Posted in Books, character introduction

Character Introduction: Liz Cooke

(If you’re new to these posts: The idea behind them is just to spotlight the character a bit, give a little description of their personality, and for fun, a few books I’d recommend to them if I could. )

CI Liz Cooke

 

Welcome to a sort of late Character Introduction post! In today’s introduction, you will be meeting a lovely character – and you will get to hear more about her and her story next Monday!! So check back for that. ;) But for now, please enjoy getting to know…
Elizabeth Cooke
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(photo provided by author, used with permission)
Liz Cooke is a woman captivated by the past. Among all the strife and worries in her own world, she fantasizes eras gone by, certain they would offer her the peace and relief she seeks.
Circumstances draw her back to an era where men were gentlemen and women were ladies. In this flowery setting, Liz is awed by all it holds, but soon discovers that 1885 isn’t devoid of problems either – in fact, there seems to be just as many issues she has to face there as in her own world.
I love Liz because she is so real and definitely relatable – who doesn’t long to visit the past, often thinking they had it better than we do now? The lessons she learns are ones that are just as important to us here and now. And besides all this, my booklovers heart found a bond with Liz too ;)
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If I were to recommend some books to Liz, they would be…
“An Inconvenient Beauty” by Kristi Ann Hunter – set in the Regency time period, I think Liz would gladly find herself lost in this novel!
“At Your Request” by Jen Turano – this is a novella but a delightful read to be sure, and I think Liz would find it entertaining and amusing as I did!
“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White – I personally think Liz would adore this one. It is full of intrigue, romance, and BOOKS! :D What’s not to love, right?
“Emmeline” by Sarah Holman – a Jane Austen Retelling, I believe it would be a fun one for Liz too. :)
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You can meet Liz in “If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath:
If Only It were Yesterday (A Season Passed, #1)
Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.
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And don’t forget to check back next week for more about this fun book, as well as my review of it, and an interview with the author herself!
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Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano ~ Book Review!

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“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano

Stand-alone novel

Review copy through the publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the book:

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first. 

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I have been eagerly anticipating this author’s second novel, and I was so excited to dive into this gem. And what a gem it is! I thoroughly enjoyed “A Rumored Fortune”, being swept away between its pages and taken on quite the journey. So much beauty, and heart.  Main characters Tressa Harlowe and Donegan Vance were spectacular. I loved how Tressa’s portion (the majority of the novel) was in first person – it really flowed so nicely and bonded me even more to her. Third-person for Donegan’s portions was fantastic, too; the differences transitioned well, and you were never left with a feeling that it was incomplete or anything.
These characters complimented each other so well. Unlike Tressa, I fell for Donegan from his first words to her. ;)
I did really love their relationship, though! Sometimes her…resistance of him could get slightly frustrating, but I still understood her side of things –  her hesitancy to enter into ANY sort of relationship with anyone.
The plot-line of this novel was so superb. And I loved the vineyard aspect of it. Just so much. Each time I read parts about the vineyard and its care, I could see so much significance and resemblance to how God cares for us, including the pruning seasons. It was just really beautiful and remarkable! I should have taken a photo of my copy from the side, because I had marked so many pages that had just the best quotes! I will share some in my blog post with this review, but even so, there are so many worthy ones. A must-read book. <3
Just like in her debut novel, author Joanna Politano’s writing is superb, and absolutely captivating.
“A Rumored Fortune” is one you are going to want to savor, for certain. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next!!
Quotes:
I had sooo many! And not enough time to make graphics for each, unfortunately. But below are the graphics I did make, and then the quotes that I still loved but didn’t get the time to graphic-ize. :)

 

 

A Rumored Fortune 6

 

“Sometimes being in your own company fulfulled you more than sharing space with someone who intensified your aloneness with every word.”

 

“The only perfect father is the one in heaven. Never forget that.”

 

“The best fruit arises from a hostile environment – harsh winters, dry soil, and unrelenting heat from the sun deepen a grape’s flavor and heighten its sweetness. Bearable conditions bring only mediocre fruit.” – Notebook of a viticulturist

 

“It would serve everyone far better if you spoke plainly. Once the sting of truth is dealt, it can being to heal, but an unspoken truth festers for a long time.”

