Tuesday, June 24, 2014

top ten favorite book cover styles

little A likes sparkle, bright colors, and cute pictures on her books. Whoever designed the cover for Charlie Monkey is brilliant, since it grabs her attention everytime.

Gorgeous scenes  lovely font, pictures that promise adventure, and covers that make sense once you read the story. Here are a few ecamples of my favorites from my book shelves. The Butterfly and the Violin is my absolute favorite at the moment.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Historical Classics

1. Tell us  a little bit about yourself, your tastes, and the little hobbies and things that your readers probably don't know about you!
 I'm the oldest of 5 (and am told that I am very much the stereotypical  bossy oldest....). I was homeschooled almost all the way through school. I am an extrovert who married an introvert (which can make things interesting. Especially when both of us are quiet. I get chatty, while my husband just wants silence.;) We live in an old house that still needs tons of work: I secretly call it the White Elephant (which will have to change, since we plan on getting the exterior painted next month!), since sometimes it feels like a gag gift.;) We have one beautiful daughter who will be one before I know it. I have always wanted to be a mother, but was shocked at just how much fun being a parent can be. Yes, it is work, but well worth it!

2. Books! We really do love them. . . but we all have preferences of what kind of books we love best. What is your favourite genre to read from (and to write in, if you happen to be a writer too)? Could you tell us why?
 Right now, I read a lot of fiction, since it is easy to read with a little one, but classics are probably my favorite. The 1800's is my favorite time period, since they knew how to write so beautifully and the stories generally had such depth to them. The only thing I like better about modern fiction is that it usually has more emotion.
I'm afraid I only toy with the idea of writing a book. I think I am too critical of my own writing to actually do a book.

3. Are you fond of classic literature or do you generally find them too "dry" and hard-going for your tastes? Alternately, how much of your reading diet consists of books written by authors of the 21st century? Are you more fond of the old books or the new. . . or maybe a little bit of both?
 Well, I have already answered this, to a degree. I like a variety of classics, modern, non fiction, Christian self help, a bit of poetry...

4. What is your favourite historical time period and setting? How did you come to be especially interested in it? Would you be happy to live in that time-period or era?
I think my favorite will probably always be the American pioneer years. Little House on the Prairie was one of the first books I read. I remember playing like I was on the American frontier all the time as a kid. Now that I am older, I would have to say that I wouldn't want to live back then, since I wouldn't like the isolation on the prairie, not to mention that you had to work so hard just to do "simple" household chores, like laundry. I would love to homestead though.;)

5.. List three of your favourite classic "historical" authors (authors from the 1500s and up to the very 1900s such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, etc. . . )? What makes you love them so much?
That is a hard one! I love Jane Austen for her wit and romance. Elizabeth Gaskell is another absolute favorite, since she is a good blend of Austen and Dickens. Oscar Wilde might be my third choice, even though his personal life was a total wreck, I love his humor and the morals to his plays and stories. I'm going to cheat too and add Victor Hugo. I love Les Miserables!

 6. What type of "Historical classic" is your favourite: Adventure and exploration, romance, mystery, social, memoir, or political?
Again, I like a variety. I enjoy the mystery in Wilkie Collins novels. I like the romance of Gaskell and Austen. I like the social and political parst of Dickens. I also enjoy the adventure of Sabatini.

 7. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from historical novels in literature, and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to attain yourself? 
I like Austen's Emma. Yes, you can argue that she is a spoiled brat at the beginning, but she is willing to learn from her mistakes and change.
Gaskell's Margaret Hale for her devotion to her family and how she becomes involved with those working in the mill. She has to grow and realize her mistakes, but it's a journey most of us can relate to.
I like Austen's Lizzy for her spunk. 
Also, Jo March is fun, with her imagination.

8. Who are your favourite heroes from historical literature? (You may share up to five). What makes them stand out among the rest as special?
Hands down, Mr. Knightley! He is a true gentleman who puts others before himself (like when  Harriet is being snubbed and he offers to dance with her). He also seeks to bring out the best in Emma.

