28 February 2017

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I've Bought & Borrowed Recently

Hosted weekly by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Tuesday!

I don't often talk about the not-for-review books I geteither from a library or a store, which happens more than really it shouldso I figured I'd take advantage of this freebie TTT week to ramble a bit about the ones that have me especially excited.

27 February 2017

Action-Packed Romance | Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway himnot just on the job as liaison between the Mercy Falls sheriff's department and PEAK Rescue, but in his private life. He's the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father's accidental death. And he's the oneperhaps the only onewho believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she's nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus onnamely, nabbing the job as youth pastor for her small-town church. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.


24 February 2017

The Friday 56 | Life After

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

This week has felt very spring-ish in my townuntil the snow returned for the last couple days (but I don't mind, really)so I chose a book that will release in a couple months, when it's actually spring. Enjoy this peek into Life After by Katie Ganshert!

A Captivating & Compelling Series Conclusion | A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the beloved USA Today bestselling author of A Lasting Impression and To Whisper Her Name comes the final and much anticipated novel in the sweeping southern Belmont Mansion series...

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly-formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductordetermined to leave his mark on the world of classical musicbows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant museand a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his headhe must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city's new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of musichis father, who is dying. As Tate's ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman's trust when you've robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women's hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world historybut the hearts of men.

22 February 2017

From Heartbreaking to Sweet | Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

ABOUT THE BOOK

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com
Take a sneak peek at the first chapter.

Waiting on Wednesday | Some Small Magic & Hunted

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

Green covers caught my eye this week and made me more excited for a couple releases by authors I've enjoyed reading in the pastand I'm hoping these books turn out to be as interesting as their covers.

20 February 2017

Emotional Drama | Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters by Amy Rivers

ABOUT THE BOOK

A year after she is elected mayor of a prosperous Colorado city, Gwen Marsh's career and life are fully on track, all according to plan. So why is she in such a slump emotionally and physically? New conflicts keep boiling over in city government, and her earlier allies no longer support her. She and her boyfriend have an ideal relationship, which she finds inexplicably dissatisfying. Without telling her, he decides to take a new job that has him traveling out of state every week. Suddenly unexpected developments turn everything topsy-turvy, and Gwen is forced to re-examine her carefully-planned life.

Goodreads | Amazon
Follow the TLC blog tour.

18 February 2017

Must-Read Romantic Suspense | Moving Target by Lynette Eason

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don't show up for Quinn's surprise birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy just decided to take off for a long overdue vacation. But it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.

Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it's not long before she realizes she's in the clutches of a madman exacting revenge by hunting. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, hoping to find their killer before the next game begins. Because if they don't win this game, they die.

Fast, furious, and flirty, Lynette Eason's relentless suspense barely gives her readers time to catch their breath in this third thrilling installment of the Elite Guardians series.


17 February 2017

A Gripping Start to a New Series | Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

ABOUT THE BOOK

It's been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister's sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn't actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will's cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that weekincluding uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the caseif they canalongside the best Memphis has to offer.


The Friday 56 | Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

This week, I finally read Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. It's been sitting unread on my bookshelf for several years now (making it a perfect choice for the "A book on your TBR for more than a year" category of Uppercase Box's Reading Challenge), and I enjoyed having the time to read it.

16 February 2017

Historical Amish Adventure | The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?


15 February 2017

Waiting on Wednesday | The Illusionist's Apprentice & For Love and Honor

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

These two authors have delighted me with each of their books I've read, and I have high hopes that these upcoming releases will not disappoint.

14 February 2017

Top Ten Tuesday | Romance Tropes I Enjoy

Hosted weekly by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Tuesday!

And happy Valentine's Day, too! In honor of the daybecause I love romanceI have to talk about (a few of) the romance tropes I enjoy, plus a book or two I've enjoyed seeing each used:

11 February 2017

Insightful & Practical | Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen

ABOUT THE BOOK

No more pretending. No more performing. No more fighting to prove yourself. 

Are you trying your best to measure up—yet you still feel as if you’re losing ground?

You are not alone.

Jennie Allen understands the daily struggle so many of us face with the fear that we are not enough. And she invites us into a different experience, one in which our souls overflow with contentment and joy. In Nothing to Prove she calls us to…

* Find freedom from self-induced pressure by admitting we’re not enough—but Jesus is. 
* Admit our greatest needs and watch them be filled by the only One who can meet them. 
* Make it our goal to know and love Jesus, then watch what He does in and through us.

