Friday, October 21, 2016

First Line Fridays - 10/21/16 - The Thorn Keeper

Today's first line comes from a VERY special book. SO special in fact, that I created a new rating for my blog...Check it out HERE.

I had the privilege to meet Pepper Basham in Nashville at Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat! She is a lovely person and I feel like I have known her my whole life. SO blessed for the time I got to spend with her...And beyond blessed by her books!

 If you follow me on any type of social media, I am sure you have seen at least ONE post about The Thorn Keeper. This book is one of the only books that has reached into the deepest parts of my heart. It goes way beyond a pretty cover (although it is stunning!) and eloquent words. 

Ednesbury, Derbyshire England
September 1915
"There is a distinct difference between a heroine with a promised happy ending and a prodigal who must design her own."

Head over and read my review HERE to see just how much this book impacted me.

 Post your First Line (or paragraph) below and head over to see what First Lines my lovely friends have today! 

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact Carrie on Reading is my SuperPower.

The Sound of Silver - Birthday Tour & GIVEAWAY!!!

Welcome to the Birthday Blog Tour for The Sound of Silver!!! 

I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second 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, the first book in the series, and a newlywed! This summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the series! I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Silver and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win the lovely necklace pictured and your choice of any of the Steadfast Love titles!

About the Steadfast Love Series

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

About the Book
The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

Find The Sound of Silver on…

About the Author
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South.
Connect with Rachelle
Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb


Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to win a beautiful necklace created by Baubles, Beads, and Stuff and your choice of any one of Rachelle’s three books (the series begins in Book One, of course, but in case you have one or two of her books already, Rachelle will gladly send you the next one to read!).

International friends, the paperback & necklace giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive an e-book.

Also by Rachelle Rea
Book One
Book Three

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Silent Songbird - Hagenheim Book 7 - Melanie Dickerson

My Rating
 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Book
Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne? (from Amazon)

My Thoughts
This story may be a retelling of The Little Mermaid...but there are no sea witches or talking seagulls in this book. What you will find is a beautiful maiden with the voice of an angel.

Eva longs to be free...Free of the restraints that have been cast upon her by her status. Even if it means to work hard as a servant for the rest of her life. When King Richard decrees that she marry Lord Shiveley, Evangeline decides that she must run away or face a life of fear and abuse. In order to avoid detection, she pretends she is mute. But when her secret is revealed will those she has come to care for be able to forgive her? When Westley's life is in danger, yet Eva is the only witness...Will they heed her word? Or has the seed of mistrust been buried too deep? 

Throughout her life Evangeline's voice has brought comfort and pleasure to herself and those around her. But she must stifle that gift in order to hide her identity. Throughout the story we see Westley encourage and draw out the voice, her true identity, that she has hidden. He is so gentle and sweet with her. Evangeline eventually learns that faith and trust in God is the strength she must lean on. 

My only knowledge of The Little Mermaid is the animated Disney version. But as you compare the stories, there are several parallel characters. I think what I love most about Melanie Dickerson is that she takes the classic childhood fairy tales and creates a world, a story, that is realistic, yet still so full of "magic". There is also the added element of faith that adds a whole new dimension to the story. Set in medieval England, the way of life was much different then. But I so enjoy immersing myself into the time period and Melanie Dickerson's books. To be swept away by the adventure and live alongside the people of Glynval. 

There are a few twists in the storyline that prove to be heartbreaking, exciting, and romantic. A quick read, The Silent Songbird will keep you turning the pages until you are finished. Even though this is a part of the Hagenheim Series. I did not recognize any of the characters (I have only read The Golden Braid and The Silent Songbird so far). You can read this book by itself and not have any confusion. This story is for "Young Adults" (I am still young right?), but is also great for adults. I am so thankful to Melanie for writing stories that are clean and faith filled for our teenagers.

I received a free copy of The Silent Songbird. I was not required to write a review and this does not influence my review, positive or otherwise. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Purchase Options (Pre-Order Now! Release date November 8, 2016)

Cast of Characters
(By Bookworm Mama)

I have never included a character cast with my review before. However, while reading The Silent Songbird, I couldn't get these faces out of my brain. So I thought I would share with you how I picture a few of our leading characters. 

