Bookish Resolutions

I decided that I wanted to make some book-related resolutions for 2017, even if it might seem silly. So I’ve been pondering for a few weeks what kind of resolutions I could make that are both easy and challenging at the same time and I came up with these ten:

1. Read 75+ books this year 
I can definitely do this. I thought about setting my goal for 100 but since I am graduating in May and will probably start working at least part-time I don’t know how much I will time I will have to read. I thought the same thing last year though and I ended up being able to read 105 books, so I could possibly end up going over 75, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t

2. Finish at least 3 series I have started.
 Here are some possible series I could finish this year:
– The Percy Jackson series – I only have two books left in the series, I am not counting the Heroes of Olympus series because that is a separate series.
– Harry Potter series – I also only have to read two books, but I will be sad end this series.
– Lord of the Rings.- I have a book and a half left to read, yes I am still halfway through The Two Towers which I hope to finish this year.
– The Illuminae Files – the last book comes out later this year so I will definitely be able to finish it.
– Throne of Glass series – I still have to finish The Assassin’s Blade and read the other books in the series, but it might be cool to marathon this series, especially since the last book is supposed to come out this year.
– A Court of Thorns and Roses series – When the third book comes out this year I will still have two to read, however I have heard that Sarah J. Maas might be releasing more books inthis series, although I think they are only novellas.

3. Be a part of a blog tour at least once a month
So far it looks like I might be able to accomplish this goal because I am already signed up for two blog tours and I might possibly be joining a third one.

4. Check out more books from the library 
I want to start getting books from the library instead of buying them, unless it is a book that I really want. Also I beleive libraries are important and I want to help promote them. Therefore I am going to try and do a library haul each month if I can.

5. Read at least five classics that I have not read before
Last year I only read 2 classics and I would like to read more than that. I think I can accomplish this, especially since I am taking a class on Detective Fiction and most of the books we are reading are considered classics or modern classics.

6. Finish Les Miserables
I have been reading this for a year and half now, it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just long, but I am determined to finish it this year.

7. Read A Series of Unfortunate Events – the whole series
I have only read the first two books in this series and since the Netflix series is coming out this month I want to read the books before I watch the series. Even though there are 13 books in the series, I think I can get this done.

8. Take part in at least 5 read-a-thons. 
Again, I think this is possible, this month I am taking part in the Winter Biannual Bibliothon and I plan to take part in it in the summer. I am also planning on taking part in Tome Topple if it is hosted again this year, as well as Bookmas. So that is already four of them and I think there are some others I plan on doing, but I am also trying not to do a whole lot that take place during the semester because I don’t want it to get in the way of my school work.

9. Complete the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge
This is a challenge where the goal is to read at least a book a week and complete each of the 52 challenges with each book. This sounded really cool when I heard about it and decided to give it a try this year. I will have a post next week with the challenges, as well as updating it every few months to let you all know how I am doing

10. Read the Bible in a Year
This should be at the top of the list and this is probably the one I definitely want to complete next year. I try to read the Bible regularly, but I think it will be good to read through it over the whole year.

These are my bookish resolutions for the year and I will probably do an update at the end of June as to how I am doing with these resolutions.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! 🙂 

Bookmas Day 11: Top 11 Most Anticipated Releases of 2017

Today is Bookmas Day 11, although this post is several days late.  I’ve enjoyed doing these blog posts because it made me reflect on the books I have read this year and the books I am looking forward to reading next year. Today’s topic is my Top 11 Most anticipated releases of 2017.

1. Book 3 in Illuminae Files
I am busy reading the second book, Gemina, right now and I know it is going to be a long wait until this comes out sometime next Fall. So far it doesn’t have a title or cover. It will be exciting to find out what this one will be called and what the cover looks like!

2. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

I love the Lunar Chronicles and I can’t wait to read this Graphic novel duology set just after the end of Winter! This comes out on January 30th/31st.

