Liebster Award Nomination Time!

So I was nominated for the Leibster Award.  What IS the Liebster Award you ask?  I have no clue what-so-ever.  So, let's find out shall we?  So when I google "Liebster" I find out that the word is German for "Sweetheart."  Awww, thank you!

So the Leibster Award is basically a way for you to get to know me, and for me to get to know you. I have received 10 Questions from Alisha (Hi Alisha!!) Over at The Bohemian Housewife, and below are others that I'm going to tag with questions of my own...so lets get this thing started!  If you just happened by, I encourage you to go over and say "hi" to Alisha (linked above) and all of the Bloggers linked below.

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging way back in (if my old archived blog that I happened to google just now is accurate) 2006, because I thought it was a cool idea, and I wanted to try.  My blog was based around being a parent and Christ-Follower and just about life in general.  One day I decided to review a book I had read.  That was great, so I decided to do another, and another.  Eventually I was writing a review a few times a month and somewhere in the 2006-2007 time frame an author of a book I had reviewed commented on my blog.  I could not believe an author would take the time to comment on a simple book review I had posted.  I just thought this was so awesome, so I kept it up.  By the time 2008 came around I started ILoves2read (right around the time  the Cheezburger Cats were big, thus the name) and ...well, here we are.

2. How has blogging affected you life?
I went from reading a normal amount of books to reading an impressive amount of books.  Well, impressive to those non-readers around me.  Now it seems like I read on the lower side of normal among bloggers...but I'm a busy person, so you'll have to forgive me.   The missing part of the story here is where I dropped very low in the review scene for a few years, only reviewing enough to keep my blog "active."  Now that I'm diving back in, things have changed a lot.  Anyhow, regardless, I read a lot more.

3. If you could visit one place 100% free for a week, where would you go/What would you do?
France, because I took French in High School and have wanted to go since that time.  I'd probably trace Anna's (from Anna and the French Kiss - which I've read no fewer than ten times) footsteps some before taking off on my own.  Oh, and I'm sure I'll find some old (or new and beautiful) libraries to walk around in for a bit.  

4. Are you a Cat or Dog person?
Cat.  Always have been.  As a kid I collected cats.  NO NOT REAL ONES! (Yes, people have thought that.) I had a very wide range of nice, cute and ugly cat figurines.  Once people realized I collected them, I 'inherited' them from all directions.  I do not collect these things now...I'm not one for dusting, and that's all they do; gather dust.  I'd rather chase after my two fur-babies.  The territorial, mailman attacking, love monster, Jasper (Grey and white), and the crazy kitten who thinks he's a puppy, Jinx.

5. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written?
This one is pretty fun.  Or I could go and dig up my old "I *heart* Stephenie Meyer" blog post.  Oh, yes, I did write such a post.  I was a total Twi-hard, a part of the Lexicon and even Twilight Mom's for a time.  Seriously though, I'm just now getting back to this, and while I've been blogging for quite a long time, I feel like I'm just starting again too.

6. What is your favorite book and why?
I do not have one.  I might have a favorite book of the month, but I cannot have a favorite book.  For the longest time I would have said it was The Time Traveler's Wife, but I've read so many books since I read that one that if I were to read it again, I'm not sure it would still be my favorite.  For this "season" I'd say my favorite is Red Queen.

7. What makes you the happiest?
My husband.  He's my favorite person in this world.  My kids - they are my favorite too, but Justin is still my favorite.  My relationship with Christ.  He's not in this world, he doesn't count as my favorite...but He's my favorite too.

8. What is your favorite way to unwind?
Seriously?  I read. 

9. Do you have a hobby? (besides blogging)
Let's see.  I knit and crochet.  I like to hike, and I lift weights.  My husband is a Strongman and Power Lifting competitor, in fact he's currently training for a Power Lifting competition coming up in June in Austin TX.  He's competing on the PlantBuilt Team (I'm so proud), anyhow, he coaches me and I do what he says.  I've made a ton of progress and am thinking of maybe lifting in a competition in a year or so.

10. Who is your biggest supporter?
I would say my husband, but he doesn't give a lick about blogging, though he says he "lives vicariously" through my reading.  So I have to say my best friend, and future published author Michelle Bolanger.  We sort of support each other, and egg each other on, and laugh.   ...okay, mostly we laugh.

So you're up next!!!

