Monday, May 25, 2020

Monday Musings ~ Memorial Day 2020



Hello Friends, 

Another edition of Monday Musings is upon us and I thought I would write a short blog on Memorial Day. 

This day is so overlooked sometimes. People see it as another day to start up the grill, throw back a few drinks and spend it with family and friends. To some it is the beginning of summertime. I'm not saying those things are bad, but we should also learn what this day truly is about. Put yourself in the shoes of the family that is not celebrating but rather mourning. For the parents that will no longer see their child come home. For the husband or wife that that will not return to their spouse. To the children that will no longer see their parents. These are the things I think about on this day. 

Memorial Day is a time to remember those that have fought and died to maintain our freedoms. Let us not forget that. 


Friday, May 22, 2020

First Line Fridays ~ The Memory House




Happy Friday Friends! It's another First Line Friday hosted by Hoarding Books. I just finished another amazing book by Rachel Hauck. I absolutely love time-slip novels and hers are just perfection to me.


My First Line: 

She was never afraid of the dark.

You're turn! What is your first line? Grab the book closest to 
 you and post the first line in the comments. 

Healing Their Hearts by Cleopatra Margot



Healing their Hearts 
by Cleopatra Margot
Publisher: Faith to Love
A Faith in the Line Series
Releasing June 21, 2020

Summary:

After Spring's many trials, Knox County Sheriff Liam McKay is ready for a season of restoration. He needs time to grieve the loss of his grandmother and work on becoming a better husband and father. Liam learned the hard way that life is fragile, and he doesn't want to miss out on any precious moments. 

Emma McKay loves he role as a wife and mother. After she lost her parents, the McKay family became her saving grace. Being married to a police officer brings both challenges and adventures into her life, though, and when something hits on a more personal level, will her past be brought into the light?

Officer Mark MacLaughlin is motivated by two things: his family and his job. Add a beautiful stranger to the mix, and he can't help but want to get to know her better. But when he takes on fatherhood for a three-year-old girl, he has to learn how to blur the lines between his personal and professional life too.

Evangeline Taylor was on the way to confront her past, until her plans came to a grinding halt. Now injured and stranded in a tiny Nebraska town, Eva's heart opens up. The town, the people, and maybe one handsome police officer in particular to help her to heal...but will they be enough to make her stay?


My Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is Cleopatra's book cover reveal day!! And I am super excited for her! This was my first book by this young author. She does a great job at pulling you into the story and the characters. You want to be part of the small town of Believe, Nebraska. I must admit that at the beginning I as a bit lost. This is definitely part of as series and I highly recommend reading them in order just so you know more about the characters and what their life backgrounds are all about. That being said I picked up pretty good despite not having read the other books but I will definitely be going back to do so. 

The characters were so believable and I found myself chuckling and tearing up along with them.  The love between the couples is sweet and one that you would strive for in your own personal life. Don't let that fool you though... there is a bit of suspense and shocked me a bit because I was not truly expecting that twist (I'm not gonna tell you and ruin it for you... you'll have to read it for yourself when it does come out!) But trust me it was good! 

The story is filled with God's abounding grace, love and redemption and you should definitely grab a copy when it does come out! It's a clean read so it would be perfect for ages teen and up! 

This is a total side note and in no way had any influence on my review but after I read her book and went to her website I quickly found out that Cleopatra is a homeschooler. As you know I am a homeschooling mom so homeschooling writers have a soft spot in my heart and what a great influence and role model she is and will be to other young adults that also aspire to be writers. Seriously you need to grab all her books! 


FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions. 


About the Author:
Cleaopatra Margot resides with her family with her family and their golden retriever in small town, rural Nebraska. She has written seven full novels, five which are published. Inspiration for her novels comes from both real life + fictional characters and storylines in her brain. The town of Believe is based on her own hometown, but with embellishments. She and her two younger siblings are homeschooled, and enjoy traveling with their parents and the dog. When she's not writing, Cleopatra enjoys Bible journaling, time with family and friends, playing cards, being outside (when it's not subfreezing temps), laughing, singing, and enjoying life. To know more about her please visit her website: https://cleopatramargot.com/

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Time for Bed's Story by Monica Arnaldo


Time for Bed's Story
by Monica Arnaldo
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Children's Fiction
Releasing: September 1st

Summary:

In this engaging, laugh-out-loud funny picture book, a child's bed tells it like it is.

Bed has something to say.
Bed knows you do not like bedtime.
And Bed gets it. But look ...
YOU are not so great, either ...

Bed is fed up. Bed's patience is wearing thin. For years, Bed has put up with the kicking at night, the jumping during the day, not to mention the storing of all manner of stinky items. But enough is enough. Now it's time to consider Bed's feelings ...

In a story that's never been told before, Monica Arnaldo's hilarious picture book explores the point of view of an unusual narrator: a child's bed. Irreverent and full of personality, Arnaldo's Bed is also full of love and compassion, making for a relatable and, ultimately, endearing story. This playful and highly original book offers a lighthearted way to approach discussions on communication, perspective and viewpoint. It can be used to promote critical thinking in young children and an understanding that there are at least two sides to every story. It also contains character education lessons on compassion, respect and empathy.

