Monday, January 15, 2018

Books I Want to Read in 2018

Hi, reader friends! Just dropping by to tell you about a few books I'm hoping to read this year! Some were/are being published in 2018 ... others are older releases.

Anyway, hope you enjoy! And let me know what you think of my list, and what books you're planning to read this new year of 2018!

* Christian Living *

Published: September 12th, 2017

Published: November 13th, 2017

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018

Expected Publication: May 1st, 2018

* Fantasy/Fairy Tale *

Wonderland {The Realms #1} by Emory R. Frie

Published: July 30th, 2016

Heirs of Tirragyl {The Poison Tree Path Chronicles #2} by Joan Campbell

Published: October 10th, 2017

King's War {The Kinsman Chronicles #3} by Jill Williamson

Expected Publication: June 19th, 2018

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

Expected Publication: July 10th, 2018

* Historical *

When Tides Turn {Waves of Freedom #3} by Sarah Sundin

Published: March 14th, 2017

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Published: January 2nd, 2018

The Mayflower Bride {Daughters of the Mayflower #1} by Kimberley Woodhouse

Expected Publication: February 1st, 2018

Keturah {The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1} by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018

A Light on the Hill {Cities of Refuge #1} by Connilyn Cossette

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018

The Sea Before Us {Sunrise at Normandy #1} by Sarah Sundin

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018

Sons of Blackbird Mountain {Blackbird Mountain #1} by Joanne Bischof

Expected Publication: July 3rd, 2018

* Contemporary *

Sandy Toes {Christy & Todd: The Baby Years #1} by Robin Jones Gunn

Published: November 25th, 2016

Salty Kisses {Christy & Todd: The Baby Years #2} by Robin Jones Gunn

Published: April 28th, 2017

Sunset Lullaby {Christy & Todd: The Baby Years #3} by Robin Jones Gunn

Published: November 10th, 2017

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Quick Review of 2017 in Books + Happy 2018!

Hello, reader friends! I hope the new year is off to a blessed start for you! ^_^

From Christmas festivities, to family visiting, to coming down with a cold/flu, I haven't found much time to clear my head and do blog posts. So ... sorry about that!
I'm still struggling with a cold, but I decided to do a quick post today that I've been wanting to do!

So, a short review of the year 2017 in books! (My favorite 2017 memories - besides books - are having Christmas in January with my parents and siblings, trip to Florida, moving into the new house, reunion, visiting a new church & meeting new people there, and the times when family came down to visit!)

Anyway, onto my favorite books of the year past! *smiles*

* Top Christian Living *

Sex and the Single Girl by Juli Slattery

Honorable Mentions (Christian Living):

* Top Fantasy *

Chains of Gwyndorr {The Poison Tree Path Chronicles #1} by Joan Campbell

Deliver {The Blades of Acktar #4} by Tricia Mingerink

The Firethorn Crown {Firethorn Chronicles #1} by Lea Doue

King's Blood {The Kinsman Chronicles #2} by Jill Williamson

Honorable Mentions (Fantasy):

Exiles {The Ilyon Chronicles #4} by Jaye L. Knight

Fallen Star {Tales of Goldstone Wood Short Story} by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

* Top Historical *

To Wager Her Heart {Belle Meade Plantation #3} by Tamera Alexander

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Shadow of the Storm {Out From Egypt #2} by Connilyn Cossette

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

The Captivating Lady Charlotte {Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace #2} by Carolyn Miller

Liar's Winter {An Appalachian Novel} by Cindy K. Sproles

A Love so True {Teaville Moral Society #2} by Melissa Jagears

Honorable Mentions (Historical):

You're the Cream in My Coffee {A Roaring Twenties Novel} by Jennifer Lamont Leo

A Name Unknown {Shadows over England #1} by Roseanna M. White

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

* Top Contemporary *

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis


So what did you think? Are any of these your favorite reads? ^_^ Go to my Goodreads site to see my full year 2017 in books!

Hopefully my next post will be my Most Anticipated Reads for 2018! Stay tuned! *grins*

Friday, December 29, 2017

Book Review: Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Purchase HERE
Title: Holding the Fort

Author: Regina Jennings

Series: The Fort Reno Series #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the governess that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

**3.5 stars**

While Holding the Fort wasn't my favorite book by Regina Jennings, I must admit it was a pretty adorable story. The first book in a new series, THE FORT RENO SERIES, it was engaging, fun, and easy to read. I ended up liking all the prominent characters: Louisa Bell, the dance hall singer. Her trouble-making brother, Private Willis. The rather endearing Major Daniel Adams, a widower and father. And the major's two daughters, Caroline and Daisy.

There was a sweet romance, unexpected happenings, danger, and drama. Secrets and unwanted surprises. And a bit of a faith theme, which was touching.

It was interesting to be in Indian territory, amidst a fort of soldiers and very little women. Caroline and Daisy kept things lively ... and Louisa, of course! *laughs* She was fun and sweet and spirited, and it was nice to watch her understand that she didn't need to change who she was to be accepted.

