Waiting On Wednesday: Light From Distant Stars

February 27, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature that spotlights an up-and-coming release you are most excited about.

I love a good mystery. I like a book that can make me think, try to track down the who-done-it of it all. Mix and some suspense, and maybe (hopefully) a small creepy element, and the story just pops off the pages for me. 

So when I saw this title pop up on Goodreads, I added it immediately to my TBR. It looks like it will have all of the fun elements to me. Shawn Smucker is a new to me author. I can't wait to see what all his story holds. 

Waiting On:
Title: Light From Distant Stars
Author: Shawn Smucker
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019

About the Book:
When Cohen Marah steps over his father's body in the basement embalming room of the family's funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. As the last one to see his father, Cohen is the primary suspect.

Over the next week, Cohen's childhood memories come back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his father being asked to leave his pastoral position. The game of baseball that somehow kept them together. And the two children in the forest who became his friends--and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he's been avoiding: Did he kill his father?

In Light from Distant Stars, master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.

What are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

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

I'm a little late in posting...oops! But I still wanted to share with y'all my Top Ten for the week. This was a great topic!
Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

Books are the best and cheapest vacation I can think of! You can travel anywhere when you open up a book. You can travel the world and go back home in a blink. 

by Tamera Alexander
This book/series takes you to Nashville, Tennessee and it's a great backdrop!

by Dani Pettrey
Alaska! I'm cheating with this one. I've been to Alaska, and see it portrayed in this series is fun. I like it better then living there. 

by Susan May Warren
Hawaii. This shows the island state as a lovely and fun back drop, even it isn't the whole book set there, it is fun. 

by Abigail Wilson
by Jessica Dotta
by Katherine Reay
England....I could have stacks and stacks of books on this destination. It was so hard to narrow it down, but these 3 popped off of the shelf for me. 

by Lori Benton
North Carolina. I know this is set in a time and North Carolina has changed some since then, but the you can still find some gorgeous landscapes that were described in the story and that would be amazing to see!

by Kristen Heitzmann
I'm reaching back a ways for this one. I love how Colorado is the background for this story. I can't wait to read this re-imaging of these books when they are re-released. 

by Lisa T. Bergren
Italy, it may be time travel and ancient, but I want to go!

by Lisa T. Bergren
This whole series is fabulous. I picked this book, because of the background of Rome, but this whole series takes you all over Europe. 

by Melanie Dobson
Normandy, France. Past and present collide in the this book. There is so much history here. It would be an interesting place to visit. 

Where do you like books to take you?
What are some of your favorite back drops in stories?

Review: The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

February 25, 2019

Title: The Sky Above Us
Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 384
ISBN:  9780800727987
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019

About the Book:
Facing the past may be the most fearsome battle of his life.

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wants to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, arranging entertainment for the men of the 357th and setting up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near . . . and secrets can't stay buried forever.
My Thoughts:
Sarah Sundin is an author who knows her history. I know when I read one of her stories, I'm going to be transported back in time to a certain point in WW2. Her attention to detail is one I haven't really seen in this era. I've read other WW2 historical fictions, but Sarah Sundin stands out for me. Everything for the background, to the secondary characters, the equipment, to dress and hair, it all pops off of the pages.

The landing of Normandy is a time that has fascinated me. The strategy that went in to it. The strength and bravery that these men showed charging the beaches, it is a gripping and pivotal time of the war. Sarah Sundin was able to weave her characters into this back drop.

The story moved with fluidity. It just flowed for me. There was a couple of spots in the story that hit a snag, but it wasn't anything major and didn't take away from the story. This was a book that kept me turning the pages. Even though this was book 2 of the Sunrise at Normandy series, I was able to read this as a standalone....however, with all of Sarah's books, reading them all is a must.

War changes they the thoughts and ideas that people have. Violet and Alder show this. They have plans for other things, but War comes and Violet, it shifts what she thought she needed to do, into something where she offered hope to many others in another way. For Alder, war is a chance of an escape of sorts. Haunted by past issues, the war offered him away to try and do something else.

This was a story that captured me up and I can't wait to see what book Sarah will share with us next!

4 out of 5

About the Author:
Sarah Sundin is the author of The Sea Before Us, as well as the Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory series. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Her popular Through Waters Deep was a Carol Award finalist, and both Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turn were named on Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years." Sarah lives in Northern California, where she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist.
Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

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

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

 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 has been a crazy week. The weather was all over the place and all I wanted to do was stay curled up and read, sadly, I had to be an adult and work. But, despite responsibilities, I was able to get some good reading time in. 

