Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Book Characters Who are Book Nerds

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke & The Bookish

It's Tuesday. I really love today's topic because it fits me. It's the top ten characters who are book nerds, work in bookstores, readers, etc. I'm pretty sure that my first one will be on EVERYONE's list today.

1. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling - She reads everything. If it's in print somewhere, she's read it.

2. Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne's a dreamer. She's always reading something. I'm pretty sure her favorite was the "Lady of Shalott."

3. Meredith Graham from Waterfalls, Glenbrooke Book 6, by Robin Jones Gunn - Meri's an editor, not necessarily a reader. But since she works in a book related industry, I added her to the list.

4. Megan McClare from the Heart of San Francisco Series by Julie Lessman - The quiet sibling out of the McClare clan, Megan is reading something. She even tries to escape into her books in the book that is HER story.

5. Jo March from Little Women by Lousia May Alcott - It's been a long time since I read this book, but if I remember correctly, Jo was always writing out stories for her sisters to act out. Beth may have been the actual reader though.

6. Beauty from Beauty by Robin McKinley - She's so much like Disney's Belle. But she loves books and in fact it's the first enchantment of the castle that seeps into her heart.

7. Meg Murray from the Wrinkle in Time Books by Madeline L'Engle - Meg's smart. She's in trouble a lot though. But she does love to read.

8. Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl - She's an exceptionally gifted child who escapes from her ghastly life into the world of literature. Until she gets sent to school that is.

9. Encyclopedia Brown from the Encyclopedia Brown Series by Donold J. Sobol - I remember reading some of these as a child. He's fascinated with all things science, but he's a pretty good detective too.

10. Sherlock Holmes from the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I've read most of these, if not all. The extremely observant detective notices the little things in the details. Things that he could only pick p by honing his logical reasoning and deductive skills.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Scribbles Vol 24

Happy Saturday my friends! We are in the midst of a hot summer, though it's hard to believe that July is almost over. I was at the grocery store the other day and saw the school supplies already out. Of course I managed to pick up some spiral notebooks for only $0.19 each.

Summer means a time of fun. Vacations, bbqs, swimming, and more. But it's also a time when extended families get together for family reunions. My mom and I are going to one today. It's my grandfather's side of the family. I don't think that we've been to one in a couple of years. So we are going. It'll be fun. I found out one of my uncles will be there and I've not seen him in about a year. I don't know what you do at your family reunions, but at mine there is always a dinner, door prizes, a raffle drawing (everyone contributes), sometimes games for the kids to play, and typically card games and other games. And of course visiting. It's the time to catch up with everyone that you've not seen in person in at least year. Facebook so does not count.

Here are some pictures from the last family reunion, which was in 2011 before Grandpa passed away in 2012, I was at for this side of the family.

My Grandpa (in the middle) with two of his brothers. 

Me and Grandpa. 

So tell me about your family. Do you have reunions and that crazy relative?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mamarazzi Cover Reveal

Due to review commitments, this post ended up needing to be posted one day after the cover reveal.

When I read Accept This Dandelion, I found it delightful. I'm pleased to bring you the cover of the author's next book, Mamarazzi.
Mamarazzi Cover Reveal


By Brooke Williams
Release Date: September 11, 2015 from Prism Book Group
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Pre-Order HERE
Join the Sept. 15th Release Day Party on Facebook HERE
Enjoy giveaways with a dozen different authors!

Danica Bennett isn't sure what she hates more...her job or the fact that she's good at it.  As one of the many Hollywood paparazzi, she lives her life incognito and sneaks around trying to get the best shot of the latest star.  When she is mistaken for an extra on a new, up and coming TV show, her own star rises and she becomes the one being photographed.  Add that to the fact that she's falling for her co-star, Eliot Lane, and Danica is in a whole heap of trouble.

Add “Mamarazzi” to your Goodreads list HERE

About the Author

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Brooke Williams writes in a sleep-deprived state while her daughters nap. Her romantic comedy is best read in the same state. Brooke has twelve years of radio in her background, both behind the scenes and on the air. She was also a television traffic reporter for a short time despite the fact that she could care less about hair and make-up. Today, Brooke stays at home with her daughters and works as a freelance writer for a variety of companies. When she isn’t working for paying clients, she makes things up, which results in books like “Accept this Dandelion.”  Brooke is also the author of "Accept this Dandelion," “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Someone Always Loved You,”  “Beyond the Bars.” She plans to continue the Dandelion story into a series and looks forward to her first children's book release “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut” in June 2016. Brooke and her husband Sean have been married since 2002 and have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (5) and Sadie (nearly 2).

