First Line Friday # 16 and Giveaway!

Friday, April 21, 2017


We made it to Friday, which means it's First Line Friday! Grab the book closest to you and leave the first line in the comment section.

Today I am featuring , , ,


About the book:

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.

First Line:

March 1883 - New York City

Pressing her nose against the glass of the carriage window, Miss Permilia Griswold felt her stomach begin to churn as she took note of the throngs of people lining Fifth Avenue. 

Visit my other blogger friends, see their first line's and leave yours in the comment section. I have an extra copy of this book which means there is a giveaway at the end of this post. As always, mark your place, and keep reading!

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 


Giveaway for Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

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Author Interview - Pepper Basham

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today I am going to interview Pepper D. Basham. She is the author of five full length novels and one novella.



Let’s break the ice . . .

Me: Mountains or beach? I think I know the answer to this . . . *giggle*

Pepper: HA! You’d better know the answer to this by now πŸ˜‰ MOUNTAINS!!!

Me: While there are things I love about the mountains I am definitely a beach girl.

Me: Novella or long novel?

Pepper: Long novel

Me: Long novel too.

Me: Iphone or android?              


Pepper: iPhone, but in truth I’ve never really given android a try

Me: I have an iPhone now but I had an android. I think I like the iPhone better especially since I can FaceTime with my kids and grand kids.

Me: Hymn or chorus? & What is your favorite one?

Pepper: Trick question 😊 I love both for different reasons. Hymns are RICH with theology and allow for more ‘corporate’ singing and harmonies, IMO. Choruses can be great to repeat an important theme and many times (if done thoughtfully) pack a powerful punch in a few words while being very singable. Favorites? Sheesh...that’s tough. How about a few of my favorites: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, It is Well, Great is the Faithfulness, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

Choruses? Indescribable and What a Savior by Laura Story, 10,000 Reasons, and In Christ Alone. 

Me: I have to agree that was a trick question. I grew up on hymns and they remind me of my faith heritage and I get teary-eyed singing them. Choruses do seem to pack a punch, and are easier for this old brain to remember.

Me: Kindle or book?

Pepper: Book

Me: I like both. I seem to read faster on my Kindle so I gravitate to that more often.

Me: What inspired you to write?

Pepper: I can only say it was a God-given desire born in me. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t ‘story-creating’. But the first time I actually realized I was a ‘writer’ was when my grandmother called me one at age 10

Me: That had to be a very special declaration from your grandmother.

Me: What is your writing Kryptonite?

Pepper: Time 😊

Me: I can just imagine!

Me: What defines literary success for you?

Pepper: Hmmm…. what a great question. I don’t know. I guess the nuts and bolts answer would be that I’ve written a well-crafted story, but the deeper answer is that I’ve glorified God through my writing. Financial compensation would certainly be nice too and having people enjoy my stories is also a bonus, but at the core of my definition of ‘success’ would be that I’ve done what God has called me to do with my whole heart. 

Me: That's a great answer!

Me: How much of your books are realistic? 

Pepper: Realistic? Well, the stories are plausible for the most part, I think. With my historical novels I really try to bring as much of the true events surrounding the story into the novel, if I can. So when I include those events, I try to be very accurate. The Lusitania was my most extensive research to date – and riveting research.

Me: They feel very realistic.

Me: What are your favorite childhood books?  

Pepper:  As far as picture books, I love Dr. Seuss 😊 Chapter books? I was a Nancy Drew junkie but I also fell in love with classics like The Secret Garden followed by Little Women…and then once I was introduced to British literature through Jane Eyre, well I was a goner 😊

Me: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I think I may know the answer to this question too. *giggle*

Pepper: HA! Laura Frantz!! But also Ruth Logan Herne. Both have been instrumental in different ways in wrapping their arms around me and encouraging me on this journey. I’d also add Siri Mitchell and Cathy Marie Hake to this list, more in my early writing years than now, but they were both amazing encouragers. 

Me: I was wrong. I thought James Rubart would be one because of his "Branding Course." I can definitely see an influence of Laura Frantz in your writing.

Me: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  

Pepper: I LOVE interacting with you guys!! Love it!! Let me know what you think of my stories. I hope you discover HOPE in them.

