Top Ten Tuesday - Spring TBR Books

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is books on your Spring To Be Read list. Surprisingly I was able to cut it down to just ten. I know, I'm a tad shocked that I only have ten. In my defense, all but two books I chose are books that I'm going to be reading for upcoming blog tours, that doesn't mean I won't have nine or ten more that I'll also want to read this spring.

Below the images will be links to the book's Goodreads page.

Things I Never Told You                                             

The Pirate Bride                                                     

The Theory of Happily Ever After

Together Forever 

High Cotton

Judah's Wife

Lone Witness

Just Let Go

Olivia Twist

The Heart Between Us

What's on your Spring TBR list? Are any of yours on my list too? Because I read more than one book at a time I've started The Heart Between Us, and Things I Never Told You. I just received The Pirate Bride, and High Cotton in the mail so they will be soon.

Let me know what you're looking forward to reading this Spring in the comments.

Happy First Day of

Top Ten Tuesday . . . Books That Surprised Me

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday's topic is books that surprised you. Shiloh is in bed so she is not seeing me use a picture of a surprised cat as my graphic this week. If you don't know who Shiloh is she is our rescue long haired Chihuahua, and she does not like cats at all.

I could only come up with five titles that surprised me, and I went back to 2007 when I started reviewing, and these were the only ones I could find. I'll put the review link beside each cover.

 One, this book surprised me because I am not a SCI-FI/ Fantasy fan and I absolutely loved this book! I read it with a group on Facebook that author Mary Weber ran.


Two, I again stepped out of my comfort zone and read a book with a SCI/FI - Fantasy feel. What surprised me about this book was that it is written by a teenager, and she writes and expresses herself like a very wise adult.


Three, this book had a Muslim hero, and a Christian heroine and I was surprised by how authentically the author wrote the story.


Four, I don't know why I was surprised by this book at all. Mr. Rubart's books are each different in their own merit, but after I finished this book early yesterday morning, I had not only been transported out of reality, I had received a great lesson.


Five, I've been a huge fan of Brandilyn Collins since I started reviewing. This book surprised me because it was so laugh out loud funny. Ms. Collins is known for her thrill ride suspense and this book was completely different.


What books surprised you? Let me know in the comments. Are any of yours on my list?

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart - Reviewed

Monday, March 12, 2018

 About the book:

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?
Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on--with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they're shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he's changed. Radically.
His anger is gone. He's oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he's been but knows he's been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he's been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.
But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside--like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury--and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.
In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us--and one man's only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || CBD || Audible ||

About James L. Rubart

Becoming a Novelist
On the lake - James Rubart - When I was ten my biggest dream was to be a novelist. It was fueled by reading The Chronicles of Narnia, and from my story being chosen to be acted out and filmed in my 7th grade English class.

But in eighth grade the dream took a major hit. I took journalism class (loved it) and at the end of the year tried out for the school paper. Didn’t get chosen. Rejected. In that moment I buried the dream and listened to a lie that sank its claws deep into my heart: “You can’t write.”

What about you? What lie have you believed about your life? What the truth is there is a strength in you you might not realized. A destiny you were born for that you need to step into.

My lie? I believed it for decades. But the dream refused to die. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest magazine. I dabbled in short stories. In my 20s I even went to a few one-day writing seminars. But I never showed my writing to anyone.

The Dream Comes Alive

Then in 2002, my wife announced she was going on a fast. Why? She didn’t know. How long? Same answer. After two and a half days a light bulb exploded over my head as I rode next to my wife in our car.
I felt God say, “I’ve given you the skill and desire to write, when are you going to step into your destiny?”
I turned to Darci and said, “I know why you’re fasting. I’m supposed to be a novelist.”

She stared at me and said, “I’m hungry for three days, and you get the answer?”

We both burst into laughter. It was the perfect response to lighten a moment where I had to make a serious decision. Would I choose to step in? The obvious answer is yes. I dove in full-force to writing my first novel (ROOMS) and finished it in late ’05.

I won’t bore you with the details of how it was rejected and ultimately purchased (in early summer 2008) so suffice it to say it took significant perseverance and belief. That’s why, whatever your dream is, I encourage you to keep pressing into your dreams. Reject the lie and embrace the truth that you have a role, a purpose that only your can fulfill.

You can visit James at

My Thoughts:

Mr. Rubart's new book, The Man He Never Was, is a retelling of  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I believe I read the novella as a freshman in high school, which was a long time ago. If you are not familiar with the story the basic premise is good vs. evil.

One of the reasons I enjoy novels by James Rubart is because there is always an element of the supernatural, with God as good, and satan as evil, and his new book is no different.
I read a lot of historical romance with a female character as the heroine. It's refreshing to have a male character at the lead, and Mr. Rubart writes a male character that not only pulls on the heart strings of women readers, they are able to identify with the inward battle that he creates for his characters.

Toren is a broken man in lots of ways, I can't tell you or I'll ruin your experience, he knows he is and wants to rid himself of the anger that is holding him captive but he's not really sure how to do it.

We all can identify with Toren and the inner battle that he is going through, mainly because at one time or another we've been him. The cast of characters that Mr. Rubart adds to this story are both supportive and aide Toren through the darkest moments of his life.

