Monday, July 21, 2014

The Liebster Award and The Sunflower Blogger Award

CBRB has been nominated by Sharon (at Sharon Lee Hughson's World). Thank you for choosing CBRB, Sharon! I am honored!

The following portion are the guidelines for accepting the award, as presented in my nominator’s blog:
The Liebster Award is very unique in the fact it brings recognition to the smaller blogs of the ‘verse.  With that in mind, all of the nominated blogs will have less than 200 followers.
The rules:
1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
5.  No tag back thingys.

CBRB has also been nominated by Shannah (at Book Reviews by Shannah). Thank you, Shannah! I appreciate that you thought of CBRB!

The rules:

  1. Share 11 facts about yourself
  2. Answer the 11 questions the previous blogger asked
  3. Tag 11 bloggers and ask them 11 new questions

Here's my attempt to kill two birds with one stone. I'll list 11 facts about myself (such a cheat, I know, but I could barely come up with 11 facts about myself––imagine 22!). I'll answer the individual 11 questions (no cheating here) and create 11 new questions (clears throat;-)). And I'll nominate a total of at least 11 blogs. Okay, here it goes . . .

11 Facts About Myself:

1. I am a Christian--praise Jesus!
2. I am Hispanic

3. I understand spanish, but can use some practice speaking it
4. I have easy-to-manage-yet-really-curly hair
5. My favorite Bible verse is Matthew 6:33 "
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
6. I play drums at my Church
7. I'm in the beginning stages of writing a novel (shhh . . . ;)
8. I really enjoy reading Christian fiction and blogging about it and the authors who write it (obviously!)
9. I was in public school until 6th grade and home-schooled from 7th grade and beyond (so if any home-school Moms need some great curriculum recommendations, let me know. I'll be happy to recommend my favorites!)
10. I can manufacture a great dinner of stuffed shells:-)
11. My dream career is to be a Christian fiction publicist (surprise, surprise;-))

My Answers to Sharon's Questions:

1. If you were a book, what genre would you be?
Hmm . . . Comedy. "A joyful heart is good medicine . . . ." ( Proverbs 17:22) I love laughter--so much so that my family already has a term for my moments of silly, continuous laughter (usually when I'm overly tired): The laughing bug:-)

2. If you were a book, who is your author?

Jesus Christ. "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." (Psalm 139:16)

3. Where in the world would you travel if time and money were unlimited?

Wow. First on my list is Israel. From there the list goes on, beginning with sites of historical importance--battlegrounds, Rome, France . . . .

4. Your favorite food in the world is...

Pasta with Alfredo sauce--or is it ice cream?

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream (please don’t say vanilla!)?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough . . . you know you want some;-)

6. What’s your favorite season and why?

Spring. The climate's perfect--not too hot or cold (although spring didn't seem to get the memo this year). Plus, my birthday is in spring:-)

7. Name the teacher that most deeply affected your life.

Besides my parents . . . my Pastor. His dedication to teaching the Word of God--only the Word of God--has profoundly impacted my life. I thank God for my Pastor!

8. The most important quality in a friend is...


9. Describe your comfy clothes.

Besides my pajamas? A flowy jean skirt with my loose fitting "Princess, Daughter of the King" t-shirt designed by my father.

10. Do you prefer it warm or cool in the room when you sleep?

Cool--except I loathe the result: sniffles (a runny nose)

11. What would the title of your autobiography be?

Written In the Stars. God told Abraham in Genesis 22:17-18, "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Because Jesus is the descendant of Abraham who completed the prophecy "through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed"--which includes me--my story begins with God's promise to Abraham that his descendants will be "as numerous as the stars in the sky." Therefore, it's a story Written In the Stars.

My Answers to Shannah's Questions:

15. Where is your favorite place to read?

My Grandfather's patio/balcony in Puerto Rico. Pure Bliss.

16. What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

Hmm . . . Church trips. I love the joy of fellowship with Believers!

17. Do you prefer e-books or paperback/hardback books?

You know, a couple months ago I would have said paperbacks, hands down. Now, as I've been reading more on my kindle, I've come to appreciate the minimalism of e-books. I have enough paperbacks glaring at me from my desk, night stand, and bookshelves. Of course, if it's an author I really enjoy . . . nothing beats a paperback.

18. If you could meet one historical person, who would it be?

Besides Jesus, David, the Apostles, and the Prophets? Probably a World War II hero. Or one of the Founding Fathers.

19. You are on a desert island. You can have wish for three things. What would they be?

My family (that counts as one thing, right?). A Laptop--with Internet (I'm stretching, I know). And the Tree of Life (wish you would've thought of that one, huh?;)

20. Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

It's a tie between Camilla Fox from the Stister-Wife series by Allison Pittman and Elisa Lindheim from The Zion Covenant series by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Or Trudy from the Shiloh Legacy series by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Or--oh, I don't know!

21. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from reading a fiction book?

