Wednesday, 17 July 2013

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program...

(Yes, the picture is a random picture of a dog in a dress...
but really, a dog dancing in a dress?!?)

I've not been posting on this blog an awful lot lately,
and that is because I've started a new blog at
I will be posting for teens and those who love all things YA over there,
but I will continue posting adult book reviews on this blog.

I would love for you to pop by and have a visit at my new blog,
and if it looks like something that interests you,
follow me. :)

Friday, 12 July 2013

Book Review: Dear Deb

Dear Deb by Margaret Terry

Back cover copy:
I want you to know that if my illness inspired you to write these stories, the cancer was worth it.—Deb

What stories could possibly make cancer worth it?
Stories that represent a miracle—a lifetime of miracles. Stories that changed the writer as she wrote them and stories that will touch the heart of the reader, one by one by one. Stories that are not just stories.
They started out as words of encouragement to a dying woman. They turned into a collection of sparkling and intimate moments, pulled from the past to finally be understood and shared with new meaning.
Story by story, letter by letter, Margaret Terry uncovered powerful pictures in her own life of the one truth that could help carry her friend Deb from this life to the next: God is at work.
Together, Deb and Margaret found renewed hope in all the ways God shows up right to the very end. Which is where they found the miracle they'd been praying for all along. In each other.

Dear Deb isn't your typical book about cancer. Instead of focusing on her ailment Deb focuses on the miracle that is sure to happen.

That miracle is this book. 

Margaret Terry successfully captures the essence of life in her book while looking at the ups and downs of her own journey. 
This book is about the tiny miracles along our paths. 
About finding grace in the everyday.
About truly seeing what our time on earth is,
and what is beyond.

Christian element:
Terry approaches the Christian faith from the perspective of a cautious non-believer. Someone who is searching for hope butHer view of the way Christians look at life is refreshing and not at all stuffy or traditional. Her words reminded me of when I had first tasted the joy of a life with Jesus. Who can close a book like that?

This book is a must read!  
The writing is like  enjoying a delicious meal--nourishing for the soul.

Terry's graciousness and unique way of seeing the world shines through on every page.

I highly recommend this book to those who are struggling through cancer or those who want to see the world through different eyes.
It will bless you.
And that, is the miracle.

I give this book:

 out of 5!

Order pizza and turn off your phone for the evening.
You are reading!

You can check out Margaret Terry on her website. Or join her on Facebook.
You can purchase the book in Canada or the States.

**A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this review.**

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Book Review: Merlin's Blade

Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard
Book 1 of the Merlin's Spiral trilogy

Back cover copy:
When a meteorite crashes near a small village in fifth-century Britain, it brings with it a mysterious black stone that bewitches anyone who comes in contact with its glow -- a power the druids hope to use to destroy King  Uther's kingdom. The only person who seems immune is a young, shy, half-blind swordsmith's son named Merlin.

As his family, village, and even the young Arthur, are placed in danger. Merlin must face his fears and his blindness to take hold of the role ordained for him. But when he is surrounded by adversaries, how will he save the girl he cherishes and rid Britain of this deadly evil ...without losing his life?

The plot was well forged. Full of excitement every step of the way and many twists. I admit to not having a  clue most of the time where Treskillard was going but I took that as a good sign. The ending was very satisfying. Sometimes the plot became a little bogged down with some of the songs, which I know were put there for a reason. Otherwise the other historical elements were woven in naturally and kept me fascinated at how much the author knew.

The characters were well fleshed out. Treskillard is a master at letting you get under the skin of his characters. One challenge is Merlin's partial blindness but he manages to describe things so well despite the blurry images Merlin is able to see.

Christian element: Merlin believes in God despite all obstacles but this does not weigh down the story line with a "holier than though" feeling. The author does a fabulous job of keeping true to the Christian message without being preachy.

Conclusion: I really enjoyed this book! As a first book by a debut author, it delivers a wonderful story! I've always enjoyed stories about Merlin and Treskillard does a wonderful job of weaving in new elements to the story while keeping true to the stories already present. Although this has been marketed mainly to the YA market I believe that many adults, who love historical fantasy, will love this book as well.

