Thursday, April 27, 2017

"The Sound of Emeralds" Birthday Blog Tour + Giveaway

Welcome to The Sound of Emeralds birthday blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!

Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver, the first two books in the series. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers. I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Emeralds and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win signed copies of all three books!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Homestands" by Sally Bradley

Homestands is the last book I read in my whirlwind tour of Kindle Unlimited. I decided not to continue my subscription after the free trial because I already own hundreds of Kindle books that I haven't read ... but I certainly enjoyed KU while I had it.

(The other KU titles I read and reviewed are Beauty and Buying Love.)

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (4-24-17)

Hosted by The Book Date

Happy Monday! I've been absent for several weeks (blame the busyness of the end of the school year), but I'm back now—because I'm prepping this on Saturday while watching Everest. My thoughts so far: why on earth would you put yourself through that? I certainly don't have an adventurer's spirit!

"Kissed by a Cowboy" by Lacy Williams

I've had the Kindle version of Kissed by a Cowboy for a few years now, but I never got around to reading it. Then last month, author Lacy Williams had a massive audiobook giveaway, and I got a copy of Kissed by a Cowboy. I love listening to audiobooks when I'm mowing (it makes that chore just a small bit better), and I listened to the whole thing in just two days.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Life After" by Katie Ganshert

The last time I read a Katie Ganshert novel (not counting her YA dystopian series written as K.E. Ganshert), I closed the book with tears streaming down my face. While I wanted to read Life After, I wasn't sure I was emotionally ready for it. Turns out, while Life After is deep and emotional, it didn't wreck me in the way that A Broken Kind of Beautiful did. Yet it also left me with much to consider about God and His goodness.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Just the Way You Are" by Pepper Basham

Over the past year, I've heard a lot about Pepper Basham—her books are pretty popular with several of the bloggers I follow. Just the Way You Are gave me my first opportunity to sample her writing, and let's just say that now I get what all the fuss is about!

Friday, April 7, 2017

"The Versions of Us" by Laura Barnett

The moment I heard of Laura Barnett's The Versions of Us, I knew I wanted to read it. Multiple versions of the same people, showing how their lives would be different if they'd made different choices? I'm always down for that!

Monday, April 3, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (4-3-17)

Hosted by The Book Date
Happy Monday! This last week has been a great reading week for me ... which is funny, as I was busier than usual and also watched the entire run of Emma Approved. (I didn't enjoy is as much as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but it was still pretty good.) I think the difference is that I felt like reading. That doesn't always happen :-) Once again, I focused on books I really wanted to read, not books that I've agreed to review. (The two aren't mutually exclusive, but there's a freeing feeling in choosing books based on what strikes my fancy instead of being a slave to deadlines.) I've also been bouncing around between books ... something I rarely do. I don't know what's gotten into me lately!

Friday, March 31, 2017

"Buying Love" by Toni Shiloh

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to review Toni Shiloh's Buying Love. I passed on it, as I've started getting very selective about the books I accept for review (for my own sanity). But with my recent unintentional Kindle Unlimited subscription, I've been borrowing books that piqued my interest, and this is one of them. It turned out to be a really engaging book that I read in a couple hours.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Beauty" by Robin McKinley

With the release of Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast (which I loved), other retellings of the fairy tale are all the rage. I wasn't aware of Robin McKinley's Beauty until it showed up in Modern Mrs. Darcy's Kindle deals list the other day, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to read it!

