Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books Set Outside of the US

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish.

Today's topic will take us on travels around the world. It is the top ten books set outside of the US.

I'm going to be grouping mine by country.

1. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling - Probably some of my all time favorites.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis - While it is true that the majority of the books take place in Narnia, the children still have to enter Narnia from somewhere, and in this case it's from England.

3. The Secret of Pembroke Park by Julie Klassen - I read a lot of books set in England, but this is one of my favorites.

4. Maire by Linda Windsor - I love this book. It's set 5th century Ireland, and it's just wonderful.

5. Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs - The book of Ruth is my favorite book of the Bible. This is the first book in her Scottish series retelling the story of Ruth.

6. Circle of Honor by Carol Umberger - Maybe it's the cover, but it is one that I love.

7. Juliet by Anne Fortier - I love this book. It's beautiful.

8. Forgotten Daughter by Caroline Dale Snedeker - This one is set in Ancient Italy.

9. The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron - This one is also set in the US. But the historical part of the story takes place in both Austria and Poland, and to some degree France.

10. Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson - This was the first, well second actually, book that came to mind when I thought of France. But since my first book was Les Miserables, and I don't have any classics on my list, I went with my second choice. It was a good mix of both contemporary and historical.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Facts About Me - Bookish related

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish.

Today's topic is about ten things I want the world to know about me. I'm going to keep it book related.

1. I was reading before I was in 1st grade. I'm not sure exactly when I started reading, but on the first day of school in 1st grade, a little girl next to me asked me what the teacher's name was. I replied that it was on the board. She said she couldn't read. I knew then that I was reading.

2. My favorite books automatically open to my favorite passages.

3. Sometimes when I reread, I only read my favorite parts.

4. I have a to be read list that I'll never finish.

5. I try not to request more than 1 library book at a time. There's a reason for this. A few years ago, I'd requested several books. When I went to the library to pick them up, I had not 1, not 2, but 10 books on hold for me.

6. I fully expect everyone around me to understand when I talk about characters as if they were real people.

7. Certain books still make me cry. One example is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I start crying around page 30 and don't stop til the end.

8. I cry at happy endings.

9. I felt that I needed therapy after reading Mockingjay. I seriously don't think I picked up ANYTHING to read for about a month after that book.

10. I dwell on what I read.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I've Enjoyed with less than 2000 Goodreads Ratings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish.

Today's topic is incorporating Goodreads into the list today. It's about books I've enjoyed that have less than 2000 Goodreads ratings on it. What that means, is that less than 2000 people took the time to give the book a star rating (1-5) on Goodreads. It also means that chances are, there are some hidden gems in these lists.

Here is my list from smallest number of ratings to the most, and yes I have read all of these books and rated them 4 or 5 stars.

1. Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson - Laura's debut book has currently, 60 ratings on it on Goodreads. Her book is really good and fans of YA will enjoy it. Plus she's my friend.

2. Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander - This is probably one of my favorite books I've read recently. I'm eagerly looking forwards to the second in the series. It currently has 123 Goodreads ratings.

3. Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love by Julie Lessman - It's no secret that Julie is one of my favorite authors. This is her first contemporary novel, and trust me when I say that it is GOOD! There are currently 162 Goodreads ratings on it.

4. Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White - I fell in love with this book when I read it recently. I loved the characters. It currently has 320 Goodreads ratings.

5. Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund - This book took me a bit, but by the time I'd finished it, the hero Ryan Chambers has become my favorite of Jody's heroes. I'm not sure what it was that drew me in and made me fall in love with him, but I did. I even wrote a guest piece featuring him as a Fiction Hero. You can read that piece here. Anyway, this book has 621 Goodreads ratings on it.

6. The Gathering by K.E. Ganshert - Yes, it's book 3 in the Gifting Series. But I loved this series, and this one in particular. It's a YA novel written by a Christian romance author purposely writing under a different name. Why? To keep her works very separate as she knows that not all who read YA enjoy Christian romance and vice versa. It has 713 Goodreads ratings on it.

7. In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin - Having read all but her most recent book, Anchor in the Storm, at the time that I wrote this post, In Perfect Time is still my favorite. I've not run across another author who does WWII fiction the way that Sarah does. There are 798 Goodreads ratings on this book.

8. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck - Every little girl, it seems, love fairytales and stories about princes and princesses. I've gushed about this series (and this is book 3) multiple times. If you've not read it, go find a copy. There are 1,287 Goodreads ratings on this book.

9. Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan - I've noticed that I'm becoming more and more a fan of YA fiction. This one was just plain fun. There are currently 1,347 Goodreads ratings on it.

10. The Concealed by Sarah Kleck - The Kindle First books are frequently touch and go for me. This one though, pulled me in and the moment I finished it, I promptly pre-ordered the sequel (which comes out in November). It's the one on my list with the highest number of Goodreads ratings while still being less than 2000 with 1,958.

There you have it. Hopefully you'll find some titles you want to take a chance on.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saturday Scribbles Vol 2.15

Happy Saturday everyone! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me. I was able to attend an all day workshop taught by a professional makeup artist a few weeks ago. We arrived with no makeup on and left ready to go out on the town.



