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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monthly Reflections (#22) ~ October

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Monthly Reflections, where we take the time to reflect on the previous month.

My goals for October were...

☑Finish 11 books
Finish the A to Z Reading Challenge and the What's in a Name Reading Challenge

In October I...

Read 19 books
wasn't able to finish the reading challenges I wanted to. :(

Books read:



Favorite Read This Month:

I loved a lot of my reads this month; but, no question, my favorite read was Made to Last by Melissa Tagg! I loved that book so much!!

Reviews:


My thoughts on October:

I read a lot more this month than I had thought I would. Still, my TBR shelf is overflowing and I hope I'll be able to read a lot next month, too. :)

Looking ahead:

My goal for November:

Finish 16 books, including:
2 fairy tale retellings (possibly The Fairest Beauty and The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson)
Read a Q, X, and Y book to finish the A to Z Reading Challenge
Read a "number" book to finish the What's in a Name Reading Challenge (I'm thinking X[Ten] Plagues by Mary Nealy - which will also be my letter "x" book)

Do you think I'll be able to complete my goals for November?? I really hope so! :)

If you want to do your own Monthly Reflections, feel free to grab the button and post about it on your blog, then leave a comment with the URL - otherwise, please share your thoughts in a comment!

Now it's your turn! What did you accomplish in October, what do you hope to accomplish in November?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson


"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 Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
Zondervan / ISBN#978-0310724414
Expected Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Find on: AmazonGoodreads

About the book:

Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.


Why I want to read this book:

I absolutely love Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale books! I've read all but The Fairest Beauty (which I'm hoping to find the time to read soon) and The Captive Maiden looks like it's going to be another wonderful story! I've already pre-ordered my copy (since it's 40% off on Amazon) and now I'm just waiting for it to be published... :)

What's your "Waiting On" Wednesday selection this week?
Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: When the Clouds Roll By by Myra Johnson


When the Clouds Roll By by Myra Johnson
Till We Meet Again series: Book One
Abingdon Press / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads


About the book:
Annemarie Kendall is overjoyed when the armistice is signed and the Great War comes to an end. Her fiancé, Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, is coming home, and though he is wounded, she is excited to start their life together. But when he arrives, her dreams are dashed when she learns Gilbert is suffering from headaches, depression, and an addiction to pain killers. This is not the man she had planned to marry. After serving in the trenches, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary is barely holding onto his faith. Putting up a brave front as he ministers to the injured soldiers at the hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he befriends Gilbert and eventually falls for Annemarie. While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Who will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be? As the world emerges from the shadow of war, Annemarie clings to her faith as she wonders if her future holds the hope, happiness, and love for which she so desperately longs.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

When the Clouds Roll By was a really good read and I don't think I've ever read a book quite like it! One of the main aspects to this book was what soldiers go through post-war. I couldn't help but feel for both Samuel and Gilbert - though some of the latter's actions in this book frustrated me to no end!

The romance story was nice and towards the end very sweet. While I had my guess of who Annemarie would end up with (if anyone), I never knew for sure until the end. I really liked Annemarie's profession as a potter of beautiful creations - I thought it was neat. ;)

I wish we would have been told a little more about what's to happen in Mary's life, but I'm hoping the next book in this series, Whisper Goodbye, will be about her.

Overall, When the Clouds Roll By was a good read and, for the most part, I really enjoyed it! If you are a fan of historicals, I think you'll also like this book. I recommend it!

*I received this book free for review from Abingdon Press through its early reader program. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Review: Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay


Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay
Twilight of the British Raj: Book Two
WhiteFire Publishing / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:
Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…but fun-loving Laine refuses to let Adam crush her heart like he had years ago.
Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love that had begun to flower.

Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

Check out the book trailer:

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Captured by Moonlight is the second book I've read by Christine Lindsay and, while I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Shadowed in Silk, it was still an interesting read that broadened my knowledge of the Indian culture.

