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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

July 21, 2011

A Modern Day Prophet: Convergence

Convergence Convergence (Children of Creation Book 1) by J. D. Watts
ebook, 195 pages
Published December 2010 by The Writer's Coffee Shop
ISBN 9781612130064
Read July 2011

I am slowly, but surely making it through my publisher's list of published books. I know only have 1 remaining from 2010 to read.

I was intrigued by the concept of this novel. At one point, it was pitched to me as a modern day Esther story. I knew that the plot revolved around angels and other beings that God created. I also knew that the author had a degree in Christian education. As angels is not something that has been discussed in detail during my own Christian education, I wanted to see what J. D. Watts would do with it.

Right from the start, I didn't want to put the book down. J.D. did a great job with the characters. I wanted to know what would happen between Nate and Dani. I was also curious as to what role Dani would play in the great battle.

If I had one thing negative to say about Convergence it would be that I thought there could have been a bit more detail on Dani's resistance or wanting to do it on her own. I didn't get that vibe from her throughout the story. If anything was holding her back, it was her disbelief that she had a bigger role to play. I think if her "relying on her own strength" had been brought forth a bit more then, her plea at the end would have been more believable or maybe sound more desperate.

I have a few questions. I don't know if it was just overlooked plot points or if they will be explained later in the series. I won't have to wait long as Induction (book 2 of the series) will be out later this year.

See what others thinks about Convergence on

Though Convergene is published by the publishing house I work for, I am not paid to provide reviews of our books. The opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.
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July 20, 2011

Childhood Book Memories

Recently, Mom was going through the children books at her house and sorting out the ones that my niece and nephew no longer read. She had decided to give them away (she doesn't expect there to be any more young children in the family), but she wanted me and my sister to go through them in case there were any we wanted to keep. While there was a box full of childhood reading memories the above pictured ones were my fondest memories. (I'm a bit of a pack rat so I really tried hard to not keep the entire box of books).

Books were always a part of my life. I can remember sitting on my Mom's lap and reading together. I still remember the first book I "read" - really I had just memorized the words, which was evident when I skipped a page and kept right on with the story. That book isn't pictured; it wasn't in the box. Mom thought my nephew may still have it. I can't remember that exact title but it was something like I'm Not Afraid of the Dark. Another book that I memorized because of the repetition of the story was Twenty Four Robbers. I can remember pretending to make the soup when I played kitchen.

The red book in the picture - Day in and Day out - it was printed in 1937. I kept it partly for that reason, but also I remember it was always the first book I read when I finished school each summer. I think it was my own way of gauging how much I had improved in reading. If I could finish in less days than the summer before then I must be a better reader. I think even then, though, I thought characters in books were my friends and I felt a need to check in with them each year. I don't know when I stopped reading it.

I have two Bernstein Bears books. I loved the Bernstein Bears, but most were checked out of the library. My absolute favorite was Messy Room. I so wanted my bedroom to look like the one at the end of the story, particularly the labeled boxes. I almost have it in two closets in my house - my linen closet just doesn't have labels. And the guest room has boxes with my niece and nephew's toys, but it still needs work to be on the level of the Bernstein Bears' room.

The Egg Tree was a gift from a teacher, I think. It made me want to blow eggs one Easter. My older sister was good at it, but I was not. I have 2 older sisters which is probably why I liked The Icky Picky Sister so much. I think I might have to read The Horse Who Liked Sandwiches again to see why I enjoyed it so much. I can't really bring up a specific memory for it, but know it was read a bunch. In addition to the Dark book, also missing is No Baths for Tabitha. I LOVED that story, though, I enjoyed baths (I loved water and wondered if I was part mermaid or dolphin when I was younger). I know that my nephew still has that book on his desk.

Neither my niece or nephew really seemed to latch on to my childhood favorites. They are more into Skippy Jon Jones and Fly Guy. I guess childhood books are as unique as each person's childhood. What were some your favorite books growing up? When you see a certain title, does it bring back a particular memory for you? I would love to hear your memories, please leave a comment.