3. Because You Love To Hate Me edited by Ameriie

This just sounds really interesting and I have been watching the development of this anthology since it was announced this last summer. It comes out sometime in Summer 2017

4. Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane

I am looking forward to starting this one soon, especially since it is written about one of my favorite childhood authors, L. M. Montgomery. Maud comes out in May 16th

5. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

I still have mixed feelings about the Red Queen series because Glass Sword wasn’t that great. However, I am looking forward to seeing how the author continues the series, I just hope it doesn’t end up being a dud like Glass Sword. This is installment comes out on February 7th.

6. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I know there has been some controversy surrounding this book in regards to the issue of diversity, however I do want to read it because it is supposed be similar to Star Wars and I am hoping it can tide me over until The Illuminae Files #3 comes out. Carve The Mark comes out on January 17th.

7. Such a Tease by Chautona Havig 

This is the second book in the Meddlin’ Madeline series and I can’t wait to see what happens next to this fun, quirky character, especially since she now has an enemy that wants to try and take her down. This book comes out on March 21st!

8. A Viscount’s Proposal by Melanie Dickerson

This is the second book in the Spies of the Regency series and I can’t wait to see what new mystery unfolds in this novel, especially since the main characters are forced to marry each other for propriety’s sake. A Viscount’s Proposal comes out on February 7th.

9. The Continent by Kiera Drake

The Continent sounds like an interesting concept. It is about this icy land that has two warring nations and people want to go to the Continent in order to experience this “uncivilized” land. The main character ends up stranded on the Continent and finds out that everything that she thought she knew about it is not true. This comes out on January 3rd.

10. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen
I am so excited for the sequel in the Tales of Ivy Hill series, even though I still need to read the first book, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. It sounds like the two main characters from the first book are going to be in this book as well as two more characters (?). It sounds really good, and I am excited for this whole series because Julie Klassen is a fantastic writer. It is expected to come out sometime in December 2017.

11. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

This is the second book in the Passenger duology. I am interested to see how the story continues after Passenger, although I didn’t really enjoy it. However since the first book ended on a cliffhanger, I want to see what happens. Wayfarer comes out on January 3rd.

Reading Update: 
Technically the read-a-thon is over, but it feels weird to not write a reading update. Right now I am about halfway through Gemina and I am several chapters into Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.

I have decided to save Bookmas Day 12 for December 31st because I feel like I could read another book or so and end up loving those and since the topic is a countdown of the Top 12 books I read this year I think I want to wait until the end of the year to post this list. I am also debating on whether or not to do a post on my disappointing reads of 2016. I am also going to do a Bookish Resolutions post on January 2nd. So stay tuned because there are going to be some exciting posts coming soon!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C. 

Bookmas Day 10: Top 10 Beautiful Covers from 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!! This is Bookmas Day 10 and it is going to be the Top 10 beautiful covers of 2016 (I’m not going to say anything about these books because I’ve mentioned almost all of them in previous Bookmas posts.) and here they are: 
1. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern (the UK edition)
2. Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

3.  Heartless by Marissa Meyer
4. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
5. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

6. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
7. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
8. The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
9. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
10. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Reading Update: 
I finished Stealing Snow last night and read a chapter of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and a chapter of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I have just started Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof and I am so excited to finally be reading this book!! 

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas Day and thanks for reading! 
Happy Reading, 
Janelle L. C. 

Blog Tour and Give Away: Meddlin’ Madeline: Sweet On You

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

It is my hypothesis that social conventions are created to test our fortitude. 

Rockland circa 1900-

As the mayor’s daughter, Madeline Brown enjoys a rich social life that many might envy. But a sharp mind but a growing talent for observation leaves Madeline torn between avoiding social censure and exploring the world around her.

With an aunt who considers higher education and employment equally unsuitable for the mayor’s daughter, there is little to amuse her save endless committee meetings, evening socials, and her favorite pastime: curling up with an exciting detective novel. The temperance and suffrage movements hold little interest for a young woman who has just endured the rigors of her father’s mayoral campaign.

So when a young man shows interest in her friend, Madeline’s interest piques–until his actions hint that he might not be the upstanding gentleman everyone presumes him to be. Unable to ignore her concerns, Madeline finds herself in the middle of an investigation into his character and discovers a side of Rockland she’s never encountered.

