Saturday, October 21, 2017

O Lovely Book Cover


The Honey Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Published: March 29th, 2017


Chief of Sinners {Texas Romance Books #10} by Caryl McAdoo
Published: September 6th, 2017


Heirs of Tirragyl {The Poison Tree Path Chronicles #2} by Joan Campbell

Published: October 10th, 2017 (Enclave Publishing)


The Mayflower Bride {Daughters of the Mayflower #1} by Kimberley Woodhouse

Expected Publication: February 1st, 2018 (Barbour Books)


The Pirate Bride {Daughters of the Mayflower #2} by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Expected Publication: April 1st, 2018 (Barbour Books)


King's War {The Kinsman Chronicles #3} by Jill Williamson

Expected Publication: April 17th, 2018 (Bethany House)


Together Forever {Orphan Train #2} by Jody Hedlund

Expected Publication: May 1st, 2018 (Bethany House)


Falling for You {A Bradford Sisters Romance #2} by Becky Wade

Expected Publication: May 1st, 2018 (Bethany House)


The Captured Bride {Daughters of the Mayflower #3} by Michelle Griep 

Expected Publication: June 1st, 2018 (Barbour Books)


The Orphan's Wish {Hagenheim #8} by Melanie Dickerson

Expected Publication: June 26th, 2018 (Thomas Nelson)


The Patriot Bride {Daughters of the Mayflower #4} by Kimberley Woodhouse

Expected Publication: August 1st, 2018 (Barbour Books)


Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

Expected Publication: 2018 (Thomas Nelson)


A Rebel Heart {The Daughtry House #1} by beth White


The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Some Updates

Hello, dear friends. I know I haven't mentioned Silver Rose in a long while ... and there's a reason for that. Being, I haven't worked on it in a long time. In fact, I don't feel like much of a writer right now, and that's causing me no small amount of anxiety and distress.

My summer was much busier than anticipated, and I had things come up in my life that I wasn't expecting. Thus, I've had neither the emotional or maybe even physical energy to work on editing/reading through Silver Rose. And I don't believe I'll be publishing it this year as planned. *sad face*
I might want to have it go through a professional editor. Or I may just have some more trusted writer/reader friends read it, and then call it good. I don't know. But at this point, it's on hold.

I've been struggling a lot with anxiety. And lots of emotional stuff. I've had to put things aside and really focus on life and family right now. I'm devoting more time to prayer (which helps with my anxiety). I'm helping with homeschooling and housekeeping. I've had doctor appointments and started new diet and exercise plans.

I hope I can start writing a little bit here and there again, but for now Silver Rose, at least, is on hold. I'm sorry to anybody out there who might actually still want to read it.

I'm realizing I need to take time to be still and have quiet and pray and sing and just breathe.
I like to color in adult coloring books. And also listen/sing along to worship and inspirational songs.

Here are some songs that I'm loving:


Holy Spirit cover by Carrollton


Shelter by Carrollton


I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North


The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North


Time to Be Well by Jenny Simmons


Be My Healer by Jenny Simmons


Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells


O'Lord by Lauren Daigle


In Christ Alone cover by Anthem Lights


Good, Good Father cover by Anthem Lights


You're Not Alone by Owl City

I did a quick photo shoot with my sister the other day. Here are just a couple ... my new author pic and some fun/silly ones. *smiles*

I love my babies *laughs*

... And hugging my little sister, whom I love. Okay, I love ALL my siblings - she's just the one who I happen to get pictures with. *grins*


I'm currently reading Many Sparrows by Lori Benton, The Road to Becoming by Jenny Simmons, Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R. Emlet, and A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas.


I've been cooking/baking more, which I enjoy! It gives me a feeling of satisfaction, too. *smiles* Here are a few recipes I've made:








Baking // cooking // doing wash // teach history and spelling lessons // cleaning // snuggles with little bro // work out // reading // Bible studies // hanging out with friends // doctor visits // laughing with siblings // Facebook messages with dear friend // phone calls // shopping with mom // babysitting jobs // random trips to town for Chick-fil-A and book shopping // excitement over uncle getting engaged // talking to a cute little boy at Goodwill // long and peaceful prayer walks // dancing in the rain // breathing in the fall air ...

Life is good - despite the struggles. And God is faithful. When I speak truth over myself and realize I can trust Him, I feel oh so secure and loved.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!"

1 John 3:1

Alright. That's all for now. How's life, my friends?

Book Review: The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta'Mara Hanscom


Purchase HERE

Title: The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise

Author: Ta'Mara Hanscom

Series: The Caselli Family #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult/Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

My Jean-Marc’s uncle was married to an English woman, and she told us once, a very long time ago, that in this world there are men of two kinds. The one, the knight, is the man possessing only strength and quality of moral character. He will never ask a lady to compromise her honor for less than a vow, and never, ever will he consider another once he has captured her heart. A knight keeps his vow, even when it hurts, and the honor of a knight is a thing a country is built upon. A knight comes along only seldom these days.