Things are never as they appear--whether it be a guy, a situation, the government . . . . No wonder I have such an active imagination;)

22. Do you love your job?

I'm a full-time student, but I enjoy reviewing books, interviewing authors, and hosting giveaways here on CBRB and look forward to my future career as a Christian publicist.

23. What is your favorite quote?

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" ~ Patrick Henry

24. Do you like to buy new books or are you ok with used?

I like to buy used books that look like new:)

25. What have you learned about yourself lately?

I can easily become complacent when I should be constantly striving for more--more of God and His Word.

For the Liebster Award I'm Nominating:

Jennifer ~ WordSmith
Shannah ~ Book Reviews By Shannah
Faith ~ Found A Christian by His Grace
Kav ~ Best Reads
Rachelle ~ Inspiring Daring

For the Sunflower Blogger Award I'm Nominating:

Rachel ~ Rachel Coker
Melanie ~ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rel ~ Relz Reviewz

My Questions:

1. What is your least favorite genre?
2. What is your all time favorite book?
3. What would be your ideal Christian fiction novel?
4. What is your favorite Christian artist/band or song?
5. Do you have a hobby (besides reading;)? If so, what is it?
6. What is the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
7. What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?
8. What is your dream job?
9. How and when did you come to know the Lord Jesus in a deep and intimate way?
10. What three adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
11. What five things do you love/like the most?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund

Welcome to Christian Book Review Blog, Jody! Thank you for being here! When did you first discover that you loved writing? 

Like many writers, I’ve been writing since my childhood days. I always loved telling stories. When I was in junior high, I entered my first writing contest for a Biblical fiction story. And when I won, I realized God had indeed gifted me. I think that was when I became more serious about wanting to be a writer when I grew up.

Why do you write the type of books that you do?

I love reading historicals, so naturally that’s what I’m drawn to write. I’m fascinated with all of the things that happen in other times and places that seem so foreign to us now. I really appreciate when historical facts are woven into books seamlessly so that I’m learning but don’t really realize I am. And I hope that I can do that in my books too.

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge at this stage in my life is dividing my time between writing and being a mom. Since I'm a work-from-home mom, there are many special issues that arise around setting boundaries, time management, as well as teaching my children to respect my work time.

Has writing changed your life in any way?

We have five children and homeschool our crew. Between homeschooling and writing I feel like I have two very full time jobs. It’s definitely not easy. But like any other writer trying to balance dual careers or multiple responsibilities, I’ve had to look for ways to make it work. I’ve scaled-back on outside commitments and simplified home life as much as possible. I also stick to a very strict writing schedule when I’m in first draft mode. I block out writing time and don’t let myself go to bed at night unless I get in my daily word count.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?

One of the many verses I treasure is "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." Phil. 4:13 That verse has held me in good stead through many trials.

Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?

I've read a lot of spectacular books over the past year. I can't name one particular book or author because I've read so many that I've enjoyed and learned from. If I had to pick just one book, though, I'd go back to one of my childhood favorites,  Anne of Green Gables.  It played a role in developing my creativity as a writer. (Followed closely by A Little Princess and Little Women because they also featured strong, creative girls.)

What’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

Buy At Amazon
During my sleep deprived days when all of my five children were under the age of ten, I went shopping for clothes at Kohl's. As I was walking through the store pushing the double stroller and corralling my other kids, I happened to look down at my feet. I realized I was wearing two different shoes! 

Please tell us about the featured book.

Captured by Love is set on Mackinac Island, Michigan during the War of 1812. The book portrays all the hardships that came during the British rule of the island–starvation-like conditions, blockades, threats by the British captors, and an impending battle against the Americans who wanted to retake the island. As the story unfolds, I weave in real details of the war using the names of many generals and the actual circumstances leading up to the battle that took place on the island.

Can you please give us the first page?

Michilimackinac Island, Michigan Territory May 1814
The dawn mist swirled around Angelique MacKenzie and shrouded the forest trail. She didn't need the light of day to guide her. She knew every path of her beloved island and could run them blindfolded if need be.

Even so, something in the damp foggy air sent a shiver up the back of her neck and forced her bare feet to move faster. The cold mud oozed between her toes, squishing and squelching with each step. She glanced at the dark tangle of bramble surround her as if a loup-garou would leap out at her and bare his sharp wolf's teeth. 

She knew nothing of the sort could happen. Werewolves belonged only in tales, like the one she'd overheard the raconteur tell the night before. But she couldn't keep from seeing the hairy hunched back, long tail, and pointed ears in every flitting shadow.

Where can readers learn more information about you?

I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website:
Or you're welcome to email me at:

(This giveaway is only open to followers of Christian Book Review Blog, so be sure you are a follower!) 
Jody has generously offered to giveaway a print copy of Captured By LovePrint giveaway is available to U.S residents only. Giveaway ends on Saturday July 19, 2014 at midnight (Eastern time). Thanks for coming by to enter!

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