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Books I Loved in 2012!

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It's that time of year again, the toughest part of the year when I choose my top ten favorite books of all I read in the past 365 days. This year I did read some great stories but I didn't quite read as many 5 star books but that doesn' t mean this isn't a difficult task! I read a bunch of different genres so although this blog features mostly the Christian fiction I've decided to include some young adult fiction in the list. Please be aware that not all (but most) books on my list will be "clean" so if you're interested in a book but have questions about content feel free to ask me and I'll try to help.

Here are my top ten in no particular order:


Obsidian (Lux Series, Book 1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout because aliens are the new vampires.

Baroness (Daughters of Fortune, Book 2) by Susan May Warren because I love the 1920s.

Fathom (The Chronicles of Crescent Moon Bay, Book 1) by Merrie Destefano because I love spooky stories and Celtic legends are int…

Merry Christmas!

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I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family. I appreciate each and everyone of you! Thank you for following Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot and for encouraging me throughout the year with your thoughts, comments, emails, tweets and Facebook chats! I wish nothing but the best for you in the upcoming year.

Now that most of you have opened your gifts and indulged in holiday feasts, what are your plans? Hint: Mine has something to do with the picture. ;-)


Merry Christmas!



A "Yummy" Review: THINaddictives Flavored Almond Thins

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Thanks to Klout and THINaddictives I was given the opportunity to try three of THINaddictives newest cookie flavors, Cranberry, Pistachio, and Cinnamon Raisin. Normally I'm not one for "healthy" food (just look at my Tweets from last night, I was baking a batch of brownies at almost midnight) but these THINaddictive snacks are TO DIE FOR! At only 100 calories a pack I didn't have to feel guilty about eating a pack and then going back for another pack -- yeah, they were pretty awesome so I had to go back for seconds. The THINaddictives website mentions that they are "cookies" but don't let that fool you, the texture is more like a biscotti than say, a sugar cookie. I think these would be great with a cup of hot tea or coffee. I love crunchy cookies and anything with almonds so if you or your kids are looking for a sweet but guilt-free snack THINaddictives might be something to add to your next grocery list. The ingredient list is pretty minimal which is …

Clash of the Titles: October Winner, A Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes

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The Winner of our October New Releases Clash is:

A Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes
A hearty congratulations to Laurie Alice!
We had a tremendous response for this Clash. So many said they wanted to vote for and loved all of the books. A special thanks to the other authors for their wonderful books and for being a part of this week. 
Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley
A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman
Callie’s Mountain by Katt Anderson
Murder in Marietta by Deborah Malone
About A Flight of Fancy

Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?
Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the Earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra’s heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes s…

Clash of the Titles: Deadly Additive by Donn Taylor

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Clash of the Titles hopes you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food and fellowship! Today, we are thrilled to talk to you about Donn Taylor's newest book, Deadly Additive. What an exciting book!

To soldier-of-fortune Jeb Sledge it seems like a simple job: Rescue an heiress and her journalist friend Kristin Halvorsen from their kidnapping by Colombian guerrillas and collect a sizable paycheck. But Kristin has other plans. After stumbling onto a mass of dead bodies, she won't leave Colombia without the proof she needs for the story of a lifetime. While she and Jeb wrangle over her obstinacy, they discover a hidden factory where the guerrillas build a new and deadly type chemical weapon for the international black market. Their discovery triggers a raid on the factory, followed by a desperate search through the Caribbean and the U.S. to prevent a catastrophic attack by weapons the factory has produced. But who is behind that attack, and what are the planned targets? Finding …

Giveaway: No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

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Howdy! This is the FIRST TIME EVER for me using Rafflecopter to host a giveaway so pleeease bear with me as I try to acquaint myself with this newfangled way of running a contest. If something isn't working or looks off please feel free to let me know in the comments section of this post.

Now...for the fun stuff! Check out my review of No Safe HarborHERE by Elizabeth Ludwig and then come back and enter to win your own copy of the book. Be sure to read the rules on the Rafflecopter form to make sure you are eligible and then enter away! Good luck!


About the book:
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murde…

Winner of the ARC of The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

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Thanks to everyone who entered to win The Husband List! The lucky lady who gets her very own ARC copy before the book officially releases in January is...

Rissi!
Rissi has already claimed her prize. Don't be sad if you weren't the winner, be on the lookout for another giveaway later this week -- a Christian historical suspense!

Happy Reading!

Great New Historical Suspense: No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom, 1) by Elizabeth Ludwig

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About the Book:
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.

With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?


My Thoughts:
I'm a huge fan of general market historical suspense/mystery by authors like Deanna Raybourn and Carol K. Carr and I'm so glad that Elizabeth Ludwig…

Help Kids in Need Get Books!

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Here’s how you can help:

1. Download Storia®, Scholastic’s teacher-recommended children’s ereading app, and help pass on the reading to kids in need. Upon downloading Storia, families will receive five free children’s ebooks to start a home digital library. For every additional ebook purchased on Storia now through Dec. 31, 2012, Scholastic will donate a children’s book to a child in need through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program (with a minimum of 50,000 books committed).

