Summer Plans and Other Disasters by Karin Beery - Reviewed

Friday, October 12, 2018

About the book:

Title: Summer Plans and Other Disasters
Author: Karin Beery
Publisher: Elk Publishing

Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track.
Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right?
Trying to figure out God’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best laid plans were truly God-inspired.
Now available from Elk Lake Publishing!

About Karin Beery

Karin writes contemporary and speculative fiction stories with a healthy dose of romance, but she’s also expanded her repertoire: she writes feature stories for the local paper, copy material for businesses, and blog posts for herself and others. She even edits (offering copy editing, fiction editing, and critiques through Write Now Editing Services) and teaches (she’s the Substantive Fiction Editing instructor for the PEN Institute and can be found around the country teaching writing and editing courses at conferences and at her local college). 

When Karin’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys cooking and baking. She plays the piano and sings (the key of E, please). She kayaks with her husband in the summer, watches football in the fall (Go Blue!), and enjoys Christmas lights all winter long. Shy but extroverted, Karin adores her nieces and nephew and loves spending time with her family.  
Learn more about Karin at:                                   Facebook || Twitter || Instagram ||                                                                                                        

My Thoughts:

Proverbs 16:9 
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. NKJV

While this verse isn't mentioned in the book, it is clearly the theme of it. Callie has to have a plan and if she doesn't she is honestly lost. At least she thinks she is. 

The snark and sass between Callie and her brother, Jack was fun and entertaining. There was a lot of that throughout the book. Even with the supporting characters, Stacey, Mae, and Ryan. 

Callie's clumsiness is so familiar to me. Forget me attempting to power-wash a building and making a mess. I trip over my own feet in my house and the sprinkler head outside causing me to roll down the driveway. I like the contrast that Ms. Beery does with Callie being a very accomplished pianist and very clumsy. Callie was real character that anyone could relate to.

The patience of Jack, Callie's older brother was sweet and endearing. I did find him a pain off and on which made him a very rounded character.

My Bottom Line:

This is a definite romantic comedy, with a message synonymous to Proverbs 16:9 at the beginning of my review. The story is fun, relaxing, and even with the message Ms. Beery weaves throughout the book I didn't feel preached to. This was a completely entertaining, fun, engaging book. It is also Karin Beery's first published novel and she hit a home run with this one. Highly recommended!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a member of Read With Audra blogger program. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tour Schedule

A Christian Writer's World 10/1
Pause for Tales 10/1
Just One More Paragraph 10/1
Feeling in Red 10/1
this chattanooga mommy saves 10/1
Author Austin Ryan 10/1
Vicky Slutier 10/1
Sunny Island Breezes 10/2
A Rup Life 10/2
Living Outside the Lines 10/3
Veronica's 'Views 10/3
The World As I See It 10/3
Savings in Seconds 10/4
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader 10/4
Wall-to-wall books 10/5
Lighthouse Academy 10/5
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic 10/5
Daysong Reflections 10/5
View from the Birdhouse 10/5
Misadventures of the Dynamic Uno 10/5
Pamela Black 10/6
Through the Fire blogs 10/6
More Of Him 10/8
Locks, Hooks and Books 10/9
EmpowerMoms 10/9
Texas Book-aholic 10/9
Moments 10/9
Janicesbookreviews 10/10
A Busy Mom of Two 10/10
Splashes of Joy 10/10
My Reading Journeys 10/10
Homemaking Organized 10/11
Happily Managing a Household of Boys  10/11
Radiant Light 10/12
Inklings and Notions 10/12
Remembrancy 10/13
2014 and Beyond! 10/13
Southern & Style 10/13
Bigreadersite 10/13
A Room Without Books is Empty 10/14
God is Love 10/15

A Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Today this beautiful book by Sandra Byrd releases into the world!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS, Sandra Byrd!!!!!!!!

Today you get your own copy of this amazing book at your favorite retailer!

