Category Archives: #IMWAYR

TSS | Mailbox | IMWAYR

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Happy Sunday fellow book lovers!! Hope your week has been going well! I have some crazy busy adjustments coming up for me, and I hope it can only mean good things ahead, as I found myself a new job! The job where I had been for the last five years was coming to an end since the boss had no inclination of handing the company over to anyone after his retirement, and I hope my next job will finally at last be my last career move. I start on Monday as a Purchasing Specialist for my local school, and I am super excited/scared!

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Bellezza @ Dolce Bellezza for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

I had bought a few titles at Half Price Books this week:

The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
“Someone jolted my elbow as I drank and said, ‘Je vous demande pardon, ‘ and as I moved to give him space he turned and stared at me and I at him, and I realized, with a strange sense of shock and fear and nausea all combined, that his face and voice were known to me too well. I was looking at myself.”
Two men-one English, the other French-meet by chance in a provincial railway station and are astounded that they are so much alike that they could easily pass for each other. Over the course of a long evening, they talk and drink. It is not until he awakes the next day that John, the Englishman, realizes that he may have spoken too much. His French companion is gone, having stolen his identity. For his part, John has no choice but to take the Frenchman’s place-as master of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a large and embittered family, and keeper of too many secrets.

Loaded with suspense and crackling wit, “The Scapegoat” tells the double story of the attempts by John, the imposter, to escape detection by the family, servants, and several mistresses of his alter ego, and of his constant and frustrating efforts to unravel the mystery of the enigmatic past that dominates the existence of all who live in the chateau.

Hailed by the “New York Times” as a masterpiece of “artfully compulsive storytelling,” “The Scapegoat” brings us Daphne du Maurier at the very top of her form.

Liberty’s Promise (Romancing America) by Amber Miller Stockton
Relive the birth of a new country as three women battle to know who they can entrust their hearts. Raelene is all alone, but is there peace in following the wishes of her dead father? Elanna is intelligent for her young age, but will her love for an older man turn into passing fancy when his integrity is questioned? Margret’s loyalties are torn when the colonists rebel, for how can a relationship with a British soldier built on deceptions survive? Will each woman find her place of freedom to embrace her faith and trust her heart to love?

For Review:

Trouble In Store by Carol Cox
Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands. The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.

But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb’s business–and romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

I had just read and reviewed Venus In Winter by Gillian Bagwell which I enjoyed very much. I was a little nervous going in for several reasons, but I am happy to report I was not disappointed at all. The novel features Bess of Hardwick, a favorite historical figure of mine.

Since the last book mentioned in the Mailbox post above was a review read, I read that one after finishing Venus In Winter by Bagwell. Trouble In Store was a Christian historical, and it was by an author I had heard only good things about so I was hoping it would be pack a little bit more oomph. Review will come up later this week.

And as far as what’s next… I am not entirely sure. Probably will dabble in some devotionals to get my mind in the right spot for the new job, and perhaps pick up Robert Parry’s Wildish which I had to put down a few weeks back. I do want to apologize for not being able to visit the bloggers on their Monday posts till perhaps later in the evening.. the new job will surely frown upon my cavorting on the web during my first day!! =)

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

Sunday Monday Bookish Stuff

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Happy Summertime, bloggers!! What are your plans now that your kiddos are out of school/getting close to summer? Do you have read a thon plans for your summer? I have worked very hard on diligently cutting back on the review requests so that I could have some spare time in the summer to just loaf. I remember this time last year I was kicking myself because I had so many review books and couldn’t appreciate the fact that it was summer time. When you work full time, all the seasons tend to blend together anyway, so the fact that the hobby of reading has become more like a second job can be depressing! So turning away review books may be hard on a voracious reader, but very beneficial for working moms like me who need some sort of respite from it all. It’s been a bit crazy on the homefront lately so I wasn’t even able to compose a post for last week’s Sunday/Monday Memes, but I didn’t think y’all would miss me =)

This summer I have already set in place two different Group Reads for which I invite you to:

July 12: Katherine by Anya Seton
July 28: Lion of Justice by Jean Plaidy

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Bellezza @ Dolce Bellezza for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

On my Paperbackswap wishlist forever was this one that I’m not really in the mood for now but here it is:

Elizabeth’s Spymaster: Francis Walsingham and the Secret War that Saved England by Robert Hutchinson
England in the time of Elizabeth was on the brink of disaster. On the continent, Catholic Spain sought to forcefully reimpose the Catholic Church on its Protestant neighbors. At home, a network of powerful Catholic families posed a real and serious threat to the Protestant queen. In this world, information was power: those closest to the Queen were there because they had the best network to gather it.Elizabeth’s Spymaster is the story of the greatest spy of the time: Sir Francis Walsingham. Walsingham was the first ‘spymaster’ in the modern sense. His methods anticipated those of MI5 and MI6 and even those of the KGB. He maintained a network of spies across Europe, including double agents at the highest level in Rome and Spain—the sworn enemies of Queen Elizabeth and her protestant regime. His entrapment of Mary, Queen of Scots is a classic intelligence operation that resulted in her execution.
As Robert Hutchinson reveals, his cypher experts’ ability to intercept other peoples’ secret messages and his brilliant forged letters made him a fearsome champion of the young Elizabeth. Yet even this Machiavellian schemer eventually fell foul of Elizabeth as her confidence grew (and judgment faded). The rise and fall of Sir Francis Walsingham is a Tudor epic, vividly narrated by a historian with unique access to the surviving documentary evidence.

No Angel (The Spoils of Time #1) by Penny Vincenzi
No Angel is an irresistibly sweeping saga of power, family politics, and passion-a riveting drama and a fervent love story. Celia Lytton is the beautiful and strong-willed daughter of wealthy aristocrats and she is used to getting her way. She moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions that affect herself and others-her husband, Oliver, and their children; the destitute Sylvia Miller, whose life is transformed by Celia’s intrusion; as well as Oliver’s daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and Sebastian Brooke, for whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all.

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of London and New York in the First World War, No Angel is, as British Good Housekeeping wrote, “an absorbing page-turner, packed with believable characters and satisfyingly extreme villains, eccentrics, and manipulators.” Readers of Maeve Binchy, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Anita Shreve will fall in love with this epic, un-put-downable novel.

With more than 3.5 million copies sold, Penny Vincenzi is one of the world’s preeminent writers of popular fiction-and American readers no longer have to miss out on the fun. With the publication of No Angel, a novel introducing the engaging cast of characters in the Lytton family, Overlook opens a thrilling new dimension to this author’s already illustrious career.

Battlefields and Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War by Jane Hampton Cook (I read the author’s new release American Phoenix on John Quincy Adams and I was impressed enough to buy this one!)

