Top Ten Tuesday - My Favorite Bloggers

Tuesday, January 23, 2018



The topic for Top Ten Tuesday by That Artsy Reader Girl is books I really liked but can't remember anything/much about. I have horrible short-term memory loss because of both having epilepsy and the medication I take for it, this top ten would most likely include every book I've read over the last eleven years. So, I decided to be a rebel and choose a topic I missed from The Broke and the Bookish, and I decided my top ten would be My Favorite Bloggers.


Molly from Cafinated Reads.














Carrie from Reading is my SuperPower















Mary from The Mary Reader














Rel from Relz Reviewz
                                                     

Beth Erin from Faithfully Bookish










Rachel from Bookworm Mama













Sydney from Singing Librarian Books



















Courtney from The Green Mockingbird










Trisha from Joy of Reading





Deena from Just One More














Each of these bloggers bring something unique and special to the reviewing world. I enjoy reading their reviews, author interviews, along with all the bookish fun they dream up. If you haven't read these bloggers, I highly recommend it!


A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England Book 2) by Roseanna White Review and Giveaway

Saturday, January 20, 2018





About the Book

 

Title: A Song Unheard  
Author: Roseanna M. White  
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction  
Release Date: January 2, 2018

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales. Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe. But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest post from Roseanna White

I started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers, and moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music. We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep. That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew? That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope. It can be tears. It can be truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words. This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.” But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord. I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.” Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer



My Thoughts:

I adored book one of this series and couldn't wait to read book two, unfortunately I didn't enjoy book two. I didn't connect with the story until more than halfway through, and that didn't last long. I'd finally feel pulled into the story, and then the emotional connection was gone.

I felt as though the story was being told, not shown. Willa's quirkiness in book one was endearing, but for some reason her delightful quirkiness didn't come across as well in book two. The dialogue didn't flow as well either.

I wish I could put my finger on exactly what made this book so difficult to enjoy, but it was a lot of little things, instead of just one.

Besides loving book one, I wanted to read this because of the musical background, and I did enjoy the way that Roseanna White incorporated that into the story.

Please don't go on my review alone. Check out reviews from the other bloggers below before choosing not to read the book.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, January 11
Genesis 5020, January 11
Bookworm Mama, January 11
Blogging With Carol, January 12
Multifarious, January 12
Faithfully BookishJanuary 13
Karen Sue Hadley, January 13
Mary Hake, January 13
A Greater YesJanuary 13
Remembrancy, January 14
Texas Book-aholic, January 14
A Reader’s Brain, January 15
Cordially Barbara, January 15
Pursuing StacieJanuary 15
Bigreadersite, January 16
Mommynificent, January 17
Baker Kella, January 17
allofakindmom, January 18
Pause for Tales, January 19
Just Commonly, January 19
Janices book reviewsJanuary 19
Radiant LightJanuary 20
Book by Book, January 20
CAC Devourer, January 20
Splashes of JoyJanuary 21
Neverending Stories, January 21
The PhD Mamma, January 22
Cafinated Reads, January 22
Daysong Reflections, January 22
Purposeful Learning, January 23
Carpe Diem, January 23
Henry Happens, January 24
Joy of Reading, January 24

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book as well as a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c72a




Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher, as a member of Celebrate Lit's blog program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.




First Line Friday

Friday, January 19, 2018




The holidays are over and this is my first First Line Friday for 2018. I'm not sure how often I'll participate in first line Friday this year, I'm hoping at least twice a month. I'm looking into going back to college to become an editor, and I have no idea how much free time I'll have between school, reviewing, and day to day life.

Today's book is As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner that is scheduled to release on February 6, 2018.

About the book:

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.
In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life.
But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it.
As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Better World Books || IndieBound ||


First Line:

January 1918

Pauline

Morning light shimmers on the apricot horizon as I stand at the place where my baby boy rests.


First Line Friday is sponsored by Hoarding Books Blog. After you leave your first line in the comments head over to Hoarding Books to see theirs and all the other participant's first lines.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!


Top Ten Tuesday Bookish Resolutions

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Today is the beginning of Top Ten Tuesday being sponsored by Artsy Reader Girl's blog. I have really enjoyed The Broke and the Bookish's Tuesday topics, and will miss them.

Today's topic is bookish resolutions. I really don't have bookish resolutions, except maybe to out read Carrie from Reading is My Superpower, which will never happen. Hence why her blog title is Reading is My Superpower! So, attempting to come up with a ten resolutions hasn't been easy. Thankfully this is one of those times, Google comes in handy.

1. In 2017 I read a few books by new to me authors, a couple were debuts, and this year I am resolving to read more books by Sarah Monzon, Chautona Havig, Kara Swanson and Nicole Deese.



2. As much as I try not to overbook myself for reviews in the last year it has happened more frequently than I like. So, one of my resolutions will be to check my calendar before I choose dates for new review books.

3. Along with number two, lessening on how many books I request to review so I don't get overwhelmed and can stay on track.

4. This one is going to be hard, oh so hard. Until I read all the books on my TBR, including my Kindle, I am going to do my best to not purchase any new ones. We'll see how long this lasts.

5. Set a couple of hours in the afternoon to read. I normally read at night, but I know I could knock out some review books sooner than I do if I did.

6. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but read a non-fiction book that isn't self-help. I am not a fan of non-fiction. Every time I pick one up I feel like I'm back in high school or college, and the book becomes a chore.

7. To continue and utilize the schedule feature on my blog so that I don't get behind.

8. Not to be bound by the number on my reading challenge. It's about quality and enjoyment not quantity.

Do you have any resolutions? Let me know yours in the comments.


Isaiah's Daughter (Prophets and Kings #1) by Mesu Andrews Reviewed

Monday, January 15, 2018






About the book:

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king.
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.