I liked the characters in Captured by Moonlight, but I don't think I have a favorite - though I really liked Adam. The romance story between Adam and Laine was sweet, but I did get a little frustrated with the flip-flopping emotions/feelings that Laine felt. I also thought the subplot romance story was good. Another thing I liked was how the main characters from book one were in this book a little bit and we got updates on their lives. :)

There were a couple tense scenes in Captured by Moonlight, which I thought really added to the story. The one real negative I personally had was how some characters heard replies from God and/or saw a vision. It's just a pet peeve of mine and something I don't like.

All in all, Captured by Moonlight was a nice one-time read. I did enjoy the story, there were just a couple things that annoyed/frustrated me, personally.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review: Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren


Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren
The Grand Tour series: Book Three
David C. Cook / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:
Wealth cannot buy peace … or direction.

For Cora Kensington, the Grand Tour was to be the trip of a lifetime. She discovered the family she never knew she had, and may have even found the love she longs for in Will. And yet her life has just become infinitely more challenging …

Hounded by journalists chasing the beguiling story of the newest American heiress, Cora fights to remain true to her past, reconcile her present, and still embrace her future. But as Will struggles with her newfound wealth, she begins to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand all that threatens to pull them apart.

Complicating matters is the stubborn pursuit of Pierre de Richelieu and the increased demands on her time and attention. Cora must stand up for what she believes—regardless of how that might challenge current family and cultural norms—in order to remain true to who she really is.

And as she glimpses the end of the tour, Cora knows it’s time to decide Who and what defines her … and who and what does not.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Out of all the books I've anticipated reading this fall, Glittering Promises was at or near the top. I have loved reading Lisa Bergren's Grand Tour series - the characters are just fantastic and I love all the rich locations and history in the books. Glittering Promises completely met my expectations and I just loved it!

Right from the beginning, Glittering Promises drew me back into Cora's journey. While I did see some of the things coming in this story, there were still so many twists and turns, and one thing in particular that happened mid-story shocked me. Absolutely shocked me!

The only thing that kind of bugged me about Glittering Promises was how certain characters kept going back and forth between feeling jealousy and then trusting the person they loved. It seemed realistic, but just sort of frustrated me.

Overall, I loved Glittering Promises! I loved the history, characters, and romance story. The ending was so sweet and I couldn't help smiling while reading it. I most definitely recommend this book, but you should probably read books one and two first.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Lisa T. Bergren is celebrating the release of her new book, Glittering Promisesby giving away a $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma and hosting a fun Facebook party on October 29th.
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  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma delivered to your door
  • The three-book Grand Tour set
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Glittering Promises" Facebook Author Chat Party on October 29th. Connect with Lisa for an evening of book chat, European trivia, and prizes, and get an exclusive look Lisa's next book.

So grab your copies of the Grand Tour series and join Lisa on the evening of October 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Review: Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley


Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley
The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch: Book Three
Thomas Nelson / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:
In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.

When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom—an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.

But she isn’t the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.

Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn’t removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets—and no one on the ranch is safe.

The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers—and their lives—depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

I've read several of Margaret Brownley's books, but Gunpowder Tea is the first from her Brides Of Last Chance Ranch series I've read. When I read the description for this book, and saw the word "Pinkerton", I knew I had to read it and I absolutely loved Gunpowder Tea!

One of the things that made Gunpowder Tea such an enjoyable read, was how the two main characters were undercover detectives/agents for different agencies. It was funny how both Miranda and Jeremy suspected each other of possibly being in cahoots with "The Phantom".

I loved all of the characters and look forward to reading the first two books in this series someday. The mystery of who was "The Phantom" was really good. I had a hard time sticking to one suspect, though I did guess correctly some other aspects of the story.

Overall, Gunpowder Tea was a great read! It had romance, suspense, danger, and some humor. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction.


*I received this book for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*





Margaret Brownley's latest release, Gunpowder Tea, is receiving high praise, and she's celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway and a "Tea with Margaret" Facebook party!
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  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at the "Tea with Margaret" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 7th. Connect with Margaret and friends for an evening of book chat, prizes, and get an exclusive look at Margaret's next book!

So grab your copy of Gunpowder Tea and join Margaret on the evening of November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 11/7!