Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monthly Reflections (#7) ~ July


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Monthly Reflections, where we take the time to reflect on the previous month.

My goals for July were...

I want to read at least 10 books in July - including:
2 eBooks
A book starting with the letter "E"
1 "Just for Fun" book
2 Non-fiction books


In July, I...

Read 11 books!
2 eBooks!
A Book starting with the letter "E" (End Game)
1 "Just for Fun book (End Game)
0 Nonfiction books. :(

Books read:



 

Out of the books I read this month, my favorite was Prince Incognito by Rachelle McCalla! LOVED IT! :)

Reviews:

Conception by Jennifer Hartz
Prism by Rachel Moschell
The Rogue's Reform by Regina Scott
The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd
Prince Incognito by Rachelle McCalla
Small Town Protector by Hope White

Interviews:

Ashley Townsend
Evan Angler
Keli Gwyn
Darlene Shortridge
L.N. Cronk

Special Posts:



I asked for feedback on having book discussions. Today is the last day to nominate a book that will go a poll tomorrow.



I did a "Thank you" giveaway (ends 8/18).

BBT

I signed up for the "Review Copy Cleanup" which starts tomorrow! Super excited about that! :)



I was interviewed on Sherri's blog.

Reading Challenges:

I am doing really well (in my opinion) in the challenges I signed up for!

Here is my progress so far:

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012! - 67 of 100
Christian Suspense Reading Challenge - 26 of 50
50 States Challenge - 29 of 50
Mount TBR Reading Challenge - 4 of 12
The Mini YA Reading Challenge - 7 of 12
2012 eBook Challenge - 9 of 10
Bookie Friends Favorites - 0 of 5
2012 Contentment Reading Challenge - 0 of 5
2nds Challenge - 15 of 20
Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Challenge - 5 of 15
Just for Fun Reading Challenge - 7 of 12
Reading Challenge Addict -


I've completed these challenges:


New Authors Challenges - 25 of 25
Speculative Fiction Challenge 2012 - 3 of 3
Around the Stack in How Many Ways - 10 of 10
Read Your Name Challenge - 7 of 7 (Just completed this month!)
1st in a Series Challenge - 20 of 20


There are also some Goodreads challenges I am participating in, but I'm not going to list all of those. :)

My thoughts on this month:

Even though I didn't finish any nonfiction book this month, I still think it was a great reading month for me - I read 11 books (one more than my goal!) and I finally finished the "Read Your Name" challenge (which I've been trying to do for a while)!

Looking ahead:


Here is what I hope to accomplish in August...

I am going to try and really push myself this month, so I'm hoping to read 15 books including:
Read 12 Review Books
3 eBooks
1 Just for Fun book
2 Non-fiction books

Yikes! That is a really large goal for me (I don't know if I've ever read fifteen books in one month!), but I'm hoping I'll be able to complete those goals. :)


Now it's your turn! What did you accomplish in July, what do you hope to accomplish in August?


If you want to do your own Monthly Reflections, feel free to grab the button and post about it on your blog, then leave a comment with the URL - otherwise, please share your thoughts in a comment!
Monday, July 30, 2012

Interview & Giveaway! L.N. Cronk ~ Author of Chop, Chop!!



Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Leeann! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

Thank you for having me! I am a full-time teacher and part-time writer. I live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina with my husband and two children.

What is Chop, Chop about?

It is a contemporary Christian fiction novel about a young man named David and his relationship with two friends – Greg and Laci. As the three grow closer, David’s relationship with God grows as well, but then a tragedy strikes and David must struggle to find his way back to God. Chop, Chop takes place from the time David is in the 7th grade until his senior year in college and  (because of this) it is often pegged as a “young adult” novel. Demographics, however, show that women between the ages of 25 and 55 are my main audience (especially for the sequels!)

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?


That I’m female. As an author I go by  “L.N. Cronk” and tell my stories from a male’s point of view, so they often assume that I’m a man.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


I have been writing stories ever since I was a little girl.

How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite?


I have just released Book 7 in the Chop, Chop series. I would have to say that Book 1 – Chop, Chop – is probably my favorite since the others couldn’t exist without it. I also like it because it is a stand-alone novel - even though it is the first in a series, it doesn’t leave you hanging!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Probably the fact that I don’t seem to be able to write from a woman’s point of view – I think that’s kind of weird! I think maybe it’s too personal for me to write as a woman protagonist or something, I’m not sure.

Where do you like to write?


Curled up in bed with my laptop.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?


Read (also while curled up in bed)!

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?


I would love to visit the Holy Land and Italy.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?


My favorite song of all time is Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig and Dean. I also like Forrest Gump a lot!

What is your favorite dessert?


Double-Stuf Oreos!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?


John 14:2 - In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. I love this, not just because it gives us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to, but because (in my opinion) it means that Jesus knew what the disciples believed and He was telling them that He would have set them straight if their beliefs were wrong. It’s kind of hard to explain, but that’s very important to me.

Here are a few this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms?


Both!

Tea or Coffee?


Neither!

Movie Theater or DVD?


I rarely have time for either, but I like going to the movies when I have the chance.

Early-bird or Night-owl?


