Friday, 28 January 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:


Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!


So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Question of the week: "What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?"
 


My answer: I have more than one book that I am looking foward to. Thrist Vol. 4 by Christopher Pike, Goosebumps Horrorland: Halls of Horrors series from R.L. Stine, all books by James Patterson, Pale Demon by Kim Harrison, the final chapter in the Vampire Diaries series, and the next installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I love reading a good mystery/thriller.

Review: An Amish Love

An Amish Love: Healing Hearts/What the Heart Sees/A Marriage of the Heart (Inspirational Amish AnthologyAn Amish Love
BY: Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller & Kelly Long
PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Nelson
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59554-875-7
Pages: 391
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Romance is in the air for the anthology, An Amish Love, by three popular Christian writers, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller & Kelly Long.

In A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long, Abigail Kauffman tells her father that she was uncomfortable when Joseph Lambert was kissing and touching her, which are all lies. Her father believes her and forces Joseph to marry her that very day. Joseph did not mind that Abigail lied because he was in love with her. Abigail wanted to get married so she could get away from her father, but her plans are ruined when Joseph decides that they will live with her father and help with the farm.

The second story is What the Heart Sees by Kathleen Fuller, and is about Ellie Chupp who loses her sight in an accident. Her boyfriend dies shortly after. Christopher Miller, who caused the accident, returns home after five years. When he meets Ellie, sparks fly for both of them.

The last story is Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman. Naaman Lapp returns home after leaving his wife for several months. When he was away, he missed the birth of his grandchild. All of his grown children have lost respect for him and including his wife Levina.

Over the years, I have read a lot of Amish fiction, so I was eager to read this book. Each story is completely different from the other, especially Healing Hearts that involves an older couple struggling to patch their marriage. I liked A Marriage of the Heart the best out of the book, because the plot of the arranged marriage is setup in the first few pages. Where The Heart Sees is an emotional tale that I also enjoyed reading. If you are an Amish fiction reader, you will love this book.

*I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy to review.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Review - The Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent

The Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent: Everything You Need to Know to become Successfully PublishedThe Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent:
Everything You Need to Know to Become Successfully Published
BY: Laura Cross
WITH FOREWARD By: Andrea Campbell
PUBLISHED BY: Atlantic Publishing
PUBLISHED IN: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60138-403-4
Pages: 288
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Do you have a manuscript/novel written and you can’t find a publisher? Have you thought about getting a literary agent to represent your work? The Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent: Everything You Need to Know to Become Successfully Published is the right book for you.

With close to 200,000 new books coming out every year, it is hard to get published by a big name publishing houses. Most don’t even allow unsolicited manuscripts from new authors. The best chance that you have in getting into the houses is to hire a literary agent. Getting an agent may sound easy, but it can be a lot harder than you think.

The book guides you into the process of editing your book and sending your queries to a qualified agency. Make sure you find the right agent that accepts the genre that you are writing in. You will learn how to write an incredible submission that any literary agent will notice. You’ll learn about contracts and how to go about accepting offers.

This is a great guide book for professional and beginning writers. The book explains all the ups and downs in hiring an agent, but there is so much more in it. There are great articles by other writers and editors, who give great tips. You’ll learn how to use blogs, and social networks to gain a clan of readers. The Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent also has an index of the six largest publishing houses and their imprints, glossary of terms, and samples of successful Query Letters and Synopses. After reading this book, you’ll be ready to hire an agent. I recommend checking this book out.

*I would like to thank Atlantic Publishing for sending me a copy to review.

Review: How to Publish a Kindle Book With Amazon.com

How to Publish a Kindle Book with Amazon.com: Everything You Need to Know Explained (Back-To-Basics)How to Publish a Kindle Book with Amazon.com:
Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply
BY: Cynthia Reeser
WITH FOREWARD By: Joanna Penn
PUBLISHED BY: Atlantic Publishing
PUBLISHED IN: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60138-404-1
Pages: 288
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Are you a published or an inspiring author? Have you ever wondered how you can publish your own book on Amazon Kindle? You can find out these answers and more in the How to Publish a Kindle Book with Amazon.com: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply.

You will learn the history of the electronic publishing world, and you'll be introduced to all the versions of Kindle. Learn how to set up your own kindle account on amazon.com, edit your novel, and learn how to create and publish your Kindle Ebook using digital text platform. Take advantage of the internet and social media sites to market your book.

I am currently behind on all the new gizmos, including Kindle, and found the book easy to follow. It is a complete guide to anyone who wants to publish their own novels, blogs, magazines, or newspapers onto Kindle. The prices for your book or subscription should be no more than ten dollars, but you can set the price to whatever you want. The book also has great tips on editing your manuscript, and promoting your books. If you have ever wanted or are interested in publishing your writings to Kindle, you should check this book out.

