Friday, August 31, 2012

What's Happening Next Week? :-)

Hey everyone!

I hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day weekend! I know I will, because my birthday happens to land on Labor Day this year. Funny right? Because Labor Day/my birthday is on Monday there will not be a Writing Mondays post. There will be, however, a big fun surprise for you all! I'm pretty confident you all are going to love it and I'm super excited about it. Because I'll be trekking through the woods with my friends and then going to a birthday dinner in town, the post will be scheduled. (I will make sure it goes through!) And I can't wait to see everyone's reactions.

I'll give you one hint.

It's something that has never been done in the history of Writings of Rosie yet

Feel free to guess in the comments! :-D

Blessings!
-Rosie

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review: Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel

My Review:
This was a somewhat less enjoyable Jack Hawthorne adventure, when compared to the previous novel. But before I dive into the negatives of this book, let me present the positives. :-)

Serpent of MosesHoesel begins Serpent of Moses in third person. This was different for me, seeing as the first book was written in first person. (You can see my review here.) I freely admit I found the change confusing. Were we with Jack? Or is it Duckey? Espy?  Thankfully, Hoesel revealed who it was within a paragraph, but it left a bad taste.

I found Esperanza's loyalty, when it counted, to be very, very admirable. Duckey's too. Especially after all that occurred in Elisha's Bones. In addition, I liked it when Jack had his realization that his relationship with Espy is more important than gallivanting off after artifacts. Friendship plays a big part in Hoesel's novels and it's an element I enjoy.

Now, to briefly disclose my cons. I really didn't like the change to third person. I think I understand why Hoesel did it, but it still aggravated me when I got lost. Because of the change, I struggled to keep up even more so than I did in Elisha's Bones. I also did not like all the jumping around from person to person. It just added to my confusion. Finally, though the story was fast paced at some points, in others it felt like it was dragging.

I'll conclude with one final statement: If I hadn't read Elisha's Bones first, I think I might have liked Serpent of Moses more. I give this book three stars.

Back of the Book:
Just three years after the recovery of Elisha's bones, Dr. Jack Hawthorne has given up teaching and resumed the practice of archaeology, although his frequent absences have put a strain on his relationship with Esperanza. Things heat up when Esperanza receives a call from an antiquities dealer with troubling news about Jack, and her fears are confirmed. Jack has gone to Libya in search of another biblical artifact: the Nehushtan, the serpent staff of Moses.
After Jack arrives in Libya, he soon discovers he isn't the only one searching for the Nehushtan. Later, in attempting to steal it, he finds himself in the hands of a man who just might be his match. Jack and his friends must stay one step ahead of the Libyan government, an overambitious member of the Vatican hierarchy, and an Egyptian assassin--if they stand any chance of staying alive long enough to recover the staff.


I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel

My Review:
What a roller-coaster ride! Elisha's Bones reminded me much of an Indiana Jones movie at first, but Hoesel made this adventure his own with many twists I couldn't anticipate.
Elisha's Bones
Elisha's Bones is all written in the mind of Jack Hawthorne, former archeologist and current professor. This actually was a first for me because from what I recall I haven't read a book in the mind of a guy. Don't get me wrong, I liked this change. It was neat to get into a guy's head for a while.

Moving forward, I liked how I didn't know what was coming next. That in itself was refreshing, including the fact that there is no clear resemblance between the Indiana characters and Hoesel's. That brought a big smile to my face.

Elisha's Bones is a novel with a thick plot and realistic settings that you can get lost in. There were some minor personal issues I had with Jack, and there were some occasions I struggled to keep up but overall it was a good read. I look forward to reading Hoesel's next novel Serpent of Moses.

I give this book 4 stars.

Back of the Book:
Every year, professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne looks forward to the winter break as a time to hide away from his responsibilities. Even if just for a week or two. But this year, his plans are derailed when he's offered almost a blank check from a man chasing a rumor. Billionaire Gordon Reese thinks he knows where the bones of the prophet Elisha are--bones that in the Old Testament brought the dead back to life. A born skeptic, Jack doesn't think much of the assignment but he could use the money, so he takes the first step on a chase for the legendary bones that will take him to the very ends of the earth. But he's not alone. Joined with a fiery colleague, Esperanza Habilla, they soon discover clues to a shadowy organization whose long-held secrets have been protected . . . at all costs. As their lives are threatened again and again, the real race is to uncover the truth before those chasing them hunt them down.

