Saturday, December 31, 2016

"The Martian" by Andy Weir

Prior to beginning the novel, this is what I knew: An astronaut left behind on Mars survives by eating potatoes. And there's science.

Here's what actually happens: Mark Watney, a member of the Ares 3 crew, is presumed dead and left on Mars when a storm comes up and the mission is aborted. He has to figure out a way to survive until the next Ares crew arrives. Through ingenuity and lots of crazy science, he manages to stay alive.

"Forever Safe" by Jody Hedlund

Marriage of convenience novels are my favorite. But a marriage of convenience novel that's also reminiscent of Runaway Bride? What could be better?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Top Ten Book Reviews of 2016

It's time for the end of the year "best" lists again! While I'm still working on my best books list (HOW will I narrow it to ten? Seriously!), I've already posted my top five TV shows, and here's my most popular reviews post. I did a list like this in 2014, and that was fun ... at least, it was fun for me! So I decided to do it again—after all, it would be a lot easier to put together than my top ten books list, right?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Troublemaker" by Leah Remini

Sometimes you just want a good celebrity tell-all, right? Well, that's what I hoped for with Leah Remini's Troublemaker, and that's exactly what I got!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

"One Enchanted Eve" by Melissa Tagg

Last Christmas, I read Melissa Tagg's completely charming One Enchanted Christmas, which brings together writer Maren and farmer-turned-builder/craftsman Drew Renwycke. This year, Tagg is continuing the Renwycke family's story with a novella about Drew's brother Colin.

Friday, December 23, 2016

"The Silent Songbird" by Melanie Dickerson

Author Melanie Dickerson continues her tradition of adapting classic fairy tales with The Silent Songbird, based on The Little Mermaid.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Fatal Frost" by Nancy Mehl

A U.S. Marshal finds herself fighting for her life—and for the lives of her best friend and ex-boyfriend—in Fatal Frost, the first book in Nancy Mehl's Defenders of Justice series.

Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (12-19-16)

Happy Monday! Less than a week until Christmas!!!!! I'm getting this up pretty late because my day ended up differently than I'd planned—I accompanied my dad on his weekly shopping trip for work. We went to Sam's, Walmart, and two grocery stores—and it was lots of fun! (I also spent lots of money ... )

I managed to read two books last week, as well as start a new one. I expect that my reading will slow down drastically beginning Friday, as my whole family will be home for Christmas! I can't wait :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Best of the Bunch: November 2016

I don't know how this happened, but I somehow forgot to post my November Best of the Bunch! So here it is, woefully late. I reviewed a lot of books in November, and most of them were excellent!

"Celebrations" by Danielle Walker

When I went gluten free 2-1/2 years ago, Danielle Walker's Against All Grain website was a huge asset to me. Then when I went grain free just over a year ago, her recipes became even more important to me. I use her website all the time, but she (rightfully) doesn't put all of her recipes up, so when I heard about Celebrations, I knew I wanted to get my hands on a copy.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Lucifer's Harvest" by Mel Starr

I always look forward to the next installment in Mel Starr's Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon. These books are unlike any others I've read, and I love them!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2017

Today's Top Ten Tuesday Topic, "Books I'm looking forward to in the first half of 2017" is difficult for one reason alone: There are so many great books releasing next year! It was hard to narrow the list down to ten :-)

Monday, December 12, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (12-12-16)

Happy Monday! We're at the point in December when I'm in countdown—and survival—mode. Yesterday, we had our Lone Tree Singers Christmas concert, so we had three practices for that last week. (LTS is a community choir—I think there were about 25 of us this fall.) This week is Festival week, which means crazy schedules for our kids and a day-long practice on Friday for all of us who are in the choir. Plus, I'm in physical therapy twice a week for a possible stress fracture/certain bone bruise brought on by ... get this ... all the walking in Washington, D.C. last month. (I wish I at least had a good story!) And I'm trying to help the Student Council plan for the end-of-finals party next week. I cannot wait for school to get out next Wednesday at noon! Then I'll have two more days to wrap up my stuff (which is so much easier on non-school days!) before having an entire week off. All the praise hands!

