Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pre-Order Party + Review: The Unexpected Bride by Lena Goldfinch

Today I'm posting about author Lena Goldfinch's coming release as part of a pre-order party! I hope you enjoy learning about this wonderful author and her newest book! Lena Goldfinch writes with lovely style and breathtaking emotion, especially in her YA novel, Aire, which is amazing by the way! (Read my review of Aire HERE.)

Anyway, for today, there's my review of The Unexpected Bride, bio of Lena Goldfinch, excerpt, and plus a fun giveaway!

Purchase HERE

What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?
Rebecca Sullivan has been "Becky" all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a "perfect lady" for a wife—a real Southern belle, who's now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a "perfect lady" for her future husband.
If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he'd have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca's vulnerable eyes...and knows he'll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.
Could an unexpected marriage be a match made in heaven?

Book One in The Brides Series
Sweet Historical Western Romance / A Mail-Order Bride Novel
Release Date: October 6th, 2014
Available for pre-order in ebook format:

**4 stars**

The Unexpected Bride turned out to be quite the sweet and heartfelt story. Book one in THE BRIDES series by Lena Goldfinch, this old-fashion, mountain romance is an unexpected treat. *smiles*

Desperate to get out of the shadow of her father's disapproval, and the lingering reality that her beloved chose someone else over her, Rebecca Sullivan signs up to be a mail-ordered bride. She's also leaving behind her “Becky” side, and that young woman's hoyden ways. Reading a letter from a kind man named Isaac, she decides: An Isaac for my Rebecca. Perhaps its a sign from God. And so she embarks on a journey to the Seattle mountains, hoping for a new beginning. But things are not all as they seem. Namely, Rebecca finds herself unwanted yet again. Brokenhearted and worrying that she's a disappointment to God and all others, she works ever harder to become the perfect lady. Yet God has an unexpected way of bringing truths to light, and beauty to even the seemingly most impossible match.

I really enjoyed this tale. I liked Becky, and I felt her pain, her joy, her sorrow, even her wild spirit. It was lovely to go on this journey with her, finding a path to startlingly beautiful truths, and deep, lasting love. Isaac was also a sturdy and likable character. His father, a bit nosy at times, but a friend really! Haha! *smiles*

I didn't know quite what to expect as I first started reading The Unexpected Bride. Becky's questions in the beginning of the book had me wondering how that was going to conclude. And there's definitely an adult theme. Also, some characters can be a bit blunt in what they say. I was wondering how deep and sincere this book was going to be.

Well, let me assure you that as I kept reading, my uncertainties faded away. Lena Goldfinch writes with emotion as before. Her characters struggle in real ways. I loved how Isaac read his bible every morning before chores, and how ... well, everything else concerning that scenario! *smiles* Not only did Becky seek guidance from God, but Isaac did also. Which I think is always profound of a hero in any tale. So often, it seems the heroes of stories are “too tough to pray”, which is absurd really. So Isaac's faithfulness there warmed my heart.

Isaac and Rebecca's relationship came together quite beautifully. It was really well done, not dragging out too long, not happening too quick. I loved Becky's attitude; how submission and 'love thinks about others first' are touched on. Also, Becky's journey to understanding what the verse about a woman's “gentle and quiet spirit” means. It was just so good. Some really thoughtful lessons woven throughout this book.

As I mentioned, this novel has a bit more mature theme. Marriage and whatnot. Some “adult” discussions prevail throughout the book. I would say perhaps sixteen and up. But recommend to even older, since that's who the book seems to be geared toward.

Overall, a sweet story that left me satisfied and wiser yet in the end. It's a romance for sure, but with lessons that left me feeling like I have learned something anew about marriage, true love, and the nature of God. Where adventure abounds in the frontier mountains of Washington, and dreams come true by the hand of the Creator ... The Unexpected Bride.