Interested? You can purchase it for free on kindle through 8/31!!

I bought this book and these are my honest opinions about it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Writing Mondays: All Plots Come With a Few Holes...

Hey everyone!

As the title says, all plots come with a few holes. It doesn't matter how long you've thought about your plot nor how long you've spent staring at your outline. There will always be a few potholes in our story the first go-round. I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else.

So how do we improve? What do we strive for when we know we'll make an inevitable mistake?

Well, one of the first ways to improve is to recognize frequent mistakes you make. Try to find a pattern, ask a parent or writing buddy to help. Some plot holes/trends are more visible than others, so don't get frustrated when you find "yet another problem!". Instead, be relieved! That's one more weed out of your novel garden!

What we should strive for isn't perfection. It should be to "pave the road" without worrying about mistakes. Worry about fixing the holes later, when the manuscript is done. But for now, do your best. That's all that matters. That's all that counts.

Thanks for stopping by!!

-Rosie

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's coming next week?

Hey all! I thought I'd start something new to go along with the new blog look. Every Thursday or Friday I will (hopefully) post next week's schedule and what I'm reading over the weekend. :-)

Schedule wise, I hope to have a wonderful writing post about plots on Monday. Then, I'll be posting a review of Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel on Tuesday and on Thursday I'll be posting a review of Serpent of Moses also by Don Hoesel. That's all for next week!

Elisha's BonesTo finish up, here's what I'm reading over the weekend. First up, I'll be finishing Elisha's Bones by Don Hoesel. Here's the book blurb:
Every year, professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne looks forward to the winter break as a time to hide away from his responsibilities. Even if just for a week or two. But this year, his plans are derailed when he's offered almost a blank check from a man chasing a rumor. Billionaire Gordon Reese thinks he knows where the bones of the prophet Elisha are--bones that in the Old Testament brought the dead back to life. A born skeptic, Jack doesn't think much of the assignment but he could use the money, so he takes the first step on a chase for the legendary bones that will take him to the very ends of the earth. But he's not alone. Joined with a fiery colleague, Esperanza Habilla, they soon discover clues to a shadowy organization whose long-held secrets have been protected . . . at all costs. As their lives are threatened again and again, the real race is to uncover the truth before those chasing them hunt them down.

Serpent of MosesThe next and final book I'll be tackling this weekend is the sequel, Serpent of Moses, which is also by Don Hoesel. Here's the book blurb:
Just three years after the recovery of Elisha's bones, Dr. Jack Hawthorne has given up teaching and resumed the practice of archaeology, although his frequent absences have put a strain on his relationship with Esperanza. Things heat up when Esperanza receives a call from an antiquities dealer with troubling news about Jack, and her fears are confirmed. Jack has gone to Libya in search of another biblical artifact: the Nehushtan, the serpent staff of Moses.
After Jack arrives in Libya, he soon discovers he isn't the only one searching for the Nehushtan. Later, in attempting to steal it, he finds himself in the hands of a man who just might be his match. Jack and his friends must stay one step ahead of the Libyan government, an overambitious member of the Vatican hierarchy, and an Egyptian assassin--if they stand any chance of staying alive long enough to recover the staff.


What are you reading or doing this weekend? :-)
  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review: Perfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs (ARC)

Perfectly Unique: Praising God From Head to FootMy Review: 
You will hardly find me with a non-fiction book. I don't like reading them, I disagree with most of them, and I think fiction is the bee's knees.

But Ms. Downs has changed my opinion. This once. ;)

Ms. Downs brings us a book all about learning to love ourselves and how to praise God with our bodies. My expectations were set. I was ready to disagree. But I was happily disappointed. Instead, I was smiling and laughing at Ms. Down's down-to-earth writing and I was thinking through everything she said. I loved the first two chapters so much I corralled my cousin Tabitha into reading through the book with me!

Through the book, Ms. Downs discusses mind, eyes, ears, mouth, shoulders, heart, hands, stomach, knees, and lastly feet. At the end of every chapter she's formed little "activities" which include Bible verses to read, words to look up in the dictionary, and things to think on. I accepted all her advice at the end of each chapter and performed some (sadly not all, but I will go back and do them!) of the "activities".

