Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Scribbles Vol 13

Hello my friends. Last week, I'd had a wonderful post planned out, and even written in my mind, only when I went to actually type it up, my mind went completely blank and I forgot what I wanted to talk about. Oh well.

So last Friday evening, I was having a pretty typical night. That means I was reading and watching one of my favorite shows, The Amazing Race, and listening to the storm rage outside. Of course pieces of Elsa's song "Let It Go" was going through my mind as I heard the thunder and watched the lightning. Amazing Race was a special two hour episode. The team I was rooting for was having to overcome a few problems and they'd fallen behind. Oh yeah. I also had almost every light on in my apartment. 

Well at 8:30 pm, I lost power. My first thought was that I wouldn't know how my team finished! I've got a couple of flashlights and a camping lantern. The problem? The flashlights were in the car and the lantern was in the kitchen. AND my phone was dead. So what was I going to do? Of course I turned on my flashlight app on the dead phone, and wandered into the kitchen. I fed Kiki (who was upstairs hiding from the storm)and decided that I might as well head upstairs.

So with no electricity, and not being tired, I decided to do something I'd not done since I'd gone camping as a child - read by lantern light. I read and read. Sure, I had review books I could have been reading, but I had rented a new book from the library and I was engrossed. 

Around midnight, I think. I mean my phone was dead and plugged in to the charger, with me hoping that at some point the power would come back on, I finished the book, turned off the lantern, and attempted to fall asleep. With no electricity, that meant no AC. And Houston's spring evenings can be hot and sticky. So my sleep was rather restless.

At 2:30 am, the power came back on. And every light was on downstairs. I decided they could just stay on and all I turned off was the one at the top of the stairs.

So when was the last time you weathered a storm? Or read by lantern light?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.

It's Tuesday! And that means it is time for another fun list. Today's topic is the top ten all time favorite authors. This is a HARD topic. But I think I managed.

1. Robin Jones Gunn - She is by far my all time favorite author. I love all of her books.

2. Lori Wick - I think she's retired from writing now, but I still find her books to be delightful rereads

3. Chris Van Alsburg - I love his illustrations. Polar Express is my favorite.

4. JK Rowling - I love the Harry Potter books. I'm currently rereading them with a friend.

5. Julie Lessman - She kinda  sneaked up on me and I have devoured every book since I discovered her.

6. Liz Curtis Higgs - I love her historical books.

7. Rose Gordon - As far as secular books go, I've enjoyed reading Rose's since I discovered her two years ago.

8. CS Lewis - Particularly his Chronicles of Narnia, but I've read others as well.

9. Jody Hedlund - a fairly new favorite of mine. Her books automatically hit my must read list.

10. Francine Rivers - I reread her book Atonement Child on a pretty regular basis. She's deep, but oh so good!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Creole Princess - A Review

Published - April 2015, Revell Books a division of Baker Publishing Group
Series - Gulf Coast Chronicles Book 2
Author - Beth White
Title - The Creole Princess
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon 

The Eastern Coast of the American colonies is engaged in the fight against the British for freedom. Yet in the British held port of Mobile, Alabama, the fight is much quieter though no less deadly. Lyse Lanier has French roots, but spends most of her time with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a young, Spanish merchant newly arrived in town. Lyse is attracted to his easy wit and while he thinks she is beautiful and charming, he needs to focus his attentions more on her friend. But is he really what he says he is or is he more? After all, it is war, and spies abound on both sides of the conflict and Spain hasn't yet chosen a side. But as Lyse and Rafael are drawn more and more together, can she trust him with her heart or will he prove to be a liar?

The cover of this book captured my attention much like the first one in the series did last year. Unlike the first one though, this one took me a little longer to get into.

I can say that this is rich in historical detail and it gives some insight into a bit of the Revolution that most people don't know about. Because when I hear about the American Revolution, I immediately think of Boston, and the other eastern states where most of history is focused on. So it was fun to learn a little more about the Louisiana territory during the war.

I liked Lyse a lot. I liked how she grew in the book and developed. And for Rafael, I adored him from the moment he set foot on the page. I loved how he was a man of integrity and fought for what he believed was the right side. The bit of mystery and intrigue in the story only served to move the plot along even more.

I received this book for free from Revell books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, Laura Frantz, Julie Klassen, Jody Hedlund

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

By Your Side - A Review

Note from Dawn: Friends, if you are looking for a Top Ten Tuesday post today, you're out of luck. There are a couple of reasons for that - 1 I didn't care for the topic and 2 I've got SEVERAL book reviews that MUST get posted. Look for the TTT next week. :)

Published - February 2015, Tyndale House Publishers
Series - Crisis Team Book 1
Author - Candace Calvert
Title - By Your Side
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon 

Summary (from Amazon):
ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.

Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.

When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?

My Thoughts:
I've read several of Candace Calvert's books in the past and this one kept my attention the best. Maybe because I've come to know what to expect from one of her books, but I found this one to be better than some of the others of hers I have read. 

I found the book to be very fast-paced. In fact, it starts off with a bang, literally. And as the book progressed, I found that the action remained steady, which was good. 

