Friday, September 30, 2016

"When Love Arrives" by Johnnie Alexander

A playboy turns his life around when he learns he fathered a son and meets a woman who is not even remotely who he thought he needed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Read This Fall

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is Books On My Fall TBR List. I have about 80 million books on my TBR list (OK, so that's a small exaggeration!), many of which are books I got from an author or publisher to review. So for this list, I've decided to go with books I already own but don't need to review ... which means I may or may not get to them!

Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (9-26-16)


Time for another look at what I read over the last week. Once again, it was a slow reading week, and I only finished one book—but it was a good one!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Together at the Table" by Hillary Manton Lodge

Last year, I read Hillary Manton Lodge's A Table by the Window and Reservations for Two. I was completely entranced by these stories of of love, family, and food. Once I started the final book, Together at the Table, I had a hard time putting it down!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

stacking the shelves (9-24-16)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly linkup hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about the new books accumulated over the week.

Kindle Freebies:

I got a passel of freebies this week (because, as I said last week, I have trouble refusing a free book), so I'm only listing the ones I actually might read someday.

Note that these ebooks were free when I got them, but prices fluctuate frequently, so be sure to check to see if they're still free before you click "buy now."

You're the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Bridge of Faith by Catherine West

The Syndicate by Sophie Davis

Catch of a Lifetime by Yvonne Lehman

Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep

If Ever I Would Leave You by Susan May Warren
Yes, I already owned this book, but the Kindle version is now available free, so I got it. You can see my 4-star review here.

Books for Review:

When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander
This is the sequel to Where She Belongs, a novel I read and enjoyed earlier this year. I'm looking forward to returning to the world of Misty Willow.

Books I Purchased:

The Waves Break Gray by Sibella Giorello
I've been waiting for this book for years. Literally. It's the sixth book in the Raleigh Harmon Mystery Series, and I'm so excited to read it!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I've heard a lot of good things about this book, so I snapped it up when the Kindle version was on sale earlier this week.

Have you read or will you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, September 23, 2016

"love finds you in sunset beach, hawaii" by robin jones gunn


Well, this is an oldie! I was just going through my drafts folder and found this review—finished but never posted! I wrote it in July of 2013, in the middle of buying my house, which probably explains why I forgot to post.

Whatever happened to Sierra? If you grew up reading Robin Jones Gunn's Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen series, you may be wondering. Well, here's your answer ...

Sierra came to Sunset Beach for relaxation--not for world-class surfing and certainly not for romance! When a wealthy friend offers Sierra Jensen a vacation at an oceanfront beach house, she envisions a quiet retreat where she can plan her next move. Instead, she arrives at the start of the noisy surfing competitions and is surprised to learn that her friend had an ulterior motive--namely, introducing Sierra to Jordan Bryce, the tenant staying below them. Jordan is a photographer whose lens and attention are focused on the surfers, and he is not willing to let anyone get in his way of landing the next cover shot for Surf Days magazine. Sierra and Jordan came to Sunset Beach looking for different things. But as the surf pounds the North Shore, will they discover something better than either of them had imagined? 

When I look back on this book, I'm torn. Normally, I fly through anything Robin Jones Gunn writes. I read the Christy Miller series as a teen and borrowed my little sister's Sierra Jensen books after I was really far too old to be reading them. Gunn's Glenbroke series remains one of my favorite romance series, and the Katie Weldon series was spectacular. So naturally, I was thrilled to get my hands on Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii. Two years ago. But when I started reading the novel, I wasn't entranced like I anticipated, and I ended up putting it down.

I finally decided to give it another shot, and I read the whole thing in one afternoon. While I enjoyed the story, it seemed to drag on far too long. It was one of those cases where a simple conversation could clear up a misunderstanding and would have saved at least two days' worth of agony. I also didn't quite buy the romance, but maybe that's just me ...

While this wasn't exactly the return to Sierra's story I was hoping for, I am glad that I read it, simply because it gave some closure. 3 stars.

Buy the book.

