Friday, February 22, 2013

"Sneak" Book 2 of the Swipe Series by Evan Angler

Book 2 of the Swipe Series
Author: Evan Angler
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781400318421
Paperback: 288 pages

About the Book:
In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—but without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Now he’s on the run from government agents who will stop at nothing to capture him. But Logan is on a mission to find and save his sister, Lily, who disappeared five years ago on her thirteenth birthday, the day she was supposed to receive her Mark.

Logan and his friends, a group of dissenters called the Dust, discover a vast network of the Unmarked, who help them travel safely to the capital city where Lily is imprisoned. Along the way, the Dust receives some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

When the Dust finally arrives in the capital, it seems that all their careful planning is useless against a government that will do anything to bend its citizens to its will. Can the gentle words Logan has found in a tattered, banned Bible really stand against the most powerful military the world has ever known? Can Logan even sacrifice his own freedom, choosing to act through faith alone?
My Thoughts:

" Sneak" is Book 2 of the "Swipe Series", a young adult dystopian series that will hold the interest of both young adults and adults alike. Picking up where "Swipe" (Book 1) ended, this is not a book that one can pick up and totally enjoy or appreciate without starting at the beginning of the series.

As Logan gets closer to the truth and his goal to find Lily, the Dust is also coming closer to what they are working for. This novel will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat as things happen that you never saw coming. People who were introduced in "Swipe" return in "Sneak" and their roles may surprise you as things unfold.

"Sneak" is as good as or possibly even better than "Swipe" was and now I'm impatiently waiting for the next in the series, "Storm" to be published. May 7th, 2013 cannot come soon enough!

I received this book through the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sigmund Brouwer's "Merlin's Immortals" series - CSFF Tour

I had planned on featuring Sigmund Brouwer's "Merlin's Immortals" series over all three days of the tour as these books deserved to be noticed every one of those days. Unfortunately, even the best and most carefully laid out plans can be uprooted, especially when we rely on technology to get it up and out. :( So, here I am today, crunching everything together and not giving the attention that these great books deserve.

Arthurian tales are probably my favorite of the young adult fantasy genre. Based on possible truth (some say King Arthur wasn't a real person), these tales have all the elements of a fantastic story line: knights, castles, kings, sorcerers, good vs. evil, magic, immortality and love. Yet, with such a great story line, it seems to be somewhat overused and many of the stories seem the same... but not with Brouwer's "Merlin's Immortals" series.

In Book One "The Orphan King", we are introduced to Thomas, an abused orphan who was raised in a monastery after his mother passed away. She was in the process of teaching him and preening him for his future role when she died. Thomas continued those studies in secret until he grew old enough to leave the monastery. He then pursued his predestined course of action that his mother had carefully laid out and he discovered so much more that she never had the chance to tell him...

"The Orphan King" was a wonderful start to the series, and I must say I was reading it every chance I got until the end. Thankfully I had the second book, "Fortress of Mist" to continue with right away. I HAD to know what happened to Thomas when... (nope, no spoilers here!!)

"Fortress of Mist" picks up where "The Orphan King" lets off, making this a series you must read in sequence - no starting in the middle of this series. I'm really not sure how to go from here, as I'm afraid to give away anything important that may spoil the first book. Hmmm, let's see... Thomas continues his destiny, however the forces of good and evil are playing against each other and Thomas has to decide which one is which. Some of the pieces of the puzzle are revealed and he finds out people are not always as they seem.

Ohhhh  - Talk about keeping one on the edge of their seat! I devoured the second book and got to the end only to cry "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  You can't end it here!! I need to know and I need that third book now!" (Book 3, "Martyr's Fire" is scheduled to be released October 15th, 2013)

Truly, I have enjoyed everything about this series, from the story line to the characters to the suspense that is skillfully woven throughout the story. Thomas is a wonderful character - one with high standards that his mother carefully taught him and those standards impress many. He is a fantastic role model for the young adult audience and a delight to the older reader.

So far I have focused on Thomas, but the other characters: Katherine, William, John, and even Isabelle are characters that were believable, likable and even frustrating at times, and like real life, not always as they seem. Isabelle threw me a curve ball as she had me eating out of her hand. I thought she was amazing because she was there to protect Thomas. Knight William had a sense of humor that made me chuckle more than once, but at the same time he had concerned me in the beginning of the story. John was a little devil and amused me often with his skills. Katherine broke my heart and I fell in love with her character. She's so mysterious and yet her destiny scared me - especially when it revolved around Thomas's allegiance.

As for the setting, the setting of the story is wonderful and the descriptions are amazing. One can honestly hear the sounds and see the sights, feel the weather and smell the smells (although not always wanting to!) This series has cemented Brouwer in my favorite authors list - he is nothing less than brilliant when it comes to weaving a story - he is truly masterful!

This series comes highly recommended for both the young adult and adult audience!!

Make sure to look for "Martyr's Fire", Book 3 of the "Merlin's Immortals" series in October. It can be pre-ordered at your favorite retailer now.

The Orphan King Trailer:

Fortress of Mist Podcast:

If you would like to add these books to your reading library, for your convenience, you can find them at the links below, or at your local bookstore:
The Orphan King
Fortress Of Mist

To find out more about the author, you can visit Sigmund Brouwer's website at: .
You can also find him on Facebook at:
and Twitter at:

Make sure to visit the others on the tour to see what they are saying about the "Merlin's Immortals" series:

Gillian Adams
Julie Bihn
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Beckie Burnham
Janey DeMeo
Theresa Dunlap
Victor Gentile
Nikole Hahn
Jeremy Harder
Ryan Heart
Janeen Ippolito
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Anna Mittower
Eve Nielsen
Nathan Reimer
James Somers
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a favorable review, but one the reflects my own personal opinion.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Still Settling In - Downsizing/Repurposing Furniture

We didn't officially move into our new home until the kids were on winter break from the university. It seemed like the most logical decision because of the travel involved, plus it was exciting coming here all at the same time as a family. The kids love our new home, even though it is small. They say they love the cozy feeling plus the area is amazing - an added bonus!

One of my largest issues at this time is the downsizing we need to do. Storage space is almost non-existent, so I'm at that point of deciding what really is important and what can I live without. Not only that, but most of our furniture won't work here, so we are slowly acquiring "new" furniture.

One of the items we won't be using is our old waterbed - sorely outdated and one of the few things I was glad to get rid of. Instead of tossing it all, hubby repurposed it into a nice new bed for us!

Waterbed frame cut, resized and legs added.

Next came the support posts.

Then a nice stable surface to put our new Memory Foam type mattress on - But only after we covered the plywood with something that would protect the mattress.

The finished product.
We still need to add a headboard. I want to make an upholstered headboard (like this one), but am waiting until I find the perfect fabric. I'm thinking of a red and white print or something with red in it.

I have many projects ahead of me - refinishing, repurposing, and making new. I plan to furnish our home as cheaply, yet beautifully as possible! I would love to hear what you have done for your home.