Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Did (or Did Not) Live Up to the Hype

Happy Tuesday! Once again, I'm cobbling this list together at the last minute ... Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype. I don't read a ton of popular books, at least ones that are popular in the public at large. (Popular inspy fiction is another story entirely, as you know if you've been around this blog very long!) Here are five books that lived up to the hype, followed by five that didn't.

Monday, July 30, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7-30-18)

Happy Monday! So last week ended up being much less busy than I anticipated—some things got cancelled, which I was totally OK with. Because of that reduced schedule, I was able to read a ton last week. And it was really nice 😊.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review: "Honeysuckle Dreams" by Denise Hunter

I feel like I've been waiting forever to read this novel! Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors, and as soon as I finished reading Blue Ridge Sunrise, the first novel in this series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Honeysuckle Dreams ... but I had to. My library hold finally came in Friday ... and I read the entire book in about three hours on Friday and Saturday!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Review: "Soprano Trouble" by Victoria Kimble

Today, I have a treat for you! We have a guest review by my nine-year-old cousin Alexis. Alexis is an avid reader (just like her mom and cousin), and she's just about to enter 4th grade. She's on the lower end of the recommended ages for this book, but I was pretty sure she'd like it, and I was right! After Alexis finished reading the book, she came over to chat with me about it.

Friday, July 27, 2018

First Line Fridays: "Miss Serena's Secret"

It's finally Friday!!! These past two weeks have been incredibly busy, and I'm so thankful to be approaching the weekend.

This week, I'm spotlighting the book I finished reading last night: Miss Serena's Secret by Carolyn Miller.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Review: "The Heart of Home" by Stephenia H. McGee

When I started reading The Heart of Home, I had no idea that it's a companion novella to McGee's In His Eyes. But now that I've read it, would love to go back and read Ella & Westley's story!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

First of all, I'm not getting to ten with this topic. No way. But I was intrigued by the topic: Books with Sensory Reading Memories. Here's how it's described over at That Artsy Reading Girl: These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, what you were feeling, what you were seeing, etc.

Monday, July 23, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7-23-18)

Happy Monday! So I took an unintentional blogging break last week—I didn't post anything at all Tuesday through Saturday. That was due in large part to my insanely busy schedule. I'm one of those people who likes to enjoy quiet evenings at home (and it's better for my thyroid, too), and I didn't have that last week. At all. Everything I did was good: meeting with the incoming student council, hanging out with my young cousins, and celebrating a friend's 40th birthday, to name a few; however, I also didn't feel like opening up my computer when I finally did get home! This week looks to be about half as busy as last week (which is still busier than I'd like!), and I hope to blog with a little more regularity.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review: "It Was Always You" by Judy Corry

After enjoying the first two books in Judy Corry's Ridgewater High series, I was excited to find the third available on Kindle Unlimited (Kindle owners can borrow one KU book per month without subscribing to Kindle Unlimited).

Monday, July 16, 2018

Review: "Loving Grace" by April Smith

If you've been around Christian Chick's Thoughts very long, you know that I have some real love for Young Adult fiction. The problem is that much of what's out there is, frankly, inappropriate for adults, let alone teenagers, and it's hard to tell by reading a book's description whether it will be clean or not. So when I come across Christian YA, I'm always eager to give it a shot!

Review: "The Truth Between Us" by Tammy L. Gray

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

This cover. I mean, how could I not say yes to a review request for a book with this cover? It also helped that several bloggers I trust have gushed over Tammy L. Gray's books in the past 🙂.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Review: "The Billionaire Bachelor" by Judy Corry

You know how they say not to judge a book by its cover? Well, I do. All the time. And I would never normally pick up a book with a cover that looks like this—it doesn't exactly scream "clean and wholesome," does it? But ... it is. I "met" Judy Corry through her YA romance a few months ago, and I knew that she only writes clean romance, so I decided to give this one a chance despite the cover.

Friday, July 13, 2018

First Line Fridays: "If I Live"

Happy Friday! And Happy Christmas Keepsake Week!!! (Which is actually more than a week, but I'm not complaining ...) It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Hallmark movies, and I love the weeks in July when they play Christmas movies. I've watched a couple movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries over the last week, as Hallmark's sister station has its Christmas week first. But I definitely prefer the movies that air on Hallmark Channel, and I may have spent a little too much time last night perusing my TV app, adding reminders for all the movies I'd like to catch. I'm sure I won't watch all of them, but Countdown to Christmas will be here before we know it, and I'll get them then 😃.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: "Miss White & the Seventh Heir" by Jennifer Faye

I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, so when I heard about Miss White & the Seventh Heir, I jumped at the chance to review it ... even though it's a general market romance. But the review invitation promoted the book as a sweet romance that may have a closed-door scene and mild swearing, and I felt like that meant the book would fall within the lines of what I feel comfortable reading. (I discussed this concept at length a couple months ago.)

I was wrong.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read in 2018 (So Far)

I had no intention of trying to participate in this week's Top Ten Tuesday ... until I saw the topic! I keep a running list of my favorite reads throughout the year so that it's easier to put my top ten list together at the end of the year ... so this was super quick to pull together, especially since I decided to keep it short and sweet and not actually talk about any of the books 🙂.

Monday, July 9, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7-9-18)

Happy Monday! I'm writing this during my lunch break, after what has felt like an incredibly long morning. Not sure why; I have plenty of work to do, so I'm keeping busy. But the 3-1/2 hours between work and lunch just felt interminable. So instead of thinking ahead to what might be an equally long afternoon, I'm looking back on the weekend, when I saw Ant-Man and the Wasp with my mom.

Review: "Dead Drift" by Dani Pettrey

I've really loved Dani Pettrey's Chesapeake Valor series, and it ends as it began—with a truly excellent story!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What's Val Reading? (June 2018)

Happy July! Well, more accurately, Happy 8th Day of July. I'm a little slow getting this posted this month ... but better late than never, right? Here's a look at what my sister read over the last month ...

Review: "Sons of Blackbird Mountain" by Joanne Bischof

Earlier this year, I read Joanne Bischof's The Lady and the Lionheart, and I was simply entranced. So when Bishof's newest book came up for review, I knew I wanted to get my hands on it.

I wasn't disappointed.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Review: "Give Me Thine Heart" by Andrea Boeshaar

In early June, I read Timeless Love, a novella anthology. This anthology was only available until early July, and now the novellas are releasing separately. While I wrote a general review of the collection last month, I want to expound on each entry now. Because you know I love expounding 😉.

Friday, July 6, 2018

First Line Fridays: "Sons of Blackbird Mountain"

Happy Friday! For those of us in the US, this is our second Tuesday/second Friday of the week, thanks to Independence Day on Wednesday. Needless to say, I've been confused about what day it is all week long.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: "Unraveling" by Sara Ella

When it comes to sequels—especially ones so closely connected to their predecessors—I'm often at a loss when it comes to writing a review. How can I talk about the book without spoiling book one? Really, I can't. So consider this your spoiler alert: If you haven't read Unblemished yet, go ahead and skip this review.

Monday, July 2, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7-2-18)

Happy July! It certainly feels like July around here. For the first time in several years, I'm not starting July with a trip to Indiana to see my sister, since she now lives in Florida (and we went to see her at the end of May). It feels ... strange,  especially since Timehop keeps showing me trip pictures.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Review: "Enduring Love" by Toni Shiloh

Last year, I read the first two novels in Toni Shiloh's Maple Run series, and I really enjoyed them. So when the opportunity came up to review Enduring Love, the third in the series, I didn't have to think very long before saying yes.