Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Roanoke Girls Review



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About the Book


Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. (Goodreads)







My Thoughts

I feel like there should have been a better description that came with this book. Maybe a warning? I wasn't prepared for this story that honestly made me sick to my stomach. I know that incest and sexual abuse happen, but this book not only shows the awfulness of it but doesn't necessarily bash it. It almost makes it as if it is okay. It is not okay! I never would have requested this book if I knew how graphic it was. I wouldn't recommend this book. I think this topic could have been written more tactfully.

I really can't rate this I don't recommend.

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











Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top Ten(ish) Books of 2017

Top Ten(ish) Books I Read in 2017
I read some great books this year, it was difficult choosing ten!

I am excited to see what comes out in 2018! 


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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Until We Find Home Book Review: My Thoughts





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About the Book

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing--spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends--has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she's ever known.

Set in England's lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.  (Goodreads)





My Thoughts

I have loved every book Cathy has ever written. I was thrilled to be able to read this book! The first part of the book takes you right into France and England during WWII. Action starts from page one and you become engrossed. But things got a little slow for me about midway. From there I sadly didn't love this book as much as I wanted to. The writing is great and the setting and secondary characters are wonderful. Claire is a character I simply could not stand reading. Even until the end I just didn't like her at all. Perhaps at the end she gets a little less snobby but otherwise I had a difficult time reading the pages about her. I wish this wasn't the case but I did enjoy many other parts of this novel.

Four stars.

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












Friday, December 22, 2017

Capital Gaines Review



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About the Book

The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of 4 in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.

In Capital Gaines, we walk alongside him as he relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.

Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life. (Goodreads)








My Thoughts

I will be honest in saying I really don't know a lot about the Gaines, though I have watched the show a few times. I like reading books like this because it gives you a better idea of a person, versus how they are on TV. I really enjoyed this book. It isn't very long, it's funny, clever, and packs a punch. I appreciate Chip's honesty throughout the book and I found his stories entertaining. If you are a fan of this family and want to learn more about them, I recommend this book! Great for men and women alike.

Five stars!

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














Thursday, December 21, 2017

12 Days At Bleakly Manor Review With Celebrate Lit




About the Book

Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Historical Christmas
Release Date: September 1, 2017
England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fianc√©, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.


Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor
Guest post by Michelle Griep
Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…
TREE DECORATIONS
Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.
GREENERY
Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.
WREATHS
“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.
CANDLES
Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.
DRESDENS
Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.
And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.
And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14
Bukwurmzzz, December 14
Faery Tales Are Real, December 14
A Reader’s Brain, December 15
Have A Wonderful Day, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Carpe Diem, December 16
Cafinated ReadsDecember 16
Just the Write Escape, December 17
A Greater YesDecember 17
Remembrancy, December 17
AllofakindmomDecember 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18
amandainpa, December 19
Kat’s Corner Books, December 19
Mommynificent, December 19
Bookworm Mama, December 20
Vicky Sluiter, December 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)
My Writer’s Life, December 23
Janices book reviews, December 23
For The Love of Books, December 23
Red Headed Book Lady, December 25
Bibliophile Reviews, December 26
Blogging With Carol,December 26
Mary Hake, December 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8

My Thoughts

Grab your comfy blanket and snuggle while you read this short Christmas romance mystery. This book instantly took me back to my Agatha Christie reading days and watching the movie Clue. While this isn't a very long book it is perfect for a holiday read. I loved the setting and I really liked Ben's character. I thought the overall idea of the story was fun and I am anxious to read book two, coming out next year. 
Four stars.

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














Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Lacemaker- A Must Read!


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 About the Book

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth "Liberty" Lawson is abandoned by her fiance and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts
  
I adore every book written by Laura Frantz. Much to my delight this lovely book arrived in the mail early! I have met Laura and after meeting her it makes me love her books all the more, she is the sweetest most down to earth lady! Anywho, this book is wonderful! I LOVE this time period of 1775 and the characters are very well written. Elisabeth is such a unique character, I am not sure how to explain but she is not what you would expect. Honestly, I felt pretty convicted after reading this book about how I worry too much. I feel like an underlying tone in the novel is that we need to take our worries to God and let Him handle it. Not to fret. The book is full of such great chunks of history and I need to read more about lace making, I couldn't imagine doing it myself! In classy Frantz style the romance is written perfectly. Basically as a history lover, this book has it all. I sat down to read it and didn't stop until the end. If you are new to Frantz books, you should read this book. If you have been reading Laura's books for awhile, this much anticipated read is one you will love! 
Five stars. 

