Review: An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

January 31, 2020

Title: An Uncommon Woman
Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780800734954
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020

About the Book:
Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical eighteenth-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical eighteenth-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the Seven Years' War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa's long-lost friend, Keturah, who disappeared from the settlement years earlier.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when circumstances force Clay's hand--and heart--the stage is set for one very private and one very public reckoning.
My Thoughts:
Laura Frantz is one of those authors for me, that once I find out she has a book coming out, it's a count down till I can get my hands on it to devour it.

An Uncommon Woman was a book that was worth the wait! Goodness. The story, the characters, the history, the sweet romance, they all paired so well. The story flowed and when it ended, I was sad! I was not read to leave this world that Tessa and Clay lived in. It was so rich and vibrant. You could see this story playing out as you read it.

Tessa is such a unique character. She has grown up in house bustling with brothers. She helps her mom, she helps with the families trade of running the ferry, she also helps in protecting her family from attacks. She is a true frontier woman.She also is a woman who possess a wise knowledge from living where she has and one who knows to think in a very trying situation. Reading her story was so interesting.

Clay Tygart, goodness, this man has such a wide background that contradicts its self, but he is a man makes it work. They offer strengths to his job, which is is immensely proud of and does to the best of his ability. He is a warrior and a gentleman.

When Clay and Tessa are put together, they story just ignites!

And what brings Clay and Tessa together is such an interesting part. Keturah, who was Tessa's girlhood friend. She was taken to be raised with a Lenape and had forgotten the world she came from. Clay was the bridge between the two worlds for her and allowed Tessa to connect again. Keturah, is also not who she first appears to be. As her story unfolds and mixes with Tessa and Clay's it expanded the world to a whole new level. It made me think about how different, but similar Keturah and Tessa are and what kind of imprint they leave on the people around them.

The research for this story was just phenomenal. Reading this story made me so interested in finding out more on these tribes that were mentioned. This story really piqued my interest in the history of this time.

I downloaded this story as well from Audible. I have come to love the flexibility that audio books bring. I didn't have to put down this book. I could multi task. There was no way to put down An Uncommon Woman, it kept me immersed. The narrator, Aimee Lilly has such a lyrical voice that allowed the story to just flow.

This was such a fabulous story. It is one I could re-read over and over again.

5 out of 5

About the Author:
Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of eleven novels, including The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel's Lady, The Lacemaker, and A Bound Heart.
Learn more at

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Covers of All Time (So Far)

January 28, 2020

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 Book Covers of All Time (So Far)

I've focused on so many different book covers topics, but I don't know if I've ever done a topic on my most favorite of all time. 
This is probably going to span a lot of years.

I have seen so many covers that I love. So narrowing it down has been hard. This is no where near all of them, but it is a good selection.

 So lets start this journey!

 Dear Mr. Knightley 
by Katherine Reay
Against the Tide
by Elizabeth Camden
The Last Disciple
by Hank Hanegraff & Sigmund Brouwer

by Sara Ella
The Wood's Edge
by Lori Benton
The Sentinels of Andersonville
by Tracy Groot

The Long Trail Home
by Stephen Bly
An Uncommon Woman
by Laura Frantz
Mark of the Raven
by Morgan L. Busse

by Rachel Hauck
by Lauren K. Denton
by Kristy Cambron

by Jaime Jo Wright
Abigail Wilson

What kind of book covers did you focus on this week?

Review: A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott

January 27, 2020

Title: A Distance Too Grand
Author: Regina Scott
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780800736392
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019

About the Book:
Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession--starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn't realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.

Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart. He can't afford to be distracted during this survey, which is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides--and even from within--Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.
My Thoughts: 
This story was one I really enjoyed. It was like a therapy listening to it on Audible. I know that may seem strange to say, but when you are reading and listening to the descriptions that Regina Scott is writing about for the Grand Canon, you can't help but slip away in your mind to these beautiful vistas and picture yourself looking out on to the majesty of this wonder.

Regina Scott is an author who has a talent for writing sweet romance stories that just bring you in to it. Her characters and their stories have such a real feel to them. Meg and Ben have a history. This history affects their decisions in the story, but they are also ones, who know how to work through the past and find away to work together. They learn who they are on this journey and in the process learn more about each other and how the ideas they had in the past, really were not their own doing. It's a story of how when young, you get idea, you get scared, and unfortunately you make decisions on not the whole story. But this book offers a fun look at a 2nd chance.

