Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling


When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?

I'm giving this book 4.5 stars

1: I really was hoping that this would be another Blessing book. Instead it's a spin-off series starring Ingeborg's cousins. And it really was so awesome. I enjoyed it a lot. (After I got over my initial sadness ;) )

2: I love how this wasn't a romance. I mean, there was some romance between Signe and Rune but they are already married so it's not typical "boy meets girl" and I enjoyed the different plot. It was really refreshing.

3: Have you ever seen such a great turn around as Gerd had? She started out as my least favorite and ended as one of my favorites. Honestly, I just loved the characters.... or at least all but one. But he was great to aim your hate at....

4: It had a great ending and definitely made me want to read more. I can't wait for more in this series. I love Lauraine Snelling's books. They are so perfect. (Usually.... I mean obviously no one is perfect but... you knew what I meant.)

5: This book had suchhhh a great cover. I kept closing it so I could touch the cover. It's soooo beautiful.



I received this book through the Bethany House blogging program

Thursday, August 10, 2017

TBR Top 5 for August

1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
2: Julia by Catherine Marshall
3: Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle
4: Thick As Thieves by Susan K Marlow
5: Shadowed by Dani Pettrey

Got any other suggestions? Comment below!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher


In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear
Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.
Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.



I'm giving this book 4 stars.

1: It took me a little while to get into the book, but I really did enjoy it. The story was interesting, horrifying (at parts), funny, sad, and lovable by turns. I feel like this book hit a broad range of emotions.

2: I feel like all the characters were really good. There weren't really many characters that I didn't have a strong opinion on. Even characters who weren't in it that much still felt like a real part of the story.

3: The part about the Conestoga wagon and its creation was crazy cool, but the best part was the bit about the horse, how the Conestoga breed came about. (P.S. Don't assume based on the picture of the Conestoga wagon on the front that this is a "western expansion" book. It's not. Try 1763. I somehow made that mistake.)

4: If I had to pick a favorite character, I'd pick Felix or Anna, but my favorite POV was definitely Betsy.

5: I honestly, and I know this is going to sound really ignorant, but it's not like I look this stuff up or anything, but I honestly never thought about there being Amish people in America in 1763. It never occurred to me, and while I'd read stories about that time period before, it was really unique to see things from the Plain POV.


I received this book through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my very own!



About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoods (1)Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.



Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!
Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.
ThreeSistersGarden2According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.
The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.
ThreeSistersGardenHave you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

Click here to purchase your copy.

This is an incredible giveaway!

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:
An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
The Amish Beginning 3 book set series
One grand prize winner will receive:
An iPad Mini
You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)



Find more great reviews of this book at these blogs!

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
(You are here) August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book

I'd be happy to hear from you! Sound off in the comments!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

The real blurb.....

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her—and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories—and the depths of the heart—Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

I'm giving this book 5 stars....of course.

1: When I saw this book on the list of books to sign up for.... well I jumped on it so fast. Lynette Eason is one author that I have yet to read a book that doesn't keep me hopping, there's never a slow start. I mean, I haven't read all of them, for sure, but lots of them. I love her style.

2: By the end of chapter 3 I could hardly keep going the suspense was getting to me so much, and it's not even like there were THAT many bullets flying by then. I just really wanted them to find Haley/Aileen. (That's not a spoiler, not if you find out within five chapters.) And then when she did, I was just like woah.... what? And then... yeah I didn't figure out the end.

3: To see the change in heart that slowly but surely happens in Steven through the whole book, caused mainly by Haley, his mom, and the Holy Spirit,(Not necessarily in that order) was so sweet. Haley and Steven make such a cute couple too, and the teasing is too adorable.

4: I loved that there were more than one story-line, so that while one seemingly slows down (but it doesn't actually) the others fill in so that your head is spinning with the need to keep everyone safe. For goodness sake... they had the whole team of amazing deadly lady bodyguards out, and lots of them were on Haley's family.

