Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

7 Winter Reads To Chase Away the Cold!

Oh, winter is a time for reading! (So she says while she isn’t currently reading a thing.) Hey, I’m editing. That’s a valid excuse. 🙂

But you don’t have that excuse. So here are seven awesome books you should totally be reading this winter.

BITTER WINTER (Jaye L Knight)

Bitter Winter Cover

🙂

I haven’t read it yet, but it just came out, and seriously, that cover.

But it’s book five, so if you haven’t read the series, start with book one.

LACY (Jaye L Knight)

Lacy Cover

Now, while we’re on the subject of Ilyon Chronicles, this one I have read, and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it! It’s pretty short and perfect for a winter day read.

BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA (Lauren Wolk)

brightsea

This precious book is middle-grade and perfect for any reader. Seriously. This story is so beautiful! And so is that cover . . .

The friend who recommended this book has also read it at least twice.

UNBROKEN (Young Adult Version) (Laura Hillenbrand)

unbroken

I haven’t talked much about this book since reading it, and I should have. This is a true story, and it’s the most powerful, inspiring story I have ever read, ever. Read it when you have time to sit down and not get up for a good long while.

DARE (Tricia Mingerink)

acktar

What can I say? There’s snow on the cover. But aesthetics aside, it’s an awesome story that begins a terrific series. You won’t be able to stop at book one.

WINTER HAVEN (Athol Dickson)

winter

This book. This. Book. Twists, turns, suspense, and a totally logic explanation at the end that you never saw coming . . .  My kind of book. Prepare to be swept away.

And last but far from least . . .

book2

Fawkes. What can I say? It was amazing. PERFECT for a winter read because you can just settle in and not move for a while.

Okay, today we’ve got to chat in the comments. What are your favorite winter reads? Have you read any of the books on this list? What’s your favorite kind of book to read when you’re cold- or snow-bound? (Or does that analogy not apply to your part of the world?) 🙂 Readers, let’s chat!

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Posted in Blog Tours, Book Release, Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

Ilyon Chronicles and Blades of Acktar Blog Tour! (and book review)

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This is going to be a crazy fun blog tour! Wanna know why? ‘Cause I’m totally panicking right now ’cause I totally forgot about this post today. Because two of my three favorite authors ever are releasing their new books together! So seriously, check out these awesome books. I’m so excited to be part of this.

Bitter Winter Cover
ISN’T THIS AWESOME??????

ABOUT BITTER WINTER

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Lacy Cover

ABOUT LACY

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JayeLKnight Author PhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. You can connect with Jaye on her websiteblogFacebookTwitter, and Etsy.

 

MY REVIEW OF LACY (Ilyon Chronicles Novella 5.5) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book is incredible. We finally get to see from Aaron’s POV. He was a likable character before. Now he’s a favorite. First off, the storyline itself is both difficult to swallow and really, really good at the same time. Jaye’s new character, Lacy, is a prostitute, so that’s naturally going to deal with difficult topics. However, it is handled VERY well, typical of Jaye’s books.
The love story woven in the pages is so beautiful. It unfolds so gently. It’s so real. And the characters! Aaron and Lacy . . . I could go on forever. I’m an official fangirl for their story. 🙂
My only complaint about this book is that it was so short. 😒 I could have read another hundred pages no problem. So the two of them had better be in the next book. 😊

 

 

Decree Cover

ABOUT DECREE

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been
A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept what it means to have the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission
When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains
A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with Tricia on her blogFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
PaperbackGiveaway
 Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour! Follow this link to enter.

Tour Schedule

Friday – December 14 – Release Day for Bitter Winter & Lacy!

Saturday – December 15

Monday – December 17

Tuesday – December 18 – Release Day for Decree!

Wednesday – December 19

 Thursday – December 20

Friday – December 21

Saturday – December 22

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

Bookish Things – a Review of Beyond the Bright Sea

I don’t do many book reviews on here, but when you read a book like Beyond the Bright Sea (Lauren Wolk), it’s hard to resist.

brightsea
That COVER!!!!!!

A friend recommended this book, and I picked it up at the library. As it was a middle-grade story, I wasn’t entirely sure how I would enjoy it. But any doubts I had were swiftly swept away in the vivid imagery, simple narrative, picturesque seaside, and pure heart of this story. It’s been a beautiful ride.