* I would like to thank Atlantic Publishing for sending me a copy to review.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Review - The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life

The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your LifeThe Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life
BY: Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow, M.D.
PUBLISHED BY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
PUBLISHED IN: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2551-6
Pages: 289
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life is part autobiography and part inspirational. Glenn Beck, the radio and television host, writes about how he has changed his life. At an early age his mother committed suicide, and he never recovered from it until years later. As an adult, he became addicted to cocaine and alcohol that lead to end of his first marriage. Glenn went though depression and suicide thoughts. When he found a little success in the radio world, he became a material person, a hateful person. After he met his later-to-be second wife, he went inside a church and became closer to God.

Each chapter of Glenn’s is followed by a chapter written by Dr. Keith Ablow. The doctor examines what Glenn has been through, and also shares some of his patients’ stories that are similar.

Unlike Glenn Beck’s other books, this one is not political, but is more spiritual. The authors list seven wonders that will change your life: Courage, Faith, Truth, Compassion, Friendship, Family, and Common Sense. After reading the book, I learned that both authors are very religious, and they believe that everyone has a purpose that God has given them. I enjoyed reading the book, and found it encouraging. Even if you’re not a fan of Glenn Beck, you should check this book.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:


Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!


So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Question of the week: Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it? 

My answer: I always liked YA chillers. I like other genres too. I do not know what draws me to them. The plot? The author? It is a mystery to me.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Product Review - BuildASign.com

Last week, I was surprised when I received an email from an employee of BuildASign.com. She asked if I could give an honest product review on my blog in exchange for free products of my choice. My first thought was “Why do I need a sign?”


I glanced through their site and noticed that they sale custom street/name signs. I thought it would be neat to have a sign that said ‘Billy’s Library.' I choose a style that I liked and used their design tool program to make the sign.

In addition, I used the design tool to make some cool bumper stickers for my blog. I will be doing a giveaway soon, so watch out for it.

The sign came very quickly by FedEx. When I opened the package, I could smell the fresh paint on the sign. The design was exactly the way I wanted it. I was impressed. The bumper stickers came by regular USPS mail, which is slow. I received them today and they are great.

Overall, I enjoyed my products from BuildASign.com. The design tool on their site is easy to use. My order was finished after a few simple emails. There are some other cool products on their site like magnets, banners, real-estate signs, advertising signs, political signs, and even printed artwork. It is even a great way to promote your blog! I recommend buildasign.com to everyone!

Thursday Ramblings


Gremlins 2 - The New BatchI guess it is officially winter, because there has been snow on the ground for the past five days! lol! I don't mind snow, I just don't like ice storms.
Gremlins (Special Edition)
I had a blast from the past last week, I bought the DVDs of Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. I hadn't seen them in years. I still have a stuff toy of Gizmo, which has seen better days.

I bought the book Colby Agency - Christmas Miracles: Colby Core By Debra Webb last Saturday. I never thought this would happen, but I actually like reading harlequin books.

Awakened (House of Night)I received the Awakened by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast, and The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow, M.D.. I now have all of the House of Night novels, but only if I could find the time to read them. I just finished reading the Glenn Beck book. I'll have a review up on Sunday.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Review - Colby Agency - Christmas Miracles: Colby Core

Colby Core (Harlequin Intrigue Series)Colby Agency - Christmas Miracles: Colby Core
BY: Debra Webb
PUBLISHED BY: Harlequin Intrigue
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-69514-0
Pages: 216
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Picking up where Colby Core left off, the Colby Agency had just saved several kids from children trafficking. Victoria Colby-Camp and her son Jim Colby have ordered agent Riley Porter to go New Orleans and take down the Master, a man selling children to the highest bidder.

Meanwhile, Tessa Woods has spent years in the clutches of the Master. She is now an adult and tries to protect the other children who have also been kidnapped. She prays that someone will save her. Her prayers are answered when Riley goes undercover as Buzz Smith, one of the kidnappers from the previous book. Tessa believes that Riley is here to save her and the children.

I was excited when I saw there was a new Colby book out. I enjoyed reading Colby Bass last week. Colby Core goes by fast, as it continues the plotline of human trafficking network. There is a lot of action and suspense. I did not care much for the main hero, Riley. He was just there doing his job, I never got a real feel for his character. Tess is the best character out of this installment. Despite all the horrors that she has encountered in her life, she has faith that she will be saved. If you are looking for a great romantic suspense, then check this book out.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Review - Labeled by Mark Salvatore



Labeled centers around a troubled teenager named Vinnie. He lives in New York with his Aunt Constance. He is a loner who is barely getting by in school, in which there is talk about putting him into a “special” school. To make things worse, Vinnie does not know how to talk or have a relationship with girls his own age. His only friends are two potheads, Brian and Pierce.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:


Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!