Finished Reading: 
by Sarah Sundin
(Review will be posted soon.)
by Elizabeth Camden

Currently Reading:
by Jen Turano
by Jocelyn Green

Reading Next:
by Mesu Andrews
by Stephanie Morrill

Recently On the Blog:

Recently Bought:
by Joanna Davidson Politano
Jaime Jo Wright
by Mary Weber

How was your reading week?
Discover anything new and fun?

Review: A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden

February 21, 2019

Title: A Desperate Hope
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 352
ISBN:  9780764232107
Publication Date: February 15th, 2019

About the Book:
Eloise Drake's prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she believes is finally behind her. A mathematical genius, she's now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town--but he needs Eloise's help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he'd lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them.
My Thoughts:
I have been a long time fan of Elizabeth Camden. Her attention to the historical detail is one that has always impressed me. Her previous stories touch on either well known historical events, like the Chicago Fire in Into the Whirlwind. Or smaller historical issues, like the the opioid epidemic within Against the Tide. The details were phenomenal and made me want to research more it.

A Desperate Hope, Book 3 of the Empire State series, focused on an interesting topic. Imminent domain. Duval Springs is on the brink of destruction. The state of New York feels, that the valley they are in is the perfect spot for a new reservoir for New York. The town fought long and hard. People are weary. But Alex Duval is one determined man. He has fought long and hard for his town and doesn't want to stop till the day the state's deadline for their homes and business to be torn down.

Eloise Drake is a girl who made some bad decisions when she was a teenager. She has been trying her hardest to move past and not go back to those ways. The past decisions guided her in the choices she has made in her present. She is a straight laces lady and isn't about the adventures she reads in her books. That is how she appears at first, but appearances can be deceiving. What you come to see about Eloise, is that she tough on the outside, goes by the rules, but she is a girl who has a desire in her heart. As the story unfolds, you see that even though those memories of her decisions linger, she is a girl who does believe in forgiveness and is grateful to be forgiven and doesn't want to go back down a path that brought her sadness.

I really enjoyed this story. Elizabeth Camden really did a lot of research on the subjects mention in the book. I actually went and looked up where this story could have been borrowed from and I have to say, it was interesting to read up on the history of reservoirs in New York! I loved how when you think the story was going to go one way, it shifted and twisted and kept you guessing. The final few chapters of the book.. I wasn't expecting it!

I love historical fiction and this story really hit the nail on the head. It wove such interesting history, with a fantastically sweet romance, and sprinkled it with a story of forgiveness and redemption, but not only between the character and God, but with the characters self and thoughts. That is sometimes the hardest and I thought it was told in a very touching way.

I also was able to download the audio of this story. I thought it was so well done. The narrator was able to keep a great flow. It was an enjoyable listen.

This was such an interesting story!

4 out of 5

About the Author:
Elizabeth Camden (www.elizabethcamden.com) is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida.

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

Waiting On Wednesday: Diamond in the Rough

February 20, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature that spotlights an up-and-coming release you are most excited about.

This week I'm featuring the second book in a new series by a fantastically funny author. I'm about to read book one, and I honestly can't wait for book two. And the best part is, the cover for this book was just released! I have to say, it is super cute!
So, Jen Turano is a favorite author of mine. I have read everything by her to date....ish. I'm going to read her newest soon!
I honestly can't wait to read these stories. 

Waiting On:
Title: Diamond in the Rough
Author: Jen Turano
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019

About the Book:
As part of a bargain with her grandmother, Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season. Forced to travel to America to help his cousin find an heiress to wed, bachelor Reginald Blackburn is asked to give Poppy etiquette lessons, and he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.

What are you waiting on this week?
Anything new that was recently released that caught your attention?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

February 18, 2019

 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.

This past week has been a great week for reading and business on the blog. 
I have some things for this week planned and I can't wait to share them. 

Finished Reading:
by Jaime Jo Wright

by Kaitlin Covel

Currently Reading:
by Elizabeth Camden

Reading Next:
by Jocelyn Green
by Sarah Sundin

Recently On the Blog:
Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books
Waiting On Wednesday: More Than Words Can Say
Review: Atoning For Ashes by Kaitlin Covel
Review: The Curse of Misty Wayfair

How was your reading week?
Read anything new and exciting?