To conclude, Ms. Downs makes you feel like you're her best friend. She shares stories from her personal life, recipes which can be found in the Appendix, and gives solid advice. I highly, highly recommend this book to every teenage girl.

Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot will release early September.

Back of the Book:
Your body is an instrument.

No, it’s not a flute, or a guitar (I hope).
It is a sacred and original design by a master craftsman with a specific plan and purpose.

That’s a pretty big deal.

From head to foot, the way you view your body is directly connected to how you serve God. Seriously. From the thoughts you think to the steps you take, every part of you is linked to the divine.
Perhaps you are struggling with your body image or are trying to make sense of why God made you as you are. Maybe you are looking for new ways to understand Scripture or to love God more fully. Either way, this book will take you on a thoughtful, funny, and spirit-filled exploration of the way you were designed and will help you better honor the Creator by learning to value his perfectly unique creation (yourself!)


Psst! How do you like the new blog look? Let me know by posting a comment! ;-)

I received this book from Zondervan's Good Teen Reads in return for an honest review. Thanks!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Have a Question...

I've been thinking a lot about how the blog looks and I've wondered for a while now if I should change it up. Yes? No? Thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson (ARC)

My Review: 
Full DisclosureMany fans, I'm sure, are ecstatic about Dee Henderson's return. Personally, I've never read anything from Dee before (I've been too preoccupied with other books.) which made me excited about reading Full Disclosure.

FBI Agent Paul Falcon has been sitting on a cold case for many years. His lady shooter has just up and vanished-- after murdering thirty people. He'd like to find her, yet he has no hot leads...until Ann Silver comes through his door.

As Midwest Homicide Investigator, Ann stumbled across an interesting case. An elderly man was speeding at night in the middle of a bad storm. When she digs deeper, she discovers a connection to Paul's lady shooter and the chase resumes.

My pros and cons for this book are pretty simple. I'll start with my cons. For me, the beginning was slow, and I mean slow. It wasn't clear which case was the more important one, and then the instantaneous romantic fluff bothered me. And that was just the first one hundred pages.

For pros, I gladly found the last half of the book to be enjoyable and I attached more to the characters. Dee entwines all of her plot points and characters and then things start to make more sense. The suspense level was set high for a while, but it didn't hold for nearly as long as I had hoped. (Off topic-- But there is a particular "fluffy" scene somewhat near the end that warmed my heart and made me smile-- but I won't spoil anyone.)

While I liked this book, I was nowhere close to loving it. If you're a past fan you might find this book more lovable than I did. I give this book three stars.

Back of the Book:
Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions. 

Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder. 


Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention. 


The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is...


Don't forget to check out the FB page where you can read three chapters for free! 

I received this ARC from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions. Thanks!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hey everyone!

Hey everyone, come check out my best friend's new blog A Hopeful Writer in Motion and follow, please! Thanks! :-D

Friday, August 10, 2012

Something fun... :-)

Hey all! I have once again been tagged in another fun post! Thanks, Becki!

The Game of Elevens

Here are the rules for this game:

1) Post these rules
2) Round One: Post 11 random things about yourself
3) Round Two: Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
4) Round Three: Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5) Go to their blog and tell them they've been tagged
6) Post a link to your post on the blog of your tagger, so they can see the questions you've answered.

Okay, let's get started with Round One! Here are eleven random things about me.

1. I love popcorn. Not the movie theater popcorn. Oh no. I like the good ol' air popped with salt for seasoning.
2. I discovered writing was my passion less than a year ago. Before that it was just something I did for fun. :)
3. My current WIP is a Militaristic Sci-Fi you can read a little bit about it here on the Go Teen Writer's blog.
4. I think painting pottery is fun. Whether or not the pottery looks good after the fact though.....
5. I think Chick-Fil-A is amazing.
6. I'm sitting at a library. 
7. Most of my friends are made over the internet. Save for three very special people I met in real life.
8. I think blue eyes are gorgeous.
9. Music is my best friend. 
10. I have the best family in the world. I just do. :p
11. Not a single member of my immediate family has seen any of my original work.

