Sunday Post (November 30)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Mine was very peaceful and relaxing. The calm before the storm, so to speak. For the first time in my life, I went out on Black Friday, but I delayed the day and left the house at 9, so most of the crazy was already over! I had a plan and went to three stores and stuck to my guns on what I was purchasing. I suppose that helped cut down on the time because I knew exactly what I wanted, grabbed it and got in line.

10171689_10152545915687643_8888627306804787731_nWe were oh-so graciously allowed to bring my grandfather home for Thanksgiving by the uncle. My aunt made up a plate for him, and my mom chastised her for putting so much food on it, saying, “He’s not going to eat all that.” Sure enough, he not only ate everything, but came back for a second FULL plate and later ate two pieces of mousse crunch pie. This is more food that he ate the entire time he was in the first two facilities, from March through the end of July.

10401520_10152545915317643_5943224805745146345_n The traditional Thanksgiving football game. This was actually the 3rd round!10687220_10152545915737643_5180480127693244369_n

Can you find my mother? 🙂 Food coma!

My brother also invited me out Friday night to a local haunt. He bugged me nearly all week about it so I went just to keep the peace. He can be very annoying. 😀

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~ Last Week on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • Review: Just Not Ready Yet
  • HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Review: Gross Gus: Nothing for Christmas!
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Guest Review: The Paper Bag Christmas
  • Blast + Giveaway: Game of Love
  • Blast + Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden
  • WWW Wednesday
  • HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS  Review: Lionel’s Christmas Adventure
  • Blast: Ashley’s Dream
  • HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Review: Mary Christmas
  • Feature Follow Friday
  • November Monthly Chit Chat
  • 99¢ Sale: REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer

~ Open Giveaways ~

~ Around Town in the Spotlight ~

Feature Follow Friday (November 28)

Alison Can Read Feature & FollowIt is the Friday Feature Follow!

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (links above) and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
email
bloglovin

The Question:

Describe your favorite book character death scene. Why is it your favorite? Was it a villain or a hero? What made it so good? via Eternity Through Pages 

My Answer: 

 Ugh. Again with the dying.

OK. I thought about this one quite a bit and come to a consensus with myself about my favorite book character death scene. The book is 30 years old and now has its own TV show, so if you haven’t read it, too bad so sad for the spoilers. You should have gotten around to reading it in the last 30 years. 

Randall Beauchamp from Outlander. That’s my choice. He is such a pompous, arrogant, crazed man. I hated what he did to Jaime and Claire. Especially Jaime. I cared more about Jaime and Claire escaping the seemingly impenetrable and inexitable fortress than his death, but it made the journey and struggles all the sweeter.

Although slightly morbid and surely emotional, which character death scene is your favorite? Leave me a comment with your response and your Friday Follow. 

Review: Love Amid the Ashes

8125716Title: Love Amid the Ashes
Author: Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: March 2011
Length: 441 pages
Series?: Treasure of His Love
Genre: Historical, Religion

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Readers often think of Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job’s life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family?Through painstaking research and a writer’s creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau’s tribe and Jacob’s daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashes breathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.

***** Review *****

This was a difficult book for me to get through for a few different reasons.  First, it’s heavily based on the Bible. I’ve shared before my experiences with religious institutions and preachy, pushy books. At the beginning, I felt this book fit into that category, so the take-off wasn’t too fun.

The second reason I had difficulty continuing to read this book was the sheer number of names of actual characters in the book, or constant references to characters of family and lineage. I seriously needed to sit down and do a character mapping chart to help me keep all of them straight…except I didn’t have time for that. I’m sure it would have made things easier, but really, why should I need to do that as a reader? I shouldn’t. That was overwhelming.

The final thing that really got to me was the extremely vivid description and detail. Don’t get me wrong, I love details to give me a clearer picture of the characters and setting. In this case it was overkill. I found myself skimming and skipping many different chunks of the book because it seemed irrelevant to the plot.

I wanted to DNF this book several times in the beginning, but then the plot started picking up and things got rolling. I even mentioned last week on WWW Wednesday that I had to keep reminding myself why I was reading this book. I didn’t want to give up, and I surely didn’t want to be scared away by the detailed descriptions.

The story revolves around Job, his family, and his religion. The outlining story follows the Book of Job from the Bible quite well – a prosperous, Godly, family man who loses his wealth, children, and his own health through some disastrous events.

Job’s story is intertwined with that of his wife, Sitis, and Dinah, daughter of Jacob. Sitis was an Ischmaelite princess – and worshiped the idols. In many ways she is portrayed as an extremely selfish woman, so it was hard for me to accept her love for her husband. It was very conflicting. Several characters kept pointing out that Job’s downfall was the punishment resulting from taking Dinah into his household (more on that below), but the entire time I kept thinking about the actions of his wife, which toward the very end of the book is called to attention.

