Armchair BEA: Keeping it Real, Fresh, & Fun

May 31, 2013

Whether you've been online here with us, or with the crowds in New York City converging on this final day of Book Expo America, you may be feeling a strange combination of energized and exhausted by now--full of things to say and new ideas to try, but not feeling up to doing much of it. Are you wondering just how you'll be able to keep all this going?
Today, we're interested in knowing how you address that question, especially if you've been doing this for a while. If you have been around for years, how do you keep your material fresh? How do you continue to keep blogging fun? How do you not only grow an audience, but how do you keep them coming back for more? 

This has been my first year participating in Armchair BEA. It really has been a lot of fun and the energy of everything has been great! I have definitely taken in a lot of things that are new. With all of the new things to look into and research, I really haven't had time to think about how to keep it all going. I think it just will. Just this week from seeing and speaking and reading what other bloggers had to say, my blog is already morphing into something more I envisioned. I hope that it keeps progressing as I go and grow in the blogging world.

I haven't been around long in the blogging world, only a year and a half, but in that time, I like where I'm going. I still have a lot to learn. I'm slowly learning how to grow an audience, but my number one goal is to read, to always keep reading and writing about the books. If people like what they read and follow me, I'm so thankful, but if they don't, I'm glad they at least stopped by. :-) I do hope to start adding more to my blog in the future. I would like to post about book signings in the area, hopefully try some Q&A's with authors, and giveaways...but, before that, I need to keep researching and learning and that will keep me going.

This time with Armchair BEA has just been phenomenal! I can't thank the staff Armchair BEA Central enough for all the hard work that they have put into this event. I can't wait till next years event!

Armchair BEA: Ethics in Blogging

We're getting back into discussion mode in a big way today with the topic of "Ethics in Blogging." What guidelines must we follow as bloggers--attribution, disclosure, honesty? Have you had an experience with plagiarism (victim or perpetrator?), and how did you deal with it? Do you have recommendations to new bloggers about how to ensure that credit is given to whom/where it's due? 

 Share your thoughts on the ethical challenges of blogging--what we should be doing, and what fall apart when we don't do it.

Honesty and integrity are import in blogging just as it was in high school and college when writing English papers and anything else that needed to be typed and submitted. I had students try to cheat off of my paper in college and when I knew it, I would intentionally change my answer to the wrong one, then right before I turned in my paper, I would fix it. It was either that or trip the idiot as they walked out the door...but that is frowned upon in certain circles...but, I digress.

I believe that full credit is due to the author of the book. They spent hours, weeks, and months writing and editing their baby. To take that away from them is like a punch in the gut. I respect the work that these authors put into their stories. I sometimes may not like the story that I have read, but I respect the effort that was put in to the work and  I want everyone to know who wrote this book.

I'm still learning all about the massive blogging world, but I use the same standards as I did in school. There were consequences for plagiarism in school, there will be here too...but more severe with the threat of law suits and other wonderful set up legalities. So, if nothing else, always site the author and the book name together.

If you want to quote from the book on your blog, just follow the warning at the front of the book...every book has it. And I quote, "All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means--electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other--expect for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher."

Give credit where it is due. Site the author, if needed the publisher. If you quote from the book, make it known it is from the book and give the page number.Be respectful.

Armchair BEA: Genre: Non-Fiction

History, biography, current events, science--the Genre of the Day is Nonfiction! Do you read it?

Yes. Yes. And yes!

I have loved non-fiction books for the longest time. I'm a history nerd, so I dive into history books like no tomorrow. I will read history books that start from Ancient Egypt all the way to the old west of Texas in the late 1800's to early 1900's.  There is so much life amongst the pages of history. From studying history, you can see where we are going in the future. History does have a funny way of repeating its self.

I also enjoy more light hearted non-fiction reads. My favorites are:
Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin
Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat That Touched the World by Vicki Myron
Marley & Me by John Grogan
Ok, maybe not light-light hearted...a few of these did make me cry like a baby for good reasons and sad. There is just something about the love of and for an animal. It pulls at the heart and makes you see more good then bad around you and reading these true tales makes things a little better.

