Waiting On Wednesday: The Illusionist's Apprentice

September 28, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by The Breaking the Spine. 
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release that you are most excited about!

Waiting On:
Title: The Illusionist's Apprentice
Author: Kristy Cambron
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: March 2017

From GoodReads
Harry Houdni’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.

Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
Why I'm Waiting:
I have read the first 2 books by Kristy Cambron and just loved them! I can't wait to see what this book has to offer. This story looks like it will focus on a time and people that is really not seen a lot of in fiction and I can't wait to read it! I love different settings and time.

What are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR

September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 
Each week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten.

Books On My Fall TBR List

1. A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
2. The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser
3. Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope by Texie Susan Gregory
4. Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson
5. Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
 6. Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlubnd
7. Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette
8. Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon
9. Finding Margo by Jen Turano
10. For the Record by Regina Jennings

What are you waiting on for the Fall?

Spy of Richmond by Jocelynn Green

September 26, 2016

Title: Spy of Richmond
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: River North
Pages: 432
ISBN: 978-0-8024-0579-1
Publication Date: March 1st, 2015

Trust None. Risk all.

Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone.

Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.

As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?
I have loved every book in the Heroines Behind the Line Series and Spy of Richmond really brought it all together and closed out this series beautifully!

This story follows Sophie, a girl who was born and raised in Richmond who went to a girl's school in the north when she was older. She was raised by her mother, who was from the south, and held in esteem by her father, a staunch southern supporter. When the war breaks out, Sophie's ideas draw her to the union side, but she has to be careful. Anyone with union sympathy is looked down on and questioned for any action. Sophie looses both of her parents in different way in the beginning of the story, which leaves her to do as she feels she needs to do.

Sophie walk cautiously along a fine line. As she moves along, she finds others with her opinion of the war. As we follow Sophie on this journey, she has someone she had cared about brought back into her life along with several new friends as she continues on this journey.

As you read through The Spy of Richmond, you can't help but get caught up in all of the fantastic history that is intertwined into the story. Jocelyn Green did so much research for this book and it shows. You can't helped but get swept up into the detail of the events, surroundings, and clothes of this time.

This book closes out this series perfectly. I'm sad to see this close out the series, since I love the history of this time, but there were no questions left open which made me very happy!

If you are a fan of the Civil War era, this series is one that you need to check out!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

Waiting On Wednesday: Finding Margo

September 21, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming book you are most excited about!

Waiting On:
Title: Finding Margo
Author: Jen Turano
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Publication Date: November 15th, 2016

From GoodReads
Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small Dutch town in Ohio?

Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions…the kind that make her a target for a killer.

Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or just the beginning…
Why I'm Waiting:
I have loved every book Jen Turano has written thus far. She has focused on Historical Fiction to this point and I'm very excited to see how her first contemporary will be!

What are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Audio Books

September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. 
Each week features a book related topic, that offers you the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten.

Top Ten Favorite Audio Books I Like to Listen To

I don't listen to audio books much, but I do have several that I have enjoyed. The ones I have have enjoyed have been apart of a series, so once I enjoyed the 1st it was hard to not continue the series.

 1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
4. Outlander by Diana Gaboldon
5. Chronicles of the King by Lynn Austin

What are some of your favorite audio books?

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

September 16, 2016

Title: Hearts Made Whole
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 379
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1238
Publication Date: June 2nd,  2015

Windmill Point, Michigan

Can She Forgive the Hurting Man Who Costs Her the Role She Loves?

After her father's death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren't supposed to have such roles, so it's only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper--even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He's secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He's not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who's angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he's in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope...and possibly love?
Jody Hedlund is remarkable at finding interesting people in history and bringing them back to life in her stories. Hearts Made Whole is no different. This is book 2 in the Beacons of Hope Series that focuses on the women who helped keep the lights going in the light houses in Michigan.

This story focuses on Caroline Taylor and her siblings and they live in the Grosse Point Light House after their dad had died. Caroline had grown up helping her dad with his job, so when he died, she stepped in and did the job, hoping to keep the position to support her sibling. Her younger sister Tessa is the only one who wouldn't mind in Caroline had to move on, since she is tired of living in the town . Despite what her sister wants, Caroline fights for her job as the Light House Board member is determined to see her and her family gone.

Not knowing what all was going on at the light house, Ryan Chambers steps into the middle of everything when the Light House Board hires him for Grosse Point Light House job. However, he is battling personal demons and asks Caroline for help.

Caroline and Ryan make a good team and keep the Light going no matter what. Even as trials at thrown at them. They hold strong, even when the issues come closer and closer to them.

Jody Hedlund has a great ability of weaving history and fiction together. This was an enjoyable story and I can't wait to dive into book 3!

Too Read
4 out of 5

Waitiung On Wednesday: Newton & Polly

September 14, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 
Each week offers the opportunity to spotlight an up-and-coming release you are most excited about. 

Waiting On:
Title: Newton & Polly:  A Novel of Amazing Grace
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: WaterBrooke
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016

From GoodReads
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found.

Now remembered as the author of the world s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father until the night he hears Polly Catlett's enchanting voice, caroling. He s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection. 

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves? 

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe."
Why I'm Waiting:
Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read anything by her. Ever since seeing the movie "Amazing Grace", the story behind that song has intrigued me. I can't wait to see what this story brings.

What are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favorite Books in........

September 13, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is hosed by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every week features a book related topic that offers the opportunity to spotlight your Top Ten.

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of Historical Fiction

I love historical fiction! Each book is like it's own time machine. 
To narrow this topic down to 10 has been hard. There are so many amazing authors and stories out there. I narrowed this topic down a little further though, by sticking to stories between the late 1700's and in to the 1800's, except for one, that is middle ages. 

 1. A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
3. Honor by Lyn Cote
4. The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
5. Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
6. Courting Marrow Little by Laura Frantz
7. The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki
8. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot
10. Burning Sky by Lori Benton

 What are your Top Ten this week?

Review: Sins of the Past by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, & Lynette Eason

September 12, 2016

Title: Sins of the Past
Authors: Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, & Lynette Eason
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1797-5
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016

Secrets and Lies. Danger That Will Never Go Away.
Join Three Beloved Masters of Romantic Suspense for Novellas Where the Past Will Not Stay Buried.

Dee Henderson - "Missing"A Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing from her retirement community. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two soon launch into a race against the clock when they realize something dark may lie at the heart of the disappearance.

Dani Pettrey - "Shadowed"Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young Alaskan fisherman nets the body of a Russian open water swimming competitor. Another swimmer, who'd been the dead woman's roommate years ago, is pulled into the search for answers as it grows more and more clear that something sinister is at play.

Lynette Eason - "Blackout"A young woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong finds herself at risk years later when the real culprit is up for parole. The loot taken that night has never been found and he believes she knows where it's hidden--only her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety?
I am a big fan of Dani Pettrey's stories. They are a wonderful mix of suspense, mystery, and romance. I have also read a couple of books by Lynette Eason and have really enjoyed them. Sadly, in all of my time reading, I haven't read anything by Dee Henderson till this book. I need to fix that now and look into her books!

The novella collection in Sins of the Past was a fantastic mix of authors. Dani Pettrey's story was a fantastic prequel of sorts to her Alaskan series. I loved the look back on the family, to two members of the family we never got to officially meet.

Dee Henderson's story was written so well. It didn't feel like a novella at all. It was the perfect short story. The idea of it all, I could see being plossible and the mystery kept me wondering till the revelation.

The final story by Lynette Eason closed out this book well. The suspense and mystery was so entertaining and the story just kept me hooked.

These three authors really are the top of their genre. If you haven't read any of these authors and have always wondered about them, this book would be a wonderful start. I'm fairly new to the contemporary suspense genre, and I loved being able to read these new stories and try a new to me author.

Too Read
4 out of 5

About the Authors:
Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including Taken, Undetected, Unspoken, Full Disclosure, and the acclaimed O'Malley and Uncommon Heroes series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois.
Learn more at www.deehenderson.com.

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others. 

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.
You can find her online at danipettrey.com.

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching and Without Warning in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of an ACFW Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina.
Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Thank you to the Author, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenthall (Litfuse Blog Tour)

September 9, 2016

Title: Starving Hearts
Author: Janine Mendenthall
Publisher: Heritage Beacon
Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1-938499-84-5
Publication Date: May 16th, 2016

Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. 

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?
I have been a fan of regency books for a while, so when a new regency book comes out I get a little excited to see how an author will portray this romanticized time. I also enjoy seeing how the authors will build their world and if they stick close to Austen or only use that as a just a base.

Right off the bat of Starving Hearts, I could see that Janine Mendenthall is a fan of Jane Austen. She did her best it seemed as to try to stick to the style of writing. The story for me did start off a little slow, but in all honesty, reading Austen did too.

As the story started I didn't really feel much of connection to Annette. She started off as a little childish, but as the story moved on she did grow on me and she seemed to mature as the the real background of the story opened up. This book focused mainly on the slave trade in England and the abolishment of it.

I did like how the villain was in this story. A well crafted villain helps move the story along and offer the right amount of suspense and mystery.

There were some things about this story that popped out at me that took away from my attention, but I want to try to read and enjoy the story, so I tried to over look some things and not nitpick.

If you are into regency based stories, it might be a book you want to try.

3 out of 5

About the Author:
Janine Mendenhall teaches teens English, of all things! Sometimes she sleeps, but most nights she reads, writes, or watches movies like “Pride and Prejudice” and claims she’s researching her next book. “Splickety Love” and “Splickety Prime” have published her flash fiction. She and her husband, Tom, live in North Carolina where they and their two golden retrievers help gratify the needs of their five children and two cats.

Will Annette's search for love and acceptance replace the loss and hurt in her heart? Find out in Janine Mendenhall's book one, Starving Hearts, of the Triangular Trade Trilogy. Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Join in the search for love and acceptance with Janine and Starving Hearts by entering to win the Delightful Heart Gift Pack Giveaway.

starving hearts - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
starving hearts - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 12. The winner will be announced September 13 on Janine's blog.

starving hearts - enterbanner

Thank you to Litfuse, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Latest Instagrams

© The Shelf Life. Design by FCD.