Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bout of Books 10.0: Day 5 (Friday May 16)

I was busy all day and was unable to read very much.  On a hppy note, I got to try on wedding dresses today and I picked up 9 books for $6 at my local Goodwill.

Reading Completed:

  • Continued Deception (71%-79%; 30 pages)

Other Bout of Book News:

Nothing for today, but I hope to read a lot more this Saturday :)

So Today I: 

  • Continued Deception
  • Read 30 pages

Bout of Books 10.0 Challenge: Retitle Your Current Read

This is a bittersweet moment.  This is the last challenge of Bout of Books 10.0.  I have really loved this read-a-thon and it is sad that is coming to an end.  Here is a blurb about this awesome challenge from the host, Oh Magic Hour:
For this, your final mini-challenge of the readathon, I thought it would be fun if we all tried to come up with a new title for our current read, or really anything we’ve read during this Bout of Books 10.0.  For me, a great title can really go a long way toward making me want to read a book and I thought it would be fun to play with that concept a little bit.  Your new title can be something you ACTUALLY think would make a good title, or just something descriptive or something funny!  It’s totally up to you!

I thought that I would come up with a funny, but definitely true, title for Deception by Stacy Claflin.  This is also kind of a preview for my review, coming soon.

My retitling is, "The Never-Ending Love Triangle that is Reminiscent of Twilight".

Did you participate in this challenge?  What book did you retitle? Link me up :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: Second Chances 101

second chances tour

Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver

Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough.

For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do.

Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.

DonnaWAuthor Donna K. Weaver

Donna K. Weaver has always loved reading and creating stories, thus she’s been ever entertained. An avid cruiser, she’s sailed the Pacific five times. Wife-mother-grandmother-Army veteran-karate black belt-Harry Potter nerd.


This is a great, sweet romance about two people who were previously married and have children.  It is perfectly sweet, but a little cliche.  The writing style is perfect.  The suspense is eloquently written and it leaves you wanting more.  There were sexual references, but no details were provided.  This was probably one of my favorites in the series, but I do have to give it a 4/5 because this series is supposed to be a clean romance series.

Recommended Reading Age: 16+
Rating: 4/5

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/26/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


The door burst open and a pretty girl with long strawberry blond hair stomped out. Her headlong rush drove her right at Francie, who squeezed against the wall, almost out of the way. Their shoulders hit, and they both stumbled. As Francie steadied herself, she could see tears in the girl’s heavily made up eyes. Staggering for a couple of paces, she managed to stay on her feet and then ran down the hallway.

“Come back here,” a man yelled from inside. He dashed out the door and halfway down the hall before it was obvious the student had made her escape.

Yelling at a student and chasing her down the hallway? That can't be my new boss. Francie couldn’t help staring at the compact but solidly built—almost buff—man who stood with his back to her. The angry energy came off him in waves, and she had to fight a primal instinct to run and hide. Giving a quick glance over her shoulder, Francie began to edge away. Maybe she could pretend she hadn’t seen. Suddenly the man swore and spun around, seeming to see Francie for the first time.

“What are you doing there?” he growled. “Eavesdropping?”

Bout of Books 10.0: Day 4 (Thursday, May 15)

I have added one goal to my #boutofbooks goals.  I am hoping to listen to at least 30 minutes of The Scorch Trials audiobook everyday for the rest of the read-a-thon.

Reading Completed:

I read 216 pages today.  Today was a day that I could not just settle into a book.  Here is what I read:
  • I began an Audiobook of The Scorch Trials by James Dashner yesterday, but I did not get far at all (less than 3 minutes).  I continued the Audiobook today and finished part one and went onto a little of part 2 so that I could finish the 8th chapter (1 hr 15 min; Chapters 1-8; 11% complete)
  • Continued and Finished Thrive by Mark Hall (86%-end; 30 pages)
  • Started Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic (page 1-17; 17 pages) 
  • Started and DNF Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn (page 1-30; 30 pages)
  • Started and DNF Prom Anonymous by Blake Nelson (page 1-16; 16 pages)
  • Continued Deception by Stacy Clafin (38%-71%; 123 pages)
I am greatly enjoying The Scorch Trials.  I did not really enjoy The Maze Runner.   The pace was much too slow for me.  I might reread this in paperback form when I am finished with the Audiobook.
I finished Thrive by Mark Hall and it was AMAZING.  Review will be up soon.

I also started Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic.  This is the first book that I have read by him, but I have seen some of his sermons on TV.

