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

It’s that time of the year //2018//

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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:

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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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 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!
Posted in Author Interview, Book reviews, Books, character introduction

Character Introduction: Libby Sheffield

Libby S CI

 

Welcome back to a Character Introduction post! Today’s featured character is Libby Sheffield!

(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. )

 

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Libby Sheffield

(Photo found on the authors Pinterest Board)

 

Libby Sheffield, Gossamer Grove 1907
When “The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond” has two heroines, what made me choose the historical over the present day? Um, actually I don’t really have an answer to that. I very much liked each heroine, so I had to just choose one. ;)
Libby Sheffield is a young woman tormented by guilt – a guilt she has tried hard to escape from, to bury. While she is striving to solve the town’s mystery amongst all the strife, her own past continues to follow her, pulling at her conscience. She’s just as broken as everyone else.
She’s a strong character, with a very good heart. She perseveres throughout it all. Through the danger. Because she wants to see things put right again. She wants to believe in the grace the revivalist Jacobus Corbin tells her about.
I love the spirit of this character; her strengths, weaknesses, and determination. You can’t help but root for her the entire journey.
If I were to recommend some books to Libby, I would suggest:
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright ~ It’s only natural that Libby would enjoy a book written by her author too, right?!
Julie by Catherine Marshall ~ I’m not very good at explaining why a character would enjoy the book I recommend…for this one, I just think the overall feeling of the book would be a good match for Libby.
A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White ~ A bit of a mystery tucked between the pages, I think Libby would enjoy this one too.
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Meet Libby for yourself in “The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond” by Jaime Jo Wright:
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For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover. 

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.

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You can also “meet” author Jaime Jo Wright in last week’s author interview! Be sure to check that out:
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And you can also check out my review here:
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Posted in character introduction, God's Lessons

Character Introduction: Lettie

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Today’s character introduction will be a little different.  (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. )
In a normal month, I do an author interview on the first Monday, and follow with a character introduction from one of the featured author’s books. But as you may have noticed, I did not do an author interview this month. Time got away from me. So, I’m using this moment to do a bit of a different sort of character introduction…instead of being from a book, I am choosing a movie character. I hope you enjoy!
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The Greatest Showman. Lettie Lutz
Photo from Pinterest; I do not claim any rights to it.

Lettie from The Greatest Showman

She’s the Bearded Lady in the group of Barnum’s Misfits. She’s been scarred on the inside, and understandably so.
When Barnum discovers her, she draws back, assuming he will ridicule her like everyone else. Because she is not like everyone else – she is not “the norm”. But Barnum doesn’t ridicule her of course; he enthusiastically embraces who she is, and calls her beautiful, which I love.
Lettie is also not a size two. I know that weight does not matter in this world, but I also understand this struggle. I’ve struggled with my own weight for many years, and I don’t always like what I see in the mirror. I think Lettie would understand this. It’s not just an outward thing either; I think Lettie’s character represents all sorts of people and their situations. Whether that be emotional, physical, or mental etc. Everyone has their own sort of struggle and wants to be accepted, wants to be what they think is “normal”. But that’s by the world’s standards. God doesn’t have a ‘normal’ – He’s made everyone different and unique. And whole.
Lettie learns to accept who she is, beard and all. The song she sings, “This is Me” brought tears to my eyes immediately, and almost every time I heard it afterwards.
I think Lettie’s journey is relatable to everyone, no matter their looks, size, heart, etc. We live in a world where we’re told we have to be something other than we are. We have to be this or that. But no. This is ME. I am who I’m meant to be. Because of God. They don’t say that in the movie, but oh I felt it. God made me who I am. I need to remember I am priceless in His eyes, in His Kingdom.
So is Lettie. So are you.
We are brave, we are bruised, we are who we’re meant to be. This is us.
So yes, I found Lettie inspiring. Relatable. Strong. Bruised like me. And beautiful.
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As for what books I’d recommend to Lettie, I’m not really sure. I’d love to sit down with her and get to know her – see what books she might like herself. If only, right? :)
If you’ve seen The Greatest Showman, what books do you think Lettie would enjoy?
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Lettie Lutz’ character can be found in The Greatest Showman movie (which I love so much). :)
The Greatest Showman All Songs.
Posted in Books, character introduction, Give-aways

Character Introduction: Megan Jacobs // Giveaway Winner Announced!

Happy Monday! Today not only do I have the pleasure of sharing a character-introduction for Megan Jacobs of “The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel, but I also am here to announce the winner from the giveaway featured last week of this very special book! So be sure to read till the end to see who won!

