Waiting On Wednesday: Of Fire and Lions

August 29, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature to spotlight an up and coming release you are most excited about.

This week is all about one of my favorite Biblical authors, Mesu Andrews. She has a new release coming out in March of 2019. The study and research she does for her stories is inspiring. The details she weaves in is amazing. She keeps the Biblical story true, while weaving fictional characters. Her new release will focus on Daniel and I honestly can't wait to read this one. 

Waiting On:
Title: Of Fire and Lions
Author: Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019

About the Book:
The Old Testament book of Daniel comes to life in this novel for readers of Lynn Austin's Chronicles of the Kings series or Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series.

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she'd perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshipers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili's tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?
Ultimately, Yahweh's sovereign hand guides Jerusalem's captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

What are you waiting on?

Review: Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

August 27, 2018

Title: Thief of Corinth
Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Tyndale House
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-1-4964-2866-0
Publication Date: August 7th, 2018

About the Book:
First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

My Thoughts:
Tessa Afshar is such a poetic writer. Her stories have such an amazing flow and just draw you in and make you apart. All of her books have been stories based during Biblical times. Thief of Corinth is one that is set ancient Greece and weaves in what was going on Bionically at the time.

It is one of the hardest things to do, for me, is to mesh the timelines together. I think of this area over here and this line over here...when it is brought together, it's a wow moment for me. And Tessa Afshar was able to weave these lines together.

Right off the bat, I was hooked into Ariadne's story. We start off in the present of her life and then we go back and follow her on her journey and how she got to where she is at.

Ariadne is a girl who has had a rough start to life. She was taken from her dad to live with her mom and Grandpa. Life there was harsh and brutal upbringing. She is a girl who isn't afraid to speak her mind, and doing so, has gotten her in precarious circumstances.

In her life, she has her older brother and her foster brother Theo. They are her constant companions, or always in her thoughts. Her father has been her guide for her, even from her distance. He left an impression on her. When she is finally able to live with him again, she blossoms with the freedom he lets her have.

This story had so much adventure and action. It was a story that started off strong and kept the pace. Thief of Corinth was a hard book to put down.

On release day, the copy I had ordered on Audible downloaded. The performances and reading of the book was fantastic! The narrator really captured the story in the reading.

This was an amazing story!

5 out of 5

About the Author:
Tessa Afshar is the award-winning author of Bread of AngelsLand of Silence, and several other historical novels. Land of Silence won an Inspy Award in the general fiction category and was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious Christy Award in the historical romance category, and Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Christian Book Award for fiction. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year by the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader's Choice Awards. 

Tessa was born in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. She serves part-time on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate. 

Visit her online at www.tessaafshar.com.

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

Waiting On Wednesday: Far Side of the Sea

August 22, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature to spotlight an up and coming release you are most excited about.

This week for WoW it is all about a WW1 based romance story by another amazing author, Kate Breslin. Her history of this era is just fantastic. Her stories grip, make you sad, happy, thrilled, and on occasion make you bite your nails in anxiousness. Her characters pop off of the page and you can find ways to relate.

Waiting On:
Title: Far Side of the Sea
Author: Kate Breslin
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019

About the Book:
In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life--a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel's half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel's diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.

What are you waiting on this week?
Let me know in the comments. I'm always looking for suggestions.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

August 21, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Read Girl.
Each week features a book related topic to spotlight your Top Ten.

Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

I have fallen into many reading slumps over the years. I hate when it happens! Life pulls me away or there is a lot on my mind and getting into a book can just be hard. I've found there are just some books that know matter what can pull me out of a funk of not reading. It can either be the book itself or the author and their writing. 

These authors are just awesome and know matter the book, they can hook me and pull me into their story. They are a go to for me.
Susan May Warren
Janice Thompson
Becky Wade
Kathryn Springer
Dani Pettrey
 Historical Fiction:
I love a good historical story. It is one of my favorite genres. 
These authors have the ability to weave the history in and it is captivating!
Tracy Groot
Jody Hedlund
Jocelyn Green
I can really enjoy a good YA, especially one that is set in a very rich and vibrant world. Sometimes, just being able to escape into a different world can really jump start me back into reading. 
Mary Weber
Melanie Dickerson
Sara Ella
There are just some classics that stand out for me. Some hold fond memories or they are just interesting.
Little Woman by Lousia May Alcott
Gone with the Wind by Margret Mitchell 
Sometimes a good laugh can really change my attitude with many things, including wanting to read. A smile does a world of good!
Jen Turano
Karen Witemeyer

These are just a few of the authors and books that have helped me in the past and lately to get out of my reading slumps. Another thing that has helped me is to change up the media. I read a lot of books, bound, but sometimes an audio-book does the trick. Just a different presentation. 