Felita - Lilac Reviews 
Toni - The Write Stuff
Dani Duck - Artist Obscure
Laura - Musings of a Chocoholic Romance Author
Julie - jbarrett5

Your Questions:

1.  Name a book you could read over and over again, and what about it are you drawn to?

2.  Why did you start blogging?

3.  Describe your dream vacation.

4.  Ebooks or Paper/hardbacks?

5.  If you could pick a specific period in time to live in, what would you choose?

6. What is your Favorite movie?

7.  It's date night, what are you doing?

8.  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

9.  If you could pick a song to be your anthem, what would the song be?

10.  If you had to choose between receiving a new book at random each week and being able to read only it, or living with only the books you currently own for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Cover Reveal: One Chance Night - Eliza Boyd

Author: Eliza Boyd
Book: One Chance Night
Series: Make A Change #1
Release Date: May 15, 2015
On the surface, Chelsea Greer has it all: A loving husband. 
A nice house.
A good job. In reality, she works hard to maintain the illusion that is her life. She's also missing the most important thing:
One night could change her life. One night could give her the strength to rediscover what's important. In one night, she could find love when she most needs it and least expects it. 
All Chelsea has to do is follow her heart after One Chance Night.
One Chance Night Playlist
About the MAKE A CHANGE series:
One Chance Night, Two Pink Lines, and Three Years Gone are about women who are at turning points in their livesand fall in love in the process. Each book focuses on one woman, and the women are connected to the other in some way. Though each could be read as a stand-alone as far as the main story is concerned, you'll likely want to read them in order to the get most out of the series. 
About Eliza Boyd: Eliza Boyd is a contemporary women's fiction and romance author. Also an avid reader, she writes novels, short stories, poetry, and whatever else strikes her fancy. Born and raised in Northern Illinois, she now lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and her plethora of animals. When she's not reading, writing, or working, she can be found walking around her neighborhood (for exercise, not for stalking), taking photos of her pets, or catching up on her favorite shows. Catching up really means binge-watching. Feel free to contact her on any of her social media sites. She spends too much time on the Internet, so she'll probably get back to you right away.
Connect With Eliza:


Cover Reveal: His Haunted Heart - Lila Felix

Title: His Haunted Heart 
Author: Lila Felix
Anticipated Release Date: May 1, 2015

Six years ago, deep in the swamps of Louisiana, Delilah’s face was marred forever at the hands of her sisters by the point of her mother’s kitchen knife. Despite her protest, her parents insist she make haste in finding a husband. But finding a husband isn’t an easy feat with a scar running the length of your face. 

Porter Jeansonne keeps to himself. He lives in his mansion, set apart from the town he’s grown to detest. One night, walking through the town, seeking to collect a debt, he hears a man selling off his daughter in the most deplorable part of the darkened streets. He chooses to take pity on her and set her free from her despicable family. Until he sees her face. He then knows that maybe she is the mend for his haunted heart.


Book Review: Sway, Amy Matayo

Title: Sway
Author: Amy Matayo

Synopsis from Goodreads:   
Finally settled after a tragedy-laden life, 24-year-old Caleb has found security in his faith, his friends, and his career. It's the life he's always wanted--simple, predictable, and safe. Enter Kate Hawkins, the attractive 21-year-old stranger he rescues from a bar fight who has an odd affinity for the color pink and a unique sense of humor. 

It doesn’t take long to realize their connection is intense, but after only a handful of dates, a shocking revelation surfaces. Lines are drawn, sides are taken, and loyalties are decided as their newfound relationship is brought to a sudden halt.

But unlike most couples who split, avoiding each other is impossible. As daily interactions become unbearable, one realization becomes clear: they've both fallen hard for the absolute wrong person, which leaves both scrambling for a way to make it right.

My Review:
I have to admit, when I think of Christian Fiction books, my first thought is 'it's probably cheesy at best, preachy at worst.'  There are some great, GREAT Christian books out there, there are great fiction books about stories of the bible out there as well, not written specifically to be Christian.  Even though that is true, the vast majority of Christians Fiction books are not very good, and are just not a story that you can relate to; and that is a sad thing.  I think there are a million and one historical Christian novels, and I've read one or two and have found them enjoyable, but they are just kind of bland, and I don't want to read a million and one renditions of the same story. I AM a Christian, and I AM a reader - I love to read books, but I do not seek out Christian Fiction.  However, that may be changing, because in the last year I've found at least two authors who know how to write a faith-based novel that speaks to my heart, and whose characters are real and believable, and whose setting is...well, current both in timeline and in life in general.

I love Sway, that is the plain and simple truth.  I'm not sure if this was her heart, but Amy Matayo has written a book that is not necessairly meant to entice you to Christ (though, it might happen) but a book that was written for a Christian to speak to a Christ-like heart.  I found myself reflected both in Kate and Caleb at different times; their struggles were real, the passion was real, and the romance (YES, we Christians like the heat too) was so real.  Throw in some great supporting characters, one secretary stands out specifically, and you've got this awesome heart-filled and compelling novel.  My own faith and attitude towards some of the people in my life was challenged while reading this book.  So, thank you Amy, for taking my pre-concieved notions of what a Christian Romance probably looks like and throwing it out the door.  Thank you for writing a novel that entertained me, and also  challenged me.  Please, keep it up!

Rated:  PG - very clean
Genre: New Adult - Christian Fiction; Romance
Rating:  5 Stars

~* Books by Amy Matayo *~