Will her new hobby reduce the tedium of her life, or will her “meddling” create tension for herself and her father?  Will she be forced to squelch this budding skill of hers or has Madeline finally found her calling in life?

Meddlin’ Madeline: Sweet on You.

Welcome to Rockland’s infancy.

Sweet on You is the first book in the Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries. Watch for the second book in the series, Such a Tease, in winter, 2017  

My Thoughts

Chautona Havig is probably one of my all-time favorite authors. I love her work, especially her serial novels, Past Forward and HearthLand. I also enjoy how she writes in several different genres and not just one, basically if she has an story idea, she goes for it, she doesn’t really care about what genre it falls under, and she does a fantastic job!

I loved the characters in this novel, especially Madeline, she was an enjoyable character to watch develop, especially since she is a good mix of both the traditional and  what would be considered modern in this time period. I also appreciated how she had to wrestle with her faith a little bit, especially when it came to her sleuthing and whether or not what she was doing was okay. Another character I really liked was Russell Barnes, who is Madeline’s best friend’s brother. He definitely watches out for Madeline and isn’t afraid to confront her when she is wrong, however he is also willing to help discover more about Edith’s suitor. He also tries to keep Madeline out of danger as much as possible.

I really appreciate how hard Ms. Havig tried to make the setting of the novel as authentic to the time period as possible so that reader really feel like the novel takes place (and possibly written) in 1901. I loved how she also mentioned issues that were prominent in 1901, such as the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Temperance movement, and how the various characters viewed these movements.

I also enjoyed the multiple points of view over the course of the novel, the main ones being Madeline and Russell, but there were times when the readers were given a passage from the suspect’s point of view, as well as Madeline’s well-meaning, but truly meddlesome aunt. It made the novel more enjoyable and the world more alive and easier to understand.

I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this series, although I think it will be at least another year until the next novel comes out. The book ended kind of on a cliffhanger and I can’t see what will happen next to Madeline.

I am giving this book 4/5 stars because it was well-written, enjoyable, and it held my attention. I also enjoyed how authentic it was to 1901.

About the Author

I am fortunate enough to live in the great state of California (in the Mojave Desert) with my husband Kevin and five of my nine children. My eldest is married with five children, so I have the fun of a son-in-law and grandbabies to enjoy. I’ve graduated six out of my nine children from our home school, and they’re all doing quite well in their lives. My younger children keep me from getting too selfish, and someday I’ll be fully retired as their teacher. I have to say, I’m lookin’ forward to it. Teaching about gerunds was fun the first time… not so much anymore. I salute all of those in the education field. You are my heroes.

When I’m not writing (which I admit isn’t often) I enjoy blogging (a totally different kind of writing, trust me), paper crafts, sewing, smocking, photo editing, and old music. No, really, I like OLD stuff… the Beatles are too newfangled for me. Yeah,I know they’re before my time… but I like stuff before my PARENTS time.  

Guest Post from Chautona

The idea for Madeline came while I was searching for photos for another book idea (one I still haven’t fleshed out yet!). I came across an intriguing picture of a girl wearing a bowler and loved it. I wondered who she was and what she was reading. Well… then I turned the page and… wow! Dozens of photos appeared—all in the same general theme. Bowler hat, gloves, late Victorian/early Edwardian clothes…. I could just see her riding through town on a “wheel” and solving crimes. And well, the rest was born. I had to narrow down about twenty pictures to five. I couldn’t do it. So, I did six. I just hope I can limit myself to six.

Fun Facts:

Fact #1:

This is a historical novel, so that meant lots of research. Well, in the sense that it takes place in another period, anyway. Research proved much more difficult than you might imagine. You see, the world was in a state of flux in 1901. Victorian mores gave way way to a new, modern era—a new century! Though an exciting time in history, because everything was in a perpetual state of change, finding truly historically accurate information was almost impossible!

Additionally, the writing style is very different. This is partly due to a quirk of Madeline’s, but it is also because people used broader vocabularies back then. I wrote the book with a style that fit the era. It was difficult not to lapse into modern vernacular or even something a bit more twenties. After all, the series title was inspired by a song from the 1920’s!