The book features 365 devotionals, one for each day of the year. – Each devotional features a 400-450-word story, a relevant scripture, and an application-oriented sentence prayer. – Each week highlights five stories that chronicle the Revolutionary War, followed by two weekend features called Weekend Reflection and Sabbath Rest. Weekend Reflection takes a modern-day twist on a topic, such as contentment and life purpose, presented in the preceding stories. 
Sabbath Rest highlights a sermon from the Revolutionary era. 
The stories may be so captivating for some readers that they may read the book from “cover to cover.” – As readers consider the meaning of the American Revolution, they may also experience a revolution in their own hearts, one devotional at a time.

Inheritance: Southern Son Saga of Doc Holliday by Victoria Wilcox — I had run a guest post from the author on my other blog and she kindly offered me an autographed copy as a thank you for the spot, what a nice lady! Such a pleasure to do business with 😉  I’d probably read this closer to when the next book comes out next Spring, as I do not like having to read my series books too far apart.
The name Doc Holliday conjures images of the Wild West and the shootout at the OK Corral, but before he was a Western legend he was a Southern son, born in the last days of the Old South with family links to the author of Gone with the Wind. Now this amazing story is told for the first time in a trilogy of novels entitled Southern Son: The Saga of Doc Holliday. The story begins with Inheritance, set during the turbulent times of the American Civil War, as young John Henry Holliday welcomes home his heroic father and learns a terrible secret about his beloved mother. Inheritance is the first novel in an epic tale of heroes and villains, dreams lost and found, families broken and reconciled, of sin and recompense and the redeeming power of love.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

I haven’t had the luxury to read much of anything lately – I’ve tried but failed to concentrate – but from previous reads I had posted two reviews recently, and have zero clue when another will come this way so enjoy these two!!

Last week I reviewed The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley.. great stuff!

After that one I definitely want to read all her other stuff too. I had eagerly anticipated this one after I had read The Shadowy Horses and I wasn’t disappointed.

and another great read:

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer (review) — I had read this a few weeks ago and I fell in love with the thought of a sexy preacher man =) bad me!!! Such a great inspirational story, I will probably always recommend Karen Witemeyer as a truly faith-based storyteller. Not for those who do not like inspirational themes however.

I started to read the newest book by Robert Parry but just couldn’t get into it presently, so I picked up Gillian Bagwell’s Venus in Winter which is a novel featuring my very first Tudor Favorite Figure: Bess of Hardwick, hoping this novel will stir some of my lost inspiration:

The author of The September Queen explores Tudor England with the tale of Bess of Hardwick—the formidable four-time widowed Tudor dynast who became one of the most powerful women in the history of England. On her twelfth birthday, Bess of Hardwick receives the news that she is to be a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Lady Zouche. Armed with nothing but her razor-sharp wit and fetching looks, Bess is terrified of leaving home. But as her family has neither the money nor the connections to find her a good husband, she must go to facilitate her rise in society. When Bess arrives at the glamorous court of King Henry VIII, she is thrust into a treacherous world of politics and intrigue, a world she must quickly learn to navigate. The gruesome fates of Henry’s wives convince Bess that marrying is a dangerous business. Even so, she finds the courage to wed not once, but four times. Bess outlives one husband, then another, securing her status as a woman of property. But it is when she is widowed a third time that she is left with a large fortune and even larger decisions—discovering that, for a woman of substance, the power and the possibilities are endless . . .

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

Giveaway Reminder | TSS | Mailbox Monday | FTC Update

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Hey bloggers!

If you missed it amongst all the fun Armchair BEA posts from the blogosphere (are you under a rock?), I finally remembered to get a giveaway up…
So go to my Giveaway post if you want to be one of three winners of some cool books!!

All three of these little stacks of books are looking for new homes, don’t miss your chance to win them.

I participated in a ArmchairBEA Twitter party and I won something! Last year I had won some books for the daughter also, but she has yet to devour them. She is her father’s daughter. So this year I chose Sharon Lathan’s new novel The Passions of Dr Darcy as my win.

A few weeks back I posted an editorial information post about the FTC and their guidelines… and I did formally ask the FTC to please explain the nature of their Endorsement Guides as they would relate to a book blogger or a book reviewer or a bookish person who talks about books. I mailed them a letter, directed them to my site asking them to clarify their view of blogger vs. endorser AKA ADVERTISER:

Long ten page response cut short: Bloggers are endorsers, even as some on twitter land debated that term.
Everything I have been doing is cool and you are probably safe, too. They pointed me to a link on their own site which is from 2010. Basically, everything we’ve been doing before is good as I hardly come across any book reviewers anymore who don’t automatically disclose their source of the book in the review. As long as you are doing that, you are fine, end of story. They simply want you to disclose your source of the book, and not just have a graphic on your sidebar that links to your policy on another page that only then would state that you receive books for review for free; there should be a ‘clear and concise’ statement of your source and preferably at the beginning of your spiel. If you disclose within each review that you have received the book in exchange for an honest review, then we are all golden.

It’s not rocket science, especially since folks like me who have been blogging about books for a number of years have already trained ourselves to be upfront with our blog readers. If you have a relationship with an author/publisher/marketing company/blogging for books company, your average internet hopper must know that relationship. It gets trickier with affiliate links, Amazon Associate stores, those who get help with hosting, or those who have a Paypal button, but if you are disclosing properly then I would simply move on and keep reading =)

The Armchair BEA also had a quick post about Ethics of Blogging which everyone should read and realize that it is better for the blogging community to blog ‘ethically’ and with full disclosure, to ensure our credibility as a whole, regardless of what country you blog from. “Those who refuse to be accountable or play by ethical rules would be exposed as biased or fraudulent. In the end, the readers and true bloggers would benefit greatly.”

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Bellezza @ Dolce Bellezza for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

Since I’m being a really good girl and I am kinda hating the review schedule and by extension, BOOKS in general… I haven’t gotten any physical books for Review. WHEEEEE!

But I did go to HalfPrice books and get a little stack of books to try and ease my woes. Shopping is fun, right? Especially if you have a gift card AND they’re having a 20% off sale.

Links go to Goodreads for more information:

Featured eBook Download:

Broken Identity by Ashley Williams (basically since I feel broken
Drake Pearson, a narrow-minded 18-year-old barely enduring Missouri’s heat, is tired of feeling empty. Living conditions are about as cozy as a cardboard box, on account of his alcoholic father who can find nothing better to do than argue relentlessly with him. When Drake thinks he can’t take another blow, he is reminded daily of his mom who vanished twelve years ago. And now there’s a dead body. After a terrible accident turns into a protected secret, a twisted string of events brings Drake miles away from home to an elderly man’s front door. Every promising opportunity also brings new doubts and temptations to run away—this time for good. When the secret he has kept locked away threatens to reveal itself, Drake knows he must shield it with his very life, even if the love he has been shown undeservingly is about to be destroyed.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

“Heaven Help Us” is tons of fun.. here is a pic of my giggly fat face.. and some fun saintly facts if you are my FB Friend.. which I’ve been thumbing through.

