Friday, August 29, 2014

Giveaway: Two Days Left!

Two days left to enter the Book Lovers' Giveaways!

Many entries can be done with a simple Twitter, Facebook, blog, or Pinterest post. I finished this entire post (worth 12 entries!) in just a little over an hour.

Even better? One person could win all three giveaways - a combined total of 30% off, $30 in gift cards, and all five of my ebooks (plus a sneak peek at my WIP, since I don't have a sixth book to give)!

The more you do, the better chance you have of winning, but even just one entry could get you a prize (that's the beauty of raffles).


3. Write to an author whose books you enjoy: I wrote to Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, author of Conquering your Goliaths (among others), to let her know how much I enjoyed her audiobook.

4. Write a book review: I reviewed Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke.

5. Check out an indie author whose books you haven't read yet: I got an ebook version of David Bergsland's newest, Designing ePUBs With InDesign.

6. Organize your bookshelf.
My newly-organized (little) shelf of books:


1. Create a new cover for a book you love. I picked Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

2. Paint a scene from a book. Anne's unpleasant hair-dying experience from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. "She said it would be a beautiful, raven black!"

(I'm not an artist, so I "cheated" with Photoshop and stock photos. Feel free to do the same!)

Original artwork by Morgan LaRue

3. Rewrite a famous book scene: Lucy discovering Narnia in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Lucy stepped into the cold, wishing she had thought to bring her coat. But how would I have known? I certainly didn't expect it to be winter here when I was just playing in the warm sun! The door she'd gone through was the same one she had come out of an hour before, wasn't it?
Her curiosity grew as her eyes focused upon a man with furry legs. I would give my left shoe to have a snowsuit like his! Maybe he'd accept it, too, since he didn't seem to have any shoes of his own.
Are those...hooves?
4. Draw a character who interests you: Foehn from Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas.
(Again, I "cheated.")

(Yes, it's thilly.)

5. Create a "movie" poster based on a book: When It Rains by C.M. Stewart isn't yet released, but I've had a chance to get to know her characters and her writing style, and I know it will be wonderful!

6. Write a newspaper article about a book you loved or hated. Treat it like a news release.
Debut author makes a big splash! Monster by Mirriam Neal arrived in online stores everywhere on June 30th, 2013. Already a fan favorite with at least one award to its name, this is sure to be a classic. Get your copy today! Just $3.99 on the Kindle.
8. Are there any author signings happening in your area? On September 7th, there is a book signing for Nathan Johnson's book, Legendary Locals of Pine City. I hadn't heard of this book or author before, but I'm intrigued!

9. Act out a scene from your favorite book - on your own or with friends. I acted out a scene from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night when I was in England. Yes, this was years ago. It still counts! (The same goes for you, of course.)

(That's me on the far right, playing Viola.)

I have just two entries left! (Go on a book tour and create a fort with your books.) I can't promise they'll be done before the giveaways end, but they will be done soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Reasons My Kid Is Crying

Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke

About a year ago, I came across Greg Pembroke's blog (Reasons My Kid Is Crying) and was hooked. For those who enjoy the blog, if you come to the book knowing it will be much of the same, it won't disappoint. It has many of the same images and reasons as on the blog. There still are some I hadn't seen - that could be because I don't regularly read the blog, or it could be because they're new. I also appreciated the "Reasons I'm Crying" sections, which have more amusings situations the author has found himself in.

The book is very short - I finished reading it in about a half hour - but it's also very fun. I'll read it again, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with friends.

For a paperback book, it's surprisingly good quality. The pages are glossy and feel like those in a magazine, though they would (like a magazine) be easily ripped.

There were a couple pages where the light background mixed with the white text and made it difficult to read. For the most part, that wasn't an issue, but I would have chosen a darker background or black text on those (pages 15, 107, and 134).

At the back of the book, there are blank picture frames with the intent to include your own photos and reasons. I like the idea behind them, but in practice I'm not sure it works. I haven't tried, but I imagine it would be difficult to attach a photo (double-sided tape, perhaps?) and find a pen that would write well on the glossy paper.

I'm not a parent, but I do spend time with kids whenever I can and I've seen a few meltdowns. The pictures and reasons in the book and on the blog are funny and accurate. This would make a great gift for a parent, aunt or uncle, or anyone who loves kids.

The ebook probably isn't worth the investment, since much of it can be found on the blog. The paperback version is nice to have, though, and will make a great conversation piece for my coffee table.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

To Learn More...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Book Review: Conquering Your Goliaths

Conquering Your Goliaths by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

(This review is for the audiobook version.)

I definitely would listen to this book again, and I plan to. The story had so many Truths in it, and I would love to sit down with a notebook and just soak them all in.

The scene that sticks out to me most is when the trust stone started to sink into Virginia's couch. It paints such a clear picture of the effect doubt can have. There are similar metaphors throughout the book. None of them felt too obvious or forced, but the meanings were clear.

