Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Top 10 Sob-Worthy Literary Deaths {And 8 Teary-Eyed Honorable Mentions}

Do I really need to warn you that there are obvious SPOILERS in here?

Really big space to give you time to back out of this.....

Here are 10 of the characters who had me crying over their death. *Book listed is story they died in, but not necessarily the only story they were in*

1: Beth March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

2: Karen Ivankov from Whispers of Winter by Tracie Peterson

3: Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

4: Edward Travilla from Elsie's Widowhood by Martha Finley

5: John Brooke from Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

6: Chad Stewart from Not My Will by Francena H Arnold

7: Alice Humphreys from The Wide Wide World by Susan Warner

8: Fairlight Spencer from Christy by Catherine Marshall

9: Tom Chilton from Pollyanna Grows Up be Eleanor H Porter

10: Laura Mayfield from The Confession by Beverly Lewis

Honorable Mention: Fan in Millie's Fiery Trial, Patience in Treasures of the North, Grandpa in Across the Years, Annika in Hidden Among the Stars, Baby Darya in Twilight's Serenade, Lady Dedlock in Bleak House, Mrs Hamley in Wives and Daughters, and last but not least Marmee in Jo's Boys (she actually dies before that but the mention is enough to reduce me to tears apparently)

That might not be the exact order according to tissues used, but I tried. {And yes, I have shed tears for each mention here...Lots of tears.} Did any of your most emotional character deaths make my list? If not, share who yours is in the comments.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Waiting-On-Wednesday: In Times Gone By by Tracie Peterson

Book three in a series that has a top-notch beginning! Look at that cover too! Coming Sep 2018

After giving up on love, she faces a dilemma of the heart.
After getting left at the altar, Kenzie Gifford flees to San Francisco to start her life over, determined never to love again. She's made new friends and has a good job in the office of her cousin's chocolate factory. The only thorn in her side is Dr. Micah Fisher, who insists on pursuing her despite her constant resistance.

Then the Great Earthquake of 1906 strikes the city, and everything changes. The devastation all around her makes Kenzie reevaluate her outlook on life--and possibly even her feelings for Micah. Her world is rocked again when her ex-fiancé appears, determined to win her back. But Arthur already broke her heart once. Does she dare trust him again? The sudden arrival of a hidden danger will expose the motivations of all involved, but it could cost Kenzie her heart--and her li

Saturday, August 18, 2018

CelebrateLit Tour: Review {And Maybe a Rant, idk yet}: Ties That Blind by Chautona Havig

He may not be the only person in the Rockland area to wake up without a memory, but he might be the only killer…
Simon Prescott, the latest victim of spontaneous amnesia in Rockland, is under suspicion of murder. The evidence, though weak and circumstantial, points only to him. He’s confident he didn’t do it, but there’s no way to prove it. Grieving for a wife he doesn’t remember, Simon refuses to allow his family in, refuses to cooperate with police, and is heading straight for the pokey if he doesn’t figure out something and fast.
Enter: Ella Weeks and Vikki Jeffries. The previous two victims are determined to help him, and with jail time looming, Simon capitulates. But what Vikki and Ella find as they work through Simon’s life reveals astounding and rather chilling evidence of a bigger scheme than any of them could have imagined.
They’re on the verge of total discovery, but the closer they get, the less confident they are that they want to know.
Okay, where do I start? Can I start? I don't know. Someone send help. Or chocolate. Yes, just chocolate will do. But no. Let me continue with the... you know... the review... Like I'm supposed to be doing. insert rabbit trail here Anyway! First of all, this is book three in a series of books about people who have inexplicably lost their memories. Since none of the characters know what is happening, I suggest you read all three of these so you aren't hopelessly lost and confused. Simon, the MC, that was me. The style of writing just had me so drawn in that I almost couldn't remember anything. Simon's confusion was my confusion. The writing was... choppy. The sentences weren't complete most of the time. Because poor Simon couldn't. It was a genius ploy. There were a few times where the writing would jump unexpectedly into someone's thoughts or into a different speaker or someone would do something completely unexpected like open the front door when I thought they were still at the police station (Not necessarily that particular example. I was just using it) but I think that may have been a problem with how my phone was formatting the ebook paragraphs. I'm not sure. But really! I was so.... angry seems the right word.... for most of the book. It's silly. I love reading books about people with memory loss, but I get too invested. Like... so invested that I was angry that Simon and I couldn't remember anything. I couldn't pull my nose out of this book. The only reason I even went to bed was because I had to get up early for work. Otherwise I would have read through the night to see the resolution of the intense plot. I'm completely blown away, while also a little affronted at her boldness in daring to do this to me, by Chautona's genius in working out a plot that is almost too much to believe, but real enough to scare the willies out of you. 4 Stars for this crazy whirlwind of a something. {No literally. There is almost no way to predict what bizarre sentence will follow the last one you read!}

In case that was tooo ranty for you. Here's the condensed version: Good book. Read them in order. Hang onto your hat. Sign up for Chautona's newsletter. Read more of her books.