Fun Fact #2

This book begins a journey of self-discovery for Madeline. One of the things I wanted most to do with this book was to explore the “birth” of a detective—to show what it might be like for someone to realize that he or she notices things that others don’t. Through Madeline, I explored how people would react to having their secrets exposed, and I tried to show just how difficult it would be to investigate suspicious things without becoming deceitful or putting oneself in compromising positions. It’s easy to assume people would appreciate knowing if they were being taken advantage of, but would they really? Would pride not get in the way of things? I suspect it would.

Each book does have a definite “mystery”. But, these aren’t traditional mysteries. There won’t be a murder until the final book, but each one will increase in difficulty for Madeline and the reader to decipher the truth and will add a new element of danger and self-discovery. Addtionally, there’s an overarching story over the entire series that won’t be resolved until the end.

Fun Fact #3

We have five more books to go! We’re just getting started with Madeline’s adventures. A sneak peek into the rest of the series: we’ll get to learn more about her best friend, Amy. I haven’t decided just what kind of girl Amy is, but I suspect she’s quite beautiful. I think that’ll play a part in a future book. She’s also likely to meet someone in her European tour. Will she be the friend with the suspicious letter in book four? Who knows? Not me!

Madeline’s Unofficial Glossary

One of the best parts about writing this series is playing with words that I grew up using and reading, but most people don’t use anymore. I had parents of a literary turn of mind, so I grew up being told to, “Slow down and enunciate.” This began at age 3. So, while other kids were told to “go potty,” I was told to “use the facilities.” I’ll never forget in second grade telling a classmate, “That’s your prerogative,” when she said, “I don’t like you.” She was… confused, I think.

Add to that the fun slang of the day, not to mention a quirk I’m not giving away, and I can honestly say I had a blast writing this book. However, I know not everyone is fond of sesquipedalian words or erudite language. So, with that in mind, I decided to write this glossary of words you will find in the book. Please note: definitions are mine and written with my tongue super-glued to the inside of my cheek.

Diffidence: noun

  • Pretending to be reserved in an attempt to hide the truth. Desperate. A misguided notion that pretending not to notice someone will create interest.

  Vicissitude: noun

  • The quality of never being able to make up your mind. A woman.

  Multi-eloquent: adjective

  • The misguided notion that one must be like Nellie Olson in These Happy Golden Years and allow one’s tongue to go “flippity-flop.” Example: Gossips are often multi-eloquent.

  Jitney: noun

  • Slang for a nickel. Also, a horse-drawn “cab.” Because it has fewer syll–nope. Not that. Because people like to confuse one another in speech. “Hey, do you have a jitney?” Gee… let’s see. I’ve got a nickel, but I left my horse and carriage in my other pants at home…

  Copacetic: adjective

  • Doesn’t matter, because I had to remove it from the book. I didn’t read the entire dictionary entry when I chose the word, and only saw 1880 mentioned. Alas, the first known use is 1919. Eighteen years after this book takes place. I consider the coiner to be tardy, and would appreciate that in the future, words be coined by the dates I need. Thank you. (Do you see the amount of research I must do. I have to check if words were even IN USE before I use them. And I still almost flubbed it.)

  Recalcitrant: adjective

  • Madeline… wait. That’s not quite right. But close enough. Okay. Madeline Brown when she has a bee in her bowler. Resisting authority or convention.

  Dialogue de sourds: noun (French)

  • Literally: a worthless conversation where both parties speak to a glass wall, hearing only themselves. Example: political conversations, theological conversations, ideological conversations, Facebook wall “discussions,” and arguments with toddlers.

  Asinine: adjective

  • Ridiculous or silly–like the assertion that someone saying the word is using foul language.

  Penurious: adjective

  • Marked by an inability to part with money. A lickpenny. (see how I did that?)

  Scintillating: adjective

  • A word meaning amusing or extremely interesting that lends itself more to sarcasm than plain speaking.

  Hawkshaw: noun

  • A nosy person who gets away with it under the guise of “helping.” Sometimes known as a detective.