10. Which period-drama movies, (adaptions from historical classic works of fiction), fall under your favourite pile? Do you prefer the more modern adaptions or the old ones? Faithful renditions, or the more exciting ones?

 11. Which historical classic has inspired and influenced you the most?
I would have to say Les Miserables. It is such an incredible story! 

12. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite period drama costumes (hats, hoops, gloves, parasols, etc) and from which movie/character they come from.
Margaret Hale
 Emma Woodhouse

13. How accurate do you think classic authors were about depicting history and accuracy of different cultures? Were they sometimes prejudiced or melodramatic in their descriptions, or do you think they often had a point to make?  
When they wrote about the times they lived in, I think they were accurate. 

 14. Think of the funniest "scene" in either a book or movie from classic literature, and share the quote/picture below (Gifs and animations allowed!)
 Squire Hamley: I'm not saying she was very silly, but one of us was silly and it wasn't me.(Wives and Daughters)

15. Which villain of historical literature strikes the most dread and loathing in you?
I can't think of one off the top of my head

16.  How many Charles Dickens novels have you read? Do you enthusiastically love his stories, or sob in misery over them, or worse get bored by them? 
I've only finished a couple of them, though I do like them. I just think that they are ones that you have to really be paying attention to, since he has so many characters and so much going on. I want to read more of his, since I like the stories.

17. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, or Elizabeth Gaskell? 
I think Elizabeth Gaskell, since I like that her stories are more than just a romance.

18. Favourite French Revolution novel?
I know I liked A Tale of Two Cities a lot when I read it, but the Scarlet Pimpernel may  be my favorite.

 19. North and South or Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton?
Mr. Darcy.

20. Which historical classic struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
I think Les Miserables, with the incredible story of forgiveness and what a second chance can do in a person's life.

21. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in literature of this genre? 
Jane in Pride and Prejudice.

22. List five "Historical Classics" you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
Our Mutual Friend
Scarlet Pimpernel
Little Dorritt
23. What was the first historical classic novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
Sense and Sensibility (at age 11). I remember that I liked it, though I had to look up a ton of the words.;)

24. What would inspire you to pick up a historical piece of literature - namely a "classic"? Do you believe it is important for our generation to get back to reading the classics? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of treasuring historical stories written by authors of the past?
I think we can learn a lot about how to write, not to mention a lot of the stories have a higher moral code than fiction today.
Read other's lists at: http://joy-live4jesus.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Super Stitches Sewing

Nicole Vasbinder did up this nifty guide to the different stitches that one can do with a machine or by hand. I was blown away! Not that I am an incredibly gifted seamstress by any means, but I like to think I know how to use my sewing machine. Apparently, I had a lot to learn! Whether you are new to sewing or an old hat, this book is one you need to have on your shelf! From different button holes, to the blanket stitch and everything in between, this book is incredible! I can`t wait to begin playing with the different stitches. Two thumbs up!
I received a copy of this book from bloggingforbooks.com in exchangw for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gathering Shadows

When Wynter Evans is given a picture of a Mennonite teenager who resembles her brother that was kidnapped years before, she spins a story that will get her to work in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri. Thinking that all she needs to do is see the young man for herself, in order to realize that it is just wishful thinking to imagine he is her missing brother, Wynter quickly realizes that there is more to the story than she thought.
I enjoyed Nancy Mehl's Road to Kingdom  series, so I was thrilled when this one came up for a chance to review on netgalley. The story did not disappoint! I had a hard time putting it down, since I wanted to figure out what the truth was behind Ryan Evans' disappearance. So, may be the reader beware: start this book early in the day, so it won't keep you up too late.;)

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday:
Books on my to be read list for this summer

1. Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert
I was blown away by her first book, even though it was sad. I'm looking forward to reading this one!

2. With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden
I like her books for their rich historical details. I'm not a huge fan of the romance, since it can be a bit over the top, but I still like her stories.

3. Blind Date by Melody Carlson
When I want something fun and easy to read, I like to grab a Melody Carlson.:)

4. The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn
Another favorite author.

5. Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas
This is a new author who I am looking forward to checking out!

6. Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl
Okay, so I have to admit that I was skeptical about the combination of Mennonite mysteries, but this author makes it work! I love her books!

