Friday, July 21, 2017

First Line Fridays


I wanted to highlight a classic piece of literature this week.  Has anyone read Wuthering Heights?  I know it is one of those required books to read in school, which sometimes means people do not necessarily read it, or they just skim through the chapters.  Hopefully though, you have been able to pick up a copy since college or high school in order to really delve into Mr. Heathcliff’s world.  Emily Bronte brings such dark imagery to the pages of her book.  She speaks openly and honestly about each character and how they are viewed and treated within this particular society.  Her sister, Charlotte, pens a similar text, but her characters seem to be a bit more lighthearted--not to say that they do not have their own troubles.  What do you think of the differences between the worlds of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre? 

As most know, the Victorian era of literature in England is one of my favorite periods to read.  If you need any recommendations of what books to pick up during this time in literary history, please let me know.  As always, please be sure to check out the book lines from these other amazing bloggers too:

Sydney from Singing Librarian
Rachel from Bookworm Mama
Andie from Radiant Light
Katie from Fiction Aficionado
Kathleen from Kathleen Denly
Lauraine from Lauraine's Notes 
Trisha from Joy of Reading
  Jane from C Jane Read  
Christina from Moments Dipped in Ink 
Molly from Cafinated Reads
Anna from Romances of the Cross 
 
 Click the links above to be taken to their posts and...
If you would like to join us, send Carrie a message and let her know!

​Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from:

Wuthering Heights 
by Emily Bronte



And the first line is…

“1801—I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.”

Happy reading and happy Friday!   
 





Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island - Spotlight Book Tour




Series: My Heart Belongs
Genre: Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Barbour
Publication date: July 1

Journey now to Mackinac Island where... A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds. Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel. 
Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel. While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story. But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?




ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.


1. Do you have any funny stories from fans meeting you for the first time?

I don’t think funny stories but I have been so blessed by the readers I’ve met, especially last year in Shepherd Michigan when Joyce Noyes brought her absolutely adorable granddaughters with her!

2. What did your writing process for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island look like
Ohmygoodnessgraciousmeohmy! This was like having a problem child who needed a lot of therapy and rehab!

3. What type of research did you do for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?

Did you do any traveling for this research? I actually lived on and worked on the island as a teenager and grew up in the area. And I’ve been there often visiting. One of my close friends has family from the island and she inspired that aspect of the story.  We specifically stayed at both the Grand Hotel for research and at the Windermere, which is the inspiration for my heroine’s inn.

4. What inspired the idea for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?

I wondered what an independent miss, brought up by the strong women of the island, would do if her father resisted her becoming a business manager/inn manager which is her birthright but is at a time when young women were sheltered.

5. What do you want readers to take away from reading My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?
The only inheritance you need to concern yourself with is that of being a child of the living God.

6. Do you have any advice you would give to other potential authors?

Don’t give up if you have a manuscript that is giving you fits, not if the Lord tells you to keep working on it. Hire the best freelance editors that you can and pray! This problem child became an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for July PTL!



What Inspired my Story

I lived on Mackinac Island, working at a restaurant there. I loved it! It’s a magical place and I’ve gone back many times since then! I was just there, today, in fact. Also, I have a dear friend, Rosemary Wellington, whose family is from the island and during a visit to the island with her, I got inspired to think about a story set there. Her cousin is mayor of the island and owns the Windermere Hotel. My husband and I stayed there a few years back to research the story and the beautiful hotel did inspire me to use it as a prototype for “Winds of Mackinac” in the novel.


​Also, while working on the core premise for this story, I was praying about the struggle I was having.  I call this book my “Problem Child Manuscript.” But God is good and faithful – while at church after praying, although my pastor (and also a write) Larry was stuck at an airport, trying to return from Haiti but Seth, our college student-age pastor, gave the sermon for Larry. And it was an amazing message inspired by Mark Twain’s The Prince and The Pauper! And that really reinforced what I was already trying to do but was struggling with.  You see, our identity has to stem from what it is in Christ. He calls us to a mission. And He gifts us to enable us and provides when we cannot do. Our King calls us His children. Wow! That makes us princes and princesses of the King.

One of the things I’ve you enjoyed most about writing this book has been getting to hang out in Mackinac Island story world even when I wasn’t there! I had major surgery one year and couldn’t go – but I still got to “visit” by writing about it! We’re here right now and it’s so beautiful in the summer.  The island, itself, is an inspiration for many more stories to come!



This is by no means an exhaustive list! I’m just including my current faves not all-time (like Lucy Maude Montgomery).