Characters: Oh, where to begin! Our protagonist, Crow, is so endearing. You can feel for her struggle as she searches for meaning, for connection, for her family. Her search for identity is quite real, and so the story is told through her eyes, the eyes of a young, innocent girl who simply wants to know who she is.

Miss Maggie, the neighbor. I LOVED this character. She’s so real, so tough, brave, and yet she’s also kindhearted and gentle.

Osh. I admit, for a while, he annoyed me. But eventually, I was able to look at him a little more objectively (or maybe I just started seeing through Crow’s eyes), and I liked him a lot more.

Mouse. The cat. She reminds me of my cat Cider. 🙂  The book would be oddly incomplete with her traipsing about the island.

Plot: I have no complaints. It was well-crafted, believable, mostly realistic, and it wasn’t all wrapped up at the end (no spoilers).

Writing: Simple, straightforward, and intriguing. I was held from the first page to the last simply because I became Crow’s friend. I wanted to see how her story would end. I was cheering for her. If I could write any style, it would be this one.

Conclusion: FIVE STARS

Beyond the Bright Sea, a touching story of one girl’s search for her family twelve years after she was discovered on the shore of a tiny Massachusetts island as an infant, is a don’t-miss book. I nearly missed it because it was middle-grade, but if I had let that stop me, I would have missed out on a very powerful, incredibly well-written story. And I loved that it took place on an island. It gave the whole thing a unique, almost magical feel, yet it was totally realistic, too.

But enough about my reading. What are you reading? Have you every read Beyond the Bright Sea? Do you plan to? Let’s chat in the comments! Books are just so much fun!

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Release, Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

Ladies and Gentlemen . . . it’s a Blog Tour

Yes, indeed. Today is the day we celebrate the release of Tricia Mingerink’s and Sarah Addison-Fox’s newest books. My participation is going to focus on Tricia’s book, but I’ll have the schedule for the tour posted at the end, so you can take a look around!

Blog Tour Header

Cool titles, right? And two seriously enchanting covers. Wow.

So, to celebrate the release of Dagger’s Sleep on the 28th, I have had the privilege to host an author interview with Tricia. But first, the synopsis of her newest book.

A prince cursed to sleep.

A princess destined to wake him.

A kingdom determined to stop them.

High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.

A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?

One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine.

And the interview with Tricia – which can also be translated as the first author interview I’ve ever done. 🙂

1. Welcome! What was it like to publish your first book?
It was really cool. I decided to be a published author when I was 6 years old and it was my dream ever since. 
That’s great that you knew so early on. 2. Would you say your writing/publishing experience has changed since your first book?
Yes, definitely. Things are different once you are published. There is a lot more pressure on your writing once you have fans waiting for the next one and you don’t want to disappoint them. 
3. What are your hopes for this new series?
I really hope it connects with readers just as much as The Blades of Acktar did and perhaps find an even wider audience. 
4. Would you say there is one author who has most influenced your writing? If so, who?
C.S. Lewis did much to shape my writing. The Chronicles of Narnia was one of the first fantasy books I read, and the way Lewis used fantasy to convey Christian themes still blows my mind each time i read the books. 
Agreed! Narnia was truly inspired! 5. Which do you prefer: Cats or dogs?
Dogs all the way. 
What??? How about daytime writing vs. nighttime writing?
Daytime, but since I work full time I usually end up writing at night. 
C.S. Lewis or J.R.R Tolkien?
If you hadn’t guessed already, C.S. Lewis. I re-read The Chronicles of Narnia at least once a year. I think I’ve only actually read The Lord of the Rings all the way through once. The writing is well done, but C.S. Lewis holds my heart. 
Thanks a lot, Tricia!
 ~ ~ ~ ~
About the Author:
Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.
Tricia Mingerink Author Picture 1
 And there’s a party to celebrate.
~ ~ ~ ~
To celebrate the release of Dissociate and Dagger’s Sleep, Sarah Addison-Fox and Tricia Mingerink are hosting a day-long Facebook Festival. There will be plenty of games and giveaways, not to mention Serena Chase, author of the Eyes of E’veria series, will be the guest of honor. It’s a party you won’t want to miss! You’ll be able to stop by any time during the day to join the fun, no matter what time zone you live in!
Facebook Festival Header
Giveaways!
Sarah Addison-Fox and Tricia Mingerink are each hosting a giveaway for their books for the blog tour. Sarah Addison-Fox is giving away a paperback set of the first three books in the Allegiance Series. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace ships. The books may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives. To enter this giveaway, follow this Rafflecopter link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/624234b712/? 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And that about does it for the blog tour here! But you can find a lot more info about these two exciting books by checking out the blog tour schedule below. Enjoy . . . oh, and happy reading!  🙂