I have been having a bit of a depressive lull invade my person in case you couldn’t tell, so I was slowly reading Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck. If there is any way that you could be sad in your life, this book is not the best for it. It is a sad look at the pending demise of a marriage and how it affects others… but a very good book nonetheless, just bad timing for me personally. Sad sad sad. I posted my review here.

Then it was time to read Julie Lessman’s newest, Love at Any Cost. I had seen mixed reviews for this one, as some did not like the passion/repetitive lustful thinking within a Christian historical, so I went into it with trepidation. And a few pages in holy hell annoyance with the descriptions of slanting lips, thin lined lips, flat lips, smile tipping, smile rebounding, then going crooked again. Or tilting. But the author is such a sweet lady I really hoped that I could let the book grow on me. So I dove in full force and spent my Saturday with it and now I need to formulate a formal review for HNS. Yuck. There was even a zagged smile in there.

Obviously, this is not a great time in my personal life to be talking about lips or smiles for some reason since they seem to be aggravating me to no end. Hope your reading week is better!

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Filed under #IMWAYR, FTC, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS | Post Office Fun | What Are You Reading?

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Hope you are all having a nice Memorial Day weekend, and feeling peace as you remember your loved ones as you are spending some time off with family.

This week I snazzed up my twitter background, it was tons of fun. Go take a look at my twitter profile and let me know what you think! It’s better than the last one anyway which was just a tiled image of my old blog button, but it is a pain in the butt to get it to look right from one computer screen to the next. Maybe that’s why I had simply done a tiled image before…

I also spent tons of $$ at Kohls and got some cute tops including eight or nine tank tops so I think I’m ready for the summer since Spring has forgotten to spring. It’s pretty darn muggy already! I also got a haircut – alleluia – which is a major feat with two kids and a full time job and always existing exhaustion, but I’m most proud because I braved it and just went to Great Clips and it wasn’t a disaster. They’re open on Sundays!

Also, a few weeks ago I used a mailbox/memes post to test out Google Plus Commenting where some of you could utilize that, however others who aren’t on google plus can’t comment. So I deleted the Google Plus commenting feature and of course that deleted the actual comments. Very glad I had only tested it out for a very short while, so if you were thinking about using the google plus feature (available via blogspot settings in your dashboard), it’s not very blog friendly. It posts your comments to a stream on Google plus and it’s just sort of stupid, so before any fellow bloggers decide to try it out I wanted you to be aware of these issues.

I need some prayer warriors for me.. totally need to get one of the school positions that are open and teasing me.. there are SEVEN positions that I’ve applied for – all paraprofessional jobs that might mean less money but it would offer an environment that I am perfect for. Pray that I get calls for some interviews there! Yes, I still have a job currently, but things are not looking so hot for the company and it’s past time for me to move on. SEVEN is a good number in the bible, I hope it sends me positive energy!

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Abi @ 4 the LOVE of BOOKS for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

So as I mentioned last week, an idiot driver took out my mailbox so I’ve had to go to the glamorous post office to fetch my mail every day. Back when I was growing up on Long Island we had a quaint little receptacle attached to the house which negated all these mailbox issues. Ah, the good old days! Some of the older neighborhoods here in TX still have that old fashioned style of mailboxes, but I wonder if postmen started getting too overheated with all that walking and we all started putting our mailboxes on the street for efficiency’s sake. So now my mailbox and steel pole is demolished and my husband will have to have the fortitude to install a new one when he gets the desire to. Meanwhile, it’s off to the post office I go. Yay.

Featured eBook Download:

Take A Chance On Me by Susan May Warren 
This book was just begging for me to, ehm, take a chance on as I loved the author’s historical Daughters of Fortune series and wanted to see if I would like her contemporary work as well. I splurged on the $1.99 special price.

Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.

New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.

Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.

For Review

Love at Any Cost (The Heart of San Francisco #1)by Julie Lessman – I haven’t read any of Lessman’s work even though I have all of her titles. I am eager to get started!

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can’t buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man? With delectable descriptions and a romantic sensibility, bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Readers will faithfully follow Lessman to the West Coast for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in “Love at Any Cost.”

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

This week on the blog there were two reviews:

David and Bathsheba by Roberta Kells Dorr (read quite awhile ago, but its pub date is early June). This is a reissued novel that I enjoyed enough to want to read Solomon’s story which I hope they will reissue as well.

Last week I finally finished the chunky non-fiction read of American Phoenix: John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the Exile That Saved American Independenceby Jane Hampton Cook and my review is here.

I needed some fast paced reading after that chunky one, and I couldn’t have chosen better timing for Karen Witemeyer’s newest novel Stealing The Preacher. I DEVOURED it. This book is fantastic for those wanting a preacher in their midst! Not fantastic for those who don’t want to hear God’s message, but perfect for those of us who do. Now THIS is Christian fiction the way I like it! I had read the novel that precedes this one and I loved it so much I went and bought her previous novels. Now I really can’t wait to read them all.

Then I started reading Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck featuring the famous Fitzgeralds. I have always admired this author’s work as her voice rings clear and true, and I know I won’t be disappointed with this story.

Coming up I would have to read the above Julie Lessman title for review in the August HistNov mag, and then I will probably start either Firebird by Kearsley or Godiva by Galland. Godiva is an edelweiss copy I’ve had for awhile, and I just couldn’t ever get myself in the mood for it. I don’t like reading eGalleys as a general rule, so I wonder if the Godiva one has already expired anyway. I’m not going to care at this point if it’s gone either, I am getting a little burned out on the review robot thing anyway =) as I am totally looking forward to some summer reading of my own books, such as Katherine by Anya Seton. If you want to join me in this read, we are planning on reading it as a group over on Goodreads. Feel free to join in. The start date is July, and I know some of you already said you would join in and I am so eager to begin the discussions, that I’ve already got the topics set up! See you there!

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS | Mailbox Monday | Group Reads Info | FTC Mindgames

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

Spring was here, right? Was it? It’s already hit over 90 degrees here in Texas, and meanwhile not too long ago I was wearing turtlenecks. Despite the heat, I took my kiddos out to the local Founder’s Day Festival (150 years old Rockwall is) and we had some fun shopping and eating and hanging out with Radio Disney yesterday.