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.
The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.
Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.
With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Christian Books ||

Top Ten Tuesday - Longest Books

Monday, October 8, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. Today's topic is the longest books I've read. Weirdly most of the longest books I've read are written by secular authors at least books over a thousand pages.

I read this book as a very young wife and mom. I thought it would go on forever even though it's really not that long. Just 376 pages. 

When I read the circle series by Ted Dekker they were together in a complete series set, and at around about 400 pages a piece makes for 1200 page book.

This was probably the longest book Frank Peretti has written to date.

The picture is of knees . . .  Because I didn't read this in high school when I wanted to. I read it when Oprah chose it for her book club, this is the edition I read.

I think Tolstoy and King have the market on writing books that are forever long.

I read this in high school, it took me an entire summer and I couldn't wait to have it done!

I do love a long book. It's like a very long vacation that you don't want to come home from.

Tell me the longest books you've read. Do we have any of the same ones?

A Sparkle of Silver (Georgia Coast Romance #1) by Liz Johnson

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

About the book:

Title: A Sparkle of Silver
Author: Liz Johnson
Publisher: Revell
Pre-Order Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan's great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins' palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie's great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage--and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate's private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.

About Liz Johnson:

By day Liz Johnson is a marketing manager. She makes time to write late at night—that’s when she thinks best anyway. Liz is the author of more than a dozen novels, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She’s a Christy Award finalist and a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. She makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona, where she enjoys exploring local music, theater, and doting on her nieces and nephews. She writes stories of true love filled with heart, humor, and happily ever afters.

                                                      Website || Twitter || Facebook 

My Thoughts:

This is my first book of Liz Johnson's that I've read and I'm wondering why it took me so long.
And I'm so glad I started with the beginning of her new series. This book is a treasure trove of history, mystery, romance, and the beautiful Chateau Dawkins.

I enjoyed roaming and hiding around the Chateau with Millie and Ben. Which were both fun and suspenseful.
I've been journaling since I was a teen so I was particularly drawn to each of the diary entries. I  just said to my daughter the other day I wonder what my children, and grandchildren will think of my journals that is if I don't burn them first.

Having had two grandparents die from Alzheimer's my heart ached for what Millie was going through as she cared for Grandma Joy.

I found the characters real, and believable. The story was engaging, full of both history and present time, there is even family drama which will appeal to contemporary romance readers.

This is a home run as far as I'm concerned. I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author as a member of her launch team. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hope By the Book . . . Bookish Fun Magazine

Monday, October 1, 2018

A few months ago I was asked by the amazing Meez Carrie of Reading is My SuperPower if I'd be interested in being a reviewer for a new book magazine. I didn't even think about it I said YES, ABSOLUTELY!!! Little did I know when I said yes, I couldn't say anything until the magazine launched which is November 2018. If you know me even a tiny bit, I am not good at keeping secrets.

I have been set free!!!! I can say that I am a contributing reviewer and this was what I was talking about in my September Wrap Up post.

Our website is live and you can now order a subscription. My followers can get their subscription for a year at the price of $16.95 using the code BOOKISH at check-out.

And one of my reviews is live there. I just found it. You can read my review of A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris here.

Since today is technically Top Ten Tuesday which the topic is author's you want to meet. Well, the list is very, very long. But, I have pictures of me with three authors I've had the pleasure of meeting.

I will tell you that Julie Lessman, Laura Frantz, Becky Wade, Katie Ganshert, Courtney Walsh, Jen Turano, Sandra Byrd, Pepper Basham, Rachel Hauck, Tosca Lee, and James Rubart are on the short list.

 Kellie Coates Gilbert and I at her book signing here in Boise, Idaho. She's from Carey, Idaho which is near Sun Valley. She lives in Texas now, and I've gotten to see her twice. We connected  when I reviewed her debut novel A Mother of Pearl.
Mesu Andrews is one of my favorite biblical fiction authors. So, when her and her husband Roy were moving from the west to the east they stayed overnight here in Boise where my husband and I met them at the hotel they were staying.