Now, a blackguard is a man who can be found quite easily, for it is an easy thing to be a blackguard. He attempts to trick the young ladies into taking him home and caring for him, making them believe their honor can be given away as a mere trifle, offering no vow, and making only human demands. The blackguard is to be avoided at all costs, for to settle for someone like him is to settle for something less than ideal.

In the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, Tillie Caselli promises to marry Noah Hansen. Theirs’ was a love intended to last, and their promises were never to be broken. But when there’s an illusion of unfaithfulness, the result is an error in judgment—an error that changes the course of lives.

Epic romance, global adventure, ethnic passion, and Christian values inspire this new series.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**2.5 stars**

The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta'Mara Hanscom was not what I expected. It was rather slow-paced where I was thinking there would be lots of action and excitement. However, it did have some redeeming qualities.

Mostly, this book follows the life of seventeen-year-old Tillie Caselli and various other members of the Caselli family. School trips. Unexpected escapades. Elopements. Heartbreak. Weddings. Babies. Prom. Graduation. Family life - with a bit a drama sprinkled in here and there.

Though the story did seem to drag a little, I still was interested in how The Pretender was going to turn out. I was a little bothered by how far-fetched and absurd Tillie and Noah's romance was. And not to mention, reckless and fool-hardy! Their actions send kind of a dangerous message, I think ... that instant, thoughtless romances are true love and bad boys change completely in order to win a Christian girl's heart. It was a little disconcerting for me - especially since the underlying theme of the book seems to be that Noah and Tillie are "meant for each other".

Nevertheless, there were redeeming qualities, as I mentioned above. Some good thoughts and little lessons sprinkled throughout. Sometimes novels centered on family life can be really nice and sweet, if you take the time for them. Perhaps some affection grows for the characters as you journey through daily life with them. I quite enjoyed the last part of The Pretender. Beautiful weddings and sweet babies! ^_^ I really actually like how Noah's story ended up ... It was crazy, unique, sacrificial, and slowly became something tender and beautiful. Though maybe that's all going to change in the next book in this series ...
It was interesting to see the connection between certain characters and events. There was a tad bit of mystery/suspense swirling through the pages of this book.

Overall, this book wasn't so much for me. But I'm still wondering about the characters. So who knows? Maybe someday I will pick up the second book in the series and see what happens next for Noah and the Caselli family.

I received a copy of The Pretender from the Litfuse Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Book Review: An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter


Purchase HERE

Title: An Inconvenient Beauty

Author: Kristi Ann Hunter

Series: Hawthorne House #4

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes - as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith's and Isabella's long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?
 

~ MY REVIEW ~
**3.5 stars**

I have quite enjoyed reading the HAWTHORNE HOUSE series by Kristi Ann Hunter. It was exciting to be getting to know Griffith and Isabella in An Inconvenient Beauty. This author's characters are fun, and stories intriguing and ofttimes, meaningful.

Griffith is the duke who never dances. Isabella is a rare beauty, dancing with every man at the ball. Griffith is determined not to pursue her - rather, her cousin. But Isabella has a secret and a need for help ...

I enjoyed this book, though not nearly as much as the first two in the series. (I haven't read the third yet). I think it just started to drag a little toward the end.
Additionally, I thought some of the character's actions were a bit off. Pride? White lies? Deception? I don't know. I feel some of them needed to be a little more careful with their actions ... even if for the greater good ... they gave the appearance of carelessly using people to get what they wanted/needed.

But besides that, there were some tender moments and thought-provoking messages. Bella's journey was an interesting one. Griffith was often endearing. I liked the end. ^_^
There was a bit of a faith theme, and the romance was very slow and ultimately sweet.
I really liked seeing characters from the other books ... such as Ryland, Miranda, Colin, and Georgiana! I'm curious about Trent's story now ... (book three).

Overall, it was a nice ending to a fabulous regency series. I look forward to reading Kristi Ann Hunter's next release.

I received a copy of An Inconvenient Beauty from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Bookish Tag

Hello, friends! Sorry for being so absent! Life ... you know. *winks* Anyway, today I come to you with a fun book tag!

I was tagged by Rebekah Ashleigh for The Bookish Tag. Thank you, Rebekah! ^_^

***

The Bookish Tag Rules:
-You must be honest.
-You must answer every question.
-You must tag at least 4 people.


***

1) What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Probably Meet Felicity by Valerie Tripp or The Secret of the Old Clock/The Hidden Staircase set by Carolyn Keene


2) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

I am currently reading An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter - the fourth book in a fantastic Regency series. (As well as The Road to Becoming by Jenny Simmons and Perception by Emily Ann Benedict.)


The last book I read was These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart. Lovely book, by the way!

I'm planning to read The Dishonorable Miss Delancey by Carolyn Miller next.


3) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Hated? That everyone loved? *blink blink* Well, I wasn't particularly fond of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson, while many others enjoyed it.