My church had VBS June 20-24. I worked registration, like I do with AWANA. Then I would assist with whatever our children's director needed. But of course, I also managed to make it outside for snacks and snowcones. 
I'm  being used as a pillow. I love this sweetheart.

Then this past Saturday, June 25, I went with a group of my friends to Houston's Escape Room. That was so much fun! What is it you may ask me? Well, it's a place where you and a group of people are locked into a room and have one hour to solve the clues to get out. No, you're not tied up or anything like that. I can't go into too much detail because I am not allowed to give any spoilers away. The group of us who went included my best friend, her husband, her friend from graduate school, his cousin and his cousin's husband, a young lady in my small group, a couple from church, one more lady from church, and me. Between all of us, we had enough minds in the room to be able to figure out the puzzles. At first it was utter chaos. We were opening things, flipping through other things, picking objects up, and just trying to make sense of what we were doing. We started to discover that some objects were locked. Some locks required a key. Others a combination. One object required very specific information. We were allowed to use our hint cards if we needed to do so. Because there was a facilitator in the room watching and observing us. We ended up using 4 of our 5 hints. And without one of them, I seriously doubt that we would have been able to escape. And yes, we did escape. We finished with 2 minutes left on the clock. That one hour was probably the fastest time I've ever seen go by in my life!!!!
We escaped!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Like Never Before - A Review

Published - April 2016, Bethany House Publishers
Series - Walker Family Book 2
Author - Melissa Tagg
Title - Like Never Before
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

Widower Logan Walker is a speechwriter on the fast track to a presidential campaign spot. But when he finds out that he's inherited the small newspaper in his hometown of Maple Valley, Iowa, he has no choice but to head home with his daughter. Hoping for a quick sale of the paper, Logan isn't prepared for reporter Amelia Bentley to fight for the paper's survival. When she pitches a story to him, he's intrigued. As the pair chase down leads on this mystery, sparks fly not only in the office, but in their hearts.

I've loved Melissa's writing since I first read Made to Last. And when she introduced us to the Walker family, I realized that it would be a series of books. Returning to Maple Valley with Logan was delightful. I loved the sparks between Logan and Amelia. I also loved seeing his siblings.

One thing that I can always say about Melissa's books, they make me want to watch Cary Grant movies! I'm serious with that. But each book has been a delight to read. I know that I can always count on Melissa's books to lift my mood, make me giggle, and to fall in love with the characters.

I received this book back at the end of March/beginning of April from the author for the purpose of helping to promote. I'll admit I read it in April, but forgot to write my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of romantic comedies, Melissa Tagg, Becky Wade, Katie Ganshert, Janice Thompson, Denise Hunter, Susan May Warren

Rating - 4 stars

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sea Rose Lane - A Review

Published - June 2016, Revell Books
Series - Hope Harbor Book 2
Author - Irene Hannon
Title - Sea Rose Lane
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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When attorney Eric Nash arrives back home in Hope Harbor, he doesn't expect to get into a fender bender within his first few minutes. He also doesn't expect his father to be remodeling his childhood home into a Bed and Breakfast. To make matters worse, he's distracted by the pretty blonde, BJ Stevens, in charge of the remodeling. BJ isn't wanting a relationship. Not at all. No matter how handsome her employer's son may be. But when the pair join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor's seniors, maybe, just maybe they'll be able to take a chance on each other as well.

This one was pretty good. It's not my favorite one of Irene's contemporary romances. I'm still a big fan of her romantic suspense books. But this one was good.

Of all of the characters in the book, I think that perhaps Charlie (fish taco hut owner) is my favorite. I love the way that he just has this way of knowing what needs be said/done. And that everyone accepts it.

It was fun to catch up with characters from the first Hope Harbor novel too. While this is part of the series, it stands alone.

But for a summer read, it's well worth it.

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 Denise Hunter, Irene Hannon, Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Susan May Warren

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

No Other Will Do - A Review

Published - June 2016, Bethany House
Series - Ladies of Harper Station Book 1
Author - Karen Witemeyer
Title - No Other Will Do
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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Emma Chandler doesn't need a man. After all, she's the founder of a women's colony in Harper's Station, Texas. But someone wants the women to leave and has been threatening the women. Emma doesn't know what else to do other than to send for her best friend, Malachi Shaw. Malachi has finally earned the respect that he has craved his entire life. Yet when he receives a telegram from Emma, he drops everything to go to Harper's Station and the girl who once saved his life. As Malachi sees Emma for the woman she's become, he can't help but realize that he's in love with her. But is there any hope that love can blossom between a woman who doesn't need a man and a man who will do anything to protect her?

I have read every one of Karen Witemeyer's books, and I've enjoyed each of them. This one was no exception. I love the ladies of Harper's Station. I love how they band together to find out who has been threatening them.

I loved both Malachi and Emma. Their interactions were, at times, hilarious. And at other times they were sweet. But still, I enjoyed these two characters.

I realize that this review is rather short. I think that's because I found the book delightful, and can't say anything else about it.

I received one copy from the publisher to review and a second copy (which I have given my mother) from the author to promote. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Jody Hedlund, Regina Jennings

Rating - 4 stars