Exciting Events:
Go find yourself a used copy of that classic 1954 novel Katherine by Anya Seton, and come join us for a July Group Read. Information is here at the Goodreads Classic HF Group.

We have also just begun the Bible Study Plan of Major People. This plan will span 89 days but consists of 65 weekday daily chapters, leaving the weekends available for further study. You can follow along here, stragglers are allowed to participate at any time.

Instead of doing Armchair BEA this year I am going to do a giveaway here on the blog. I had tons of fun last year participating and I met new people, but I never really conversed with those folks again and I don’t really have the time to devote to it this year.. so I am going to stick with my followers here and host some giveaways here without going through the ‘Armchair’ motions, lol. But, if you are a YA blogger, the Armchair BEA has tons of participants from that niche, and I definitely would recommend it to the YA followers! HINT subscribe by email, and find BBR on facebook to get more entries for the upcoming giveaways. I’ll be pulling some books from the shelves that will be some general literature and christian historical fiction. My library is getting too insane for me to handle and I wouldn’t mind sharing it with you!

Reviews on the blog this week: 

Old News that was New news to me, and as such I wanted to share:
 I created a little post about the FTC. It spread like wildfire on twitter as some strongly feel the FTC  has nothing to do with book blogging. It increased my hits tremendously, how awesome is that? Within the span of an hour there were 100 pageviews on that post alone. There is some disagreement over the term book blogger versus advertiser versus reviewer versus journalist versus writer versus marketer.. Some bloggers feel like they are blogging, some feel like they are promoting. I do feel like a review robot because all the reviews I do are ‘expected’ to be posted at a certain time. If I am on someone else’s schedule like I have been for the last four years of reviewing, I do feel like an advertiser, albeit in a bloggy sort of way. Anyway, here’s my quick turn around of a sort of rebuttal post to my own post, as I didn’t want everyone to start taking my editorial as gospel (gasp!).

Who is the expert on this? No one. No matter what title you give yourself, from blogger to reviewer to writer to professional reader to professional reviewer etc etc each of us are entitled to post our feelings and that is what I did. I posted a letter to the FTC also to see if they would ever clarify their guidelines towards book bloggers. Because I DO want to know. Because of the quantity of varying and passionate opinions, we need some sort of fact from the actual source: the FTC.

Look how my traffic for the day spiked with the FTC post!! 117 views in about an hour. Woohoo! But my post sparked conversation and enlightenment throughout the blogosphere, and for that I’m eternally grateful. If I get a response to that letter, y’all will be the first to know (not counting on it)!

Most important lesson learned from all of this is that there is a need for more beneficial and helpful conversation about these matters that mean the most to us. Bloggers are supposed to stick together, because one of the biggest things bloggers mention about why they enjoy blogging is the camaraderie and helpfulness from virtual strangers within the blogging community. Let’s not lose sight of that as we try to establish an amicable standard of book blogging in regards to free review books.

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Abi @ 4 the LOVE of BOOKS for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

Starting Monday I’m going to have to rename this meme “books I had to pick up at my post office”. Some douchebag drunken fool smashed into my mailbox and tore out the steel pole as well (this is going to be fun to repair) and also tore down the neighbor’s box and pole also. Idiots! I was pleased to see they left some car parts behind, and I hope it costs them tons of money to fix. Since they didn’t land in the ditch by the neighbor’s driveway, and judging from the damage done, I think it was a truck that came through. Texans love their pickup trucks and unfortunately the speed limit is 50 since it’s a rural area. Grr. 

From Paperbackswap:

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden – I had read Camden’s Against The Tide (review) not too long ago and really enjoyed it. It was a bit of a mix of christian fiction, romance, history and suspense..looking forward to this one which is actually the one that comes before Against The Tide, which is a 2013 Christy Award Nominee.

When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain’s worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.
But time has changed them both.
Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.
Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts–and lives–hang in the balance?


eBook Download:

Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle Within All of Us by Josh Riebock

Heroes and Monsters is an unforgettable memoir of passion and redemption, a ragged look into a world at once wildly twisted and profoundly beautiful, an exposé of both the hero and the monster within all of us.In this stunningly honest, thoroughly unconventional, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues that form us into the people we are–issues of family, love, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey. With artful prose and vivid storytelling, he shows that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter. If you’re grappling with life’s inconsistencies and trials, If you’re searching for an encounter with something real, If you’re craving a story that’s just a wee bit odd . . .Heroes and Monsters is a fresh and exhilarating perspective on the uneven nature of life, and the equally uneven people who inhabit it.

Portraits of Integrity: Real People Who Demonstrated Godly Character Volume 2by Marilyn Boyer, Grace Tumas

Volume II of Portraits of Integrity brings your family another double dose of inspiration for greatness. Highlighting some prominent heroes from various periods of history, this book introduces you to:
–Nate Saint, the missionary pilot who, with four other brave men, gave his life in the effort to bring the Gospel to the Auca Indians of South America
–World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin York who single-handedly captured thirty-eight enemy machine guns and 132 prisoners
–Nathan Hale, George Washington’s daring young spy who boldly entered British territory on a mission and when caught and about to be hung, spoke his last words: “I only regret that I have but one lift to lose for my country.”
– Captain Eddie Simpson, the World War II pilot who, having survived the crash of his plane behind enemy lines then declined to escape, choosing instead to sacrifice his life for those of French Resistance fighters, delaying the advancing Germans long enough to make their escape
And much more!
Portraits of Integrity, Volume II is another exciting collection of true stories that will inspire your family members to strive for the heights of worthy character.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

Currently Reading:

I’ve been reading the chunkster of a non-fiction book on an American icon John Quincy Adams and actually just completed it late last night. I learned a lot about politics of the 1810 decade, and the events that lead to the War of 1812. Mostly I’ve read quaint little Regency style type romps that would be in this decade, and this is quite far from that ideal. America is struggling to assert herself as a country, and John Quincy Adams is over in Russia trying to persuade Czar Alexander (who may or may not have helped murder his father) to help the commerce and trade routes. American ships were being seized by the British, Napoleon was seizing our cargo, and Russia was our ally. But this is also the story of his wife, Louisa, who was forced to join Mr. Adams on his political exile to Russia. It’s took FOREVER (ten days) to read because of the details and it is all new material for me, but I still recommend it.

Up Next:
Same as last week, just try to survive:
Quite a few titles in the pile, including Call Me Zelda, Stealing the Preacher, Firebird by Kearsley, Godiva by Galland, Wildish by Parry. It would be nice if I could get all these done before the July Group Read of Katherine by Anya Seton. Wishful thinking, I know. I have so many pressures in real life right now, blogging about books is kinda like not exactly high on the priorities list as I pray for the tornado victims not too far from me, and I wonder why I bother blogging anyway. Oh yeah, it’s cuz some of my most awesome followers would miss me and I thank them for their love and support! Have a happy happy week, everyone! =)

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS | MAILBOX | HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to link up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.


HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!
Happy Mother's Day!

This week on the blog I reviewed:

The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy (Absolutely fantastic novel as expected, portrays William the Conqueror). I recommend this title for those readers who have enjoyed the recent release of Patricia Bracewell’s Shadow on The Crown. I loved it so much I blazed through it leaving my fellow group readers behind in the dust. It had been way too long that I’ve neglected Jean Plaidy, and I must I must I must find time to read more of her work.

What A Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr

This was a nice change of pace for me; a blend of mystery & suspense as a mom finally wakes up from a coma and finds her world had changed around her. Her husband is distant, people are hiding things from her yet they are quick to judge her. Her daughter has gone missing but it seems no one else cares about that fact. I had chosen this as a sort of tribute to Mother’s Day as it displays the bond between mother and child quite well.

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Abi @ 4 the LOVE of BOOKS for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

IN THE MAIL

May 7, 2013

Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck.. I am the biggest fan girl of Erika, I totally drooled over Hemingway’s Girl and I pulled a big I-told-you-so moment when I reviewed Receive Me Falling over three years ago. Well, I still told you so. Looking forward to this one. Read my review of Receive Me Falling and then go buy it for kindle at $2.99.

From the author of Hemingway’s Girl comes a richly imagined tale of Zelda Fitzgerald’s love, longing, and struggle against ever-threatening insanity.

From New York to Paris, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald reigned as king and queen of the Jazz Age, but those who really knew them saw their inner turmoil.

Committed to a Baltimore psychiatric hospital in 1932, Zelda vacillates between lucidity and madness as she fights to forge an identity independent of her famous husband. She discovers a sympathetic ear in her nurse Anna Howard, who finds herself drawn into the Fitzgerald’s tumultuous lives and wonders which of them is the true genius. But in taking greater emotional risks to save Zelda, Anna may end up paying a far higher price than she ever intended.

In this thoroughly researched, deeply moving novel, Erika Robuck explores the boundaries of female friendship, the complexity of marital devotion, and the sources of both art and madness.

A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard

“Nothing ever changes at Wauregan.” That mystique is the tradition of the idyllic island colony off the shore of Long Island, the comforting tradition that its summer dwellers have lived by for over half a century. But in the summer of 1948, after a world war has claimed countless men—even those who came home—the time has come to deal with history’s indelible scars.
Helen Wadsworth’s husband, Arthur, was declared missing in action during an OSS operation in France, but the official explanation was mysteriously nebulous. Now raising a teenage son who longs to know the truth about his father, Helen turns to Frank Hartman—her husband’s best friend and his partner on the mission when he disappeared. Frank, however, seems more intent on filling the void in Helen’s life that Arthur’s absence has left. As Helen’s affection for Frank grows, so does her guilt, especially when Peter Gavin, a handsome Marine who was brutally tortured by the Japanese and has returned with a faithful war dog, unexpectedly stirs new desires. With her heart pulled in multiple directions, Helen doesn’t know whom to trust—especially when a shocking discovery forever alters her perception of both love and war. 

Stealing The Preacher by Karen Witemeyer (book 2 in the Archer Brothers series!)


On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he’s forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he’s haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind–a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

 For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the person is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna’s outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

Featured eBook Download

Desired: The Untold Story of Samson and Delilah by Ginger Garrett

Meet the legendary Samson as you’ve never known him before … through the eyes of the three women who loved him.

Before Samson was an Old Testament legend, he was a prodigal son, an inexperienced suitor, a vengeful husband, and a lost soul driven by his own weakness. This is his story as told by three strong women who loved him—the nagging, manipulative mother who pushed him toward greatness, the hapless Philistine bride whose betrayal propelled him into notoriety, and the emotionally damaged seductress—the famous Delilah—who engineered his downfall and propelled him to his destiny. Desired celebrates the God of Israel’s to work powerfully in the midst of hopes, fears, desires, and sorrows.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

Finished:
One of these I recommend, the other I don’t.:

This week I finished Death and the Courtesan by Pamela Christie and The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy. Unfortunately I had read The Bastard King first and became enthralled/accustomed to Plaidy’s fabulous classy prose, and so jumping into a sexually charged lighthearted silly mystery within Death and the Courtesan was not such a fantastic idea. Slightly arduous and I was so pleased that it was short in length. The review will have to hold till August however for the HNR magazine.

Currently Reading:
That meant it was time to move on to something a bit more enlightening/rewarding:

American Phoenix: John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the Exile That Saved American Independence by Jane Hampton Cook
This is a very intriguing chunky non-fiction book featuring John Quincy and Louisa Adams. I have been meaning to pry myself away from British history and learn more about American history, and this is perfect for that. Featuring the War of 1812 and the Adams’ ‘political exile’ to Europe (which was news to me), the author is using the couple’s extensive diary collection to bring these two historical figures to life, and I am enjoying the writing style very much.

The next bible online study plan is starting tomorrow – it is the 89 Day Plan (weekends off for catch up if needed) which will focus on Major People. Sign up here to read along with the group, it is open to everyone.

Up Next
Quite a few titles in the pile, including Call Me Zelda, Stealing the Preacher, Firebird by Kearsley, Godiva by Galland, Wildish by Parry. It would be nice if I could get all these done before the July Group Read of Katherine by Anya Seton. Wishful thinking, I know. I have so many pressures in real life right now, blogging about books is kinda like not exactly high on the priorities list but as usual it does keep me sane as a hobby in its own annoying sort of way.

5 Comments

Filed under #histnov, #IMWAYR, Erika Robuck, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS: May Flowers.. or freezing cold fronts..

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

May is here. You wouldn’t know it cuz I’m wearing a sweater (in Texas, y’all!!) but well I’m glad May is here. It means we’re that much closer to June.

This week on the blog there were two reviews:

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Abi @ 4 the LOVE of BOOKS for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

Wasn’t I such a good girl for not accepting new review copies?! Finally.. maybe.. just maybe there is a shred of hope for me. And you doubted me… bwahahaha

Featured eBook Download:

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell

In 1871, an orphanage in the slums of London is the only home 13-year-old Sarah Matthews has ever known. Her whole world is turned upside-down when an embittered widow, Dorthia Blake, seeks her out as a live-in companion. But Blake has reasons for adopting Sarah beyond what others know, and it is only through the unwavering love of a servant woman that Sarah can find God’s love and a bond stronger than blood. 