My Review:⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was so excited to be able to review a kid's book. My kiddos were even more excited about it since we are constantly reading! This is our first book by Monica Arnaldo and we just loved it. The illustrations are perfect and definitely bring a smile to your face and in some instances laughter to my kids. Although this story is definitely geared towards smaller children even my 11 year old enjoyed it. It was an absolutely adorable book. My 4 and 5 year old thought it was a great story. They definitely enjoyed that the story was being told by the bed's point of view. Kind of reminded me of the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Similar to that book the bed gives his all to the little boy no matter how selfish he could be at times. 
I thought this was a great book to bring up the topic of making sure we keep our rooms clean and being gentle with furniture so things last longer. We definitely recommend it!

About the Author:
Monica Arnaldo is an illustrator and author living in Montreal. Her work has appeared in children's magazines, as well as in picture books and middle grade novels. To learn more about her and her books  visit: http://monica-arnaldo.com/

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt



by Janalyn Voigt
Publisher: Harbourlight
Available now on Paperback, Kindle or Kindle Unlimited


Summary:

At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens.

But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes.

On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing'and the salvation he offers'into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.


My Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DawnSinger is the first book in the Tales of Faeraven series. I must admit this is typically not the type of book I would pick up. I mean don't get me wrong I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan so fantasy /adventure books are not something I scoff at but I did the unthinkable and judged a book by its cover and went into it not really excited about it but I seriously couldn't put it down!! It was a very good book!

The world that Janalyn Voigt has made up is epic! The setting, the description makes you visualize everything as you are reading it. The main characters Kai and Shae are very believable and likeable. You want them to succeed in their quest and life. The way she represents God is in this allegorical undertone which was neat to read because I wasn't sure how it was going to be done being that this is a Christian Fantasy Fiction book. I also enjoyed the connections made from characters in the book to the Bible. You will catch them if you read the book.

There is a romance element to the story and to some it may be awkward but to me it made total sense and I actually caught it from the very beginning. (I don't want to spoil it so I will not say anymore on that).

The ending... goodness... all I have to say that now I must pick up the rest of the books and see how the story continues to unfold.

The only negative I have about this book is that the language/names the author has for some things at times is hard. She does provide quite and extensive glossary on the back of the book but when you are reading you don't really want to keep turning back to look at correct pronunciations and such... other than that if you enjoy Fantasy books then I definitely recommend this one. This book would also be perfect for older kids that love fantasy fiction.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the author and Just Read Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions. I am also a participant in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com


About the Author:

Janalyn Voigt's literary education began in childhood when her father read chapters from classic children's books to her as bedtime stories. She grew older, and the bedtime stories stopped, but Janalyn continued to fall asleep to the stories she made up in her head at night. This, combined with her avid consumption of books, gave Janalyn an intuitive grasp of storytelling. Adventure, romance, history, suspense, and fantasy or whimsy appear in every story she writes. Readers who enjoy Janalyn's vivid descriptions, realistic dialogue, and unpredictable plots often follow her across genres. Janalyn Voigt is represented by Wordserve Literary Agency. For free chapters and reader bonus content, visit the website for Janalyn Voigt.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday Musings


   

Hello Friends,
                                            
I'm going to start this new post every Monday called Monday Musings. This will be the one time a week where blogging won't necessary be about books but just about the musings of me, your favorite blogger! It can be a range of topics from just getting to know me a bit better, homeschooling, daily life, a weekly ranting or just a trip we have recently taken. Seriously any topic could be covered on Mondays here on the blog! It could be serious, silly or sad (wow didn't mean for the alliteration!)

(Totally kudos for me....but can we take a minute and admire my super cute header there! My little Avatar looks like me! My graphic skills are getting better... although full disclosure I purchased my mini-me so I did not make her. But the rest I did put together!) 

Today let's be a bit lighthearted and talk about favorite TV shows... I love watching TV but I find myself not watching as much TV and focusing more on reading. However when I do watch there are certain shows that are at the top of my list that I could watch over and over... 

Gilmore Girls ~  I love this show so much!! It's one of my go-to shows when I'm feeling a little down and just want to veg... not that I have tons of time to do so but when I do I am always ready with this show! I mean what's not to love about a mother/daughter duo in a small town, addicted to coffee?


Little House on the Prairie ~ Oh goodness this has been a top favorite of mine since I was a little girl! And I have passed that love on to my oldest kiddos. They love to watch it with me and we tend to do so on rainy days when we "skip" school or just finish off early. I love that they enjoy this show this much and laugh at the antics of Mrs. Oleson and Nellie! 

When Calls the Heart ~ what a great wholesome show! I love everything about it. I wish I had Hallmark to watch all the new episodes but thankfully for this season I am all caught up thanks to my mother-in-love who also shares the love for the show and had them recorded so I was able to watch them on my last visit! I do have the books on my TBR (to be read) list. I know they are different from the show and would love to read them all one day! 