What are some of your favorite authors/books to get you our of a slump?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

August 20, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Book Date
Each week offer the opportunity to to spotlight what you're reading and what you just finished reading. 

It's been busy these last couple of weeks, I haven't been reading as much as I was hoping to read, but I've been reading.

Just Finished Reading:
Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano
This was a funny story and a great conclusion to the series. Full review will be posted soon. 

Currently Reading:
Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar
I'm listening to this book on Audible and I'm really enjoying it so far! I can't wait to see where this story goes. 

Hoping to Read Next:
 A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
I can't wait to finish up this series...I read it in reverse. 

The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos
I recently received this book for review. It just sounds so interesting!

What are you reading this week?

Bookish Road Trip: Tennesse, Stop 4

August 17, 2018

For 2 weeks this summer, I was on the road and it was amazing!We drove and drove and drove, but when we stopped, we got to see so many wonderful places. I thought it would be fun for the next few weeks to share about the places we visited and the books that matched up with the these places.

It's another cheat week per-say. We ate and filled the car up in Tennessee, but it was also our half way point an we spent the night here, twice. The first time here, we got held up by traffic and rolled in late. We then had to make it to DC the next night, so we got out early.

On the way back, we actually go in to Nashville early, and we were able to find a fun place to eat at. My kiddo spent a lot of this trip reading, by the time we got to Nashville again, she had devoured the two books I had gotten for her for the trip, so thankfully, there was a B&N close to where we were at and I got her stocked-up for the last leg of the trip.

I really liked seeing Tennessee, I hope to go back and check out more of it. It doesn't hurt that I have read several books about Nashville, Knoxville, and other locations that have stood out.

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
Songs of the Shenandoah by Michael Reynolds
To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

On our two stops passing through Nashville, I had to pick-up some flyers.....ok, a lot of flyers. We have decided that there was just so much to see, that we are totally going to search around and explore Tennessee/Nashville, hopefully soon. There are just so many things there that have caught my attention that I really want to go see, some of them has defiantly been because of the books I have read. 

Next week, I will have another stop on this awesome trip.

Waiting On Wednesday: A Bound Heart

August 15, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature to spotlight an up and coming release you are most excited about.

 This week is an author who I honestly can't wait for each new book that comes out. This story is a historical fiction that spans a great distance. Laura Frantz is an author who does such detailed research and character development. Her stories have just gotten more and more fantastic.

Waiting On:
Title: A Bound Heart
Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: January 2019

About the Book:
Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning--together.

Laura Frantz's prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.
What are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

August 14, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Read Girl.
Each week features a book related topic to spotlight your Top Ten.
This week's topic is all about your favorite Book Blogs and Bookish Websites.
In my time in blogging, I have discovered so many blogging sites. And through that have met so many fantastic people through this.
Relz Reviews
Rel is one of the first bloggers I found when I first started to blog. She has wonderful reviews, author interviews, and fantastic cover reveals. 

Finding Wonderland
Rissi is another book blogger who I found early on in my blogging. Her features and Instagram stories are fantastic. Her reviews are fun and spotlight a lot of fun books. 

The Green Mocking Bird
Courtney is a blogger I found early on in my blogging. She writes a lot of fun reviews and features a lot of great blog tours.

The Musings of Jamie
Jamie has been an blogger I have followed for a long time. Her blog features of authors and her reviews are fun and engaging. 

I use this site almost daily! So man books. I love how you can see books that will be coming out in the near future. 

Christian Bookshelf Review
Melanie is one of the most prolific bloggers I've read. She reads some fantastic books ans shares some great views!

Just Commonly
Annie is a blogger who was a newer to me blogger. She writes a lot of fun reviews and has some gorgeous Instagram posts. The blog tours she is apart of are so well done!

These are just a few of the many bloggers I follow. There are so many more. Plus there are so many fabulous authors I follow. I love the blogger community, it is filled with the best and most supportive people out. 

What are some of your favorite book sites/websites?

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

August 13, 2018

Title: A Beauty So Rare
Author: Tamera Alexander
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 471
ISBN: 9780764206238
Publication Date: March 25th, 2014

About the Book:
 Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war--and still had one to fight.

Plain, practical Eleanor Braddock knows she will never marry, but with a dying soldier's last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America--and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path--building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.

Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows' and children's home run contrary to Eleanor's wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground--and a love neither of them expects. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.
My Thoughts:
I'm kind of reading this series in reverse, but thankfully, it works. I started with the last book in the series first, A Note Yet Unsung. Even though these books are in order, they can still work as a stand-alone.

Tamera Alexander brings post Civil War Nashville to life in this 2nd installment of the Bellemont Mansion series. There is very intricate detail to the historical facts that pop off of the page. The characters are very well fleshed out. Along with those two very important things, she has very real issues for these characters to face.