Connect with Brooke:

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

To Capture Her Heart - A Review

Published - July 2015, Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Series - The Southold Chronicles Book 2
Author - Rebecca DeMarino
Title - To Capture Her Heart
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

In 1653, Heather Flower, a Montauk princess, is celebrating her wedding when her groom is killed and she is taken captive. Though the English pay her ransom, a handsome Dutchman, Dirk Van Buren is the one who ultimately rescues her. Still grieving, Heather Flower goes to stay with her aunt near the English settlement of Southold where her longtime friend, Benjamin Horton, lives with his parents and siblings. Both of the young men are determined to win Heather Flower's heart, but which will she choose?

I like history. This one is very well done historically. The author has obviously researched the time period and the Indians. I also like to be given a little credit as a reader. I'm an intelligent person, and while I know that the average adult book is written on probably a 7th or 8th grade reading level, I have never felt like the author was talking down to the reader. I felt that way in this book. I'm not saying that the story wasn't good - it was, but I'm saying that I felt that I was being "talked down to" as a reader. I felt like the author was purposely trying to insult her reader's intelligence. That said, let me go on with what I enjoyed about the book.

I enjoyed getting to see Benjamin grown up. In the first book, he was a child. In this one, he's a young man. I also enjoyed getting to see the Horton family growing and Mary and Barnabas adjusting to the changes of their growing family. I also enjoyed the history. There is so much I didn't know about America's early history that I found rather fascinating.

The love triangle was obvious and felt, too me at least, that it was just there. I knew early on who Heather Flower would choose. I felt that aside from Benjamin and his family, that the characters weren't developed as well as they could have been.

I will say that the excerpt for the third book has me wanting to read it.

I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to like the book, only give my honest opinion.

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, early American history

Rating - 3 stars

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity

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

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. This week's topic actually had me thinking about it. Because I'm not sure how many books I've actually read that fit this category. The topic is the top ten books that celebrate diversity or have diverse characters. Some are ones I read. Others are ones I found on a Goodreads list.

1. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - I remember reading this one YEARS ago. The main character is a homeless white child and ends up moving in with a black family. There are so many things to talk about diversity with this book. And issues raised as well. 

2. For Such a Time by Kate Breslin - The main character, Stella, is a Jewish girl working in Nazi Germany as an Aryan. This was one of my favorites last year.

3. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers - A Jewish slave girl lives out her Christian faith in front of the family she serves, knowing that at any time she could be sent to the arena and fed to the lions. It's set in Rome around AD 75.

4. Heroes of Olympus - House of Hades by Rick Riordan - In this 4th book in the Heroes of Olympus Series, the seven demigods are separated. Percy & Annabeth are making their way through Hades to the Door of Death while the others are trying to meet them on the mortal side. 

5. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - While it is true that Katniss is a young woman, she's also the main provider for her family. And she purposely sacrifices herself to save her sister.

6. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - An Indian girl is shipwrecked on an island. It's been so long since I read this one.

7. Winter by Marissa Meyer - It's not out yet, but Princess Winter is evidently of African descent, if I remember my descriptions correctly. 

8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis - I've not read this one, but I hear it's good.

9. Wonder by R.J. Palacio - Another one I need to read. 

10. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - I have no idea what it's about, but it's #1 on the Goodreads list.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bride at Last - A Review

Published - July 2015, Bethany House Publishers
Series - Unexpected Brides Book 3
Author - Melissa Jagears
Title - A Bride at Last
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

Silas Jonesy's life hasn't gone the way he'd planned it. His mail-order bride left him after only a few months of marriage. Since then, he's fought an uphill battle to overcome addictions, and to actually become a productive member of the community. Then he receives a letter from his wife after ten years of silence. He's hopeful that she wants to reconcile and he sees the letter that his prayers have been answered. He doesn't expect to arrive in Missouri to find her dying and that she has a nine year old son. Could he be the boy's father? Kate Dawson has her own opinions regarding mail-order marriages. She was supposed to be a mail-order bride but never went through with the ceremony. Now she's a teacher.Over the past few years, she has grown to care for her student Anthony and his sick mother. She promises his mother to care for Anthony, and she intends to do that until a man shows up claiming to have been married to Lucinda ten years ago. Soon Kate and Silas must join forces to determine what is best for Anthony especially as another man claims to be the boy's father. With Silas doing all he can to prove his paternity, Kate only wants what is best for Anthony. Their tentative relationship is tested when Silas's past and Kate's fears come to light. Can they figure out their differences to be the family that all three desperately need?

