Where It All Begins

Every book has its beginning.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” (The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling)

Every book has its ending but those I will not write down for I might spoil a book for you.

This is where my blog begins…

           For it is universally acknowledged that a girl who lives in a comfortable nook is in want of a good book…thank you very much.                                                 Holly 

A Reckless Love

A Reckless Love (Daughtry House, #3)Aurora Daughtry loves to manage projects and people—and clearly takes after her Southern grandmother with a penchant for matchmaking. Between orchestrating successful matches for her two sisters and working on transforming the run-down family mansion, Aurora has had her hands full. But now that the Daughtry House is up and running as a luxurious and lucrative hotel resort, Aurora finds herself in need of a new project—and his name is deputy marshal Zane Sager. Arriving at Daughtry House to collect two key witnesses to a federal judge’s murder, the lawman’s conviction that the world—and God in particular—is out to get him is clear. As determined as Zane is to put the criminal behind bars, Aurora is just as set on freeing Zane of his cynicism. But the threat of danger increases as they get closer to the criminal—and to each other.

My Review:

A Reckless Love was an enjoyable first impression to Beth White’s books. Even though I read the third book first, I am really looking forward to reading the first two books very soon. ( :

Filled with suspense, action, and romance, this was an easy read and one I enjoyed very much. This story follows the youngest Daughtry daughter, Aurora and deputy marshal, Zane Sager. Both characters story’s were well developed and strongly written.

I enjoyed that the author added little bits of historical pieces in her story.

Overall, I recommend this book!

 

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.
I received this book from the Revell Division of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

A Gilded Lady (Hope and Glory #2)

A Gilded Lady (Hope and Glory, #2)Happy Book Release Day!

Caroline Delacroix is at the pinnacle of Washington high society in her role as secretary to the first lady of the United States. But beneath the facade of her beauty, glamorous wardrobe, and dazzling personality, she’s hiding a terrible secret. If she cannot untangle a web of foreign espionage, her brother will face execution for treason. 
Nathaniel Trask is the newly appointed head of the president’s Secret Service team. He is immediately suspicious of Caroline despite his overwhelming attraction to her quick wit and undeniable charm. Desperate to keep the president protected, Nathaniel must battle to keep his focus fully on his job as the threat to the president rises.

My Review: 

I loved this brand new historical novel by Elizabeth Camden. The entire story was beautifully crafted and well written. With history and a little bit of romance, I was intrigued the entire way through the book.

Set during in the early 1900s, Caroline Delacroix enters the story as the first lady’s secretary. I absolutely loved how Camden mixed her fictitious characters into history as if they really are in the history books. Though this is book two in Camden’s Hope and Glory series, it can be read as a stand alone novel. Caroline’s goal is to find a way to rescue her younger brother from being tried as a traitor of the United States. Her only way of doing that is to get the president to pardon her brother. With her brother in jail for treason this makes her a prime suspect for Nathaniel Trask, the newly appointed secret service agent hired to make the president and his family safe. Camden always does a great job with her main couples and these two were no exception. Let the sparks fly!

The descriptions and the details in this story were incredible. With only a couple of words into the story I could imagine the setting and characters. Oh, and all the costumes too! ( :

So overall, very enjoyable historical fiction. Highly recommend! Definitely looking forward to book three!

 

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group through Netgalley for this review. All words are my own. 

Colors of Truth (Carnton #2)

In 1866 Catriona O’Toole arrives in the town of Franklin, Tennessee, searching for her Colors of Truth (Carnton, #2)younger brother, Ryan, who, according to his last letter, was headed for Franklin only days before the catastrophic Battle of Franklin. Ryan’s last note contained a stack of cash–enough money to bring his entire family across the ocean from Ireland. But after disease and illness tear through County Antrim and the O’Toole family, only Catriona and her seven-year old sister Nora are left to make the journey. Wade Cunningham, one of ten operatives in the newly formed United States Secret Service Agency, is on the hunt for counterfeiters. A tip leads him to Franklin and to Carnton, the home of wealthy Tennessean John McGavock. The recent murder of a fellow agent mandates that Wade keep his true identity hidden, as well as his past service in the Federal Army. But when he receives a note bearing only the name of the deceased agent, he realizes someone in town already knows who he really is. As evidence in the case mounts, it eventually points to Catriona, but Wade is slow to want to believe it. Because his heart is swiftly becoming hers. 

