May 3, 2017

Sunshine blogger Award :: take two


I know I just did one of these a couple months ago, but I saw Hamlette's post for this yesterday and since she didn't tag anyone specifically, plus I was searching for some post ideas, here we are! I thought the questions were fun.

{Also, I'm not tagging anyone specific either. So if you want to join in, have at it!}

1. Do you like to read an entire series at once or spread out the books over time?

I would much prefer to read them all at once. If I have to wait, it's incredibly painful. (I'm looking at you The Lunar Chronicles). And then once I've read them all and loved them, I can reread again and again all I want! :)

2. Would you rather be stuck in the past or the future?

Hmmmm. That's a tough one actually. I'd say the past, at least I could have some semblance of understanding what's going on (maybe?).

3. Have you ever had dream re-runs? (In other words, the same dream twice. XD)

I have no idea. If I ever actually remember my dream, usually I've forgotten it a couple hours later.

4. What is your favorite vacation you've ever taken?

Not a pic from that trip, but
imagine thousands of these
all in rows.
There's several that would be in my top ten, but my most favorite ever? I'd probably go with this one: back in 2001, a couple friends and I drove straight through from VA to CA (it took 41-45 hrs....I think?), stayed there a few days, then drove up the west coastline to OR and WA. We stayed in each of those states a couple days apiece, then drove east. We stopped at the Grand Canyon for a few hours on the way out, and Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore on the way back. We also saw the most beautiful (and HUGE) fields of sunflowers in South Dakota, as well a very large amount of motorcycles around Sturgis, SD. Not to mention we did a lot of tent camping, which brought it's own flavor of adventure to the trip. (You try chopping up a long piece of wooden board that we found alongside the road into firewood without an axe. Lucky for us, a rather handsome gentleman came to our rescue. ;) I have the best memories of that two and a half weeks. It was crazy, a bit chaotic, but awesome!

5. Do you like to chew gum? If so, what is your favorite flavor?

Not really, so I don't have a favorite.

6. If you found the entrance to Narnia, would you tell anybody? Who would you take with you if you did?

Yes! I would tell a couple good friends of mine, who I know would be thrilled beyond bits to go on an adventure like that with me. :)

7. Waffles, pancakes, or neither?

Both!

8. Do you use the Shift key or the Caps Lock key every time you capitalize something? (Odd question, but it's something I always wonder, haha.)

The Shift key, unless I'm typing in all caps like I do for work. But for just one letter capitalization, I use Shift.

9. What is one smell that never fails to make you happy?

Anything freshly baking in the oven.

10. Have you ever been rollerskating?

Many, many times. Mom and dad's house has a basement with a cement floor and two poles in the middle of it. So around and around we went as kids, in skates and trikes and anything we could find with wheels! :)

11. You've gone into hiding and have to conceal your identity. What new alias would you adopt?

I have no idea? Off the top of my head, how about....Anne Shirley. :D




May 2, 2017

2017 INSPY Awards Shortlists

The day has arrived. We are ready to announce our 2017 INSPYs shortlists.


We thank you so much for your continued support, especially in light of the 2017 changes as we strive to create a program that is considerate of the many wonderful novels written in this genre.

Following multiple book deliveries plus multiple time zones, and juggling our respective schedules, the INSPY Awards Advisory Board is thrilled to (finally) announce the 2017 shortlist contenders. As each year does, another daunting task was placed before us to pick just 5 books in each category from a long list nominated by readers and bloggers around the world. After careful consideration and deliberation, the INSPYs Advisory Board is pleased to announce that the following books have been shortlisted in the 6th annual INSPY Awards.


CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 


Can’t Help Falling (Howard) by Kara Isaac
Her One and Only (Bethany House) by Becky Wade
Just a Kiss (Thomas Nelson) by Denise Hunter
A Twist of Faith (Southern Firefly Fiction) by Pepper Basham
You’re the One that I Want (Tyndale) by Susan May Warren


DEBUT FICTION


Close to You (Howard Books) by Kara Isaac
Counted with the Stars (Bethany House) by Connilyn Cossette
Leaving Independence (Waterfall Press) by Leanne W. Smith
The Secret to Hummingbird Cake (Thomas Nelson) by Celeste Fletcher McHale
The Undoing of Saint Silvanus (Tyndale) by Beth Moore


GENERAL FICTION


The Alliance (Tyndale) by Jolina Petersheim
The Feathered Bone (Thomas Nelson) by Julie Cantrell
Land of Silence (Tyndale) by Tessa Afshar
Long Way Gone (Thomas Nelson) by Charles Martin
A Portrait of Emily Price (Thomas Nelson) by Katherine Reay