I give it

              out of 5

If you want to find out more about this book or other ones written by Robert Treskillard you can visit his blog (there are some great contests going on right now in preparation for the release of his second book).
Here are the links if you are looking to purchase the book in Canada or the States.

Thank you very much to Harper Collins Canada for the free copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Blog posts that inspired me this week.

Summer is just around the corner.
Hence the beach picture.
And conference season is in full swing.
Here are some top picks for blog posts this week.

1) Kirsten Lamb talks about getting out of our way in order to get the words on the page.

2) At Writer Unboxed there is a quiz to see if you are ready to get an agent.

3) A rather surprising answer to the question "When do you write a sequel?" at the Steve Laube Agency blog.

4)What the most satisfying part of writing according to Melissa Tydall at The Write Practice.

5) Cassandra Marshall looks at how to write a dynamic query.

Enjoy. :)

Friday, 31 May 2013

Book Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

This review is super late,
as my internet has been terribly wonky.
I think it has been finally sorted out so you should see much more of me in the next little while.
Lucky you. :)

Back cover copy for Captives (The Safe Lands, Book 1 of 3)
YA Dystopian novel
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem—taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.
Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.
Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.
Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?

My thoughts:
Just Wow.
You all must know by now that I am a big fan of Jill Williamson's work. But this book is truly a great read that will add to your life. No. Really. Williamson has crafted a futuristic world rich in details but which also vaguely echoes the reality we live in today. She also manages to twine in the themes from the biblical story of the exile of Daniel and his friends.
The characters are believable and you care about their plight. And the plot line is rich and fulfilling. 
Although it is an entertaining page turning read it also has a lot of depth to it. What really struck me after I finished reading it was how much the book made me think. How I would catch myself stopping my activity during the day and asking--am I compromising my belief, my faith, for the sake of being entertained?
The book was amazing. And for that reason I give it the highest marks I can:  

                  5 Glorious That means leave supper to cook itself and pick up this book.

Bravo Jill, bravo! I look forward to the next installment.
You can check out Jill Williamson's other books here.
Check out info about this book series here
You can pick up the book at any online store and, most likely, in your own Christian bookstore (I know I saw it up here in Canada).
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by Zondervan for the purpose of reviewing. This, however, has not swayed my personal opinion of this product.

Monday, 1 April 2013

5 Posts that Enlightened me this week

I'm baaaaaack.
So sorry to have missed out on posting last week.
But I've got some lovely posts for writers,
so sit back and enjoy.

Oh, and I figured there were a ton of posts about the Goodreads and Amazon controversial marriage,
so I didn't choose any posts on that subject. :)

1) Gabriela Pereira, founder of DIY MFA, the do-it-yourself alternative to a Masters Degree in writing, shares how "Killing your Darlings" is actually an act of faith.

2) Jeff Goins shares his long journey to becoming a full time writer.

3) The hilarious Kristen Lamb shares what makes for a Successful Author Presence.
*BONUS*: Check out her hilarious post on Being Obsessive. It made me laugh and laugh. :D

4) On Rachelle Gardner's blog Erin MacPherson shares how Pintrest can help an author.

5) At The Creative Penn Joanna shares how to stand out from the crowd of other writers.

Enjoy. :)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Writing Prompt Wednesday #19

It's that wonderful time of week again.
Time to hang out with me,
and do a writing prompt!!!

The rules?
1) Set the timer for 15 minutes.
2) Write about the picture or the topic (or something that jumps into your head)
3) Do NOT edit. Let the words flow. Lock your critic away and let your inner child run free. :)

This week's prompt:

You're in the backseat of a taxi.
Write my little minons! I would love to read your Writing Prompt results! Please post your passage in the comment box or leave a link to your blog post. :)
***BONUS: Joe Bunting at The Write Practice is starting a class for serious writers who are at any level. Check out his Story Cartel Course.