I loved the part when Virginia met with God and began to wonder why she never saw anyone else there. His response was that He always would have time for his children, no matter when, and no matter how many of them needed Him at once. He'll always be there to listen to us, and that scene was an almost tangible reminder of that fact.

A close second favorite scene is when God asked Virginia how she feels about being single. As someone in a very similar situation, I appreciated her response and His answer. It really is all about trust.

There was a good mixture of happy, sad, and tender moments. There were parts that made me giggle and parts that made me wish I could give the characters a hug. I didn't have any extreme reactions, but the entire book was calming and gave me a sense of peace.

The narrator was an excellent choice for this book. It was almost always clear who was speaking, just based on her tone, and she captured the characters' emotions perfectly.

When the book first began, I didn't relate much to Virginia. I'm not too interested in makeup, I love my job, and I tend to look at life positively. As the book progressed, however, her character grew and I began to see the similarities in our lives. Some of the things she deals with, I deal with now or I have in the past (and likely will again). By the end of the book, I loved her.

This was a great book, easy to listen to, and I would definitely recommend it.

I was given an audiobook copy of this book for this unbiased review.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Easy #4, plus Medium #1 and 2


4. My modern-day version of Edith Adelon from The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott. (If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it! It's very sweet.)

Created with


1. I requested Monster by Mirriam Neal at my local library.

2. Favorite book characters...and why:

  • Mr. Tilney (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen)
    • He reads novels, is witty, and is altogether charming. What's not to like?
  • Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery)
    • She's so unpredictably quirky and fun! The scrapes she gets into are humorous but filled with real emotion. Plus, she loves books.
  • Foehn (Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas)
    • Such a sweet, flawed-but-trying character. I just love him!
  • Freckles (Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter)
    • He's hard working and honest, and I can't think of two better traits. Could be considered too perfect, but it's never bothered me. (I've read Freckles multiple times.)
  • Klaus (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket)
    • What reader doesn't relate to an avid book lover like Klaus? I also love the relationship he has with his siblings and the way they combine their strengths to work together.
  • Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
    • I love how spunky she is! She's also very realistic and her growth as a character is clear.
  • Edith Adelon (The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott)
    • She's almost too perfect, but her sweet nature and kindness to everyone around her - especially considering her circumstances - won me over.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Launch: Raising Little Kids with Big Love

This isn't one of Rivershore's books, but it looks like a good one!

Are you the parent or grandparent of a toddler to 9 year old? If so, hop over to Amazon and order Raising Little Kids with Big Love. You will discover how to bring the 15 LOVE attributes (found in 1 Corinthians 13) to life in your parenting and in your family. Practical and easily applicable strategies that work are generously shared throughout the book.

Lori Wildenberg & Becky Danielson are the founders of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting; a team of family, faith, and education experts. They are the authors of three parenting books including Raising Little Kids with Big Love and the soon to be released, Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. Their warmth, realistic approach, and expertise make these moms and licensed parent-family educators favorite speakers at parenting events. The Wildenbergs reside in Colorado. Minnesota is home to the Danielsons. For more information go to

My #3

A book I own but haven't read yet: All the Wrong Questions, book 1 by Lemony Snicket.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My #2

Just two weeks left to enter the Rivershore drawing!
My #2: I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It's so good!#rivershorebooks

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: The Fit Bottomed Girls' Anti-Diet

The Fit Bottomed Girls' Anti-Diet by Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead

The Fit Bottomed Girls' Anti-Diet was just the motivation boost I needed to get back on track.

Since I want my change to be a lasting one (and who doesn't?) I knew the change needed to be mental just as much as physical. And I know, about myself, completely removing food items doesn't work. I crave them more. 

With that in mind, I appreciate the book's "nothing is off limits" approach. They allow junk food—in moderation. They encourage exercise—but not so much that you’ll feel overwhelmed. The same is true with their view of healthy foods: eat what your body needs, and know when to stop. That's nothing new for me, but it's great to see it reaffirmed.

I especially appreciated the practical tips, both throughout the book and at the end of each chapter. There are exercise routines, motivation and attitude-changing suggestions, and healthy recipes, to name a few. 

There were a couple things in the book that bothered me. The main issue I saw was the blocks of information. Often, where they were placed would interrupt a paragraph or even a sentence. The reader has to choose whether to skip the info box, let it interrupt the current paragraph and try to get back into it on the next page, or turn the page to finish reading the current section, then turn back to read the info box. Interrupting the flow of reading is never a good thing. 

A much, much smaller issue was the grammar. There were tiny grammatical mistakes (missing or extra commas, strange wording, &c.) throughout the book. They may have been author choices, or they may have been missed during proofing. As an editor, they stuck out to me, but I doubt they would to most readers. 