Job served under the House of Shem, and followed the teachings of El Shaddai (also referred interchangeably as Yahweh). The religious divide between Sitis and Job is made clear here, and it is Job who brings Dinah back to the ways and teachings of El Shaddai when he brings her to Uz to marry his son.

Dinah, unlike Sitis, was the ostracized character for the large majority of the book. She was the perfect scapegoat, as well: a beautiful woman with a kind spirit. Her first marriage ended in disaster, and the stories of her treacherous behavior (the viewpoint of pretty much the entire population) has followed her for over twenty years before Job seeks her out. She lived in shame for years, and continues to do so until Job makes a breakthrough with her. One of the strongest tenets Job teaches others in this novel (besides faith in El Shaddai) is forgiveness.

Forgiveness is like an olive tree, mistress. Once it takes root, it will grow, and it’s hard to kill. 

Growing up, I heard the phrase “So-and-so has the patience of Job,” but I never quite understood it until reading this book.

Job’s patience unnerved her. 

Indeed, the same could be said for me. The man has more patience than the whole of a country! I continued to be surprised by his patience, especially in the presence of some insufferable characters and even when others made it very clear to him that he was being punished by El Shaddai. Still, he persevered and believed. His relationship with Yahweh calls into question the rights of a follower to question and be angry with El Shaddai. Sometimes that is the emotion is expressed in moments of fear and utter despair, which surely fit Job’s situation.

Job’s fury peaked at these selfish old fools whose abba’s dead body was barely cold in the grave before they pawed at the inheritance and brawled like children. He promptly walked over to the ridiculous, rolling elders and kicked dust in their faces.

Even though the material of this book was largely religious and some heavy duty stuff, these two lines made me giggle…so much so I went back to re-read them a couple times.

“Mistress, did he say you were going to be his wife? When did he find the time to like you?” 

“What does that mean, Zophar? When you don’t know what to say, you spew forth this intellectual gibberish with many words and little meaning.”

I enjoyed various aspects of this book, most notably the characters’ relationships with one another. There are many examples of character depth as the novel progresses, and I was surprised by the growth that Sitis displays over the course of the novel.

I would not recommend this book to non-religious readers unless you have a marked interest from a historical or research point of view. I would also not recommend this book to those who have strict interpretations of the Bible simply because there are fictional elements to Love Amid the Ashes.

***** About the Author *****

3513697Mesu Andrews is an author and speaker who has devoted herself to passionate study of Scripture. Harnessing her deep love for God’s Word, Andrews brings the biblical world alive for her audiences.

Mesu and her husband, Roy, have two grown children and (Praise God!) a growing number of grandkids. They live in Washington, where Roy teaches at Multnomah University. They have a Rottweiler-pitbull named Bouzer who keeps Mesu company while she writes.

She’s published two books, Love Amid the Ashes and Love’s Sacred Song. Two more are scheduled for release with Revell in March of 2013 and 2014.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

WWW Wednesdays (November 26)

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This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. To join in, click on the image above, and answer these three questions: 

What are you currently reading? 

Glimmers-2240-640x1024I’m skipping the Malaika book and moving on to December reads. I feel disappointed in my November commitment to the Month of Genre, but I read Love Amid Ashes for three whole weeks, so I don’t feel too terribly bad about it.

I just got this book, Glimmers, last night! I have been waiting to receive the blog tour copy. The cover draws me like a moth to a flame, and I could not resist on passing this one up. I am excited to read it, but expect some sadness in there somewhere.

 

What did you just finish reading? 

8125716Y’all!! I finished it!! I thought I would NEVER get through this book. It was a difficulty in several ways for my reading tastes, but I stuck it out and I am glad that I did.

It definitely gives me a better Biblical frame of reference for certain things.

 

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 Yesterday I finished Just Not Ready Yet for an upcoming blog tour. I devoured this book in two days. It’s set in Austin, Texas and I guarantee Brooklyn James is a UT fan. 🙂

I loved this book for so many reasons. It was beautiful.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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This is up next. I am forseeing many shenanigans and laughs. I’ll let ya know how it turns out!

How about you? Have you read or TBRed any of these? What are you reading this week?

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own WWW Wednesday post, or share your answers in the comments here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks! 🙂

Blast + Giveaway: The Ultimate Treasure Quest 1 {The Jewel of Peru}

Title:  The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru
Author: Sharon Skretting
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: September 2014
Length: 317 pages
Ages: 8+

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | Teachers Pay Teachers

TheJewelCoveruploadebookhighres-664x1024{Teacher support materials to go along with the novel can be purchased atTeachers Pay Teachers}

The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents.

