Monday, March 17, 2014

The A-Z of C.S. Lewis by Colin Duriez REVIEW

Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis's death, this complete guide covers all of Lewis' works, from his literary criticism to Narnia

C. S. Lewis's work is widely known and regarded, but enthusiasts are often only aware of one part of his work—his children's stories and his popular theology; and yet he wrote so much more, including science fiction and literary criticism. This volume brings together all aspects of C S Lewis's life
and thought. Arranged in alphabetical order, it begins with The Abolition of Man—written in 1943 and described as "almost my favorite"—to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters. This book will delight anyone who is interested in C. S. Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works, and his life

I was so excited to read this book since I've always been a fan if C.S. Lewis. I really enjoyed reading this book, although, it didn't come off feeling like a pleasure read. More of an informative read, like an encyclopedia about a person. Not quite a biography though. I would say it is more of a reference book that is pleasurable to read. One thing is for sure though, I was already a fan of the late C.S.Lewis, and I have read a few of his books, including the series The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But after reading this book, it gets me excited to read more of his books yet again.

I would recommend this book


                                                                          I received this book for review from Litfuse Publicity

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life and Books!

crayonfreckles: it's back to school time.... for momma: 5 tips to juggle time from @Andie Jaye (crayon freckles)

I meant to post closer to last year, but...well life got in the way. Last year my reviewing and luxury reading slowed down and I became a little too invested in other things but I truly have missed being on the blogosphere. I get such joy from getting my thoughts out from a book I read, par taking in memes, going to other blogs and reading their posts and responses to memes, taking rabbit trails and finding new blogs and books I want to read.

I started going to online school about 7-8 months ago. I didn't realize (that sounds dumb, I know ;) how much of my time would be taken up from school work. In the around eight months I have been in school, I have moved, got my girl in school (her first year in school, she's four :), and am looking to spread out my wings in other areas. But I realized that I miss being on my blog and hanging out with you guys. So even though people may or may not have noticed my absence...I'm back! ;)
I'm back! (: -Elle

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Haven (Stoney Ridge Season's #2) by Suzanne Woods Fisher REVIEW

The Haven (Stoney Ridge Seasons #2)

When Sadie Lapp steps off the bus in Stoney Ridge after being in Ohio for the winter, she is faced with a decision--one that goes against her very essence. Yet it's the only way she can think of to protect a loved one.
Schoolteacher Gideon Smucker has been crazy about Sadie since boyhood. But his response to her surprising decision undermines his own reputation--and his relationship with Sadie.
College student Will Stoltz is spending the spring at the Lapp farm as a guard for a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons--courtesy of the Lancaster County Game Warden. Will needs to get his life back on track, but his growing friendship with Sadie threatens his plans.
The lives of these three individuals intertwine, and then unravel as unexpected twists create ripples through the town of Stoney Ridge . . . and through Sadie's heart. 

I fully enjoyed The Keeper, which was the first book in the series. So I was more then happy to review this second book in the series. 
When Sadie Lapp returned home from her visit to Ohio, she came home to a surprise. A surprise big enough to have an effect on her and her family. But she didn't expect the surprise to create such chaos. Gideon tries to help her but only makes things worse, which was sad to see play out because he has liked Sadie from the beginning. Also, him trying to help Sadie, starts to tear down his own reputation and doesn't help Sadie's reputation either. 
This story has so many twists and turns, it'll have you reading until the last page.
I recommend this book (as well as the series) to any and all readers.

I received this book for review from LitFuse Publicity

A Big Year for Lilly (The Adventures of Lilly Lapp #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher & Mary Ann Kinsinger REVIEW

A Big Year for Lily (The Adventures of Lily Lapp, #3)

Lily Lapp's family has settled into their new home in Pennsylvania, but life still holds big changes and big steps for Lily. Good changes, like once again living close to her beloved cousin and best friend, Hannah. Bad changes, like a mean girl who plays tricks on her. And no change at all where Lily would most want one--Aaron Yoder sits near her in school and relentlessly teases her. Surprises are in store for Lily as she learns, with Mama and Papa's help, to manage the ups and downs of growing up Amish.
The third of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, A Big Year for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish--and lots of fun and laughter along the way.

Again, Suzanne Woods Fisher does not disappoint! This book is special not only because it is again based on a true events, but it is co-written with Mary Ann Kinsinger, who was raised in Old Order Amish in Somerset Country. Not only is Kinsinger the co-author of this book, she is also the ao-author of The Adventures of Lilly Lapp series. 
This book in-particular is, great for older kids and preteens because of the main character, Lilly in the book. Girls will be able to relate and find a friend in Lilly and her cousin Hannah who are two peas in a pod. 
This series has been the only series I have found and have had the pleasure to review that introduces kids and tweens to the Amish culture and way of living. Kids will enjoy this series because it isn't a kid book but parents don't need to worry because it is clean and teaches values like honesty, faith and kindness as well as lessons in friendship, honor and grace.
I recommend people of all ages to read this. 

