Friday, October 02, 2015

Monthly Reflections #44: September 2015


September was a rather crazy month! I had two weddings for two very close friends at the beginning of the month. One at my home church and another the very next day in another state. After the second wedding I spent a couple days with my second family at the beach then we road tripped home. The next couple weeks were filled with work during the day and either spending time with friends or babysitting most evenings! So yeah I've been busy! I also had to deal with my laptop dying on me but thanks to an awesome brother I now have a new one and I'm up and running again! Due to my hectic schedule I only managed to finish 4 books but I did meet my goal of getting 30 reviews up!

Books I Read
Two non-fiction books and two fiction, all good!

Reviews I Wrote:

In October I Hope To:
Read at least 7 books
Post at least 5 reviews

Friday Memes 10/2

Book Blogger Hop

The Question:
You're volunteering to read a book to a group of young children at a library. What scary themed book for kids would you read to them?

My Answer:
My parents were anti-Halloween so I don't really have a frame of reference for scary children's books. I would probably just pick some Halloween themed book from a popular franchise like Curious George or Fancy Nancy.

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."

Sitting in his cockpit, Captain Roger Greene scanned the heavens. He searched left to right, overhead, below, and behind. No sign of enemy aircraft.
The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

My Thoughts
Solid beginning.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice--if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.
Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights--the one who appears the most guilty--had not already captured her heart.

My Thoughts
As a huge fan of Jody Hedlud's historical novels I was beyond ecstatic to discover that she was publishing a YA medieval story! I anxiously awaited it's release and was so excited the day it arrived in my mailbox. I read it as quickly as my busy schedule allowed and I loved every minute! It was such a fun and unique premise and it was executed brilliantly. The author did a good job of keeping you guessing, a least for a bit, which knight Rosemarie would fall in love with. Full warning I plan to talk about the knight she does chose so if you want to have it be a bit of a mystery then you probably shouldn't read further. I loved Rosemarie especially her compassionate nature and her love and care for everyone even those who were technically beneath her station. As for the three knights I enjoyed them all but one of them stood out to me from the beginning and I was so happy when he was the one Rosemarie fell in love with. Bennet was charming with his flattery, Collin was endearing with his humor and carefree personality, but it was Derrick who caught my attention from the get go. He's more the strong yet quiet type not given to the bold grand gestures like his friends. I loved how he never tried to impress Rosemarie, but rather unashamedly did what he believed to be right. Honestly he was a completely swoon-worthy hero that I quickly fell in love with.
I guessed early on who was behind all of the incidents that kept occurring but that didn't make it any less intriguing and I was even a little shocked at the lengths the individual was willing to go to.
Even though this is a shorter book it really didn't feel like it and the author did a fabulous job of using every moment to her advantage! I loved everything about this book and cannot wait for book two!

Meet the Author
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.
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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

About the Book
The American Revolution is finally over and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her closest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe and sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the point of breaking. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

My Thoughts
I tend to forget how amazing this author truly is until I pick up another one of her books and get blown away by her talent! Due to busyness I lost track of the days and suddenly realized I had a little over twenty-four hours to get this book read and reviewed! Thankfully it was so amazing that I probably would have devoured it in a similar length of time regardless of a looming deadline! The second I heard about this book I knew I would love it! After all it was written by a fabulous author, was set around one of my favorite time periods in history, and had a marriage of convenience which is a plot line that I love. Needless to say it was next to impossible that I would have anything but good things to say about this book!
I loved both Seamus and Sophie's characters! Seamus may have seemed gruff on the outside but all it took was one scene with his daughter to see that he had a kind and caring heart. Sophie was an amazing heroine, I admired her strength through all of the hardships she'd faced and how she never let her circumstances change who she was. Lily Cate was a precious child and it was so sweet to watch her blossom under Sophie's care and as she got to know her father.
I was completely engrossed in this story and there were several unexpected turns I didn't see coming. In short this book was absolutely amazing from start to finish and I highly recommend it!!

Meet the Author
Award-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.
According to Publishers Weekly, "Frantz has done her historical homework." With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California.
Readers can find Laura Frantz at

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 #181: The Golden Braid

"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:

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
Thomas Nelson-November 17, 2015

About the Book
The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

Why I Want It
I have loved every one of this author's books and I cannot wait to read this one!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Vow by Jody Hedlund

About the Book
In this ebook historical romance novella by Jody Hedlund, young Rosemarie finds herself drawn to Thomas, the son of the nearby baron. But just as her feelings begin to grow, a man carrying the Plague interrupts their hunting party. While in forced isolation, Rosemarie begins to contemplate her future—could it include Thomas? Could he be the perfect man to one day rule beside her and oversee her parents’ lands?

