Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Picture Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
Every week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten. 

Topic:
Top Ten Favorite Picture Books

I love picture books, which is good considering what I do for a living. I have actually been introduced to even more picture books I've come to love.  

1. Penguin in Love 
2. Duck on a Bike
3. The Monster at the End of this Book
4. Bear Snores On
5. Are You My Mother?
6. Silly Dilly Duck
7. A Hat for Minerva Louise
8. We are In a Book!
9. Tops & Bottoms


I love picture books! These are just a few of my favorites from my own childhood and some of the newer ones I've discovered. 

What is your Top Ten for the week?


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!! Historical Fiction Giveaway


I'm happy to announce the winner of the Historical Fiction Giveaway!


Congratulations to 
Charis Z.!!

Thank you so much for everyone who helped me celebrate this fun milestone. It was a joy to host these giveaways. 
I promise these won't be the last either! I have some fun ideas coming up for this year, so I hope you'll visit again.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green (Litfuse Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Title: The Mark of the King
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1906-1
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017

Synopsis:
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.
Review:
I was introduced to Jocelyn Green's books when I read her Civil War Series, Heroines Behind the Lines. The amount of detail to the locations, the dress, historical aspects, along with her superb writing style made her books pop and come alive. When I heard she was coming out with a new book, I watched and waited anxiously for the day I could read it. I was not disappointed.

The Mark of the King was a story based on true events that I had no idea happened. It was a story that brought you to many places with many emotions attached to it.

Julianne is a young woman who thought she had found a passion to follow as her career in life and help women in the process, being a midwife. She loved helping mothers bring their children in to the world was a joy. However, jealously rears its head and Julianne's life is thrown onto a path she never imagined.

She is faced with many options, some she didn't have the option she would choose for herself, but were forced on her, but she still does her best to make it something she can work with. Even though her old life is there for her to live, she has many new people who become like family to her in her new life. She faces so many challenges. Ones that you can still face to day. They grab a hold of your heart as you read through it and make you smile or cry right along with Julianne.

The writing of The Mark of the King was just beautiful. The world that Jocelyn created was fantastic and allowed me to see every detail of Julianne's life. After reading through this story, I want to go and research this time in history.

I can't recommend this book enough. I can't wait to read more by Jocelyn Green.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.

Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Giveaway:
Please follow this link to the giveaway. 

Thank you to Lifuse Publicity and the Publisher, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!! Edwardian/ Victorian Giveaway


Today I'm announcing the winner of the Edwardian/Victorian Era Fiction Giveaway. 

Congratulations to
  Amy C.!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to enter the giveaway. 
There is still 1 more going on, it ends tonight.

I will be announcing the winner of the Historical Fiction Giveaway tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review: The Returning by Rachelle Dekker

Title: The Returning
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Publisher: Tyndale
Pages: 464
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0229-5
Publication Date: January 17th, 2017

Synopsis: 
Twenty years have passed since Carrington and Remko Brant's baby, Elise, was kidnapped and they were forced to leave her captive in the Authority City. Though they fled with the Seers far from Authority reach, they've never given up hope of rescuing their daughter from the man who betrayed them. Now Authority President, he's ushered the city into a new era of "peace" -- one where the Scientist Roth Reynard's Genesis Serum has eradicated all memory of emotion or rebellion. But the mysterious Aaron and his Seers are once again on the move, threatening the illusion the Authority has worked so hard to build. 

As the Seers send seven chosen warriors to rescue Elise and bring restoration to the Authority City, the lines are drawn for a final battle between light and darkness. The key to ultimate victory may rest within the strangely powerful girl who has felt forgotten but was never abandoned -- a truth she'll need to wage war against the powerful forces of evil.
Review:
I have been following this series from the beginning. Like the two previous stories in this series, The Returning is a fast paced story that bring you in to new and hard world. It is similar to many other kinds of books in it's genre in that it has a corropted society led by someone who doesn't have the best interest for the people, but The Seer series has also been able to give it a fresh spin.

The Returning starts off differently and I was very thrilled about that. Instead of having small chapters jumping ahead in time, we start off 20 years later from book 2. I was very glad about that. Instead of having the character focus shift over chapters, we are introduced to fresh and new characters will depth already there to advance the story at a good pace! I was thrilled when I first read about the time jump and so glad that it enhanced the story in all the right ways.

With the shift in time and addition of characters, it didn't mean that we left behind the characters we had come to care about in the previous two books. Carrington and Remko are still present as ever, and the time as offered a new depth to them with age and the heartache they have experienced in loosing their daughter.

I thought the story was flushed out very well and I enjoyed it. It was a good conclusion to a very entertaining series.

Too Read 
4 out of 5

About the Author:
The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. She won a Christy Award for her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Choosing, which was followed by two more books in the Seer Series: The Calling and The Returning. Rachelle graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair.

 Visit her online at www.rachelledekker.com.

Author Q & A:

What themes are explored in this book?
Identity is something I am always exploring, so that’s no different in The Returning. But in this novel I took a really hard look at forgiveness and how that relates to our journey of discovering who we really are.
  
Aaron is a somewhat mysterious character throughout the series. What is he supposed to represent and what kind of spiritual leader is he? 