 

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(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.) 

 

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Meet Megan Jacobs, a 32-year-old wannabe travel writer who finally received a heart transplant after years of childhood illness.  When the story opens, Megan is just plain stuck--she still lives at home, working the same job she worked in high school.  So when her heart donor's parents show her the teenage girl's journal, its pages filled with unfulfilled bucket list items, Megan is inspired to complete each item. Can she finally break free of the fear that's been holding her back?

(Photo found on the author’s pinterest page; used only for enjoyment -I do not claim any rights to this picture)

 

 

Megan is a courageous character. She struggled with health complications growing up, and eventually received a heart transplant.

These things kept her “grounded” – she lived her life carefully. But then she meets the parents of her heart-donor and they lend Megan their daughter’s journal. I would say that this was a life-changing point for her.

As Megan sets out to fulfill her heart donor’s Bucket List, she learns about herself too, realizing she has been courageous all along. The Bucket List quickly becomes her own..

I like Megan because she is relatable. Yes, she did live her life in fear sometimes, but she also stepped out in crazy faith and grew so much along her journey. And I loved following her on her adventures. :)

 

 

 

Books I would recommend to Megan:

 

Well, she is more into travel books, not necessarily fiction. None the less, I would suggest…

 

“The Josey Series” by Susan May Warren// I think she’d enjoy these as I did, as they begin in Minnesota, and proceed to travel – to Russia in this case.

 

Melissa Tagg’s books// The writing style of these books is fun, not to mention the stories are great. I think Megan would enjoy them for sure.

 

“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White// While this is WWII historical, and I  kind of think Megan would read more contemporary fiction, I do believe she’d like this book and its heroine. I just get that feeling. :)

 

 

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Meet Megan for yourself in “The Heart Between Us”:

The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

 

 

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And now….how about we get to that giveaway winner?!

 

 

 

 

!!!!* Beth Tate *!!!!

 

 

Congratulations, Beth! I hope you’ll love “The Heart Between Us” as much as I did!  I’ll be in contact with you to get you the book from Lindsay Harrel :)

 

And a HUGE thank you to each of you who entered – I was very thankful to see the entries! :) I’m sorry you can’t all win, but I do definitely encourage you to check out the book!

 

 

 

If you missed the Author Interview from last Monday, or my review of this book, you can find those here:

 

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Posted in character introduction

Character Introduction: Moriyah

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Today I’d like to introduce you to Moriyah, main character in “A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette! She’s an amazing heroine. Enjoy! (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.) 

 

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[ http://pinterest.com/toddrsmith/boards/ ] - veiled - eyes - [ #S0FT ]
Source: author’s Pinterest board

 

Moriyah has a scar on her face from a traumatic ordeal years before this book starts off. The scar – a pagan emblem – has not only scarred her skin but also her soul. She struggles to see her true worth, living in shame and fear.
But she is one of the most kind-hearted young women – she has a heart of gold and always desires to minister to those she can.
When a certain event occurs that changes her life-course, she is forced to learn to embrace a whole new life-style, and learn what it means to trust Yahweh fully and learn that her worth is more than her scar – in Yahweh she is complete.
I highly, highly, highly recommend you read Moriyah’s story in “A Light on the Hill”! It’s a beautiful journey.
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Books I’d Recommend to Moriyah:
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – while this book deals with slightly different issues than Moriyah faces, I think she would enjoy it and take the message to her heart.
In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar – The title indicates it would be a good fit for Moriyah – grace. <3
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar –  Yes, another Tessa Afshar book here. Because I think they are so poignant, and would be an encouragement to Moriyah.
And I’d love to recommend each of Connilyn Cossette’s other books to Moriyah ;)
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Meet Moriyah yourself in “A Light on the Hill”:
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Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.

About the Author:
Connilyn Cossette
Connilyn Cossette is the CBA-Bestselling author of the Out from Egypt Series and the Cities of Refuge Series from Bethany House Publishers. There is not much she enjoys more than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of over twenty years and a son and daughter who fill her days with joy, laughter, and inspiration. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com
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Check out the Author Interview with Connilyn Cossette, and my book review of “A Light on The Hill” by clicking on the graphics below. :)
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Posted in 1940's, character introduction

Character Introduction: Wyatt Paxton

 

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Welcome to the first CI post that features the hero of a book rather than heroine such as the past two months! When I read “The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin, I knew Wyatt had to be my next character I introduced her on the blog – he’s amazing. ^.^  (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.) 