I found out that we would be going to Goodwill tomorrow, so I decided to pick up a few books that I was not sure if I would like in order to deicde if I wanted to donate them or not.  First I picked up Deep and Dark and Dangerous.  I thought that this was a contemporary book, but I found out that it is actually a horror/ghost book.  I had not looked at Goodreads before I started reading the book.  I decided to DNF this book because I am not a huge fan of horror books.  The writing style was pretty good though.

I also picked up Prom Anonymous and also decided to DNF and donate this book due to inappropriate content. 

 I continued Deception and I am starting to not enjoy this book as much.  It is really starting to go down hill.  I will discuss this more after I finish the book and write a review.

Other Bout of Book News:

Today I did one Bout of Books challenge: Spell It Out Challenge

 I also participated in several informal reading sprints.

So Today I: 

  • Listened to 1 hr and 15 min of an audiobook
  • Continued and Finished 1 book
  • Started and plan to continue 1 book
  • Started and DNF 2 books
  • Continued 1 book
  • Read 216 pages
  • Participated in 1 challenge
  • Participated in informal reading sprints

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Rylee Everley Series Books 1 and 2

Rylee Everley Series Tour Banner

The Rylee Everley Series

By S.M. Knowles

Young Adult ~ Paranormal Romance

Unusual Awakening

Book 1

1 Synopsis

With tears and a tight hug, Rylee Everley’s dad left for Afghanistan with the Army Reserve. Since his deployment, her mom has been distant, her sisters are constantly fighting, and Rylee, at only thirteen years old, has to be the glue to keep them together. While her mother stays locked in her room, Rylee has been forced into the role of parent.
Now, two years later, a freak accident involving a bus at school promises to restore some normality to her family. In spite of not knowing how their father is, her mother is happy and her sisters don’t seem to fight as much as they used to. Rylee herself is seeing more of her friends and is even trying to sort out her own feelings about Brock Parker. However, something dark threatens to disrupt that normality for personal gain, and that darkness is willing to break every rule to get what it wants.

Book 1

1 Buy Links

1 My Review

The first book in this series was not my favorite book.  There was not much of a plot and there was a lot of confusion about how the storyline was progressing.  The pace of the book was really slow and I took several breaks while reading this book.  That being said, there is a lot of potential in this book.  The characters were pretty interesting and that minor romance plot was also interesting.  I enjoyed the emotions that this book led me to have.  The sadness that was in Rylee's family because of her father being gone was really touching.  I believe that with some further edits, this book would be amazing.  I incredibly enjoyed the last 10-20% of the book when the pace of the plot really picked up.

Rating: 3/5

Awakening Dream

Book 2

1 Synopsis

Since her father disappeared while in Afghanistan, Rylee Everley has been taking things one day at a time. After burying their friend over the summer, she and her friends returned to school for their junior year. While her friends are worried about career choices and the future, she hangs on to a secret. Witches exist, and they live here among us. She has been asked to help vanquish a half witch who has caused some problems with only a wisp trapped in a necklace to help her, her own manifesting gifts, and cryptic dreams to guide her.
To top it all off, her childhood friend, and crush, has been acting really strange ever since he started dating Adysin. He ditched the football team, and he acts like a totally different person. They were once so close, and now she finds herself missing him and feeling guilty for pushing him away. Is this just concern for a friend she’s feeling or could it be love? Can Rylee save her childhood friend from a witch who’s willing to go to any length and pay any price to keep him?
Rylee Everley Series by S.M. Knowles
1 Buy Links

1 My Review

Wow!  This book was really great!  The pace of the plot really picked up in this book and it was packed with adventure!  The paranormal aspects of this book were not incredibly unique, but they were certainly interesting and heightened the plot and the emotions in the book.  I cannot say much about the plot, since this is the second book in the series, but this series is well worth reading!  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.  I will be buying it as soon as it comes out.