Autobiographies, they used to be tedious for me. The ones I had to read for school were just stuffy. The here are the facts and nothing else. Well, I found two that I have just loved! I will say I am a HUGE Duck Dynasty fan and I snatched these two up as soon as they came out.

The Duck Commander Family by Willie & Korie Robertson w/ Mark Schalbach.
Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson w/ Mark Shlabach
Faith, Family, and Ducks...That sums these stories up so well.

There has been one biography that has stuck with me through the years, it has moved where I have and back.

Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Author of the The Little House on the Prairie by Donald Zochert
My Love of Little House grew even more when I read this account.

My inspirational books is a big list, so I may end up having to name the authors.
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boys Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo w/ Lynn Vincent
This was a touching story that had me crying.
Now, the authors:
Dr. James Dobson
Dr. Kevin Leman
Max Lucado
I have read many touching,  heart griping, insightful books that have ranged from finding your Birth Order, parenting your child, and finding a Cure for the Common Life.

One extra! This one is late to the party. I needed it for school, but it fast became one of my favorite non-fiction works. I'm kicking myself for forgetting this one.
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

I know my list could on, but these are the books that really stand out for me and have made an impact on me one way or another.

Honor's Price

May 30, 2013

I have continued on in the Rocky Mountain Legacy Series by Kristen Heitzmann with Honor's Price. It's been a while since I've read this and I can't believe how much I have forgotten!

This is still one of my favorite series, however, reading it now with different eyes (older), there are things that pop out to me now that didn't before. I'll get to that in a moment.

Two years have passed since the begging of the first book, Honor's Pledge. Abbie Martin has grown in the last couple of years through the circumstances she had to face. She is now able to be with the man she loves, Montgomery Ferrel. However, their happily ever after is put to the test right off the bat when someone starts harassing Monte and his ranch causing destruction and loss at every turn.

Instead of turning to Abbie for help, Monte keeps everything that is going on to himself. He wants desperately to protect Abbie and his home like a true gentleman should. However, with the secrets that he is keeping, Abbie is lost and tries to help anyway she can, but Monte won't except it and turns a cold shoulder. The pride Monte has is hurtful to Abbie and she questions everything she is doing.

I do like this book, but like a stated a little bit ago, there are things that just pop out to me now. Monte is a little controlling in this book. He says he is happy to not have a southern belle for a wife, but the amount of criticism he places on Abbie says other wise. Monte wants to change Abbie it seems out of her free spirited ways, all while saying he loves it the best about her. This book for me solidifies my Team Cole spot. And thankfully Cole Jasper is still around with all of his swagger.

Too read!

Thank you Armchair BEA!!

I'm super excited! For day two, I was picked as a daily topic winner for my post on Literary Fiction.  Thank you so much Armchair BEA!!

Armchair BEA: Genre: Literary Fiction

Well...this one has thrown me for a loop! To me everything written is literary, per se. However, according to Wikipedia "Literary fiction is a term principally used for certain fictional works that are claimed to hold literary merit."  and "Literary fiction (a.k.a. mainstream fiction) is usually contrasted with paraliterary fiction (e.g., popular, commercial, or genre fiction). This contrast between these two subsets of fiction is highly controversial amongst critics and scholars who study literature."
 Have a looksy!

Literary fiction to me then is not exactly classics like Little Women, Dickens, or Bronte, but fiction written with in the last 100 years or so that will stand through the test of time. 

So, in accordance with that, here we go!