"A Royal Christmas Wedding" by Rachel Hauck

I have loved (loved, loved!) Rachel Hauck's Royal Wedding series. I thought it was finished after the third book, How to Catch a Prince, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hauck had written a new Christmas novella, A Royal Christmas Wedding, that serves as the fourth book in the series.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (12-11-16)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly linkup hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about the new books accumulated over the week.

I didn't get nearly as many books last week as I did the week before ... which is definitely a good thing for my wallet!

"Kissing Father Christmas" by Robin Jones Gunn

Did you happen to catch Finding Father Christmas on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries last month? It stars Erin Krakow of When Calls the Heart as a woman named Miranda who, in the process of searching for information about her father, finds both family and love at Christmas. The film is based on Robin Jones Gunn's novella of the same name, and, while there are notable differences (like the setting!), I felt like the movie stayed true to the spirit of the novella.

Gunn followed up Finding Father Christmas with Engaging Father Christmas, which continued Miranda's story. Now she's written Kissing Father Christmas, and I think it might be my favorite of the three!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

"Silent Night Shadows" by Sarah Varland

Earlier this fall, I read Sarah Varland's Cold Case Witness, which was a really enjoyable suspense novel. Now Varland is back with the next entry in her Treasure Point series, and this time the novel is set at Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2016

"ScriptureDoodle" Devotional Set by April Knight

I am not artistic. Not even remotely. Stick figures are about all I can manage, and even they don't look good. But the ScriptureDoodle concept intrigued me—as someone who's too intimidated to try anything artistic on her own, I thought these books might be the perfect catalyst. I was right.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Getaway with God" by Letitia Suk

Several years ago, I was telling a friend that I felt like I needed to reconnect with God, but I wasn't sure what to do. This friend suggested that I get away, by myself, and spend a day with God. I thought it was a great idea, and I even planned to go to a local park that Saturday, just me, my Bible, and God. Then I was offered free Cornhusker football tickets, and, rightly or wrongly, the Huskers took precedence.

I actually hadn't thought about that in years, but when I heard about Getaway with God, that memory came rushing back, and the concept of a personal retreat began to really appeal to me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"The One That Got Away" by Leigh Himes

As someone who is always a sucker for those "waking up in a new life" stories (The Family Man, Lifetime's Comfort & Joy, ABC Family Freeform's Holidaze), the concept of Leigh Himes' debut novel appealed to me. I wasn't so sure about it when I started reading, but as I went on, something about The One that Got Away really drew me in.

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (12-5-16) + Giveaways

It's Monday again ... how do the weeks go so quickly? Once again, I didn't read too much ... not only because of Hallmark Christmas movies, though. I also spent several hours watching the CW's DC crossover event that spanned Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. Plus, I got an Instant Pot on Black Friday, and I spent quite a bit of time trying to make sense of it. I think it'll be a great addition to my kitchen, but right now it just seems really intimidating!

"To Joey, With Love" Movie Review + Giveaway

Just over a year ago, I somehow found Rory Feek's blog, This Life I Live. As someone who knows virtually nothing about country music (unless the artist is named Keith, Carrie, or Reba), I had no idea that Rory was part of the country duo Joey+Rory. But his storytelling grabbed me, and I began following his posts—which, at the time, largely centered on his wife Joey's battle with cancer. Joey passed away earlier this year, and To Joey, With Love tells the story of the last two years of her life.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (12-4-16)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly linkup hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about the new books accumulated over the week.

I had another great book acquisition week ... and I also spent more money than I'd planned!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

"Getaway with God" Giveaway Info

Next week, I'll be reviewing Letitia Suk's Getaway with God. But today, I want to make sure you know about the great giveaway that's going along with this blog tour! Read more and enter below!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Tennessee Christmas" by Amy Grant + Giveaway

When I think Christmas albums, two immediately jump to mind: Amy Grant's Home for Christmas and Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas. Then a host of others follow them, as I really like Christmas music!