My Review: 

I absolutely loved this captivating historical novel. The story, the characters, and the settings were brilliantly captured. Bravo, Tamera Alexander!

This is the second book in Alexander’s Carnton series. The story could be read as a stand alone novel though I highly recommend With this Pledge, the first book in the series as well. While reading this book I was drawn into the story as if I was really there. Alexander did an excellent job of making her story come to life.

Catriona and her younger sister captured the life of Irish immigrants that traveled to the United States right after the Civil War to track down their brother who fought on the side of the south. The two sisters make it to the last place their brother talks about in his letters and that is where they meet Wade. With secrets of his own Wade soon enlists the help the girls to track down their brother. I enjoyed the main characters very much and by the end of the book it was like saying good bye to dear friends.

The historical aspect was exceptional. Alexander did an amazing job of taking a historical battle and town and entwining it with her story. While reading this, I could tell that a lot of work was put into this story. Well, honestly, I spent quite a bit of time looking up Civil War facts and pictures of the Carnton plantation. But I barely need the visuals since Alexander describe it to a tee.

I am very pleased with this story and highly recommend it! I am very much looking forward to the next book!

 

This book will be released on October 6, 2020, so there is time to preorder your copy!

Intrigued?

Well the author created a Youtube video about the first book in this series that was super cool. Click the link to learn more – Welcome to Carnton with bestselling author Tamera Alexander

 

I received this book from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley for this review. All words are my own. 

Carolina Breeze – A Bluebell Inn Romance #2

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and celebrity scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down. Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the precarious financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters. When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead. 

My Thoughts: 

This is the second book in the Bluebell Inn series by Denise Hunter and it takes off right where Lake Season (the first book) ended. However, you are not required to read the first book before this one. They are stand alone novels, since it switches main characters.

Overall it was a cute story despite that the whole story pretty much takes place within two weeks. I felt like there was way too much going on in such a short period. It was not a favorite of mine but I do believe Denise Hunter’s readers will enjoy it.

Her main characters both had their issues that needed to be taken care of but they deserved each other. I could not connect with the main girl character since she lives the Hollywood life style and I would want nothing to do with that life style. Levi could seem really annoying but you have to get to the end of the story to know why he is a little protective of his siblings – so don’t judge until you get to the end.

Overall enjoyable read! I just wish there really was a Bluebell Inn.

Last comment: This book would make a great beach read!

 

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group through Netgalley for this review. All words are my own. 

April Showers Bring…

Well my April showers have brought sunshine, robins, and snowflakes all in the same week. Just this last week I was sitting in the sun in a t-shirt and the very next day I had to wear my winter coat. It is so crazy. So to celebrate April, I decided to have some fun.

What do these books have in common?

Yup, that is right! The first letters from each book spell out…

                                          Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

                                           Playing the Part by Jen Turano

                                           Resistance  by Jennifer Nielsen

                                           Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

                                           Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

APRIL 

All of these books I recommend (even thought I have not reviewed the last two)! I had a fun time tracking down books that I had read that started with each letter to complete this game. What books would you have used?

Rain On Rainbow Umbrella

What have your April showers brought to you?

On the Topic of Rereading…

Image result for rereading books

Well Mr Lewis… I wholeheartedly agree!

I don’t know how all of you feel but when I like a book I usually reread. Done. End of story.  There are some books that I own that I have read and reread and have reread again.

But there are others that think that books are only meant to be read once. I don’t have any issues with people saying that just as long as they don’t judge me.

When I reread a book, I find things I missed the first time. It is just like watching a movie for the second time. “Oh, I did not remember this!” or “I cannot believe that character said that.”  When I reread a book I really liked the first time I usually find it better. Sometimes that is not the case. For example, think of a book you liked when you were a teen. Reread it today. I find that sometimes my preferences change with time. But then there are some books I reread and liked it even better.

Image result for rereading

Do you reread or do you only read a book once?

