Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Spirit Reviews

I am getting close to the end of my Christmas Spirit reads and am working on my last Christmas themed book. So far I have read
The Sound of Sleigh Bells (Apple Ridge #1)
Waterbrook Press

Beth Hertzler fell in love with the wrong guy and they both paid for her decision. Instead of allowing herself to be open to love, she decides to throw herself into her job working with her maiden Aunt Lizzy. As Beth travels around looking for Amish made goods to stock in the store, she falls in love with the work of an Amish woodcarver. Jonah, and begins writing to him after her matchmaking aunt lets her believe Jonah is an old man. Can Beth open her heart to Jonah and can Aunt Lizzy be open to love herself? Christmas love is as simple as a sleigh ride. This was a sweet and stress free read for one of my book club groups and a 5 cups of cocoa read. I don't read much Christian fiction and this is my first Amish read, but I really liked it. The characters work through problems that are not as simple as their lifestyle would lead you to believe.
The Christmas Promise (Christmas Hope, #4)
St. Martin's Press

Gloria, affectionately known as Miss Glory by all those she helps, is faced with the daunting task of helping her fastidious neighbor Miriam, after Miriam's house floods. Miriam has always resented the "trash," people drop off at Gloria's, but Gloria always restores the broken cars, refrigerators, and other donated goods as well as restoring the faith and life of those she helps. Gloria always embraces these challenges as a tribute to her late husband and has one wish to help her lost son. This Christmas she helps a pregnant woman, an abused woman, and receives the best miracle of all. A heartwarming story and another book club read. 4 cups of cocoa!
When Christmas Comes

This one is also known as Trading Christmas and has been made into a Hallmark movie. I haven't seen the movie, but it was a cute read. Widowed Emily Springer does not want to spend Christmas without her daughter Heather and when Heather says she cannot travel home, Emily decides to surprise her in Boston. Emily and a stuffy Harvard professor, Charles Brewster trade homes. Charles will stay in Leavenworth, Washington and Emily will be in Boston. Emily's divorced friend, Faith, worries about Emily being alone and decides to travel to Leavenworth to spend Christmas with her. Emily is shocked when she arrives in Boston and Heather runs off with a biker rather than spending Christmas with her. Charles and Faith are both shocked to see each other in Leavenworth and decide to make the most of a bad situation. Meanwhile a heart-broken Emily ends up with Charles' brother Ray on her doorstep and they decide to embrace the season. Can all hearts be mended by Christmas?
This was a sweet read too and had a nice storyline. 4 cups of cocoa.
The Perfect Christmas

This was not my favorite Christmas story by Macomber. Even for predictable romances this one was really predictable and the romance just fell flat for me. Cassie decides to go to a professional matchmaker, Simon, to help her find the perfect man and to have the perfect Christmas, since her bad relationship with her father seems to have ruined both. Simon is rude, but generally effective in his matches, since he uses complicated psychology to achieve them. He promises he will match Cassie with a man named John if she correctly completes three tasks. Cassie's friend, Angie, who recommended Simon, is discreetly in love with Cassie's artist brother, Shawn, and this is all but obvious to everyone, but Cassie. Will Cassie and Angie both get happy endings? Will Cassie allow her heart to mend? I am not saying anymore than that, because it would give away the ending. This was only a 3 cups of cocoa read for me, despite finishing it in a day.
The Christmas Singing (Apple Ridge #2)
Waterbrook Press

Okay I got sucked into this series and the last book I am working on for this Christmas is the third and final one in this series. This is the second one. Mattie always loved Gideon, since she was a young girl, and he seemed to always love her, until she catches him hugging an Englischer woman. Gideon allows Mattie to believe he doesn't love her and she moves away from Apple Ridge and opens her own cake shop. There she mets Sol, who loves hunting and both see that they could have an easy life together each pursuing their own passions, until Mattie's shop burns and she has to return to Apple Ridge while rebuilding. There she must face her past and find out if Gideon's true reasons for letting her leave are enough to make her trust and love him again. Where will she spend her Christmas singing, with the nice man who she trusts but has no passion for or with the one she truly loves, but is not for sure she trusts? Do good intentions outweigh past hurts? This was another sweet only slightly complicated story and I enjoyed it almost as much as the first one in this series. 4.5 cups of cocoa!