About the Author:

LENA GOLDFINCH writes romance and fantasy for adults and teens. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she's writing historicals or something light and contemporary. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Visit Lena at

EXCERPT from The Unexpected Bride:

The lean-to was chilly and not for the first time, Isaac considered boarding it up proper and calling it a barn. He sat on the stool and began milking the goat, all the while mentally preparing for the worship service they planned to go to later that morning. The Scriptures he'd read first thing that morning were fresh in his mind, and his prayers kept returning to the problem of Rebecca. One inner voice urged him to send her back home, but another voice spoke of commitment. He'd said vows before God to love and keep her till death do them part. Those weren't words he was willing to dismiss lightly.

"What's her name?" Her voice was suddenly in his ear, quite close.

Isaac jumped. The goat bleated at him.

"Sorry, girl." He patted her side and resumed milking her with slow, careful hands. He glanced over his shoulder toward the subject of his thoughts.

Rebecca stood watching him, leaning over the rail and peering in at them with curious eyes. He was surprised to see her out this early. She usually left him to his morning chores, and most times he'd get back inside the cabin and find her already up preparing breakfast.

"What's her name?" she repeated.

"Name? The goat?" He looked at the goat dumbly. It was a goat. He'd never gotten much further than that. She gave them a daily supply of milk, but other than that she was generally a nuisance. She liked to butt down the stall door. And whenever she got loose, she'd eat what few vegetables he was able to grow in the summer. She also liked to nip at his shirts and underthings when he hung them out on the line--if he was lucky. Most times she'd tug the whole line down and drag it through the mud.

"Yes, the goat," Rebecca said, a pleasant-sounding smile in her voice. "Don't tell me she hasn't got a name?"

There was something nice about hearing a woman's voice in the morning. It reminded him a little of when he was young, and his mother had chatted with him in soft tones while they ate breakfast. As if speaking too loud would jar them too quickly out of whatever dreams they'd had the night before.

Rebecca's soft voice put him much in mind of those times.

"All right. I won't." Isaac focused on his milking.

"She doesn't have a name?" Rebecca pressed. "How can you have an animal that doesn't have a name?"

"Never gave it much thought. She's good for milk, but other than that she's nothing but trouble, always munching on the laundry."

"Well, then I think your choice is clear. Either you call her Milky or you call her Trouble." Her teasing tone brought a reluctant smile to his lips.

"Well, then, if I have to choose, then I guess she's Trouble."

The real Trouble was standing behind him, her elbow propped against the top of the rail, her chin cupped in one dainty hand.

Celebrate the upcoming release of Lena Goldfinch’s new historical romance with this sweet giveaway! One winner will receive a book locket necklace from the Lily Pickford Etsy shop, as well as a paperback copy of The Unexpected Bride. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Aire by Lena Goldfinch

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Title: Aire

Author: Lena Goldfinch

Series: "Standalone Novel"

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult

**5 stars**

Aire was brilliant, just brilliant. It captured such a wealth of emotions, such depth of feeling! The characters were superb, the setting lush, the plot riveting. Harrowing, heart-wrenching, and yet delicious, this is not a tale I will soon forget!

Within the beautiful, royal palace, we are introduced to Princess Annalisia, a legendary seer, destined to spend her life hiding her gift and calling a man she doesn't love 'husband'. But she goes along with her grandmother, the queen's, doings; as do her older sisters, Helena and Liliana. Until her faithful maid is abducted. From there, strange things happen at an alarmingly rate. Things Annalisia could never have perceived. Things like meeting her maid's brother, Jovanni, and escaping the castle walls dressed as a washerwoman, things like finding out she's not the only legend, and falling in love ... But in the midst of all this adventurous, frightening chaos, will the princess find a way to true love, or will she be destined to a marriage of duty?

*Sigh* I was captivated. The characters. The feeling. I don't know, you just have to read it to know how splendid of a tale it was. With just the right amount of suspense, danger, and action, Aire also took my breath away with its portrayal of the beauty of love. The host of characters charmed their way into my heart, even as they charmed each other. Annalisia, Jovanni, Ilan, Geminia, (and many more, I'm just not sure how to spell their names! lol) ... it was beautiful! The emotion of this story tugged at my heart - non-romantic relationships very much included - it held scenes that made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. So sweet. You must read Aire for the emotional depth if nothing else, ^_^

But it wasn't all romantic and sweet emotions. We also got inside the bad guy guy's head ... saw his feelings for his simple brother ... and my heart tugged again, this time with pain. It was so real. It so made you feel. Truly stunning and imaginative writing.