5: The epilogue was (again) Great! Somehow, she just knows exactly how I need it to end. I'd think she was a mind reader if I didn't know better ;)

You can't tell that she's one of my favorite authors ever, can you? Oh, and the first chapter of her next book was at the end of this one, and now I don't know what to do with myself till January ;)


I received this book through the Revell blogging program.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Update

So.... there's so much to say. I leave for college in a few weeks. Out-of-state college, in a town that seemed so much safer before I read Lynette Eason's Women Of Justice series ;) (Just kidding....mostly!) I've been writing and writing and storing up drafts and scheduling posts for weeks so that I won't have to abandon you guys this semester. Upcoming reviews include Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason, and a new Lauraine Snelling. August 8th I have a CelebrateLit tour happening, so be sure to stop by for that! Also, just a thanks for being awesome! Y'all are the best readers. Contact me anytime, I'm always checking for messages. This was a pretty short update, but I'm scurrying around trying to pull everything together here!


Oh my goodness!!!! Guess what I just found out last night! (Yes I am writing this at a different time from the other part) I'm going to be a big sister again in March. Good-bye oldest of five.... Hello oldest of six!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

I'm going to use the real blurb, cause there isn't any way for me to do this without spoiling everything. (Well, technically there is, but it takes to much thought for the state of mind I'm in right now.)

After three months of draus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family.
Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana’s café while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life.
Skylar’s time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up.
Both women will have to make decisions about their paths— and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
 
Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.


I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: I feel like each book in this series gets better than the last, and this one was the best. (And the cleanest, not that there was bad stuff in the others, it's just the use of certain terms that I wouldn't. Mostly coming from Skylar, to be fair.)

2: Honestly, I enjoy Amish stories, but the Amish confuse me. They have a lot of things right, but so many things wrong. I think this book did a really great job of showing that, while still showing everything that was good about the Amish.

3: I really wished there was more of Brandi and Cameron in this book than there was. I mean, I know the series is called "The Amish of Summer Grove" but still.... But I was super excited that Cameron seemed to get along with the Amish side of Ari's family. And Nicholas seemed to be getting to be a better man, which was great. I love how Ari started calling Brandi and Nicholas Mom and Dad, and by the end (I'm not sure if this is a SPOILER or not but whatever....) Skylar was comfortable with Isaac and Lovina and called them Daed and Mamm... well technically I don't think she actually did call her Mamm, but I like to think she did.

4: Quinn and Berta and Ari had such a chemistry among them, in different ways between the characters, but I loved how they could work together to get problems solved.

5: Can we talk about the epilogue? I mean, I know we can't cause that would be super spoiler, but I was pretty taken aback. The good thing is that she touched on everyone, so that I wasn't wondering what was going on with half the characters. But I was so sad to see it end. I wasn't ready.


(Wow, number three really got a little long winded.....)


I received this book as part of participation in Cindy's launch team.

This book is on sale August 15, which is 2 weeks away. Hopefully this review is just in time to get you excited.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling

Miriam is sent to Blessing to complete her nurses training, not to be attracted to Trygve. She needs to complete her training and get back to Chicago so she can care for her Mother and five younger siblings. Ingeborg is worried about Haakan, who is very weak after his most recent spell. Elizabeth is pregnant again and Astrid is trying to figure out how to keep both her sister-in-law and the baby safe and healthy. Lots of other things happen, but you'll just have to read the book.


I'm giving this book 4 stars.

1: All the emotions, from laughing out loud, (snuckling?), to crying, (I can't see out of my now salt-covered glasses) this book hits it all.

2: Manny and Haakan and Ingeborg. Add in a little bit of irrepressible Inga, and Manny didn't have a chance. I was so happy for him.

3: I see the point of the Anglican bit, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it does it?

4: Honestly, I don't see how Gerald and Toby Valders managed to grow up so nice being stuck with parents like that! I'm not a fan..... although Hildegunn isn't 100% awful. Just...95% ;)

5: The ending led very much into wanting the next book. I can't wait to start it. (I've already read book 4 in this series... I never get them in order *eye roll* but I think book 4 is better than book 1)





Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M White

She’s Out to Steal His Name.
Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.


An excellent book that truly deserves 5 stars.

1: I've loved every Roseanna White book I've read. I love her style. I especially love her characters. They can take you from giggling over a bonked head and an embarrassing introduction to Prince Edward, to crying over Rosemary and stuff I can't say in this spoiler free review. And then giggling again over the very last chapter. I'm sure mom would have thought I'd gone off my rocker if she hadn't been asleep as I read through the night to finish it. I couldn't put it down.