I received this book for review from CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own. As if you couldn't tell 🤣

About the Author

The author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona


“So why is this series called ‘Sight Unseen’ if it’s about people who lose their memories? Why the vision references?”
I can’t pretend I wanted to answer her question. She isn’t the first to ask, and I doubt she’ll be the last. I tried to explain.
Look, it’s a valid question. Originally, the first book was called From the Cinders, and if it had remained a stand-alone book, it still would be. But when I finished with another person waking up to no memories and a hint that something sinister might be behind it all, I had to change it to fit two books—no, three!
Recall. Rewind. Refresh. I liked those titles. But that still didn’t give me the name of a series. I kept studying. Tried again.
I read what would become None So Blind three times in a row, if I recall correctly. And as I read it, a theme emerged. Ella Weeks hadn’t been blind to her faults even before her memory loss. Even her husband hadn’t been, despite his obvious love for her. But those around her had been blind to her awareness of those faults—to her silent cries for help in overcoming them.


Vikki had a past that she hid from and refused to acknowledge. And even as those around her drew closer to provide support, she still managed to block out all that she found frightening—even physically shutting down and shutting out life.
So, when it came time to plan the final book in the series, the one that would now tie together everything that had happened, I knew I wanted something that also fit with the other titles. And one night it came to me. Ties That Blind. So often our ties to people blind us to their faults—to the destructive influences they have in our lives. And Simon Prescott will learn that lesson in a rather lonely, horrible way.


Now we see through dark glasses… we can’t really make it all out. But with the Lord, when we’re truly with Him in eternity, we’ll see things as clearly as we do when we are face to face.
And that’s what faith is all about, right? It’s the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we “buy in” to the Lord Jesus, we’re taking it all in faith. We’re trusting in Him, “Sight Unseen,” just as the characters in this series do with every element of their lives.
I hope their journeys bless you as they have me as I wrote them.


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the entire Sight Unseen series in paperback!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d295/ties-that-blind-celebration-tour-giveaway

Make sure to stop at all the stops!

Blog Stops

Live. Love. Read. , August 18 {You are Here}
Fiction Aficionado, August 20
Among the Reads, August 20
Lots of Helpers, August 22
Cordially Barbara, August 23
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 23
Multifarious, August 24
Texas Book-aholic, August 26
A Reader’s Brain, August 27
Carpe Diem, August 28
Bigreadersite, August 30
Mary Hake, August 30
Pause for Tales, August 31

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sophomore Year?!?!?

I've often been told {during high school especially} that sophomore means "Wise Moron". I'll admit that I'm just the tiniest bit skeptical of that, but I can see where such a definition might come from. Well, I'll be a sophomore in just a week and a half! I head back to Bob Jones University on August 27th. I'll be starting right back into work at Bob Jones Academy, as both a late stay assistant and a teachers' aide, although this year I'll be working with second grade. I will surely miss my first grade teachers, but I'm ready to get to know the second grade teachers and my fellow 2nd grade aide, Heidi. I can't wait to see all my friends and get back into the swing of things. Still a little ill with you Miss Sharon! I miss my Dragon sisters and can't wait for rush and induction, which will be incredibly fun! I get to take French class this semester and I'm totally stoked! Two of my closest friends will be my roommates! Which will be nice, since I can't tell you how many times I fell asleep in their room last semester :D We're going to FaceTime this Monday, and I'm excited to work everything out for the year! {Love you Meggy and Даша!} Then in {Why did my font size change????} early October baby Nikolas Dietrich will come! I can't wait to meet him, although it will probably be Thanksgiving before I can! Also in October, one of my wonderful friends is getting married, and I'm so excited to come home for their wedding! I hope everyone is going to have as wonderful a fall as I am! Let me know in the comments what big plans you have! 

{PS I had a ton of fun this summer, and was so grateful to see this wonderful friend twice!}

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Waiting-On-Wednesday: An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M White

I can't wait to get my hands on this! Roseanna M White always gets me right in the feels!!!!
Coming NEXT MONTH!!! Real Soon! {But actually I'm getting mine sooner since I won a giveaway! WOW!!! So Awesome!

With Danger Creeping Ever Closer,
Do Their Dreams Still Matter?

Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war, including keeping an eye on a talented engineer working as a clockmaker. But not until he rescues the man's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly dreamed and worked for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end their engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clock repair with her father, she can't help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges deeper into war, the race is on for any technological edge, and Evelina's father's ideas have captured the attention of many--perhaps too many. As danger seems to encroach from every side, it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: Not My Will by Francena H Arnold

Eleanor's secret love for Chad could mean losing her inheritance and giving up a lifelong dream. Should she follow her own carefully laid plans to be a scientist---or marry the man she really loves? Originally published in 1946, this inspiring story continues to spark fresh discussion about choosing God's will over our own.