Let's see, as for negatives. There is a scene with a girl named Sirena and the place she resides at which is quite ... sensual I guess. It's pretty obvious that its not the most respectable place, though there's not too in-depth details.

Romance ... though it was sweet and heart-melting for the most part, it was written for a little more of a mature audience I feel. I would say at least 16 and up.

Spiritual aspects. There were quite a few references to the 'Most High'. And it is said Annalisia and other characters get their special gifts from the Most High. Also, there's praying and what not. I felt it had a nice air of faith, a trusting in God, an acknowledgment to Him for inhuman abilities. It wasn't SO spiritually in-depth, but it definitely had a spiritual element, which I appreciated! *smiles* And good values, lessons learned, important things brought to light ...

I want to keep gushing, but I won't, because I might give something away! But you should think about picking up Aire. A historical with a fantasy touch ... a novel rich with feeling, both beautiful and heart-wrenching ... It was just, lovely. I'm so excited to get my hands on another one of Lena Goldfinch's books! Perhaps a sequel? *winks*

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Give Up or Surrender?

      So, like a lot of young women out there, I would really like to get married.
      It's a dream of mine. A wish. A hope. It comes from deep within my heart, and its sweet and simple—I would like someone to cherish me as his own. Someone I can cherish as my own. Someone I can walk with on this earth hand in hand.
     Why do I feel like this dream is so looked down upon sometimes? As if I have a reason to be guilty for hoping to be a wife and a mother?

     When a young woman graduates from high school and tells of her big plans for college and a career, she is often applauded and encouraged.

     But when I speak of wanting to get married and have children, it often seems I get a belittling smile. Written by well-meaning Christians, quotes such as “sacred singleness” and “a woman should be so enamored with her heavenly Prince that she has no time to pine for an earthly prince” and “you can do God's work best when you're single” come across my path.

     To a certain extent, all these quotes have merit. But what about, “A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10) And “He who finds a wife finds what is good, and receives favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22) And “The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. (Genesis 2:18) And “Two are better than one, because they have good return for their work... A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9&12) And "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'  and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)

     What about the fact that God instigated marriage? That He created romance? That He made man, woman, and the marriage relationship? That He ordained the marriage covenant between a man and woman to be sacred? Marriage is a beautiful thing—God fashioned it to be just that.

     As for “sacred singleness”, if you are single and you're following God, then that is exactly what the status of your life is supposed to read. God has you here, unmarried, for a reason. He has holy work for you to go about. Your life is not on hold. Your godly singleness is sacred just like godly marriage is sacred.
     “A woman should be so enamored with her heavenly Prince that she has no time to pine for an earthly prince.” Jesus is our everything. We should never lower Him to the level of an earthly prince. Or elevate an earthly prince to His level. We should strive to grow in our relationship with Him, and be content in Him.
   An earthly prince is a gift. A blessing that God may bestow on us when He wishes. To want an earthly prince, to want marriage, is natural. A desire for marriage does not by any means make you less of a Christian. God knows our desires, and I believe He gave us our desires.
   Don't be so obsessed with getting married that you loose sight of your Heavenly Prince. But a hope for marriage should be just like a hope for anything else... a hope to get published, a hope to have children, a hope for a good church family...
   Surrender your dream to God, and trust that He knows what's best for your future because He loves you so much.

      Speaking of “You can do God's work best when you're single.”, I can't say I wholly agree with that. As singles, we still have obligations, just like married people. If not to our family (parents and siblings), then we have to balance college and providing for oneself, and things like that. As the King's children, we all have royal business we should be about. When we get married, God's work should never become less important to us. Rather, we now have a partner to work with. Additionally, let it never be said that raising children to love and serve God is not His work.
     To sum up my point, I don't feel like I should GIVE UP my hope of marriage, like its something that makes me less “holy”. Like I should shrug in defeat, “I'm pretty sure I'm going to be an old maid.”

     Rather, I should SURRENDER my dream of getting married into the hands of God, because (1) He is in control of my life. (2) I need to trust Him. (3) He knows what's best. (4) I want His best.