I did not like The Siren by Kiera Cass. That may or may not be a popular read - I'm not sure.

4) What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

Probably The Hobbit and THE LORD OF THE RINGS series by J.R.R. Tolkien. *hides from all the dedicated fans*

I just don't know when I'll have the time and energy to work through such big, old, dense, epic classics. Haha. I generally have trouble with the writing style of books that were written a long time ago ...

5) What book are you saving for retirement?

The Hobbit?? Haha!

6) Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?

*GASP* How is this even a question? You can not read the last page first. That should be like, banned!

Never, ever read ahead. Not even a couple pages ahead.

7) Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Interesting! I usually always read those. Let's me know a little more about the author. *smiles*

8) Which book character would you switch places with?

Hmm. I don't know that I would switch places ... my life isn't perfect but it is uniquely my own and I think I'd like to keep it. *winks*

However, I might like to go visit Rynnaia, Justin, Erielle and Cazien from the EYES OF E'VERIA series by Serena Chase so I can spend a couple days in the fantastical E'veria.

Or hop into THE GRAND TOUR series by Lisa Tawn Bergren and be Cora's sister for a few weeks/months, because I would have adored to go on a tour of Europe with them! *grins*


9) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

Perhaps Entwined by Heather Dixon. I identify with Azalea's big sister status, a lot of her personality, and *some* of the things she faces in life. (Stress on the some, haha!)

10) Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Well ... I received Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte through an online book exchange.


11) Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Hmm ... I've given away/bought books quite a bit for people. But I don't know that there was ever a super special reason. It was their birthday or Christmas or Mother's Day or their wedding (hehe) so I tried to find a book they'd like. *grins*

12) Which book has been with you most places?

I don't really know. Well, actually, probably my Bible.

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz has also come with me to interesting places. It's probably one of the first books I pack when I'm moving. And it also came along for my graduation photo shoot. *smiles*


13) Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

I was convinced I hated The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Well, I do not like that book - the storyline, you know. But I will admit that the writing style actually wasn't all that bad.

But most of those books I had to read ... The Pearl by John Steinbeck and The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway ... the writing styles may not have been hard to read, but I just didn't really get the point of the stories. They kinda irritated me. Ha.

14) Used or brand new?

Used, usually. Though I try to get as pristine-looking copies as I can. I like thrift shopping, finding cool deals, and all that.

15) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

No, ma'am.

16) Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

THE HUNGER GAMES series, for sure. It seemed the movies perhaps weren't as violent/filled with hate. The characters had softer hearts. There was way more hope. Mockingjay: Part Two ... that ending. ^__^

17) Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I distinctly remember Nadine Brandes's A Time to Speak making me wildly crave hot stew and a mountain of blankets to snuggle in. (She writes some crazy intense winter/starving/prison scenes, haha!)


18) Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

*is thinking*
*is still thinking*
*is thinking still*

I don't know. My own? Hahaha! I don't know many book lovers quite like myself, though Deborah O'Carroll understands me pretty well. It's kinda crazy how many things we're the same on. *smiles and winks*

But, she still has a little different reading preferences than me.

19) Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer! I was pretty wary going into Cinder, but I ended up falling for the characters and even the crazy sci-fi world. *winks*

Some of the violence and romantic content got a little edgy, in my opinion, in later books. But overall it was a very good series.

I Tag:

Deborah @ The Page Dreamer
Olivia @ Liv K. Fisher

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review: Liar's Winter by Cindy K. Sproles


Purchase HERE

Title: Liar's Winter

Author: Cindy K. Sproles

Series: An Appalachian Novel

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult/Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

"The choices you make determine who you are. No no mark."

Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark - and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it "the mark of the devil," and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.

Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there's anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?

Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar's Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

For me, novels set in the Appalachian Mountains have this unique quality about them. And Liar’s Winter by Cindy K. Sproles was no different—it was intriguing, heart wrenching, and very much an adventure of a certain mystery, danger, and drama.

Dealing with superstition, hate, prejudice, and an abused, na├»ve girl named Lochiel who has the “devil’s mark”, this book snags your attention and keeps it to the end. It had me guessing and wondering. It made my heart squeeze painfully within my chest. It made me smile. It made my breath catch. It made me hope.
It was a small-ish book, but the story captured my attention and resounded in my heart. It was real, raw, and gritty. And filled with this authentic journey to faith. To healing. To new life. With suspense and heart-pounding danger … as well as surprises and tender new friendships, Liar’s Winter told a story different than other Christian historical fiction.

Lochiel Ogle was different than your average POV character. Her story is horrifying … but ultimately beautiful, as God can bring healing and beauty where there was once only destruction and brokenness. Her emotional fight was real. Wow. It was rough. Still thinking about some of things that happened.

I quite loved this book. Highly recommend to historical fiction lovers, especially those who enjoys stories set in the nineteenth century Appalachian Mountains! Liar’s Winter is definitely worth your time, and I’m greatly looking forward to reading more by this author!

I received a copy of Liar’s Winter from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.