2. Visit a participating The UPS Store location across the U.S. now through Dec. 31, 2012 to purchase a donation card to benefit the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, a year-round initiative of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Every dollar donated helps provide new books from Scholastic for less fortunate children in local communities throughout the U.S. Customers can also donate online at The UPS Store Facebook page. As part of the longstanding collaboration with Scholastic Literacy Partners, The UPS Store loc…

A Story Set in the Fast Lane: At Every Turn by Anne Mateer

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About the book:
Caught up in a whirlwind of religious enthusiasm, Alyce impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. Now she just has to find a way to get the money. Her passion for automobiles leads her to train secretly for a race with the help of Webster, her father’s mechanic. If she wins, the prize money will enable her to fulfill her pledge—and more! But when her plan spirals out of control, will she have to choose between keeping her promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

My thoughts:
It's not everyday that you read a book set in the early 20th century in which the heroine is a racecar driver -- at least I know I don't read them! At Every Turn immediately caught my attention because even today it's a bit of a rare thing for ladies to race so to read about a "proper young miss" in 1916 doing it even though she's completely fictional sounded fun. I am so glad I wasn't wrong in picking this book to read and review…

ARC Giveaway: The Husband List (Jan. 2013) by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

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A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of the upcoming historical romance The Husband List by NYT Bestselling duo Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly from Goodreads. Luckily for you I was sent two ARCs and even though I enjoyed this book I don't need two copies so one of you lucky people gets my extra copy! To enter to win just fill out the form. Be sure to READ THE RULES at the top of the form to make sure you are eligible to enter.

Read my short review on Goodreads!

Keep in mind that this is a general market romance so there is some mild language and mild sexual content.


The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly Available January 8, 2013
Based on the family from the bestselling Love In A Nutshell, the story of an heiress longing to marry for love or not at all.

From The New York Times bestselling writing duo Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly, comes the story of a young woman’s search for true love. Caroline Maxwell would like nothing more than to join her brot…

Clash of the Titles: Restored Heart, a novel--Christmas Shopping Made Easy!

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To all our fans of historical fiction, Clash of the Titles introduces Jennifer A. David’s latest novel, Restored Hearts. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer. 
Pre-order your copy today at ChristianBook.com!
About the book:

Peter McCord Can't Believe His Ears. Young, handsome, and heir to one of Pittsburgh’s wealthiest fortunes, Peter McCord couldn’t imagine a life without privilege and a long line of eligible ladies vying for his attention. Until his grandfather’s will is read and his life changes unexpectedly. Now disinherited, Peter leaves his controlling family, certain he can make something of himself, by himself…and hoping he can find the anonymity and fresh start he desires.


Anne Kirby’s heart is broken. . .by a terrible secret. While her job as a university librarian takes her away from her pain, she’s determined to keep the truth guarded, even if that means remaining a spinster. When love brings Anne and Peter face-to-face, revelations regarding both their pasts emerge. But do…

Another Romance to Celebrate the Season: Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot

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About the book:
Celia Anderson doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a traveling carpenter finds lodging at her boardinghouse, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle, though, to find roses during a harsh Wyoming winter.

But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .


My Thoughts:
I am a reluctant reader of novellas just because I feel that the characters never have enough time to develop and as such I don't really feel a connection to the story. By the time I start to care what might happen the story is over. Christmas Roses is a novella but I decided to give it a try since I have so enjoyed the holiday books I've read so far this season. Amanda Cabot is a talented writer whose past books I've liked however this story didn't quite keep my attention.

Let's start with the good, I loved the small-town 1880s setting. There's noth…

Clash of the Titles: A Sense of Mission--Fiction that Honors America's Heroes

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Clash of the Titles is proud to endorse a novel from an author so accomplished, her work has made the cut on several of on our contests--the most recent being our September New Releases Clash.
Her latest work:
PURCHASE THE BOOK ON AMAZON PURCHASE THE BOOK ON B&N
About A Sense of Mission:
Kaitlin is driven to succeed in the mission denied her mother. Can she redeem that mission if she discovers another calling? Kaitlin Sadler is nine when her diplomat parents are killed in a U.S. embassy bombing. She must leave the overseas world she knows to live with her guardian, Matilda, on Simon Island in Puget Sound. Determined to redeem the tragedy of her parents' deaths, Kaitlin makes a binding decision to become a diplomat in the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service and pursues it relentlessly as she grows up. But is that really what her heart wants? And why does a niggling memory vanish every time she fights to remember it?

Ethan Coverwood, Matilda's nephew and a friend of Kai…

Clash of the Titles Winner: The Road to Mercy by Kathy Harris

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The winner of the September New Releases Clash is...

The Road To Mercy by Kathy Harris

Congratulations, Kathy!!
And thank you to all our participating authors:

Catherine West, author of Hidden in the HeartDonn Taylor, author of Deadly AdditiveJennifer A. Davids, author of Restored HeartStephanie Grace Whitson, author of The Shadow on the Quilt

It was a tight race and everyone did great. Many, many of our readers commented they would like to read all of them!

About The Road To Mercy:

Tragedy, love, & secrets meet on a journey of faith.

Josh Harrison, a contemporary Christian singer, and his wife Bethany face a difficult decision that also tests their faith. A rupture in Beth's carotid artery leaves her on the brink of death even as she's pregnant with their first child. While Dr. Ben Abrams urges her to terminate the pregnancy to save her own life, she and Josh step out on faith and decide to carry the baby to full term.

During the next few months, Josh struggles with his faith,…

Celebrate the Season with A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman

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It isn't Christmas yet but it is the time of the year when the Christmas books start popping up in stores and online. A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman was the first holiday story I've read this year from a big name publisher and I have to say it shined like the star on top of the tree. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist a little Christmas cliche. It had everything I love the happily ever after, the sigh-worthy moments, and a little bit of fun -- those things that usually pop up in romances and Christmas stories. What made this one unique and interesting was the fact that the author didn't make this a sugary sweet "fluff" piece but something of a "heavy hitter" that dealt with racism, segregation and also emotional abuse in families. It definitely wasn't something I was expecting from a Christmas story! It's not that often you find romances set in the 1960s and this one was pretty authentic to the time. A Merry Little Christmas was one…