Whew! Now on to Round Two with Becki's questions!
1) Out of all your possessions, which would you be MOST willing to give up?: Hm...probably my bookshelf. It's too small anyway, and I could never get rid of my "must-keep" books.
2) Cat person or dog person?: Both. Haha! My family and I have two cats and a dog.
3) If you could switch lives with your best friend for a day, would you?: No. I like my life very much thank you.
4) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?: Probably my confidence. I'd give it a little boost.
5) What is your pet peeve?: Dirty and unorganized rooms. Ugh, I just want to scream.
6) What question do you hate people asking you?: Actually, it's only a question someone asks me when I wear my "Jesus is Thelight" shirt. They could swear it says "twilight" on their first glance so they always ask, "Team Edward or Jacob?" *facepalm*
7) Would you classify yourself as "crazy"?: Yes, yes I would. But a good crazy, mind you.
8) What's the strangest/most memorable dream you've ever had?: Hm. I don't know...
9) Introvert (get energy from being alone), extrovert (get energy from being around people), or ambivert (need 50-50)?: 0_o Uh.... hmm...most likely an ambivert. :D
10) Nightowl or Early Riser?: Night owl.
11) Are you ready for this to be over?: Yeah, kinda. lol

Now, last but not least Round Three!! The fun part where I get to come up with questions! 
1) You're stuck on an island. What do you bring?
2) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
3) What seems funny to you but not to anyone else? 
4) If you were the richest person in the world, how would you use your money?
5) Paperback/Hardcover or ebook?
6) What's your favorite past time?
7) What's your favorite movie?
8) You are given seven days to live, how do you spend them?
9) Which do you prefer: spring or winter?
10) How many books do you own? (Give us an estimate)
11) What's the one thing you desperately want?

And there you have it! Now for the lucky tagged bloggers....
Emily Rachelle over at Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author
And Rachelle over at Inspiring Daring!

Have fun!!

-Rosie


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Review: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

My Review:
This book is for Jane Austen fans!! The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is my first read by Ms. Klassen and it won't likely be my last. I was captivated by her portrayal of 1800s England and the class separation. It is so different from today!

Margaret Macy is in a predicament. Her evil stepfather wishes to steal her inheritance by forcing her to marry his nephew, Marcus Benton. Luckily enough for Margaret, she cannot marry without her consent. What's not so lucky is that her 25th birthday (at which point in time she shall receive her inheritance) is still three months off. How shall she put off her scheming uncle and his nephew for so long? Simple really. She flees with her ex-maid Joan. Just like Joseph fled from Potiphar's wife.

Along her flight she discovers the only option to protect herself, and her money, is to become a maid. So with the help of Joan they make up a new name for her- Nora Garrett. But their time together is cut short when Joan is quickly hired off, leaving Margaret to her own devices.

I really enjoyed watching Margaret's character develop, as well as Nate's too. The setting and storyline were engaging leaving my only complaint to be that sometimes the story lagged.

I highly recommend this book!

Back of the Book:
Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?
Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?
On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."
 


Interested? You can purchase the book here! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon


Lethal LegacyMy Review:
I have long anticipated this suspense-packed, mystery, romance novel from Irene Hannon. I was able to fall in love all over again with the Taylor family and it saddens me that this is their last adventure I'll read about.

Cole Taylor is a single detective, who wants something more meaningful in his life, and has long since abandoned God. He is sick of flimsy dating-- and his sister poking into his personal life.

Kelly Warren is a single persistent woman who wants answers. The police ruled her father killed himself, but she doesn't believe that for a moment. Her father was a happy man and planned to be around to plant spring tulips with his daughter.

When their paths cross, Cole becomes intrigued with Kelly's case and offers his assistance until Alan, the case leader, returns. Such a simple gesture sends a thousand things running into motion.

Something I loved about Lethal Legacy was the strong knit family of the Taylors and how they looked out for one another. Near the end, after a long forty-eight hours, Mitch sticks at Cole's side until Jake can relieve him. Cole was never alone. Their care and honesty was so refreshing.

I also particularly enjoyed the friendship-bond that Kelly and Lauren shared.

To conclude, we're given many twists and turns- but they never get old! I highly recommend this book. :-D

Summary: 
The police say her father's death was suicide. But Kelly Warren says it was murder--and she has new evidence that she believes proves it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn't put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when Kelly ends up in the emergency room with a suspicious life-threatening medical condition, the incident strikes him as more than just coincidence. Digging deeper, he discovers she's linked to a long-ago crime. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced?

I preordered Lethal Legacy, no review required.