A weird mix of both! I like sleeping in and staying up late, but am usually forced to do just the opposite.

Cats or Dogs?


Dogs.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?


I am about halfway through Book 8 in the Chop, Chop series – Alone, (which I hope to have finished by the end of the summer). I am also working on two companion novels that will follow.

Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

Yes! I would like for everyone to know that Chop, Chop is FREE for Kindle and Nook. It is currently the top-rated free book in Kindle Fiction and is also on the best seller list for Religious Fiction. As I said earlier, Chop, Chop is a stand-alone novel, but there are sequels for those who would like to follow the characters further. Thank you SO much for having me here – many blessings to you! You can find me at my website (www.LNCronk.com) as well as on my Amazon author page (www.amazon.com/author/lncronk) and on the Chop, Chop Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/ReadChopChop). Thanks again!

Giveaway!


As Leeann said above, Chop, Chop is free for Kindle and Nook, but you can also enter to win a signed paperback copy of Chop, Chop here! All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below. Open Internationally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Small Town Protector by Hope White

Small Town Protector by Hope White

About the book:

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT 

Sending his family away years ago was the hardest thing FBI special agent Garrett Drake ever did. But it was the only way to shield them from a case turned terrifyingly personal. Now a serial killer has come to town. To safeguard his estranged son-and the entire Port Whisper community-Garrett needs help. And that means reaching out to Lana Burns, a captivating woman who cuts through his defenses. Garrett would willingly risk his life to uncover the killer. But to get a second chance at happiness, Lana has to convince the wary agent to risk his heart....
My rating:
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My thoughts:

Small Town Protector is the third book in Hope White's "Port Whisper" series and the second book of hers I've read (the first being Christmas Haven back in December).

I found it very nice that some of the characters from Christmas Haven were in Small Town Protector - it was great to find out what was happening in their lives.

The suspense in Small Town Protector was really good - I especially liked how there were little segments in the story where we got to see inside the serial killer's mind, and, since it didn't reveal his/her identity, I feel that it heightened the suspense.

I liked the characters in Small Town Protector: Lana's like an open book and very trusting/kind; Garrett was very protective and it was sweet how much he cared for his son; and Steven (a.k.a. Sketch), who was one of my favorite characters from this book, had a lot to deal with - both emotionally and physically. It was really interesting to see how he reacted to certain things and I liked how computer savvy he was.

There was romance, which is to be expected with Love Inspired Suspense books, and I enjoyed that part of the story as well.

Overall, Small Town Protector was a great book that I loved reading - in fact, I finished it in a day! I didn't know whether to give it 4.5 or 5 stars, but in the end I went with 5 stars. I don't know whether or not there will be another book with these characters, but I'm kinda hoping there will be. There were a few minor things that didn't seem answered in the end.

I recommend Small Town Protector if you enjoy romantic suspense books, but I suggest reading "Witness on the Run" and "Christmas Haven" first - although it probably isn't necessary in order to enjoy this book.

*I received this book for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*



Friday, July 27, 2012

Guess What?!


Just wanted to let you all know I was interviewed over at Sherri Wilson Johnson's blog. Sherri is generously offering an eBook copy of her book, To Dance Once More, so be sure to stop by and leave a comment to enter. I read it earlier this year and loved it (read my review here).

Weekend Report #40 (7/27-7/29)

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Weekend Report is where I share what I accomplished (book-wise) the previous week! Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Report on your blog/site. If you do, please leave the URL in a comment below.

What I'm currently reading:

Corridor (A MythWorks Novel)

Rereading Corridor - LOVE that book! :) 


I also started reading Green by Ted Dekker on audio book this week.

Nonfiction:


  What I've read this week:



What I think I'll read soon: 


I am SO excited to read Over the Edge and Short-Straw Bride!! I have a feeling I'm going to love those books. :)

Reviews posted this week:

None. :(

  Current Giveaways!


Enter to win A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gwyn! US and Canada. Here is the link to enter.



Enter to win The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd! US only. Here is the link to enter.



Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card! Here is the link to enter.



Enter to win Until Forever by Darlene Shortridge! Open Internationally! Here is the link to enter.

  So that's what I accomplished (book-wise) this week, what about you? Please share in a comment below. :)
Thursday, July 26, 2012

CFBA: The Kingdom by Brian M. Litfin



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Kingdom
Crossway Books (June 30, 2012)
by
Brian M. Litfin


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Three in the Chiveis Trilogy

War and disease have destroyed the modern world. Centuries later, feudal societies have arisen across Europe. No one can remember the ancient religion of Christianity—until an army captain and a farmer’s daughter discover the Sacred Writing of the one true God.
As Teo and Ana encounter the forgotten words of the holy book, they realize its message is just what their kingdom needs. Though exiled from their homeland, they join their hearts in a quest to return. But now an ancient pact has united the enemies of the Christian faith into a dark alliance that threatens to consume the known world. Racing to stay one step ahead of their enemies, Teo and Ana must battle heinous villains, stormy seas, and the powers of the underworld itself. As armies begin to mass for a final battle, the odds favor the forces of evil. Can Teo and Ana bring divine truth to Chiveis—or will the Word of God fade from the earth forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Kingdom, go HERE.