It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

Just finished reading What A Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr, a rare contemporary read for me. I accepted this for review from Sourcebooks Landmark who has decided to publish not only historical novels but others that they feel are worthy of their imprint, and this one fits the bill nicely. Watch for my review to come in a few days.
Meanwhile, we have begun the group read of The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy, which you are welcome to join.
From my back cover:
Princess Matilda at last found the man she would marry- William, the fierce bastard of Normandy.
Proud and fearless, the Duke had ridden into the stronghold of his enemies, dragged her by her thick golden hair into the gutter, and left with her heart. It was a love story that would change the face of history.
Battles, triumphs, revenge and jealousy crowd the dramatic years leading to William’s fateful conflict with Harold of England and its bitter aftermath as Queen Matilda’s love for her children threatens her loyalty to William, Bastard, Conqueror and King.
Also on Goodreads, there is a mini-bible plan read along beginning May 13. We will be using the Youversion Bible app and following their Major People Plan. You are welcome to join in there as well! 

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS: Not Just Books in my Mailbox

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to link up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.



April is almost gone! Whew that was fast!
I wanted to share this awesome family heirloom that my first cousin once removed sent to me – it arrived in my mailbox safe and sound (hence my blog post title!).. it is a framed print of the Our Father prayer, with the Ten Commandments illustrated around it. It belonged to Mary Rutterman Gardner Trueman (1886 – 1968), who was my father’s paternal grandmother:

Her family had come over to America from Germany.  My father’s maternal family had come from Ireland.. interesting how America is such a melting pot isn’t it? Such a story it is for these immigrant ancestors of ours.
Mary married my great grandfather Charles Gardner and gave him three children but then he went and wrapped a car around a tree in 1922 and killed himself. Mary was forced to remarry for the sake of her children’s financial welfare – it has been said that it was not a very happy marriage but I can’t say for sure. This husband had recently arrived from England in 1921. What a story there is to tell as she blended her German roots with his English ones, I wish I knew more. But I certainly have the makings for my own novel, as I have been tracing my ancestors for the last fifteen years.

  
According to my cousin who graciously passed this print to me, it used to be above the light switch in Great Grandma’s bedroom on Church Street in Kings Park, New York. Now forty-five years since her death, here it is in my humbled hands in Texas. It is in my kitchen for now, but once I get it rematted and reframed it will be too big for that spot and I will find a better spot in the house. For now, I shall enjoy it in all its glory many times a day as it peers at me from its perch in the kitchen. I have a special bond with this great grandmother I’ve never met – she had so much hardship I cannot even imagine. I wish I had been able to meet her, but I came along five years after her death. The rumor is that I resemble her, and that ain’t a bad thing.
Great Grandma Mary and then plain old me

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Mari @ MariReads for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

In the Mail:

April 2013

I admit this was one of those gorgeous chunky hardcovers that totally made me want to sit down and read right away. There are pictures in the middle, too!! I’ve always wanted to read more about America before our Civil War – it seems there are tons of books on the civil war – and this book looks awesome. It’s non-fiction but supposedly reads quite well.

American Phoenix: John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the Exile that Saved American Independence by Jane Hampton Cook

John Quincy and Louisa Adams’s unexpected journey that changed everything.
“American Phoenix” is the sweeping, riveting tale of a grand historic adventure across forbidding oceans and frozen tundra–from the bustling ports and towering birches of Boston to the remote reaches of pre-Soviet Russia, from an exile in arctic St. Petersburg to resurrection and reunion among the gardens of Paris. Upon these varied landscapes this Adams and his Eve must find a way to transform their banishment into America’s salvation.

Author, historian, and national media commentator Jane Hampton Cook breathes life into once-obscure history, weaving a meticulously researched biographical tapestry that reads like a gripping novel. With the arc and intrigue of Shakespearean drama in a Jane Austen era, “American Phoenix” is a timely yet timeless addition to the recent renaissance of works on the founding Adams family, from patriarchs John and Abigail to the second-generation of John Quincy and Louisa and beyond.

Cook has crafted not only a riveting narrative but also an easy-to-understand history filled with fly-on-the-wall vignettes from 1812 and its hardscrabble, freedom-hungry people. While unveiling vivid portrayals of each character–a colorful assortment of heroes and villains, patriots and pirates, rogues and rabble-rousers–she paints equally fresh, intimate portraits of both John Quincy and Louisa Adams. Cook artfully reveals John Quincy’s devastation after losing the job of his dreams, battle for America’s need to thrive economically, and sojourn to secure his homeland’s survival as a sovereign nation. She reserves her most detailed brushstrokes for the inner struggles of Louisa, using this quietly inspirational woman’s own words to amplify her fears, faith, and fortitude along a deeply personal, often heart-rending journey. Cook’s close-up perspective shows how this American couple’s Russian destination changed US destiny.

May 7, 2013

Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith
Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore—but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance. This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years, and told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well. 

 From Paperbackswap 

 
a dingy beat up copy that I’d had on my wishlist foreVVer..
So now I have four of the five. Perhaps it is time I sink my teeth in and read one or two before I buy any others. I started collecting these long before I started to want to use Tudor novels as firewood.

Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.

Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy, a religious maniac locked in the Bedlam hospital for the insane. Should he be released to his parents, when his terrifying actions could lead to him being burned as a heretic?

When an old friend is horrifically murdered Shardlake promises his widow, for whom he has long had complicated feelings, to bring the killer to justice. His search leads him to both Cranmer and Catherine Parr – and with the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.

As London’s Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants Shardlake, together with his assistant, Jack Barak, and his friend, Guy Malton, follow the trail of a series of horrific murders that shake them to the core, and which are already bringing frenzied talk of witchcraft and a demonic possession – for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer . . .?


The Shield of Honor by Gilbert Morris
Two families—the Wakefields of nobility and the lower-class Morgans—are the focus of this sweeping generational saga, joined by intriguing personalities such as Elizabeth I, William Tyndale, and John Bunyan. Linking the people and events through the ages is the struggle of men and women who sought God as the answer to their difficulties. #3: Shield of Honor This third book of the series depicts the English civil war, Charles I, and Cromwell as it continues the story of the Wakefield and Morgan families.

Featured eBook Download:

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising “prime homesteads” in a “booming community.” Unbeknownst to them, the speculator’s true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledging community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them. These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances–especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Read/Reviewed last week
Reviewed on the blog this week:

After finishing the above titles, my Goodreads Goal is looking pretty fabulous:

You have read 25 books toward your goal of 50 books.
Awesome, you’re 11 books (20%) ahead of schedule!

Boooya!
I love that Goodreads also shows Page Count, and that’s what is going to intrigue me the most when it comes to the end of the year.