  Fustian: noun

  • Um… yeah. This glossary. Madeline does lend herself to the fustian.

  There you go. It’s just a taste of what’s ahead. Happy reading!

Blog Stops

December 13: Bigreadersite
December 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts
December 14: Daysong Reflections
December 14: Baker Kella
December 15: Back Porch Reads
December 15: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 16: Pause for Tales
December 16: Quiet Quilter
December 17: cherylbbookblog
December 18: ASC Book Reviews
December 19: A Greater Yes
December 20: Lane Hill House
December 22: Two Girls and a Book
December 22: Blogging With Carol
December 23: 1983
December 24: Neverending Stories
December 24: Carpe Diem
December 25: Bibliophile Reviews
December 25: The Scribbler
December 26: For The Love of Books
December 26: Ashley’s Bookshelf


To celebrate her tour, Chautona are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C. 

Bookmas Day 9: Top 9 Books that I read that were published in 2016

This post was supposed to go up yesterday but I ended up running out of time to do so. I’ve decided that I am going to continue posting the Bookmas posts each day until Tuesday rather than trying to post the last four today. Technically Bookmas ends today but I am going to count tomorrow and Monday as part of the read-a-thon. Here are the Top 9 books that were published this year that I read this year – just a warning, there will some repeats from previous lists.

1. The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

I honestly had no intention of picking this book up when I first heard about it, but I LOVED this book! It was so good and I loved the allusions to ancient Rome and Greece as well as the homage to Star Wars. It surprised me in a good way and I recommend this book to those who enjoyed Illuminae and The Lunar Chronicles.

2. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

I loved the collection of short stories set in the Lunar Chronicles universe, especially since some of them were back stories of some of the characters in the series which was awesome! It also ended with an epilogue to series which was also fantastic!

3. Sandy Toes by Robin Jones Gunn

I know I’ve already talked about this book several times but I really enjoyed seeing these characters enter a new phase of their life and just the realistic ups and downs of marriage.

4. Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Waves of Mercy was one of my most anticipated reads this Fall and I had the privilege of being on the launch team for this book. It was a great historical fiction novel set mainly during the Gilded Age and I loved the two parallel story lines of the main characters throughout this book. It is great if you are interested in 19th century American history, as well as Dutch history!

5. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

I know this book received mixed feelings from a lot of people, but I loved it! I loved the whole idea of this somewhat perfect society where one misstep causes a person to be branded as Flawed and I loved how it kind of deals with the problems within this dystopian society. It also has some allusions to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter which is also cool to see.

6. Sweet on You by Chautona Havig

I love Chautona Havig’s works and I loved this historical mystery. I had the privilege of receiving an ARC for review and it was just great to meet this quirky character and her friends and I can’t wait for the second book to come out sometime next year.

7. Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

It took me a while to get into this book, but one I was hooked I couldn’t put it down. I loved reading about the Brontes and the fictional worlds that made up as kids and how the author gave them the ability to travel to these realms. It was also interesting to see the price they had to pay in order to enter into their stories.

8. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

If you haven’t already guessed it, Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite YA authors – her books are so good! I loved Heartless, but it was hard to keep reading because I already knew the ultimate ending because it is an origin story about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I read Alice in Wonderland shortly after I finished it and it was interesting to see how Marissa Meyer expanded on some of the elements in the original story.

9. A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

I read this earlier this year and I loved reading about spies in the Regency period. I loved the romance between the two characters and the suspense that takes place throughout – I can’t wait to read the sequel early next year.

Those are the top 9 books that I read this year that came out this year – there were others but I didn’t really like them.

Reading Update: 
I finished Alice in Wonderland on Tuesday and picked up Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. I am still busy reading it because I haven’t had much time to read and I’ve been spending time with my family and it just hasn’t hooked me, but I am definitely going to finish it sometime today or tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and check back here tomorrow for Bookmas Day 10!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

Bookmas Day 8: Top 8 Books I want to Read in 2017

Today’s post is on the Top 8 books that I want to read in 2017 – these can either be new releases or books that have already been released. Here are the books that I want to read next year:

1. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

I am a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles and this is the first of two volume graphic novel following Iko the Android. It just sounds interesting, especially since Iko is one of the best side characters in the series and we get to see things from her perspective, and we also get to see illustrations of the main characters from the series!  It is coming out next month.

2. Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane

I received and ARC of this book from Netgalley and it sounds really interesting, it is a fictional story about L.M, Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. I am really excited to read this because I loved reading the Anne series as a kid and it will just be interesting. This is also coming out sometime next year.

3. Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie

This is an anthology of short stories about various villains and there are some big YA authors that are going to be included in this collection and they are pairing up with 13 BookTubers and it should be interesting and it comes out in July.

4. The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

The Writing Desk just sounds interesting, I think it is one of those books that switch between the past and the present in parallel stories and I love it! This is also coming out sometime next year.

5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

I have been meaning to pick this up for 5 months now, but I am going to try and read it in January for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon. It is a Wizard of Oz retelling and Dorothy is evil and it just sounds really interesting.

6. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This is another book I have been meaning to read for a while now but I think I’ve kind of been waiting for the hype surrounding it to die down a little bit. I am also planning on picking this up during the Winter Biannual Bibliohton. I am excited to continue this series because A Court of Thorns and Roses was good.

7. Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

I loved Flawed and I can’t wait to find out what happens next especially since the first book ended kind of on a cliff hanger and I have no idea how it is going to end.

8. Ante Up! by Chautona Havig

This was another book that I meant to read this year but didn’t get a chance to, but I want to pick it up early next year. This is the fourth book in the Aggie’s Inheritance series and it shows Aggie and Luke several years into their marriage and a child of their own and she finds out she is pregnant again and her nieces and nephews all prove to be challenging in their own way.

Those are all the books I definitely want to read next year, there are others but these are the main ones. I will be posting Bookmas Day 9 later today, and probably Day 10 as well. I will have my reading update in one of those posts.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C. 

Bookmas Day 7: Top 7 series finales and sequels of 2016

Today is Bookmas Day 7 and the topic is the top 7 series finales/sequels that came out this year that I either enjoyed or I am looking forward to picking up soon!

1. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I have yet to read this second installment in the Illuminae Files but I know I want to do so soon! After I finished Illuminae at the end of last year I could not wait to for Gemina to come out, I really hope it is as good as Illuminae because I loved it so much.

2. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Even though this was a short story collection set in the Lunar Chronicles universe it had some prequel stories about the characters and an epilogue to the entire series so this definitely counts! It was great to read some of the back stories about some of the beloved characters in this series, as well as finding out what happened to the characters a year after the end of Winter.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Another book I haven’t read yet, but I am also planning on reading this in January sometime – I will read it! Again, I am excited to find out what happens next in this world and what happens to Feyre. And I am interested to see the Hades and Persephone elements in this book.

4. An Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

I still need to read books 2, 3, and 4 in this series but I am excited to picking this up eventually because I loved the first book and I want to find out what happens, even though I am really behind in this series.

5. Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelley 

I can’t wait to read the conclusion of the fantastic Waterfire Saga series, although I will be sad to leave this world behind. I am hoping to pick this one up in January as well.

6. Sandy Toes by Robin Jones Gunn

Even though this is the first book in a series, it is a sequel to the previous series, Christy and Todd: The Married Years so it counts! I really enjoyed this book and the exciting things that happen to this beloved fictional character. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next during their adventures in parenthood!

7. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard 

I loved Red Queen and I was really excited for Glass Sword, however I was kind of let down by it because nothing really happened for most of the book and like most reviewers have said, it read like the author was trying to hard to make it quotable. However, the end of the book was fantastic and I can’t wait to read King’s Cage next year.

Reading Update: 
I managed to finish Dashing Through the Snow yesterday and I also started Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – I wanted to read this after Heartless because it will be interesting to see the different elements that Marissa Meyer played with in her prequel novel. When I finish it I am hoping to start Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige.

I am going away with my family for a few days and I am not going to take my computer with me, so I will not be posting anymore Bookmas posts until I get back on Thursday, but I will post both tomorrow and Wednesday’s posts then.