I liked both Fletcher and Macy. I liked how they were real and struggled. Some of the other characters I actually liked a bit better, but their relationship with Fletcher and Macy served to develop the couple as dynamic characters.

I'll admit that I don't usually read medical related books. Maybe it's because I remember watching ER so much in high school that made me not want to be bogged down in medical details. But this one didn't go over the top with medical terminology. 

Fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy this book.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of DiAnn Mills, contemporary fiction, Irene Hannon

Rating - 4 stars 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Buried Secrets - A Review

Published - April 2015, Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Series - Men of Valor Book 1
Author - Irene Hannon
Title - Buried Secrets
Format - ebook, paper, audio
Find on Amazon

Ready for a more peaceful life after years on the Chicago police force, Lisa Grant takes the police chief position in a small town. But when human remains are discovered at a nearby construction site, Lisa finds herself and her department stretched too thin. With a call for assistance into St. Louis County, Lisa comes into contact with ex-Navy SEAL Mac McGregor. As Lisa and Mac search for answers behind the unmarked grave, they soon find themselves involved in a decades old missing person case. But someone has gone to great lengths to ensure that the past stays buried.

I'm always delighted to pick up one of Irene Hannon's books. I know I'll be taken on very suspenseful ride. This newest is no different.

I really enjoyed it. I found the mystery to be intriguing and the killer's motives to be what kept me turning pages. The dynamics between Mac and Lisa were fun to watch develop. I look forward to seeing them more in the next book too.

While this one was not my favorite of Irene's, it was still good and made for an enjoyable read. I'd read this one rather quickly because I was so interested in it . It was also fun to see a couple of "cameo" appearances from one of the characters in one of her other series. For me, I always enjoy getting a glimpse into the lives of characters whose story is finished.

Fans of romantic suspense will surely enjoy this book.

I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Irene Hannon, Lynette Eason, Dee Henderson, romantic suspense

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Scribbles Vol 12

It's Saturday my friends. I don't know what your day holds, but for me, it's a rainy day. I've got a busy morning, and I hope to have a nap this afternoon. But we shall see.

A couple of weeks ago, my best friend and I joined her 4 year old doing something that all children love - coloring. True, we weren't coloring with crayons but markers instead, there's still just something so relaxing about pulling out a coloring book and just coloring. I literally just felt worries seep away and was relaxed. I wonder what it is about coloring that makes that happen?

I think that as adults, too often, we don't allow ourselves those moments to just let go and relax. In my opinion, the workplace would be more productive if it allowed for its employees to have a 15 minute period where they can break out the crayons & coloring books. I'm wise enough to realize that that is probably a pretty unrealistic expectation of the corporate workplace. But still, people would be relaxed and would probably be more productive.

But still when was the last time you picked up the crayons and sat down to color? Try it one day. You might realize how much more relaxed you are.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Characters I'd like to check in with

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly theme hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.

Have you ever read a book and wanted to know what happened to the characters AFTER the story (or series) ended? I do that regularly. I end up being so grateful to authors like Janice Thompson, or Robin Jones Gunn who do give glimpses into the lives of their characters AFTER the official series has ended. Well, today's Top Ten is a chance for me to tell you which characters I'd like to check in with and see how they're doing now that their story is over.

1. The O'Malleys from Dee Henderson's O'Malley series - I'd love to know what Kate & Dave, Marcus & Shari, Lisa & Quinn, Jack & Callie, Rachel & Cole, and Stephen & Megan are up to now. I realize they've made "cameo" appearances in some of Henderson's other books, but it's not the same.

2. Minerva McGonagal from the Harry Potter books - Sure there's an epilogue. But that's set 19 years after the end of book 7. So I'd like to meet up with Professor McGonagal and just chat with her. Find out if she is still teaching. You know, that sort of thing.

3. Josh & Sophie Newman from the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott - The twins were such interesting characters that now that the world has been saved, I'd like to know what they are up to.

4. Jake & Meredith Wilde from Robin Jones Gunn's Glenbrooke books - I'm forever thrilled that I'm getting a glimpse into Christy and Todd as a married couple, but Jake & Meri were actually my favorite couple. I'd love to know what they are up to now in Glenbrooke.

5. Renesme Cullen from the Twilight Saga - While I didn't love the Twilight books, I ended up being most fascinated with Bella & Edward's half human half vampire daughter. Fan fiction doesn't do her justice. 

6. Rose Weasley from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Ron's daughter. Fan fiction abounds with her ending up with Scorpius Malfoy - I've even written some like that myself! But what is going on with her now? I'd really like to know.

7. Alex & Marcail Montgomery from Lori Wick's Donovan's Daughter - I loved Alex & Marc. We get a small glimpse of their life in the epilogue of the fourth book, but I want more.

8. Kit and Nat from the Witch of Blackbird Pond - Does Kit get tamed? Do they live happily ever after? I like to assume that they do.

9. Rand al Thor from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time - So the ending of the Last Battle was pretty epic. But what happens to Rand now? Does he get to live a peaceful life? Will he see his children?

10.  Dinah Carey from Francine Rivers' Atonement Child - The ending of the book left it full of hope for the future, but I'd like to check in with Dinah and Joe and see how they are faring now.