 

Tuesday – May 22

Laura Grace – Author Interview

Reading Anyone – Book Review

Jaye L Knight – Book Spotlight

Quirky Faith – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Wednesday – May 23

Allyson Kennedy – Author Interview

Sam H. – Book Review

Addyson Huneke – Book Review and Author Interview

Ivie Brooks – Book Reviews

Thursday – May 24

Shantelle Mary – Book Review and Book Spotlight

Brie Donning – Book Review and Multi-Character Interview

Blooming with Books – Book Review and Author Interview

Julian Daventry – Book Review and Author Interview

Friday – May 25

Faith Thompson – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Hannah Gaudette – Author Interview

CM Williams – Book Review

Chloe Parker – Book Reviews

Saturday – May 26

JM Christian – Book Review and Multi-Character Interview

Abigail McKenna – Book Reviews

Liv Fisher – Author Interview

Book Wolf – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Liz Koetsier – Book Spotlight

Monday – May 28

Jessica Dowell – Book Review and Author Interview

Lila Kims – Book Reviews

Marie Elrich – Book Reviews

Faith Potts – Book Review and Book Spotlight

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Release, Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

IT’S A COVER REVEAL! Don’t Miss This!

Dagger's Sleep Cover Reveal

Yep, you saw correctly. There’s a cover reveal going on today, and it is for a new book from Tricia Mingerink. Her last books were the Blades of Acktar Series, and they were some incredible books. If you’re looking for themes of adventure, faith, action, epic characters, then there are the books you’ve waited for. But today, we’re talking about Tricia’s new book, the first of a new series, and I warn you, the cover is kinda cool.

So of course, I’ll make you wait for it.

. . . a little longer . . .

. . . a little longer . . .

Are you ready?

Are you sure you’re ready??

TA-DA!

Dagger's Sleep Cover - Updated 031118

(Isn’t that cool?)

About the book: 
A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.

 High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.

A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?

One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of
Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine.

 

Doesn’t that sound good? Get this – the fairytale retellings I’ve read, I haven’t liked, so if you’re in the same position, just know that Tricia is a fantastic author. I have a feeling this series is going places. 🙂 And guess what? It releases on MAY 28! That’s only a couple months away!

About the author: 

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.

To make things even more exciting, Tricia Mingerink is going to be co-hosting a blog tour from May 22 to 28 with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate the release of both of their latest books. Her next book Dissociate releases May 22. More details about blog tour will be coming in April.

 

So, looks like 2018 will be full of exciting new book releases and blog tours! If you haven’t read Tricia’s Blades of Acktar Series, you have just enough time to do so before Dagger’s Sleep is released!

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Inspirational, Personal, Reading

Books ‘n’ Strawberries – Such Fun!

Show of hands – who among you consumes books and strawberries at the same time????

Okay . . . maybe nobody. I mean, you’d hate to get strawberry juice on the book, so . . .  Yeah, but there’s a reason I brought up the both of them. I mean, yum.

Reason for the strawberries: We are going strawberry picking tomorrow. Yippee! We found what is supposed to be a real nice farm about an hour away, so we’re packin’ up and headin’ out to stock up for the long winter. 🙂 If you want to hear all about our adventure, I’ll be posting on the Diary on Saturday with the details!

Reason for the books: I just finished reading Athol Dickson’s The CureThat’s reason enough.

The Cure was a hidden gem and a rare find. And the ending . . .  Oh, the ending! But I won’t betray it, or skip ahead. This book is about a man named Riley Keep, former missionary and presently an alcoholic beyond all hope. At the end of his road, he discovers a packet of “medicine” with a note explaining it to be a cure for alcoholism. But sometimes the cure is more dangerous than the disease . . .

OH WOW, was this story a winner. I was so engrossed and so blown away. Athol’s characters – Riley, Hope, Bree, Dylan, and the list goes on – are incredible. So well-fashioned and so brilliant. His writing is doubly so. And the book just happens to take place in a coastal Maine town, so . . .

You cannot go wrong in reading this book. Amazing.

And so, without further ado, we’re off to pick strawberries on the morrow! It ’tis summertime, after all.

So, my friends, what are your plans now that summer is officially underway? What books are you reading? Do tell!