 

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 I tried really hard to find a picture to represent Wyatt, but I couldn’t! I know, sad. But his picture is in my mind and I can’t find much that comes close. However, you can visit Sarah Sundin’s Pinterest Page to see a photo she found that does definitely very closely resemble Wyatt! See here.  

 

 

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Wyatt is one of those ‘strong and silent’ types. He’s not boisterous, but he is very kind-hearted. He’s harsh on himself as he yearns for forgiveness that he has to learn to give himself too.

I definitely relate to him in wanting to be perfect and getting frustrated with ourself when we can’t achieve that. But I loved his journey of truth, learning to truly accept the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness that makes us whole.

Wyatt is eager to help, eager to serve – as I said, he has got a very good heart. And a strong moral compass. He strives to always do what is right, no matter what.

 

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In short, I just love him so much :D Do not miss out on meeting him for yourself!!

 

 

Books I’d recommend to Wyatt:

Okay, so this section was harder this month because of the character…I’m not really sure what books he’d like, or if he would like the ones I’ve listed below. But we’ll go for it. ^.^

 

Brothers in Arms by Jack Lewis Baillot

Where Tree Tops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin

Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putman

 

 

 

 

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Get to know Wyatt Paxton in “The Sea Before Us”:

 

The Sea Before Us

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France, determined to redeem himself with the brothers he has betrayed. Dorothy Fairfax serves as a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, piecing together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France—including those of her family’s summer home—in order to create maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day. As Wyatt and Dorothy work together, he hopes Dorothy will return his growing love. But will family secrets, misplaced affections—and the seas off Normandy—separate them forever?

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

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Sarah Sundin is the award-winning author of ten novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com.

 

 

 

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And check out the Author-Interview with Sarah Sundin, and my review of the book by clicking on the graphics below:

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Posted in character introduction, Human Trafficking

Character Introduction: Haley Hampton

 

Haley Hampton

Happy Character Introduction Monday! The idea behind this post is just to spotlight the character a bit, give a little description of her personality, and for fun, a few books I’d recommend to her if I could. ^.^ Enjoy!

 

 

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Haley Hampton; a young woman passionate to end human trafficking

 

 

Haley is a passionate and driven young woman who feels called to aid in the fight against human trafficking through her work as a cop.
She’s not one to give up at all – especially when it’s one of her family members who is in danger. She pursues the crime at all cost, determined to help, even if that means risking herself. She’s very admirable in this trait, in her passion.
Sometimes she acts with her heart before thinking through all of the concequences, but she’s understandable, and I think many in her position would do the same! I love how courageous and real Haley is. Find out more about her in book one, “Not Abandoned”!

 

 

 

 

Books I’d recommend to Haley:

 

“Visible Threat” by Janice Cantor – I think she’d especially like this one, as its main character is a cop and similarily fights a human trafficking ring.
“Priceless” by Tom Davis – Another book that deals with human trafficking, set in Russia – this would fuel her in her mission even more.
The Nikki Boyd series by Lisa Harris – Haley would definitely find interest in this heart-pounding series.
“Priceless” by Joel and Luke Smallbone – Just one more book about human trafficking that would urge Haley on.

 

 

“Just remember,” Haley turned to face her, “Don_t feel the need to hide your pain. It_s okay to take your time on this journey to recovery. Remember what we talked about before

 

Haley Hampton’s character can be found in both books, “Not Abandoned” and “Out of the Dark” by MacKenzie Morganthal. And don’t miss the Author Interview with MacKenzie Morganthal from last Monday!

 

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Click on the covers to go to the author’s site for description and purchase.

 

 

 

*Pictures that represent Haley were found via Pinterest, and we do not claim any right to them.

 

 

Posted in Books, character introduction

Character Introduction: Willa Forsythe

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Welcome to the first monthly “Character Introduction” post, featuring Willa Forsythe from “A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White!  The idea behind this post is just to spotlight the character a bit, give a little description of her personality, and for fun, a few books I’d recommend to her if I could. ^.^ Enjoy!

 

 

Emily Blunt, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for IWC Schaffhausen - A Sparkle to the Wrist - Portofino Midsize Collection, 2014.

Willa Forsythe

She is a prodigy–and a thief.

 

Stubborn. She’s “Willa-ful” :), but has a fierce love for her family and a strong passion for her music. Her music-playing is pretty much unmatched, and she’s…snarky. Impossible perhaps, but loveable all the same. Daring, and comes across as fearless.  In “A Song Unheard” we see her struggle with some feelings of mistrust, insecurities, and fear, and yet she still remains such a strong character, growing even more throughout the story.

