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May 19, 2013

TSS | Mailbox Monday | Group Reads Info | FTC Mindgames

The Sunday   
Visit Svea's blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Spring was here, right? Was it? It's already hit over 90 degrees here in Texas, and meanwhile not too long ago I was wearing turtlenecks. Despite the heat, I took my kiddos out to the local Founder's Day Festival (150 years old Rockwall is) and we had some fun shopping and eating and hanging out with Radio Disney yesterday.

Exciting Events:
Go find yourself a used copy of that classic 1954 novel Katherine by Anya Seton, and come join us for a July Group Read. Information is here at the Goodreads Classic HF Group.

We have also just begun the Bible Study Plan of Major People. This plan will span 89 days but consists of 65 weekday daily chapters, leaving the weekends available for further study. You can follow along here, stragglers are allowed to participate at any time.

Instead of doing Armchair BEA this year I am going to do a giveaway here on the blog. I had tons of fun last year participating and I met new people, but I never really conversed with those folks again and I don't really have the time to devote to it this year.. so I am going to stick with my followers here and host some giveaways here without going through the 'Armchair' motions, lol. But, if you are a YA blogger, the Armchair BEA has tons of participants from that niche, and I definitely would recommend it to the YA followers! HINT subscribe by email, and find BBR on facebook to get more entries for the upcoming giveaways. I'll be pulling some books from the shelves that will be some general literature and christian historical fiction. My library is getting too insane for me to handle and I wouldn't mind sharing it with you!

Reviews on the blog this week: 

Old News that was New news to me, and as such I wanted to share:
 I created a little post about the FTC. It spread like wildfire on twitter as some strongly feel the FTC  has nothing to do with book blogging. It increased my hits tremendously, how awesome is that? Within the span of an hour there were 100 pageviews on that post alone. There is some disagreement over the term book blogger versus advertiser versus reviewer versus journalist versus writer versus marketer.. Some bloggers feel like they are blogging, some feel like they are promoting. I do feel like a review robot because all the reviews I do are 'expected' to be posted at a certain time. If I am on someone else's schedule like I have been for the last four years of reviewing, I do feel like an advertiser, albeit in a bloggy sort of way. Anyway, here's my quick turn around of a sort of rebuttal post to my own post, as I didn't want everyone to start taking my editorial as gospel (gasp!).

Who is the expert on this? No one. No matter what title you give yourself, from blogger to reviewer to writer to professional reader to professional reviewer etc etc each of us are entitled to post our feelings and that is what I did. I posted a letter to the FTC also to see if they would ever clarify their guidelines towards book bloggers. Because I DO want to know. Because of the quantity of varying and passionate opinions, we need some sort of fact from the actual source: the FTC.

Look how my traffic for the day spiked with the FTC post!! 117 views in about an hour. Woohoo! But my post sparked conversation and enlightenment throughout the blogosphere, and for that I'm eternally grateful. If I get a response to that letter, y'all will be the first to know (not counting on it)!

Most important lesson learned from all of this is that there is a need for more beneficial and helpful conversation about these matters that mean the most to us. Bloggers are supposed to stick together, because one of the biggest things bloggers mention about why they enjoy blogging is the camaraderie and helpfulness from virtual strangers within the blogging community. Let's not lose sight of that as we try to establish an amicable standard of book blogging in regards to free review books.

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia's Mailbox and is being hosted by Abi @ 4 the LOVE of BOOKS for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

Starting Monday I'm going to have to rename this meme "books I had to pick up at my post office". Some douchebag drunken fool smashed into my mailbox and tore out the steel pole as well (this is going to be fun to repair) and also tore down the neighbor's box and pole also. Idiots! I was pleased to see they left some car parts behind, and I hope it costs them tons of money to fix. Since they didn't land in the ditch by the neighbor's driveway, and judging from the damage done, I think it was a truck that came through. Texans love their pickup trucks and unfortunately the speed limit is 50 since it's a rural area. Grr. 

From Paperbackswap:

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden - I had read Camden's Against The Tide (review) not too long ago and really enjoyed it. It was a bit of a mix of christian fiction, romance, history and suspense..looking forward to this one which is actually the one that comes before Against The Tide, which is a 2013 Christy Award Nominee.

When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain's worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.
But time has changed them both.
Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.
Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts--and lives--hang in the balance?

eBook Download:

Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle Within All of Us by Josh Riebock
Heroes and Monsters is an unforgettable memoir of passion and redemption, a ragged look into a world at once wildly twisted and profoundly beautiful, an exposé of both the hero and the monster within all of us.In this stunningly honest, thoroughly unconventional, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues that form us into the people we are--issues of family, love, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey. With artful prose and vivid storytelling, he shows that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter. If you're grappling with life's inconsistencies and trials, If you're searching for an encounter with something real, If you're craving a story that's just a wee bit odd . . .Heroes and Monsters is a fresh and exhilarating perspective on the uneven nature of life, and the equally uneven people who inhabit it.

Portraits of Integrity: Real People Who Demonstrated Godly Character Volume 2 by Marilyn Boyer, Grace Tumas
Volume II of Portraits of Integrity brings your family another double dose of inspiration for greatness. Highlighting some prominent heroes from various periods of history, this book introduces you to:
--Nate Saint, the missionary pilot who, with four other brave men, gave his life in the effort to bring the Gospel to the Auca Indians of South America
--World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin York who single-handedly captured thirty-eight enemy machine guns and 132 prisoners
--Nathan Hale, George Washington's daring young spy who boldly entered British territory on a mission and when caught and about to be hung, spoke his last words: "I only regret that I have but one lift to lose for my country."
- Captain Eddie Simpson, the World War II pilot who, having survived the crash of his plane behind enemy lines then declined to escape, choosing instead to sacrifice his life for those of French Resistance fighters, delaying the advancing Germans long enough to make their escape
And much more!
Portraits of Integrity, Volume II is another exciting collection of true stories that will inspire your family members to strive for the heights of worthy character.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

Currently Reading:

I've been reading the chunkster of a non-fiction book on an American icon John Quincy Adams and actually just completed it late last night. I learned a lot about politics of the 1810 decade, and the events that lead to the War of 1812. Mostly I've read quaint little Regency style type romps that would be in this decade, and this is quite far from that ideal. America is struggling to assert herself as a country, and John Quincy Adams is over in Russia trying to persuade Czar Alexander (who may or may not have helped murder his father) to help the commerce and trade routes. American ships were being seized by the British, Napoleon was seizing our cargo, and Russia was our ally. But this is also the story of his wife, Louisa, who was forced to join Mr. Adams on his political exile to Russia. It's took FOREVER (ten days) to read because of the details and it is all new material for me, but I still recommend it.

Up Next:
Same as last week, just try to survive:
Quite a few titles in the pile, including Call Me Zelda, Stealing the Preacher, Firebird by Kearsley, Godiva by Galland, Wildish by Parry. It would be nice if I could get all these done before the July Group Read of Katherine by Anya Seton. Wishful thinking, I know. I have so many pressures in real life right now, blogging about books is kinda like not exactly high on the priorities list as I pray for the tornado victims not too far from me, and I wonder why I bother blogging anyway. Oh yeah, it's cuz some of my most awesome followers would miss me and I thank them for their love and support! Have a happy happy week, everyone! =)