Robin Jones Gunn is the much loved author of over 85 books. With nearly 5 million copies of her titles sold worldwide, her popular Christy Miller series now continues in Christy & Todd: The Married Years. Her novels and non-fiction works have received multiple awards and are a favorite with book clubs and study groups. Robin and her husband have a grown son and daughter and live in Hawaii.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and reviewed it by choice. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Thursday, September 22, 2016

"live on forever" by the afters + giveaway

The Afters are back with Live on Forever, an album that's sure to get you tapping your toes!

Track List:
1. Shadows
2. Battles
3. Sunrise
4. Time of My Life
5. Wake Up My Heart
6. Live on Forever
7. Eyes of a Believer
8. Survivors
9. Legends
10. When You're with Me

It’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy. 

Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.

But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God. “If any theme has emerged, it would be ‘inspiration and motivation,’” Havens says. 

Havens himself felt a deep need to hold on after another loss struck: The band’s longtime soundman, Anthony Martinez, saw his newborn daughter die in infancy. 

Ask Havens to pick out a song that sums up the spirit of the album, and he chooses “Battles.” “It was the last song we wrote and the fastest we wrote,” he says. “We don’t typically write songs fast; we’ll change lyrics and melodies and craft our songs carefully. But ‘Battles’ poured out, the music and lyrics, in one day. It’s about standing up against fear and knowing God is always with us,” Havens explains. “It’s one of the takeaways we hope people get: ‘Don’t give up to fear.

Havens shares how, half a world away from his home in Phoenix, he caught a small glimpse of heaven’s reassurance. The place: downtown Amsterdam. The occasion: a dinner between shows with band members and spouses—including soundman Martinez and his wife. For their baby daughter, the Martinez couple had chosen an unusual moniker with an unusual spelling: Pieper. Against all odds, it also happened to be exactly how the intimate restaurant they dined at spelled its name. Still, no one was prepared for what happened at the end of the meal. “We were talking about baby Pieper, and as we got up to leave, we noticed that the only thing on the walls—the only thing—was a framed document, an award for hospitality. And the date on the award—the only date in the place—was Pieper’s birthday. Her mother just started bawling.” Havens sums up the reassurance all took home that night: “We thought, ‘This is where God’s angels fly: right in the middle of the loss.’ God gives us little glimpses to show us he’s here.”

“We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’”

Prior to this album, I knew only two things about The Afters: they put out the fabulous "Light Up the Sky" and the cheesy, catchy, and now horribly dated "MySpace Girl." (Go watch the "MySpace Girl" video right now. Seriously.) Those two songs are very different, so I wasn't sure what to expect with Live on Forever.

What I found was a delightful mix of toe tappers, ballads, anthems, and love songs. Some songs are directed toward God ("Wake Up My Heart"), others are meant to encourage believers ("Eyes of a Believer"), and the final song is a beautiful love ballad ("When You're with Me"). This is the kind of album I can listen to the whole way through without getting bored—because the songs don't all sound the same. My favorite songs are "Wake Up My Heart," "Survivors," and "Battles," but all the songs are good. Give the album a listen—you won't be disappointed. 4-1/2 stars.

Not only did I get to enjoy this great CD, but I also have a copy to give away! Enter through the Rafflecopter below.

Giveaway rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Contest is open in the US and CANADA only. Winner will be selected at random using Rafflecopter.com and will have 48 hours to respond to email notification, or another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

../Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail%20Downloads/9BBEC3DC-266D-4FCE-B5CA-E6E4DCED78AF/The_Afters_507.jpgBuy the album: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play
Listen on Spotify.

Connect with The Afters

Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"just one summer" by nicole deese, tammy l. gray, amy matayo, & jenny b. jones

A few months ago, I was flipping through my Kindle book collection, looking for something to read, and I came across Just One Summer. I bought it last year, but I didn't have time to read it, and then I forgot all about it. (Doesn't that tend to happen to Kindle books?) I decided to give it a try, and it proved to be the perfect light vacation read.

Four Best Friends. Four Love Stories. Just One Summer. 