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (11-28-16)

Mondays after holiday weekends are the absolute worst, right? I actually accomplished a lot at work today, but the minutes seemed to tick by sooooooo slowly.

I should probably title today's post "What are you watching?" instead of "reading" ... I read very little last week, but I watched a ton of movies. I did other things like decorating my house for Christmas and catching up on some blogging while I watched, but still.

"She Reads Truth" by Raechel Myers & Amanda Bible Williams

I can't remember when I first heard about She Reads Truth, the Bible reading plans for women. I've done several of the plans over the years, including the 2015 Advent and 2016 Lent studies. While I've been blessed by the studies, I didn't know much about the women behind them ... until now.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Finding Margo" by Jen Turano

When a pop princess has had enough of her life in the spotlight, she takes off on a road trip, ending up in a small Amish town, where she encounters danger, intrigue, and romance.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (11-26-16)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly linkup hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about the new books accumulated over the week. It's been more than a month since I last participated (my, how time flies!), but I decided I had to jump back in this week. I got several great Kindle deals that are still available, so I want to tell you about them!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"I'll Be Yours" by Jenny B. Jones

You know how sometimes you start a book and then absolutely cannot get it off your mind? That's what happened to me with I'll Be Yours. I downloaded the Kindle sample several months ago and loved it, but I had so many other books that I "had" to read that I didn't let myself buy it ... because I knew the instant I did, I would set aside everything else in order to read it.

A few weeks ago, when I was packing for a work trip, I thought, "This is the time." So I went to Amazon and paid full price for the novel. (I never pay full price for Kindle books. Ever.) I ended up being really busy on the trip, and I was already reading another book (Serena Chase's excellent Intermission), so I didn't get to I'll Be Yours until I was almost home. I was right—once I started reading, I really couldn't stop! I stayed up way too late finishing it, and I don't regret a thing!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Just a Kiss" by Denise Hunter

I waited a long time for Just a Kiss ... at least it feels that way! I fell for Paige and Riley in Denise Hunter's Falling Like Snowflakes, and I couldn't wait to read their story ... but I did have to wait, as Riley's brother Zac's story came first! Turns out, the wait was totally worth it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (11-21-16)

Happy Monday! I love when we have short weeks like this—three work days, then four days off. Yippee!!! (Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!) I didn't read a ton over the last week, but I did finish A Lady Unrivaled. All the praise hands!

"A Lady Unrivaled" by Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White's excellent series about an aristocratic family trying to escape the curse of the Fire Eyes diamonds concludes in A Lady Unrivaled.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A New Look!

Don't worry—you are on Christian Chick's Thoughts, my book review blog, even though it doesn't look like it!

I started Christian Chick's Thoughts in 2008 with a basic Blogger template. Sometime in 2009, I switched to the one I'd used up until today. Also a Blogger template, it was pretty and blue and had blurry flowers in the background.

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Ace Collins

Christmas is just around the corner, and, now that it finally feels like winter in Nebraska, I'm so ready! (Though I wouldn't complain about more 72 degree days...) Whether you're eagerly anticipating Christmas or you'd like to prolong fall a little longer, Ace Collins's new Christmas devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, is the perfect thing to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Made for TV Christmas Movies

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is a movie freebie. At first, I thought about doing something like top ten film adaptations of books or ten times the movie was better than the book (can we say Time Traveler's Wife?), but that would have required too much thought. So instead, I went with the world I'm currently immersed in: made for TV Christmas movies. The biggest problem with this topic was limiting myself to ten!

"A Convenient Christmas Wedding" Grand Finale + Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
A Convenient Christmas Wedding
By Regina Scott

Ready for a little early holiday spirit? How about a sweet romance? Find both in this newest release and enjoy the reviews, excerpts and guest posts from the tour...

