Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Top Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Being that I was homeschooled, I never experienced the whole "lunch table" thing. But if I did I'm pretty sure I would have quickly eaten then pulled out a book to read. With that in mind I looked for characters who I could see doing the same thing! We'd discuss books while when ate then each turn to our current reads for the remainder of lunch. Here's my lunch table/book club!

Lucy Wiltshire 
from Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones
Autumn Kingsley 
from Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg
Lizzie O'Conner 
from A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman
Alice Ripley 
from Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
Eden Spencer 
from To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
Adelaide Procter 
from Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
Samantha Moore 
from Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay
Grace Christiansen 
from When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren
Marty Davis 
from Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
Mona Reynolds 
from Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren

Who would be at your lunch table?

Monday, September 01, 2014

Monthly Reflections #32: August 2014


Wow August just flew by! Thankfully I was able to fit reading into those flying days and finished a total of 17 books which was seven more than my goal! I made my review goal of 7 reviews exactly so August was definitely a success! 
As the year is winding to a close I took a look at the progress I'm making on my reading challenges. Several are either completed or almost done but there are a few that I really need to get cracking on. I'm hoping to get a game plan together this month and start knocking some off the list!

Books I Read
I loved almost every one of the books I read this month so picking a favorite is absolutely impossible!

Reviews I Wrote:

In September I Hope To:
Read 12 books
Write 8 reviews
Read 1/4 of Les Miserables

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #137

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I finished last week:
A big fat nothing! After reading 12 books last week I kinda needed a bit of a break. And then I was busy with babysitting, two days of work, and my sister's bridal shower!

What I am currently reading:
Before Amen is pretty great so far and I am once again loving Waterfall!

What I hope to read this week:
I doubt I'll get to all of these but a girl can hope! These are my next three review books and the books I'm hoping to reread!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #136
Bout of Books 11: Wrap-Up
Top Ten Books I Really Want to Read But Don't Own Yet
Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas
Waiting on Wednesday #127: Love's Fortune
Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund
A Match of Wits by Jen Turano
Stacking the Shelves
Sunday Songs #

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson

About the Book
Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her huge Greek family--especially her father--has other ideas. They've all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant location on the Strand--directly across the street from the Rossis' popular pizza place--and they want Cassia's full participation.
To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston's premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family's faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into Bella's good graces!
Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .
Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers one more romp with Bella, Galveston, and the bustling wedding biz in the final installment of her popular series. Anyone who loves quirky families, loads of laughter, and tender romance will find themselves hooked.

My Thoughts
I think this was my favorite from the whole series! It was such a fun read and I kept laughing out loud! The Pappas family was full of entertaining characters and it was hysterical to watch them interact with the Rossis, especially the feuding Laz and Niko! I thought it was so funny how almost all of the Pappas family members inadvertently became friends with Rossi's. Everything played out in the most amusing way and it was perfect!
Alex and Cassia were great too! I thought Cassia's Judy Garland kick was a really cool angle, even though she's not my favorite classic actress I did get most of the references which was fun.
I loved seeing all of the crazy characters from the previous books and they once again made for a fabulous cast. All in all this book was the perfect ending to a great series!

Meet the Author
Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday Memes 8/28

Book Blogger Hop

The Question:
Do you request notifications of new replies when you post a comment on a blog post?

My Answer:
No. I just leave the page open on my browser if I am waiting for a response.