So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Question of the week: What book influenced or changed your life? How did it influence/change you?

My answer: I read Grave Doubts by John Peel when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. It is one of my favorite books. It inspired me to start writing my own scary stories.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Review - Christmas Village


Christmas VillageChristmas Village
BY: Jack Gilhooly
PUBLISHED BY: McNeil & Richards
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-982-56021-1
Pages: 88
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

The Wilson family is spending Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma. Rudy and Amanda are excited about seeing their grandparents and their even more excited about unwrapping presents. After the adults went to bed, the kids sneak downstairs to look at all the gifts under the tree.

Rudy starts playing with the light switches to Grandpa’s miniature Christmas village. Rudy and Amanda are zapped into the village. There, they go by different name and have new parents. The villagers are upset that the library has gone missing. One day it was just lifted up into the air.

The kids find away to return to their Grandparents house. Over the next few days, they keep returning to the little village.

The Christmas Village is a cute story for kids. The two main characters, Rudy and Amanda, act just like normal children at Christmas. They have their minds on one thing: Gifts! While reading the book, I kept thinking of the Chillogy episodes from the Goosebumps television series. They both involve kids going into a miniature town. The only difference is that the Christmas Village is meant to charm you, not scare you. Yes, there is a message of giving just like any other Christmas story. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and I recommend this to every one of all ages.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.

Thursday Ramblings



There is a cool site called BuildASign.com, where you can buy banners, signs, art prints, bumper stickers and many other things. I was asked to do a product review for them, so I have a few things ordered. When I receive the products I will put up a review.


On News Year's Eve, I picked up three Longarm paperbacks at Dollar General for $1.25 each. I also bought Gossip Girl: The Carlyles: You Just Can't Get Enough by Cecily Von Ziegesar at Wal-mart for $3.00.

This week I received the book Labeled by Mark Salvatore, I'm currently reading it, and Christmas Village by Jack Gilhooly.

I watched Resident Evil: Afterlife this week. It was mix of all the previous movies with a cliffhanger ending, so there will probably be another movie.

Review - Colby Agency - Christmas Miracles: Colby Brass

Colby Brass (Harlequin Intrigue Series)Colby Agency - Christmas Miracles: Colby Brass
BY: Debra Webb
PUBLISHED BY: Harlequin Intrigue
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-373-74562-3
Pages: 281
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Victoria Colby, the owner of the detective agency, steps outside to find an injured woman asking for help - her ex has kidnapped her daughter. She assigns the case to Trinity Barrett and his ex-wife Evonne Cassidy, an Equalizer. The Colby had just merged with another agency, the Equalizers.

Trinity and Evonne search the Chicago streets for the missing girl. Only to find out that there are other girls missing as well. They must put aside their rocky past and trust each other as the go undercover to stop the kidnappers.

Colby Brass is categorized as romance suspense, but there was very little romance. Sure, sparks fly for the two main agents, but the book was more action and suspense. The plot is believable and fast paced. The injured mother shows up at the end of the third page and, then, the story takes off like a rocket until the heart-pounding conclusion. If you are looking for a good read, check this book out.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Review - Goddess of Legend

Goddess of LegendGoddess of Legend
BY: P.C. Cast
PUBLISHED BY: Berkley Sensation
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-61129-141-4
Pages: 309
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Take the Camelot myth and blend it with a harlequin novel. That is exactly what author P.C. Cast has done in Goddess of Legend. Forty-two-year-old Isabel is enjoying her life as a single, childless photographer, but her life changes when she crashes her vehicle into a lake. She is rescued by Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, and transported back to the time of Camelot.

In return for being rescued, Isabel must seduce King Author away from Queen Guinevere. Nevertheless, Isabel is seduced by the King’s charms.

This is the first novel I have read by P.C. Cast. I have heard a lot about the House of Night novels, so I thought I would give Goddess of Legend of a try. After reading the first page, I automatically liked the strong character Isabel. She does not hold back her thoughts or emotions to anyone. The plot is a little thin. There should have been a bigger conflict for Isabel to overcome, besides from falling in love with the King. I was disappointed that Merlin did not have a bigger part in the book. I liked the author’s style of writing and pacing, but the love scene was badly written, and almost laughable. Some of the dialogue of King Author and his men are very questionable. Would they really be talking like during medieval times?

So would I recommend Goddess of Legend? Yes and no. I enjoyed the time travel premise and the strong main character. I am also a sucker for Camelot stories. If you are looking for a predictable, time traveling love story, then check this book out.