Monday, November 14, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (11-14-16)

Hello, again! I'm back after a week off, which I spent sponsoring a senior class trip to Washington, D.C. I didn't have much time for reading except on the plane, but I did manage to get a few books read.

"Where Two Hearts Meet" by Liz Johnson

Last spring, I read Liz Johnson's The Red Door Inn, set on Prince Edward Island. It was a very sweet, romantic novel, and I knew then that I'd want to continue Johnson's series. What I didn't anticipate was just how much I'd enjoy the sequel.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Best of the Bunch: October 2016

Yes, I'm woefully late with this post! You see, I just spent a week in Washington, D.C. with a group of seniors from my school, so I spent the first few days of November frantically preparing to be gone from work for a week, and then I went off the grid. It was a fabulous trip that I'll probably write about...someday. But for now, here's my Best of the Bunch for October, only two weeks late :-)

"Intermission" by Serena Chase

When I was a little girl, I used to daydream before going to sleep each night. As I got older, I started dreaming about certain boys falling in love with me, becoming famous (ha!), or traveling the world. But I still remember the dream I had when I was 9 or 10, before boys came into the picture: I dreamed of playing Liesl in The Sound of Music. The "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" scene in the gazebo was my favorite in the entire film, and I would imagine my school was putting on the play, and I, along with some nameless-and-faceless boy, would put on the best performance of that scene that anyone had ever seen.

I'm a horrible actress with a decent but not stage-caliber voice, and the only musicals my school put on were the elementary's annual Patch the Pirate play, so I knew my dreams would not come to fruition, but I sure enjoyed thinking about them. In the years since then, I've gone on to have quite a love affair with showtunes (my favorite musical is Les Miserables; I'm currently obsessed with Hamilton), so I was thrilled to learn that Serena Chase, an author I'm familiar with but had never before read, had written a musical theatre-themed novel. Intermission provides the Broadway references and romance I'd hoped for, but it's also so. much. more.

Friday, November 11, 2016

"A Convenient Christmas Wedding" by Regina Scott + Giveaway

A Convenient Christmas Wedding (Frontier Bachelors)
If you know me, you know that I'm a sucker for the "marriage of convenience" trope. (I even wrote about my love for it here.) So when the opportunity to review A Convenient Christmas Wedding presented itself, well, I couldn't resist!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"The Name I Call Myself" by Beth Moran

Just over two years ago, I read Beth Moran's Making Marion. Then last January, I read I Hope You Dance. Both times, I was completely charmed by Moran's British chick lit. I knew then that she was an author watch, and I'm pleased to say that each of her novels just gets better!

Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (10-31-16)

Once again, I spent a lot of free time watching the Cubbies. I also learned "Go Cubs Go," and it has been running on a loop through my brain ever since :-)

On Saturday, the Huskers played at 6 and the Cubbies played at 7. What's a fan to do? Put the Huskers on in the living room and the Cubbies on in the kitchen and stand in the middle, of course!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Aboard Providence" by Keely Brooke Keith

Just prior to the Civil War, a small group of Christians departs the United States for a new settlement in South America.

Friday, October 28, 2016

"The Sound of Silver" Birthday Blog Tour + Giveaway

Welcome to The Sound of Silver birthday blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century.

Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds, the first book in the series, and a newlywed! This summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the series. I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Silver and spread the news about the giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win the lovely necklace pictured and your choice of any of the Steadfast Love titles!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"The Devoted" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I am not a fan of Amish fiction. (Weird way to start a review of an Amish fiction book, right?) However, I am a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher's writing, and she happens to write Amish fiction. I've read each fiction release of hers since A Lancaster County Christmas came out in 2011, and I see no signs of stopping.

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (10-24-16)

Last week was another light reading one for me, for the same reason as before:

The Chicago Cubs!!!!!!!!!!

This week's reading will probably be light for the same reason ... I'll be watching the World Series (and getting far too little sleep). I sincerely hope the Cubbies can pull it out, but even if they don't, it's sure been fun watching them!