2: One thing I enjoy about her books is the fact that while they aren't mysteries, there is always an underlying subplot of suspense. In this case, Mr. V, and who he is and what he wants, is the main cause of looking over your shoulder. (This is one mystery that I didn't solve until about three paragraphs before I was told.)

3: The summary on the back did not do poor Peter justice. He was much different, I think, than I was assuming. But I loved him so much. He's one of my favorite Christian fiction guys. And Rosemary was so pitiful. Not that she'd appreciate any pity. She's also a very tough cookie. But anyway. A book about books and writing about writing. This book was everything I wanted it to be!

4: I think Mrs. Teague deserves her own place in this review. She's a pretty unique character, and I'm not sure what other characters I can think of off the top of my head that are at the same time soooo right and sooooooooo wrong. And then the very end of chapter 25, which was definitely a crying chapter.

5: Yes, I am going to tell you everything wonderful about the cover. The picture (below) is pretty, but it doesn't show how pretty the real thing is. I stopped several times so I could close the book and just run my hand over the cover. It's a book with books on the cover. It's amazing.

I honestly can't wait to see other books in this series. I want to see more of Rosemary and Peter, and Rosemary's unusual but wonderful family. And of course, Gryff, Jenny, and Wyn!

I received this book through CelebrateLit!

(That was a long review.....)

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

RoseannaJuly2016Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.



Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)

GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE

100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.



And now.... the giveaway. You're gonna like this one. I'm super excited!


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To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc0e




Find Other Reviews on the other Stops

Blog Stops

July 20: Genesis 5020
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
(You are here) July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody

Thanks for reading! I hope to hear from you!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

A month or so ago I got an email asking if I wanted to be a part of Cindy Woodsmall's launch team for her new book Gathering the Threads. You can just bet I jumped on that one! I'd read book two in the series but not the first one so they sent it to me.

Arianna likes her life. She's happy with her siblings. She's close to getting her cafe. Things are going great until her former best friend Quill comes back. And he's all but admitted he's here to lead one of her family members away from the Amish faith. What she doesn't know is that her parents have him investigating a situation that had the potential to turn her world on its side and give it a good shaking.

I'm giving this book 4 stars. (Also, I'm gonna paragraph this one, instead of the usual way.)

I liked book 2 better, although if I'd read them in order I might feel differently. I loved the characters, but I really just wanted to get to the part where they knew. There were a few times when I had to stop reading though because it got really intense. Not intense, more like, "Oh my word.... when she finds out about that it's gonna be BAD!" Don't get me wrong, it was an incredibly good book, and you should absolutely totally 100% read it. (But only if you like Amish stories, duh. Although, it isn't all Amish. There is a DEFINITE mix!) Bottom line... you'll love it, but read them in order for goodness sake!
I received this book for free from the publisher.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Crazy About Alaska by Shannon L Brown

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.
Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.
Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.
Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.



4 Stars for this book!

1: If you've been here before, you're probably wondering if I made up the title of this book. No, I didn't, but yes, that title did force me to sign up. I tried not to, I was afraid I was signing up for too many, but I couldn't resist this one. Alaska for the win, am I right? (Yes, I'm right.)

2: You know I have a major weakness for kids in books, but twins........ almost as irresistible as Alaska. If you love to have kids in the books you read... well, keep reading, cause I will link the amazon page for this book near the end of the post.

3: Sweet. Romance. How much cuter could they be? Not any, in my opinion. Seriously, I think I'm adding them to my power-couple list. Also, I'm probably going to have to go back and read the other books in this series. Actually, I need a word a little bit stronger than probably. 

4: Jemma and Bree, and the parents.... the matchmakers... they were hilarious, and so sweet. Also, I did find the sarcasm. Sarcasm appeals to me, because I'm sometimes annoyingly sarcastic.

5: Be forewarned: You will crave pie when you are finished with this (AWESOME) book!

I received this book for free through the CelebrateLit blogging program.



About the Author

ShannonLBrownWriting books that are fun and touch your heart
Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.
Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.
Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.
Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.



Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors
When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.
Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.
Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.
By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.
Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.




Want to read more?

Blog Stops

July 22: Just Commonly
(You are here~) July 23: Live.Love.Read.
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 24: autism mom
July 25: Baker Kella
July 26: A Rup Life
July 27: Quiet Quilter
July 28: Pause for Tales
July 29: Remembrancy


And of course, an incredible giveaway!