Four college girls, best friends since childhood, have found one constant in their ever-changing lives--summer. Every June the girls choose a destination to reconnect, only this summer is different. This year, each one must face life's challenges on her own, overcome fear and failure, and learn the beauty of falling in love for the first time. 

A Summer Remade by Nicole Deese 
Joss Sanders needs an escape, a reminder of a sweeter, simpler, and steadier time. Only her family's cabin isn't exactly how she remembered it as a child, and neither is the charming boy who lives next door. Change is everywhere. If Joss doesn't stop living in the past, she just might miss the promise in her future. 

Waves of Summer by Tammy L. Gray 
Sydney Andrews wants nothing more than to get away from a controlling ex-boyfriend, find some clarity and enjoy a drama-free vacation. But nothing in Sydney’s life is ever that easy. Especially when the sexy bartender she meets at her mother’s wedding wants more than just her friendship. He wants the girl she’s forgotten how to be. 

A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo 
Darby Sparks has lived a very sheltered life. A homeschool graduate, a small town resident, and the only child of two over-protective parents. But she's had enough. She wants to see the world and chase her dreams, and that's just what she does...until she runs out of money. With limited options, Darby finds herself working for dangerously hot Lennon Dixon, the owner of a downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor. To call the job unfamiliar is the world's biggest understatement. And to call her attraction to Lennon unexpected is a very close second. 

Wild Heart Summer by Jenny B. Jones 
Twenty-one year old Avery Crawford has had to fight for everything in her life, and this summer is no exception. When her culinary internship in a chic restaurant falls through at the last minute, she gets an unexpected offer to work on a dude ranch in the quaint town of Sugar Creek. While Avery’s up to her apron in cattle drives, trail rides, and kitchen duty, the cute ranch manager Owen Jackson is determined to sweep her off her feet. Just as Avery finds herself unable to resist Owen’s Southern charm, her own family secrets begin to unravel, pushing her away from the ranch--and the love of one handsome cowboy.

This collection kicks off with A Summer Remade, which is a nice, cute story. I enjoyed reading it, though I didn't find myself particularly drawn into the romance. 4 stars.

Waves of Summer had romance and chemistry in spades. I loved watching Sydney and Jacob fall for each other, and I'd love to watch their journey continue. 4-1/2 stars.

A Painted Summer was very interesting—Darby is a "good girl" who finds herself drawn to "bad boy" Lennon ... who turns out to not be bad at all. 4-1/2 stars.

Wild Heart Summer was the one story that fell a bit flat to me at first. I just really didn't care much about Avery or Owen. In fact, I stopped reading it about halfway through. About three months later, I picked it up again ... and I ended up really enjoying it! So I didn't care for the first half of the novella, but I really liked the second half. 3 stars.

Apparently I took long enough to read this collection that it's not even available anymore! Most of the novellas are available individually—I'd especially recommend A Painted Summer.

Buy the novellas: A Summer Remade, A Painted Summer, and Wild Heart Summer. (Waves of Summer doesn't appear to be available at this time.)
Read my reviews of Matayo's The Wedding Game (4 stars) and In Tune with Love (4-1/2 stars) and Jones's Save the Date (5 stars) and There You'll Find Me (4-1/2 stars).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and reviewed it of my own free will. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

top ten tuesday: all about audio


This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is All About Audio, and it's totally open—basically, participants can take it in whatever direction they want. So I'm going to list nine of my favorite audiobooks and podcasts ... because I'm having trouble coming up with ten, and it's already past my bedtime!

Audiobooks:


As You Wish by Cary Elwes. I cannot recommend this highly enough for fans of The Princess Bride! Cary Elwes reads the book, and several cast members make appearances, making the audio version so incredibly fun!



The Gifting series by K.E. Ganshert. I've listened to both The Gifting and The Awakening, and I'm currently listening to The Gathering (it's what I listen to when I'm mowing, and it makes mowing semi-tolerable). Narrator Heather Masters does a fabulous job, and Ganshert's plot is phenomenal! My reviews: The Gifting (4-1/2 stars), The Awakening (5 stars).