Hosted by: Rose City Reader

"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

We paused on our hike, panting and wiping our upper lips as our guide-the old Italian farmer who owned this land-chopped down a small sapling, clearing the overgrown trail. "Ecco, vedi," he said, pointing at the ground. See here.
Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

My Thoughts
Since this is my third time reading this book my thoughts were mainly just anticipation of the awesomeness awaiting me but other than that it is a great beginning that raises the curiousity!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

About the Book
After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancée, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.
Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home... until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

My Thoughts
Finally Zayne and Agatha's story! From the very start I loved Agatha Watson's character and I absolutely could not wait till we finally got to see her and Zayne's happy ending! Thankfully this book was everything I hoped it would be and more! I was laughing out loud almost every page and if I wasn't laughing I usually had a huge grin on my face!
There was so much about this book I loved and I really can't think of anything that I didn't! Agatha and Zayne were both such fun as I knew they would be, due to what I saw of them in the previous books. Agatha still had her act first, think later way of doing things which landed her into some amusing and dangerous situations that she always seemed to find a way out of. I loved the addition of Matilda the pig (though don't tell her I called her that) to add to the whirlwind that was Agatha Watson.
And Zayne with his absolute obliviousness as to how to handle woman was funnily endearing. He was always saying or doing the wrong thing but had no idea that he was doing it, thus leaving everyone else aghast and him confused. I loved all the crazy ways he tried to help and protect Agatha, most of which backfired. 
I once again loved all of the characters and was glad we got to see those from the previous books, since this was that last book and I will miss them all dearly. 
Suffice it to say this book was amazing and the absolutely brilliant ending to a wonderful series! I can't wait to dive into her next one!
Meet the Author
Jen Turano, author of three books and one novella, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Learn more at www.jenturano.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
Michigan Territory, 1814
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.
The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.
Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.

My Thoughts
Jody Hedlund has done it again! She has written another novel that brilliantly captured me (pun intended)! From the first sentence I was hooked and didn't want to set this book down for anything.
I loved the historical aspect. It was a part of history that I knew nothing about which made the history nerd in me very happy. Jody always does an amazing job of saturating her stories with historical details and it's almost like getting a history lesson without even knowing it!
Pierre was the reformed rogue that you just couldn't help loving! His charm, good looks, and humor would be hard enough for any girl to resist, but throw in that deep desire to do the right thing, to make up for past wrongs, and it's no wonder Angelique fell so hard! As a recent believer he struggled a lot with figuring out what was right. It was interesting to watch his journey to discovering what God had for him and his learning to rely on God rather than himself.
I admired Angelique so much! Her selfless care for Miriam, the hard work she did without complaint, her kindness to everyone, even those who didn't deserve it, and her willingness to give up her own happiness for the sake of another's.
The "villians" were well-written to the point where I wanted to reach into the book and wring Ebenezer's neck for his treatment of Angelique and his blatant hypocrisy!

I loved every second of this book and I definitely recommend finding a way to get your hands on it sooner rather than later!

Meet the Author
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances.
As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Waiting on Wednesday #127: Love's Fortune

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're
eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz
Revell-September 9, 2014

About the Book
Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.

Why I Want It
I loved the first two books in this series and I can't wait to dive into Wren's story!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Miracle in a Dry Season
Bethany House Publishers (August 5, 2014)
Sarah Loudin Thomas

This book was interesting for sure! This book had the typical 50's air that I've found in the other novels set in this era but it was definitely unique! There were a couple things that gave me a bit of a pause since they were out of the ordinary but they weren't unrealistic either. And the author's writing style was excellent.
I didn't overly connect with any of the characters but that's not to say I didn't like them. I loved the fact that Casewell didn't shun Perla like almost everyone else in town did, though I liked the way that the author had him struggle with it a bit first since in that time it really would have been a hard pill to swallow.
All in all this was a great debut and I'm looking forward to what else this author has in store for us!

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope

It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Miracle in a Dry Season, go HERE.

Top Ten Books I Really Want to Read But Don't Own Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Stuck Together by Mary Connealy
The Elite & The One by Kiera Cass
Scarlet & Cress by Marissa Meyer
Four by Veronica Roth
A Hero in the Making by Laurie Kingery
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick
Perfect Scoundrels & United We Spy by Ally Carter
A Table By the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
Burning Sky by Lori Benton
Fair Play by Deeanne Gist