Giveaway

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To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb35



Thanks for stopping by! Comment below, I'll definitely be replying!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

Trey came home to donate part of his liver to his dying father, not to develop feelings for his neighbor, beautiful Lucy, and her kids. But the more time he spends with her, the more time he wants to spend with her. Until he finds out she used drugs as a teen. Twice burned, by first his bio parents and then his dead wife, Trey wants nothing to do with Lucy if she's an addict. Will he be able to trust God and believe that Lucy has moved past her mistakes, or will this break the deal?


I'm going with 4 stars.

1: I liked the book, no, I loved it! But I still think I like the one before it better. (This is book three in the Double S Ranch series.) I was really glad that Elsa was in this one. She's still my favorite character from this series.

2: Talk about strong characters, I don't care if this is the first one you read or if you've read them all, in order. You can't help but get attached to them, all of them from Hobbs to Sam to Isabo. Everyone.

3: Is there anything that can melt your heart faster than Belle's lisp? How precious!!! And Sam at the hospital had me tearing up. So did the last chapter. And the epilogue.

4: I loved the musical side to the book. And I loved the growing trust and faith in God. There were so many Bible verses quoted in this book. It was a great read.

5: Best. Ending. But now I need another a book in this series, cause I want to see Sam and Isabo get married. They make the cutest couple.

I received this book through Blogging For Books.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TBR List for July: Top 5

Here are a few books I've decided I really want to get from the library this month. Ones I haven't read. But not books that aren't published yet. Trust me.... I've got a dozen Waiting-On-Wednesday posts just waiting to be published. Be on the lookout! But anyway....

1: The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings
2: Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C Douglas
3: Let's Be Real by Natasha Bure
4: The Tender Years by Janette Oke
5: The Long-Awaited Child by Tracie Peterson

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think, or give me ideas for other book I would like. Thanks!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Two years after Treasured Grace, more or less, Hope is still trying to put the horrors of the Whitman Mission attack behind her. She likes being alone with her sheep, and spinning her wool, and working with the yarn. But now she's expected to testify against the men who shot and killed the boy she wanted to marry. The men who kept her and the other women and girls hostage for a month, a month filled with horrors. She'd rather not relive that awful time, but Hope is determined that her tormentors will never get the chance to hurt anyone else again. Lance Kenner seems to be able to help her move on, if she'll let him. But is her baggage too much?



Another 5 star book from Tracie Peterson.

1: This story definitely draws you in. I was happy one moment, then sad the next. A couple times I was giggling. I definitely couldn't put it down. I even took it into the mall with me and read while mom was eating in the food court. I know I am going to be reading this one again.

2: Neither one of the main characters were on sure footing with their relationship with God, but I enjoyed so much seeing them both grow and change, letting the Lord take their baggage away.

3: If you enjoyed Treasured Grace, you'll be happy to know (Like I was) that we still get to here lots from Grace, and we read from her POV quite a few times throughout the story! We even get to here from Mercy some too. She's 15 now.

4: I know I probably said this last time, with Treasured Grace, but in reading random stuff about the Whitman mission in history or in passing in other books, I don't think I ever actually realized, or if I did, I didn't remember, that there were other people there. That they were kept hostage for so long. This book isn't only interesting, it's a history lesson you don't realize you're getting.

5: I have to say something about the cover. If it's a good cover I always have to say something about it. The color scheme they seem to be using for this series, the soft pastel blues, whites, and greens, are so pretty and peaceful, but what really got me about this cover is the girl on it. Hope. This could be all in my imagination, but I think she looks ready to burst into tears, maybe even looks a little afraid. I know this is probably my imagination, and a ramble too, but I really love this cover.


I received this book through the Bethany House review program. Thanks for sticking with me. I know this was a long, ramble-y review.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson

Natalie is back on PEI after 15 years for her wedding to a big Nashville records guru. Unfortunately, a change of venue is necessary for her wedding reception, and the only available place is the barn of her childhood best friend, the fellow who didn't follow her to Music City. She's angry with him, he's angry with her, and neither one of them can stop those blasted sparks between them.


Another 5 star book.