This is the third book in the Unexpected Brides Series. Each one stands alone. While this one was not my favorite, I did enjoy it.

First I found that Silas had changed so much from the first book to this one. Seeing how he's changed and grown made him very believable. I loved how he struggled. I also loved how he was willing to do whatever he needed to for the sake of providing Anthony a safe place, even if he wasn't the boy's father.

I didn't really care for Kate. I didn't really like the way that she judged Silas on his past but didn't like having her own faults called out in question. I also didn't really care for how she just behaved in general. Don't get me wrong. I did come to like her, but it wasn't until much later in the book, like almost the end.

Still the book overall was a very good read. I enjoyed catching up with the characters from the other books as well.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of reviewing and promoting. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of mail-order brides, historical romance, Mary Connealy, Jody Hedlund, Karen Witemeyer

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Scribbles Vol 23

Happy Saturday my friends. I've been working on a blanket for my friend Iris. I'm on the last portion of it before I do the border. And since I've been crocheting a lot and watching movies again, I figured this is the perfect time to share which movies I can crochet to, evidently.

Here are movies I can't crochet and watch at the same time:
Les Miserables
any NCIS episode
The Majestic
any Harry Potter movie
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Sweet Home Alabama
Ever After
any Marvel movie
Dirty Dancing

These are the ones I can crochet and watch:
Lord of the Rings extended editions
Most Stargate SG1 episodes
Most Big Bang Theory
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
Happiest Millionaire
The Harvey Girls
Wizard of Oz
Mamma Mia
Letters to Juliet
Shakespeare in Love
Sound of Music
White Christmas (most of the time)
Most Disney animated

And some that sometimes I can crochet to, other times not:
Love Comes Softly movies
Anne of Green Gables movies
Gone With the Wind
Into the Woods
If a Man Answers
Down With Love
Pillow Talk
Back to the Future movies
George of the Jungle

I'm sure that there are more that fall in each category, but I really have never stopped to think about it. I just know which films to put on when I'm in a crafty mood.

Part of two squares of Iris's blanket

Friday, July 17, 2015

Love Arrives in Pieces

Published - June 2015, Zondervan Books
Author - Betsy St. Amant
Title - Love Arrives in Pieces
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

Stella Varland is a former pageant queen who, after her divorce, no longer trusts beauty. She's an interior designer out of luck and trying to not have to move back in with her parents. She has artistic talent, but because she doesn't trust herself anymore, she hides her passion. Contractor Chase Taylor lost his fiancee and is now determined to live with no regrets. He returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the old theater not knowing that his old love, Stella, is the designer for the project. Stella's afraid to trust Chase again. After all, he's the cause of major contention between her sister and herself that has only recently gotten better. Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle each other and their unresolved issues. But when a fire happens, can they manage to put the broken pieces of their separate lives together with each other?

I've read one of Betsy St. Amant's novellas before and I really enjoyed it. When I saw this one available to review, I jumped at the chance to review it.

I loved the way that Chase handled Stella. He recognized how fragile she was and strove to pull her out. I also loved how he admitted that he was wrong in the past. There were times when I wanted to shake Stella. I thought that she needed to stand up for herself. But I understood why she didn't.

What I didn't expect was the layers that were both Stella and Chase. Or the delightful homeless woman, Dixie. This book wasn't the light read I was expecting based on the title alone. But it was VERY rich and very good. I really am hoping to see more books set in Bayou Bend.