HISTORICAL ROMANCE


A Flight of Arrows (Waterbrook) by Lori Benton
The Lady and the Lionheart (Mason Jar Books) by Joanne Bischof
A Heart Most Certain (Bethany House) by Melissa Jaegers
The Captive Heart (Shiloh Run Press) by Michelle Griep
The Ringmaster’s Wife (Thomas Nelson) by Kristy Cambron


MYSTERY/THRILLER


Conspiracy of Silence (Bethany House) by Ronie Kendig
Cold Shot (Bethany House) by Dani Pettrey
Dressed for Death (Bethany House) by Julianna Deering
If I Run (Zondervan) by Terri Blackstock
When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson) by Carrie Stuart Parks


LITERATURE FOR YOUNG ADULTS


A Daring Sacrifice (Zondervan) by Jody Hedlund
Gilt Hollow (Blink) by Lorie Langdon
I’ll Be Yours (Sweet Pea Productions) by Jenny B. Jones
Siren’s Song (Thomas Nelson) by Mary Weber
Unblemished (Thomas Nelson) by Sara Ella


SPECULATIVE FICTION


Accelerant (Enclave) by Ronie Kendig
The Calling (Tyndale) by Rachelle Dekker
The Long Journey to Jake Palmer (Thomas Nelson) by James L. Rubart
Seasons of Glory (Blink) by Lisa T. Bergren
The Shattered Vigil (Bethany House) by Patrick W. Carr


Congratulations to all of the nominated authors and shortlist contenders! We now turn the job over to our 2017 judges to select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced June 28th.

Download Press Release here.






May 1, 2017

A few things I'm "weirdly passionate" about...


Hello, my lovelies! Look, I'm back again! Isn't that fabulous? I knew you'd think so. ;)

Anyhoo! I haven't been blogging much recently, as all of the maybe five whole people who probably still read my blog know all too well (thank you for sticking with me, for the record! I'm so grateful I still have at least a couple regular readers). Still, all evidence may seem against this, but I haven't given up on blogging! Nope. Hence, I stumbled over this post from a new-to-me blog from last week and it made me think. Laura read this quote that she loved and it struck a note with me as well...

"We should all find something to be weirdly passionate about." 
~ Emma Mills

Laura wrote a great post on why we shouldn't give up on the things that we're weirdly passionate about which others may never understand. (Seriously. Go read her post, it made me smile. :)

Enthusiasm is a good thing! Whatever it is we're passionate about, it doesn't matter if others understand it or not. Which reminded me of a conversation I had this past weekend with friends of mine. Somehow my enthusiasm for books and reading came up (I definitely didn't bring it up myself! So not my fault.) and I had the delightful opportunity to gush over my fun experience with the INSPYs. (Mainly because that's been my focus when it comes to reading for the past few weeks and when I was asked what I'd been reading currently, well...)

It was lovely to have the chance to show a bit of my enthusiasm and, while those listening didn't share the same feelings as I, they seemed to enjoy the fact that I was happy. That doesn't always happen, so yay! :)

So! I thought I'd share two things that I am, without a doubt, "weirdly passionate" about:

1. books (obviously) - This passion of mine is one of the biggest reasons I began to read blogs and was brave enough to start my own. I've said before that I've loved reading since before I can even remember. Probably since I was old enough to learn to read! :)

2. korean dramas (I love seeing Suey's enthusiasm for these and her courage inspires me) - I was a silent watcher of these for several years before I was brave enough to even mention it to a single person. And even then, I was a bit embarrassed to admit it. I don't know that I can even explain to someone what it is about them that I love so much. All I can tell you is I stumbled across one on youtube one day a few years ago and decided I must needs find more! And the rest, as they say, is history. I will say that when I've had a few reading slumps in recent past, or been sick and unable to concentrate on reading, kdramas have kept me happily distracted. Crazy, yes! But crazy awesome, if I do say so for myself. :D

What are you weirdly passionate about?




April 30, 2017

Little Letters :: Fifteenth Edition

via
Dear spring weather, thank you for finally arriving and sticking around! I was so ready for winter to be officially over.

Dear library book sale, I am SO sad that I totally forgot you were happening! Yes, yes, I know I was sick, but still. I could've at least come on the last day... *sniff*

Dear library, thanks for always being there. I've neglected you of late, but it was so comforting to return and find you still peaceful. My heart was happily restful in your presence.

Dear books on my TBR, I've been concentrating on the INSPYs for the past couple months, but am determined to get back into reading for pure pleasure now. So be on the lookout, I'm coming for you! :)

Dear Beauty and the Beast, you were such a delight! Thank you for existing.

Dear Lindor truffles, mmmmmmmmmm. :D

Dear dad, I'm happy you're happy. Truly! It's still a bit of adjustment for me, but it's definitely good to see you smiling again.

Dear Carrabbas, thank you for helping me "eat my feelings".

Dear weekends, why can't you last longer than just two days?

Dear old world, you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.




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