This book gets 5 big, bright, beautiful golden stars.

1: I've wanted to review this book for ages, but I needed to read it again first, because I wasn't sure but that I'd leave out something important. It's a book you can't forget reading, not that you'd ever want to. In fact, if you read this book, and at the end you say "I wish I'd never picked that up" then there is something wrong with you that I can't fix.

2: In my memory, this book stands out as the one that had me doing the "slow, leaky tears" thing for chapter after heart-wrenching chapter. There's something special about the first time you read it. This second time, there were fewer tears, just because I knew the end of the agony. (Mind, I don't say no tears, because at one point I was afraid my brother would hear me from the other room, with my little choking sobs.) There is a tenderness and a conveying of sorrow in this book, one I can't describe with much accuracy but which is very much real.

3: Mother Stewart is one of my favorite literary characters, probably ever. I can't get enough of her, or her love toward Eleanor.

4: The title of this book is Not My Will, but the subtitle is really a one-sentence summary of the whole sad, yet satisfying, story. "How much will surrender cost?"

5: Honestly, seeing exactly how wonderfully God worked and maneuvered things throughout the whole story is enough to have you in tears without the sadness. It's a blessing of a book. And if I don't stop now I'm going to sound like a ranting sap, as if I didn't already. Oh..... I'd let the book speak for itself if I had any inkling that you'd read it.

(Can you see where I got scared and backed off before I gave away multiple show-stopper spoilers there? Oh, my, though. I can't say enough good things about this book, and I wish you'd read it.)

Is this my all-time, couldn't live without it, favorite ever book? POSSIBLY! There's a VERY strong probability. Now excuse me while I go pick this up again, and relive the joys and sorrows. <3

(Oh, ummm.... I gave this a romance tag under the labels, but it isn't really a strictly romance. Honestly, Christian and Classic are the only two labels that truly define this book. There is so much in here but it's not easy to pin down.)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

I've ventured into the set of books that focuses on the courtroom side of the justice system...and I loved it!

"Prosecutor Sophie Dawson's first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.'s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.

Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don't know who they can trust. 

Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what's right--but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?"

While I've read plenty of books that center around the FBI, DEA, various PIs and police officers, even medical examiners, the courtroom is not a place I've frequented. Boy, is that going to have to change! I love seeing how lawyers, and even judges, work. Rachel Dylan hit a home run on that front! The spine-tingling, what's-happening-now, can't-blink-or-I-might-miss-something that I love from a fresh view-point! While there was some strong hinting at some strong language, overall a decent read in that respect. The characters were well placed and many-faceted. In fact, I had trouble putting my finger on the real rat until POSSIBLE SPOILER the safehouse blew up. And then... Then I knew! But I will admit, there were some REAL plot twists that Sherlock Holmes himself wouldn't have seen coming! I mean... GIRL!!!! You got something going on here! I can't wait to get my hands on the others in this series. 4.5 Stars.

Matlock meets incredible plot in this Atlanta Justice series.

Thanks to Bethany House for hosting the giveaway for this book!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: The Long-Awaited Child by Tracie Peterson

"A child of my Own. Flesh of my flesh..." That is the deep yearning that fills Tess's heart. Despite years spent under a doctor's care and advances in medical technology, she and her husband have discovered their options have been exhausted, leaving them with arms empty, long-held dreams shattered.

A unique opportunity arises in the form of a young pregnant teen desperate to free herself from her misguided decisions. Drawn together by their mutual needs, Tess and Sherry see a solution in what the other offers. But what appears to be an ideal agreement soon tests the fragile threads of Tess's fledgling faith....

The answer is very different from what they were expecting...."

Well, this has been on my TBR list for longer than I can remember, and I finally got to read it. I loved it. I'm not sure what I expected from this book. I just... Well I love books that have to do with adoption and of course that was this book through and through. I loved that aspect. This book is very emotion packed. Definitely the way to get me. But it was so short. Less than 300 pages, which makes me feel a little jipped when I think of it. I enjoy getting to know the characters over long periods of time and there were multiple months skipped at a time here. I just felt like I didn't have enough bonding time with these characters ;) I wish there was more of Brad and his feelings. And Tess could have been a little nicer. Sherry could have had more POV... That being said, I would point out that this book had me guessing for most of the way. I went back and forth on how the ending would go. I didn't cry... but I would have. It was a very good book that has me begging for more. 4 stars for this sweet book. Definitely worth the read. I'm glad it's joining my other books on my Tracie Shelves!

Monday, August 6, 2018


Congratulations Lief! You've won the Tracie Peterson giveaway!

Thanks to all who participated!

I have so many more ideas for giveaways so stay tuned for more coming your way in a couple months.