Monday, January 22, 2018

Take ten: books I loved but don't remember much about



1. Heirs of Cahira O'Connor

I remember finding the story fascinating, but all I remember now is that each woman in the ancestry line (at least the ones who were main characters) had a white streak in their hair.;)

2. A Gown of Spanish Lace

Another one I remember loving, since there is a bit of a mystery surrounding the dress. I don't remember a lot outside of that...

3. Dreams in the Golden Country

I remember thinking the main character had some spunk and that this one was one of my very favorites out of the Dear America stories.

4. Little House in the Big Woods

This is one of the first series I ever read, so it has been over 20 years since I picked it up... (that makes me sound so old!)

5. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie

The one thing I remember from this story? Don't trust "wild carrots", since it could be hemlock.

6. The Betsy and Tacy books


7. Encyclopedia Brown

I loved these as a kid, so it would be good to pick them up again to read with the kids!

8. Emma

Yes, I know the story, but I feel like it has been so long since I read it that I sometimes forget where the movie may have added some lines.;)

9. War and Peace

So many names...

10. Right Where I Belong

Super cute, from what I remember...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

High Treason


When Saudi Prince Omar bin Talal visits Houston to seek cancer treatment for his mother, an attempt on his life puts all agencies on high alert. FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson is the lead on the prince’s protective detail because of their long-standing friendship, but he’s surprised—and none too happy—when the CIA brings one of their operatives, Monica Alden, in on the task force after the assassination attempt.

Kord and Monica must quickly put aside interagency squabbles, however, when they learn the prince has additional motives for his visit—plans to promote stronger ties with the US and encourage economic growth and westernization in his own country. Plans that could easily incite a number of suspects both in the US and in countries hostile to Saudi Arabia. Worse yet, the would-be assassin always seems to be one step ahead of them, implicating someone close to the prince—or the investigation. But who would be willing to commit high treason, and can Kord and Monica stop them in time?

My thoughts: This is the first time I have read one of Diann's stories, which I had heard a lot about. I highly recommend it! The story was fast pace and interesting, and I enjoyed getting to know more about the characters, along with the Saudi culture that the prince was from. The only thing that bothered me, which is just a small thing (just a pet peeve of mine), is how Kord went on about Monica's looks. Otherwise, though, this is an excellent, fast paced story!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Song Unheard Review and Giveaway


Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

My review: I loved the first book in this series, A Name Unknown, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of this one as well. The story is well written and I enjoyed getting to know Willa. My husband is a professional violinist, so it was fun to have so much of this story reflect the world he is a part of.
I love that this book has some deeper discussions, with the characters dealing with the start of WWI and how religion fits in a changing world. I highly recommend this series! I only wish the next book were already out.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Buy a copy here:




About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest post from Roseanna
started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers, and moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music.

We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep.

That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew?

That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope. It can be tears. It can be truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words.

This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.”

But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord.

I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.”

Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer

Blog Stops

Roseanna is hosting a Giveaway here. Grand Prize Package: To celebrate the release of A Song Unheard, she is giving away a signed copy of the book as well as a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download).
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Monday, January 15, 2018

Take ten: Bookish resolutions

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Top ten Tuesday has moved here

1. To read at least 80 books. I feel like I have a good handle on this and may have underestimated how many books I read in a year. Or, it could be that it has just been so cold out that all we do is read right now.;)

2. To do a better job knocking out my non fiction TBR pile.

3. Start the Little House series with my children.

4. Work on calligraphy/brush lettering. I received a set of pens for Christmas, so I am looking forward to using them!

5. Finish the stack of books by my bed. (seriously, it keeps trying to grow and eat up more of my floor space.)

6. Figure out the best reading/book apps.

7. Get my daughter to where she can read on her own. Working on this. She can read quite a few words, but still needs me to sit there and help her out. This may be a goal that goes into next year...;)

8. Take part in the winter challenge at the local library. This year, that means reading 5 mysteries in two months.

9. Take part in all the summer reading programs with the kids.;)

10. Fill this journal! (okay, I was running out of ideas. I did get this journal for Christmas, since I loved the Emma one I had!)

What are your resolutions?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Magnolia Storms


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Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?

My thoughts: This is one of the books I meant to read in 2017, but didn't get around to doing so. I'm glad I finally picked it up! Janet is an exceptional author who does a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life and adding many layers to her stories. I enjoyed getting to know Maggie and her family; it was especially easy to relate to Maggie, who has allowed the storms in her life to cause her to build up walls around her heart. This book has an excellent message!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Portrait of Vengeance


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An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out...

Gwen Marcey has done a good job of keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, her ex-husband back home is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.

My thoughts: While I didn't read the first book in this series, I have since read the rest of the books in it. I felt like this one had a little different feel to it, since in it we learn a bit more about Gwen and her past (which I don't remember much of it coming up in the other books). Even though this book has a different feel to it, I thought that the story was well written and had a lot going on. Not only is Gwen trying to figure out the current mystery of the missing child, she is also struggling with the feeling that the case is linked to her past in some way. This is a series that needs to be read in order, since the Gwen develops along the way as a character. I highly recommend picking up this series!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sacred Rest


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Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested-now there's a challenge.

How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In SACRED REST, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. SACRED REST combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.

By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, SACRED REST gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

My thoughts: As a busy mom of two littles, I needed this book! Largely for the reminder that I need to be more serious about physical rest (which can be hard when I get more done once the kids have gone to sleep!), but I also enjoyed learning more about the other ways to rest. I found this book to be thought provoking and well written, as well as easy to read through. With a new year, this is an excellent book to pull out to help you take better care of yourself!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.