Posted in Books, Open Catagory Monday, Questions/answers

The Literary Dinner Party Tag :)

The Literary Dinner Party Tag!.png

 

Hello and Happy Monday! For today’s “open-catagory” post, I am going to do…
The Literary Dinner Party Tag!
In a round-about-way, I was tagged by Faith of Stories by Firefly ~ see, she tagged anyone who was wearing socks while reading her post, and I was, so here I am :D It looks like a fun tag, and I’m looking forward to sharing the characters I chose for the answers!

1// A Character who can/likes to cook:

I want to say the name of a character in a novel that is not yet published (that’d be because it’s not finished yet…), but I will do my best to name characters in already published works. So… I would say, Rylan of “One Enchanted Eve” by Melissa Tagg – while she primarily ‘bakes’, I think she and Colin could produce a scrumptious feast. :)
One Enchanted Eve (Enchanted Christmas Collection #2)
2// A Character who has the money to fund this party:
King Hezekiah  and Queen Hephzibah of “Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews – they’re King and Queen, so yes, they can afford this. :D
Isaiah's Daughter (Prophets and Kings, #1)
3// A Character that might cause a scene:
Freydis – I can just picture her at a dinner party and it not going so well…!
Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga, #2)
4// A Character who is amusing:
Sarah Hollenbeck – not sure if she’ll mean to be amusing, but it will be hysterical nonetheless!
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
5// A Character who is super popular
Lukas De Wilde  – yep.
A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
6// One Villain:
Alex Martin – okay, he’s not really a villain at all. And he has his good qualities. Buuuut, well, yeah. Just gonna leave it at that. ^.^
Pit of Ambition, Book II in The Caselli Family Series
7// One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic:
I could come up with a thousand…but I will go with: Violet Hawthorne and Vance Everstone. <3
The Cautious Maiden (The Everstone Chronicles, #4)
8// One hero:
Walter <3
A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)
9// One underappreciated character:
Chiara – I adore her, and her tenacity for life!
   Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series #1)  Destiny Delivered (The Destiny Series #2)  Destiny Defended: Rakshasa's Curse (The Destiny Series #3)
10// One character of your own choosing:
Again, I could choose a ton, but I’m going to go with Josey. :) Love her!
Everything's Coming Up Josey (Josey, #1)
And that brings us to the end of this tag!! I tag anyone who loves books and wants to do this ;)
Are you familiar with any of the characters I named?
Posted in Book reviews, Christmas

“One Enchanted Noel” by Melissa Tagg

 

One Enchanted Noël: A Novella (Enchanted Christmas Collection Book 3) by [Tagg, Melissa]

“One Enchanted Noel” by Melissa Tagg

Book Three in the “Enchanted Christmas” Collection

Review ecopy from the author

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Secrets, Sparks and Second Chances…a Heartwarming Holiday Romance

Seb Pierce isn’t exactly a cowboy, but after fifteen years on a ranch in Texas, he might as well be. And he’d do just about anything to keep the rancher who took him in so many years ago from losing his land…including returning to the wealthy roots he’s long since abandoned. Seb agrees to work for his stern grandfather for one year in return for an early draw on his inheritance. But he never expected the agreement to land him in a quirky small town in Iowa at Christmas-time, renovating a dilapidated theater…and running into a woman he never thought he’d see again. She might not remember him, but he remembers her.
After too many years away from her hometown—and too many failures to count—Leigh Renwycke is finally back in Maple Valley and living the stable life she used to wish for. If only she could shake the old restlessness that used to get her into trouble. When Seb Pierce waltzes into her world and begs for her help planning the theater’s holiday reopening, it could be the solution to her discontent. If she pulls it off, it might be enough to jumpstart a new career…and to prove once and for all that the new-and-improved Leigh is here to stay. 
But between old secrets and new sparks, restoring a town treasure in time for Christmas may not be as easy as it seems…especially once Leigh learns the truth about Seb. 

 

 

My Thoughts:

Surprise! Another darling novella from the amazing Melissa Tagg! I don’t think it’s possible for her to write an un-darling story. (Also I’m pleased with myself for using ‘darling’ twice already, because…well, read the story to find out. ^.^)
As usual, the characters were so life-like, so real. And each one so unique. As this is the third novella (and final novella to the Enchanted Christmas Collection), we finally got the chance to read Leigh’s story! We’ve witnessed parts of her life and struggles through the first two novellas, but finally here, we get to see her life as a whole, see her get her own Happily Ever After. That doesn’t always come easy though. But that only adds the depth and reality of the story.
The hero, Seb, was quite nice. ^.^ He had his own bit of struggles, too, and they both had to find peace through it all.
The whole feeling of the novella was charming. The snow, the movie theater, the festivals that Maple Valley comes up with! I love it.
If you’re in the mood for a sweet and charming Winter Novella, pick this one up! You won’t regret reading a Melissa Tagg story. :)
Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Tessa Afshar