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

 











Thursday, December 14, 2017

With Love, From Me to You Kids Book Review


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 About the Book

A red heart sends a message

that says "I so love you,"

but we can send those same words

in what we say and do.

 

If I see someone crying

or looking very sad,

I'll stop to show some kindness

and he won't feel so bad.

With Love, From Me to You is a board book for little ones that will remind them how important it is to love and be loved. With adorable illustrations and sweet, rhyming text by bestselling author Dr. Mary Manz Simon, this book shows children how important their actions and words are in expressing God’s great love with one another. Parents will enjoy reading this book on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year to encourage their children to remember that love is more than gifts and candy; it’s about doing for others and sending love to everyone who’s near. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is a cute board book for littles. The illustrations are pleasing to the eye and the overall idea is to be kind to others because God wants us to. It also would create some good conversation on what it means to show others that we love them and also how we know that God loves us. 
Five stars. 

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













Monday, December 11, 2017

No One Ever Asked Review


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About the Book

Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person? (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

I have loved all of Katie's books and have been anticipating this novel for awhile! This book is SO good but also SO heavy. Get ready to feel and at times feel uncomfortable. Katie did an excellent job in writing current situations and difficulties not just in a school district but what goes on in our homes. Now I will add that there isn't much about religion or a relationship with God. While I didn't mind, I was a tad surprised to find not much about God in the book. I think much of this is in between the pages. This story reminded me a lot of perhaps a Jodi Picoult novel or the like. After reading all of Katie's books I would say this one is the most different and I think books like this are needed in a Christian market. My favorite part of the book is the story line following Jen Covington and her adoption of a little girl. I liked reading her side of the story and it really added to the book. So of course, Katie has done it again with a five star read!
Five stars. 
 Look for it in stores April 2018!


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









Sunday, December 10, 2017

Stayling Stylish Review



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 About the Book

Join Candace Cameron Bure, actress best known as D.J. Tanner from Full House and a New York Times bestselling author, whose faith and wit have delighted audiences for decades, as she lets you in on her best-kept secrets for Staying Stylish. This gorgeous manual for beauty, style, health, and spiritual wellness will be your one-stop shop for everything you need to live your most stylish life.
As an actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author, and inspirational speaker, Candace Cameron Bure has spent her entire life in the spotlight, and she is well aware of the pressures and forces many women face. Throughout her career, Candace has balanced her faith, family, and passion for work and found her spot as role model to women of all ages—and as a style icon.
In her brand-new book Staying Stylish, Candace invites you behind the scenes of her day-to-day life and shares over 100 tips and tricks for looking and feeling your best—both inside and out. Nurture your body, style, and soul as you read through this beautiful book full of photos, insider secrets, and exciting ideas to revamp your own life into its best possible version. She offers her insight into balance, spiritual growth, and looking great while doing it all.
Staying Stylish topics will include personal style, fresh hair and makeup for any age, a well-balanced diet and fitness regime, and a well-nourished spirit. (Goodreads)

BUY HERE


My Thoughts

 I thought it would be fun to read a book about style, especially a gal who I know dresses modestly. I thought Candace had some great ideas and encouragement in each area of the book. This book goes beyond what to wear on the runway, exercise, casual days, make up, shoes, etc. She covers all of the basics in an easy to read and fun way. Now I certainly need to work on my style and Candace has a different taste in many things but she has great advice! If style is your thing, you will enjoy this book. If you have no idea what that means, this book could be helpful! 

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












Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Simplified Life: A Great Read!


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 About the Book

Clear the Clutter Once and for All

Do you long to simplify the demands on your time, energy, and resources? Have complicated responsibilities, overwhelming to-do lists, and endless clutter left you feeling overwhelmed?

Busy wife, mom, entrepreneur, and bestselling author Emily Ley knows how you feel. With a growing family, increased work demands, and more, she understands the struggle it is to keep the plates spinning.

In A Simplified Life, you’ll find Emily’s strategies, systems, and methods for permanently clearing the clutter, organizing your priorities, and living intentionally in 10 key areas—from your home and meal planning, to style and finances, parenting, faith life, and more. Emily will show you how to truly make the most of your days with realistic, achievable, and tactical tools.