As you wade into the refreshing truth of the more-than-enough life Jesus offers, you’ll experience the joyous freedom that comes to those who are determined to discover what God can do through a soul completely in love with Him.

* * * * * 

Discover the answer to your soul-deep thirst. 

Too many of us have bought into the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, and people—and we wonder all the while, Why am I still thirsty?

My single goal with this book is to lead your thirsty soul to the only source of lasting fulfillment: Jesus. He is the living water, a limitless supply that will not only quench your thirst but will fill you and then come pouring out of you into a thirsty world. 

Because of Him, you are loved. You are known. You can take a deep breath.

Because you have nothing to prove.

—Jennie

* * * * *

“These pages are what your soul is begging for"
—Ann Voskamp

Nothing to Prove takes us on a journey toward freedom from the need to measure up.”
—Mark Batterson

"We love this glorious and universally resounding message.”
—Louie and Shelley Giglio

“This book will help you take your eyes off your problems and put them back on God’s promises.”
—Christine Caine

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com
Take a sneak peek at the first chapter.

10 February 2017

The Friday 56 | Dragon Springs Road

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

I've spent this week immersed in the world of Janie Chang's Dragon Springs Road. It's beautiful and exquisitely told, and I highly recommend it. (My review is up with a giveaway, so don't skip your chance to win if you're interested in the book!) Enjoy!

Rich in History, Culture & Coming-of-Age | Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the author of Three Souls comes a vividly imagined and haunting new novel set in early 20th century Shanghai—a story of friendship, heartbreak, and history that follows a young Eurasian orphan’s search for her long-lost mother.

That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return...

In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.

Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.

Always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But she finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | HarperCollins
Follow the TLC blog tour.

08 February 2017

Waiting on Wednesday | #famous & Blood Rose Rebellion

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

I'm loving all the YA novels I've read recently, so naturally, I'm getting excited about a couple debutsone fantasy, one contemporaryreleasing soon.

07 February 2017

The Lost Girl of Astor Street Clue Hunt | Clue #4 & Book Review

Welcome to The Lost Girl of Astor Street clue hunt!

To celebrate The Lost Girl of Astor Street's release day, author Stephanie Morrill is hosting this clue hunt and giving away three signed copies of the book. The hunt begins on Morrill's website, but if you're ready for Clue #4 now, keep readingyou'll find it near the end of this post. Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK

When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com
Read an excerpt.

06 February 2017

Interesting & Unique Perspective | The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco

ABOUT THE BOOK

No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah.

He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley's eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we've never experienced before.

Barley's story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver's home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

Follow the Litfuse blog tour.

03 February 2017

The Friday 56 | Unblemished

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

reviewed Sara Ella's debut novel a few months ago, but... that beautiful cover's been catching my eye recently, so I figured I'd feature it this week. Enjoy!

Exquisite & Intriguing | A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

ABOUT THE BOOK

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingĂ©nue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression...and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.


02 February 2017

Heartwarming & Delicious | The Seekers by Wanda E. Brunstetter

ABOUT THE BOOK

Will Heidi's cooking lessons turn into life lessons for five unlikely students?

Heidi Troyer cooks up the idea of teaching classes in the art of Amish cuisine in her Holmes County, Ohio, home. But is it a recipe for drama when five very different men and women answer the advertisement?

Join a class of unlikely Ohioans who take cooking lessons at Lyle and Heidi Troyer’s Amish farm. A woman engaged to marry, an expectant mother estranged from her family, a widowed mom seeking to simplify, a Vietnam vet who camps on the Troyer’s farm, and an Amish widower make up the mismatched lot of students.

Class members share details of their disappointing lives, work to solve a mystery, and stir some romance into the pot. Soon Heidi’s cooking lessons turn into life lessons as they each share their challenges...and their souls are healed one meal at a time. Is this what God had in mind when Heidi got the idea for cooking classes?


01 February 2017

Waiting on Wednesday | The Elusive Miss Ellison & To the Farthest Shores

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Happy Wednesday!

And happy February, too! I know the month has only just begun, but part of me is already excited for the end of the monthand the delightful historical novels it will bring.