1: The emotions coming off of these characters were enough to knock you over. Strong enough to transfer out of the book. Everyone, not just the main characters.

2: I really like a heroine that blushes as much as I do.

3: The gorgeous setting of PEI took my breath away, even though I only saw it in my head. To be honest, I only picked this book from a deep love of Anne, but finished it because I loved this book and all it's many characters. No, that's not true. There is a list of characters that I did NOT love.

4: Mama Kane.... and Aretha.... goodness, I wanted more of them in the story. I could read a sequel to this written from their POV and be happier than a lark. They were literally the sweetest things. I just ate up every word about them.

5: "Do the next right thing."
          ^ ^ ^ THIS ^ ^ ^



I received this book free through the Revell blogger review program.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Audiobook Review: Peter Pan by J M Barrie read by Christopher Casanove

When you're in the mood for reading, but you're house is a royal mess, what do you do? Listen to audiobooks obviously. But you have to have a really, really good reader or that's the absolute worst. As you can probably tell by the title, I decided on Peter Pan. I have to be honest, this was the first time I'd ever read/heard the actual unabridged book. (Disney only, to my shame.) First off, it was much more violent than I had expected. But it was still super awesome. I love how the lost boys all adopted Wendy as their mother, and she just totally rolled with it and fussed over them and scolded them. It was hilarious. And the reader was GREAT! He totally had it. He in no way sounded like a robot. YAY!!!! (Cause that's the worst!) The ending got me though. I mean, I knew it was coming, but I was getting all teary-eyed, which was funny. I'd definitely recommend this to everyone, keeping in mind that Tink's line had a different meaning then and wasn't considered bad back then. 4.5 stars I think.




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter

Almost everyone has heard of Pollyanna. She's the sunshine queen, always ready to play the Glad Game. When Pollyanna is orphaned she goes to live with her aunt Polly. Though Pollyanna loves her aunt from the second they meet, Aunt Polly takes a bit of time to warm up to her bubbly niece. It takes an near fatal accident to show Aunt Polly how much the little girl means to her.



This book is a definite 5 star!

1: This book is a classic for kids of all ages. I was fifteen or sixteen the first time I read it. Although it is written in the style of most book for this age group written around this time period such as The Railway Children and What Katy Did, I didn't find the simplicity to take away from the storyline. In fact, it rather enhanced Pollyanna's own simple love and faith.

2: Aunt Polly is far and away one of my favorite characters in children's literature. Her tough outer shell is softened bit by bit, and her backstory is told in a way that children can understand, although lost love isn't often a theme in their lit.

3: I find that I play the Glad Game myself sometimes. It is quite a picker-upper when you're down in the dumps!

4: I love how each of the characters are unique, not only in personality, but also in perspective. While Old Tom remembers when Miss Polly was young and doesn't judge her present behavior as harshly, Nancy is quick to condemn the seeming hardness of Miss Polly's actions.

5: The whole story had a beautiful ending for all of the characters and I do recommend reading the sequel Pollyanna Grows Up. It sheds some light on a few shadows and also continues the story for other characters. Warning though... You might need some tissues for the second one. I know I did!




I wrote that a while back, and left it as a draft for later. You can get Pollyanna and Pollyanna Grows Up as free ebooks. Yesterday I listened to the unabridged Pollyanna audiobook, and it was so incredible that I decided today was the day to post this one. (Also, I forced an almost promise from my best friend to read the unabridged version.) This is not my best written review, but I hope you see my love for Pollyanna.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

LitFuse Tour: Review: The Captain's Daughter

London, 1879

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don't catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided---until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.


I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: Okay, so best idea ever. Get Spotify (if you don't already have it, just get the free version on your PC. That's what I use. However, on the phone it's less okay.) and search Gilbert and Sullivan, and then you can find them as an artist page. They have a couple songs from Pirates, but a TON of songs from Pinafore. Listen to it on low while you're reading. It adds the most magical touch to the story.
(Sorry, that was quite the ramble.)

2: I enjoyed learning about the Opera Comique, and the actors and singers there. Everything captured my imagination so much. It was a very unique story, and I don't remember reading anything like it. Which is quite refreshing. And of course, the Gilbert and Sullivan story-line was super awesome!