The Big Ol’ Wrap Up

It’s that time of year….where we wrap up this previous year and prepare for the new. On my blog, that mainly means: Books. ^.^
And because I am doing this post, I won’t be doing the Monthly-Wrap up of books like I often do. I did aquire some good books in December, but I didn’t actually read many at all. In fact, all I read was a short story (“Last Wish: a Short story” by Valerie Howard) –  I started “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell at the beginning of the month, and am just finishing it now, so I’ll count it for 2016 but I’m afraid I may finish it on the first. XD. It’s a 600 page book, heavy English. But very good! :)
Anyway…
I read quite a few books during 2016; not quite as many as I was hoping for, but still a good amount, rounding out at a total of 63 books, and a total of 15,048 pages, according to Goodreads.
I won’t list them all, because that’d take time I don’t really have, and some people (most?!) probably won’t care. XD If you *want* to see what all books I’ve read, you can check out my Goodreads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016
In this post what I *will* be doing, is listing some of my favourites. I read quite a few good ones, so narowing it down is always hard. I’ll try to just list 5.  So, shall we?
blog-2016
Family Lies, Deadly Ties by J.A. Marx. This was a 5 star book for sure. I loved it.
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar – Mrs.Afshar does it again, writing a brilliant, heart-touching, encouraging read!
Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert – This is an easy one for “Best of 2016” for sure. Absolutely magnificent!
The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall – My first Dawn Crandall book and it was amazing. So sweet!
Light of the Last by Chuck Black. – A fantastic ending to a great series!
But I can’t forget these other amazing books that I thoroughly enjoyed:
Like Never Before, Keep Holding On, and One Enchanted Christmas, all by Melissa Tagg – all of these were SO good! So cute.
Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin  – one simply cannot go wrong with a Sarah Sundin book! Her WWII fiction is fantastic.
…and so many more books. ^.^
NonFiction: I only read a few, but two of my favourites were these:
“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias and “I Dare You” by Isabella D. Morganthal.
Honourable Fiction Mentions:
“If He Lives” by Sarah Holman
“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cosette
“Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin
“Miriam” by Mesu Andrews
“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald
Augh, do you know how hard it is to narrow down great books?! I realize a lot of you do. ^.^
So, what do I plan to read in 2017? Um…well…I’d like to get through my TBR bookshelves! XD That’s a lofty goal. But realisitcally, I really would like to check off a couple on my shelf that have long been waiting to be read. I also want to reread the first book and novella in the Ilyon Chronicles, and continue on with that series, and also reread The Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, finally getting to read the third one! I have many other “To Read”s though. We’ll see what get’s done! What is on your 2017 Read List? Did you have a favourite book of 2016?
Here’s to a year of pleasurable reading!
Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, God's Lessons, Reviews

Release day! Book Review: “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg

Today is the release day for the lovely book “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg! And I’m so pleased to be able to share my review with you. Being on Melissa’s launch team has been amazingly fun and a great experience! So, without further ado, here is my review:

 

5 Stars//Review copy from author and publisher//Contemporary Romance fiction//Book 2 in The Walker Family series//One Word: Adorable

“A dying newspaper. An intriguing mystery. And a love they didn’t see coming.

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the small-town paper is in danger of closing. Her one hope: A lead on an intriguing story that just might impress the new publisher…if only she knew who he was.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker now has the chance of a lifetime–a spot on a presidential campaign. But his plans are interrupted when he finds out he’s inherited his hometown newspaper. He travels home intent on selling the paper and spending some much-needed time with his young daughter before making the leap into national politics.

But instead of a quick sale and peaceful break from his hectic career, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. They may butt heads more than expected, but a series of leads on Maple Valley’s quirky unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.”

My Review:
This has been the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading by the lovely Melissa Tagg, but it most certainly will not be my last!
“Like Never Before” is truly one of the most adorable-est books I’ve ever read. And what helps make it so fabulous is Melissa – yes indeed. She is one of the most refreshing and happy people I’ve ever met, and her excitement is contagious!! Being on her “TaggTeam” has been an amazingly fun experience. And truth be told, I was so eager to join her team because of her. Every post I’d read on her facebook and her blog was inspiring, and exciting, and encouraging. She is truly an uplifting person. Okay, I’ll move on from gushing about the author to gushing about the book itself now. :)
So. Like Never Before is written so amazingly well, and captured me right from the start. It begins so cleverly, and the characters are utterly love-able. I really loved Amelia and Logan and little Charlie!! So sweet. Another added thing that guaranteed my love for this book is that Amelia has a love for “The News” – she’s the editor of the town’s newspaper. And some might already know this, but I’ve been in love with the idea of reporter/newspaper since I was little. :) And the Amelia Earhart thread!!! That made me happy instantly. Another one of my childhood obsessions. I always loved AE and chose her for homeschool reports, etc. :)
Logan is a fantastic character, and yes, he’s as love-able as Melissa has been saying he is!
And the plot is oh-so good, and the faith-thread is great. There were definitely parts that really hit me. One of my favourite verses was quoted frequently (“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19) and reading it came at a great time – I very much needed to hear that and  know that it is hope.
“Maybe her wasteland wasn’t a place, and her river wasn’t a job or a person or a plan. But simply a hope.”
Really beautiful. All of this. This book is beautiful. I don’t read a ton of books that are labeled “contemporary romance” but this…yes, I will read this over and over again. The romance was sweet, and cleaner than some romance I’ve read in Biblical fiction even. So very sweet.
It was a refreshing book, and I highly recommend it! You won’t be disappointed!!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.