 

“No, He’s bringing you to life. It takes a harsh summer to yield abundance in the vineyards. Perhaps this is your summer.”
She pulled back to look up at him. “What am I to do then? How do I endure it?”
“When you feel you’re dying in the heat of summer, all a branch needs to do is to hold on.”  He gripped her elbows and looked into her eyes to convey the importance of the truth he now uttered, for it was all he could offer her. “Cling with all its might to the vine. That’s all, simply hold on.”
I am, He seemed to say to my pleas. I Am all those things you want. A statement directly personally, to my wrung-out fatherless heart. My Father, who art in heaven.”
“God had a way of pruning off anything that came between Himself and His children, it seemed. I’d experienced it too and somehow I was grateful for it.”
A Rumored Fortune 7
Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

“The Solace of Water” by Elizabeth Byler Younts ~ Book Review

“The Solace of Water” by Elizabeth Byler Younts

 

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.

After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.

Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.

With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I feel a bit lost for words at how to review this one. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I found this to be in a good way.  

Every page was filled with tragidy, really. It was a heart-wrenching book. There was so much sorrow and so much brokenness between all of the characters, and yet the relationships formed  were beautiful in their shared brokenness.

Sparrow was my favorite character. My heart went out to each of the characters, but it was she for whom my heart hurt the most. I can’t say that one character over the other had more pain, because each dealt with a great deal of grief, but for some reason I just hurt for her the most.

As I read, I wanted to hug away the hurt from each character. They did find solace in the end, though I admit I was expecting a bit more of the healing focus to be from Jesus. Sparrow’s was and that was lovely – I would’ve liked to explore that more.

It was written in such an easy to read style that it was hard to put down and yet hard to intake all at once too because of the content. It was definitely unique. :)

Recommended for ages 16+

Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, blog tour, Books, Give-aways

“An Hour Unspent” Release Day and Giveaway!

Happy Release day to “An Hour Unspent”! I am currently reading this beauty and thoroughly enjoying it!! I hope you will enjoy this post from the author as well as the giveaway!

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When Big Ben Joined the Skyline

When the design for A Name Unknown, book 1 in the Shadows Over England Series, was shown to me and I saw the spine for the first time, I was so excited to see the series logo they’d come up with. Big Ben’s clock tower.

shaouraav-shreshtha-428492-unsplashBig Ben says London. Which is what the designers were no doubt trying to invoke, as my family of thieves are firmly Londoners. But for me, it was more than that. Because in the third book of the series, An Hour Unspent, that iconic clock actually plays a role in the story.

For starters, a bit of naming. Most of us think of “Big Ben” as the clock, but it’s technically not. Big Ben is actually the bell. The clock is the Great Westminster Clock, though over the years the name Big Ben has come to be associated with the entire structure. So now that we’ve got that straight… 😉

The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859. Pugin was an architect, one who is most remembered for redesigning the interior of Westminster Palace and the tower in question, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of England. Though he also designed the face of the clock, the mechanics of the thing he wisely handed over to someone else.

palace-of-westminster-1659289_1920But interestingly, the movement–the gears and weights that make a clock work, and in this case, work with amazing reliability–was actually designed by two amateurs to the field. Edmund Denison, a lawyer, and mathematician George Airy. The construction was the only part undertaken by an actual clockmaker, Edward Dent.

The Great Clock’s inner workings are so precise that a penny sitting on the pendulum is all it takes to make slight alterations to the time. That one little coin will make an adjustment of nearly half a second a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows for small incremental adjustments to keep the clock accurate year after year. The pendulum still has a stack of old coins on it, and the clock is still hand-wound three times a week.

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In my story, I gave the job of upkeep of the Great Clock to my heroine’s father, a clock maker. This part is purely fictional, of course, but it would have been considered a great honor to be tasked with such a responsibility, and in my story that’s the proof of Cecil Manning’s proficiency in his trade, even though he’s by no means made himself rich.

That honor goes to another historical figure that my fictional Manning claims as a friend, who revolutionized the timekeeping world. But you’ll have to check out An Hour Unspent: Companion Guide to learn more about that…

An Hour UnspentAbout the Book

With Danger Creeping Ever Closer,
Do Their Dreams Still Matter?

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0764219283

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

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Giveaways & Contest

Roseanna has several giveaways and a special CONTEST for her readers! Click on the images below to learn more about each Giveaway. Or visit Roseanna’s blog.