These last four months I’ve read 9691 pages within those tallied 26 books, but as soon as I completed the bible Saturday morning that will add another 2000 pages to that tally, making it close to 12,000 pages read by the end of April!

Am I fantastic or what? So dang proud of my bible plan and partners. Dang Mike jumped ahead and finished a week ahead of time, boo on him, lol! And then Melanie slid into second place, so I guess I’ll have to settle for the bronze lowly last place medal. We originally planned to start as a a great big group, but just we three remained. The M group. I am starting over in 2014 with a Chronological bible.

I read the NKJV Study Bible in 178 days. I highly recommend it, and you can purchase it on Amazon:



Currently Reading
Swept Away by Mary Connealy (Trouble in Texas book one)
I have seen several of her titles all over the place but have yet to read one. She has written several series and I don’t jump into the middle of series ever, so when I saw that this one was the first book in yet another series I figured now is as good a time as any to hop on board. And since it’s Texas based, even better! It started off with some drama, so I hope that continues!

JUST FINISHED
It Happened at The Fair by Deeanne Gist
This novel is fun because it has photos of the Chicago World’s Fair from 1890’s in it! Very cool! The hero Cullen I can only imagine as being one tasty nugget of a man… judging from Della’s reaction to him:


Blood rushed through her veins. He was magnificent. As beautifully formed as any sculpture on the entire grounds of the fair. She squeezed the stair rail. Would his chest have the same texture as his arms? {….}Oh, she could see. She could see just fine.

And with that interesting thought, I shall leave you lovely ladies to ponder.

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS | The Bookish Memes

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.



Not much to add for happy joy joy stuff after the Boston Marathon bombings and then the explosions here in Texas. Sad to see how our world is dismantling itself. I can only hope and pray for peace and recovery for all those affected, my heart goes out to them.

In good news, and we all need some, it does seem like Spring is here to stay in Texas: the weather is still a bit back and forth but it has been pleasantly warm! I think it’s time for some Spring shopping.

I love playing on my iPhone with photo editing filters etc, look what I made last Sunday during the beautiful weather!! You can see a really green one on my facebook page. My daughter had fun taking pics. And what it really started out as me going down to look for my husband because supper was ready.. he was on the tractor on the other side of the pond. OF course. It seems like we are always playing hide and seek and it drives me nuts, especially at dinner time.

This week on Burton Book Review:

Coming soon will be my review of the final installment of Susan May Warren’s Daughters of Fortune trilogy, Duchess, which is a favorite series of mine.

Also for fun, here is a link to a recent interview about me and historical fiction.. just a quick Q&A with Kayla of the Pittsburgh Examiner. Twice in this year that I’ve been interviewed, but I must admit I like my first one much better since I got to get a lot of things off my chest as a lowly blogger.

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Mari @ MariReads for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

IN THE MAIL:

The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau, from a win at Broken Teepee courtesy of http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/ (YES! I entered as many of the giveaways as I could for this one!)

In the next novel from Nancy Bilyeau after her acclaimed debut The Crown, novice Joanna Stafford plunges into an even more dangerous conspiracy as she comes up against some of the most powerful men of her era.

In 1538, England is in the midst of bloody power struggles between crown and cross that threaten to tear the country apart. Joanna Stafford has seen what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment again, when she is caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting the King. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more omniscient than the last.

Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lays at the center of these deadly prophecies…

From a book swap:
The Wakefield Dynasty by Gilbert Morris, books 1 & 4, looks like there are 7 total in the series.
 Two families–the Wakefields of nobility and the lower-class Morgans–are the focus of this sweeping generational saga, joined by intriguing personalities such as Elizabeth I, William Tyndale, and John Bunyan. Linking the people and events through the ages is the struggle of men and women who sought God as the answer to their difficulties.

The Sword of Truth by Gilbert Morris (published 1994)
Myles Morgan’s discovery of his noble heritage introduces him to a fascinating new life in the English court and to the political conflict surrounding the translation of the Bible into English. Never in his wildest dreams did Myles Morgan believe he would rise above his commoner upbringing. Then through a tragic twist of fate, he is reunited with the father he never knew: Sir Robert Wakefield, lord and nobleman. Claimed as Wakefield’s rightful heir, Myles is thrown into the dizzying life at court, the confusing intrigues of love, and the struggle between King Henry VIII and those seeking to bring the Bible to Englishmen in their own language–the most vocal of whom is a scholar named William Tyndale. Soon Myles must made a choice between the woman he has come to love and the faith he cannot live without. Share the drama, intrigue, and adventure of England’s history, and experience the struggles of those who fought so valiantly for religious liberty.

The Fields of Glory  by Gilbert Morris (published 1996)
Evan, Amos, and Jenny form a triangle of romance and adventure that takes them to the limits of their faith. With the help of an outspoken minister named John Bunyan they are drawn closer to God.

Evan Morgan–bold and wild, a young man whose convictions and passions run deep…Amos Wakefield–bearer of a noble name, who is determined to do whatever it takes to live up to his family’s reputation…Jenny Clairmont–a young runaway who comes to Wakefield with Evan, seeking a better life. Together these three form a triangle of romance and adventure that will take each of them to the limits of their faith, drawing them closer to God through the powerful presence and ministry of an outspoken young minister: John Bunyan.

The Homeplace by Gilbert Morris (published 2005)
Book one of four in The Singing River Series
Lanie took out her journal and dated it April 12, 1928. She started the habit of writing down everything that happened to her when she was no more than eight years old, and now she had six journals completely full. She thought about the prize at school, almost prayed to win, but somehow she could not. ‘God, ‘ she finally said, ‘I’ll do my best, and if you’ll help me, that’s all I ask.’ Fourteen-year-old Lanie Belle Freeman of Fairhope, Arkansas, has high hopes for her future. Happy on the five-acre family homeplace, she dreams of going to college and becoming a writer. And with her father launching a new business and her mother expecting the fifth baby, the bright days of an early Southern spring seem to herald expansive new beginnings for the Freeman family. But her mother isn’t as strong as she should be, and it’s going to take time for the business to pay back the mortgage. When unexpected tragedy strikes, it is left to Lanie to keep the family together and hold on to their home. In a world shaken by the Great Depression, it is faith in God and love in a tightly knit family that will help Lanie and her siblings overcome the odds and create a future that promises the fulfillment of love. The Homeplace offers a warmhearted and inspiring saga of a courageous young woman who holds her family together through the Depression era.

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A Light On The Veranda by Ciji Ware
a sequel to Midnight on Julia Street

“A secret may hold for a hundred years… and then it’s time for the past to take revenge”

Daphne Duvallon vowed never to return to the South years ago when she left her philandering fiance at the altar. Now family has called her back to Natchez, Mississippi, a city as mysterious and compelling as the ghostly voices that haunt her dreams.

