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.



The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson - Reviewed

Monday, January 1, 2018






About the book:

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear “normal,” she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man isn’t a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.




About Kara Swanson:

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. 
Her co-authored fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia was published when she was seventeen. In June of 2017 she independently released her novella, The Girl Who Could See. Kara has also had articles and short stories published—as well as receiving the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer Award in 2015. 
When she’s not creating new stories and placing characters in peril, she’s probably binge-watching Marvel movies, playing with her huskies, reading till two in the morning or experimenting with a dairy-free mocha Frappuccino (skills, I’m telling you).
You can find her online at karaswanson.com, or on her Facebook page (Kara Swanson, Author), Twitter (@kara_author), Instagram (@kara_author), and Pinterest (Kara Swanson, Author).



My Thoughts:

First let me say that Ms. Swanson is an old soul. She writes as well or better than seasoned authors twice her age. 

I am not a big science fiction buff, but I knew after reading just a few sentences that I was going to love this book. 

I was pulled into the world that she created for Fern, and Tristan. These characters jumped straight off of the page, tackling my heart, making me want to read more. 

While this is only a novella, sadly just a novella, it has so much depth. Ms. Swanson makes you care about Fern and Tristan, and everything that is going on in their lives, which is what good authors do.

Ms. Swanson is an author to watch, and I can't wait to read more of her work.


A Mother for His Family by Susanne Dietze - Reviewed



It's January 1st and I am already writing my first review of 2018. I started this book in December, but since it releases tomorrow I need to get the review written. I'm attempting this with the Rose Bowl playing in the background. I'm a glutton for punishment. LOL






About the book:

A Convenient Arrangement
Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.
All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.








About Susanne Dietze:

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the author of several historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com.



My Thoughts:

Does our past always dictate our future? Are we ever totally forgiven and accepted?

These are just two questions Ms. Dietze answers through her characters in her new book. This is just the second book of hers that I have read and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Her characters are both believable and endearing. I adore books with kids in them and she nails the children and their antics perfectly. John, is a swoony hero. He is kind, handsome, and honest, a swoony trifecta. Helena is a mess of a heroine. Her self-worth is in the ditch, or ha-ha as it is called, and she doesn't believe she is worthy of forgiveness. Watching her struggle was painful, being able to see John be a true hero for her made it worthwhile. 

I definitely recommend this book!




Disclaimer:
I received a copy of this book from Susanne Dietze in exchange for a review I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

My Favorite Book of the Year 2017




I've been hinting about having a favorite book of 2017 for a few weeks now.

In the eleven years that I have been reviewing this is the first time I've ever had a book that I still think about, and has an impact on me, months after I read it. That is not to say that my other favorite reads didn't impact me, there is just something about this book.




So, are you ready to find out my absolute favorite book of 2017?
















Are you sure????
















Here you go . . . . .


 I wish I could adequately put words to how much I adore this book, but I woke up sick this morning and sadly the words just aren't there. You can read my review here, and below will be some of my favorite quotes from the book. If you have not read this book this is a must read. It has everything that makes a book an experience. 






















Happy New Year, and here is to more books to experience, characters to meet, and places to go.
 
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