Ben is a straight shooter, a man graduated from West Point. Has lived the military life with his dad. He knows what is expected of him. He knows his job. Meg is a girl who knows how to be a free spirit. She wandered around the country with her dad taking pictures. She loves the freedom. However, with her dad gone now, she now has the sole responsibility of his company, and with that must find away to provide for herself.

Ben and Meg are joined with a fun cast of characters on their adventure. Each so different, but all working well together.

This story was a fabulous escape. When I was in a repetitive task, it was a book I loved to listen to and help me get away.

If you are looking into a sweet, adventure, romance...this is the story for you.

4 out of 5

About the Author:
Regina Scott is the author of more than 40 works of warm, witty historical romance. Her writing has won praise from Booklist and Library Journal, and she was twice awarded the prestigious RT Books Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of 30 years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Book Additions

January 21, 2020

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

Most Recent Book Additions

I know I have a slight (major) book buying addiction. 
Can't hide...too many books past that! They are currently lining the office wall at my house, boxes stacked 3feet tall spanning about 12 feet in length. My husband just looks at me and shakes his head when a new book(s) come into the house. 

Here are my most recent additions to the my stacks, I really can't wait to have my bookshelves....
I will say, since really getting into Audible, it has made it a little easier in getting books. 

Review Books:
Isaiah's Legacy
by Mesu Andrews
The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as Judah's most notorious king ascends to the throne in this gripping novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah's Daughter .

At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle's help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah's five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she's eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father's strict adherence to Yahweh's Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.

Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh's chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah's throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria's crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle's long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she'd never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh's mother: Isaiah's daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah's dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord's promise, "Though we're helpless now, we're never hopeless--because we serve El Shaddai." Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah's legacy.

Her Rocky Mountain Hope
by Mindy Obenhaus
Learning to trust can be the greatest adventure.

She’s always played it safe…Can he reach her guarded heart?

Ready to open his camp for young cancer patients, Daniel Stephens must impress foundation overseer Blythe McDonald to ensure she approves funding for next year. But the cautious former cancer patient was once let down by a similar program, and she’ll leave no stone unturned in her evaluation. Can he convince her his camp is worthy of the money…and that he’s worthy of her love?

Veiled in Smoke
by Jocelyn Green
Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district, they lose much more than just their store.

The sisters become separated from their father, and after Meg burns her hands in an attempt to save a family heirloom, they make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend not only died during the fire--he was murdered. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.

Though homeless, injured, and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father's innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.

An Uncommon Woman
by Laura Frantz
Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa's long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand--and heart--are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.

Pre-Ordered Audio Books:

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey
by Abigail Wilson
In this new Regency romance, Elizabeth knows she must protect her heart from the charm of her new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life.

When the widowed Lord Torrington agreed to spy for the crown, he never planned to impersonate a highwayman, let alone rob the wrong carriage. Stranded on the road with an unconscious young woman, he is forced to propose marriage to protect his identity and her reputation, as well as his dangerous mission.

Trapped not only by her duty to her country but also by her limited options as an unwed mother, Miss Elizabeth Cantrell and her infant son are whisked away to Middlecrest Abbey by none other than the elder brother of her son's absent father. There she is met by Torrington's beautiful grown daughters, a vicious murderer, and an urgent hunt for the missing intelligence that could turn the war with France. Meanwhile she must convince everyone that her marriage is a genuine love match if her new husband has any hope of uncovering the enemy.

Determined to keep her son's true identity a secret, Elizabeth will need to remain one step ahead of her fragile heart, her uncertain future, and the relentless fiend bent on her new family's ruin.

Daughter of Rome
by Tessa Afshar
A woman with a devastating secret. A man bent on proving his worth. A chance encounter that catapults them into the heart of history.

When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God's plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they're banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption.

With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotive love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth, reminding readers once again why Debbie Macomber has said that "no one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar."

Veiled in Smoke
by Jocelyn Green
It's one of those books, you have to have multiple versions. :-)

The Tea Chest
by Heidi Chivaroli
Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm's father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma's heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer's assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiance, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her--as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel's wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

Most Recent Bought Books:
Jerusalem's Queen
by Angela Hunt
Born in the small village of Modein, a town made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. But when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.

When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem's plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian's sanity. But though Salome spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world.

Egypt's Sister
by Angela Hunt
Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria's royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what--but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery.

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God's will for her life. 

With this Pledge
by Tamera Alexander
On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can't abide. He compels Elizabeth "Lizzie" Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain's leg but also his life.

When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie's arms that night, the boy's final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy's first name. And, as she soon discovers, there's no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones's offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love. 