1. What books have you read this year that would fit into this category?  
 Outlander by Diana Gaboldon...ok, this might be questionable, but I don't care. I love this series. Outlander just had it's 20th anniversary and we're still expecting more books (hurry up December 2013!). The following of Outlander as I've seen on message boards grows every year. The characters and the richness of the story seals it.
 I haven't read these this year, but I do believe they fit.
Harry Potter for sure. J.K. Rowling's style of writing and her ability to spin her story over so many books and tie it all together, while ripping your heart out over characters places her right near the top for me.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The time that this book was set was such a tense time and the character bond in the book just makes you want to reach out and give each and everyone of them a hug...well, except Hilly, I wanted to slap her! The Help draws you in.
Gone with the Wind by Margret Mitchell. What's not to love about Scarlett and Rhett?!
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It touches your heart and makes you look at yourself.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's popular yes, but the story is timeless. It's the same thing you have seen repeated through history. The heartbreak, the anguish, with a little humor that carries it over. It's not a phase like others that try to mimic.

2. Is there anything coming up that you're particularly excited about?
Written in my Own Hearts Blood by Diana Gaboldon I'm counting down the days till December! It's been a looooong 4 year wait for this book.

3. What authors/novels would you recommend to someone new to the genre?  
J.K. Rowling most definitely. 
I have recommend Diana Gaboldon to a friend and I got her hooked on  the Outlander series...I'm not ashamed!
Cliff Graham...his Lion of War series is a series for anyone.

4. Are there any misconceptions or things that you'd like to clear up for people unfamiliar with literary fiction?
I cleared up my own misconception's not classics! And it is not  popular fiction (gotta say it Twilight). It's that fine line between the two. Those books that could one day be the classics our grand-kids are pointed at to read and write book reports about.

5. What got you started into this kind of book?
 Curiosity. You can only read so much of one kind of genre before you have read almost everything. I had reached that point and I wanted to expand my genres, and I'm glad I did.

6. Name a novel that hasn't received a lot of buzz that definitely deserves it.
Day of War by Cliff Graham. The historical detail that went into this book is phenomenal and with Mr. Graham's military background he was able to enhance and bring the reality of the grittiness of battle. The harsh conditions that were faced and the personal struggles that were faced.

Armchair BEA: Genre: Fiction

May 29, 2013

If you’re a reader of genre fiction do you have a favorite author or series? And what keeps bringing you back for more fantasy/sci fi/horror etc? And if you don’t read one (or more) of these genres what is it that deters you from those sections of the bookstore? I’m also curious to hear why you think these genres often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Oh, goodness! I love fiction! Historical fiction, Sci Fi and Fantasy (just recently). I have loved fiction for a long time. I love how I can slip off to a new time or a whole new world that isn't anything like I've seen or experienced. I could read what I know, but that can only take me so far. Fiction can go so many different ways and introduce me to some that's been around for a long time, but in a whole new light! It can be so funny to where I'm laughing public or just so sad that I'm crying for only reasons I know. There has also been a few times where the story has made me so mad for a character, I wanted to throw my book, but out of respect for the book, I didn't!

I need to make a list of my all time favorite fiction authors.

Historical Fiction:
Stephen Bly
Kristen Heitzmann
Tracie Peterson
Michelle Moran
Cliff Grahm
Hank Hanegraaff
Sigmund Brouwer
Margret Mitchell
Diana Gaboldon

Fantasy and Sci Fi:
Veronica Roth
Suzanne Collins
Rick Riordan
J.K. Rowling
George R.R. Martin
Deborah Harkness

I think that sometimes, these genres don't receive the recognition since some people have give them a type cast. Oh, you read fiction, it must be smut or you only read fiction because you just can't handle something heavy. I think it just boils down to people who haven't wanted to get out of their familiar. If they did, then they might be able to dive into a whole new world!

Armchair BEA: Better Blogging

Tell us about things you've done to expand your blogging horizons, and the things you'd like to do but haven't managed (or figured out) yet. 

 In all honesty, I don't know what I needed to do to expand my blogging. I would write, then post to my Facebook page and Twitter for my friends to read. I would love to spread the word a little more about my blog to people other then friends. That was one of the draws that I saw with Armchair BEA. I love to learn and the community just seemed phenomenal! I would love to figure out to make my blog stand out and have people go, "Hey! I like what this girl has to say!"