 

 

Books I’d recommend to her:

 

 

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You can find more about Willa Forsythe and her background in “A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White, which I definitely recommend! If interested, you can also read my review here.

 

 

(*The image of “Willa” is taken from Roseanna M. White’s Pinterest just for the fun of it. I do not claim any rights to it.)

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Posted in blog tour, Books, Give-aways

Book Release & Character Spotlight for Alicia Ruggieri’s new book “A Love to Come Home To”!

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Today I am ever so pleased to be taking part of Alicia Ruggieri’s blog tour for her newest book in her A Time of Grace series, “A Love to Come Home To”! I am so excited for this book. I have absolutely adored the first two books in this amazing series, and know I’ll love this one too. :) As I hope you will! If you haven’t read this series yet, I definitely encourage you to check them out! So worth your time. :)

Not only do I get to spotlight the book, I get to share about the super giveaway Alicia is hosting, and introduce you to one of the characters here! How exciting is that? I think we should begin. :)

 

 

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(Love the cover!!)

A Love to Come Home To
Book 3 in the A Time of Grace Trilogy
By Alicia G. Ruggieri
This book released: July 22, 2016 in softcover and on Kindle
You can purchase it here

BACK COVER BLURB:

Hardened Ben Picoletti thought he’d turned his back on Depression-era Rhode Island years ago. Nothing remains there for him, except for haunting memories of an abusive childhood. Yet when a criminal accusation shatters his ambitions, Ben has nowhere to flee but back to his stepfather’s home.
There, he finds that redemption yet waits for him… but the sacrifice required to attain it may exceed the limits of his family’s hearts.
Meanwhile, his musical sister Grace continues her studies in New York. She longs to hear a word of affection from her high-school beau… yet only Paulie’s silence greets her. Grace must decide whether she wants to live in the past or move into an unknown future with unexpected love.
Lyrical and sensitive to the aching heart, A Love to Come Home To affirms that God delights in being a stronghold in times of trouble; that He renews His mercy every morning; and that He will work every bitter thing together for the good of His children.

Character Introduction:

Grace - the thoughts of home / the thoughts of now...:

(Photo taken from Pinterest; I do not own or claim to own this picture)

Grace Picoletti – and the memory of a geranium-filled upstairs room – came first. Everyone else in the A Time of Grace Trilogy arrived later, but Grace had tiptoed through my imagination for a little over a decade. She’s a quieter sort of person, and I didn’t mind her company for so many years!

Growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, Grace is the responsible one in her large Italian-American family – the middle child, always watching out for her younger siblings and even for her ill-treated mama. Sometimes, she’s manipulated by her older and thoughtless twin sisters and passed over in favor of her younger sister. Her heart yearns for her papa’s sincere love, but her father can’t give what he doesn’t have. Though quiet, she’s spirited and persevering and sometimes surprised me with her responses to what life gives her.

Grace worships the ground her big brother Ben walks on. He calls her “Canary”, alluding to her beautiful singing voice – a voice which she originally longs to use to gain admiration for herself. (For more on how that turns out, see books one and two.) Ben leaves home, however, and Grace finds herself the only one left to keep the Picoletti household in one piece. Her sole source of joy comes from the scarlet geraniums she sees on a neighbor’s porch each day as she walks home from high school – a neighbor whom God uses in a very special way.

She never expected to have anything to do with Paulie Giorgi. Oh, she’d always known that he was a fellow classmate: the kind who badgered the teacher to raise his grade from a 99.5 to a 100. But she never knew how his kindness and love would touch her life – or that of her family.

As the author, I am so thankful for the way God fused my childhood memory of winterized geraniums in an elderly woman’s upstairs library with the idea of a poverty-stricken but determined teenager. Grace’s character became intrinsically connected to the theme symbolized by the geraniums: that God will bring sweetness out of every bitter thing for His children.

 

Author photo - Alicia G. Ruggieri

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alicia G. Ruggieri writes grace-filled, Christ-centered fiction, including the A Time of Grace Trilogy. She’s a graduate of Rhode Island College, where she studied Communications and History, and her adventures include children’s theatre direction, restaurant management, and small business ownership. Alicia and her husband live in coastal New England, where she may be found drinking far too much coffee and penning stories with her emotionally-disturbed second-hand pug by her side.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website
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And last, but not least, The Giveaway!

A Love to Come Home To giveaway graphic

For some reason, my blog always has problems showing giveaway things, so I’m just going to point you to Alicia’s blog HERE so do go enter! :)