First Line Friday #13

Friday, March 31, 2017



I am featuring Steven Curtis Chapman's new book Between Heaven and the Real World; My Story today. I snagged a signed copy at our Family Christian Store's going out of business sale. I have a lot of respect for him and can't wait to read his book.


About the book:

For decades, Steven Curtis Chapman's music and message have brought hope and inspiration to millions around the world. Now, for the first time, Steven openly shares the experiences that have shaped him, his faith, and his music in a life that has included incredible highs and faith-shaking lows.
Readers will be captivated by this exclusive look into Steven's childhood and challenging family dynamic growing up, how that led to music and early days on the road, his wild ride to the top of the charts, his relationship with wife Mary Beth, and the growth of their family through births and adoptions. In addition to inside stories from his days of youth to his notable career, including the background to some of his best-loved songs, readers will walk with Steven down the devastating road of loss after the tragic death of five-year-old daughter Maria. And they'll experience his return to the stage after doubting he could ever sing again.
Poignant, gut-wrenchingly honest, yet always hopeful, Steven offers no sugary solutions to life's toughest questions. Yet out of the brokenness, he continues to trust God to one day fix what is unfixable in this life. This backstage look at the down-to-earth superstar they've come to love will touch fans' lives and fill their hearts with hope. Includes black-and-white photos throughout.


First Line:

Carnegie Hall Y'all

The sun was turning the freshly fallen snow to slush under my feet as I walked the familiar sidewalks of New York City on a clear February day.

Visit my other blogging friends read their first line and leave yours in the comments.

Amanda at With A Joyful Noise 

Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish 

Bree at Bibliophile Reviews  

Carrie at Reading is My SuperPower 

Heather at Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen

Jessica at  A Baker's Perspective  

Kathleen at Kathleen Denly

Katie at Fiction Aficionado

Lauraine at Lauraine's Notes 

Rachel at Bookworm Mama 

Robin at Robin's Nest 

Sarah at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

Sydney at Singing Librarian 




Tuesday Top Ten . . . Anticipated Spring Releases 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Here are my ten most anticipated Spring releases.

Pepper Basham's new book Just the Way You Are is a fun romantic comedy.

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

AMAZON PRE-ORDER



Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind "The Quill" gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she's determined to warn him. Away from society's spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there's more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

 AMAZON PRE-ORDER






                                                                                                       



  
  Naval officer Ryan Gallagher broke Jenny's heart six years ago when he abruptly disappeared. Now he's returned but refuses to discuss what happened. Furious, Jenny has no notion of the impossible situation Ryan is in. With lives still at risk, he can't tell Jenny the truth about his overseas mission--but he can't bear to lose her again either.

AMAZON PRE-ORDER 









 She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.


AMAZON PRE-ORDER 




 Hayden McCarthy is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious D.C. law firm . . . if the case she's just been handed doesn't destroy her first.


Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain when justice is not served. It's why she became an attorney and why she's so driven in her career. When she's handed a wrongful death case against the government, she isn't sure if it's the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there. She keeps the case alive through sheer determination and more than a little creativity, but then she's fired by a partner with a vendetta.


Further complicating matters, Hayden keeps finding herself completely distracted by Andrew, her roommate's cousin. But his father is a Congressman and she's currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?
The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to see either the case—or her—die. Should she fight alone for the dead young man by launching her own unfinanced firm, or abandon the case in order to save her own life?

AMAZON PRE-ORDER 


Josiah Chamberlain's life's work revolves around repairing other people's marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife's unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she's unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what's left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

AMAZON PRE-ORDER




For most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.

But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.

The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

AMAZON PRE-ORDER                  


 I am not able to find any description on this book. It is book 6 in Ms. Leigh's Age of Faith series. Swoony heroes, damsels in distress fill this series, and I can't wait to read this new one.

GOODREADS        











Are any of my anticipated reads yours? If not tell me what you are looking forward to reading this Spring.

Happy Reading, and as always mark your place and keep reading!



First Line Friday #12

Friday, March 24, 2017


Happy Friday Y'all! It's time for First line Friday! Grab the book closest to you and write the first line in the comment section.


About the book:

Melanie runs away. From conflict. From pain. From reality. 

When novelist Melanie Vander faces a looming deadline, she decides it’s time for an escape to an inspiring, novel-worthy locale. She’s not running away. Really. She just needs time to focus. But as she disappears into her writing, she encounters a man whose tenderness leaves her reeling. Engaging and wise, psychologist Elliot Hammond tempts Melanie to question everything, including her marriage.

But that’s ridiculous. Dr. Hammond isn’t even…real.

Melanie’s husband, Craig, has his own problems, including a recession that’s threatening his business. Waning finances, a looming home foreclosure, and a wife who’s checked out emotionally, has Craig feeling as though he’s carrying his burdens alone. When his client, the beautiful and single Serena Buchanan, offers him a solution to his financial woes, he’s tempted by more than her offer of a business solution.

At a crossroads, Melanie and Craig seem headed in opposite directions.

As Melanie runs away from her problems by escaping into her own fictional world, Craig dives into his struggles, seeking God for strength and healing for his marriage. Ultimately, Melanie must choose whether she’ll check out completely, or allow her characters to lead her home.


First Line:

I run away. From conflict. From pain. From reality. At least that's Craig's assertion--one he's maintained through twenty-three years of marriage.