With the Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall, I will write the review separately, since I am using it for COYER too.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bout of Books 15 Signup post

Bout of Books

Here is the official blurb: The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I love Bout of Books and I started with Bout of Books 5 and fell in love with BoB! The Twitter chats are awesome and it is a great way to meet other bloggers and find new reads. Thanks to Amanda and Kelly for hosting!

I also signed up to be an expert this time! If you have any questions, let me know.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

COYER Signup


This is hosted by Berls, Michelle, and Stormi and you can sign up at this link.

This COYER challenge is going back to basics, which means free Kindle book, free review copies,
library e-checkouts, and if the ebook is not free, than it has to be under $5. I think gifted books is okay too, but you may want to check with the hosts if you go that route.

I have so many review copies and ebooks under $5 that I need to finish and I am constantly checking out ebooks from the library. I hope to finish at least 3 ebooks before the end of COYER and I would love to read more. I also hope to participate more in the activities on Facebook and Twitter. I don't have an instagram account yet, so I will probably not be on there.

Thanks to Berls, Michelle, and Stormi for hosting!

Lack of posts lately

Well, I have only posted twice this month and both times were wrap up posts for last month's challenges. I have spent the whole first part of this month grading and finally finished last night and my husband has been sick with an infection and bronchitis since the end of November, which included a trip to the ER. Then I thought about blogging and writing the several reviews I needed to write and decided it is too much. I am just going to start over new in January. I may write one review this month, when I finish Doll Bones to finish the Newbery challenge, but I am giving up on the rest of the challenges. Starting tonight or possibly tomorrow I plan on signing up for next year's challenges, so you should see a plethora of posts soon! Thanks to everyone who follows and I can't wait to catch up on all of your posts that I still need to read!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge: November Update

Bookish Resolution Challenge

So September did not go well and I did not do an update, but I am back on track with October's update. This is hosted by Michelle at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life and Laura at Trips Down Imagination Road and you can sign up at this link.
My resolutions:
1. Read at least 6 Classics this year.
2. Finish at least half of the challenges that I signed up for this year.
3. Finish at least 4 series this year, particularly ones where I have only the last book in the series left to read.
4. Try to blog more, like at least 10 posts a month.
5. Get healthy!

1. I have finished 6 Classics and hope to finish 2 more this month. I finished Dracula and Wuthering Heights and just need to type up my thoughts on Dracula. I have finished this goal, but still want to try to finish my goal for the Classics Challenge I signed up for.
2. I have a lot of work to do on this. I have completed 4 of 10. I should finish at least one more, but I hope to finish more than that. Here is where I stand on these challenges:

I have finished 4 and my goal is 6. It is possible I can finish this, but not likely. I am going to aim on finishing at least one more before the year is out!
preqseqbutton2015 I have met my goal for this challenge! I earned 18 points to complete the Newbie Level!
The Daily Prophecy I have read 3 of 5 for this one and I will be really sad if I fail at this goal again this year. :(
BBRC_2 I have read 2 of 5 for this goal. I will probably not get this one finished.
I have read 8 of 10 here. I need to write up two reviews and finish two more books. It is possible I will finish this one, but I may end up being just a little short on this.
I met my 10 book goal! I am still reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, but it would be number 11.
I Love Library Books Challenge: Since most of my books read this year have been library books, I have completed this one too!
Picture I have one more book left to read and then I am done. I am reading Doll Bones now, so I believe I will finish this one!
I have finished this one. I signed up for 1-3 books and have read 2!
Another one completed! I read 4 books and signed up for 1-5 books.
Again I failed at this one. :( I read three books, better than last year's 2, but did not make it to 10 and will not make it to 10 by the end of the year.

3. This one is completed! I still need to finish a couple of more series for some of my year long challenges, but for this challenge this goal is done!
4. Well, I only did 7 posts last month, so I will work harder on this one!
5. I am back on track on this goal. I hit a rough spot around Thanksgiving, but I am hoping to have lost weight for the year by the end of December.

Thanks again to Michelle and Laura for hosting this! I hope to sign up soon for next year's challenge!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon Wrapup

Michelle's read-a-thon was a great way to get in the Christmas Spirit. I am really feeling the Christmas excitement and anticipation!

I was able to finish Wonderland Creek and read a total of 480 pages in this book. I also read 230 pages in The Sound of Sleigh Bells and am about 30 pages from the end. I read a grand total of 710 pages, which is pretty awesome for me!

Thank you again to Michelle for hosting!