Review: The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jamie Jo Wright

February 15, 2019

Title: The Curse of Misty Wayfair
Author: Jaime Jo Wright
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780764230301
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2019

About the Book:
Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to turn-of-the-century Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin. When the clues she finds lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a postmortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman haunting the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, they must overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined.
My Thoughts:
Oh. My. Goodness!!!
The Curse of Misty Wayfair was a book that had everything, absolutely everything in it! Historical fiction, contemporary, murder, mystery, suspense...and maybe a ghost....You have to read the book to find out about that.

This story was fabulous. I honestly didn't know how this story was going to end. I would think I had the mystery solved, but another twist or a new bit of information was discovered and threw my ideas out the window.

The way this story played out was beautiful. It is a split time, it goes between the past and the present. I loved seeing how the two times wove together to give this beautifully written story.

Thea is a girl at the turn of the nineteen hundreds. She was abandoned at the age of 4 by her mother. She only has the very smallest of memories of her. She was adopted at the age of twelve to a couple who traveled take unique photos for families. As an adult, she is on her own. Her adoptive parents have both passed and she has picked up the "family" business.

Heidi is a woman who hasn't been close to her family in years. She felt smothered. Her older sister and mother have always critiqued her. She felt like a black sheep and and just wanted to be away. It also didn't help her anxiety disorder. Now, she is coming back to see her family and her mother who is battling dementia. They had settled in a small town and Heidi is out of her element. She lands in the path another family, the Crawfords, in a very unfortunate way.

The stories of Thea and Heidi were both so very interesting. Similar, but also so very different. They each deal with their own pain and struggles. Their pasts haunt each of them in their own way.

The moving between times was done so well. This story flowed effortlessly. The characters were all so well done. As this story was read, you were given such an amazing visual though Jaime's writing, that it all just came off of the page.

I sadly couldn't read this book non-stop....responsibilities and all...so, I downloaded the audiobook and it was narrated just wonderfully! I was transported into the book.

This was just a fabulous story and I can't wait to see what Jaime Jo Wright will share with us next!

5 out of 5

About the Author:
Jaime Jo Wright is the Christy Award-Winning author of The House on Foster Hill. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime works as a human resources director in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two children. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com.

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

Waiting On Wednesday: More Than Words Can Say

February 13, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature that spotlights an up-and-coming release you are most excited about.

This week I'm featuring one of my favorite authors. She writes historical fiction, with humor, touching moments, and sweet romances, all set, usually, in a western background. The book this week is book number 2 in a series. I really enjoyed the first one. It was a little different then her previous books, but it was a good different. A little more emotional. I can't wait to see where book two will take us us in the Patchwork Family Series. 

Waiting On:
Title: More Than Words Can Say
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 4th, 2019

About the Book:
After being railroaded by the city council, Abby needs a man's name on her bakery's deed, and a man she can control, not the stoic lumberman Zacharias who always seems to exude silent confidence. She cant even control her pulse when she's around him. But as trust grows between them, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.

What are you waiting on this week?
Any recently announced books capture your attention?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favoriate Couples In Books.

February 12, 2019

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

This is a very, very, very hard topic for me!!!
There are so many book couples that are my favorites. 
So, the way I narrowed it down, it was the books I had available at hand and didn't have to dig out of my boxes....hopefully I will have book shelves soon to make featuring books easier. 

 Ok, so, this one I'm not spotlighting a particular book, but author...I have just absolutely loved all of Becky Wade's couples. They have all been fantastic to read about.

 A Not Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander
The couple in this book had so much in common, all while battling wills. Once things were settled in one way, the connection of these two just bounded off the pages. 

 A Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson
If you love a Big Fat Greek Wedding, this book has similarities you would love. 
Two people with opposite backgrounds and families meet. They know it can't work out, but they keep coming back to each other. It is a sweet story and so cute!

 Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter
Gut punch of a story....but sooooo good! 
Thrown into a situation she never expected to be in, our heione wasn't looking for any type of romance or relationship, but she does find a friendship. It is a slow build. Trust has to be built.

Apart of the Crowd by Jen Turano
This is another series (missing book 3 in the picture). Each couple was unique and popped and was just so much fun to read about.

These are just a few of my favorite couples I've read about. 
I always enjoy reading a book with a great romance.
Who is on your list this week?

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