Karen Gillan
Karen Gillan as Evangeline
Chris Evans | Beautiful is the only word that comes to mind <3<3<3:
Chris Evans as Westley

Screenshot of Toby Regbo as Francis, Dauphin of France, in "Reign" - I'll just drop this in here and see what you guys make of it.:
Toby Regbo as King Richard
"Get some sleep. If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything." Count Rugen (Christopher Guest), "The Princess Bride":
Christopher Guest as the Earl of Shiveley
Pictures of "Cast of Characters" found on Pinterest. All links take you to the original Pinterest post. 

About the Author

Melanie Dickerson is the author of Historical Romances, and her two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her enduring love of Jane Austen. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, a 2-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader's Choice Award for 2010's Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

More Books by Melanie Dickerson on Bookworm Mama
(Click on the image to be taken to my review)

A Medieval Fairy Tale Series

Hagenheim Book 6

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Timeless - TV Series - NBC

My Rating
 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Show
From Eric Kripke ("Revolution," "Supernatural"), Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") and the producers of "The Blacklist" comes this thrilling action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, a soldier and a history professor who use the machine's prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. Can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it's too late?

The cast includes Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit.

Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan serve as writers and executive producers. John Davis, John Fox, Marney Hochman and Director Neil Marshall also executive produce. "Timeless" is produced by Davis Entertainment, Kripke Enterprises and MiddKid Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.

My Thoughts
When Lucy's world is turned upside down in a single moment, will her life...and history...ever go back to the way it used to be? 

As an avid fan of Doctor Who and Back to the Future, as well as having a deep love for history, I was instantly intrigued by the plot of TimelessAfter watching just three episodes, I am hooked. Whenever watching a show that dabbles in time travel and results with "changing history". We must give the writers the creative license to bend history a bit. There was one military discrepancy in the first episode that my husband picked up on, but I would have never noticed. (Someone appears much too young to hold the rank he has.) Just like any TV show, it is recommended to do your own research to discover the true facts. That being said, I admire the ideas and creativity of this show immensely. 

As our team of time travellers race through history after Flynn, they always seem to be "five steps behind". Everything they know in the present is threatened by the changes that are happening in the past. As they fight to make sure that history remains unchanged, will they use the opportunity to change things for good as Flynn seems to change things for the worst? 

As a parent of two young children who like to wake up super early, the air time is a little late for us. This week we decided to wait until Tuesday and watched the episode by streaming it through the NBC app on our Roku device. You can also go to NBC and catch up on the previous episodes. So far, we have seen the Hindenberg, Abraham Lincoln, and The Rat Pack in Atomic City. If you enjoy history, sci-fi, action and time travel...You should definitely check this show out! 

When the season has completed, I will be sure to return and give my final thoughts on Timeless.

The Cast

Lucy Preston
Played by Abigail Spencer

Garcia Flynn
Played by Goran Visnjic

Wyatt Logan
Played by Matt Lanter

Rufus Carlin
Played by Malcolm Barrett

Connor Mason
Played by Paterson Joseph

Denise Christopher
Played by Sakina Jaffrey

Played by Claudia Doumit

Friday, October 14, 2016

First Line Fridays - 10/14/16 - Can't Help Falling

We have been having below freezing temperatures here this week...So I have been curled up with blankets and books and tea! Lovely warm tea! I have this adorable teapot that I have been utilizing a lot this year already. Which brings to mind this fabulous quote by one of the greatest authors of all time!

Speaking of Lewis...My "First Line" comes from a new favorite author and a forever favorite book...Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac. Read my review HERE. Filled with wardrobes and romance...Can't Help Falling is the perfect book to curl up with this fall. I am posting the first paragraph today...because I really want too...

"It was like being in jail. But worse, because Emelia Mason had paid for it. Nonrefundable. Nontransferable. Not that she hated anyone on the planet enough to try transferring this epic disaster in online booking to them."