Rating: 4/5
1 Author Bio
Rylee Everley Series by S.M. Knowles
S.M. Knowles was born in Elmira, New York where she was swept away in a whirlwind to the Land of Oz--Independence, Kansas. Her parents were relocating for working opportunities and decided that this would be the perfect place to start new roots. Little did she know that this place would contribute to the inspiration for the first book she wrote in her Rylee Everley Series.
While growing up, S.M. would travel the roads around her house while imagining she was somewhere else. Her imagination would take her everywhere, making the long hot summer days seem shorter throughout her fantasies.
At the age of twelve, she decided to write her first book. Filled mostly with dialog, she filled up one-hundred pages, front and back. After taking the book downstairs to show her mom, and persuading her to buy her more paper, she excitedly ran back to her room. As she barreled through the door, S.M. tripped over items left on her floor, and her papers came raining down in her room. Discouraged, she stood there in tears, picking up her papers and throwing them in the trash. Her work had no organization, no numbers on her pages, just a child fulfilling a joy that she would put down and not pick up again.
When she became older, she joined the military for something different. In that time, she was able to explore many places and even met her husband in Iraq. After coming home, she started her family in Arizona and went back to school, earning a Master's degree in Adult Education and Training.

1 Blog Tour Hosting

Bout of Books 10.0 Day 4 Challenge: Spell It Out Challenge

I have not gotten anything read yet today, but who doesn;'t like a good book related challenge.  Today's Bout of Books challenge is entitled, "Spell It Out Challenge".  Here are the rules:

The Rules
  1. Use the first letter in any book you’ve read or want to read to spell out a word. You can choose first name, initials, your birthday month, or your zodiac sign.
  2. Share your word on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.
  3. Submit a link to your post in the linky below! You’ll get an extra FIVE entries in the Rafflecopter international giveaway for an eBook of your choice (Amazon or B&N, up to $10 USD) for participating in this challenge. You MUST be participating in Bout of Books 10.0 to be eligible to win the giveaway, but you can always post your answer in the comments just for fun if you aren’t a participant.
  4. If you tweet about this challenge, don’t forget to mention me, @kimberlyreads, and use the #boutofbooks hashtag.
Today, I will be spelling out my first name in books that I have read and really loved.  Here it goes:



Bout of Books 10.0: Day 3 (Wednesday, May 15)

Reading Completed:

    Today I read a total of 247 pages.  I surpassed my goal :) Here is what I read today:
    • Finished Awakening Dream (44%-end; 131 pages)
    • Continued Thrive (76%-87%; 25 pages)
    • Read some out of my Bible from the Book of Job and the Book of Psalm (5 pages)
    • Continued reading Deception (15%-38%; 86 pages)
    I enjoyed Awakening Dream so much more than the first book in the series, Awakening Dream.  The plot was so rich!  More about that though in the review that will be posted tomorrow.

    I am really enjoying Thrive, but it is very rich in spiritual inspiration and guidance that I can only read so much in one sitting.

    I did a Bible study with my fiance and read some out of Psalms today.  I continued my reading of the Book of Job also.  It's really great, of course.

    Deception is so amazing!  It is one of the best and unique vampire books I have read in a long time.  It is written so well.  I cannot wait to read the rest of this book!


    Other Bout of Book News:

    Today I did one Bout of Books challenges: This Made Me Think of That

     I also participated in several informal reading sprints and the twitter chat.  Here are some of the questions and some of my answers for this twitter chat:


    Here are some other great/funny answers:


    So Today I: 

    • Continued and Finished 1 book
    • Continued Reading 2 books
    • Read 247 pages
    • Participated in 1 Bout of Books Challenge
    • Participated in unofficial reading sprints
    • Participated in the Twitter chat 

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    Bout of Books 10.0 Day 3 Challenge: This Made Me Think of That

    Today's Bout of Books 10.0 challenge is entitled, "This Made Me Think of That".  Here is a blurb from the host of this challenge, The Overstuffed Shelves:

    Just think about the book you are reading now, or one you've read before, and tell me something you think goes with it and why.
    The something can be another book, a movie, a song, a ballet, a drink, a special food or need to get Proustian about it, but if madelines are involved, it's okay.
     I am going to relate the Unusual Awakening by S.M. Knowles to a few things.  I just finished this book yesterday for Bout of Books, so it is fresh on my mind.


     made me think about:  
    This book made me cry so many times because of the bad circumstances that Rylee was in.  It also made me think about the importance of my family because Rylee's family was very important to her.

    Bout of Books 10.0: Day 2 (Tuesday, May 13)

    Reading Completed:

    Today, I read a total of 210 pages.  I barely reached my goal of 200 pages.  Here is what I read:
    • Finished Unusual Awakening by S.M. Knowles (last 60%; 107 pages)
    • Started Awakening Dream by S.M. Knowled (44%; 103 pages)
    I plan on finishing Awakening Dream tomorrow so that I can have a review out by Thursday for a blog tour.  I am enjoying this second book in the series much more than I enjoyed Unusual Awakening.