The Battle Between…

Image result for ebooks vs printed books

Well, I originally thought I knew the answer to this question but then I started to see the pros and cons of each one. Yes, this comes from a girl who carried around the 5th Harry Potter book in her purse. Not the best of decisions – my poor purse did not last as long as it should have but I guess the designer did not think that it would be turned into a portable library. ( ;

 

Paper Books:
Pros-
  • Easy to identify
  • Sharing them is much easier
  • Can display them on a bookshelf
  • The satisfaction of closing the book once finished
  • All you need is a library card or a credit card ( :
  • Easier to read in the sun
Cons-
  • Heavy to carry
  • Can usually only carry one book at a time
  • Fonts may be hard to read
  • Could be eye straining
  • Purchase cost of paper books are pricier
E-Books
Pros-
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Fonts are adjustable
  • Usually more affordable
  • Can usually have more than one book with you at all times
Cons-
  • Need a device ( Kindle, phone, tablet, etc )
  • Battery dies
  • Hard to guess what the person is doing (are you reading or are you on social media?)
  • Cannot display them
  • Eye straining
  • Sunlight reflects on the screen-hard to read
I personally (after giving both types a try) still prefer holding a book and being able to turn the pages. I will use both options but if I am able to get a hard copy of the book that is the one I will choose. I love the idea of being able to keep a bunch of books on a small digital device but then I lose the ability to display all the books I have on my bookshelf.

The choice is up to you! Which do you prefer?

Stay With Me: A Misty River Romance #1

Stay with Me (A Misty River Romance, #1)When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of a historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide.
Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He’s spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind. The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life. Yet can he bear to turn her away right when she needs him most.

My Thoughts: 

Well, unfortunately I don’t know where to even start with this one. I am a little disappointed and I hate feeling this way. So being completely truthful, I was not a fan of this book.

Truth being told, the main character (Genevieve) got on my nerves a little too much. She was a selfish brat who would not take no for an answer and don’t even get me started on personal space. For example: here was a girl who literally broke into a random strangers cottage and then expected that random stranger to be all nice and let her rent the cottage. Not happening!

Sam did not leave that big of an impression on me. One thing he definitely could do better is find a better girl but I am not the author. (:  I liked the sister though. She was a hilarious side character who I would have wanted to know more about. At the beginning of each chapter the was a blurb about the miraculous five. I found myself more interested in that little story then the rest of the book. I was hoping for a little more about that but alas, I might have to wait for the next books.

This book did bring up the important topic of the prescription drug issue. It is important that people understand that it truly is an important issue in this world and one that needs to be resolved quickly. If not taken properly, prescription drugs can be extremely dangerous. Becky Wade did an excellent job in weaving the crisis into her story. So, well done for that aspect.

Overall not a fan of this one, though I am curious who the next book will be about.

 

How about you: What is your reaction to a book you thought you would like but then it ended in disappointment?

 

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group through Netgalley for this review. All words are my own. 

Traveling into the past, present and future – one book at a time!

Image result for books and passports 
Books are passports that can take you anywhere. To the bottom of the sea up to the magical kingdom up in the clouds. All they cost is time. I have been to the moon and back, the trenches of WWII, through a wardrobe to the world of Narnia, on the run, fighting for my life, and far beyond. Into the past and into the future.
Just in this year so far books have taken me to ….
  • The Canadian Frontier
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Washington D.C.
  • Ellis Island
  • The Beaches of Normandy
  • The Deserts of Afghanistan
  • AND BEYOND…
Image result for doorways
Books are portals to lands and places we cannot go to (Yes, that is the door from the Lord of the Rings).
Every time I open a book it is a new adventure in-waiting. Though warning, sometime books take you to dangerous places, such as the horrors of war. Once read, a book cannot be unread. For example, I read a lot of books set in the time of WWII, reading about things such as battles, the holocaust, etc, opens my eyes to things unimaginable.
Books lead you through heartbreak, sorrow, pain, joy, happiness, etc. We laugh with some and we cry with others. It is just the price we pay.

Where have books taken you?

 

 

 

 

 

When Hope Calls – An Adorable TV Show

In need of a cute TV show? Then I highly recommend When Hope Calls. When Hope Calls (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb

My family and I have recently been watching this TV show and have really enjoyed it. Yes, we enjoyed it enough to binge watch it within a couple of days.

I recently posted about the book Unyielding Hope by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan. That book was loosely based off this show! I enjoyed the book, so right after finishing the book, I knew I had to watch this. It was worth it! Yes, some of the acting was cheesy and there were a couple of times a back story was needed but what can I say? It’s Hallmark!

Fans of Hallmark’s TV show When Calls the Heart (WCTH), you will not be disappointed with this cute show. There are couple of characters from WCTH that visit in this show. Which I really enjoyed since I liked WCTH.

Hopefully there will be a second season! Because I really liked it!!! Please Hallmark, don’t let me down!

Have any of you seen this show? What did you think?