Podcasts:


Pop Culture Happy Hour. This is my go-to podcast. I look forward to Friday mornings because I know there will be a new episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour to listen to while I get ready for work. Linda Holmes and the PCHH gang discuss books, movies, TV, and all variety of entertainment. Even when they discuss a topic I don't think I'd be interested in, I enjoy the show.

Quick to Listen. I've just recently begun listening to this Christianity Today podcast. It tackles a variety of topics like politics, pop culture, sports, to name a few.

The Popcast. I've been listening to Knox and Jamie since their Bachelor recapping days. Sometimes they get a little mean for my taste, but I usually love listening to their take on all things pop culture. And I can't wait to hear their take on #BrexPitt.

Ask Me Another. This competitive trivia show is so much fun to play along with!

Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan. Of all the podcasts, I have the longest relationship with this one—I was listening to Ryan McGee and Maureen Ryan back when they did a Lost podcast. Now they talk all things TV, and while I don't listen to every episode, I enjoy every one that I do listen to.

Have you listened to any of these audiobooks (or read the books) or podcasts? Have a recommendation for me? Let me know, and check out the other lists in the linkup.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, September 19, 2016

it's monday! what are you reading? (9-19-16)


Last week was a slow reading week for me ... largely due to my current obsession with One Tree Hill! When OTH was on TV, I thought it was just a dumb teen soap. I was kind of right—it is a teen soap. But it's not dumb, and it's so addictive! I started watching about a month ago, and my reading life has suffered, to say the least.

What I read last week:

Professional Boundaries by Jennifer Peel. This is a Kindle freebie that I absolutely did not intend to read right away. But I somehow accidentally opened it on my Kindle, started reading, and was hooked. It's a very compelling story, though some aspects of the writing really bugged me. I'll try to get a review written up soon, but I'm thinking it's about a 3-1/2 star read.

What I'm reading now:

Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge. I'm about 3/4 of the way through, and I'm absolutely loving it!

A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas. This is my "lunch break" book, and it's taking me longer to get into it than I anticipated. That could be because my lunch break is often interrupted, so I don't get a solid chunk of reading time!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I only read a little bit of this one over the last week, but as the month is winding down, I need to get going! (It's my choice for a banned book for Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2016 reading challenge.)

What I'll read next:

The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck. I've been looking forward to this for a while, and I think I finally have time in my schedule to read it ... that is, if I can pry myself away from Netflix long enough to read!

Have you read any of these books? What books are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments, and check out other posts from the linkup.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

stacking the shelves (9-17-16)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly linkup hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about the new books accumulated over the week. Several years ago, I did something like this (my "what's in the mail" posts of yore), and I wanted to pick it up again. So here we go!

Kindle Freebies:

Here's the absolute truth: I have a problem with Kindle freebies. If it's a Christian book (or is touted as "sweet" aka clean romance), I cannot pass it up ... even if it looks terrible. I think I've probably read ten or fewer of the Kindle freebies I've gotten, and the total number of books I've downloaded has to be in the hundreds. So the chance of me actually reading any of these books is slim to none.

Also, note that these ebooks were free when I got them, but prices fluctuate frequently, so be sure to check to see if they're still free before you click "buy now."
Revelation by Warren Wiersbe

Whiter than Snow by Leah Atwood

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. This freebie I was actually excited about—one of my very favorite novels, Katherine Reay's Dear Mr. Knightley, is loosely based on Daddy-Long-Legs. This is one of the few freebies that I'll probably actually read!

Professional Boundaries by Jennifer Peel.


Books for Review:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Ace Collins. I'll be reviewing this for Litfuse in a couple months. These last couple years, I've really gotten into Advent, so I'm looking forward to using this book this year.

The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I do not like Amish fiction ... except for Amish fiction written by Suzanne Woods Fisher! This is the third book in her Bishop's Family series, and I can't wait to read it! 

Silent Night Shadows by Sarah Varland. I recently read and reviewed Varland's Cold Case Witness, and I'm really looking forward to this, the next installment in her Treasure Point series.