Me: Interacting with authors who write our favorite books, like you, makes the reading experience so much more fun.
Thanks for joining me today and letting me interview you. I absolutely adored your new book, Just The Way You Are. Such a fun Britallachian book!



















Tuesday Top Ten - - - Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Sorry this post is late! I got distracted last night and completely forgot about it.
I don't know about you, but there are days when I just need a laugh, or two. So, I thought I'd put together a list of my favorite laugh out loud books. Please tell me what your's are in the comment section.



I haven't finished this book yet, but I can always count on a laugh from Jen Turano. In fact an author friend said she nearly fell off her treadmill laughing so hard. That's a great endorsement of how comical Ms. Turano's books can be.

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.









I read this book ten years ago, and loved every second of it. While it's not a "typical" book for me, I was rolling on the floor reading this.

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse--and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.
Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees--a favorite pastime of Apollo's--is sapping their vital reserves of strength.
Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?


Tamara Leigh is a versatile writer she can write both serious books and laugh out loud funny ones. I am giggling writing this because just remembering the fun of this book.

ALL SHE WANTS IS A JOB. ALL SHE NEEDS IS RELIGION. HOW HARD CAN IT BE?
Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.
A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but they only hire committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith. If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and British hottie, wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.
When Maizy’s newspaper boss pressures her to expose any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her colleagues—and Jack—will show her grace.


 Susan May Warren is another author who is very versatile in her writing. This series is funny, charming and just plain fun!

With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI’s "assistant" until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ’s seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case—house-sitting for a witness in protective custody—Jeremy assures her there’s no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they’re after PJ, too.





It's no secret that Julie Lessman is one of my favorite authors, and I know I'm in for true fun and romance that causes the need for a fainting couch.
Katie O'Connor is quite the feisty heroine!

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?






While this book had series moments, it was pure laugh out loud fun, and that's what you want when you need something to lift your spirits!

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.
When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?



She kisses the wrong guy and runs away. Run away brides are always fun.

Kissing the wrong guy days before her wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after?Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong: the huge wedding, the frothy dress, and the groom.
Still, kissing the groom’s brother in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. And pulling a “Runaway Bride,” complete with "borrowing" her best friend’s car, doesn’t seem to solve her problems.
Can Allison find her way out of this mess? She prefers to be the one in control, and giving it up is not going to be easy. But to find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her and find the strength to let Him lead.


Janice Thompson does not disappoint with her bride stories. Something always happens that places the bride in a predicament and getting her out of it causes loads of hilarity!

 Small-town girl Katie Fisher is planning her wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn't managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't enter a contest in "Texas Bride" magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? But when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes a job in another town--the very same day Katie wins her dream dress--her world is turned upside down. Should she claim her prize? And will the hunky former pro-basketball player who runs the swanky Dallas bridal shop--yeah, you read that right--catch on to her humiliation if she does?





Another runaway bride story. Denise Hunter is another author who writes laugh out loud books that I can count on to lift my spirits when I'm having a bad day.


Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancΓ© Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.






Daddy-Long-Legs with Fred Astaire was a favored movie when I was a young girl and this book has the feel of that movie. This was Katherine Reay's debut novel and while very meaningful, quite funny.

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.













I'd love to hear if any of my books are in your library of Laugh Out Loud funny. Tell me yours in the comments.





OOPS! I knew I was forgetting one!

I know this makes eleven but this book is full of fun and romance. You don't want to miss it!

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?

First Line Friday and Giveaway of The Illusionist's Apprentice

Friday, April 14, 2017


It's Friday!! Time for First Line Friday, and I have a giveaway as well. I have an extra copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron. I have read this book and it is one of my favorites for 2017.

About the book:

Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.
Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.
Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
My Review

First Line:

December 31, 1926
Mount Auburn Cemetary
Cambridge, MASS.

Agent Elliot Matthews stared down a firing squad. The potential executioners held firm in their stance with camera lenses and pencils cocked, all ready to fire. 



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Visit my other blogging friends and see their first lines.

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 



 

When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom #3) by Sarah Sundin

Thursday, April 13, 2017



About the book:

The last thing naval officer Dan Avery wants to see on his radar is glamour girl Quintessa Beaumont—even if she has joined the WAVES.
When fun-loving glamour girl Quintessa Beaumont learns the Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, determined to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. No-nonsense and hoping to make admiral, Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills to fight German U-boats. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. For her part, Tess works hard to prove her worth in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston—both to her commanding officers and to the man with whom she is smitten. When Dan is assigned to a new escort carrier at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he’s torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help Tess root out a possible spy on shore. The Germans put up quite a fight, but he wages a deeper battle within his heart. Could Tess be the one for him?