Armchair BEA : Genre: Classics

Tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature. What are your favorite classics? If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it? How would you convince them to give classics a try? And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?

I love classic literature because it's my link to my grandpa, he passed away 15 years ago. As a kid, he would take me to the book store and while he shopped, he told me I could pick out any book I want. I would go and look at books, but couldn't decide. So, he would come over and look for a little bit and picked something out for me. It was from the classics section in the Kid/YA department. I was a late reader, I have dyslexia, but my grandpa wanted the help my reading, since he loved it so much. So, he got me started on Little Women. I read through Little Woman, then I continued reading through the rest of Louisa May Alcott's books. As I got older, I dove into Gone with Wind, Pride and Prejudice and others.

The List I would give would start off with Little House, from there, Gone with the Wind, I tell people who love the movie, you will love the book even more! There is so much that was left out. I was shocked. I would suggest Little Women. I'm cautious with Jane Austen, because it has been hit or miss with me.

I keep coming back to the classics because their are so many memories wrapped up in them. It's comfort.

Armchair BEA: 5 Questions of introduction

Earlier today, I stumbled upon Armchair BEA from another friend's blog. I was intrigued and checked it out and loved it immediately! Armchair BEA helps book bloggers who are unable to attend the Book Expo America or the Book Blogger Convention that is meeting this month in NYC. I would really like to jump start my blog, so I thought I would participate! So here it goes....

5 Questions of introduction:

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
     I'm Katie or Kate on this blog. I'm 29 year old mom, to a wonderful, stubborn, and creative kid. I love to write! I wrote my first novel when I was in high-school (it was horrible and never published).
      I've been blogging now a 1 1/2. I tried to blog about random things before, but I failed miserably, nothing kept my interest. Then on New Years of 2012, I decided I needed a better way to keep track of the books that I have read then just typing them out on Word, so Too Read or Not Too Read was born. I have been able to keep up with this blog, since it focuses on something I love, reading!

2. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
     I have not participated before, I actually just heard about Armchair BEA this morning. What drew me to this event, is the idea of socializing with fellow book lovers. I love to hear other people's ideas on stories or their reactions to what happened in a book that they have loved.

3. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 
      I just finished reading Honor's Price by Kristen Heitzmann. It is the second book in her 5 book series, The Rockey Mountain Legacy. It's a little older, but I like it. I'm thinking of continuing on to book 3 or taking a quick break and jump into The King's Speech: How one man saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi.

4. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
     I just finished my certification last year in Criminal Justice: Forensic Science. It was creepy at times, but so interesting! I'm hoping to finish my Bachelor's in History soon.

5. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
      My favorite part is seeing (reading) what other people like and hearing why they did. There is nothing like slipping into another time or place and having other people that love and understand that feeling.

Honor's Pledge

May 26, 2013

After having read a so-so book, I thought it was time to read one I knew I liked, but haven't read in years. So, I went box diving and came up with Honor's Pledge by Kristen Heitzmann.

I first read this book when it came out, back in the mid to late 90's and I have liked it since I've first read it. The story follows Abigail Martin, Abbie to everyone, in her life on the Colorado frontier. The story starts off right before she turns 18. She is the youngest child in her family and lives with her parents on their farm.She is independent and loves the open space.

She has grown up with with Blake McConnell, one of her closest friends, his family settled with Abbie's family in the same area at the same time. And Blake feels that he has a right to protect Abbie when Montgomery Ferrel moves to a section of land close to Abbie and her family. Blake isn't thrilled when Abbie sticks up for Monte. He will set out for some distant gold fields to try to stake a claim and make himself more appealing to Abbie.

Montgomery Ferrel is a transplant from the South, trying to cultivate some land that his father had purchased before the Civil War. He is the picture of southern gentility. He finds the protectiveness of Blake over Abbie, funny, but he enjoys Abbie's company. He likes how strong Abbie is and independent. He soon falls for her and makes a pledge to Abbie, before he is called back home to settle affairs at home. Certain circumstances come up in his visit, and he has to break his pledge to Abbie to fulfill his pledge to a family he made when he was 15 during war.