Books I Purchased:

Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter. I've been waiting to read this book for a long time—ever since I "met" Riley & Paige in Falling Like Snowflakes. I may have squealed when I found it in my mailbox earlier this week!

Have you read or will you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

"voiceless" movie review

When I was in junior high, our youth leaders took us to picket an abortion clinic. I've always had mixed feelings about that—as a non-confrontational person, I was very uncomfortable. Yet I also then believed (and still do) that every baby should have the chance to live. I just felt that surely there had to be a better way to stand up for life.

When I was invited to screen Voiceless, I felt some of that same conflict of emotions. What exactly would Voiceless be advocating? But I was curious enough to accept the invitation.

Battling his own inner-demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner: Last Ounce Of Courage, Dodgeball, “Days of Our Lives”) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her family blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse’s wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz: Strike One, This Is Our Time) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil.

Voiceless really impressed me. First of all, the acting and production values are very good—something that doesn't always happen in faith-based films. Second, Voiceless isn't about picketing or radical activism (though there are demonstrations from those on both sides). It's about supporting and protecting life. It's about having the courage to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. And it's about the church doing more than just agreeing that abortion is wrong.

While I didn't understand everything that happened—like why Jesse was arrested after being threatened by a man who had a gun—Voiceless definitely left me with things to ponder. It's a thought-provoking movie that I believe will make a positive impact on those who watch it. 4 stars.

Voiceless releases in theaters October 7.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided with a free screener of this film through Icon Media Group. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, September 16, 2016

"love denied" by margaret lynette sharp

A lonely single woman's dreams begin to come true when she finds herself pursued by two good men.

At thirty-one, Elizabeth, a music teacher fulfilled by her craft and dedicated to her students, is still single and living at home. Unexpectedly, the father of one of her students seems to want to court her. Edward, a well-heeled solicitor still recovering from the tragic death of his young wife, invites Elizabeth to dinner at his home - a home complete with a magnificent piano that he invites her to play.

Out of the blue, Elizabeth receives a letter from her former admirer, Tom - a sheep-farmer, living in Scotland. Will the contents of this letter change Elizabeth's destiny? What startling secrets will it reveal that may upend Elizabeth's entire view of her life?

This latest work by award-winning Australian author Margaret Lynette Sharp promises to be an engaging read for lovers of well-crafted, sweet romance.

Love Denied is a short romantic novella that can be read in a few hours. It's the story of Elizabeth, a woman who thought her chance at love had passed her by. But when Edward hires her to teach piano lessons to his young daughter, Elizabeth can't deny the attraction between them.

Soon, Elizabeth's friend Tom—the man she once refused to marry—returns to Austrailia for a short visit. When Elizabeth learns that Tom still wants to marry her, she has a decision to make: should she marry Edward and become part of a ready-made family, or should she follow Tom to Scotland?

As I look back on this novella, I have mixed feelings. There's no doubt that the story was intriguing and kept me guessing, but I didn't particularly like any of the characters (except for Edward's daughter). Also, a twist that came completely out of the blue near the end definitely surprised me, but it also didn't seem incredibly realistic. Still, I was engaged with the story the whole time, and its plot and setting are different than in any other novel I've read.

Love Denied is definitely a pleasant way to pass a couple hours. Those looking for a clean romance will probably enjoy it. 3 stars.

Buy the book.

Margaret Lynette Sharp is an award-winning writer, and the author of #1 Amazon Best Seller, 'Longbourn Revisited'. Her work was highly commended during the the 2014 Hurstville Discovery Festival of Community Arts, and published by Hurstville Council in an anthology entitled 'Write Out Loud'. In November 2015 she won a Second Prize, again in the short story section of this same competition, and her title, 'More Than a Mere Bagatelle', has been selected for inclusion in another anthology, 'The Art of Writing'. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

top ten tuesday: all-time favorite inspy romances

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books of ___ Genre. That's pretty wide open, and I contemplated several topics as I drove today. (We had our annual yearbook conference in a town 45 minutes away, so I had a 90-minute drive time to think.) I wanted to be creative. I wanted to do the unexpected. But when it comes right down to it, they say to write what you know, and what do I know?