About Mesu Andrews:

Mesu grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.
The desire for God's Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available--children's Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God's Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages. 
Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids, who get to hear those same Bible stories. Mesu's love for God's Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.
Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days. 


My Thoughts:

Mesu Andrews does what she does best. She takes a piece of biblical history, cloaking the characters in flesh and blood and writing a fictional tale that draws you into the time and place. Andrews has a knack for giving a fresh teachable perspective on a few thousand year old story that causes you to think and rethink about the precepts you may have learned in church. The story draws you to the Bible to read the biblical account.

The story is told by young Ishma an orphan girl who is taken in by Isaiah and his wife. Her childlike innocence and faith illuminates through the pages. I fell in love with her and the sweet way she and Isaiah interact. Israel as a nation is a mess, with a king that refuses to follow God and the laws He gave to Moses. Isaiah the wise prophet is instructing Prince Hezekiah the future King, hoping that he does not fall into the same trap his father, King Ahaz, has in not being obedient to God. Prince Hezekiah is caught between his father, King Ahaz, his teacher, the prophet Isaiah, and sweet Ishma, his childhood friend. 

Whether you are a fan of biblical fiction or not, this is a must read. It is so rich in detail, biblical history, and truth you will feel like you have spent time in the Holy Land. I can’t recommend this book enough!


The scripture basis for this book can be found in 2 Kings 16-20, 2 Chronicles 28-32, and all of Isaiah.

Disclaimer: I received an early copy of this book from the publisher, as part of a street team, in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. 



Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Meant to Read in 2017 . . . But Plan to Read in 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018



Welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday post, sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish of 2018. The topic for this Tuesday is Books I meant to read in 2017, but never got to, and plan to read in 2018.

If there is one thing that can be a downfall of reviewing and influencing it's not being able to read books you aren't asked to read. For me, I am not only a slower reader than some of my fellow reviewers, I am also a mood reader, and I'm also reading more than one at a time. What usually happens is I'll pick up a book I purchased to read, probably read it for a few days, then a review book shows up either via email or snail mail and I have to put it down.  I do my best to not overbook (pun intended) myself when it comes to review books, but somehow I continually do it. 😃😃

How about you? What books didn't you get to in 2017, that you are planning to read in 2018?








Click the book title below to be taken to the Goodreads shelf for the book. There you can read about the book and purchase a copy for yourself.

Then There Was You

Lady Jayne Disappears

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

The House on Foster Hill

The Road to Paradise

A Viscounts Proposal

A Bridge Across the Ocean

The Noble Servant

The Lost Girl of Astor Street


I hope you found something new to read.


Troubled Waters (Montana Rescue #4) by Susan May Warren Reviewed

Thursday, January 4, 2018



I can't believe we are only four days into 2018 and I am writing my second review. Either I am finding more time to read, or I'm incorporating speed reading techniques I learned in high school. Either way, I'm pretty excited that I'm writing my second review of 2018.


About the book:

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants--except a happy ending. Or at least that's what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.
Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.
When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.
It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra's relationship.


About Susan May Warren

I can't help be amazed at the gifts God has delighted me with - a wonderful husband, four amazing children, and the opportunity to write for Him.
I've been writing as long as I can remember - I won my first book writing contest in first grade! Over the years, writing has become, for me, a way to praise God and see Him at work in my life.
Although I have a degree in Mass Communications from the University of MN, my real writing experience started when I penned the The Warren Report - a bi-monthly newsletter that detailed our ministry highlights.
Living in Russia meant I never lacked for great material - and those experiences naturally spilled out first into devotionals and magazine articles and finally into my first published story, "Measure of a Man," in the Tyndale/HeartQuest, Chance Encounters of the Heart anthology.
Susan and husbandI grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. My favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota - it's where I met my husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living. The north woods easily became the foundation for my first series, The Deep Haven series.based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. I have to admit - I'm terribly jealous of Mona, the heroine of my first full-length book, Happily Ever After, a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.
Our family moved home from the mission field in June 2004 -- and now we live in the beautiful town I'd always dreamed of! God has amazed me anew with His provision, and blessings -- and allowed me a season when I can write full time for Him.
I 'm delighted you've stopped in to visit. My hope is that you'll be blessed and encouraged by soul-stirring stories of regular people interacting with a God who loves them.
I'd love to hear from you! I love getting mail, especially from readers and I welcome your questions and comments. Write to me at susan@susanmaywarren.com. And, if you're interested, sign up for my newsletter, a quarterly sneak peek into upcoming releases and projects. Thank you for your interest and support.
God Bless and Happy Reading!
In His Grip,
Susan May Warren



My Thoughts:

Yes! Finally, Ian and Sierra have a story! We've seen bits and pieces of their story in the other books, but now it is their turn, and what a turn they have! I hate to say this is my favorite book of the series, because there are still two more books to come, but the adrenaline ride in this book was better than sleep, and if you know me you know that I love my sleep.

Ms. Warren knows how to ramp up the drama, suspense, romance, which keeps you reading, and barely breathing. Besides her ability to ramp everything up, she pours so much heart into her stories that you can't not care about the characters. She is great at highlighting the supporting characters giving a sneak peek at where the next story may go. I love the way she adds the spiritual element. In this book it was very apparent that the need for God and faith was very real.

I have enjoyed this series, and I will be acquiring all of the books, just so I can go from one book to the next. Plus, I think my husband will enjoy them, which is a perfect excuse to purchase them.
I am a huge fan of Susan May Warren. One of my favorite series' of hers before reading this one is her Daughter's of Fortune, she is a versatile author and one I look forward to read. I highly recommend this book. While it could be read as a stand alone, I'd definitely start with the first book in the series.



 
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