didn't exactly go as planned. I remember it was almost dawn when we landed because the streetlights were still on. We had hoped our descent would go unnoticed, which it mainly did, save for a thirteen-year old boy doing a paper round."
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

06 October 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': Knits for Paranormal Bookish Gals

I want to buy this, dog-ear the cool pages, and then show my mother-in-law my Christmas wish list.

Go ahead and say it, I should just learn to knit, huh? *wink wink*

05 October 2010

Yackety-yak: Anthem

I found an anthem for YA fiction; Katy Perry's newest song "Teenage Dream":
"You make me feel like
I'm living a teenage dream
The way you turn me on
I can't sleep
Let's runaway
And don't ever look back...don't ever look back"
Click here to see the video.
Note: The video has a few racy moments. But the song is adorable and totally worth it.