With some humor, and some hurt, Holding the Fort wove together a fun story. For some reason it didn't end up being a favorite for me, but it was entertaining and I'm sure others will enjoy it!

I received a copy of Holding the Fort from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Christmas Tag

I was tagged for The Christmas Tag! Christmas is in three days, folks! Are you resting in the peace of Jesus Christ and rejoicing in the hope He brings? ^_^

I admit, often it's hard to spend December being still before God and developing a heart of worship and praise. This month has been difficult for me in some ways, but it has also had many beautiful moments and I've been able to spend quite a bit of time in prayer. I pray that you allow yourself to be filled with His love, joy, and peace this Christmas season and into the new year of 2018!

Anyway, on to the tag! Thank you, Natasha @ Simple Things for tagging me! *hugs*

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1} What is your favorite Christmas movie?

I don't believe I watch actual Christmas movies. However, Love's Long Journey (2005), Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005), and The Sound of Music (1965) are perhaps movies I've seen during the Christmas season and have a cozy, nostalgic, or festive feel to them. The first two have parts of celebrating Christmas in the duration of the film.

The TV series, Call the Midwife (2012-), has some lovely Christmas specials that I've enjoyed. (Note: I haven't exactly kept up with this series because some of the later seasons have been pushing liberal agendas.)

2} Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Yes, indeed! At least during the years I lived in the cold and wintery state of Minnesota. Last year I experienced a white Christmas, I believe. *smiles*

3} Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home! Going to relative's houses for dinner. There have only been a few times when my family actually traveled somewhere for Christmas.

4} What is your favorite Christmas song?

I love O Come, O Come Emmanuel. One version, of many, that I like is by Celtic Angels.

5} Do you open any Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve?

Um ... I don't really know. I didn't last year, anyway, haha.

6} Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Absolutely not. I don't keep up all that stuff, apparently. I never knew much about Santa Claus. *laughs and shrugs*

7} What holiday tradition are you looking forward to most this year?

Well, I really enjoy the usual relaxed, family time that we have on Christmas morning. The kids are up fairly early, typically, wanting to see what's in their stockings. We have some special foods for breakfast. Everyone sits in the living room amid presents, sweets, and laughter. It's just cozy and close.

I've tried to make it a tradition to make Chocolate Cherry Pudding Cake on Christmas Day. We've done it a couple years, and have all the ingredients to make it in a few days! ^_^

(Click the picture to find the recipe this pic goes with. I use this recipe, but don't follow it exactly.)

8} Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

It is real this year! Some years we don't have a tree. But this year we do and it's perched all lit up and lovely in our living room.

9} What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?

Dark chocolate with sea salt? Spiced apple cider? Chocolate cherry pudding cake?? *hugs yummy food* Those kind of come to mind when I think about Christmas.

10} Be honest: Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

Receiving gifts is fun, but it's not what I look forward to Christmas for. And ... I'm not much of a gift-giver. I don't always get excited in anticipation of presents (though I do usually like what I receive & truly appreciate people's thoughtfulness and care! *hugs sweet people tightly*), so maybe giving gifts isn't something I'm good at, likewise.

If I bought/put together a gift that I knew someone would really love, I could get very excited to give it to them and feel a lot of warmth in the face of their happiness.

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11} What is the best gift you've ever received?

Quality time. Connection and conversation. Laughter. Genuine hugs.

Not saying I don't feel special when people take the time to buy and give gifts to me. Especially gifts that they would only know to give me if they took time to get to know me! Presents are special things. It's just that my primary love languages involve relationship and conversation. *winks*

12} What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

*thinks* *thinks some more* Well, I do have very fond memories of having family reunions of sorts during Christmastime.

Vacationing at a nice city all festive for Christmas is fun.

13} Are you a pro present-wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

Probably closer to failing than being a pro.

14} Most memorable holiday moment?

Playing a lively game with my grandparents, older brother, aunt and uncle, and cousins on Christmas Eve, I believe. We laughed crazily and it was beautiful. Still warms my heart and makes me smile when I think about it.

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15} What made you realize the truth about Santa?

As I mentioned above, I never really got into the Santa stuff. I watched that one movie, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, perhaps once. And I've seen a couple random movies about Santa Claus or Jack Frost. But those traditions and fanciful tales were never a huge part of my Christmas celebrations. Not the real reason for celebrating Christmas anyway, right? *smiles*

16} Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do you stick to them?

No, I probably never have seriously made any.

17} What makes the holiday special for you?

Family time // candlelit evening church services // singing joyful and peaceful Christmas songs // holiday foods // festive gatherings // ... I can't always hold onto it, but I seek to dwell on the love, joy, and peace of the Lord. To reflect on the hope the birth of Jesus Christ brought. Because He came, I now have a Savior. I have been given the undeserved right to be a daughter of the Heavenly King. I have been given the gift of adoption into an eternal family.

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During the Christmas season, I want my heart to swell with the beauty of God's plan and the joy and peace of belonging to Jesus forever.

It is perhaps a time to remember and dwell on the truly important things in life - and that is a precious thing to me.


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