My Bottom Line:

This book is a fast-paced thrill ride that starts at the first sentence and doesn't let up until you read the last one. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. When I finished the book last night, rather early this morning, I felt as if I had just spent time listening to the testimony of someone older and wiser than myself. I walked away from this book with lessons. While there are quite a few the one that I can't stop thinking about is when Eden asks Toren what the father in the parable of the prodigal son says to the son about his great sin when he comes home. He says nothing, he never addresses it. In all my years of being in the church that is the first time I realized that God says nothing about our sin, and that is grace.
This is a must read!

You can read about the inspiration for this story here.

First Line Friday - Olivia Twist

Friday, March 9, 2018

It's been a crazy week so I am very glad today is Friday. I strained my back on Tuesday and I've been attempting to take it easy, which I don't do very well, so I'm tired and cranky.

This book released on Tuesday, but I was able to get an early copy at Barnes and Noble on Saturday. I adore the cover and am anxious to read it.

About the book:

Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.
Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for her herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Audible

First Line:


1841 Holborn, London

For long minutes, there was considerable doubt as to whether the child would survive to bear a name at all. 

Quite a line, huh?

I'd love to hear your first line. Please leave it in the comments and then visit Hoarding Books to see their first line and all of the other participants. Sorry I didn't get around to everyone last Friday. I'll have more time today since I'm just home relaxing.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

The Bachelor - Finale, Finale

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I know that the finale of The Bachelor this season has been cussed and discussed since Monday night and more so since last night.

I am still pretty floored that ABC would air what Arie did to Becca on national TV, and I am even more bothered by the fact that I watched it. I could not turn away. I kept hoping after he broke up with her and broke her heart that he'd respect her wishes and just leave. I couldn't believe he followed her, kept asking if she needed anything or wanted to talk. I actually started looking for my bad call brick that I use during football season to throw at the TV.

I honestly thought that while Arie was a slime ball and a playboy with the girls, I hoped he'd have more maturity, and life skills at 36 than he showed during the finale. If he was so conflicted between Becca and Lauren why didn't he just not propose to either, and why would you tell one or both girls that you loved them? Didn't anyone not pay attention to Ben Higgins when he told both Jojo and Lauren that he loved them? Can we just say nightmare?! And what it is with the name Lauren?

Arie's comments "I feel like a monster," "I hate this for her." Really?! He should feel like a monster.

I loved what baby Bekah said (thanks Audra for the term.), "he's not a genuine person, and he just needs to say whatever he needs to say in front of the person to get what he wants. I think he's an incredibly manipulative person." Caroline, which I know we're all trying to remember her, said "he has zero empathy for her and doesn't take her feelings into account."

Chris Harrison's comment about Arie making a bone-headed error when he got down on one knee and proposed to Becca is more than bone-headed. It is down right horrible and ridiculous!

Ladies, think back to the day your spouse proposed. Mark took me completely by surprise on New Year's Eve 2010, which is what is supposed to happen. I couldn't one figure out why he was reaching in his suit coat pocket and why he got on one knee. He said something similar to me that Arie said to Becca. "I want you to know that I am not just making this choice for you today, I will make this choice everyday. I want you to know you can count on that. I started crying and he asked me to marry him, I could barely say yes because I was crying.
You've now been proposed to, you said yes and you are living on perpetual cloud nine. You are dreaming about your dress, your dad walking you down the aisle, where you'll go for your honeymoon, who will stand up beside you, the whole enchilada. And then he decides he's made the biggest mistake and he's in love with his ex-girlfriend, and has decided he wants her back. He breaks up with you, you sadly give back the ring, and you are devastated. I couldn't imagine how painful that would be. Coming from the marriage I came from Mark knew that I needed to know that I would be his choice every single day.

ABC, how dare you! I mean what were you thinking?! Like Caroline said "Becca has a huge heart and wants everyone around her happy."
Producers had to know he wanted to break up with her so why didn't any of you suggest for him to do it off camera, and tell him once he broke up with her to walk away! Or stop filming until he left! I feel as though the break up segment wouldn't have gone on for as long as it did if he would've just left.
I've watched The Bachelor since season one, and while I enjoy the show, I really hope that you as a network never film a proposal break up again!

I honestly think this all boils down to what the girl's told Chris Harrison. Before he ended things with Becca he "had" to call Lauren to make sure they still had a chance. He clearly is a manipulator, doesn't think or care about anyone's feelings but his own. It's not that I don't want both, Arie and Lauren to be happy, I love this show because I believe in love and fairy tales. I just think there was a better way to handle all of this without showing her pain live in real time.


Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Book Quotes

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


When I saw today's Top Ten Tuesday topic I immediately thought this topic is as bad as doing kisses. LOL There are so many awesome book quotes.

Each meme will take you to my review or the book's Goodreads page.

Are these any of your favorite quotes? Tell me yours in the comments.

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story (Daughter's of the Promised Land #4)

Saturday, March 3, 2018

About the book:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.
Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?
Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

About Jill Eileen Smith:

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.
When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

My Thoughts:

Hannah's story in the Bible is just a sliver. Ms. Smith takes that sliver and crafts a beautiful story that is filled with hope, faith, perseverance, and trusting God, even when everything is bleak and dark.

Ms. Smith writes with such emotion that I could actually feel the pain from Elkanah's mother's jeers and then Peninnah's insults. My heart ached for Hannah, and I desperately wanted her to have a child so they'd leave her alone.

My Bottom Line:

The book is beautiful, and captivating. It moves along at a nice pace without lagging. The characters are well rounded with flaws, and are human struggling to trust God in the darkest of times. 
One of the things I love about Ms. Smith's stories, is while they are based on biblical truth her storytelling encourages you to read the biblical account.
I highly recommend this story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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