    I also plan on reading and possibly finishing Thrive by Mark Hall.  I am currently 76% finished with this book.  I am not sure which book I will tackle after that to get my finishing pages for my 200 page goal.

    Other Bout of Book News:

    Today I did two Bout of Books challenges: Bookish Battle Royal and Most Anticipated Books.

    I also participated in several reading sprints that were hosted by participates of Bout of Books, @bookishlou, @AliciaJespersen, and @HelenTheBookowl.  I also hosted a few sprints myself and plan on hosting a few tomorrow as well.

    My favorite part about this read-a-thon so far is not meeting my goals, but rather meeting and sociallizing with new people.  I have met so many people through the sprints, challenges, and twitter chats.  I have also found new book review blogs that I am interested in keeping up with.  I cannot wait to see what tomorrow holds with this read-a-thon!

    So Today I: 

    • Continued and Finished 1 book
    • Began 1 book
    • Participated in 2 challenges
    • Participated in several informal and unofficial reading sprints   

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Children's Book Review Tuesdays: Educational Books

    Book Title: Boy Meets Dog

    Author:  Valerie Wyatt

    Illustrations by: Dave Whamond

    Publish Date: August 1, 2013

     Why I Read this Book: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from Edelweiss.  This in no way influenced my review.

    Find It Here: Amazon (affiliate link)


    This is a great interactive book!  This book starts out as a simple word game (changing one letter at a time in a word to make it another word) and became a cute little story. I would definitely recommend this book for children!

    Final Statements

    Recommended Reading Age:  4-8

    Overall Rating: 5/5

    Book Title: The Wonderful Egg

    Author:   Dhalov Ipcar

    Illustrations by:  Dhalov Ipcar

    Publish Date: May 13, 2014

    Why I Read this Book: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from Edelweiss.  This in no way influenced my review.

    Find It Here: Amazon (affiliate link)


    I found this book a bit dry and I think children may find it dry also.  I liked the overall idea behind the book, but I do not think it was executed well.  I did like the illustrations.  It would be good for children who want to learn more about the different types of dinosaurs.

    Final Statements

    Recommended Reading Age:  4-8

    Overall Rating: 2/5

    Bout of Books 10.0 Day 2 Challenge: Most Anticipated Books

    This challenge is hosted by River City Reading.

    Here is a blurb from her blog about the challenge:

    Last month I created a list of ten summer titles I'm looking forward to. Your challenge is simple: create a list of titles you're looking forward to reading. They can be upcoming titles in a specific season, titles that have been on your shelves, it's up to you!

    I am going to list the top 5 most anticipated books that I have on my shelf.  If I did the most anticipated books in general, we could be here for days.

     1.  The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
    This book I picked up at a local library book sale.  It is an adult mystery.
     2.  Messiah in the Story of the Hebrew Scriptures by Greg Zhelezny

    This is a book that shows how Jesus is in the Old Testament and not just the New Testament.  The mother of the author came to my church to talk about how Jesus is expressed in the Passover dinner.  This is when I picked up this book.
     3.  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    I picked up a copy of this book at the Goodwill.  It is the version with the beautiful cover from the movie.  This is a young adult book about a girl who has died and gone to Heaven and is looking down to earth as life continues on earth.  Included in the people she sees is her murderer.
     4.  Gone by Michael Grant

    I got this book from Book Outlet for a really good price.  This is a young adult book about when teens wake up everyone is gone except for the young.
    5.  Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

    I got this book for Christmas last year.  This is an adult christian fiction novel about a female homicide investigator and a male FBI agent.

    What are your most anticipated books on your shelf?  Comment or link your posts below.

    Bout of Books 10.0 Day 2 Challenge: Bookish Battle Royal

    This challenge is hosted by Christina @ My Life in Books.  Here are the rules:

    1. Choose three or more fictional characters as combatants – they can be haphazardly picked or themed
    2. List three strengths and weakness for each contender
    3. Determine who would come out victorious and give a little explanation why you think they would win – get creative with the outcomes!
    4. Link in the comments and if you tweet about this challenge make sure to use the hashtag #bookbattleroyal in addition to #boutofbooks because I want to see all your dueling characters!
    I chose to pick an epic battle of paranormal proportions.