I received the Kindle version of this book from Booklook Bloggers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of women's fiction, contemporary romance, Katie Ganshert, Becky Wade, Denise Hunter

Rating - 4.5 stars

Thursday, July 16, 2015

In Good Company - A Review

Published - July 2015, Bethany House Publishers
Series - A Class of Their Own Book 2
Author - Jen Turano
Title - In Good Company
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

Millie Longfellow grew up as an orphan without someone to really care for her. As a result, she's determined to be the best nanny that she can be. The problem that has seen her dismissed from several positions is that she's playful and enthusiastic. Everett Mulberry has unexpectedly become the guardian of  three children. The children have the uncanny ability of running of countless nannies. About to leave for Newport for the summer with the children and the woman he is courting, Everett is desperate for childcare. Fed up with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance - with each other. Millie soon falls for her young charges while he sets his sights on obtaining the social status of the very wealthy. Everett begins to see that the woman he's courting is manipulative and demanding. Both Millie and Everett soon discover that there is more to the deaths of the children's parents than first thought. But the summer's coming to a close soon. Will it take the possible loss of all he holds near and dear for Everett to realize just whose company is good enough?

This is my first book by Jen Turano. I have to wonder what took me so long. I kept hearing about her books and being told that I'd love them. But for whatever the reason, I just couldn't get around to them. I was delighted to finally be able to read one. While this is book two, the book stands alone, and I was not lost by reading it first.

I loved Millie. I loved how much fun she was. And that her methods were not socially accepted but that the children loved them made her an even more fun character to read about. I also loved how she really wasn't intimidated by the members of the upper class but was able to hold her own with them.

I really thought that Everett needed help. A lot of help. He came across as stiff and unyielding, but I did grow to like him. I really liked it when he came to his senses. I also really enjoyed the children and Millie's high society friend.

There were so many times that I started giggling as I read this book.

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

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, romantic comedy, Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, Melissa Jagears, Melissa Tagg, Regina Jennings

Rating - 4.5 stars

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gone Without A Trace - A Review

Published - July 2015, Revel Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Series - Logan Point Book 3
Author - Patricia Bradley
Title - Gone Without a Trace
Format - ebook, paper
Find on Amazon

Detective Livy Reynolds has been searching for her cousin since she disappeared two and a half years before. When she's sidelined from her job as a detective, Livy doesn't know what to do with her time. Alex Jennings is a private investigator from Texas looking into the disappearance of a senator's daughter. The case is eerily similar to the disappearance of Livy's cousin. Despite the fact that Alex drives her crazy, Livy offers to help. But time is running out and this case has more twists in it than either expect.

After waiting until two days before the review was due to start the book, I'm really glad that I was quickly engrossed in the book. It also helps I'm a fast reader. From the first page, I was drawn in. As the book progressed, I had my suspicions about who the villain would be, and I wanted to know if I was right.

Livy has been in both of the other books. She's not my favorite heroine, but I did come to like her more. In this book, she's struggling with an incident that occurred in her detective work. She's afraid to take chances now, but as she learns to trust a man who is similar to her father in many ways, she's able to take chances. Even at the possibility that someone she loves may be hurt because of the chance she takes.

I really enjoyed Alex. He has a controlling family, and yet he wanted to be his own man. I loved how he broke out of the mold of his family's expectations and pursued a career that defined him and not the family business. I also liked how he overcame Livy's defenses and fell in love with her. Sure, he still has issues to work through. But I can see him doing so, easily.

Overall, the book was very good. I don't think that it will be the last in the Logan Point series, but if it is, then the series concluded well.

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 romantic suspense, Irene Hannon, Lynette Eason

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Last 10 Books that Came into My Possession

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

Welcome to another edition of the Top Ten Tuesday. Today's topic is the last ten books that have come into my possession. Be it through buying, checking out from the library, or review copies. Since I don't pay attention to the ones on my Kindle, I'm going to list the ones I've bought, got for review, or rented from the library.

In the Mail on Friday July 10:

The September Love Inspired Historicals from Readers Service

1. Wolf Creek Widow by Penny Richards

2. His Precious Inheritance by Dorothy Clark

3. The Matchmaker's Match by Jessica Nelson

4. A Home for His Family by Jan Drexler

 Review Copies:

5. Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon

Books I bought, rented, or received to review:
6. Steadfast Heart by Tracie Peterson (bought)

7. Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller (bought)

8. In Good Company by Jen Turano (review copy)

9. Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant (review copy)

10. The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier (rented from the library)