July 19, 2011

Decent Chick-lit: The Undomesticated Goddess

The Undomestic GoddessThe Undomestic Goddessby Sophie Kinsella
audio book, Narrator: Katherin Kellgren
Published July 2005 by Random House Audio
ISBN 9780739321966
Listened July 2011

My librarian recommended that I read The Undomesticated Goddess when I told her I had listened to Twenties Girl (see my review here). I really liked Twenties Girl, so I went in search of The Undomesticated Goddess. It took a while for my number to come up on the digital library, but when it did I started the audio book right away.

I didn't enjoy The Undomesticated Goddess as much as Twenties Girl. The main character rubbed me the wrong way. She seemed a bit dimwitted to be a high powered lawyer at one of London's largest law firms. When she dyed her hair blonde, I thought that colored fit her personality much better. I tried to not let her lack of common sense bother be and later it explained a lot about what happened at the law firm.

There were several funny parts - I particularly liked how her to-do list was just a repetition of what she needed to do. But some of the scenes seemed contrived. Would you really knock on someone's door and ask for a glass of water with an aspirin? Maybe I read too much realistic fiction and have trouble getting lost in the fantasy that is fiction.

Overall it was a decent listen and if you are looking for a book that is like a modern day, adult fairy tale, then I recommend The Undomesticated Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.

See what other people thought of The Undomesticated Goddess at

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July 18, 2011

Video: It's Monday!

My video last week for It's Monday! What are you reading? seemed to go over well so I decided it give it another go. If you love it, hate it, indifferent to having a video, please let me know. You can read summaries for the new books on my list below the video. Please let me know what you're reading by leaving a comment.

Mr. and Miss AnonymousMr. and Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels

College senior Lily Madison is on her own and desperate to pay for her last semester of school. With nowhere to turn, she makes the difficult decision to donate her eggs to a fertility clinic. Peter Kelly is also a penniless student who supplements his tuition money by visiting a sperm bank. One day, Lily and Pete meet at the clinic and talk about their secret. They agree the clinic gives them an odd feeling, as if all is not as it seems. Despite their obvious attraction, Lily and Pete go their separate ways.
Nineteen years have passed and Lily often wonders if she has a child somewhere in the world. She also thinks a lot about Pete. Now a wealthy entrepreneur, Pete never forgot Lily either, and when he sees her in an airport one day, he falls for her all over again. But while they enjoy their unlikely reunion, a story on the news has them riveted. Two teenage boys are missing and their disappearance may be linked to the fertility clinic Pete and Lily visited in college. In a shocking twist, one of the boys looks exactly like Pete.
Lily and Pete are now determined to find out what really went on at the clinic all those years ago. When the whole story comes out, the truth will be more than they bargained for. But they will discover that letting go of their secrets from the past is the best way to build a future worth fighting for… From

Confessions Of A PTA Mafia Mom Confessions Of A PTA Mafia Mom by Elsie Love
Elaine Jackerson has found herself in quite a predicament. Her husband, Bob, is sleeping with his secretary, her daughter is experimenting in the backseat with random boys, and her eight year old wants nothing to do with her.

In an attempt to get herself out of her midlife rut, Elaine joins the Herschel Grammar School PTA. Little does she know, Suni Calverson, the current president has handpicked her to be the newest member of the group. As soon as the ink is dry on the signup sheet, Elaine is thrust into a world that she never knew existed. A world where the PTA gets things done with blackmail, bribes, threats and quite possibly guns.

After stumbling across her husband and his secretary humping in his office, Elaine turns to the only friends she has: Suni and her henchmen. They convince her to let them “take care” of Bob. Elaine agrees to the plan, as long as no one dies. Unfortunately for Elaine, Suni has other plans. Before Elaine can sleep off her Mojitos, her children have been kidnapped and Bob has disappeared. Afraid that Elaine will go back on her word, Suni forces her onto a plane to hide out in a posh suite in Las Vegas that belongs to the famous French landscape photographer Gerard Ilg.

Determined to get her children back and avoid jail, Elaine spends her time in Sin City vacillating between planning her escape and trying to stay out of the arms of the much younger, very hot, very Hawaiian limo driver Benjamin Oliana. Does he care for Elaine, or is she just another notch on his Billabong belt? What about her famous host who keeps encouraging her to “find her passion”? Gerard is a man of the world—a man that knows Suni. Can he be trusted? More importantly, can she sort out her feelings, take down the PTA Mafia, and go home to her children? From