Posted in Books, lists

The Books I Enjoyed in 2019

Img bookstack 96

Hello readers!

I feel a little strange sitting down to put together a blog post that is not a review post – I have definitely drifted away from blogging consistantly this past year, and I apologize. Life is like that though; it changes and flows and you kind of just have to go along with it.

The end of 2019 didn’t go exactly as I had planned. I always look forward to putting together a nice, organized list of favorite books, taking pictures of them, with the hope of sharing on my blog here as well as my instagram (@vikinglady10). But I’ve had some more health struggles, and my pain has kept me from doing much of anything. Except reading. I have been reading still. ;) Thankful for that.

So while I don’t have a nive and pretty organized Top Ten Reads or pictures or anything like that, I did make a list of the books I definitely enjoyed in 2019. It’s long, and I’m okay with that. I mean, can one ever get tired of good reads? I don’t think so.

I’ll probably copy and paste the cover pictures in, since that’s easier than taking a photo myself.


According to Goodreads, I read 23,809 pages across 80 books. My goal was 75, so I was very excited to top that goal. Someday I’d like to reach 100, but I’m making my 2020 goal 80. We’ll rise slowly. ^.^

 

My year in books

In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

The White City by Grace Hitchcock

Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

Irrelevant by Sarah Addison-Fox

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette

Magic by Midnight by Allison S. Bass

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

All this Time by Melissa Tagg

Heart of a Royal by Hannah Currie

A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

Misleading Miss Verity by Carolyn   Miller

The Dating Charade by Melissa    Ferguson

 

Love You Truly by Susan L. Tuttle

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

 

Img bookstack 96

I also vastly enjoyed:

The Songbird and the Spy by J’nell Ciesielski

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

Dance With Me by A.M. Heath

Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

Cameo Courtships by a collection of authors including Debra Marvin

A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson

Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

The Yellow Lantern by Angie Dicken

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock

Bella At Midnight by Diane Stanley

The Heir of Ariad by Niki Florica

The Perfect Christmas by Bell Renshaw

Like a Winter Snow by Lindsay Harrell

 

and SO many others that would take too long to name. Bravo to you if you’ve actually read this whole list. I realize I am more so putting this together for my own personal reflection XD

I’d love to hear what books you enjoyed in 2019! I’m looking forward to many more books to come in 2020.

(you can find my reviews for these titles on goodreads – my username there is also vikinglady10)

Posted in Books, Reviews

Alice in Wonderland BookSleeve by LukieDukie ~ Review

 

IMG_4579

 

Alice in Wonderland Book Sleeve

Made by Lukie Dukie// Etsy Shop

isla_500x500.16835072_jk5lxfgk

 

IMG_4582

This booksleeve is so soft. Possibly even the softest I’ve ever felt!   I kind of want to be a book myself ;)
This sleeve is flexible and durable – the fabric is strong, as is the sewing, and yet it is still not stiff or stuck in one place.
I love the size, and the pen loop on the side is a great addition. I like keeping notes and recording quotes of my current read, but the thought of a pen potentially leaking its ink onto the books pages makes me cringe! So a loop on the side is a great solution, not to mention handy. ;)
My favorite part of this sleeve, by far, is the cushyness of it. As I’ve said, it is super soft and I love that! And of course, the Alice in Wonderland print itself is incredibly endearing, and so whimsical! Definitely in love with this sleeve and excited to have this brilliant piece in my collection!
A huge thank you to the owner/creator of the shop – she was a delight to work with!

(Fun fact: “If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath is a sort of Alice-in-Wonderland retelling <3)

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, Books, Reviews

“A Return of Devotion” by Kristi Ann Hunter ~ Book Review

I hate that this is being posted so late!!! I loved this book so much – it will definitely be included in my favorites of 2019 – and so I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to post my review. But at long last, here it is! <3

 

ARoD library (3).jpg

 

“A Return of Devotion” by Kristi Ann Hunter

Book Two in the Haven Manor Series

Review copy from the publisher/author as apart of the Launch Team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

ARoD library (1)

About the Book:

Daphne Blakemoor was content living in her own secluded world for the last twelve years. She had everything she needed—loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes to a new marquis with an undeniable connection to her past, everything she’s come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford’s main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect . . . until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

Both Daphne and William have spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, forge a new path for the future together? 