7. A Deadly Business by Lis Wiehl
Her mysteries are fast pace, not something one wants to get into at night, since one can't put her books down!

8.Sarah's Choice by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue
The first one was a bit much for me (since it was about a cutter), but I think I will quite enjoy this one!

9.Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano
I haven't read any books by this author, but I look forward to trying this one out!

10. All for a Sister by Allison Pittman
I wasn't crazy about the first book in this series, but I look forward to this one! I think the 1920's were and interesting time in our history.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits

This hilarious Southern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice tells the story of two hard-headed Civil war historians who find that first impressions can be deceiving.

Shelby Roswell, a Civil War historian and professor, is on the fast track to tenure—that is, until her new book is roasted by the famous historian Ransom Fielding in a national review. With her career stalled by a man she’s never met, Shelby struggles to maintain her composure when she discovers that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her small Southern college.

Ransom Fielding is still struggling with his role in his wife’s accidental death six years ago and is hoping that a year at Shelby’s small college near his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, will be a respite from the pressures of Ivy League academia. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman whose career—and pride—he injured, and who would do anything to make him leave.

When these two hot-headed southerners find themselves fighting over the centuries-old history of local battles and antebellum mansions, their small college is about to become a battlefield of Civil War proportions.

With familiar and relatable characters and wit to spare, Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits shows you that love can conquer all…especially when pride, prejudice, love, and cheese grits are involved!

When it comes to stories based on Jane Austen's novel, I can be a tough critic. In all honesty, nothing beats the original stories, but I felt like this one did a good job of coming close! The story is entertaining, I liked the characters, and I felt like Mary Jane Hathaway did a great job of coming up with her own story that was like Pride and Prejudice, and yet its own story. I look forward to reading her other novels!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


"My name is Nyah and I'm a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn't exist, but do. Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker who makes a living by cracking the firewalls of the world's largest corporations. But when the biggest job of her life goes wrong she's plunged into a desperate situation with only one way out: one last hack that will either save her or kill her. So begins Hacker, a modern day parable that examines the staggering world around us, the seen and unseen, and reminds us that there's far more to who we are than meets the eye."
I thought that Nyah's journey was fascinating! By far, this one if my favorite yet in the Outlaw Chronicles. It keeps one on their toes and makes it hard to put down the book. This one is classic Dekker; I think that fans of his will be thrilled with Hacker and the imagination behind the story.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year

1.Dysfunction Junction by April Erwin
I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable this book was!

2. One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul
I have enjoyed other books by this author, but found this one to be her best yet!

3. Surprised by Grace by Elizabeth Sherrill
What a master story teller!

4. Love Comes Calling by Siri Miychell
I did not really have very high hopes for this novel, so it blew me away! I love her take on the 1920`s.

5. The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Not only is the cover gorgeou bs, but so is the story!

6.A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
The foodie in me adored this one!

7.Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
Different from my normal reading, but I found this military adventure fascinating!

8.A Draw of Kings by Patrick Carr
I loved the whole series.;)

9.Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard
Wow! This one is a beautiful story of loss and following your dreams.

10 The Queens Handmaid

Monday, June 9, 2014

Free e-books

I recently received an email that this book by a new author is free for Kindle right now. I'm not usually a fan of novella's, but I think this author looks like a winner, so I am looking forward to trying to story out!

If you like cozy mysteries (or mysteries in general), Foreclosed is free at the moment. It looks like it could be a fun read.:)

I have enjoyed Eva Marie Everson's novels, so I am looking forward to reading Chasing Sunsets.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top ten Tuesday: Books that will be in my beach bag/summer bag.
1. Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits by Mary Jane Hathaway

2. Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-slaw Dogs by Mary Jane Hathaway

3. Code Namw Verity by Elizabeth Weir

4. The Hatmaker`s Heart by Carla Stewart

5. All for a Story by Allison Pittman

6. Across a Star Swept Sea by Diane Peterfreund

7. Rebels by Jill Williamson

8. Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

9. Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston

10. All for a Sister by Allison Pittman

What`s on your summer reading list? What are so must reads?