Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Bookish Tag

Hello, friends! Sorry for being so absent! Life ... you know. *winks* Anyway, today I come to you with a fun book tag!

I was tagged by Rebekah Ashleigh for The Bookish Tag. Thank you, Rebekah! ^_^

***

The Bookish Tag Rules:
-You must be honest.
-You must answer every question.
-You must tag at least 4 people.


***

1) What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Probably Meet Felicity by Valerie Tripp or The Secret of the Old Clock/The Hidden Staircase set by Carolyn Keene


2) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

I am currently reading An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter - the fourth book in a fantastic Regency series. (As well as The Road to Becoming by Jenny Simmons and Perception by Emily Ann Benedict.)


The last book I read was These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart. Lovely book, by the way!

I'm planning to read The Dishonorable Miss Delancey by Carolyn Miller next.


3) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Hated? That everyone loved? *blink blink* Well, I wasn't particularly fond of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson, while many others enjoyed it.

I did not like The Siren by Kiera Cass. That may or may not be a popular read - I'm not sure.

4) What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

Probably The Hobbit and THE LORD OF THE RINGS series by J.R.R. Tolkien. *hides from all the dedicated fans*

I just don't know when I'll have the time and energy to work through such big, old, dense, epic classics. Haha. I generally have trouble with the writing style of books that were written a long time ago ...

5) What book are you saving for retirement?

The Hobbit?? Haha!

6) Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?

*GASP* How is this even a question? You can not read the last page first. That should be like, banned!

Never, ever read ahead. Not even a couple pages ahead.

7) Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Interesting! I usually always read those. Let's me know a little more about the author. *smiles*

8) Which book character would you switch places with?

Hmm. I don't know that I would switch places ... my life isn't perfect but it is uniquely my own and I think I'd like to keep it. *winks*

However, I might like to go visit Rynnaia, Justin, Erielle and Cazien from the EYES OF E'VERIA series by Serena Chase so I can spend a couple days in the fantastical E'veria.

Or hop into THE GRAND TOUR series by Lisa Tawn Bergren and be Cora's sister for a few weeks/months, because I would have adored to go on a tour of Europe with them! *grins*


9) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

Perhaps Entwined by Heather Dixon. I identify with Azalea's big sister status, a lot of her personality, and *some* of the things she faces in life. (Stress on the some, haha!)

10) Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Well ... I received Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte through an online book exchange.


11) Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Hmm ... I've given away/bought books quite a bit for people. But I don't know that there was ever a super special reason. It was their birthday or Christmas or Mother's Day or their wedding (hehe) so I tried to find a book they'd like. *grins*

12) Which book has been with you most places?

I don't really know. Well, actually, probably my Bible.

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz has also come with me to interesting places. It's probably one of the first books I pack when I'm moving. And it also came along for my graduation photo shoot. *smiles*


13) Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

I was convinced I hated The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Well, I do not like that book - the storyline, you know. But I will admit that the writing style actually wasn't all that bad.

But most of those books I had to read ... The Pearl by John Steinbeck and The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway ... the writing styles may not have been hard to read, but I just didn't really get the point of the stories. They kinda irritated me. Ha.

14) Used or brand new?

Used, usually. Though I try to get as pristine-looking copies as I can. I like thrift shopping, finding cool deals, and all that.

15) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

No, ma'am.

16) Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

THE HUNGER GAMES series, for sure. It seemed the movies perhaps weren't as violent/filled with hate. The characters had softer hearts. There was way more hope. Mockingjay: Part Two ... that ending. ^__^

17) Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I distinctly remember Nadine Brandes's A Time to Speak making me wildly crave hot stew and a mountain of blankets to snuggle in. (She writes some crazy intense winter/starving/prison scenes, haha!)


18) Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

*is thinking*
*is still thinking*
*is thinking still*

I don't know. My own? Hahaha! I don't know many book lovers quite like myself, though Deborah O'Carroll understands me pretty well. It's kinda crazy how many things we're the same on. *smiles and winks*

But, she still has a little different reading preferences than me.

19) Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer! I was pretty wary going into Cinder, but I ended up falling for the characters and even the crazy sci-fi world. *winks*

Some of the violence and romantic content got a little edgy, in my opinion, in later books. But overall it was a very good series.

I Tag:

Deborah @ The Page Dreamer
Olivia @ Liv K. Fisher

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review: Liar's Winter by Cindy K. Sproles


Purchase HERE

Title: Liar's Winter

Author: Cindy K. Sproles

Series: An Appalachian Novel

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult/Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

"The choices you make determine who you are. No no mark."

Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark - and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it "the mark of the devil," and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.

Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there's anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?

Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar's Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

For me, novels set in the Appalachian Mountains have this unique quality about them. And Liar’s Winter by Cindy K. Sproles was no different—it was intriguing, heart wrenching, and very much an adventure of a certain mystery, danger, and drama.

Dealing with superstition, hate, prejudice, and an abused, na├»ve girl named Lochiel who has the “devil’s mark”, this book snags your attention and keeps it to the end. It had me guessing and wondering. It made my heart squeeze painfully within my chest. It made me smile. It made my breath catch. It made me hope.
It was a small-ish book, but the story captured my attention and resounded in my heart. It was real, raw, and gritty. And filled with this authentic journey to faith. To healing. To new life. With suspense and heart-pounding danger … as well as surprises and tender new friendships, Liar’s Winter told a story different than other Christian historical fiction.

Lochiel Ogle was different than your average POV character. Her story is horrifying … but ultimately beautiful, as God can bring healing and beauty where there was once only destruction and brokenness. Her emotional fight was real. Wow. It was rough. Still thinking about some of things that happened.

I quite loved this book. Highly recommend to historical fiction lovers, especially those who enjoys stories set in the nineteenth century Appalachian Mountains! Liar’s Winter is definitely worth your time, and I’m greatly looking forward to reading more by this author!

I received a copy of Liar’s Winter from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review: These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart


Purchase HERE

Title: Theses Healing Hills

Author: Ann H. Gabhart

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII's end writes to tell her he's in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds ... and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**4.5 stars**

I suppose stories about midwives, the Appalachian Mountains, frontier and family life, and slow, tender romances just touch my heart. These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart was a beautiful novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Set during the end and aftermath of World War II, this book introduces us to frontier nurse/midwife, Francine Howard, and soldier, Ben Locke, who's a native to the mountains. Besides our two main characters, who both quickly endeared themselves to me, we meet many other unique people in the beautiful and sometimes harsh Appalachian hills. Woody. Becca. Granny Em.

Midwifery is interesting to me, and These Healing Hills got into it a fair amount. What a miracle pregnancy is! What a beautiful thing new life is! What a precious blessing - babies. *smiles* Francine is also a nurse and just helps with random needs of the mountain people. It was neat to learn about frontier nurses and what their lives looked like. In the old-fashioned mountain life, people generally rode horses instead of having cars and had to work hard to keep up their gardens in order to make it through the winter.

In her nurse outfit, blue tunic and trousers, and with her trusty horse, Jasmine, Francine maneuvers the mountain paths and befriends the people. I like how she can have her no-nonsense "nurse attitude", but also has such compassion for her patients, and genuinely cares about them as people, and is interested in their lives. I love how sweetly she falls for Ben.

I like Ben. And Sarge. And the parts they play in Francine's life. ^_^

These Healing Hills was just a really lovely and tender story. With bits of drama and excitement here and there. A heartfelt journey of faith. A story of friendship that slowly blossomed into love. It's something akin to Catherine Marshall's Christy. Very satisfying tale. Looking forward to reading more by Ann H. Gabhart!

I received a copy of These Healing Hills from Revell publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Goodwill Haul #2

So, friends, I went to Goodwill again ... clothes shopping (usually I go book shopping there, hehe) ... and I found three shirts and a pair of jeans! For $18! *winks* Makes me feel thrifty.

Anyway! I thought I'd take some pics and do a quick post showing you all the outfits I put together.

Here goes.


 


Favorite shirt of the three?
Do you all like jean jackets? Or leather? I kinda want a leather jacket...

And ... a random picture of me with Miss Kitty. She's getting some gray, or white, hairs, I noticed.


So how's life, my dears? Where do you like to shop? Anything exciting happening?

I'm currently feeling a little under the weather. Maybe my sinuses are acting up, or perhaps I have allergies.

It's getting cooler here, but still sunny and warm.

I'm kinda looking forward to fall. Hmm...

I might do an updated bookshelf tour, now that I finally have all my books with me! *hugs my dear babies*


I just finished reading Romans, and now started John ...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:1-5

My review books are piling up, but I just don't have the motivation to read them right now! Eek! I'm currently trying to get through The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta'Mara Hanscom, but it's not what I expected. And rather crazy! Haha. We'll see...

School started! I'm helping teach. Doing Spelling and History with the kids, currently.

My family got a volleyball net. And badminton. We have a nice big yard at our new house, perfect for such things. (And Ultimate Frisbee, perhaps!) Do you all want to come over this evening? I'll make cookies. *winks and smiles*

Okay. That's all for now. Comment below with what's going on in your life so we can chat. ^_^

Here's a good song ...