After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents, or will all be lost for ever?

***** Buzz About the Book *****

“Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas. I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.” ~ Sara Marschand, Quiethouse Copy Editing

“Engaging and meaningful, the author does an excellent job crafting this story. I don’t usually read middle school novels but made an exception for this one and will be passing it on to all the children in my life.” ~ 5 Star Review, Love Reading, Amazon

“The Jewel of Peru is a wonderful piece of educational fiction that blends fact and fantasy to create a literary journey that is both informative and exciting for young readers… It’s every bit as much of a page turner as it is a learning experience…” ~ 5 Star Review, Kelley, Amazon

“Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas… Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.” ~ 5 Star Review, Sara M., Amazon

***** About the Author *****

authorpic2Sharon Skretting is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru, and the founder of Quest Teaching. She has been teaching elementary school for twenty years and lives with her husband and a cat, named Scat! Now that her three children have grown, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing to excite her students about learning is a dream come true for Sharon.  Her goal is to write fast paced, excellent literature —filled with interesting characters, intrigue, danger and intricate plots—that will hook readers aged nine to ninety nine and make them want to read more!

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***** Giveaway *****

There is a $25 Amazon (or PayPal cash) gift card up for grabs in this giveaway.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

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Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

I have several blog tours coming up and I am looking to get ahead and take care of those reviews!

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Just Not Ready Yet by Brooklyn James

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Glimmers by Barbara Brooke

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Real Santa by William Hazelgrove

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The Ginnie West Adventures by Monique Bucheger

 

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Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

Blast + Giveaway: The Fortuitous Pen

Can their everyday life of sexy trysts and loving adventures be enough to overcome mistakes of the past?
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
After making an immediate connection in ‘Going the Distance’, Austin Campbell and Brett Tanner continue their lives together as they adjust to life as a sexy New York couple.Having fallen madly in love with Brett, Austin balances her time between her writing, and the delicious romps with her fiercely loyal and equally adventurous lover.   Determined to focus on her writing, Austin experiences an accidental encounter that sets the two off on a journey of pain and healing.  Can their everyday life of sexy trysts and loving adventures be enough to overcome mistakes of the past?

I’m the accidental author.

In so many ways, becoming a published author happened by chance.

For years, I’ve worked in the corporate world.  My degrees are in business.  Essentially, I’m a problem solver for corporations and government.  So, you can imagine how much of a shift it was for me to sit down and write fiction.

During the summer of 2013, I put pen to paper.  I let my sexy imagination loose and before I knew it I’d filled a more than a few pages.  The characters came to life and a story began to take shape.

And so began, the greatest chapter of my life.

Writing has been cathartic.  Becoming published has been exhilarating.

This journey isn’t over.  I continue to write, as time permits.  Another manuscript is in the works.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Pre-Order Promo: Shadow Dragon

Isn’t the cover gorgeous? I love it!

Title: Shadow Dragon
Author: Marc Secchia
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Release Date: December 2014
Length: 228 pages
Series?: Shapeshifter Dragons #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon 

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Chameleon Shapeshifters, uncontrollable storm powers, and the rise of Sylakia’s Dragon-elite. The battle against evil scales new heights, but the price of victory grows ever dearer.
Once, a Shadow Dragon ravaged the Island-World. Insatiable. Unstoppable. A Dragon-killer. Now the Shadow Dragon has reappeared, on a collision course with Aranya and King Beran’s campaign to liberate the Islands from the scourge of Sylakian tyranny. He is dark, beautiful and deadly, a predator of untold power.
Meantime, Thoralian weaves his web of guile and betrayal right in the hearts of Aranya’s friends and allies. He will bring them to an encounter only he can win.
Incredible aerial battles. An Ancient Dragon bent on enslaving Aranya. The treacherous secrets of Dragon magic. This is the fight for which destiny has shaped a heroine of rare courage–Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Criminal. Shapeshifter Dragon. A woman who will confront evil at any cost. Spite her at your peril.

$3.99 on

Sunday Post (November 23)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This past week has been quite mellow for fall months. My students were spot-on throughout the week with what we were doing, so it just made everything run smoother during the week.

Yesterday my oral reading students competed in a UIL practice meet. I had two students who just joined the team and haven’t attended any practices, and one of them placed first! I am excited to see how much they all grow from now until the real competition at the end of January.