                                               

Those are my go-to, at the top of my list shows but there are others that fit different categories of my mood or just TV for enjoyment for example for a good laugh I can always count on New Girl, Friends and Seinfeld. 

I love British shows so Call the Midwife, Poldark, Downton Abbey and Father Brown are some of my absolute favorite as far as shows considered to be Drama and I must admit I've had tissues nearby when I watch them because they do make me cry! 

I also love Canadian shows like Murdoch Mysteries and Heartland. 

This is another reason I don't watch much TV I would need subscriptions to many different TV subscribers since we don't have cable and stream anything we watch. I will say that I will be getting Acorn TV very soon (as in tomorrow) to get my British TV fix! LOL! 

Well there you have it.. my musings for today based on some of my favorite TV shows... What about you? Do you have any favorites or go-to TV shows? Any you recommend based on my list? I'd love to know so drop me a comment below! 






Friday, May 15, 2020

First Line Friday ~ DawnSinger Tales of Faeraven



Happy Friday Friends! 
It's another First Line Friday hosted by Hoarding Books. This week I m reading and reviewing Janalyn Voigt's Dawnsinger definitely not a book I would normally pick up but surprisingly I'm liking it so far. 



My First Line: 

A crosswind caught Kai's wingabeast as lightning flared too near.

Your turn! What is your first line? Grab the book closest to you and post the first line in the comments! 

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Soldier's Lady: 4 Stories of Frontier Adventures



The Soldier's Lady: 4 Stories of Frontier Adventures
by Susanne Dietze, Janette Foreman, Gabrielle Meyer and Lorna Seilstad
Publisher: Barbour Books
Releasing: August 1st

Summary: 

Join four adventurous women making their home at Old West forts. Faced with daily challenges—and stubborn men—they bring civility to the frontier.

The Colonel’s Daughter by Gabrielle Meyer
Minnesota, 1828—Fort Snelling
Major Nathaniel Ward is tasked with guarding his commanding officer’s daughter, Ally Benson, from the amorous soldiers at Fort Snelling, but he finds the hardest person to keep in line is himself.

Frontier of Her Heart by Susanne Dietze
California, 1854—Fort Humboldt
All is fair in love and war, but the contest of wills between fort cook Emily Sweet and Assistant Surgeon Boyd Braxton is all about pride, not romance. . .until they must work together to stop an epidemic.

Save the Last Word for Me by Lorna Seilstad
Kansas, 1864—Fort Riley
Determined schoolteacher Adelina Dante believes every man, woman, and child deserves the chance to read and write, but when she approaches Colonel Isaac Scott about why he should allow his illiterate soldiers to attend special classes, she’s the one who gets educated in matters of the heart.

Forever Fort Garland by Janette Foreman
Colorado, 1879—Fort Garland
Annie Moreau arrives at Fort Garland to marry her soldier pen pal, Martin, but encounters two surprises—Martin has died in battle and she’s been corresponding with dashing Captain Jefferson Gray all along.

My Review:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Soldier's Lady is a compilation of four historical fiction novellas which take place in the years 1828-1879. Each story has a different plot and I thought they were for the most part well developed. These were new authors for me and I found them enjoyable to read.

The Colone'ls Heart by Gabrielle Meyer was a sweet story between Major Nathaniel and his commanding officer Ally Benson. He wasn't looking for love and found it when he meets Ally which wants no part of the world her mother wants her to be part of. She wants to be part of the frontier and be free from the demands of city life. This was one of my favorites of the stories. Their romance is sweet and a little heartbreaking at one point. I definitely didn't want this story to end and wanted a little bit more.

Frontier of the Heart by Susanne Dietze was a good one as well. I love the relationship between Emily and Assistant Surgeon Boyd Braxton. I really enjoyed how this story developed. The romance between them was sweet and and at times unnerving. You just wanted to bonk Boyd over the head to make him see sense and I to me that is the mark of a good story when you get so involved in a character. But in the end it was God who he needed to turn to in order to see what he needed to do! Definitely a great story and once again I wanted just a little bit more to find out what happened to them.

Save the Last Word by Lorna Seilstad was my second favorite of the novellas. This one is about Adeline Dante who is a new schoolteacher at the fort and has no military knowledge whatsoever and Colonel Isaac Scott who makes sure she knows it! I love how the romantic story between them develops. She is not one to back down and he has a hard time with that but eventually realizes that is exactly what he needs. I definitely could of read more of this story!

Forever Fort Garland by Janette Foreman the story is about Annie a mail order bride to Martin who has died in battle before she even arrives. Captain Jefferson Gray is the man who greets her and offers marriage to her upon arrival but she refuses. She is determined to marry a military man and in the process of trying to find a husband someone starts to somewhat stalk her. This story not only has romance but also a little suspense. It wasn't my favorite out of the other novellas.

Overall as novellas go these were pretty good. The historical fiction element and christian element was present throughout all the stories. If you need quick reads then I definitely recommend this compilation of stories.

FTC Disclosure: I received this copy from Netgalley and Barbour Publishing. All views and opinions are my own.


About the Authors:

Learn more about the authors through their respective websites.