(Also. If you're not already subscribed to MMD's deals, do it! She's responsible for 90% of my ebook purchases.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (3-27-17)

Hosted by The Book Date

Happy Monday! I'm working on this much earlier in the day that usual—I normally throw this together at the last minute on Monday evening. But I'm taking a half vacation day today because I'm going to meet with a guy from the city about my trees. (Turns out, all of my trees but one or two actually belong to the city, so they decide whether a tree can be removed.) So while I'm waiting, I'm blogging :-)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"When Tides Turn" by Sarah Sundin

Lately, I've been in a bit of a reading slump. It's not that I haven't read enjoyable books, but I've only had three 5-star reads so far this year, and I finished the last one (For Love & Honor) at the end of February. I was absolutely ready for another "I love this book so much and I can't put it down and I wish it wouldn't end" kind of read ... and, happily, that's exactly what I found with When Tides Turn.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"The Healer's Apprentice" by Melanie Dickerson

The Healer's Apprentice
 begins Melanie Dickerson's excellent Fairy Tale Romance series. These books can be read in any order; I didn't start until The Princess Spy, book five in the series, so now I've decided to go back and read the ones I missed!

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (3-20-17)

Hosted by The Book Date

Happy Monday!!! Or maybe I should say, HAPPY MARCH MADNESS!

It's true—I go a little crazy during March Madness. I pay zero attention to college basketball until the tournament begins, and then it's all basketball, all the time. Every single year, I pick Kansas to win it all. Most years, I'm horribly disappointed. But things are looking good so far! (My bracket is still in remarkably good shape. I did have Duke in the Final Four, but my other three teams are still in it!)

"The Elusive Miss Ellison" by Carolyn Miller

When I first heard of The Elusive Miss Ellison, it was being promoted for fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen. While I had to look up Heyer, Wick was my favorite inspirational romance author for many years, and Klassen is currently one of my favorite writers.

That was enough to get me to check out the book.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Open Hands" by Laura Story + Giveaway

Let me tell you a little story ... last Monday, I got home from work and found Laura Story's new album Open Hands in my mailbox. I went inside and proceeded to spend an incredibly frustrating hour on the phone with the company that manufactured my now-broken television and the company I purchased an extended warranty from. Both phone calls ended unsatisfactorily (you can see my Facebook rant here if you're interested), and once I hung up the phone, I knew I needed to do something to lower my blood pressure. So I popped in the CD. Immediately, I felt myself beginning to calm down. And then I was captivated by the music I heard.

Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (3-13-17)

Happy Monday! I'm back from a long (but good) day of judging district speech. Tomorrow, I go out again. Went 50 miles east today; i'll go 90 miles west tomorrow. It makes for long days, but I enjoy it ... and the pay's not bad, either :-)

I ended up reading quite a bit last week ... and I also finally caught up on This Is Us (no spoilers here, but oh, the tears!) and watched the first couple episodes of Time after Time. It's a time travel show ... so of course I'll like it :-) It is a little violent for me—I end up covering my eyes often—but I suppose you'd expect that in a show about Jack the Ripper.

"Restoring Love" by Jennifer Slattery

If you like to read books about people who seem like they could be your neighbors, the Restoring Love is the book for you!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Then Came You" by Becky Wade

The first book in Becky Wade's new contemporary romance series doesn't release until May, but this prequel novella—which is free for Kindle—will tide you over in the meantime!

Monday, March 6, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (3-6-17)

Happy Monday ... or not. I've actually had a frustrating Monday as I tried to deal with customer service at two companies—the manufacturer and the extended warranty company—regarding a broken TV. (Seriously. If a product is defective, I should not have to pay to ship it to you.) No resolution yet, but I'm now listening to my new Laura Story CD, which is helping to lower my blood pressure. Hammond is helping, too :-)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"For Love and Honor" by Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund delivers the third (and presumably final) book in her medieval YA romance series with For Love and Honor, and it's her best yet.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Best Books of 2016: Top Ten (Plus Two!)

So ... I'm a little embarrassed to even post this now. It's March 1. I have never been so late with my "best of" list before. I don't even have an excuse; I just kept procrastinating!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng

For more than a year now, I've been hearing about Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You. That cover immediately jumped out at me, which made me want to read it even more! However, I have a gigantic TBR list, so the chances of actually getting to it were slim. But then I found it on Audible Channels (a Prime benefit), and I listened to the whole thing in under two weeks, which is very fast for me with audiobooks.