Walk alongside Emily through each page of the book, working through her simple strategies toward your own goals as you simplify and make space for what matters most. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

Simplify. I LOVE everything about this book!! I have read many books that claim to have all the answers and fall very short. This book on the other hand is very well written, has useful and practical guidelines and covers a variety of topics. Many of the things explained in the book I already do, I am very good about dealing with clutter and keeping organized. BUT even to those people like me who are already organized, Emily has some great advice. My favorite chapters are the ones about style, hospitality, technology, and meals. Truly this book is awesome! It has great reminders on how to keep things simple with cleaning up your home. Meal times don't have to be so stressful and getting dressed (what do I wear?!) should not be a complicated process. There are some great areas for the reader to write in the book and apply it to your own life. No one's life is perfect and the author says that in the beginning. Anyone can do things to simplify their life and if that is something you are looking for you need to read this book. 

FIVE STARS!!

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






Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Heart of an Agent Celebrate Lit Tour

The heart of an agent FB banner copy

About the Book:

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Name of book: The Heart of an Agent
Author: Tracey J. Lyons
Genre: Inspirational historical romance

Release Date: November 7, 2017
Tracey J. Lyons, the author of A Changed Agent, returns to the Adirondack Mountains of the 1890s in a novel of love, faith, and secrets…
Former Pinkerton spy Lily Handland has always dreamed of a quiet, safe life, free from chasing criminals and putting herself at risk. So when the opportunity to invest in a failing Great Camp in the Adirondacks comes to her attention, she quickly jumps at the chance.
Filled with grief, widower Owen Murphy wants to run away from it all. Though he’s worked hard to forge a future for himself, his guilt has kept him mired in the past. But all that changes when a headstrong, mysterious woman shows up at Owen’s door. Together, as Lily and Owen restore the beauty of the Great Camp, he begins to finally see a future. But will learning about Lily’s past destroy it all?
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

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An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author of the Adirondack Pinkertons and the Women of Surprise series, Tracey was a 2017 National Excellence Romance Fiction Award finalist. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Her books have been translated into several languages and are available in print, digital and audio formats. A true upstate New Yorker, Tracey believes you should write what you know. Her historical romances are all set in the New York State area. Tracey considers herself a small town gal who writes small town romances. You can learn more about Tracey and her books by visiting her website at www.traceylyons.com.

Guest Post from Tracey Lyons

My family and I spent a lot of time in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. When I came up with the idea for the Pinkerton series, I knew the books had to be set in a place that I loved. The Heart of An Agent, book 2 in The Adirondack Pinkertons series takes place at an Adirondack great camp. Imagine a time when people would travel from faraway places to hike the many trails or lounge on a porch in one of the famed Adirondack chairs. These intricate, grand structures, built during the latter part of the nineteenth century are part of the unique landscape and history that makes up the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. I enjoyed creating the fictional Murphy camp, the setting for Lily Handland and Owen Murphy’s story.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, November 30
Texas Book-aholic, December 1
A Greater Yes, December 2
Multifarious, December 3
Carpe Diem, December 6
Bibliophile Reviews, December 7
Pause for Tales, December 8
With a Joyful Noise, December 9
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 10
Daysong Reflections, December 10
Mary Hake, December 11
My Writer’s Life, December 12
Books n Baubles, December 12
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 13

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Tracey is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a tea-time themed gift box (Valued at over $75) and a $25 Visa Gift Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 



My Thoughts

This is the first book by Tracey I have read. I am so happy about how much I enjoyed this book! I loved the setting and the characters. Though now I feel like I need to go back and read book one to have a further understanding of Lily. I thought the character development was well done as was the romance side of things. Nothing was over the top and the flow of the story was perfect. Historical fiction is my favorite and I am eager to read more by this author. 
Five stars. 

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








 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Sound of Rain


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 About the Book

In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother's life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Larkin Heyward's life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more--maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she's never even met someone who's lived there--until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father's timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd's and Larkin's dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together--or maybe, it will take a miracle. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts

I really liked the idea of this story line and I was wanting to try reading another book by this author. The first part of the book I enjoyed getting into the characters and the flow of the story, but a few chapters in things became very slow for me. I couldn't get into this book. I am sure many people will enjoy this book, as many like Sarah's writing. I simply think this isn't the book for me and I will leave it to others to enjoy. 
Three stars. 

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