Echoes Among the Stones
by Jaime Jo Wright
 After Aggie Dunkirk's career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her vintage, though very outdated, home. Aggie didn't plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene--even going so far as to re-create it in a dollhouse.

Mystery seems to follow Aggie when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the town's cemetery. Forced to work with a puzzling yet attractive archaeologist, she exhumes the past's secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep hidden--even if that means silencing Aggie.

In 1946, Imogene Grayson works in a beauty salon but has her sights set on Hollywood. But coming home to discover her younger sister's body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the burgeoning world of forensic science and, as a woman, not particularly welcomed into the investigation, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister's case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . no matter the cost. 

What books have you recently acquired?
Let me know in the comments below!

Waiting On Wednesday: Of Literature and Lattes

January 8, 2020

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

January feels like a fresh start. It's a new year, a new month, and a new season, although it doesn't feel much like winter here, and I'm very sad. It's a roll of the dice if we get winter weather or not. Cold weather or not, it's always a good time to curl up with a book or start panning ahead for a new book. With the end of the year we look back, and the start of a new year we look forward. I know recently, I shared about the books I'm looking forward to in the first quarter of the year, so with today' Waiting On Wednesday, let's look a little further in the future!

Today I'm featuring an author who's books I've adored since her debut. Katherine Reay has such an amazing talent for writing. The emotional connections she creates is phenomenal. I am able to get caught up, not it just the story, but in the characters lives. They feel real and draw you in. Here characters are ones you can see yourself friends with, ones you can relate to.

With her new release in 2020, I'm so looking forward to jumping back into her writing to see where this story will take me.

Waiting On:
Title: Of Literature & Lattes
Author: Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 12th, 2020

About the Book:
Katherine Reay returns to the cozy and delightful town of Winsome where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.

After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup then move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.

Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.

With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

What are you waiting on this week?
How is your reading hopes for 2020 coming along? Have you set any reading goals?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

January 7, 2020

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

Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

I've been following the upcoming releases for the start of 2020 for a little while. There are just so many wonderful books coming out this year and I honestly can't wait to read them!

These covers are just gorgeous and I know that the story just inside will be just as beautiful!

by Laura Frantz 
Connilyn Cossette
by Sarah E. Ladd

by Angela Hunt
by Jocelyn Green
by Jill Eileen Smith

by Heidi Chiavaroli
by Sarah Sundin
by Tessa Afshar

by Tracie Peterson & Kimberly Woodhouse
by Mesu Andrews

What books are you looking forward to for the start of 2020?
This is just the start! There is so many wonderful looking for books coming out this year.

Happy New Year! A Look into 2020

January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!
This is 2020.....

Sorry, I couldn't help it. It would have been awesome if that had Barbra Walters announce that last night. It would have been the icing on the cake.

Here we sit at the start of a brand new year. A brand new book with 366 empty pages, ready for you to fill in with you story.

There is so much to look forward to in this year. So many things to build on from the previous year.

I'm not one to make resolutions. That's not my thing. I do, sometimes, make goals, but my goals are set on the 1st. They are made throughout the year and sometimes I find my goals have to be altered. There is flexibility in goals.

Not only do I look forward at the start of a New Year, I like to look back. I like to look back, because, this is the day that I started this blog in 2012. A lot has changed and a lot has been learned since then. I like to look back on the knowledge and blogging friends I have made in that time and the beginning is good time to look back and be thankful. I'm thankful for such an amazing and supportive community in the book blogging world. The joy of readers are contagious! And I'm truly blessed to be apart of it.

Looking forward on this coming year, I already know there are going to be many changes coming, I will be sharing about those in the coming weeks. It is positive, but it is changes. Mainly personal, but it will affect my blogging a little bit, but it won't be for long.

I usually set goals for reading at the start of the year, but I'm trying something new this year. It does have to do with the up coming changes, but I thought it would be fun to see how it goes. If you follow me on Goodreads (you can find me through the little button at the top right side of the blog), you see I set reading goals. I have set a number for 2020, but so you know, it's just to help me track of the reading I'm doing. I'm not going for any particular number this year. I'm going to read what I can and see what happens. Goodreads doesn't have a button for that. :-)

I already have several books on my TBR pile and I have a list of books I hope to read in this coming year. I will sharing about those books very soon.

I'm very excited to see where 2020 takes us. The year is already shaping up to be amazing in the reading world.

What are your plans for this New Year?
What goals/resolutions have you set? Is reading something you are working towards?

Let me know your thoughts about this New Year in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

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