Visit my blogger friends, see their first line and leave yours in the comment section.

Amanda at With A Joyful Noise

Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish

Bree at Bibliophile Reviews 

Carrie at Reading is My SuperPower

Heather at Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen


Jessica at  A Baker's Perspective 

Kathleen at Kathleen Denly

Katie at Fiction Aficionado

Lauraine at Lauraine's Notes

Rachel at Bookworm Mama 

Robin at Robin's Nest

Sarah at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

Sydney at Singing Librarian
 



 

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd Plus Giveaway!!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

About the book:

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.
                                                                                               

My Thoughts:

Until I read Sandra Byrd's Mist of Midnight I had not read any Gothic Romance, and I became a quick fan. In the last installment of her Daughters of Hampshire series we are once again transported back to Victorian England. Within the pages of this intriguing mystery, there are references to Cinderella, and Little Women. Swoony heroes, damsels in distress who are strong as well, human-trafficking that I would've never thought was going on in the 1800's. Ms. Byrd's attention to detail, and historical research adorn each page of this beautiful story. If this series is not on your self it needs to be!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.






About Sandra Byrd:



After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.
A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, was honored with a coveted Editor’s Choice designation from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of aDistant Isle, launched in March, 2016 and the third, A Lady in Disguise is just out in 2017.
A devotionalist as well as a novelist, Sandra’s best-selling devotional for tweens, One Year Be-Tween You and God  was followed up with her first devotional for adults, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions.  The One Year Experiencing God’s Love devotional will publish in Fall, 2017.
She is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to edit and coach dozens to success each year.

                                         

                                           GIVEAWAY                                     








Tuesday Top Ten ---- Fictional Character Crushes

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It's time to SWOON!!!!

















Today we're going to have some eye-candy fun!
I pose this question to you . . . who are your fictional character crushes? Book/TV/Movie?








Robert Redford, Hubble Gardner in The Way We Were. Another first introduction into swooning. A secretary at my high school had a poster of him in her cubicle, and I worked in the school office during my senior year, talk about a highlight of my day!
Dan Stevens, the Beast in Disney's live version of Beauty and the Beast.
Those eyes ladies!


Here he is as the Beast.



Hugh Jackman as Reese Mitchell in A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham. In Pepper's book he is a family mountain man and Hugh Jackman is perfect as the character inspiration.
Clark Gable, Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. My first introduction into swoonyness . . .which I don't believe is a word. LOL 😉😉
Ryan Gosling, as Noah from The Notebook. He just emulates sex appeal. I'm not sure exactly what it is about him, but he is captivating!

                                                                                                                                Need a                          fainting
                         couch                              yet???                                         
    

Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Also movie and book. I'm not sure that this hunk was who C.S. Lewis thought of when he penned The Chronicles of Narnia.
















Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in Law and Order SVU. I had to make sure an Italian made the list. *snicker*
 Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. There are no words.
Henry Cavill - Wes Harrison in Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham.

That look takes my breath away!















Johnathon Crombie as Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables.

While handsome he has the boy next door charm.

















How about now??? Need that fainting couch??


I'll just leave it here for you to use. 😏😉😉

I had a lot of fun looking for fictional characters that I crush on. Most are between the pages of a book, however, I love movies with handsome men!!!



Beauty and the Beast -- My Take

Sunday, March 19, 2017




Today I drug my husband to see Disney's live version of Beauty and the Beast. As a mom of three daughters I have seen the animated versions of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid countless times. I still know all the words to all the songs. Beauty and the Beast is my daughter Kassandra's favorite movie, and I was sad that I didn't get to see it with her.
I am on emotional and visual overload. There are literally no adequate words to express all that I am feeling at the moment. The music was amazing and Emma Watson is a perfect Belle, her voice is great and all of her mannerisms fit the part perfectly. And Dan Stevens who plays the Beast is swoon worthy and I needed a fainting couch at the final scene.

I mean ladies, you know what I mean, huh?!?

Besides the great cast and music, the costuming was beyond amazing and the cinematography was breathtaking.
Some of the fighting scenes were a little intense and may frighten a smaller child. My six year old granddaughter saw it and her mom told me she did fine but her friend was more scared.

I'm sure you're wondering what my take is on the "questionable" scene that had "Christians" up in arms all over the internet before this movie's release. Let me put your mind at ease, there is nothing to concern yourself about. Lefou singing and dancing in the bar scene is completely harmless. There is no kiss, or even anything close to a same sex relationship. If you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast go and see this movie, and be prepared to sing, smile and even cry.

My rating for this movie is "Mmm. You smell like apples."


Murder for the Time Being by Joanie Bruce

Saturday, March 18, 2017



About the Book 

Book: Murder for the Time Being
Author: Joanie Bruce
Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance
Release Date: November 29, 2016
“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”
Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?
Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.
Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

Click here to purchase your copy


About the Author

ESP_9231 (2)Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

Guest Post from Joanie 

Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.
In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.
This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.
After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I have read of Joanie Bruce and while the book started out with a punch, somewhere along the way it lost the kick it started with. There were so many story lines, and characters I just couldn't keep up. I couldn't connect with any of the characters, if I could have connected with at least one, that would have made the difference.








Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291



Blog Stops

March 15: autism mom
March 17: A Greater Yes
March 18: Radiant Light
March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
March 24: Pause for Tales
March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
March 26: Carpe Diem




 
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