My Thoughts:

This was fantastic. Truly. I love this series. :) Going into this one, I wasn’t sure if I’d relate to main character Daphne, just because in the previous book, Kit had been my favorite. It was so silly of me to wonder this, because I not only related to Daphne, I bonded with her. I share so many of her struggles, and to be perfectly honest, there were so many times during the reading of this that I almost had to remind myself she wasn’t actually real because I was tempted to write her a letter saying I relate XD The struggles with fantasizing and daydreaming that she dealt with was so relatable to me. And how when things actually happened in real life, it was harder – and scarier – to deal with than the “harmless” imaginings. But oh how many troubles the fantasizing gets us into. I still need to continue to remind myself to live right here in the present, just as life is.
The truths she discovered, and the journey she took was inspiring and realistic, and so beautiful. I just really, really loved Daphne.
And William. Of course we cannot forget William! He was great as well. Snobbish at first (oh William), but his character grew so much and he was a sweetheart. I absolutely love these two!!
Really, all of the characters deserve their own paragraphs of gushing over them, but I don’t know that we have space or time for that. ;) Jess….Benedict…Sarah…Eugenia…Reuban…I think you get the gist. Such three dimensional characters that you cannot help but adore.
And the story itself was so well done! I loved every minute of it. And waiting for the next book is going to be so hard. :P
Excellent writing, amazing characters, superb plot, and an ending that leaves you wanting more! definitely recommend this series :)
IMG_3920

Quotes:

 

“Daphne didn’t handle strangers very well most of the time, and she certainly wasn’t managing this one.” 
*
“You know,” Jess finally said, “it’s okay to not be good at something. It’s okay to ask for help.” 
*
“‘Be strong and of good courage,'” Daphne said from memory as she looked around at the three upturned faces. “‘Fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'” 
*
“Mrs. Brightmoor sank further into the woodwork. She actually managed to blend her faded orange printed muslin partially into the glaringly red wallpaper. It was a rather amazing feat.” 
*
“I like people. Well, I like helping them. They make me nervous unless I have a particular task to do.” 
*
“Daphne frowned again. What good was escaping into one’s imagination if the world’s problems came along for the ride?” 
ARoD library (5)

 

Posted in Books, lists, Random babblings, reading, update

It’s that time of the year //2018//

123118

 

Another year has somehow sped behind us! As I’m quite sure everyone with agree with and say themselves, it feels like we just welcomed 2018, but here we are at the close of it, 2019 on its heals.

As every year, 2018 has been full, with highs and lows, adventures and troubles, blessings and trials. And it has all grown us.  I praise God for all He’s taught me this year, even though it meant a lot of rough patches.

Life preceded over blogging this year…I had some good several months there where I did author interviews and character spotlights each month which was really loads of fun and I enjoyed it so much. But as the rest of the year continued, time slipped away and I wasn’t able to organize blog posts as well. Computer problems never help with blogging either, and we had our fair share of that this past year too.

 

Of the author interviews, there were 7 total:

 

Author Interview_.png Copy of Author Interview_.png Sarah Sundin interview.png Connilyn Cossette AI.png

LindsayHarrel AI (1).png Copy of Connilyn Cossette AI.png

AI AM Heath

 

 

 

And 8 character introduction posts:

Willa Forsythe Haley HamptonWyatt Paxton Moriyah CILindsayH Megan Jacobs CI CI LettieLibby S CI CI Liz Cooke

 

 

 

 

Img bookstack 96

 

 

 

 

Books! What would a yearly wrap-up be without books? At least coming from me ;) At the beginning of 2018 I had hoped I’d be able to read 80 books, but knew that was probably a bit unrealistic, so I lowered it to 75. Then half the year went by and I realized I might not be able to make that goal either, so down to 70 it went. I didn’t want the goal to become a stresser, because reading is a very pleasurable thing, not a drag. I made that goal, and ended up making my previous goal too. I read a total of 77 books in 2018, equaling 20,293 pages, approximately. Goodreads kept track of it all for me, in addition to my book-notebook that I keep. If you wanted a more in-depth look at the books I read, you can check my goodreads wrap up here. :)

And as I always attempt to do, I have selected some of my favorite reads of 2018! That was a mighty hard task though, let me tell you. I love all de books. <3

And as last year, I have chosen my Top Twelve instead of ten or less, because that is just not realistic for me. ;) So without further ado…. My Top Twelve.