I received this book for review from LitFuse Publicity

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Letters (Book 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher REVIEW

The Letters

(Inn at Eagle Hill, Book 1)
Rose Schrock is a plain woman with a simple plan. Determined to find a way to support her family and pay off her late husband's debts, she sets to work to convert the basement of her Amish farmhouse into an inn. While her family, especially her cranky mother-in-law, is unhappy with Rose's big idea, her friend and neighbor, Galen King, supports the decision and he helps with the conversion. As Rose finalizes preparations for visitors, she prays. She asks God to bless each guest who stays at the Inn at Eagle Hill. As the first guest arrives and settles in, Rose is surprised to discover that her entire family is the one who receives the blessings, in the most unexpected ways. And she's even more surprised when that guest decides to play matchmaker for Galen King. 

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the reason I fell in love with the Amish genre. She is my favorite Amish author thus far. I also love that this story is based on a true story with, of course Fisher's twists added. I love books and movies based on true stories. I grew up with a love of books. First the Nancy Drew series, which I still read :) And I first realized my love of books based on true stories when I read The Diary of Anne Frank. The fact that this book is from a true story, made me fall more in love with this book.
I love that in Fisher's books, you get a look into the daily lives of the Amish along with clean romance and last but not least, a look at their honest and deep faith in God. When most people think of the Amish, they think simple. Because that is how the Amish want to live. But, just because the lively simply, does not mean they are simple minded people who have boring lives. In this book, along with Suzanne Woods Fisher's other book, she shows her readers all of this, and more.
I honestly, could not put this book down. 
The description of the Inn and Eagle Hill, so pretty and peaceful, and all the people with their personalities like Vera and Glan; make me want to visit this place for real. I also love how strong Rose is. She deals with so much with her husband dying and leaving her with debt and the disapproval of her plan to get herself out of debt and stay afloat, she is so graceful handles herself so much better then I would have.
Bottom line, this is a great book that you got to read. If you're not into Amish then at least try this book. You won't be disappointed. 

I received this book for review from LitFuse Publicity

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Marty Weiss - Guest Post

The author of The Alchemist Agenda, Marty Weiss!

The Alchemist Agenda
Chickens, Eggs, and Options…
The Alchemist Agenda was conceived nearly five years ago, though it was just recently hatched. Its long gestation was not only the result of a slow author, but rather a fast changing environment that is transforming how we produce and receive content in the digital age.
I am a filmmaker and had first imagined The Alchemist Agenda as a movie. I wanted to set the action and romance in visually striking locations that I had filmed in and wanted to return to, envisioning a big budget tent-pole franchise with ongoing adventures in the vein of Jason Bourne or James Bond.
But the harsh reality of how difficult it is to get something of that scope made these days set in. Movie studios are making fewer and fewer movies every year, and nearly all of the big ones are based on pre-existing material with built-in audiences such as graphic novels, (Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman), novels (Hunger Games, World War Z), TV shows (Star Trek), theme parks (Pirates of the Caribbean), even video games (Resident Evil). And since I can’t draw, design a video game, or build a ride, the novel was my only option. All I’d have to do was write one (something I had never done), then find someone to publish it, market it, and sell a few million copies (something I had no idea how to do).
But I didn’t worry about such things. I had written several screenplays, short stories, and articles, and I was excited and challenged by the prospect of my first book; the bigger canvas would allow me to delve deeper into the story’s characters and plot complexities. And so I went to town.
It ultimately proved to be an amazing experience, the writing that is, until I had to face the harsh realities of distribution once again: I had no idea what to do with a book, where to take it, or how to shop it—so I stuffed it in my desk drawer and forgot about it. Sort of.
Marty WeissI still couldn’t stop thinking that it would make a great movie. So I sent the screenplay version to Amazon Studios, Amazon’s new film and TV division, and they optioned it (which means that they pay for the rights to develop and make the movie). Over the next two years, I worked with them on several rewrites, and even produced a feature length motion comic for their unique development process. And because of the publicity the project received, a publisher contacted me to suggest that it would make a terrific novel. I told him that I would get right on it, and emailed him the manuscript five minutes later. Sometimes timing is everything.
More than ever, people like having choices in how they digest their entertainment, to read, listen, or watch; Cineplex or stage; print or pad; comic book or animated; audio book or large print; 3D or live. Storytellers now have options to create and distribute content like never before. Music software allows people who can’t play an instrument to produce songs. Camera and editing equipment make filmmaking affordable. And books can be self-published. The Internet opens the doors to the world. This democratization of content, however, does make it harder than ever to find a mass audience – and more likely to become a lost needle in an ever expanding haystack.
A former screenwriting teacher once said that it’s better to bring great meaning to one person, than to leave the masses empty. That sentiment stuck with me. But still, the old belief that size does matter came to mind in two obvious ways. One, the bigger your audience, the more money you make. And two, the bigger your… Actually, I can’t say number two in mixed company, but I think it was that same screenwriting teacher who also said that a character who acquires a lot of money in your story can get the girl in lieu of number two, and vice versa.
I don’t know if it matters what comes first – money or sex, novel or screenplay, chicken or egg – but I do believe that it’s always good to have options.

Pump Up Your Book