Ten of my Fave authors are:

Tamera Alexander, who gave me this beautiful endorsement:
Julie Lessman – amazing historical romance with strong family ties
Susie/Susanne Dietze – a rising star in CBA fiction!
Tracie Peterson – I love her audiobooks in particular!
Julie Klassen – especially her early books
Michelle Griep -- her Regencies are amazing!
Serena Miller – a lovely lady with equally lovely books – some set in Michigan
Debbie Lynne Costello – check out her medieval stories!
Rachel Hauck’s dual-time audiobooks are lovely
Suzanne Woods Fisher who gave me this wonderful endorsement:









Friday, July 14, 2017

First Line Fridays


One of the books highlighted last week on First Line Fridays was a new book by Carrie Turansky.  It comes out next spring, and I cannot wait to read it!  There are so many books coming out within the next year--how many new books are you already adding to your Goodreads list? 

Even during the rainy weather, I was at the library this week, and I confess it has been ages since I have checked out a book.  Typically I buy all of my books...love Kindle deals and used bookstores.  :)  In fact, I go to a lot of used book sales at the library, and in doing so I forget I can check out books.  I know that sounds really silly, but in college all I ever did was check out research and academic books.  As an English major, I already owned all of the classic novels.  So it was so nice to browse the shelves the other day looking for new books.

Tucked away on one of the lower shelves, I saw this book by Turansky, and decided I would read it as I wait for her new book to come out.  It is set in England, so that is all I needed to know.  :)  As always, please be sure to check out the book lines from these other amazing bloggers too:

Sydney from Singing Librarian
Rachel from Bookworm Mama
Andie from Radiant Light
Katie from Fiction Aficionado
Kathleen from Kathleen Denly
Lauraine from Lauraine's Notes 
Trisha from Joy of Reading
  Jane from C Jane Read  
Christina from Moments Dipped in Ink 
Molly from Cafinated Reads 

 And I want to welcome English Lady to the First Line Fridays fun!  

Anna from Romances of the Cross 
 
 Click the links above to be taken to their posts and...
If you would like to join us, send Carrie a message and let her know!

​Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from:

The Governess of Highland Hall 
by Carrie Turansky



And the first line is...

October 1911 
Berkshire, England 

"Julia Foster lifted her gaze to the clear October sky as a lark swooped past.  Her steps slowed and her thoughts took flight, following the bird as it dipped into the golden trees beyond the meadow."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!  






Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Last Summer - My Review

 

Welcome to the blog tour for The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce!

 

 

 My Review

 

Brandy Bruce's book The Last Summer is the perfect beach read.  It is light and funny with a dose of tears, pain, and laughter.  I know that probably does not sound like a great book to read this summer, but the characters within this text are true to life.  Bruce captures the heartbeat of each individual throughout the difficulties of growing up--singleness, marriage, break-ups, and children.  This book touches so many topics that many people will have faced during their younger years.  Did you ever feel out of place--even in a crowd?  Were you ever the new person in a group?  Did you have to make friends amongst those who had known each other a lifetime?  These are the feelings Sara Witherspoon initially faces as she is thrown into a new place with a new set of people.  Thankfully, there is a welcoming crew among them, yet there will still be fear and uneasiness around a new environment.  Especially, when those new surroundings include a cute guy.  However, Sara figures he is already taken by the woman sitting next to him, yet Sara could never predict the hills and valleys her life would encounter next. 

It is great to be part of a family--even when that family is not blood related.  That is what Sara's friends are to her.  Their tiny groups is a family, and already they have seen each other through so much.  Heartache, anger, love, and joy are just a few of the emotions touched on in Sara's world.  The consistent events--vacations, dinners, wedding showers, coffee dates--keep Sara and her friends open and honest in each other's presence.  There is nothing they do not discuss amongst each other, and at a moment's notice, anyone would be there for her--no matter the hour of the day.  Sara knows she is blessed to be in this circle of friends, so why can't she be happy?  Certain shocking moments that unknowingly transpire cause her to unravel, and even though she tries to be supportive, she feels that part of herself may disappear forever. 

Luke's emotions seem to be quite conflicting these days.  Just when he feels he has the world figured out, something or somebody new comes his way, and his whole world gets turned upside down.  He believed he was in love, until another woman catches his eye.  Of course, his friendships mean more to him than anything, and he is careful to not take advantage or play with another person's feelings.  However, he finds himself making some of the worst mistakes of his life.  How did he get here, and how can he find the exit from the mess he has made?  So many questions plague Luke daily, but he tries to keep his thoughts to himself.  But then there is the group.  They discuss everything, and his buddies know when something is up.  Will he ever be able to turn his life around and make it what is should be? 

I read this book in a matter of days, because I was intrigued from the first line to the last pages of this text.  Sara definitely finds herself on a roller-coaster, but throughout it, she finds peace and comfort from those around there.  There is always someone to talk to and even yell out when she needs to vent her feelings.  The guys and girls in Sara's group are real and easy to connect with, because as the reader, you want life to go well for them.  You want there to be a happily-ever-after for everyone in the family.  I recommend checking this book out--purchase it or download it to your Kindle in order to take it on your next getaway--and then follow along on the summer that changed Sara's life forever.  Happy reading!  


This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Reading is My SuperPower for my copy.


About The Book

 


For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for this unique gang of seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with a host of changes for everyone. When Sara’s longtime crush and closest friend, Luke, begins seriously dating another girl in the group, she’s forced into a situation of dealing with hurt and jealousy, while outwardly trying to support her friends. Throw an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina into the mix, as well as an old flame, and Sara’s life gets even more complicated. As time unfolds, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change can do to close friends.

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance  
PUBLISHER: Bling! Romance  
RELEASE DATE: June 9, 2017  
PAGES: 236



About The Author

 


Brandy Bruce is a mother, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who seriously loves dessert. Originally from Texas, she now makes her home in Colorado with her husband and three children. She’s the author of Looks Like Love, The Romano Family Collection, and The Last Summer.


Summer Playlist 

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY 

 


As part of the The Last Summer blog tour, Brandy Bruce is giving away this great SUMMER PRIZE PACK to one winner! (US addresses only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower's giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.


 

Tour Schedule

 







Friday, July 7, 2017

The Captain's Daughter - My Review



Jennifer Delamere's book The Captain's Daughter tells the story of the once lonely Rosalyn Bernay who grew up with her two sisters in an orphanage after their parents died.  She and her sisters have stayed closely knit for many years, but there comes a time when a person must grow up and seek another life.  In an orphanage, an individual can only stay so long, and then he or she must find another position--a position that will take care of them in their adult life.  Rosalyn finds herself in this very predicament, and she struggles with this decision, because it means saying goodbye to her sisters.  Yet she has no choice but to venture out on her own.  Will she be able to find proper work?  What kind of establishment should see seek?  These are questions Rosalyn continually asks herself as she prepares to leave the comforts of her home. 

This particular book is the first book in the London Beginnings series, and I must confess that I cannot wait to read the second text in the series, The Heart's Appeal, which comes out next spring.  Pursuing a career that lies strictly in a male-dominated world, the second book with follow the intense choice that one of Rosalyn's sisters makes.  After you read the first book, you will understand how exciting the story behind the second text will be, but let me get back to the first book. 

Rosalyn undergoes many changes in her life--changes she never thought would transpire--and certain unfortunate events will push her to flee her present circumstances.  As she boards a train to London, she prays she will not be followed, but she also wonders where she will go when she reaches her destination.  Rosalyn believes the Lord will protect her; however, her naive nature plays a distinctive role when it come to placing her life in a dangerous spot.  Since she know no one in London, who will save her from a life of destitution? 

Nate Moran is a hard worker and an honorable man who, because of an injury, has taken a short leave of absence from the army.  Unfortunately, his brother also becomes injured at work; therefore, so as not to lose his job, Nate agrees to step in and to temporarily work in his brother's place.  Interestingly, Nate never imagined he would be working as a stagehand in a local theatre--surprisingly, he enjoys the work, because throughout the process, he learns a great deal regarding lighting, acting, and when to watch for theatrical cue changes.  One day though, his life gets momentarily interrupted when a desperate young woman walks through the theatre doors, and he will soon realize that his complicated life is about to get even more challenging.  Will he extend grace to this timid woman?  Will he be able to empathize with her story? 

Each character you meet in this novel works so well with those around them.  As the reader, you will be introduced to a myriad of individuals who will either help or hinder Rosalyn.  In turn, you will be able to watch Rosalyn grow as a person and as a character--soon she will understand more about the world around her and how to better protect herself.  At the same time, she learns who she can and cannot trust.  Thankfully, there are a few actors who warn her about the business she is considering entering.  Theatre work is not all applause and fame.  Hard work goes into putting on a play, and then there are the many hard hours of rehearsing and memorizing lines.  Is Rosalyn up to such a life? 

If you love historical fiction, then you will enjoy reading this book.  I love period pieces, and this book is set in my favorite century and location--England in the year 1873.  It will be interesting to see how Delamere continues the series, because I already have several unanswered questions.  For me though, that is what make a story great--the reader wanting to know more about the characters and hoping the book will never end.  Happy reading!  


This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Litfuse for my copy. 


About The Book 

*When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
 

*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.


About The Author  


A history fan, travel lover, and outdoor enthusiast, Jennifer Delamere writes tales of the past...and of new beginnings. Her debut novel An Heiress at Heart was an RWA RITA® award finalist, and her follow-up, A Lady Most Lovely, earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned her B.A. in English from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she also gained fluency in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. An avid reader of both classic novels and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books.  She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband. 

Visit her at www.jenniferdelamere.com.