My Thoughts:

While I have loved each book Ms. Sundin has written, this series has a very special place in my heart, and I am very sad to see it end. I have forty-three years of Navy experience, twenty as a Navy brat with my dad, and twenty-three as a Navy wife with my ex-husband. Plus my dad would talk to me about the WAVES. In fact because of what my dad told me I was actually planning to go into the Naval Academy until I was injured my senior year in high school.
As with all of Ms. Sudin's books she takes real facts and weaves a story that is both captivating and entertaining. After I read a book of Ms. Sudin's I am not only sad that it is over I feel as though I have just finished a great history class on WWII.
While each book can stand alone, I highly recommend the entire series.

My Review




















About Sarah Sundin:

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, 2015, Anchor in the Storm, 2016, When Tides Turn, March 2017), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novel Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award, was a Carol Award finalist, and was named to Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years."
A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups.














The Women of Easter; Encounter the Savior. . . by Liz Curtis Higgs

Sunday, April 9, 2017





You’re about to meet three women named Mary, each of whom has a life-changing encounter with Jesus. Mary of Bethany prepares the way for the Lord’s burial when she anoints His feet and fills the air with her perfume. His mother, Mary of Nazareth, remains by His side from His first breath to His last, her loyalty unwavering. Mary Magdalene, delivered of seven demons, bravely supports her Teacher through His darkest hours, then proclaims the glorious news of His resurrection.

What a trio. What a Savior!


Your mind and emotions will be engaged and your faith strengthened as each scene unfolds, preparing your heart for a richer, deeper Easter experience. Liz Curtis Higgs, a seasoned Bible teacher and award-winning novelist, combines her storytelling skills with a thorough verse-by-verse study of Scripture as together you explore the remarkable lives of The Women of Easter.

My Thoughts:
I'm not exactly sure what I thought this book was going to be about, I first thought it was a novelization of these women and Jesus. It's not, it is a personal telling from each of these women's point of view as they encounter Christ before his death and after. It is a perfect read in preparation of Easter, even after. I waited to read to get into the spirit of Easter.
Recommended!



13 Reasons Why

Saturday, April 8, 2017




This Netflix series seems to be the topic of social media at the moment, which considering the subject matter is a great place for the discussion to be happening, although the discussion needs to make it's way to not only the kids at school, but teachers and administrators too. This series is chronicles high school junior, Hannah and the reason's why she committed suicide. In in 13 recorded tapes she tells each person their part in the decision she made to commit suicide. I've watched a good amount of teenage movies and shows since I have three daughters, and I haven't seen anything as poignant or relevant to our teenagers today as 13 Reasons Why. When my girls were in school they had flip and brick phones, having a smartphone was not even an option. Now, kids as young as five have an iPhone, which I think is ridiculous. Put a smartphone in the hand of a teenager, with a growing brain who does not understand the consequences of their actions and you have a disaster waiting to happen. These kids have the world wide web in the palm of their hand, which allows them the ability to be up close, and personal to anyone willing to listen. Forget passing notes in class and being afraid of having the teacher read it out loud, they just text each other.
While this show is full of horrible language, sexual situations, alcohol, and drugs it is a great snapshot of the life of most if not all teenagers in our culture today, and how bullying can affect not just one teenager, but the whole lot of them. Besides being frustrated with the teens and their parents, I was very annoyed with the two "adults" whose job it was to pay attention to the warning signs. One a teacher, the communications teacher at that, the other the school counselor. If these two characters are a good representation of teachers and staff at a high school then it's no wonder our kids are struggling so.
I can't recommend this series enough. Parents, teachers, administrators, and definitely teens need to watch this series. I think the book, of the same name, which is written by Jay Asher needs to be required reading for all incoming freshman. Developing brain or not, kids need to see that what they do or don't do has consequences, and for some it can be deadly. Plus, parents need to find a way to connect with their teen who's job it is to begin to pull away and be their own individual. I really hope that more people will watch this series, and continue the conversation.



 
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