 

IMG_0195

 

Twelve beautiful books – And yes, I realize that there are only eleven in the picture. That would be because the 12th is an ebook :)  You can click on the titles below and they will lead you to my reviews of each one.

 

“The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar

“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White

“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette

“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin

“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano

“Storm Front” by Susan May Warren

“The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel

“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews

“The Hunter and the Valley of Death” by Brennan McPhearson

“If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath

“Through a Glass Darkly” by Jack Lewis Baillot

 

 

Annnnd because I am who I am, I have made an Honorable Mentions List. AND a very short list for my favorite short stories of the year :)

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson

“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White

“A Promise to Break” by Kathlyn Spurgeon

“Picking Daisy” by Valerie Howard

“Escape and Endurance” by Sarah Holman

“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette

“The Writing Desk” by Rachel Hauck

“The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond” by Jaime Jo Wright

 

 

Novella’s:

 

“Finding The Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

“Shot at Love” by Sarah Loudin Thomas

“A Heart So Tender” by Debra E. Marvin

 

 

*

*

*

And that wraps up the year! Well, it wraps up this blog post. ;)  Happy New Year, readers!! And THANK YOU for being a follower of my blog. It really does bless my heart, and even though I’m rather bad at posting frequently, I do appreciate each and every one of you! <3

Posted in Book reviews, Books, update

October 2018

Welcome November!
I’m sad to say that another month slipped by with very few blog posts accomplished. Just when you think you’ll catch up life throws you another twist ^.^
Throughout October, I’ve been dealing with some health issues again, this time regarding internal organs. Kind of a bummer. It’s been a journey for sure, one that draws me closer to our Heavenly Father daily. He’s taught me quite a bit through it, and it really has been a minutely thing of trusting Him instead of the fear that is always right there, knocking at the door. But He does ALL things for good, and that is one of the things He’s been reminding me of.
Before the pain became more than an inconvenience, I celebrated my birthday, and made a two day trip up north to visit my grandparents shortly after. Both were very nice!
I read five books in October:
Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2) A Sparkle of Silver (Georgia Coast Romance #1)  Yesterday's Christmas (A Season Passed, #2)  The Writing Desk  Becoming Mrs. Lewis
And sadly, I’ve only gotten my review up for one of those…But the rest will be coming eventually!
And of course got a few more books to add to my shelves  ;)  I don’t have a picture unfortunately. I wanted to get back into picture taking of books, but October was not the month for that. Maybe this month or the next. :)
IMG_1716
My birthday gifts. :) <3
I participated in a cover reveal, which was very fun.
IMG_1723
What was your October filled with? I hope it was lovely!
Posted in Books, update

September 2018 Recap

Happy October, readers, and welcome to one of my most favoritest months of the year! ;) I love fall, and October, and just yes <3

How was your September?

For me, blogging took a major backseat as life was continually busy, and also our computer crashed…we have a temporary one working right now but since it’s just as old as the previous one…I don’t want to get too attached. So for now I am not committing to any blogging schedule just yet – I haven’t really had time to do so anyway. I do have some reviews coming up because I am sadly behind on those.

We harvested the majority of our garden in September, continued on with the farmer’s market, celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with a friend, and were kept busy with day-to-day life.

I completed the Instagram book photo challenge I took part in, though with a few hiccups along the way.  ^.^

As for books, I read:

 

IMG_1540

 

And as always I acquired my fair share of books but haven’t had time to photograph them, so….yeah.

 

This is a very short post, and I always keep hoping for more, but it’s hard to keep up with right now.  Maybe soon, right?! ;)

What are you looking forward to in this fine month of October? For me it is the chilly weather, fall colors, my birthday, hot cocoa, and book-reading!

 

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?