Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review: Sky Jumpers

Want to win a FREE copy of Sky Jumpers? 
In the Comment section, write a short entry using the writing prompt "Bomb's Breath". The entry I like best will win a book from the publicist!

Imagine jumping into air that can kill you -- into the Bomb's Breath. Hope Toriella does that for fun, but one day, she'll need to do it to save her town.

Overview: 12 year old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.

But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb's Breath— the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in— than fail at yet another invention.

When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and Brock, might be the only ones who can escape through the Bomb’s Breath and make the dangerous trek over the snow-covered mountain to get help. For once, inventing isn't the answer, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble might just save them all. (from Goodreads)

Dawn's Recommendation: 4 of 5 Stars

What I liked:  I was immediately drawn in by the interesting world that Peggy Eddleman created. The story takes place in a settlement that contains survivors of the Green Bombs of WWIII (what a cool idea!). Next, I was thrilled that the town values invention and ingenuity as they try to rebuild their lives (I LOVE inventions!)

The characters are likable. Hope Toriella, the MC, is a spunky and courageous 12 year old misfit who finally finds her strengths. Despite obstacles, she is unwilling to give up on her family and her town. I love her tenacity!

The whole book is wholesome and fun and Ms Eddleman has some great conflict that keeps you turning the pages!

And as a writer, I enjoyed how Peggy gave out background and historical information about the past through the MC's history class. That was a really smooth way to do it!

Constructive Critiques: The tone at the beginning seemed too happy and optimistic. Having gone through WWIII just 40 years ago and having bandits, I thought there should be a few ominous tones.  

I did have a little bit of a hard time believing that Hope would be able to fight the bandits (and climb trees and jump off cliffs) after her long, exhaustive journey, but I still enjoyed the book. 

Overall: The book is adventurous and kids will enjoy reading it! What kids doesn't want to save the day?

And as a parent, I loved the book's themes:
"finding yourself" 
"believing in yourself" 
"you are special" 
Everyone is unique and has special qualities --This is a much needed message for kids today. Each person has something special to give the world. Thank you, Peggy, for weaving this throughout your story!

I look forward to Peggy Eddleman's next book! 

Check out other posts on Sky Jumpers' Blog Tour!

September 11th: Taffy’s Candy
September 12th: Smack Dab in the Middle
September 13th:
Once Upon a Story
September 14th:
Inky Elbows
September 15th:
Society of Young Inklings
September 16th:
Me, My Shelf & I
September 17th:
Kayla’s Reads and Reviews
September 18th:
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
September 19th:
Kid Lit Frenzy
September 19th:
Word Spelunking
September 21st:
The Mod Podge Bookshelf
September 22nd:
The Write Soil
September 23rd:
The Hiding Spot
September 23rd: Literary Rambles
September 23rd:
Nerdy Book Club
September 24th: OneFourKidLit
Don't forget to try to win a free copy! 
Just write something using the prompt "Bombs Breath". 
I'll announce the winner on 9-28-13! Tip: the most unique and creative will be the one to catch my eye!
Thank you to:
Associate Publicist, Random House Children's Books
for the free giveaway for this post!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review: The Ruby Key

I was eager to read this 1.) because I've read two of Holly Lisle's books and 2.) because I love MG fiction. BLUF: The book was okay, but not as good as I had hoped it would be.

Dawn's Recommendation: 3 of 5 stars

What I liked: I liked the MC Genna (human) and the world where they live in the day and Nightlings (elf-like creatures) rule the night. The interaction with the Nightling Kai-lord (aka bad king) and their deal was pretty cool, as was the quest Genna went on. Even the idea of the moonroads was cool, but...

What I didn't like: It was confusing. I was following along pretty good until Genna got to the moonroads and then I found myself skimming more and more. The obstacles put in front of Genna seemed like the author was just sticking them in (and I was just skipping them over).

I liked the themes of loyalty, love, and sacrifice. I liked the old woman fortune teller. I liked the talking cat. I even liked the ending, but, after saying all this, I didn't like it enough to want to read the second book in the series.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Song for Sunday - Build You Kingdom Here

I love this song!  
This is my first time seeing this video. It has a side show, traveling circus type theme. It's fun, but I think it takes away from the power of the words.  
What do you think?

Build Your Kingdom Here - Rend Collective Experiment

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Win a copy of Sky Jumpers!