From a time when the oldest settlement on the Mississippi was in its heyday and vast fortunes were made and lost, Daphne begins to uncover the secrets of an ancestor whose fate is somehow linked with her own. In a compelling and mesmerizing tale, now Daphne must right the wrongs of the past, or follow the same path into tragedy…

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Currently Reading
This week I read David and Bathsheba which is a reissue from 1980. I am glad to see the biblical titles coming back again, but this one was pretty straight-laced. This is another reason why I don’t like reading e-galleys, I always wonder if the funky formatting is taking away from my enjoyment. There were several moments where I was like, hey I remember that…so it will help my enjoyment of reading those parts of the bible again. It is being published again in June 2013 and my review will post a bit closer to that pub date.

After David and Bathsheba, I picked up Roses Have Thorns from Sandra Byrd. I have not read any of her others yet, since the most recent ones have been set during the Tudor era and we all know about Tudor Burnout Stick A Fork In Me. This one is a stand alone in her Ladies in Waiting series, and after much prodding I’ve decided to take the plunge. It has been marketed as a bit of a mix of Christian plus Tudor themes, but I don’t notice anything that would deem it being considered a Christian Historical. Every now and then there is a small biblical quote but it quickly moves on. This one is a bit different only because it features Helena Von Snakenborg who was a favorite courtier of Elizabeth I.

Up Next 
It Happened at The Fair by Deeanne Gist
What A Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr

May 1 begins the group read of The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy, I welcome you to read along with us on Goodreads.

I am on target to finish reading my Study Bible VERY SOON! Can you BELIEVE IT?! So excited.

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Gilbert Morris, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

TSS | Mailbox Joys | Is it Spring yet?

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.


Tax time, folks! Did you get your taxes done? Aren’t I a sweetheart for reminding you? I hope you are getting a refund, anyway. We got enough so we can buy some shoelaces or something extravagant like that. It’s been a yucky spring thus far, so next winter I need to not say I can’t wait for Spring!! and instead say I can’t wait for Summer! (Remind me this summer when it’s 110 degrees out how miserable I’ve been). This weather going back and forth is killing my sinuses and I’ve had a headache for a month.

This past week on the blog:

In fun Bloggy land, the Armchair BEA is fast approaching.. registrations will be opening soon, so you should go subscribe to their blog so you can keep updated on it and don’t miss out. Last year I had tons of fun conversing with other bloggers, and meeting NEW bloggers too. You will have opportunities to link up daily ‘get-to-know-me’ or writing prompt type posts, as well as giveaways galore. Get some books in mind to host your own giveaway! The dates are from May 28 thru June 2, 2013, which coincides with the BEA Conference in NYC that many of us don’t get to go to. So we can have tons of fun for FREE from the comfort of our own computers =) And more giveaways for us, squee!

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Mari @ MariReads for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

In my Mailbox:
From Paperbackswap:

February 2013

Rebekah (Wives of the Patriarchs #2) by Jill Eileen Smith
When her father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Her hope for the future is restored when she falls in love with her cousin Isaac, and their relationship starts strong. But marital bliss cannot last forever, and the birth of their twin sons marks the beginning of years of misunderstanding, disagreement, and betrayal. The rift between them grows wider and wider until it is surely too deep to be mended. And yet, with God all things are possible.
Join bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith as she fills in the blanks around the biblical women behind the men we know well. Her in-depth research and creative storytelling bring Rebekah’s unique story alive with romance, heartache, and the power of forgiveness.

Grace in Thine Eyes (Lowlands of Scotland #4) by Liz Curtis Higgs
Davina McKie is a bonny lass of seventeen, as clever as they come and a gifted musician. Unable to speak since childhood, she is doted on by her belligerent younger brothers, Will and Sandy, who vow to protect their silent sister. — When the lads are forced to depart the glen, Jamie McKie intends to brighten his daughter’s summer by escorting Davina to the Isle of Arran. Her cousins make her welcome at the manse, and the parish delights in hearing their talented fiddler.

But when she catches the eye of a handsome young Highlander on Midsummer Eve, sheltered Davina is unprepared for the shocking events that follow.

A timeless story of passion and revenge, of lost innocence and shattered dreams, Grace in Thine Eyes explores the sorrow of unspeakable shame and the gift of immeasurable grace.

Has anyone read any of these Liz Curtis Higgs titles? I’ve been collecting them so that now I have all four of the Lowlands of Scotland series. Now.. the hard part is finding time to read them.

For Review:

June 2013

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (a sort of sequel to The Shadowy Horses! squeeee!)
Nicola Marter was born with a gift: when she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When the gallery she works in receives a wooden carving she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird, the mythical bird that inspires an old Russian fairytale and was once owned by Russia’s famed Empress Catherine.

Nicola’s investigation into the Firebird’s origin draws her into the 1715 world of Anna Logan and leads her on a quest through Scotland, France and Russia, unearthing a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption.

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist (I really enjoyed the author’s last one, Love On The Line)
A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.


So I did pickup Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman and reviewed it here, and enjoyed that one as I was reading One Perfect Life and then also the read along book for the Plaidy Group, The Miracle at St. Bruno’s (Review can be found here on Monday) and then not to mention the bible which I am supposed to complete on April 29.. I did finish that Bruno’s book and now I just need to write the review and start planning the next read along..
take a breath.. I’ve never read more than one book at a time like I’ve done so often the last few months, and I am tired of it, lol.

I’m reading David and Bathsheba now, which is a reissue from 1980 I believe, and I don’t know what I’m going to read next, since I’ve got a million to read.

I have a million books to read still, and they are all ones I WANT to read, but I am getting to the point where the pile of them which never seems to diminish is getting aggravating. Why am I always feeling so totally behind? Why am I always feeling like I’m doing a reading marathon because I HAVE TO GET THE REVIEW PUBLISHED, and WHY do I always do this to myself – the usual admonitions of the book blogger.

Granted the pile is not quite so large as it was before, especially since there are some I’ve decided to completely ignore from last year. But it is still enough to make me mad. I have been turning down the ‘random’ requests – but the ones specifically from authors that I’ve reviewed for before, I don’t want to leave them hanging, and so I cave. I must stop. I don’t mind accepting ones from LitFuse publicity, because all of those that I pick are always great reads of my favorite Christian historical themes. It’s the ones that pile up on the side that kill me, because they don’t have blog tour dates and so I say sure I can throw one more in there, blah blah blah and they all just pile up.

Le sigh. I shall stop complaining. You know the story. I need to grow up and manage my life properly!
I mean, as long as I get to watch Dallas and the Vikings, I am happy.

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Filed under #IMWAYR, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon