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.                                                 (It Starts with a Book)

True to You

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry. John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side-by-side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match.  But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

True to You

So, the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is something I do not follow. As soon has this book cover and the back of the book was released, I put this on my to read list. This is my first Becky Wade book that I have tried and I liked it. The main female lead Nora was very well written. Wade made her so realistic—to me at least. When I was reading this book, I kept thinking “I am just like her, except I do not have a handsome Navy SEAL.” I loved this quote: “She was bookish! She had no experience with holding eye contact with Navy SEALs. All the practice she put in with Mr. Darcy and Rochester and Adolphus didn’t seem to be holding her in good stead.” There were many other quotes in the book that were just as humorous. Within the first few chapters, Wade has her main female lead mention Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Richard Armitage has Mr. Thornton. That is when I knew the book was good.

The huge downfall is that there is not another book in this series published yet. I will be reading the next book as soon as it is released.

This book has its good parts, its sad parts, its romantic parts and its ups and downs but it had me reading way into the night. I would highly recommend this book to mature readers since it deals with sensitive issues that happens to each of their mothers. Since this is my first Becky Wade book, I am very pleased with my first impression of her books and am looking forward to seeing what comes out next!

 

Title: True to You

Author: Becky Wade

Author’s Website: http://beckywade.com/home/

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group and Netgalley for this review.

Reading Resolution 55: Read a book that has a cover with your favorite color.

Reason Why: The girl on the cover is in a blue dress and to be honest dresses are my weakness.  So, I am using this book for this resolution because blue is one of my favorite colors (I have many favorite colors) and the girl is in a blue dress.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

 

Trusting Grace

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for a loving husband and children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband’s ranch, until she places an ad for a hired hand. Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart. Readers will be swept away into 1860s Montana’s lush Gallatin Valley, nestled among towering mountains and proud pines, in this emotional conclusion to the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series.

Trusting Grace

This book, for me, had high potential, but the further I read into the book the more I was disappointed. Do not get me wrong. The book had a good story plot but the whole book was lacking…and, to put it bluntly, boring.

The one part in the book that made me mad was when Robert would not tell the reason he was seen with a different woman. He told Grace to trust him but he was the one being unreasonable. Grace had already lost her first husband, so she had the right to be a little sensitive. He should have just told her the truth when she asked the first time.

Ultimately, I did not enjoy this book very much. It may be just me who does not like this type of writing style. I am not saying anything negative about Maggie Brendan and may even read another book of hers because I do not believe in first impressions. I think every author deserves a second chance! (Yes, I am thinking of Pride and Prejudice as I write this!)

 

Title:  Trusting Grace

Author: Maggie Brendan

Author’s Website: http://www.maggiebrendan.com/

I received this book from the Revell Division of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Sweetbriar Cottage

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married. Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes. But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

Sweetbriar Cottage

I keep hearing about this author from my sister. She seems to like all of Denise Hunter’s books, so I wanted to give her a try. To be honest, if you want to read her books and you have not yet, I would say do not read this one first. I have read Just a Kiss so I have an idea how she writes but this book story is not like that one. The main character, Josephine, had a bad past and sad life. Hunter made her character with the “bad girl” past.   The main lesson in this book is that God forgives even the dirtiest of sinners if they ask forgiveness.

I would not recommend this book to younger reads since this story is a more mature read, since the book deals with sensitive issues.

 

Title: Sweetbriar Cottage

Author: Denise Hunter

Author’s Website: http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/

I received this book from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

To Dance

Dancers are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six — and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance class in Boston, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet.

Twirl along with Siena as she shares her story in words with pictures by acclaimed illustrator Mark Siegel.

To Dance A Ballerina's Graphic Novel

This was a fun graphic novel about a young dancer. The illustrator, Mark Siegel, did an excellent job with the pictures. It showed the life of a young girl whose dream was to be a ballerina. Also, this a true story. I do not want to give anything away, but this is a slightly sad story as well.

I would recommend this graphic novel to any young dreamer whose dream is to dance. However, reading this book once was enough for me. I think this book should have a permanent place in any dance studio for young boys and girls to read this inspiring story. (I do believe that girls would enjoy it slightly more than boys since it is written in a girl’s perspective!)

Title: To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel

Author: Siena Cherson Siegel

Illustrator: Mark Siegel

Reading Resolution 5: Read a graphic novel

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Just a Few more Hours

Hey everyone, Keep Calm

Just a few more hours to enter into my giveaway for Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon. It ends tonight at midnight (eastern time). Spend the news and tell everyone you know. This is the last call.

Click here for the link to the giveaway: My Blog’s First Birthday

The winner will be chosen at random tomorrow.