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Personal, Short Stories

Bookish Things – a Review of the Well Spring Series and an Update

Hello, friends!

Today we’re delving into the three-book series I recently completed reading, James Rubart’s Well Spring Novels. My review in short? I was left both amazed and refreshed.

James’ writing is more brilliant than anything I’ve read in a long time. While in structure I’ll say the dialog was a tad rough in spots, the stories were seamlessly crafted, and the characters beautifully created. Every character had something to overcome, something to face in their lives, and the author took them through that brilliantly.

But I’m skipping ahead. If you’ve never heard of these books, you’re likely wondering what I’m babbling about. 🙂

Okay, okay. So, book one, Soul’s Gate, begins the journey with Reece Roth, a man who has been trained to enter the souls of others and fight for their freedom. He will go on to train the “four” prophesied to battle against the enemy in ways never before seen.

These books are remarkable, and as I mentioned, brilliantly written. I was kept reading from the first page of book one to the last letter of book three, Spirit Bridge. It is not an easy feat for me to be sucked into a story. I was vacuumed into this one.

wellspring

And if the review wasn’t enough, how about that cover? Isn’t that cover just, like, crazy cool? I mean, if a cover alone could drag you inside the pages it conceals, that one does the job.

And now . . . for the update! Just a small note of no importance. 🙂  I’m currently reading Athol Dickson’s The Cure, and there was a gargantuan spider inside the house this morning. Uh, yeah, like baby tarantula size. We, like, freaked. It was swept out of the house and deftly squished in the driveway.

Ooohh, and in other news, my recent story done for Faithwriters took sixth, which you can read here. And you must read the winning story for that topic. It was fantastic.

And I suppose that’s about it for today. The next post will feature the second installment in our little blog series, the non-fiction musings of a goat herdess, and it bears just that name. Stick around!

And you must tell me, friends . . . what is your present reading venture??? Any gargantuan spiders crawling ’round your house??? Don’t be shy! Pour yourself a cup of tea – or coffee or, even better, apple cider – and let us chat.

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Things, Reading

Bookish Things – a Review of Winter Haven by Athol Dickson

I didn’t post yesterday because it was Sunday – I don’t blog on Sundays. That’s the one day of the week to just . . . rest. I don’t even write on Sundays. But anyway, I’m back now, and here is today’s bookish thing: a review of one the best books of the century.

There, done. I reviewed it. The “best book of the century.” Bye.

Ha, ha. Whatever. Okay, for a coherent review, read on. I’ll have more to say about it now than I did on Goodreads. Blog reviews are more fun.

Here goes. Okay, so my mom read this book last year and absolutely loved it. I couldn’t resist getting it out of the library this year, since I was behind on my reading goal anyway. Thanks to my own procrastination and schedule, it took longer than it should have to finish reading, but that was no fault of the story. I’ve never – never – read a book or a style of writing that held me so fully to its prose.

Winter Haven takes place in Maine – sweet! – on a tiny island way off the coast. It follows the story of Vera Gamble, a young woman who has just learned that her brother, who ran away thirteen years earlier, has been found dead on the island of Winter Haven. She leaves Texas to take the body home, but what she finds is far from what she hoped.

Her brother hasn’t changed in thirteen years.

As Vera awaits resolution to the mystery, more are mounting. She is being followed by the most terrifying noises that no one else seems to hear, hallucinations she had as a child are returning with a vengeance, a widow is preaching stories of witches and shipwrecks, and a mysterious man living alone on the other side of the island seems to know more about a lot of things than he’s letting on.

In the words of the synopsis, “. . . will Vera’s desperate questions lead to answers, or will her story become one more dark Winter Haven legend?”

*eerie drum roll*

You will have to read it to find out! But I mean, really, this thing is aawweessoommee!!! Please forgive the fan-girl-y reaction, but I can’t help it. Athol Dickson is a genius of the written word, and Winter Haven is without fail the best book of the century.

So why are you still sitting here reading my blog? Go. Read. It.

Ahem. Well, now that that’s over with . . . I have nothing more to say. You are reading it now, aren’t you? Of course you’re not. You’re reading the review. Well, I must direct you. If you’re not convinced, go to Goodreads and read those reviews. Ignore anyone who batted it down.

If you’re already convinced – as I know you are, my friend – go to Amazon and buy it!

Okay, done. That’s Winter Haven for y’all. I’m on my way to put it on my book list on the For Readers page.

. . . *whispers* are you reading it yet???