Her new book Of Fire and Lions is up for pre-order click the cover, which by the way is absolutely gorgeous, to order.

Angela Ruth Strong and I met by complete accident when I was at Barnes and Noble catching up with Kellie Coates Gilbert. Kellie actually thought we already knew each other. Through a few misses Angela and I actually were able to set up a date for coffee, which was more like lunch. Angela lives here in Boise just about twenty minutes from me here in Nampa.

It's Okay to Not Understand . . . Just Be. . .

The past four days has been really, really tough. I'm not writing this blog post for sympathy or accolades. I am writing this because we within the church have to do better. Instead of victimizing an abuse survivor all over again we need to be the balm of Gilead for them.

On Thursday not meaning to watch I turned on the TV and found myself unable to look away from Christine Blasey Ford as she testified to the Judiciary Committee regarding Brett Kavanaugh's assault of her when they were teens.

Within a few seconds I was eleven again, seventeen, and an adult woman. I could see everything clearly and I felt everything as though I was experiencing it for the first time.

When I posted on Facebook saying before you judge Christine Blasey Ford think about your daughters, mothers, sisters, nieces, female cousins, anyone in your close circle of friends. Because I guarantee one of them has experienced this horror. 

It didn't take very long for believers to come out of the woodwork and instead of being compassionate they were down right mean. It quickly became a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Which made me want to go through the computer screen and strangle someone. I received more compassion and kindness from non-believers and that is really very sad.

What is it about Christian's that they don't have one ounce of compassion running through their veins? We are called to be like Jesus but we're not being that to anyone we don't identify or understand. And if that isn't bad enough we don't even try. It's like we're afraid to hear the ugly, messy, details and we give platitudes. We pull scripture completely out of context which causes shame instead of encourages or comforts and makes it worse. It's like being at a funeral and instead of extending a hug or just being we say "well they're better off, they're with Jesus." That doesn't comfort anyone, but we feel we're supposed to say something and that's usually what comes to mind first. What's wrong with us that we can't just be?

Just once I'd like a Christian to say "I don't understand. I've never experienced this, and I am so sorry that you have. Let me know what I can do to help it not be so painful right now." Being honest, saying you don't understand, and that you want to help goes a long, long way. It's sad that the people that said these things to me the most these last four days don't claim to be believers.

So, now what, right?

                           Listen, and not to respond but truly hear. Hug, and as Beth Moore said in an article this weekend, be a warm blanket to someone who is cold. That's what Christ meant in Matthew 25:34-40 when He said

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ NASB

Mary E DeMuth who is one of my absolutely favorite people, has written a blog post on what not to say to abuse survivors. It is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it! You can read it here.

One more thing I want to add. Abuse survivors need support from strong, honorable, men. They need men to say this was wrong, how can I show you I'm safe and trustworthy? We all know they exist, but as an abuse survivor hearing my honorable husband ask me what did I need, how could he show me I was safe meant the world and truly helped me process all the worthless feelings I was enduring these last few days.

Feel free to comment, but be respectful. I will remove any hateful responses.

September Wrap UP

Saturday, September 29, 2018

It's been a crazy September here. School's back in session, and I'm crazy busy with a new project that does involve reviews but sadly I'm not able to say anything just yet. I'm waiting for the official announcement before I can say anything. As soon as it's announced I'll announce it here.

The reviews are limited here mainly because of this fun project. The most popular post from September was my hurry up and release top ten Tuesday post.

Yesterday I helped Tamara Leigh with her cover reveal of her upcoming release Merciless. It releases on November 16, 2018.

Here is the video her son, Skyler made for her.

This was my photo cover reveal. You can pre-order the book here. And visit Tamara Leigh's website for more information.

I have some pretty exciting reviews coming your way for October.

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

A Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Indivisible by Travis Thrasher

And those involved in the very exciting project. 😉😉

What's been going on in your neck of the woods? I'd love to hear from you.

Here's to October and more fall weather!!

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