     I don't want to be that young woman on the look-out for a “could-be husband” wherever she goes. I want to focus on my wonderful Savior, His amazing work He has set out before me, and the loved ones He has already gifted me with.

     I don't want to be the woman who's depressed and lonely because she's not married like all her friends. I don't want to be the one leaving a string of broken relationships and hearts behind her. I don't want to be the one with a broken heart or a broken marriage. —Or a broken soul.

     I want to KNOW that my everything comes from God. I want to be content where He has me. I want to trust Him with my future. If He has marriage in His plans for me, I want it to come about His way.
      That way I will honor my God, and experience marriage beautifully as God fashioned it to be.

     I may or may not get married. I haven't heard God's “no” so far. It's still a gentle hope deep inside my heart. A gift I hope for, not a goal I need to accomplish. But I know my God is enough. I trust Him to give me joy, peace, and contentment. And if marriage is His plan for me, I trust it will come in the right timing.

     So don't be ashamed of hoping for a husband and children! Just know that your loving Heavenly Father is enough for you, and trust Him in the area of such details and blessings!! :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: The Ryn by Serena Chase

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Title: The Ryn

Author: Serena Chase

Series: Eyes of E'veria #1

Genre: Fantasy/FairyTale

Audience: Young Adult

**5 stars**

Enthralling. The Ryn was a mixture of fairytale retelling and fantasy, with a beautiful allegory woven throughout. I believe the retellings included Snow White and Rose Red and Sleeping Beauty. The fantasy world was rich, and whimsical, and enthralling. And the allegory very evident, taking a prominent place amidst the adventure and intrigue of this tale.

In The Ryn we meet Rose, a rather independent red-headed girl of sixteen. She lives with the Whittiers, a family who've become like parents and brothers to her. As for her true, blood-related family, she's only heard that her mother died and her father is unable to see her. She has to do strange things, like dye her red hair black, occasionally move to a whole new location and family, and is forbidden to know her real father's name.
     She's never really questioned these oddities. Until strange things began happening. Rumors of frightening creatures called Cobelds. A letter from the king. A meeting with a bear-man. A poem about a girl with jeweled-blue eyes and flame red hair ...
     Is she Rose? Or is there more to her life than she could have ever imagined?

Truly a stunning debut from Serena Chase. This novel had everything one could want from a fairytale. It was so beautifully imaginative, so fae and sweet. Yet its plot held my attention, its characters captured my notice.

The romance of The Ryn was truly lovely. It started as a friendship, and grew gently in something more. There were little moments between Rose and her knight that were so much more than physical attraction, but rather things that pointed to a true and deep love. It was so sweet, so beautifully unfolded! Very much a sweet, young love story that you don't see very much in books these days. *sigh*  … what a chivalrous knight! ^_^

I wasn't expecting much of a Christian allegory when I picked up this novel, but I was greatly surprised. The depth and feeling of the allegory in The Ryn moved me to tears more than once. It was bold, and beautiful, and ever so heartfelt. When I say Christian allegories make things realer than life, I mean books like The Ryn. What an amazing testimony of God's infinite love and power. My heart was touched. Serena Chase fantastically wove fairytale with Christian allegory, it was perfect, *happily smiles*

The Ryn is definitely an adventure. From Storytellers, to Andoven, to pirates, to ennikkas, we never stop being surprised and delighted. Its an epic story from beginning to end. A fight against ancient evil. A journey to the heart of the Creator. A path to knowing oneself and their destiny ...

I would say the preferred audience for The Ryn would be about 14 and up ... but I think 12 and up would be fine too. There is a near kiss, hand holding, and talk of romantic feelings, but that's as far as the romance goes. As for violence and gore, there's nothing really of that. Cobelds may be a bit frightening to younger children. All in all, for those who enjoy fairytale, Christian allegories, fantasy, and even just historical settings and adventures ... do try out this book!!

As for myself, I'm excited to get started on The Remedy and then The Seahorse Legacy. I have found a series to cherish!

