Monday, October 16, 2017

Lady Jayne Disappears Review


 About the Book

When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I am completely unsure on how to review this book. There were things I really liked and there were times when I couldn't get into the story. I like the mystery part of things and trying to figure out Lady Jayne. I wasn't shocked by the ending or the grand finale but I was okay with that. Aurelie is such a unique character, I never knew what she would say next. At times it was difficult to follow her thought process. For a debut novel this book really was quite good. I give it four stars because at times it was a bit slow. I do look forward to more books by the author!

Four stars. 

"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own."

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lydia Celebrate Lit Book Review Tour

Lydia FB cover copy

About the Book:

Lydia Cover
Name of book: Lydia
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.
There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.
Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.

Click to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Diana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, October 3
By The Book, October 5
A Reader’s Brain, October 7
A Greater Yes, October 7
Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Spotlight)
Aryn the Libraryan, October 9
Cordially Barbara, October 9
Pursuing Stacie, October 9
Mary Hake, October 11
Radiant Light, October 12
margaretkazmierczak, October 13
Pause for Tales, October 13
Cafinated Reads, October 14
Bigreadersite, October 15
Henry Happens, October 16


In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!
Click the link to enter! 

My Thoughts
I am pretty selective when it comes to Biblical fiction. For me it is two fold, I like trying to imagine life during Biblical times, but I struggle with how much if fiction. Realistically many things we just do not know. That being said I really enjoy Taylor's writing. Lydia was a good book and made me go back and read those parts in the Bible. The story moved a tad slow at times but for the most part held my interest. 
If you enjoy Biblical fiction I recommend this book or any of Diana Wallis Taylor.

I recieved this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Across the Blue ARC Review


About the Book

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Grant, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have read many of Carrie's books and they are always full of such detail for their specific time period. This book is very unique in its setting and topic. Aviation during the Edwardian time period is fun and the historical tidbits are true! I really like James and the family dynamic with all of the secondary characters, it was entertaining! I will say at times this book got a bit slow for me, perhaps too wordy? I am unsure on how to explain but I still enjoyed the story line. I think the romance was written well and set up perfectly for this book. The newspaper aspect was also an unexpected interest of mine that really added to the story.
Historical fiction lovers will enjoy and fans of Carrie's writing will love this newest novel.

Four stars.

Look for Across the Blue February 20th 2018!!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blind Spot Book Review


About the Book

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have so many mixed feelings after finishing this book. First off, when does book four come out?! Not soon enough. Blind Spot cleverly leaves you on a cliff hanger while wrapping up a different story line. Dani is such a talented author and creative with her suspense writing. I'll be honest in saying this wasn't my favorite book in this series. Book one is still the best in my opinion. The story with Declan and Tanner was just difficult for me to totally get into. I can't really say why but it just didn't seem to flow as well as some of the other story lines. I also think it is character preference. I am eager to read Luke's story in the next book, I feel like Dani has been building up his character and the mystery surrounding him for awhile now.
I highly recommend starting with book one to completely understand everything that goes on.

Four stars.

"I received this book for free from the publisher. All opinions are my own."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Christmas at Carnton Review


About the Book

A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .

In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son's.

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love Christmas books and I really enjoy Tamera's writing, so the combination of these made this book worth reading. I really like the Civil War era and history, as my husband is really into the Civil War, it was fun to see what he talks about in a book. The setting is perfect and the next time I am in the Nashville area, I will be visiting Carnton. Aletta is a good character in this book and really the main reason I was pulled into this story. Her situation made this book more real and the relationship she has with her son is well written. I think the romance appeared rather fast, which is common in novellas, but took me by surprise for some reason. I think the author made it work but I think perhaps the romance could have been put in a tad later. Otherwise I enjoyed this cozy story with a beautiful setting. 
I recommend for historical fiction lovers and any fan of Tamera Alexander.

Five Stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Blogger for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Prince Edward Island Adventures

 I recently went on a trip to PEI with my mom. We were there for about a week and it was a trip I had been planning for a long time. The weather was perfect and this time of year the amount of people on the island is a lot less so that was nice. Meeting local people and finding out how they live and what they do was interesting. The area is beautiful and while we looked at all things Anne of Green Gables we also toured much of the island and lighthouses. 
We took multiple walks and of course ate yummy food. Everything was very laid back on the whole island, not any traffic or even multiple lane highways on most of it. It was really nice to be in such a beautiful place and go at a slow pace. I am thankful I got to go on this trip and for L. M. Montgomery fans this is the place for you!

This is not Green Gables but what they call the Anne museum. L.M. Montgomery referred this this place as Silver Bush and spent a lot of time here.

L.M. Montgomery was married right in front of this hearth.