GOOD LUCK!

Also, Haley over at Cover To Cover and Everything in Between announced yesterday that this is the last day to enter to win The Silent Songbird. Here is the link: Haley’s Giveaway

North and South

North and South.png

This review is about the book and mini-TV show, North and South. The movie is based off of the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. It follows the story of a woman named Margaret Hale. She is from the south (the setting is England) but she travels with her parents to the North. She is ignorant of the ways of the North and blindly judges the people and immediately dislikes one of the cotton mill’s owner, John Thornton.

Book VS. Movie

North and South follows the story of the heroine’s movement from the tranquil but moribund ways of southern England to the vital but turbulent north. Elizabeth Gaskell’s skillful narrative uses an unusual love story to show how personal and public lives were woven together in a newly industrial society. This is a tale of hard-won triumphs – of rational thought over prejudice and of humane care over blind deference to the market. Readers in the twenty-first century will find themselves absorbed as this Victorian novel traces the origins of problems and possibilities which are still challenging a hundred and fifty years later: the complex relationships, public and private, between men and women of different classes.

North and South

This is actually one of the first book I read that I did not like better than the movie. I watched the movie first but then read through the book after. Truthfully, I did not even finish the book. Well I read the first chapter, got so annoyed with the main girl, and skipped to the last chapter. I was even disappointed with that too. I never read the ending first but that tells you that is was that terrible. Both main characters were just dreadful and dull. Sorry to be blunt.

I would not recommend this book.

North and South Movie.jpg

This movie is actually a mini-TV show and it has four episodes. The movie is 3 hours and 55 minute but I am not able to break the movie into two parts. When I watch the movie, I have to watch the whole thing though. It is a slower movie and there are parts that drag out a little too long but as soon as the two main characters are on the screen it makes those scenes seem short. My sisters, mom, and I have watched this movie more than once. I guess we all like a good, long romantic movie. It does help that John Thornton, the main guy character, is played by Richard Armitage. (You do not want to get my sisters started on that subject! He is probably the reason why they like it so much. Oh, and the last scene.) One of my younger sisters is a what some would call a tom boy but she even sits through the whole show. She might complain when she hears what movie we are watching but she does not complain during or afterwards.

I would definitely recommend this movie to any Jane Austen fans!

 

Title of the book and movie: North and South

Author of the Book: Elizabeth Gaskell

Movie Produced by: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

The True…and Untrue…Story of Anastasia Through a Book and a Broadway

Anastasia Broadway

I recently have been keeping updated with the Broadway Anastasia. Meaning I have Anastasia Movielooked at the few pictures that have come out and the few vocal clips that they have released. I absolutely love the 1997 cartoon movie Anastasia even though the animation makes me laugh, but I guess I really like it because of the songs/vocalists. That is why I have been interested in the Broadway because it is based off that movie. Truthfully it is a good thing I like the movie and am interested in the Broadway, because there is absolutely no possible way to avoid it even if I wanted to. My younger sisters and older sister like the movie as well. Anastasia music is not uncommon coming from one of our devices speakers and usually it is turned up full volume.

 

All the excitement about Anastasia reminded me of a book I read a few years ago.

 The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia.

Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew. Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants – and their eventual uprising – Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life. History doesn’t get more interesting than the story of the Romanovs.

The Family Romanov

This book is very interesting book about the last tsar and his family. I think this book was written for younger readers but I think adults will find it as interesting as well. When I read this book, I remember reading it in a week or so. It was not an average non-fiction book. It was fast paced. Fleming had dozens of pictures. I like that when non-fiction books have pictures. It helps me to put a face to the person I am reading about and is also a good way to show that these people were real, not someone’s imagination.  Most people have at least heard of Anastasia and the speculations that she did not die when here family was murdered. Before I read this book that is all I ever heard or read about.

Off topic, I just recently watched the first season of Victoria and after watching it I did Victoria.jpgmy own research. I found out that one of Victoria’s granddaughter was none other than… Alexandra (Anastasia’s mother). She was married to Nicholas, the last tsar of Russia, which would make Anastasia and her sisters and brother great grandchildren to Victoria. This was mentioned in the book but it was funnier to write about the TV show, hich I though was very interesting to watch! There was also a family tree in the book showing how they were related.

Back to the topic, I would recommend this book to young and old looking for a well written/not boring non-fiction book about the Romanovs, Rasputin, Russia, and revolution.

I also recommend all of the movies/TV shows that I have mentioned in this post.

Title: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

Author: Candace Fleming

Author’s Website: http://www.candacefleming.com/

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.