Movie Review: Divergent

My Review (4 stars):

     Divergent (2014) is a thrilling, dystopian, action movie based on a book of the same title by author Veronica Roth. The book series is simply called Divergent as well, and consists of three main books, Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant; plus an additional few short stories.

     So, in the movie Divergent (2014), we meet Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), a teenage girl who lives amidst a precarious faction system within the walls of a great city safely cut off from the ruins of what once was America. The factions are Erudite, the knowledgeable ones; Amity, the peaceful crop-tenders; Candor, the honest; Dauntless, the brave protectors; and Abnegation, the selfless. Beatrice's parents are part of Abnegation, which makes Beatrice, and her brother Caleb, part of it too. —Until they get the test and choose a faction at the choosing ceremony. The test tells teens what they're most like (it helps them choose right at the choosing ceremony). ...But to some, like Beatrice, it tells something entirely different. Some dangerous. A condition punishable by death.

     This film brings us along with Beatrice as she struggles to cope with being divergent, and live in spite of it. After joining a new faction, she begins to realize that some things are very wrong with the way her city is living, and she has to decide whether to stay undercover, or take a stand.

     First off, I found Divergent (2014) to be thoroughly entertaining; interesting and captivating. The whole dystopian thing has really captured my attention of late, and that element of this movie doesn't disappoint.
     We have the strange faction system. Crumbling, abandoned ships and skyscrapers. Fascinating concoctions that stimulate the part in a person's brain that processes fear... when is injected into a person, along with little things that allow your fearful hallucinations to be seen on a computer screen. Yeah, crazy technology or something. :P But it's very interesting to think of.

     There's a strong family theme. It's easy to see that Beatrice and her brother and parents love each other. In some cases, this love is shown as certain ones put their life on the line for others. There's hugs exchanged, I love yous spoken, and sacrifices made.

     No spiritual element to speak of since Divergent (2014) isn't a Christian movie (or book). I read somewhere that Veronica Roth is a Christian, so... I don't know. *Shrugs* Some good values are still captured in this film though, such as standing up for the innocent even when it'll hurt (even kill) you, and putting friends and family above yourself as well. There's lots of shooting and deaths, especially in the latter part of the movie, but I didn't feel those parts were too glorified; and there were several scenes of characters grieving over someone's death. It's seems evident that Tris (Beatrice) is shocked, horrified, regretful over all the deaths, and the fighting she herself has to do. You can see it in her eyes and a scene where she says she's not sure she knows who she is anymore.

     That all being said, I will still note that some of the violence creeped me out. There were smaller things, such as the fighting rounds during Dauntless training, that didn't creep me out, but it wasn't too fun to watch, I'll admit. There were at least four intense fighting scenes, (girl on girl and boy on girl) in which one of the pair gets beat up pretty bad. There's punching in the face and stomach, some shoving and kicking and whatnot. The part that creeped me out really though, was when the fighting with guns/fighting against the government started in earnest... armed men are chasing a teenage girl, and loved ones start to die. I got over it after awhile, but it definitely made me stop and go, “wait, this isn't a pg, fluffy romance or anything”. So yeah, stop and realize this is pg-13 for intense violence before letting any younger children watch it. I would say viewers should be at least 13, preferably older (16 or so and up). If not because of the violence, then because there's definitely some mature themes that younger children and maybe even some teens can't really grasp.

     Such as intense competition between the Dauntless, which results in a suicide. And some of the stuff the Dauntless leadership try to teach their trainees, like obeying even when you don't agree with what's being done, or are even horrified at what's being done.

     Divergent (2014) was really interesting that way. It made me think of how some leaders/rulers really try to manipulate their people, as the society/dauntless leadership were trying to do in this film. "Human nature is the enemy," says one of the leaders, Jeanine Matthews... (which is true in a sense because it IS human nature to sin, to be selfish, to protect yourself even when it hurts others, to seek pleasure at any cost, and so on.) But the society's solution to human nature being the enemy, was to wipe out free will, wipe out thinking independently, wipe out emotions, wipe out the tie between family members. Faction before blood! is their quote. So yeah, its an interesting, thought-provoking theme overall.