Inspy Romance.

I couldn't bear to rank them, so, listed by year of publication, here are my Top Ten Inspy (aka inspirational, aka Christian) Romances.

1990's

At the yearbook conference today, we talked about how yearbooks from the 80's look like they were made in the 80's ... well, these books from the 90's certainly look like they came from the 90's!

1994

Wings of the Morning by Lori Wick. I haven't read this book in years, but I still remember it vividly. Lori Wick was my favorite author of the mid-to-late-90's, and Wings of the Morning is my second favorite of her novels. A handsome sea captain, an independent woman, and pirates ... what more could you want?

1995

Sophie's Heart by Lori Wick. I probably read this ten times in high school alone. I also loaned it out to all my friends, which is why my copy is in such horrible shape. Like Wings of the Morning, I haven't read it in years, but it will always be one of my favorites.

1997

Sunsets by Robin Jones Gunn. I loved the whole Glenbrooke series, and Sunsets was my favorite installment, I think because it featured Alyssa, a character from the Christy Miller series.

2000's

2008

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter. This marriage of convenience story is still one of my favorites! It was recently made into a Hallmark movie which was good, but the book is better! (my review)

2010's


2011

Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin. This book, the first of Sundin's I ever read, was my favorite book of 2011. Sundin's World War II novels are some of my most anticipated reads each year. (my review)

2012

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade. Kate & Matt's story was my favorite of 2012, and I knew the instant I began reading it that Becky Wade was destined to become one of my favorite authors. (my review)

2013

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. This epistolary novel is unlike anything else I've ever read, and it was my favorite book of 2013. I've only read it once, but I'm thinking it's time for another go at it! (my review)

2014

2014 was a very good year for inspy romance—my final three books are from this year!

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter. I absolutely loved Denise Hunter's Chapel Springs series, and this—about pregnant, unmarried Jade and Daniel, the man who has secretly loved her for years—is my favorite installment. (my review)

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren. While I enjoyed the first two Christiansen Family books, book three, When I Fall in Love, is the one that made me go "all in" on this series. Max and Grace have the sweetest story! (my review)

Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade. If you forced me to name an absolute favorite novel, this would be it. I love Ty (swoon!). I love Celia. I love their daughter Addie. Needless to say, it was my favorite book of 2014. I've read it twice already, and you can bet I'll be reading it again! (my review)

What's your favorite inspy romance? I'd love to know! And if you made your own list this week, leave a link in the comments, and I'll be sure to visit.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, September 12, 2016

it's monday! what are you reading? (9-12-16)


Time again for the weekly check-in about what I've been reading. It really looks like I read more than I did, as most of what I finished reading I'd already started previously.

What I read last week:

Cold Case Witness by Sarah Varland. I really enjoyed this romantic suspense novel (aside from one very out-of-character reaction by the hero), and I'm looking forward to reading Varland's next novel—which just arrived on my Kindle this morning! (4 stars)

God Bless Us Every One by Eva Marie Everson. I said last week that I was enjoying this Christmas novella, and that didn't change! It can be read in a couple hours—perfect for curling up with in front of a fire. (4 stars)

Love Denied by Margaret Lynette Sharp. This novella about a lonely piano teacher left me with mixed feelings. (3 stars)

What I listened to on audiobook:

The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung. Since this is geared toward kids, I had my young cousins listen with me. Two out of three really liked it! (And the one who didn't is under the target age range, so I wasn't surprised.) Be sure to check out my review for your chance to win a copy! (4 stars)

What I'm reading now:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I'm liking this so much more than I thought I would. I'm also certain I'll be doing the ugly cry by the end.

What I'll read next:

Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge. This is the final book in the Two Blue Doors trilogy, and I've been waiting a long time to read it. I can't wait to see how Juliette's story turns out!

What books are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments, and check out other posts from the linkup.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."