    The Contenders
    Our first contender is Gabil from The Lost Books Series by Ted Dekker.  Gabil is a rouch who oddly enough looks like a fluffy white bat.  He has amazing karate moves that are used best by flying creatures like himself.  He loves to boast, which may be seen as a disadvantage because he is unable to realize his own weaknesses due to his arrogancy.  He has the ability to swoop in from the skies and startle his opponents.  Will he win in this epic paranormal battle?
    Our second contender is Samantha Ruiz from Rippler by Cidney Swanson.  Samantha Ruiz, called Sam by her friends, has the ability to disappear within seconds.  This ability may come in handy if projectiles come towards her.  The disadvantage to this technique is that she has to be extremely calm in order to be able to disappear, AKA ripple.  She is a fast runner as she participates in the track team at her high school.  She is light weight and people may not be able to see her coming (haha! ripple pun!).  She does have a clumsiness about her that may lead to her defeat.  Will Sam's ability to ripple give her the win in this epic paranormal battle?
    Our last contender is Fluffy from the Harry Potter series.  Fluffy is a three-headed dog with a vicious growl.  His weakness is that he falls asleep rather quickly when music is played.

    The Battle

    Here we are at one of the lakes located in the forests of the Lost Books series.  I am your commentator, Lee Jordan from the Harry Potter series.  Fluffy seems to be ready to battle but where are our other contenders?  Oh there is Sam she just appeared from no where.  She is mighty fast and rather attractive, too.  Gabil comes flying from the sky with a...what is that?  Is that a flute?  Does he plan to use it as a sword?  No it seems as if he is playing it.  How does he fair that will help him in this competition?

    Ohhhh... Fluffy seems to be falling asleep.  That flute seems to hold some power over the giant dog.  Hagrid its okay.  There is always next years competition.

    As he continues to play the flute, Gabil seems to be flying in for a mighty roundhouse kick, but Sam quickly ripples out of sight.  Man this competition is really getting tough.

    Oh there is Sam again, but her arm seems to be stuck in a tree.  Man that is bad luck for her as Gabil comes in with one of his famous kicks and Sam is out.  That arm is going to hurt for a while.  Maybe I can carry her books to class for her.  Well anyways, the winner is Gabil, the fierce rouch warrior.

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Bout of Books 10.0: Day 1 (Monday, May 12)

    Today I got quite a bit of reading done.  I was in a slump during the morning hours; I was reading a book that I did not really enjoy.  I picked up on my reading later in the day though.

    Reading Completed:

    I ended up reading 245 pages today (45 pages over my goal per day).  This included:
    • Starting and Finishing Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver (144 pages)
    • Finishing Chosen by Ted Dekker (pages 230-260; 30 pages)
    • Starting Unusual Awakening by S.M. Knowles (40%; 71 pages)
    I really enjoyed Second Chances 101.  This is the 5th book in a romance novella series called The Ripple Effect Romance Novella series.  I am reading this novella series as part of a blog tour.  My review for this book will be posted on Friday.

    I also really enjoyed the ending of Chosen by Ted Dekker.  This is a re-read, but it has been over 5 years since I first read this series.  A review for this book will be coming in the upcoming weeks.

    I am not enjoying Unusual Awakening by S.M. Knowles.  This is the first book in the Rylee Everley series.  I am reviewing this as part of a blog tour and my review will be up Thursday.

    Other Bout of Books News:

    I also participated in a Twitter chat today and the challenge, "If you like X, try Y".  Here are some of my blurbs from the twitter chat:

    I also participated in a second challenge through twitter where I showed a picture of my book buddy.  Here it is:

    So today I:

    • Started 2 books
    • Finished 1 book that I had started last week
    • Finished 1 book I started this week
    • Read a total of 245 pages
    • Participated in a twitter chat
    • Participated in a challenge

    Bout of Books 10.0 Challenge: If you like X, try Y

    I just got up around 6:30 Eastern Time and started reading.  I have only read about 10% (15 pages) of my first book for #boutofbooks, but I thought I would go ahead and do the Bout of Books challenge for today.  This will also be posted on Twitter.

    Let's get started!  Today's challenge is to recommend a book in the format of "If you like ____, try ____".

    I am going to make a few recommendations based on my recent reads. Here they are:

    If you like paranormal romance, try Rippler by Cidney Swanson.
    If you like Christian fiction, try The Sinner's Garden by William Sirls.
    If you like historical fiction, try Frame 232 by Wil Mara.
    If you like YA books with strong female leads, try Pivot Point by Kasie West.

    This challenge was hosted by The Book Barbies.  Go check out her blog :)