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Moving Target" by Lynette Eason

In a story I think would translate beautifully onto film, police detective Quinn and bodyguard Maddy find themselves playing a cat-and-mouse game with a killer who believes God has chosen him to enact justice.

(Seriously. This book seems like it's made to be a Lifetime movie ... a good one, not a ridiculous one.)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"Out of the Shadows" by Emma Carrie

Sci-fi, YA, and Christian fiction intersect in Emma Carrie's Out of the Shadows, the first novella in her Tacket Secret series.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked More/Less Than Expected

When I saw today's topic, Books I Liked More/Less Than I Expected, on The Broke & The Bookish, I thought, "Hey, I can do that!" I've read enough books and I'm opinionated enough about them that the only problem was limiting myself to ten books! I decided to go halfsies—first I'll talk about the books I liked less than expected, then I'll gush about the ones that surprised me in a good way.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"Justice Delayed" by Patricia Bradley

I first "met" Patricia Bradley through her Logan Point romantic suspense series. While I greatly enjoyed those novels, it's clear that Bradley just keeps getting better, as Justice Delayed is one of the best suspense novels I've read in quite a while!

Friday, February 17, 2017

"A Portrait of Emily Price" by Katherine Reay

At the end of 2013, I discovered Katherine Reay's Dear Mr. Knightley. It's a beautiful novel that I read in one evening because it was so "unputdownable." I still haven't read her follow-up, Lizzy and Jane, but I was thrilled to get my hands on The Brontë Plot last year. Turns out my expectations were a bit too high, based on my complete adoration for Dear Mr. Knightley, and I walked away from The Brontë Plot a bit disappointed, even though it's a solid book.

While I expected to enjoy A Portrait of Emily Price, Reay's latest novel, I went into it with much lower expectations ... and I found myself blown away by this beautiful, touching novel.

Friday, February 10, 2017

"The Captive Heart" by Michelle Griep

You know how sometimes you pick up a book and just. can't. stop. reading. even though it's past your bedtime? It used to happen to me a lot. I have childhood memories of huddling under my covers with a flashlight, reading the latest Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, or Baby-Sitters Club book I'd gotten from the library. As I got older, the books changed and the lights remained on, but the late-night reading continued. Then I developed a chronic illness, and I realized just how important a good night's sleep was to my health. Now, I'm in bed (sans flashlight) by 10:30 most nights, and I get 7-1/2 to 8 hours of sleep.

Except on those rare occasions when I encounter an "unputdownable" book ... like Michelle Griep's The Captive Heart.

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2-6-17)

Happy Monday! It's crazy how quickly Mondays come around again ...

So PixL Movie Channel update: My trial ended yesterday, and I decided to cancel. While I enjoyed most of the movies I watched, I decided that, for now, it wasn't an expense I needed. And if I change my mind, I can always sign up for a month for $2 and binge whatever strikes my fancy.

"The Garden" by Kari Jobe + Giveaway

Kari Jobe's latest CD, The Garden, is full of beautiful, worshipful songs.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

2017 Reading Challenges: January Update

If you're anything like me, when you sign up for a reading challenge, you do so with the best of intentions, but you never know how you'll do on the follow-through.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Rescue Me" by Susan May Warren

It's two romances for the price of one in Susan May Warren's Rescue Me, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, January 30, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1-30-17)

After telling you about my incredibly busy reading week in my last check-in, I went on to read hardly anything last week! This is due in large part to my trial subscription of the PixL Movie Channel. I recently wrote about PixL on my other blog—PixL has the rights to many older movies that aired on Hallmark, and they also put out originals. Some are good, some are middling, and some are pretty terrible ... and I've been watching them all! My favorites (so far!) of the ones I hadn't seen before are Letter Never Sent and Romantically Speaking. No one would accuse them of being ground-breaking or unique films, but they're fun. I have to decide by Sunday if I'm going to keep my YouTube subscription to PixL ... so I may not get much reading done this week, either!

Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1-23-17)

Happy Monday! So the good news from last week's ice storm is that the wind didn't pick up like predicted, and I only lost some skinny branches—no damage to any of my property! Then the weather really mellowed out for a few days. We had an absolutely beautiful Saturday with temps in the 50's, so my mom and I got out for our first walk of the year.

"An Uncommon Courtship" by Kristi Ann Hunter

As has been well established, marriage of convenience stories are my favorite. I probably wouldn't have picked up An Uncommon Courtship had it not been a marriage of convenience story ... and I would have been missing out on a series I'm sure I'm going to love.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (1-21-17)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly linkup hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about the new books accumulated over the week. As it's been many weeks since I've participated, I'm going to highlight some of the books I've gotten over the last month.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1-16-17)

Happy Monday! We're in the middle of a massive ice storm. So far, I've had several small branches break off trees, and I lost internet for about two hours. Not too bad, considering some of the forecasts were predicting major power outages ... though I guess we're not completely out of the woods yet. The weather man is saying that increased winds tonight could cause more branches to fall ... just so they stay off of my house and car! On the upside, I didn't have to go to work today, and we have a 10 a.m. start tomorrow (I still have hope that school will eventually be cancelled). I hope the weather's a bit nicer where you live!

"Beyond Belief" by Jenna Miscavige Hill

You've probably noticed by now that I'm a bit fascinated by Scientology—not with the "religion" itself, but with the stories of those who have left. Jenna Miscavige Hill is one such person, only her story is a bit different from the others I've heard because of her family: her uncle is the current Scientology leader, David Miscavige.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Best of the Bunch: December 2016

As has become my pattern of late, I'm posting my Best of the Bunch for December well into January! (And yes, I still have a Top Ten of 2016 coming ... I'm just woefully behind!)

Though not every book was a 4-1/2 or 5 star read, I did like every single book I reviewed in December ... it was a very good reading month!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Never Forget" by Jody Hedlund

Oh, my. Let me just ask, where is my Nathaniel Winthrop? One of my fellow book bloggers likes to talk about her book boyfriends. Well, I'd like to make Nathaniel, hero of Never Forget, mine!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke & The Bookish goes nicely with the Mount TBR reading challenge I'm doing this year. The official topic is "Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY Plan To)" ... but I'm going to adapt it to Top Ten 2016 Releases I Own But Haven't Read Yet.

Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1-9-17)

Happy Monday! We're now fully back into the swing of things following the holidays ... doesn't it feel like Christmas was a long time ago? My winter is looking a little different than normal—for the first time since 2004, I'm not coaching high school speech. After 12 seasons, I decided it was time to quit. Our team's first meet was last Saturday, and I can't even express how thrilled I was to be sleeping in instead of getting up at 4:30 a.m.! I'm hoping this change means a much healthier and happier Becky throughout the winter :-)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill" by Julie Klassen

I love Regency-set (and slightly later) movies, television series, and books that take place in villages and focus on a variety of characters. Lawana Blackwell's Gresham Chronicles, the Cranford miniseries, and the TV show Lark Rise to Candleford are some of my favorites, and now Julie Klassen's new Tales from Ivy Hill series is joining the ranks of these village-set tales. Book one, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, recently released, and if it's any indication, this series is destined to become one of my favorites!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Reading Challenges: Introduction

I read a lot. That's a shocking statement to no one. I mainly read books that I've gotten for review, yet I still can't help buying books, too. One of my goals for 2017 is to actually read the books I buy. To help me out with that, I've joined two reading challenges: Mount TBR (hosted by My Reader's Block) and Read the Books You Buy (hosted by The Book Date).

As far as Modern Mrs. Darcy's challenge, which I attempted last year, I think I'll just see how the books I'm already reading fit into the challenge. I know that's not how it's intended, but it's better than not participating at all!

Monday, January 2, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1-2-17)

Happy New Year! The blog has been pretty quiet over the last week because my whole family was home for Christmas, and my sister and her husband stayed through Thursday ... so I had things other than blogging on my mind!

I did read quite a bit though—I actually read two books, started two others, and listened to an entire audiobook!