Tuesday I came home and a few of my jewelry pieces on top of my long dresser were out of place. I keep most of my earrings in two small dishes, and all of my post earrings are in a small, flat jewelry box with tiny compartments. I keep the lid of this open, propped up against one of my jewelry boxes. The lid was closed, and a couple pieces from the two dishes were strewn across the top of the dresser. There is also a glass top that sits on top of the dresser, so if it is bumped (usually on one of the corners) it becomes skewed across the top. At first I thought someone had been there, but nothing was taken…and Baby already had that look that she knew she was in trouble.

lamb-chopThen I discovered the shredded remains, white fluff and a squeaker in the living room. It was all that was left of the small Lamb Chop stuffed toy I had on my dresser. Baby somehow maneuvered around a stack of boxes on the end of the dresser where the toy was, grabbed it off the top but somehow messed up some of the jewelry without knocking anything off the dresser top. I was impressed with her determination to get that toy (and now I know my fuzzy Panda socks will be next), but was so mad at her.

There will be a surprise on the blog this week! See if you can find out which post does not usually belong. 🙂

~ Last Week on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • Pre-Order Promo: Shadow Dragon
  • Blast + Giveaway: The Fortuitous Pen
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Blast + Giveaway: The Ultimate Treasure Request
  • Thoughts on Thursday
  • Review: Love Amid the Ashes
  • Feature Follow Friday

~ Open Giveaways ~

~ Around Town in the Spotlight ~

Ladies, UK Stylist magazine has released Lisa Simpson’s 25 Books Every Woman Should Read. Go check out the list. Do you agree?

FREE Today & Tomorrow: Sweet T & the North Wind

I wanted to share a great book opportunity with y’all! I read Sweet T & the North Wind by Cat Michaels last month and I adored the book. It was a very sweet read, and can be a helpful resource teaching children when family members move away, are put into a care center facility or pass away and relive the memories and good moments that were had.

It is an illustrated chapter book for grades 1-4, with 37 Amazon reviews averaging a 4.4 star rating.

Today and tomorrow Sweet T & the North Wind is FREE! 

Screen-Shot-2014-10-07-at-7.14.18-AMTitle: Sweet T and the North Wind
Author: Cat Michaels
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: October 2013
Length: 36 pages
Recommended Ages: 5-10

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon 

Last time a powerful North Wind blew across the lakes, strange things happened. And the winter when Tara turns ten years old, the North Wind blows sharp and the lakes freeze solid by Thanksgiving. Old-timers from the village warn everyone to take care. Tara, or Sweet T as Grandma calls her, is tired of being cooped up indoors on this coldest winter day, and she tries to make the best of the situation. But when Tara makes a wish that is dearest to her heart, T’s ordinary afternoon leads to an hour of magic that takes her on a journey of discovery and a ride she’ll never forget. This gentle story of a family across the generations weaves enough magic and whimsy to interest children. It also subtly raises the real-life issue of aging. “Sweet T” entertains while opening the door for children to discuss, in an age-appropriate way, the illness of a beloved family member.

***** Review *****

This book was adorable. The illustrations were beautiful and fit perfectly with the story.

Tara, also known as T (or Sweet T after her grandma’s favorite beverage), is getting cabin fever being cooped up in the house. It’s Thanksgiving and the North Wind has already frozen the lake. The old-timers in the village not only are issuing warnings, but they believe the North Wind brings with it something magical.

Sweet T decides that if she can’t ride her scooter outside, she’ll makeshift ride around in the basement. She makes a heartfelt wish, and goes on a journey back in time to her memories. They are good memories, and memories of when her grandma got sick.

The North Wind does indeed bring some magic to town, and at the end of the day Tara’s day she receives some wonderful news.

I commend this book for broaching some of the touchy subjects that we sometimes try to avoid discussing in our culture. The subjects are brought into the story gently and are quite subtle. T describes things in language that kids can understand and would use. It is a great book for approaching this subject with children.

***** About the Author *****

CM_2500x1667.72dpi.971kb-200x300CAT MICHAELS is a writer, small-space gardener, choral singer, and digital dabbler who started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since.

She spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or mayhem, that open young minds to new ways of looking at the world.  With more than two decades helping students from kindergarten to college overcome the challenges of learning disabilities and Asperger’s syndrome, Cat’s books encourage students to use their imagination and problem-solving skills as they enjoy reading.

Watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns illustrates Cat’s Sweet T Tales.  This series of chapter books for early readers follows the adventures of three sisters.  Book 1, Sweet T and the North Wind, is available in print and will debut as an e-book in winter 2014.  Book 2, Finding Fuzzy, a You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend, where children write or draw the story’s ending, earned second place honors in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads