Friday, June 23, 2017

First Line Fridays


It's Friday again, and as we approach the end of the month, I wanted to showcase the book I have been reading this week.  It's lovely, because it is set in England--you all know how much I love books set in England--and the time period for this particular text is the 19th century.  I'm a little over halfway through Delamere's novel, and I already recommend picking up this book.  If you need a new book to get you through all this rainy weather, I have no doubt you will find comfort in the pages of this lovely story, which is set amidst the streets of London and its theatrical debuts.

As you learn more about the main character, Rosalyn, it becomes easy to follow her and her two sisters around, as they learn how to unravel the complexities in their lives.  Of course, other characters...Nate, Mary, Jessie, Martha, and Tony...will touch your heart and cause you to be on your guard, while you discover more about these individuals who lived during this transitional time in modern England.

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
 
 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 Captain's Daughter 
by Jennifer Delamere



And the first line is...

Six Years Later 
October 1879

"Rosalyn crouched as low as her sturdy walking gown would allow, hiding behind the hedgerow.  When she'd left the orphanage to begin her life as an adult, she'd anticipated some hard times.  But never could she have imagined herself in the predicament she faced now."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!  






Saturday, June 17, 2017

Check Out My New Post!

Check out my new post on the Daily Megaphone to better understand the importance of generosity and its proper role in our daily lives.  Happy reading! 


Generosity 
by Heather Snyder 




 

 

Friday, June 16, 2017

First Line Fridays


Other than Ariel, Winnie-the-Pooh is one of my favorite childhood characters.  Reading about the tales of Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore, who lived in the Hundred-Acre-Wood, was simply lovely, because I wanted to live there too.  Who didn't want to go on adventures with Pooh and Piglet and all their friends?  Christopher Robin was blessed to have such fantastic pals.  One of my favorite rides in Walt Disney World is the Winnie-the-Pooh ride in Fantasyland.  Make sure to check it out the next time you are there--you get to ride in a hunny pot.  :)  (Notice that I spelled hunny like Pooh would.) What were some of your favorite childhood stories?

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
 
 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 Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh 
by A.A. Milne
Ernest A. Shepard, Illustrator  



And the first line is...

"Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.  It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.  And then he feels that perhaps there isn't.  Anyhow, here he is at the bottom, and ready to be introduced to you.  Winnie-the-Pooh."   


Happy reading and happy Friday!  








Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Silent Songbird - My Review


Melanie Dickerson's book The Silent Songbird is a retelling of the story The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson.  My favorite Disney princess growing up was Ariel, so I was very excited to read this story.  This book is also part of Dickerson's fairy tale collection, which includes books such as The Golden Braid, The Fairest Beauty, and The Merchant's Daughter. 

The book begins with introducing the reader to Evangeline, who is the cousin and ward of King Richard II.  The king believes it is in Evangeline's best interest to marry, which normally would be wonderful, since she wants to marry for love.  However, the king feels those notions are nonsense--building ties with other countries and providing for her livelihood are much more important in matters of matrimony.  Yet the man waiting in Evangeline's future is evil and despicable.  His only pursuit would be to harm her and eventually Richard, so that he could usurp the throne.  Yet King Richard II does not believe these rumors.  How will Evangeline be able to convince him?  Will he understand her desperate nature regarding the fact that she cannot marry Lord Shiveley?  Or will she have to take matters into her own hands?  

Evangeline has been raised by nannies and maids.  Her entire life has been spent cut off from the rest of the world, and she has become a sort of prized possession of the king--her existence is to do as he wishes.  Concerning the choices for her own life, she does not have much say.  Yet she always felt that one day her life might be different.  So different in fact that it might match the lives of the peasants she sees out her window.  All Evangeline wishes is to be free.  Will she ever get that chance? 

Westley believes he has heard the voice of an angel, but he does not know her name.  He only sees the red hair that adorns her face, and all too soon she is gone.  Who is this woman who has captured his heart within only a few moments?  Because of his station in life, he is expected to marry well.  His daily life requires numerous responsibilities, because he must care for and help the individuals in his village.  Of course, this sort of calling ensures there will be challenges and heartache, and all too soon, Westley will meet those who desire nothing good for his life.  In fact, they wish him dead.  How will he know the difference?  Who can he trust? 

This book was a wonderful read, and in many ways can be read within a few days.  So it makes the perfect beach book addition for your summer vacation.  As the reader follows the joys and difficulties of Evangeline and Westly, there are so many lessons to be learned within the pages of this book.  Even the other characters that operate closely beside these two individuals will face obstacles--they must choose who they will serve and follow--selecting other paths outside of the best option only brings destruction for several characters.  Proving once again that each choice made in life guarantees a particular journey--hopefully, that road will be filled with wonderful outcomes and not bitter consequences.  Thankfully, the reader gets to witness these actions played out from the comfort of reading a book, but hopefully the reader will still learn from these scenes in order to apply these principles to real life. 

If you love fairy tales, then you will definitely love this story!  I recommend checking out this book along with the other novels in this collection.  Happy reading! 


This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for my copy.


About The Book 

*Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?



*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.


About The Author 

 
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist, and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama. 
Visit her online at:  www.melaniedickerson.com
 
 
 

 


Friday, June 9, 2017

First Line Fridays


The author for this First Line Friday is completely new to me, and I confess that I purchased this book because of the front cover...teacups!  :)  Other than the teacups, I do not know anything about this text.  And I know what you are thinking...you can't judge a book by its cover; however, in some cases, I have found some wonderful novels using this method.  For example, searching though a used-book bin at the library or purchasing random books in the sale aisles at Barnes and Noble--so many great treasure to discover!  Therefore, next time you find yourself wandering the book section at a store, pick up a random book that looks appealing to you.  You never know--that particular book might find itself at the top of your favorites list.

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
 
 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 Rejected Writers' Book Club 
by Suzanne Kelman



And the first line is...

"'Come and live in the country; you won't regret it!'  the advertisement in a glossy real estate periodical implored us.  The glowing photo that accompanied the ad brazenly flaunted a charming timber-framed blue cottage adorned with whimsical white shutters and stunning window boxes brimming with gorgeous pink geraniums."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!  






Thursday, June 8, 2017

Poem of the Week

"A Dead Rose" 

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning 


O Rose! who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet;
But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat,---
Kept seven years in a drawer---thy titles shame thee.

The breeze that used to blow thee
Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away
An odour up the lane to last all day,---
If breathing now,---unsweetened would forego thee.

The sun that used to smite thee,
And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn,
Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn,---
If shining now,---with not a hue would light thee.

The dew that used to wet thee,
And, white first, grow incarnadined, because
It lay upon thee where the crimson was,---
If dropping now,---would darken where it met thee.

The fly that lit upon thee,
To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet,
Along thy leaf's pure edges, after heat,---
If lighting now,---would coldly overrun thee.

The bee that once did suck thee,
And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,---
If passing now,---would blindly overlook thee.

The heart doth recognise thee,
Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet,
Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,---
Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee.

Yes, and the heart doth owe thee
More love, dead rose! than to such roses bold
As Julia wears at dances, smiling cold!---
Lie still upon this heart---which breaks below thee! 





Friday, June 2, 2017

First Line Fridays


For this week, I would like to take a look at one of my favorite authors, Agatha Christie.  Outside of the Bible, her books have sold more copies than any other book published.  What a legacy!  Her wonderful wit and writing style express her mysterious stories in a way that captures her reader like no other author could.  Her two most famous detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, always catch the murderer off guard as they discover who is to blame regarding the unfortunate victim.  I confess, Christie is so smart, that I have never been able to figure out who the culprit is.  If you enjoy mysteries, I highly recommend picking up any of her books.  One of my favorites is Murder on the Orient Express.

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
 
 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 Body in the Library 
by Agatha Christie



And the first line is...

"Mrs. Bantry was dreaming.  Her sweet peas had just taken a First at the flower show.  The vicar, dressed in cassock and surplice, was giving out the prizes in church.  His wife wandered past, dressed in a bathing suit, but as in the blessed habit of dreams this fact did not arouse the disapproval of the parish in the way it would assuredly have done in real life..."

Happy reading and happy Friday!  






Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands - Spotlight Book Tour




Genre: Christian, Historical
Publisher: Barbour
Publication date: June 1, 2017
Number of pages: 448

Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
When a British dime novel enthusiast finds himself flat broke in Kansas, he discovers what western life and true love are all about. Barden Granville IV grew up at Cheatham Hall, Kent, England, devouring cowboy stories and dreaming of the day he, with no prospects of inheriting estate nor title, could escape to the American frontier. Educated and ordained an Anglican priest, his trip to America is his “last hurrah” before accepting a vicarage in a small town far from his aristocratic family’s estate. When a series of misadventures leaves him without money and stranded, he must take up employment immediately.
​After her father dies, widow Caroline Kane becomes the owner and proprietor of a restaurant and inn. She also assumes responsibility for her five teenaged siblings.

Caroline’s busybody married sister insists that an Englishman who purports to answer an ad for help, is the perfect candidate for Caroline’s next husband. While she’s relieved to have help, Caroline finds Barden’s primary asset to be his silver tongue. When his efforts finally bring fruit, Barden receives word from England that could leave Caroline worse off than before, for her heart will leave with him. Will Barden answer his heart and God’s call in Kansas, or will his family responsibilities compel him to leave his dreams behind?



Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is an ECPA bestselling and award-winning author. With a dozen Christian historical romances published, this former “Yooper” writes Christian historical romances about overcoming. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where many of her stories are set. Possessed with an overactive imagination, that wasn’t “cured” by twenty-five years as a psychologist, she loves bringing characters to life. Carrie and her family reside in Virginia’s Historic Triangle, which is perfect for her fascination with history. Carrie enjoys reading, traveling, baking, and beading-but not all at the same time!

Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s “The Story” national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.


1. When you are not writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I like to do bead work and I prefer easy beading projects like earrings and simple necklaces. You’d think with my poor eyesight and having Rheuamatoid Arthritis that has never gone into remission that I’d not be doing beadwork. But it’s so fun to have a finished project ready so quickly.

2. How long does it typically take you to write a novella vs how long does it take you to write a full length novel?
Oh boy! That’s a loaded question! A novel typically takes way more time. But it depends upon a few things. Like whether it is a shorter novel or a long one. Also, how recently have I been in that story world. For instance, on Lilacs for Juliana, I’d been in Northern Michigan story world for months already when I wrote that novel and I believe I completed in in two to three months. But I’ve had a longer historical (which got cut) that took me a few years to write (Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter). I’d say that ideally, I’d have a minimum of six months to write a novel, preferably nine to ten months. A novella “can” be done in a month. I prefer to have two to three months just to have some breathing room.

3. When did you write your first book?  Has this book or a rendition of this book been published?
Hmmm, my first completed novel was when I was twenty-one and I dropped out of graduate school (U.S. Carolina School Psychology Doctoral Program) to take care of some things and to write the book. This is back in the day when my copies were done with CARBON paper. You had to send your chapters in a SASE (Sealed Self-Adressed Envelope). I received twenty-one rejections and went back to graduate school! Thank God it has never seen the light of day and it never will! But I did learn I could finish a manuscript. That was a good thing to know when I did my masters thesis and then doctoral dissertation and when I wrote my first Christian fiction novel.

4. How frequently do you hear from your readers? Do you have any fun and/or weird reader-author meetings you would be willing to share about?
I hear from readers in some capacity on a daily basis. I had a really cool meeting with Jenny Blake, from Australia, who is a reader and a blogger. She came to Colonial Williamsburg a few years ago after her mom died. And recently I got to hang out with Amanda Stark and her son, Clayton, when she came to the Historic Triangle – that was fun as we all three are history geeks!

"We're In Kansas, Toto!!!": How Story Worlds Overlap -- Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels


​When a British dime novel enthusiast finds himself flat broke in Kansas, he discovers what western life and true love are all about. Barden Granville IV grew up at Cheatham Hall, Kent, England, devouring cowboy stories and dreaming of the day he, with no prospects of inheriting estate nor title, could escape to the American frontier. Educated and ordained an Anglican priest, his trip to America is his “last hurrah” before accepting a vicarage in a small town far from his aristocratic family’s estate. When a series of misadventures leaves him without money and stranded, he must take up employment immediately.

After her father dies, widow Caroline Kane becomes the owner and proprietor of a restaurant and inn. She also assumes responsibility for her five teenaged siblings. Caroline’s busybody married sister insists that an Englishman who purports to answer an ad for help, is the perfect candidate for Caroline’s next husband. While she’s relieved to have help, Caroline finds Barden’s primary asset to be his silver tongue. When his efforts finally bring fruit, Barden receives word from England that could leave Caroline worse off than before, for her heart will leave with him. Will Barden answer his heart and God’s call in Kansas, or will his family responsibilities compel him to leave his dreams behind?

First let me say that I really enjoy staying in my story worlds. Most of the time, I “live” in the fictional story worlds I’ve set up in turn-of-the-century Michigan, in particular the straits of Mackinac. I also have stories set here in Virginia, where I live. Since I’ve spent so much time in those story worlds (my 15th romance releases in 2018), I’ve a pretty well-developed sense of what happens there. I also like overlapping some of my characters and their ancestors, when possible.

But in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands I found myself in Kansas! And I really felt for Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, except for in reverse! You see instead of being gone from Kansas, I was being yanked out of Virginia and story world turn-of-the-century Michigan. And now, Toto, I found myself in Kansas! I have never been to Kansas and I’ve never written an American-set story where I hadn’t visited the area I was writing about. I was out of my real world and story world comfort zone! So to bring a little of my story world with me, I had the Tumbleston’s deceased matriarch be from a family in Virginia. Her backstory included being raised on a plantation in Virginia.

While researching another story, I was reading the history of Fort Mackinac, located on Mackinac Island in the Straits of Mackinac. Imagine my surprise to learn that after the Civil War (story time frame for Dime Novel Suitor), injured soldiers from a regiment stationed in the west traveled back to Mackinac Island where they were able to have light duty, housing, and food and to recover from what had happened to them. So I worked that into the Dime Novel Suitor plot.

Giveaway: An autographed paperback copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Brides. There must be ten unique comments from different readers for the giveaway. 


Grand Prize Giveaway: Kindle Fire + Postcards of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order, bookmarks from upcoming release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands, cowboy-themed earrings, and an ebook copy of Holt Medallion finalist “The Steeplechase.”



Other Giveaway: If 10+ unique commenters post on this blog, one commenter will be selected to receive a print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (US only).







Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Secret Slipper - Spotlight Book Tour





Genre: Christian Fiction 
Publication Date: May 25, 2017
Number of Pages: 166 
 
Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?

Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?

As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn't even know is searching for her?





Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)


Connect with Amanda

Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website: http://amandatero.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amandaruthtero/
Blog: www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero


Behind the Scenes with Amanda

 
 Giveaway Time!!! 



U.S. Giveaway: Enter to win the set of “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper”

International Giveaway: Enter to win the eBook set of “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper”




Also Touring with “The Secret Slipper”

May 25, 2017
Amanda @ With a Joyful Noise | Release Day, Giveaway
Leila @ Leila Tualla's Bookshelf | Spotlight
Faith @ Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections | Review, Giveaway
Leona @ Great Books for God's Girls | Review, Interview

May 26
Emily @ Zerina Blossom’s Books | Interview
Kendra @ Knitted By God's Plan (Spotlight) and O'Scarlett Reviews (Review) | Spotlight, Review
Alicia @ A Brighter Destiny | Review, Giveaway

May 27
Anika @ This Journey Called Life | Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
Katie @ His Princess Warrior | Review, Giveaway
Sarah @ The Destiny of One | Spotlight
Heather @ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Spotlight, Interview, Giveaway
                                                               
May 29
Kate @ Once Upon an Ordinary | Review, Interview
Sarah @ Penumbra Reviews | Review
Dary @ Peculiar Miss Darcy | Character Interview
Julia @ My Joyful Journey with Jesus | Interview

May 30
Kenzi @ Honey Rock Hills | Review, Giveaway
Anita @ Christian Author: A.M. Heath  | Review
Judith @ JudithWNicholson  | Interview

May 31
Jesseca @ Whimsical Writings for His glory  | Spotlight, Review
Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae  | Spotlight, Review
Esther @ Purposeful Learning | Review, Interview, Giveaway

June 1
Kellyn @ Reveries Reviews  | Review
Victoria @ Victoria Minks Blog  | Spotlight, Review
Kelsey @ Kelsey’s Notebook | Spotlight

June 2
Hanne @ RockandMinerals4Him | Spotlight, Review, Giveaway
Erica @ Roxbury Books Blog | Spotlight
Janell @ Views from the Window Friend  | Review
Crystal @ Crystal’s Adventures for Christ  | Spotlight, Review, Interview

June 3
Alexa @ Verbosity Reviews  | Spotlight
Faith @ Chosen Vessels  | Review
Melissa @ Clothed with Scarlet | Review, Interview, Giveaway


Happy Reading!