Friday, August 28, 2015

A Weekend Unplugged

I recently came back from a weekend up North. It's what Minnesotans do :) We packed up Baby Girl, dumped the dog at my father-in-laws and took off on our four hour drive. Away from the cities, away from the suburbs, away from cell phone service.

Surrounded by green, dirt roads, and the best lake on the planet, it was easy to relax and let go. I honestly don't feel like I spend much time on my cell phone. My father in law would disagree, but he would. As I take stock of the people around me and see how much time they spend plugged in (phones, computer, TV), I don't feel 'that bad' about my own cell phone use.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Truest {Review}

Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: September 1, 2015
Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Heart's Home {Quick Review + Giveaway}

A Heart’s Home
A Heart's Home by Colleen Coble
Journey of the Heart #6
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Date: August 4, 2015
This Christmas, a tragic loss at Fort Laramie ushers in hope and healing.When a young mother dies after giving birth at Fort Laramie, Emmie Croftner is shaken by the death of her dear friend--and reminded of the dangers of childbirth. She won't be able to hide her own pregnancy much longer. She's dreading the day that Isaac Liddle, the handsome soldier she adores, discovers her secret.Then the young infant's father offers a solution: Emmie should marry him so the child can have a family.With the Sioux Wars threatening soldier and civilian alike, a ready-made family could be the answer to Emmie's prayers for safety. But at what cost to her heart--and Isaac's?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Irish Meadows {Review + Giveaway}

Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1)
Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason
Courage to Dream #1
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Bethany House
Publishing Date: July 7, 2015
Irish immigrant James O’Leary has spent his life building Irish Meadows into a thriving horse farm and is not about to let hard economic times threaten its success. He intends for his daughters to marry prosperous men–ones who will secure the family’s rightful place in society, and at the same time, guarantee the future of Irish Meadows. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their father expects them to marry well. Yet despite his wishes, Brianna, the quieter sister, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards. When stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from college and distant family member Rylan Montgomery stops in on his way to the seminary in Boston, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Others Book 1 & 2 {Review}

Written in Red (The Others, #1)
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
The Others #1
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: ROC
Publishing Date: March 5, 2013
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others. 

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)
Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
The Others #2
Publishing Date: March 4, 2014
Goodreads Summary:
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Through Waters Deep {Review + Giveaway}

Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom, #1)
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin
Waves of Freedom #1
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Revell Company
Publishing Date: August 4, 2015
It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Inborn Blitz!

Inborn (The Birthright Book 1)
Release Date: 07/21/15

Summary from Goodreads:
Rosamund Brandt has had a semi normal life for sixteen years. Well, semi normal for a family descended from aliens. Sure, she could create portals and her family had a secret basement. But she went to school, had a best friend, and got her driving permit like every other teen.

However, her definition of “normal” unravels when a killer with multiple powers and an agenda steps into town. When Rosamund herself becomes a target, she has a choice between playing the killer’s game and saving a few, or getting to the core of the murders and stopping them for good.

Rosamund’s choice will save everyone she cares about–or unleash a new era for herself and her family, shattering whatever hope for going back to normal she had.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias {Review + Giveaway}

Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories
Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Date: July 14, 2015

Four Southern women are at a turning point in history . . . and in their own hearts.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

The Civil War cost Savannah Darby everything—her family and her home. When Aidan Bedford, an attorney from Boston, buys the Darby estate, he hires Savannah to redecorate. Can she find a mysterious treasure before her job is finished?

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray

When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers that she is very ill and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love

Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser

Emily has a secret: She's in love with one of the freedmen on her family's plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Flights of Fantasy 2015 Update

According to my original post, my original goal for Flights of Fantasy was 20 reads. I'd like to say I have blown past that record but.....I've only read 24 fantasy books, one a re-read and four on audio. 

I haven't been keeping up with the monthly updates either which makes me a little sad. The beginning of my year I jammed in a bunch of fantasy and the INSPY awards helped out in June, but lately I have been reading more historical and contemporary. 

So although I have met my goal, I am a little disappointed in myself. I want to read another 10 fantasy novels before the years end! Hopefully including a re-read of some Potter books??

Check on my progress with my Goodreads shelf!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 Library Challenge Update

See my original post here.

I honestly have no idea if Sheila has been posting updates on Book Journey about the Library Challenge (oops on me), but I haven't tried contacting her either. She has had a rough year. 

I have been continuing to challenge myself however, because utilizing your local library is ALWAYS a good idea.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Crazy Little Thing Called Love {Review}

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Destination Wedding #1)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K Vogt
Destination Wedding #1
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Howard Books
Publishing Date: June 30, 2015
Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?