Write on this prompt for a chance to win a free copy of Sky Jumpers!

Prompt: "Bombs Breath"

On September 22, I'll be posting a review of Sky Jumpers on my blog. For a chance to win the book, in the Comments section of that post, write using the writing prompt: "Bombs Breath" (a paragraph or two is fine)

My favorite entry will win a copy of the book 
(to be mailed by the publicist). 
The winner will be announced on 9-28-13.
Tip: the most unique and creative entry will be the one to catch my eye!

Why am I telling you now? To give you a head start. Write it now and paste it on Sep 22nd!  Good luck winning this great book!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review: When the Heart Cries

First off, I don't do Amish Romance. Well, I used to say that until I read "When the Heart Cries" by Cindy Woodsmall (Sisters of the Quilt, Book 1).

The only reason I bought this book was 1.) I had taken a writing workshop presented by an Amish Romance editor out of curiosity and 2.) the book was $1 at a local book sale. I could afford that even if it was crap, but it wasn't. I really liked it AND I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Dawn's Recommendation: 5 of 5 stars

What I liked: Good conflict and serious life issues, written in a believable way. It wasn't mushy. It had the feel of real Amish culture and real people. I like all the characters, but my favorites were the MC, Hannah Lapp and her friends, Mary and Matthew. The love and support the three gave each other through terrible trials is encouraging to everyone who reads it. It makes me want to be like them.   

What I didn't like: a couple of situations were too obvious -- placed there by the author to build wrong impression (girl falls into boy and is seen by boy's girlfriend who imagines the worst - that kind of stuff), but it wasn't enough to take away from the book.

Overall, I REALLY, REALLY like it! Okay, I'm off to buy the next book in this series, "When the Morning Comes". I gotta find out what happens to Hannah Lapp!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Song for Sunday - I Will Wait

I love the Christian overtones in Mumford and Sons' songs. This one is a praise song to me.

I will wait for you, Lord. Fix my eyes. Help me use my heart and my head. Amen.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A to Z Devotions for Writers Blog Tour -- Author Pamela D. Williams

Click to see on Amazon
  Pam Williams is on tour for her new book, A to Z Devotions for Writers! Today, I get to feature my dear friend and showcase her wonderful book. We'll start off with asking Pam a few questions.

      Dawn:  What gave you the idea to do A to Z Devotions for Writers?
Pam: In April of 2011, I participated in Lee Jackson’s A to Z Blogging Challenge. God led me to write meditations for the challenge. I discovered that many of them spoke to the hearts of writers. A year later, God nudged me to bind them together in a book, and A to Z Devotions for Writers took shape.

      Dawn:  The cover is gorgeous, who designed it?
Pam: A talented artist named Lily Mackay created the beautiful inkwell which I found in an Internet search. When I contacted Lily, she then gave permission for a team of graphic designers at CrossLink Publishing to feature her beautiful inkwell on the cover.

      Dawn:  Why write devotions for writers?
Pam: Typically, believers turn to God’s Word to discover direction through the Scriptures, draw peace from conversations with Jesus, and to be encouraged by the words and experiences of others. Devotional books offer all of these elements, usually tailored to a specific reader—mothers, golfers, teens, cat lovers, couples, etc. In 2010, when I started a writers’ inspiration and critique group, I searched bookstores, workshops, and the Internet for devotionals aimed at writers that I could use to open our meetings. The choices were few. Out of necessity, I began writing devotionals to open our writers’ Bible study.

Dawn: In the “Y is for Yearn” devotion you talk about creating writing goals based on what you yearn to write. What do you yearn to write? What are some of your future writing goals?
Pam: Writing devotionals is my passion. I love to share what Jesus has taught me in the little, everyday things. I currently have the bare bones of a new book entitled Backyard Devotions from A to Z. I am excited about this book because it will speak to the hearts of a much wider audience. I also plan to concentrate on submitting articles to magazines—something I had to put on the back burner while I worked on the A to Z Devotions for Writers book.

Read my book review of A to Z Devotions for Writers. I gave it 5 of 5 stars!

A to Z Devotions for Writers can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at CrossLink Publishing.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Song for Sunday -- The Only Name

Heard this for the first time at church on Sunday!
Now, it's on the radio. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

Big Daddy Weave -- The Only Name