     The romance of Divergent (2014) was touching and heartfelt at points. A little too much at other points. There's an extended kissing scene as well as a few other little moments that perhaps didn't need to be added. Also, there's a brief hallucination of a girl getting attacked. Some immodest dress and inappropriate comments also are downs of this movie.

     And there's some swearing. Some misuse of God's name. Perhaps four or five of each throughout the film.

     In conclusion, I'm not really sure what to think of Divergent (2014) yet. Like I said, it entertained me. The dystopian world fascinated me. For the most part, Tris had a sweet romance. There were no really twisted ideals being promoted that I can see as of now. But there were still teens pummeling each other, and lots of shooting. The end of Divergent (2014) leaves me really wanting to watch Insurgent (2015)...but, we'll see.

     For the most part, the dystopian world, the action, the crazy stunts, the intriguing story of Divergent (2014) really pulled me in. It's a thrilling watch in that aspect! :)

For more information about the pros and cons of the movie Divergent, I would suggest visiting

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz

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Title: Love's Fortune

Author: Laura Frantz

Series: The Ballantyne Legacy #3

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world - filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way ... to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.

**5 stars**

Exquisite. Enthralling. Laura Frantz pens yet another novel rich with emotion, beauty, and historical depth.

Book three in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love's Fortune delves into the life of Rowena (Wren) Ballantyne, who lives a simple existence in Kentucky with her father, Ansel. Though missing her mother, she loves her home. Then everything changes with a letter from her father's family ... family she scarcely remembers. Grandfather Silas and Grandmother Eden Ballantyne. Uncle Jack and Aunt Ellie Turlock. As Wren is thrust into Pittsburgh high society, she's in danger of loosing not only her heart, but also herself, in the web of schemes some of her own relatives create.
     Meanwhile, things are heating up in America as a whole. Rumors of war are whispered of. Anti-abolitionists are growing more bold and vicious; a grand problem for steamship pilot James Sackett, who secrets slaves to freedom from the Ballantynes' shipping line.
      Not much is as it seems, yet love remains ...

Each time I pick up one of Laura Frantz's books, it feels kind of like meeting up with an old friend, yet going on a fresh adventure all at the same time. She writes with such a captivating charm, its so easy to get lost in her sentences; in the simplistic wilderness of Kentucky, the intrigues of Pittsburgh, the homeyness of Scotland. Her characters are not easily forgotten. The gentle and quiet spirits of the women always delight me afresh ... their innocence, sweetness, inner strength ... it seems you seldom find that in novels these days. The love stories are always so deep and heartfelt. I especially noticed that in Love's Fortune, of Wren's romance. It tugged at my heartstrings for sure! ^_^

I really appreciated the faith elements of this novel. They were woven in so flawlessly, yet so fully. I saw growth in both Wren and some of the other characters' lives, and it was beautiful.

There was sort of four main characters in Love's Fortune. Rowena Ballantyne. Her cousin, Izannah Turlock. James Sackett. And Malachi Cameron. Both men are acquainted with the Ballantynes and Turlocks. It was a little different following the lives of four characters, I don't think Laura Frantz did that in her other novels; yet it didn't take away from the book. It was sweet to watch Izannah's story unfold additionally.

I don't know what else to say without revealing parts of the story that I shouldn't! *smiles* I very much enjoyed Love's Fortune. It was lovely really, with fascinating history, intriguing plots, heart-melting romance, beautiful characters, and just flawless writing.

I heard somewhere that Love's Fortune is the last book of the Ballantyne Legacy series (coming after Love's Reckoning and Love's Awakening). That saddens me ... *tears* However, it was a satisfying and beautiful conclusion to the series.

In any case, I eagerly await Laura Frantz's next release, whatever that may be! Let's hope it comes soon, in any case! ^_^

I received a free copy of Love's Fortune from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Find the video of the making of Love's Fortune's cover HERE!

THE BALLANTYNE LEGACY series. Aren't the covers just stunning?? The breathtaking colors, the wind in the model's hair, the gorgeous dresses ... *happy sigh* These have to be three of the most beautiful book covers I've ever seen. And not to mention, the stories inside are gems too! ^_^

Friday, September 19, 2014

Some Exciting Coming Releases...!