 Cole Jasper was a trail boss who drove a herd of cattle to Montgomery Ferrel's new ranch and was then hired on to be the foreman to the new ranch. He isn't sophisticated like Montgomery Ferrel, but he is smart and truthful. Cole helps Abbie out of a tough situation and a friendship of sorts starts among them.

I enjoy the way Kristen Heitzmann rights, unlike several other authors I've read, she's not afraid to kill characters off, and she shows a story where, even though a person is Christian, life isn't going to go smoothly. There will be hard times and you don't know why waves of grief keep hitting, but you will pull out of it stronger and wiser. Too Read!

The Sword

May 20, 2013

The Sword by Bryan M. Litfin was a book, where the cover caught my eye. I read up on it and it seemed like an interesting story, so I got it.

The prologue hooked me into the story. I wish that he had made that part longer or even made another story on just that, it was that good. The world has we know it, was coming to an end. A plague that was unknown hit mankind and spread faster then wildfire. There was no way to stop it. As people started to fall, other tried to protect themselves, but to no avail. Death was everywhere. Muslims saw this as a sign and took up their weapons and started to bomb countries with nukes and soon, leaders were over thrown and nukes were fired back. Soon, everyone with a nuke was bombing others, all while the plague spread. Soon, vegetation and animals were dying from the lack of sun and rain. People were growing scarce. As the population dwindled, the plague started to disappear from its inability to spread. Slowly, the survivors started to emerge and they started to rebuild and the population started to grow, but it was no where near what it was. The world was thrown back into a new Dark Ages.

The story picks up 400 years after the plague and wars had started. Wilderness is back, villages and towns and main cities are back, but they are few and far between. A new religion has emerged and no one knows much about what happened to the Ancients.

This story follows two characters, for the most part, Anastasia and Teofil. Anastasia, is a pretty girl who lives in a small community away from the protected area. Teofil is a captain of the guard. Their backgrounds are interesting, however the story with them, just didn't flow for me. There are scenes of action, but they are just so short, they didn't leave much impact. There is a part where Anastasia is kidnapped, but time has elapsed so quickly, you just get a very brief description of her mistreatment in her ordeal. I'm left wanting. I don't feel much compassion for her circumstance and I don't feel much joy for her rescue, since there just wasn't much there. I know that sounds cold hearted, but the story just didn't do it for me in the action. And it just continued on for me like that. The build up wasn't there for me.

The Sword, the idea is great, but the follow through just didn't get me. It's a Maybe.

Happy, Happy, Happy. My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander

May 13, 2013

I am a huge Duck Dynasty fan. So, when I heard Happy, Happy, Happy. My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson w/ Mark Shlabach, came out, I had to get it.

I made it through this book pretty quickly. It was a good, fun, and inspirational read. Phil Robertson starts from the very beginning with his childhood and tells some very funny stories about growing up on a farm in Louisiana, then moves on to his college days and football time, he also talks about his hard years in his mid to late 20's. He could have left that part out, but he didn't I'm glad about this. Not only is this Phil Robertson's story about making a company from an idea that was a part of his duck hunting passion, this book is also his testimony.

Phil Robertson had a rough time in life before he came to Jesus, and let Him in his life. It all turned around when he was saved and followed his heart and his beliefs through life and he was able to build his company and bring his family closer together.

I really enjoyed reading this. He included his political thoughts in this book, and all I have to say is...Phil Robertson for President! I like his thoughts and I'm glad he put them out there!

This is a too read...Jack! :-)

Upcoming Book News...BookCover Reveal!

May 9, 2013

Today is the day! Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series revealed the book cover for the third and final book Allegiant! I just have to say...It. Looks. GREAT! I can't wait to read it. For your viewing pleasure here it is!

The Harbinger

May 8, 2013

I've seen The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn for a little while and the more I read about, the more I became interested in it. A day of jury duty gave me the time needed to read it.