While it didn’t seem like either author had been overweight (so it wasn’t easy to relate to them on that level), they did bring in personal stories to help give readers a better picture of who they are and what emotions we all share.

Overall, this is a good book with practical thoughts and motivational insight. It never felt judgmental or forceful, and I appreciate the gentle tone throughout. It seemed as if the authors truly want to help others succeed in their goals—whatever those goals may be. (It’s not all about weight loss!)

To learn more...

Read the press release
"Like" on Facebook and "follow" on Twitter
Find more info (and buy, if you'd like to)

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: Ransomed

This is one of the most beautiful books I've seen or read. I fell instantly in love with the illustrations throughout. The detail in them is incredible even in black and white, and they fit the story so well.

But what really makes Ransomed a treasure is the story itself. This short book captures real, true love like only a few others (with more words) have managed to. It isn't a sappy story. Coming from a Christian (so take that as you will), I don't feel it's a preachy story. It's a gentle and honest story of betrayal, pain, hatred, hope, sadness, and love.

The language is poetic, the allegory is subtly clear, and the message is lasting. I've already recommended this to friends, and plan to keep it as a "coffee table book" to pique the curiosity of even more.

Unlike most books I review, I bought a (signed) copy on my own.

Monday, August 11, 2014

My #1...

Because I would rarely ask others to do something I'm unwilling to do myself, I will be participating in the list of 20 things to do on Book Lovers' Day (or...any day). I hope you'll join me!
Today I'm reading "If One Falls" by Elaine Baldwin and drinking - what else? - coffee. What about you?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

20 Ways to Celebrate Book Lovers' Day (Bonus: A Giveaway!)

Today (August 9th) is Book Lovers' Day!

To celebrate, Rivershore Books is holding three drawings! Entries close on August 31st.

The following 20 ways to spend Book Lovers' Day have been divided by difficulty. The higher the difficulty, the bigger the prize!

Easy To Do
  1. Curl up with a book and your favorite drink.
  2. Reread your favorite classic. (My choice: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.)
  3. Find a book you own but haven't read yet.
  4. Using or something similar, create a "doll" of your favorite character - or ten!

Medium Difficulty
  1. Visit the library. Put in a request for a book they haven't heard of. (See suggestions in #5 if you're not sure what to recommend.)
  2. Make a list of your favorite book characters and what you like about them.
  3. Write to an author whose books you enjoy. Most author's emails can be found by a simple web search, and fan mail is always appreciated.
  4. Write a book review. They are valuable to both readers and authors!
  5. Check out an indie author whose books you haven't read yet. (Not sure who to read? Mirriam Neal, Vicki V. Lucas, LA Ramsey, Elizabeth Ender, and any of our Rivershore authors are great!)
  6. Organize your bookshelf (or, if you're like me, bookshelves).

Expert Book Lover
  1. Create a new cover for a book you love. (Don't have Photoshop? Gimp is free and works very well.)
  2. Paint a scene from a book.
  3. Rewrite a famous book scene.
  4. Draw a character who interests you.
  5. Create a "movie" poster based on a book.
  6. Write a newspaper article about a book you loved or hated. Treat it like a news release. ("Extra; extra! Read all about it! Reader enjoyed new novel by an up-and-coming author!")
  7. Go on a book tour. There are iconic scenes in almost any book: recreate those in your area. Double the fun: Film it! Send your video to me ( and I may post it on here in the future.
  8. Are there any author signings happening in your area? Find one to go to - whether you've heard of the author or not. It could be how you discover your next favorite read!
  9. Act out a scene from your favorite book - on your own or with friends.
  10. Create a fort with your books. (Suggestion: Use a sheet as a roof to avoid books falling on you.)

Important But Boring Info 

To enter: On Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (your choice!), post a photo, video, or description of what you did with #rivershorebooks or somewhere within the post.*

Copy the URL of your post, and enter it in the corresponding Rafflecopter giveaway!

Winners will be announced on September 1st! Some entries may be included on this blog throughout the month. Please email me ( if you don't want yours shared.

*Not applicable for book reviews.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Review: Mom's Little Black Book

The story behind this book is so sweet: the author created it as a gift for her graduating senior. I know I would have appreciated a book like this when I was graduating.

Some of the advice came across as preachy, but it would have been hard to avoid that within this format. It doesn't take away from the Truth behind it. I especially appreciate how the author has taken advice directly from the Bible and constantly guides the reader back to that.

I read the ebook version, and while that format didn't lessen the value of the content, I would opt for the paperback version if I were buying it as a gift. This is the perfect flip-through, coffee table book. It's not designed to be read in one sitting. It works to read it from start to finish, but it can also be read out of order, reread, bookmarked, and highlighted.

There is so much excellent advice packed into this little book - from practical advice about doing laundry to spiritual wisdom - any young adult just venturing out on their own can benefit from it.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.