Oldest lighthouse on the island.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Male Characters
 Created by the Broke and Bookish

So I changed the topic of this Top Ten Tuesday because book boyfriend is something that slightly bothers me. While completely innocent in meaning, "having a book boyfriend" is not really my goal while reading. Yes, there are many male characters that I have found to be great role models and dreamy. But it isn't smart to create this idea or to idolize men in the books I read because that can create unrealistic expectations of my spouse. So while the book boyfriend idea is fine and can be entertaining I simply look at it as well written male characters that have stood out to me.


Charlie Lionheart is a superb character. Joanne Bischof is such a talented author and she really did a great job with writing Charlie. (Also, any of Joanne's books are SO good!)


Nathaniel Whitcomb is such a unique character with such a background. Such a good story.


Gilbert Blythe, honestly, need I say more? 


Michael Hosea is who made me want to keep reading Christian fiction. While there is controversy on this book, it remains one of my all time favorites. 


Seamus stands out to me as I so enjoyed this book. 


Trevor McDonough is one of the male characters that I won't ever forget about reading. This book was my kind of humor and Trevor is such a unique guy.


Darek Christiansen is who made me love Susan May Warren's writing. This is my favorite book of the series, simply because of Darek. 


Jesse Bird makes this story SO good. 


Cole McKenna gives us a great start to an exciting series. This is still my favorite out of all the books. 


Bo Porter. I really didn't think I would like this book based on the cover. I am really picky with contemporary books but this story is SO good and Bo is a great character.

So that wraps it up for top ten. There are more but these were the ones that came to mind right away. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 29, 2017

One Christmas Bear Kid's Book Review


 About the Book 

Count the Blessings of Christmas

Follow the merry adventures of a polar bear and the artic animals as they enjoy winter fun! From crunchy candy canes and frosty snowballs to friends to play with and a family to love, your little one will enjoy counting God’s wonderful gifts.

Anne Vittur Kennedy has been delighting young children with her humorous and playful books for thirty years. Her awards include American Library Association’s Notable Books List, Teacher’s Choice, The Green Earth Book Award, and The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love Christmas books and this one has some fun illustrations. This is also a board book which is nice for little ones and more difficult to destroy. There isn't really a deep meaning to this book or much to learn from it is just a bright Christmas book about playful animals. This would make a good gift for the holidays or just nice to add to your collection. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own." 


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Do One Thing Every Day That Makes You Happy Review


 About the Book

Each day presents an opportunity to find delight, whether in your surroundings, your work, your relationships, your insights, or your actions. This journal will guide you to look inside and outside yourself to discover and appreciate what makes you happiest.

With prompts and exercises, the wise words of writers, musicians, philosophers, and leaders will help you reflect on what fills you with joy. You'll measure your happiness at the outset and along the way; after a year's worth of delight, your smile will be bigger than ever. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I really like books like this because they are fun to look back on. This type of book would make a great gift or is fun for yourself. Each page you write the date and then do the creative random task it gives you. It is simple, doesn't take a lot of time and is fun. If keeping a journal isn't for you I recommend picking up this book. 
For a fun and creative book, this is a good one!

Five stars. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty Book Review

About the Book
The Duke of Riverton has chosen his future wife with the same logic he uses to make every decision. However, his perfect bride eludes his suit, while the beautiful Isabella Breckenridge seems to be everywhere. When the time comes, will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and initial notions to embrace their very own happily-ever-after? (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Having read all of the books previous to this, of course I had to see what happens with Griffith! I highly recommend starting with book one, though it is not necessary.  This book held my attention and kept me up most of the night, so I did enjoy it. I liked the overall story line and once I got to know Isabella the book got better. There is a constant repetition on how beautiful Isabella is and after a bit that part got old. This book could be difficult to read for a woman who is down about her looks because the book clearly shows how the men liked the beautiful women and that is how any of them get noticed. That is just my opinion and while Griffith states he cares more about a woman than her looks,  he doesn't really act like it in this book.
In any case this was a fun light read, at times I found my self laughing out right.

Four stars.

"I received this book from the publisher for free as a gift. All opinions are my own."

Monday, September 25, 2017

Liar's Winter Book Review



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. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

 I have so many mixed feelings after reading this book. I LOVED Cindy's previous book with a similar setting. This book deals with messy life stuff, at times it was just plain difficult to read because there was so much hate and pain. Lochiel is a young woman who has been treated horribly because of a birth mark on her face. The way people treated her is awful, though not hard to believe either. I kept waiting for the horrible things to stop happening and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The end cut it really close for that to happen and I feel like perhaps everything was tied up a little too fast. Edna is a wonderful secondary character and the true shining light in this book. This book is full of action and kept me wanting to read, and it certainly makes you think about life from a different perspective. 
I give this book four stars because I am a bit unsettled on the ending. Otherwise I did like this book, just keep in mind it is not a light book to read. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from Kregel for free. All opinions are my own."