Thanks for reading and check back here on Thursday for Bookmas Day 8!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

Bookmas Day 6: 6 Books I Wish I Had Read in 2016

Today is Bookmas Day 6 and the topic for today’s post is 6 books I wish I had read this year. Here we go:
1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I have read Throne of Glass, but for some reason I keep putting off picking this book up. I think it is because I still need to finish the Assassin’s Blade, I think once I finish it I will definitely try to pick this one up.

2. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I have been intrigued with this book ever since I heard about it last year, however I still haven’t picked it up – there are just so many books that I want to read and so little time to do so.

3. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

I only really became interested in Snow Like Ashes over the summer, however I have been putting off reading this book. I can’t wait to pick it up next year sometime (??) because it sounds really interesting, especially since the kingdoms are centered around the four seasons.

4. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

I haven’t read Magonia yet because I heard that it twists with your mind and I wanted to make sure I had the time to get sucked into a book like this. I am definitely planning on picking it up in 2017 sometime.

5. A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

I read the second book in the series, An Elegant Facade, and I was very confused because a lot of what happens in about the first half of the book centers around the events that took place in the last few chapters of this first book. I will eventually read it because I do want to read this book and meet the characters.

6. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh 

I am still catching up on all the YA books that I have missed in the past several years because I only got into reading YA in May 2015. This book has been on my TBR list for a while and I will eventually get to it because it sounds very interesting and I have heard nothing but good things.

I know that there a lot of other books that I wanted to read this year but I ran out of time. 😦 Maybe I will get a chance to read these books next year!

Reading Update: 
I finished reading Heartless yesterday – as I had planned to. I immediately picked up A Baxter Family Christmas and managed to read the whole thing by midnight last night. I then picked up Dashing Through The Snow by Debbie Macomber and read about 20 pages before going to bed. Today I think will be able to finish it and I’m still trying to decide which book to pick up next, I am torn between Alice in Wonderland, Stealing Snow, or Ivory and Bone.

Thanks for reading and check back here tomorrow for the 7th day of Bookmas!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Royal Christmas Wedding 

To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

Genre: Christian Romance/Christmas  

Release Date: October 18, 2016  

Book Format: Paperback & Ebook  

Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a sweet Christmas romance and I loved getting to know the kingdom of Brighton. I have not read the previous books in this series, but I plan to do so soon. I did find that it would have been more beneficial if I had read at least the first book in the series. 

I loved getting to Avery Truitt and Prince Colin and watching them renew the romance that they had shared five years previously to the novel. I felt like the grief that Avery went through over the death of her father was very real and that the author did a good job of showing how the holidays can be tough after losing a loved one. I also liked how Prince Colin had to wrestle with his father’s expectations and what the Lord was pushing him to do. I loved the story surrounding the bell and what it signifies. I enjoyed how the majority of the story was focused on God’s will for the characters.

This was just a great read, and if you are looking for something romantic and Christmas-y pick up A Royal Christmas Wedding. I am giving this book 3.75/5 Stars because even though I enjoyed it, there were times that I was confused, either because the author didn’t give enough description, or it was something that I had to have read the previous books in order to understand. 

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I don’t think we can ever get enough of royals or Christmas, do you? The two just seem to go together.

The Bible tells us eternity is written on our hearts. (Ecc. 3:11) I wonder if it’s also written on our hearts to be princesses in a grand, beautiful, perfect kingdom.

That being said, welcome to The Royal Christmas Wedding blog tour. My deepest thanks to all the bloggers, reviewers, and readers for hosting and visiting this tour. I’m excited to share this story with you all.

The hero and heroine, Prince Colin and Avery Truitt, first met in Once Upon A Prince at King Nathaniel’s coronation.

I hadn’t planned to write a spinoff story with the two of them. In fact, I didn’t even know Prince Colin existed until Avery walked into the abbey for the coronation and glanced across the sanctuary into his eyes.

Here’s his introduction:  

Lean, aristocratic with an outdoorsman ruddiness, he nearly made Susanna swoon when he winked at Avery.