My Thoughts
This was an extremely short little prequel and so this review will also be rather brief! I sadly I either didn't realize this was a prequel or didn't find out about it until after I finished the book but either way I read these out of order. That being said I loved this glimpse into the events leading up to what happened in An Uncertain Choice and I thoroughly enjoyed this novella and I definitely recommend it!

Meet the Author
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.
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.

Top Ten Books/Authors to Read if You Like...

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

If you like...The Christiansen Family Series by Susan May Warren 
You should try...Chapel Springs Series by Denise Hunter

If you like...Julie Klassen
You should try...Sarah E. Ladd & Carrie Turansky

If you like...Karen Witemeyer

You should try...Cathy Marie Hake

If you like...Laura Frantz

You should try...Lori Benton

If you like...Diary of a Teenage Girl Series by Melody Carlson

You should try...Hollywood Nobody Series by Lisa Samson

If you like...Melanie Dickerson

You should try...Dina L. Sleiman

If you like...Irene Hannon

You should try...Lisa Harris

If you like...Mary Connealy

You should try...Jen Turano

If you like...The Heart of San Francisco Series by Julie Lessman

You should try...The Golden Gate Chronicles by Karen Barnett

If you like...Lynette Eason

You should try...Patricia Bradley

Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren

About the Book
After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.
Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts―and the future of the resort.
Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?

My Thoughts
After the way we left Casper and Raina at the end of When I Fall in Love I absolutely could not wait to read this book and see how their story would play out!
As is often the case with Susan May Warren novels this book had me on an emotional roller coaster! Both Casper and Raina had some very difficult things to deal with in their lives and it was a bit hard to watch on occasion as they went through everything, but it was also beautiful to see how God work everything out in the end.
I have loved Casper since book one, his tender heart and adventurous nature made him such a fabulous hero. Raina was a little harder to get to know due to the walls she had up but I did like her too! And it was nice to catch up with the other Christiansens-I really love this family! The mystery aspect was totally intriguing and I was completely into solving it!
Every aspect of this book was brilliantly written and I loved every second! Cannot wait to read the next Christiansen book!!

Meet the Author
With over 1 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over forty-five novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com and Christmas novellas.
With books translated into eight languages, many of her novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. She's a three time RITA finalist and an eight time Christy Finalist.

Susan is also a nationally acclaimed writing coach, teaching at conferences around the nation and winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year award. She loves to help people launch their writing careers and is the founder of and, a writing website that helps authors get published and stay published. She's also the author of the popular writing method, The Story Equation.

It's (Not) Monday! What Are You Reading? #192

 Hosted By: Book Journey

Here is what I finished last week:
Fantastic read! Sadly the only one I finished this week.

What I am currently reading:
Loving all of these!

What I hope to read this week:
Looking forward to both of these! Will definitely get to the first one since it's due for review by Wednesday!

Blog Posts
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #191
After A Fashion by Jen Turano
Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR
In Good Company by Jen Turano
Waiting on Wednesday #180: The Bronte Plot
The Chase by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky
Can't Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones
Friday Memes 9/25
My Apologies (Why I Haven't Been Around)
Four by Veronica Roth
You're Made For a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth
To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander

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!

To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander

About the Book
Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from "Aunt" Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding's head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.

My Thoughts
It is sad how long it took me to read this book! I loved the first book of the Belmont Mansion series and could not wait for this book to release. But then it took me a bit to get a copy and review books kept getting in the way but I finally found the opportunity to read it when my copy of the second book in the series arrived. Thankfully I'm able to report that this book was worth the wait and I loved it! I absolutely love all of the research that this author does and it really shines through in her books. Every chapter is filled with rich historical detail but it never overtakes the story, just enhances it.
I loved Ridley and Olivia's characters and I really enjoyed all of the banter between the two of them. It was so much fun to watch their relationship play out.
The other characters were great too especially Bob Green!
I also really liked getting to visit Belle Meade through this book and it made me want to visit the actual plantation someday.
I'm sorry this is a short review but since I read the book a few months ago it's hard to remember all the details! I do know that I loved it and definitely recommend it to all fans of this era!

About the Author
Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious---and precocious---silky terrier.
For more about her books, please visit or join her on Facebook at or on Twitter @TameraAlexander