I like to leave this one open, which I know isn’t really the answer you want. I want the reader to decide who he is to them. For me he’s a guiding light, an angel maybe, a representation of the spirit who communicates with us and leads us. He can be many thingsmostly, though, he’s a great way to hear truth. 


Thank you to Tyndale Blog Network, I received  copy of this book fro free in exchange for an honest review. 
 

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!! Contemporary Fiction Giveaway


Today I'm announcing the Winner of the Contemporary Fiction Giveaway!!







Congratulations to
  Vanessa H.!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to enter the giveaway. 
There are still 2 more going on, please feel free to enter those giveaways as well.

I will be announcing the winner of the Edwardian/ Victorian Era Fiction Giveaway tomorrow.


Top Ten Tuesday: Book Goals

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten. 

Topic:
Freebie
This week is a freebie topic week. So, I decided on my TBR for 2017. 
The Top Ten Books I Hope to Read This Year.

These are books I really want to read this year. Some are new and some are book I wish I had been able to get to in 2016. These are books for one of my reading goals for this year. 
 1. Still Life by Dani Pettrey
2. To the Farthest Shore by Elizabeth Camden
3. The Lade and the LionHeart by Joanne Bischof
4. The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert
5. The Lost Girl of Astor by Stephanie Morrill
 6. The Evaporatiof of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
7. True to You by Becky Wade
8. The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron
9. Her One and Only by Becky Wade
10. Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

All of these books have been on my radar for a little while. Some came out in 2016 and the rest come out this year. It is my goal to get these 5 read this year.

What Top Ten did you decide on this week?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!! Western Giveaway Winner


Today we're announcing the winner of the Western Fiction Giveaway. 


Congratulations to
  Rebecca D.!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to enter the giveaway. 
There are still some going on, please feel free to enter those giveaways as well.
I will be announcing the winner of the Contemporary Fiction Giveaway tomorrow.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!


I'm happy to announce the winner of my first giveaway, the YA Series giveaway. 


Congratulations to
 Sydney A.!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to enter the giveaway. 
There are still some going on, please feel free to enter those giveaways as well.

I will be announcing the winner of the Western Fiction Giveaway tomorrow.



Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Year Blogivesary Celebration: Historical Fiction Giveaway

Thank you for stopping by and visiting me on this final day of my 5 Year Blogiverary Celebration!!

Even though this is the last giveaway for the celebration, please know that it isn't the last of the fun. I have some amazing reviews coming up here. Plus, I love featuring up-and-coming books and children's books. I'm always up for hearing new ideas on features. If there is something you would like to me to start featuring, please don't hesitate to let me know. 

Thank you everyone who has stopped by and visited!

Historical Fiction Giveaway:
Historical Fiction is one of my most favorite genres. It encompasses so many years and and has so many fantastic authors writing for it.

 The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson
Daughter of the Regimen by Stephanie Grace Whitson
The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith McCoy Miller
Playing By Heart by Anne Mater
Speak to Me of Love by Robin Lee Hatcher
Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you everyone who has helped me celebrate this blogging milestone with me! 
Each of the giveaways are open for a full week from the time they started. I will be announcing winners here on the blog.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: The Lost Girl of Astor

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release that you are most excited about. 

Waiting On:
Title: The Lost Girl of Astor
Author: Stephanie Morrill
Publisher: Blink YA
Publication Date: February 4th, 2017

Synopsis:
From GoodReads
Lydia has vanished.

Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.

Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.

When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s jazz-age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.
Why I'm Waiting:
I have been hearing about this book for a little while now, and the more I hear about it, the more excited about it I get. The era, the idea, it all just sounds so fun and intriguing. I can't wait for this book!!

What are you waiting on this week?

5 Year Blogiversary Celebration: Edwardian/Victorian Era Fiction Giveaway

Hello! Welcome to the blogs 5 Year Blogiverary Celebration, day 4!!

I started this blog 5 years ago on New Years Day to help keep track of the books that I was reading. I had joined GoodReads a couple of years before that, but really didn't know how to navigate around it at the time, so it fell by the wayside. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started this blog, nor what I wanted to focus on, other then books. Over the first couple of years, the blog morphed and changed till finally it formed to something I was happy and proud of. I will say though, the changes may not have stopped yet. I have been contemplating some new ideas, and possibly a new name. Time will tell.

This blog also brought me into a whole new area of social media and with that to a group of wonderful people, who I'm proud to call friends. Blogging has opened to the door to fellow bloggers and the support and discussions that have brought me into has been a delight!

Edwardian/Victorian Era Fiction Giveaway:
These are two new eras I was introduced to when I started diving into new genres of fiction. I loved studying them through history, and loved it even more just reading to enjoy.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you'll come back and visit tomorrow for my final day of Giveaways!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gem Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten. 

Topic: 
Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I've Read
 The books that I see as hidden gems, are books that I have read and loved, but haven't heard much from anyone else really talking about. These are books that I have read in the last 5 years.

 1. The Last Witness by Glenn Meade
2. Dead Man's Switch by Sigmund Brouwer
3. The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison by Stephen Bly
4. The King's Speech by Mark Logue & Peter Conradi
5. Anomaly by Krista McGee
 
6. The Promise by Beth Wiseman
7. The Last Disciple by Hank Hanegraaff & Sigmund Brouwer
8. The Hatmaker's Heart by Carla Stewart
9. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
10. The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

 What are your book gems this week??