Elanor Braddock is a woman, who is now a spinster at her age. She is considered plain, and is now poor woman, who must rely on extended family to get by. She must also worry about and care for her fathers failing mental health. There wasn't a lot of knowledge of dementia and other mental issues at the time, but with the portrayal that Tamera showed, I would hope it was like it. It was heart breaking to read about, but the love that Elanor showed was hopeful and the staff she had to rely on, you routed for best outcome possible, even though with how it is today, you already know how it is.

It was a tough subject, but it was an amazing topic to be touched on.

Marcus has been added to my dream hero list. He was one who even though had a rough past, wants to change from it. He doesn't want to follow in his family footsteps. And what a family he has! The mystery and intrigue behind them kept me wanting to read more.

Marcus and Elanor I thought were the perfect balance to each other. They came from different backgrounds, but their passions were similar. Elanor was a woman who had very giving heart and seeing what all she was willing to give up to help made me think and ask, what could I do. Even though fictional, she was an inspiring character. Her desire for those around her was fantastic to read about.

I can't wait to read the first book from this series and see all the pieces. I also can't wait to go and search out even more books by Tamera Alexander. She is an author who has moved to my favorites list.

5 out of 5

Bookish Road Trip: Washington D.C., Stop 3

August 10, 2018

For 2 weeks this summer, I was on the road and it was amazing!We drove and drove and drove, but when we stopped, we got to see so many wonderful places. I thought it would be fun for the next few weeks to share about the places we visited and the books that matched up with the these places.

Washington DC was our first official stop on our road trip. We were here only for 2 full days, but we packed a lot of things into these two days. We walked about 17 miles....and boy did my feet feel it.

There was just so much to see and do along the way. We saw the White House, The Capitol, a couple of the Smithsonian Museums, The National Archives, several of the monuments on the Mall, and we walked past several historical sites.

This was a city full of history!

With such a rich history, it offers an amazing background for a story. I had one story really pop out of this city. With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden.
This was a story that was full of history. Having DC as it's background was the perfect fit. Elizabeth Camden is an author who is able to take such a historical setting and weave her characters in seamlessly.

I only bought one book in DC, it was all about the Art and History of the city.

I was in awe the whole time I was there. I could honestly make two posts on the days there, but I will try to keep it to one post...it might be long!

 The old buildings that were mixed amongst the new was just phenomenal! Its not like that where I'm at, so seeing these buildings that had been saved and renovated into something new was great!

 Had to see the White House. There were a lot of people out there. It was also neat to see the placement of everything and how it was all so close...if driving, walking was another story, to each other. The Washington Monument is visible from most of DC, but walking to the White House and seeing it directly behind it was cool. And all of the statues in the park across the street from the white house was impressive. The police was every where out there. There were also a lot of conspiracy theorist out and about yelling their ideas....I had to listen, but oh my word! Some where so far out there!!
 The Department of Treasury....looks like it used the treasury to get the place built! There was a massive gate right in front, there was no way to get to the front.
 On day 2, we found a cool little cafe and it ended up being right across the street from Ford's Theater. I would have loved to have gone a tour, but our time was limited. The original theater is still in use, but they have again mixed the old with the new.
The Capitol really does live up to it's nickname of The Hill! It was a heck going up that hill. It sits above the city and can be seeing from quite a distance. We didn't tour the Capitol, but we did see the visitor's center.

 The Washington and Lincoln Monuments are ones that are just iconic. You see them in movies and TV everywhere, it was something else to see them in person. We didn't get to see the reflecting pool very well, it was gated off as they were getting ready for the 4th of July...and it needed cleaning and was a bit gross...which was a bit sad, since I was expecting the clear water like it is in every movie! Ha.
 So, funny story! I took this picture before we were told we couldn't take pictures. This is inside of the rotunda of the National Archives. This had to be my most favorite part of DC. We got to see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Deceleration of Independence. I can't properly tell you my feelings on seeing them. The documents were old! So old. The size of them was bigger then I could have imagined. They are so faded now. Which is sad, but they are doing their best to protect them, and keep them on display for the public.

The Air and Space was one of the 2 museums we went to. The other was the American History museum. It was a time of a lot of history! The air and space museum was huge, as they had originals and replicas of shuttles, satellites, and air craft.

The American History Museum was neat, it was crowded, they both were, but it was worth it. Looking around, we go to see The Star Spangled Banner. It was sad to see the condition that it was in, but it was really amazing to see the size of it. It was massive. Pictures weren't allowed in there, as light could damage it more, but to tie it in with the documents really brought the history of America to life.

And for fun....our hotel room hall way. The rest of the hotel was bright and fun....all of the hallways looked like it was from the Shinning. All we could do was laugh.

Next week will be another stop on this Bookish Road-trip. Hope you'll be back to check it out.

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