     Just sharing some beautiful book covers and exciting descriptions of the stories within, :) Most are new releases/coming soon... some may be older that I just happened to have found out about not too long ago. Looking forward to reading these books!!

The Creole Princess by Beth White

All along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. In the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is quieter--though no less deadly. The lovely Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their paths cross and their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie--and somehow keep Lyse's family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown.

With spectacular detail that brings the Colonial South alive, Beth White invites readers into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known side of the American Revolutionary War. Her richly textured settings and characters delight while fast pacing and closely held secrets will keep readers turning the pages.

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

How would you live if you knew the day you'd die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

Tears of the Sea by MaryLu Tyndall

Doomed by the evil warlock Forwin to wander the ancient seas as a mermaid for all eternity, Perdita longs for the release death would bring. Every ten years she has a chance to break the curse when she emerges from the sea fully human for one month. The catch? She must find a man willing to die for her. After 300 years, her failures have left her heartbroken and alone.

Savion Ryne wants nothing to do with beautiful women. It was one such woman whose betrayal sent him far away to battle Natas’ rebellion. He longs to return to his father’s kingdom in Nevaeh but must first complete an unknown mission.

After Savion falls off his ship during a storm, he wakes on the shores of an island with visions of a dark haired mermaid tending his wounds. When a woman similar in appearance begs for his protection, he is suspicious.

Perdita has never met anyone as honorable as Savion. Even though he shuns her every advance, she falls for him. But as the end of her time on land approaches, she faces the hardest decision of all, save Savion and remain cursed for all eternity or break the curse and watch the man she loves die.

The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton

Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by WaterBrook Press

How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes

How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he’ll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it’s far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won’t stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she’s crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can’t just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.

Second Son by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

In an attempt to manipulate the future, a family and a nation are forced to decide between two brothers. Guided by a prophecy spoken hundreds of years before, the King and Queen of Llycaelon have set their course. Their goal: to fulfill the prophecy and save their nation from a dire fate.

Rhoyan has always understood and accepted his own role as second born and perpetual prince. He looks forward to the day when he will be a warrior in his older brother’s guard. When Rhoyan is sent on a quest filled with unimaginable danger, nobody anticipates the greater repercussions.

As Rhoyan journeys far across the seas on his appointed trial, he will battle creatures of legend, suffer shipwreck, endure captivity, and lay claim to a fallen star. When tragedy strikes, Rhoyan must struggle to return home believing his quest has failed. However, the home he left no longer awaits him and the true test of his strength and character has only just begun.

Long before Aom-igh needed a champion, Llycaelon had a Second Son.

Emanate by Jackie Castle

Alyra stared at the White Road. Felt it beckoning, calling her to complete the quest to convince the reclusive dragons to rejoin Alburnium.

Lord Darnel haunts the dreams of his Princess. The dark ruler of Racah refuses to give up his hunt to return Alyra to his castle where he can control her powers.

Tarek holds the truth of his life in Racah with Alyra a well-guarded secret. Despite his reservations, his heart leads him to join Alyra’s journey and protect her from the dangerous drakes. But in the midst of their travels, something greater than either anticipated comes to light between them.

The centaur friends, Lotari and Stitch, are under pressure to complete the Wilderland Meeting Hall before the Dwarf King Lucien brings war upon them.

Katrina the Curian continues the search for her missing kin while keeping her linage a secret. With the use of a magical looking device, she may either have found the break-through she's needed, or exposure of her tightly kept secret.

Jerin the Warrior continues his trek, with the Alburnium warriors, gathering reinforcements to stop the Dark Lord. But with each place they visit, they find the Racan leader's power and strength growing beyond what anyone could have imagined.

Deluge by Lisa Tawn Bergren


The Bettarinis and Forellis have found rich fulfillment together in medieval Italia. But after fighting off countless enemies, they now must face the worst foe of all. As the Black Death closes in upon them, threatening everything and everyone they hold dear, Lia and Gabi–and the knights they love–must dig deep within to decide how they might remain safe…and if they need to risk it all in order to truly live as they’re called.

So there's some books I'm excited to read! What about you? Do any of these lovelies happen to be on your to-read shelf? :)