3: I love a story that has both the main characters growing in their walk with the Lord, learning to lean on Him and trust more. What a sweet sweet part of this story that was, for both Rosalyn and Nate. I'm sure you're going to love this story.

4: What an ending! A strong ending is what makes a book stand out in my mind. It's what makes me remember a book. I loved the ending. I loved the setting of the whole story. I loved the writing style throughout. Then BAM! Add the ending, and.....

5: The cover is one of my favorite covers ever. It's so beautiful, and the raised lettering, y'all know I can't resist. See!


(Also, I loved the author's last name... which has nothing to do with anything. I just thought it looked sort of similar to my grandparents' name, Delamarter)

I received this book for free from LitFuse. This is my honest review.





About the Author!



Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Visit her online at www.jenniferdelamere.com.


Check out the landing page here:


Pick up your copy on Amazon: Here's a link 

If you'd like to see more reviews of this book, it's on tour with LitFuse, and I can send you to other reviews if you want.

Sound off in the comments! I'd love to know what you thought!



https://open.spotify.com/album/2JNJtQd4uSTXk1QMf3IxrL (That's a link to the music to Pinafore!)


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Oh Guys!

I am so sorry that I've been neglecting you all the past couple of weeks. It's a busy time. I'm getting ready for college this fall, and looking for a campus job. This week is VBS at my church (Ocean Commotion!) and all kinds of other stuff is going on. But... I did just order a ton of books from ThriftBooks so yay! I can't wait to share picture with all of you. Be watching my Twitter especially. And if you aren't following me, there is a place in the sidebar. Or it's @3714Bookdragon. Feel free to comment and let me know how you're doing! I'd love to hear from all of you readers. I appreciate all of you.

(P.S. Be on the look-out for a blog tour July 2! It's a doozy!)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: Angels in Action by Diane Williams


This is my first non-fiction review, and so I’m going about it in a totally new and different way. Well, not totally new. But whatever. (At any rate, I’ve decided not to use stars on nonfiction.)



Angels in Action is a collection of short stories the author has put together about things that have happened in her life. The stories all contain lessons that she has learned through different circumstances in her life. The stories were great, for the most part. Each had a bit of Scripture put with it. Not all of the contents of this book are something that I would necessarily agree with, but for the most part, it’s pretty good. And there are lots of people I’m sure who would agree on everything. It is definitely food for thought and I enjoyed the writing style, as it was a pretty enjoyable read. It was also easy to read, since the stories in it were mostly stand-alone. There is surely a lesson for everyone to learn in this book. So while this isn’t a book I would have picked for myself, I don’t really regret reading it. And I finished it, which is a really big accomplishment for me where nonfiction is concerned, since I usually find it a struggle.



Sorry if the new style of review isn’t what you’d like. I just am not sure how to go about this. Nonfiction and I….. Well. It is what it is I guess, so thanks for your patience with me. I realize this isn't my greatest worded or put together review.

Thank you Diane for sending me your book.





Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Lately I've been reading up a storm, but I just keep forgetting to write the reviews. Sorry.

About

Four Best Friends.
And Then One Went Missing . . .

In college, Griffin McCray and his three best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore Police Department, Declan Grey would head to the FBI, and Parker Mitchell would study to become a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now years later, Griffin has left the police and his friendships behind. Still trying to forget a case that went bad when he was a SWAT team sniper, he's living a quiet life as a park ranger at Gettysburg. Quiet until skeletal remains are uncovered near Little Round Top--and they aren't Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Grey steps in to take over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

(Yes, I did steal that from the website.)


I'm going to give this book 5 stars.

1: The intercharacter dynamics were amazing. I loved how they worked together in the different situations. And Finley and Griff make the CUTEST couple. Ever.

2: Super scary. Super dangerous. Lots of dead people. A tangled web that would impress Charlotte (from Charlotte's web, in case you didn't follow my maybe funny joke.)

3: The spiritual journey's of the different characters were great. One of the reasons I love Dani Pettrey's books.

4: The crazy part of this book, and this might or might not be a SPOILER, is that there are two sets of bad guys, which is a really unique way to go. You just play the bad guys off of each other and then distract them that way. Genius!

5: By the end, I was in tears. I didn't want it to stop. Talk about emotionally over-investment. But that's not always bad. (Or is it? I don't know.)