There you have it! Post your First Line (or paragraph) below and head over to see what First Lines my lovely friends have today! 

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact Carrie on Reading is my SuperPower.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Thorn Keeper - Penned in Time Book 2- Pepper Basham

My Rating
★★★★★(Yes there are 6 stars)
"Heaven help me, you taste like Christmas!" (More Info)

I have decided to create a NEW rating category for my blog. Because this book has surpassed all the others this year. And I can, so why not? 

From the Back of the Book
With her newfound faith, Catherine Dougall hopes to take the remnants of her threadbare life and make something beautiful, even if society shuns every choice she makes. Dr. David Ross must save his war hospital from ruin, but when his notorious aunt makes an offer he can't refuse, he must choose between his surprising affection for a reformed flirt or his dreams. From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who never forgets his children and fashions beauty out of the most broken things.

My Thoughts
If you were to ask me right now, what my favorite book of the year is...I would mumble and grunt for a few minutes and then rattle off a list of at least 10 books. But without a doubt, The Thorn Keeper will be at the top of the list.

The Thorn Keeper posses a certain eloquence that enraptures you from the very beginning. I can't count the number of times that I had tears in my eyes as I read (tearing up right now in fact, thinking about the message of this story), or squealed with delight, or wanted to purse whomp someone, and there was one instance that I was in such shock, I literally felt like I was going to hurl. Out of all the books that I have read this year, The Thorn Keeper is the one that touched the depth of my soul in a way that completely turned my world upside down. The romance is so sweet and quite passionate (all clean of course), but that only scratches the surface of the content of the book.

Whether through decisions in our past or reasons unknown to us, sometimes we have been given difficulties that we have to walk through. We would not recommend making those choices and hope that others are spared the pain and suffering we have endured. Yet even though it is hard, we would not be the people we are today if we had not gone through it. God has brought us through the valley...Not so that we can look over our shoulder and long to be back on the other side, but to look forward and press onwards. Do not let your dreams be forgotten along the way. Even if it doesn't seem as if they can or will ever come true. If God has placed a dream in your heart, never let go of it. Whether it is ministry, missions, art, dance, fashion or family.

In conclusion, I would have to say that Pepper Basham's books are among the best I have ever read. Filled with hard lessons and real life, balanced with passion and faith. Only a very talented author can take someone whom I despised in book one, bring them to redemption, and within 36 pages of the book they find a way to worm their way into my heart. Catherine and David's journey of discovering true love is so very tender. When life throws them a curveball, will they rely on their own strength to make it through, or will they trust in the love of the Father to carry them? In order to truly understand and appreciate Catherine and David's history, I highly recommend reading The Thorn Bearer first (which is another favorite of mine). The Thorn Healer releases this December! You will find the link to add to Goodreads below.

I purchased a print copy of The Thorn Keeper for my personal enjoyment. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Purchase Options

About the Author
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader's Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer's Alley.

More Books by Pepper

The Thorn Bearer Penned in Time Book 1

Coming December 2016
The Thorn Healer - Penned in Time Book 3
Jessica Ross' scars run much deeper than the wounds of war. Determined to escape the ghosts of her past and the German influence on her nightmares, she returns home to the sleepy Appalachian town of Hot Springs, NC, only to find the renowned Mountain Park Hotel has been converted into a 'prison' for displaced Germans. To Jessica's dismay, her grandparents have befriended one of the treacherous internees.

Friday, October 7, 2016

First Line Fridays - 10/7/16 - After a Fashion

Hello Friends! I am so very happy to share in First Line Friday with you this week. I decided to highlight one of my favorite books! It came out almost two years ago now and set me on the path of no return...to being an avid fan of Jen Turano!

"Miss Peabody, I do so hate to interrupt your work, but an urgent message has just arrived that requires immediate attention."

Post your First Line below and head over to see what First Lines my lovely friends have today! 

Faithfully Bookish
Radiant Light
Reading is my SuperPower
Singing Librarian

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact Carrie on Reading is my SuperPower.