This book will make you think, it will also make you go and research the facts and the Bible to verify what is written, and I love that! The way that Jonathan Cahn writes this story is great.

Nouriel is a writer who lives in New York, when he receives an interesting parcel in the mail. An ancient seal. He doesn't know what it is, or why he has it. He just hangs on to it and one day, he meets a man, who knows all about the seal and the journey begins. Nouriel at first can't believes the things he is being told, but as he researches, he pushes himself harder to find the answers.

We follow Noriel through his research on the seals that follow, the Harbingers, nine of them to be exact. Each Harbinger brings a new piece of a prophecy forward and more to think on.Once Nouriel makes it through all the Harbingers, he then works his way through the four mysteries of the Harbingers. Over the course of several years, all has been to revealed to Nouriel and he also learns what he must do with the wealth of information he has learned.

This book will keep you reading. It's a fast read, the pace is steady and it's not bombard with different things for filler. It's too read!

An Echo in the Bone

I finally finished An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gaboldon. This one dragged a bit in some places, so it was a little easier to set down for periods of time. And April was a busy time, so there were several days where I was unable to read.

We are back again with Jaime and Claire. On the brink of the American Revolution. And with the knowledge that Claire, Bre, and Roger had. Jamie knew where he wanted to be, and it went against most of his people.

Roger, Bre, Jemmy, and Mandy are back to present time, in the 1980's, and they are living in Fraser's old house. They bought it with the money they had waiting for them, and set their family up in Scotland. Mandy was able to get the much needed heart surgery, so she is now a feisty little toddler/preschooler running round.

The way that Diana Gaboldon was able to mesh the two time periods worked well. She was able to make it flow from one era to another with a very smart trick. Jamie and Claire started to write letters to Bre, Roger, and the kids and they had them sealed into a special box. The box was found when Bre and Roger moved into the house in Scotland.

There is also a new perspective in this book. Instead of being a minor charcter that has just been talked about till this point, we now get a glimpse into William Ransom's head (aka Jamie's illegitimate son). Everyone knows who he is, but William. It is his parts of the book that dragged for me. I don't know if it was the fact, he was so minor before, or he just seemed boring to everyone else.

Claire and Jamie leave the Ridge. They are bound and determined to get to Scotland again and get Jamie's printing press and bring it back to America to set up a business. However, in typical Jamie and Claire style, many bumps in the road come about. Some are pretty interesting and intense.

However, the most interesting storyline in this book was Ian. Ian, has been haunted for a few books, and we finally get a bit of a closure for him. And we see more of his back story with his Indian wife. But, his story is far from happy, he is perused and haunted for vengeance. And how that came about, had me floored! The twists and turns in this series keeps you wanting to read and I love it!

This one, like I said dragged a bit more then the others, but as a whole, it's still a too read! I also can't wait till December with Written in my Own Hearts Blood is finally released! I'm ready for answers!

And all of the books out to date...the total pages that have been read for this series is as follows... 7,957. Even though I haven't read many books these last few months, I think the page count makes up for it.

April Review

May 7, 2013

I'm a little late on this post, sorry! I was only able to knock one book out of the way and it was a too read! A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gaboldon. I'm nearing the end of the Outlander series now. After this book, I'm now have 43 more books to read this year to reach my goal.

More to come soon!


May 3, 2013

I'm still in midst of reading a massive tome and time has gotten away from me, so reading has fallen by the wayside this last week. Anyway, when I first started this blog, I just kind of threw things up, and left it there. I finally fixed it, the URL has changed, I'm no longer bookalcholic, I wanted bookaholic, but it was taken, so now, my new URL is

And, I have known for a while the "to" in to read was wrong and I have changed that as well. I threw this all together spur of the moment at the beginning of 2012 for New Years and focused on the books. So, now it was time to focus on the blog. I hope that isn't confusing for anyone.

Happy Reading everyone. I will have more book posts soon. April has been a crazy month!

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