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Posted in Books, Random babblings, update

August Recap 2018

August Recap 2018
I know I should probably be sad and say that I’m bummed to see August go, but…I’m not. Because September brings Autumn, and August signals the end of summer, which is something I am happy about, I confess. Hot weather is just not my favourite. I managed it, I survived, and I did have a pretty good summer as a whole. But I looooove Autumn! And Winter. And colder weather. Mmmm, can’t wait. XD We’ve already had some very fall-like days, but also still some very hot summer days. I know that just because September is nearly here it doesn’t mean that we’ll be totally through with the hot weather, but it will come eventually.
Anyway! What was happening in August? For me it was extremely busy, and we were doing something nearly everyday. I won’t bore you with the day-to-day things, but some highlights were the continued farmers market, neighbors chores, raising nasty butcher chickens, a new fridge, and a new-used stove (apparently August was the month for appliances to fail). And of course, our local rendezvous/reenactment which was loads of fun, because it was our second year (third time because of the winter event) working one of the booths. The Eatery. It is an adorable little shack building where we sold food goodies.
August just seemed really nonstop. September is still a bit like that, but I’m hoping that eventually it will slow down!
Among the busyness, I read….
A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter  By the Waters of Babylon by Mesu Andrews  When Beauty Blooms by Victoria Lynn  Escape and Endurance by Sarah Holman  A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano  If Only It were Yesterday by A.M.  Heath  The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts  Blank 133x176
That last blank-looking book is “Joni’s Story: Todays Heroes” – I unfortunately could not find it on goodreads or amazon apart from its box-set status. But the Joni Earekson Tada book was excellent. While it is more geared toward children, her life story is incredible and I highly recommend it. I plan on reading a more my-age book about her, but this was a very well-written book that gives us a glimpse into her life and her struggles. It really promotes thankfulness for where we’re at too, which I think is needed in everyone’s life, because – and I speak for myself here – it’s so easy to slip into the “pit of despair” thinking we could have it better.
A very encouraging and humbling book.
I required a lot of books, but what is new there?
In the first picture, most I purchased from thriftstores (I love good deals XD) and 3 were swaps, and two are review copies. :) Second picture are books I’ve won; three of them  through the Christian Fiction Summer Reading Safari which was lots of fun!
Oh, and I’m also attempting to take part in my first time ever Instagram book photo challenge, so that should be fun. ^.^
Blogging:
Some of you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been exactly on-time with all my planned posts, and some I’ve skipped entirely (like this month’s devotional…). Whether or not you’ve noticed, I just wanted to say that I am taking a step back from the weekly schedule; at this time it’s not working for me to try to make sure I have a specific post up every Monday. And now that harvest time is upon us, I really don’t have time to put together any kind of elaborate posts. That is not to say I am throwing away the author features entirely. In fact, I do have an author interview for September, but it will be towards the end of the month. A character-introduction is in the works for September too, and I will do my best to post it on a Monday. :)
As for devotionals, or random-fun posts, I will do those as I can too, but don’t want to put the pressure of “have-to” upon myself.
So, I will continue to post as I am able, but I am not going to let it stress me out, because that’s not helpful or healthy. I realize it is just a blog, and while fun, it doesn’t need to run or overwhelm my life. Life still happens, and that is okay. :)
How was your August? Are you looking forward to Autumn, or sad that Summer is over?
Posted in blog tour, Books

Choose Your Own Story

Choose Your Own.png

 

Welcome to my blog, God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae. If you’re new here, my blog is mainly a bookish blog with life post sprinkled inbetween. :)  Today I’m taking part in Sarah Holman’s, Choose Your Own Story, event. This is to celebrate the release of her latest book, Escape and Endurance . In this event, you get to pick the outcome of the story by making choices. A lot of different things can happen. What are you waiting for? Start your adventure by clicking the image below.

 

 

 

 

“This will teach her a lesson.”

Phillip stared at him opened mouthed.

“Do not gape at me, old friend. You know as well as I that she has become a trial even to her own family. We also know that Lord Burn will not harm her. He is a selfish man and wishes to gain attention, but he and the princess grew up together. I know that he will not harm her.”

“I doubt the king will share your attitude,” Phillip said pulling himself to his full height.

“I think you underestimate how much trouble Gail has caused.”

Andrew patted his horse and then he…

 

 

Mounted his Horse or Saw the King.png

 

 

 

Are you interested in reading about a knight, a tower, a princess, and a servant? Pick up a copy of Escape and Endurance! Haven’t read the other books in the Tales of Taelis series? Not to worry. Each book can stand alone. 

And I would definitely recommend this series! It’s excellent! <3

 

 

 

About Sarah:

Sarah Holman is a not-so-typical girl, a homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and lives in the great state of Texas. If there’s anything adventuresome about her life, it’s because she serves a God with a destiny greater than anything she could have imagined. You can find out more about her at her website: www.thedestinyofone.com

You can join the Adventurers (her newsletter) by going here: http://eepurl.com/bitBIf

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

“When Beauty Blooms” by Victoria Lynn ~Blogtour/Review

When Beauty Blooms Blog Tour Header.jpg

Hello!

Today I am pleased to share about this little novelette titled “When Beauty Blooms” by Victoria Lynn! The cover is truly lovely, and the story inside is even better. There’s also a very nice giveaway included, so don’t miss that either!

 

 

 

When Beauty Blooms FINAL.jpg

Revolutionary War Era England

Marjorie Kirk is a woman with no fortune, no prospects, no family, and no skills. Or so she thinks. She is awkward, shy, and the farthest thing from any semblance of a society lady.

The new minister keeps turning up in the most awkward of places and she can’t help but feel that her life is doomed to one of embarrassment. But will her flaws actually be the thing that others find the most attractive?

A story of a young woman with social anxiety and how she learned to bloom.

 

 

 

 

My Review:

 

What a lovely short story! The dedication at the beginning was beautiful too.
Easy to read in just a couple of sittings (might’ve been one if life had allowed ;)), “When Beauty Blooms” is a beautiful reminder that our beauty is not defined by our looks or what we think we should be. We are beautiful because of how God made us. I loved main character Marjorie right away. She was endearing and relatable. The story was well written, and I found it very encouraging.
While short, this novelette was lovely and I’d highly recommend it!
*I received a complimentary ecopy from the author; I was not required to write a positive review.

 

 

About the Author:

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

Add it on Goodreads

 

Amazon Link:

Paperback

Kindle

Author Links:

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

When Beauty Blooms Giveaway final

 

 

Victoria Lynn is generously offering a signed copy of her book and a $10 Amazon giftcard to one blessed winner! Click on the image above to enter! :)

 

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Aug. 6

Michaela Bush // Spotlight //

tangledupinwriting.blogspot.com

Ashley Spies // Spotlight

Creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

Aug. 7

Gabriellyn Gidman // Spotlight //

https://pageturnersweb.wordpress.com/

Aug. 8

Liv K. Fisher // Review //

https://the-book-sprite.blogspot.com/

Medomfo //Review //

www.writingsfromagodgirl.wordpress.com

Aug. 9

Kaylee // Review //

kayleeskindofwrites.blogspot.com/

Giana // Interview //

Giannaandgemini.wordpress.com

Aug. 10

Gracelyn Buckner //Review //

gracelynbuckner.wordpress.com

Aug. 11

Angela Watts // Spotlight //

Thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com

Aug. 12

Allison Tebo // Interview //

www.allisonswell.com

Aug. 13

Jana Tenbrook // Review //

Reviewsfromthestacks.wordpress.com

Lilly Shyree // Review/Interview

Alillyingodsgarden.blogspot.com

Aug. 14

Hosanna Emily // Guest Post //

HavingaHeartLikeHis.blogspot.com

Aug. 15

Laura Grace // Review // Interview

www.unicornquester.com

Lydia // Review //

https://spoonfulofsurprises.com

Allyson Kennedy // Interview/Review //

https://authoringarrowheads.wordpress.com/#content

Aug. 16

Madison Guy //Spotlight //

Alittlesoutherngrace.com

Aug. 17

Tammy Lash // Guest Post/Spotlight

https://tammylash.wordpress.com/

Aug. 18

Laura Guenot // Review //

https://www.beautifulthingsbylaura.com/

Aug. 19

Grace Maples // Review //

https://proclaiminghisexcellencies2910.wordpress.com/

Aug. 20

Sunny Houk // Interview //

https://thatowlnerd.wordpress.com

Aug. 21

Rebekah Morris // Review //

http://www.readanotherpage.com

Aug. 22

Abigail Mckenna //Review //

Novelsdragonsandwardrobedoors.blogspot.com

Raechel Lenore // Review //

Godspeculiartreasurerae.wordpress.com

Aug. 23

Sarah // Review

http://smylinggirl.blogspot.com/

Aug. 24

Kaitlyn Smith // Interview/Review //

https://www.maidensformodesty.com

Aug. 25

Faith Potts // Review //

chosenbythePotter.blogspot.com