Life and Death Brings Full Circle (Book Review)

I feel as though I have come full circle here on this blog.

My very second blog post was written on August 17, 2008, over 7 years ago. Guess what it was about?  I titled it I CAN read fiction! (Click on title to read the post…it’s not long, very short.) In summary it was about me devouring the Twilight series. (No groaning allowed 😉 )

Spine of Life and Death FamilyBringsJoy.comStephenie Meyer released a 10 year anniversary edition of Twilight last week. Guess I was 3 years late finding it. I’m glad because I was able to read all the books in a row. It would have been very difficult to wait in between books to see what would happen next…especially between New Moon and Eclipse.

Anyway, included in the 10 year anniversary edition is a bonus book titled Life and Death, subtitled Twilight Reimagined. I had no idea what to think about this. Stephenie changed Bella into Beau and Edward into Edythe. It was a gender swap. However, it doesn’t mean all she did was change the names. Edythe and Beau are different personalities. I read some reviews the day it came out. Reviewers were bashing Stephenie saying all she did was change the names. This is not true. The beginning of Life and Death does start the same as Twilight, but there are changes to the story along the way. For example, Twilight is all about a love triangle between Edward, Jacob and Bella. There is no love triangle in Love and Death. Jacob’s character has a double in the reimagined version named Julie, but there is hardly a relationship between Julie and Beau. They are basically acquaintances. That is the only spoiler I will reveal. Except, hear me when I say this: THE ENDING IS NOT THE SAME AS TWILIGHT.

Life and Death familybringsjoy.comPersonally, I felt in a sense, it was ALMOST like I was reading Twilight for the first time again. I’m sure it helps that it’s been 7 years since I read it. However, again, the change of the genders does make it different. Interestingly enough, even though there is no relationship between Julie & Beau, there wasn’t as much exchange between Edythe and Beau as between Edward and Bella…not as sappy. I like sappy though. It was still good. I believe any true Twilight fan will appreciate this bonus book. I wasn’t expecting it, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I will forever be grateful for the imaginary world of Twilight. It has opened my world to fantasy fiction…an escape I love. Somehow, though, I’m not sure there will ever be another series like Twilight in my lifetime. I have yet to find one in the 7 years since reading it.

Thank You Stephenie Meyer,

Audio Books Rock

I have a confession to make.

I’m an audio book junkie.

Yep, that’s all.

I’m still alive.

Monday Brings Mermaids

Lyndsay Johnson's Fire of the Sea book coverAre you looking for a good book to read?

Do you like fantasy as much as I do?

Or maybe you want to change genres to spice things up a bit for your leisure reading?

Well, then I have just the book for you!  It is called Fire of the Sea and it was written by one of my very special friends, Lyndsay Johnson.  Her book is being released TODAY!  I’m about to buy my copy.  Lyndsay sent me the first chapter to review last June and it is already published!  The fact it went through the editing and publishing process so quickly proves it to be a winner to me!  Besides, who doesn’t like mermaids and romance?  The following is the synopsis you will find on Amazon.

Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted. Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Mermaids. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love. Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves. But legend and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again.

Lyndsay also has THE BEST book trailer video I have ever seen:

Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson (Book Trailer) from Lyndsay Johnson on Vimeo.

Get your copy today by clicking the link below.

After I order my copy I will be taking my Son, the middle child, to get his driving permit.  Yikes!  Oh the grey hairs having 2 children driving will produce.  Wish me luck and PRAY HARD. 😉

Books Bring Joy,

Start Your Own Family Book Club

You know it amazes me where I receive inspiration.  Recently while showering I came up with a super great idea.

Here’s the deal.  I’m always looking for good wholesome recreational activities for our family.  I’ve also been wracking my brain over ways to engage my kids in other activities on their own which don’t consist of TV and computer games.  Hopefully this idea will help.

Family Book Club

I introduced Family Book Club on Monday during family night.

This is what we did:

1. We talked about books which are for ages 9 and up. {since our youngest is 9}  I looked up some books I thought would be appropriate for all of us to read. {resources further in post}  We read the reviews for each book.  The 2 older kids chose suitable books they came up with on their own.

2. Each family member wrote their book choice on a piece of paper.  The papers went into a bowl.

3. We all rolled a die to see who could draw/choose a paper out of the bowl.  The highest number won and drew a paper out of the bowl.

4. My youngest won this time and she ended up drawing her book.  It was completely random.  Next month she will not write a book choice on a piece of paper nor will she be able to draw a paper.  This way everyone will have the opportunity to choose a book and draw a name.  It makes it completely random and in my ‘book’ (no pun intended) FAIR.  When everyone has a chance to have their book read we will start over again.

5. We set a date for our family book club: February 25th.  I plan to have a treat that some how goes with the book.

I found some really good resources online for finding books by ages:

  • Author James Patterson has a wonderful site called Read Kiddo Read.  The site is incredibly easy to navigate through with the following categories:

readkiddoread categories

I also found an article from USA Today where they interview James Patterson.  I was surprised to find out he hated to read when he was young.  We have that in common.  I also hated to read when I was young.  He explains what he did for his kids to encourage a love of reading.  It is an excellent article worth your time to read.  It’s called Inspire Your Kids To Read.

“It’s the parents’ job to find books for kids that they’re gonna love.  A lot of parents don’t get that.” James Patterson

****Don’t forget you can always find an audio version of books for you and your kids.  This is how I read most of the time.  You can read more about how I do that by clicking here and here.

Now, let me tell you that my 14 year old Son was not happy about this idea.  He says he’s not reading the book. “It’s too girly.”  Honestly, this is no surprise to me.  He likes to give us grief so we’ll see what happens.  However, I’m looking forward to being able to talk about the characters in the books and have teaching opportunities.

Here’s the book we are reading this month:

Want to join us and start your own Family Book Club?


Who would be interested in maybe a link up party where you share your family’s book of the month?

Read On,

Children’s Prayers

In case you haven’t seen these online yet:


He hears our prayers,

A Mom Makes A Home

I’m continuing my list of one thousand gifts…not of gifts I want, but gifts I have.

I am writing them down, one to one thousand.

22. Grateful my internet was repaired!

23. New music!  Loving the group Tanlines.  Listening to their album Mixed Emotions right now.  I heart their All Of Me song…great beat and makes me feel happy.

24. Time spent with my Mom & oldest Daughter on Saturday.

25. The beautiful handmade quilted bed runner my Mom gave me as an early {3 weeks} Birthday gift.

26. Time doing crafty stuff in my craft room. It’s been neglected lately and craft therapy is wonderful.  The creative side of me was having withdrawals.

27. Kids back in school brings some much needed uninterrupted time for me.  Let’s face it, who likes to listen to their kids quarrel all the time? Not me!

{good thing they’re so cute! ;)}

28. Opportunity to learn & grow spiritually by giving a talk and teaching a lesson at church yesterday.  With that being said, glad it is over…double duty is exhausting. 😉

29. Youngest saw this new art plaque I bought and said out loud, “This is true.”  The little things like this make my heart melt.

Check out that awesome price!

30. When my husband calls me beautiful.

31. Having far away friends come for a weekend visit.

32. Listened to another awesome fantasy book: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead.  It’s part of the Bloodlines series.  Just finished it & can’t wait for the next one!






Gifts Bring Joy,