I liked Colin immediately. So did Avery. As well as a lot of you.

When my publisher asked me to write their story, it would be two years before the book would release. Plenty of time, right?

But “time crunch” is the name of the game with most writers. Between life, rewrites, edits, and promotional activity, we often find ourselves hurrying toward a deadline. Well, at least I do.

In the fall of 2015 I was writing The Wedding Shop and A Royal Christmas Wedding at the same time.

I’d also dealt with a physical issue that left me shaky. Could I write two books in five months? Did I want to even make the attempt?

If I said no, publication dates would be pushed out, causing a year delay on A Royal Christmas Wedding. And I knew that was something I did not want to do.

Publishing is a long game. Books are contracted and due 12 to 18, even 24 months, before release dates. Time must be carved out for rewrites and editing, marketing and promotion. Review copies go out at least five months in advance.

So I agreed to write both books. I told my editor, “Diamonds come from pressure.”

Coming up with Avery and Prince Colin’s story wasn’t as easy as I’d planned. Since they met in Once Upon A Prince as teenagers, I struggled with how to advance their age and relationship, and how to present them as the book opened.

Where had their relationship gone “between the books?”

When I came up with the idea of the Pembroke Chapel bell, the story magic began to happen. One of the things I love in the royal wedding books is the fairytale aspect. Looking for something out of the ordinary.

Even though my writing time was tight, writing Avery and Colin’s story was a joy. Once again I wish I could visit Brighton, eat a puff, and royal watch for the Strattons!

I hope you found a few sweet spots in the story, all wrapped in Christmas holiday cheer, and enjoyed your time with me in Brighton Kingdom.

Merry Christmas!

Blog Stops

December 9: Book by Book
December 10: Pause for Tales
December 11: Quiet Quilter
December 12: Splashes of Joy
December 13: Neverending Stories
December 14: The Power of Words
December 14: Counting Pinecones
December 15: Genesis 5020
December 15: CTF Devourer
December 16: Lighthouse Academy
December 17: God is Love
December 17: A Simple Life, really?!
December 18: A Holland Reads
December 18: The Scribbler
December 19: By The Book
December 19: Karen Sue Hadley
December 19: Southern Chelle
December 20: Faithfully Bookish
December 21: ASC Book Reviews


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card plus a copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding and a copy of The Wedding Shop. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Bookmas Day 5: Top 5 Classics read in 2016

Today’s topic is the Top 5 Classics I read in 2016, however, since I didn’t read a whole lot of classics in 2016 (I read quite a few in 2015), I’ve decided to include some of the books I read last fall.

1. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

This is probably the only classics I have started and finished this year. I enjoyed, although I already knew most of the story line because I had already watched the miniseries about eight years ago. I am also writing my senior thesis on North and South, so I will be rereading it in the next couple of months.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

I finished this in February although I started it in November of 2015. I think this was by third or fourth time rereading it…I can’t remember. I’ve always enjoyed reading it and I enjoyed this time around too.

3. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I read this last fall for my Romanticism class, in fact click here if you want to read my full review. I actually enjoyed Moby Dick a lot, although it takes some getting used, especially since Melville gives detailed descriptions about almost every thing. It is definitely worth picking up and reading through at least once and I hope to read it again sometime.

4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

I also read this for my Romanticism class – I also enjoyed it! And now I get frustrated whenever someone refers to the Frankenstein’s monster as Frankenstein!! It is a great book, and creepy too.

5. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Technically this is a play but it definitely counts as a classic. I had to read this for my Shakespeare class that I took in Fall 2015 and this was one of the first plays we read. I had already read it in high school but it is one of my favorite plays because it is the one that made me fall in love with Shakespeare’s plays.

Those are the Top 5 classics that I have read in the last year and a half – hopefully I will read more classics in 2017, especially since I am taking a class on Detective Fiction where we will read some classic mystery stories.

Reading Update: 
I was able to read just over 100 pages of Heartless yesterday, I am hoping to finish it today and start my third book, which should be a quick read!

Thanks for read and check back tomorrow for Bookmas Day 6.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.