Today’s review is on Plain Proposal by Beth Wiseman.
Today’s review is on Plain Proposal by Beth Wiseman.
Today I’m excited to tell you about another reading experiment that I am embarking on this year, along with a couple others! So Wonderland Creek is one of my favorite books, but I’ll also admit that it’s been about six years since the last time I read it, so it is definitely time for a re-read. I also wanted to re-read it because it seems very similar to The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (I haven’t read it yet, this is based on the synopsis) and I thought it would be interesting to read both of them to see the similarities. However, I also figured, why not try and read a bunch of read-a-likes to Wonderland Creek this year? So that’s what I’m going to do!
In order to get this list of read-a-likes (which includes The Giver of Stars), I used a database that was available through my local library called NoveList, which is a great resource if you are looking for read-a-likes. However, in order to use it, your local library needs to be subscribed to this database and you do have to have a library card. Also, I noticed that the lists seem to change for certain books every few days…it happened for this book as well as a few others that I checked out, so just a word of warning that if you look up the list that I compiled, there is the chance that it might be slightly different than what I have right now.
My plan is to read at least one or two of the books on this list – except for this month, where I am going to re-read Wonderland Creek and read The Giver of Stars because there is a waitlist for The Giver of Stars. I am planning on keeping a log as I read all of these books, and I will also probably have reviews up for all of them in the future.
Here are the books that I am planning on reading through out this reading experiment:
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
The Quilter’s Homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Patient One by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
The Homestead by Linda Byler
Rainwater by Sandra Brown
The Edge of Town by Dorothy Garlock
Janelle L. C.
Today I’m bringing you a Promo Blast for With You Here by Sarah Monzon!
Before I share my thought, here is a little bit more about the book.
Holy Roman Empire, 1527
In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his leg was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.
Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.
As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves.
Click here to grab your copy.
When I started reading With You Here I didn’t realize it was the last book in a series – the Carrington Family series – however, it can be read as a stand-alone because each book follows a different sibling of the Carrington family. Even though there are mentions of events that happened in the previous books, they are not necessary to have read before reading this installment in the series.
As seen in the description above, With You Here follows a dual timeline, the first being set in 1527 during the Reformation in Germany. I liked following Christyne as she learns more about the Gospel through Lorenz, and what the reformers taught and how they were persecuted by not just the Roman Catholic Church, but even by some of the leaders with in the Reformation movement. I am definitely interested in learning more about this time period.
The story set in the present day was alright, although there a couple of times I did roll my eyes at the romance, especially when Amber seems to be drooling over Seth’s muscles, I don’t know it just something I disliked and it seemed to make Amber a little bit hypocritical. However, I did like how she was someone who struggled with being an effective servant for the Lord because she doesn’t have a testimony where she was saved from an awful situation, e.g. drugs, etc. I can relate to this because like Amber, I grew up in a Christian home and was saved sometime during my growing up years. However, like Amber learns in the novel, I know that the Lord can still use me in the way he so chooses.
I also liked getting to know Seth and how he strives to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, even if it is contrary to the kind of life that his job seems to require from him – a famous soccer player. However, there were also a couple of times I did find him to be a little bit too pushy with Amber.
One other thing that I appreciated learning a little more about while reading With You Here was about some of the things that the Syrian refugees have experienced. I think no matter what your view on immigration is, it can be agreed upon that what people from countries like Syria experience is awful, and most of us here in the U.S. are extremely blessed.
Overall, I liked With You Here, but there were also a few things that bugged me throughout the book, however, I am definitely interested in reading the other books in this series in the near future. 3/5 Stars.
A Carol award finalist and Selah award winner, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain’s wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her.
So today I am going to be starting a series of different reading experiments that will probably take place over the rest of the year. My first reading experiment is to read 6 books that my fiance picked for me (by the time I plan on finishing this experiment, he’ll be my husband 🙂 ). My plan is to read at least one of these books a month, and then I’ll also keep a reading log about how I feel while reading them, after reading them, etc. And then when I finish reading the last book on this list I will post my reading log so you all be able to follow me as I read these books.
Here are the books that my fiance chose for me:
I’m planning on starting with The Phantom Tollbooth and then beyond that I don’t know which one I’ll move onto next, but I am excited to get to each of these books in the next few months.
Janelle L. C.
Book: Freedom in the Mountain Wind
Author: Misty M. Beller
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: January 14, 2020
The last epic journey before her life changes forever.
Susanna Wilkins will do anything to make her father’s final dream come true, including trek along the path Lewis and Clark explored into the untamed wilds of the Rocky Mountains. Every mile is more crucial now that lung cancer is stealing Pa’s last days faster than she can come to terms with losing him. The journey becomes harder than she ever expected, but paddling upriver through fierce rapids and fighting hungry grizzlies isn’t what terrifies her the most.
Beaver Tail endured more than he can stand from the women in his Blackfoot camp, but the last disaster gave him the final shove he needed to join this band of brothers searching for one of their group who’s gone missing. The last thing he expected was to find a white woman and her sick father stranded at the base of massive waterfall. His plan is to help them carry their oversize canoe and supplies, then leave them to their strange mission. Yet, the more he learns about the pair, the more he realizes his life is about to be derailed—again.
From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.
Click here for your copy.
When I picked this up, I’ll be honest that I barely knew anything about it, which is probably a good thing. I was in for a surprise, and a treat. But before I get into everything that I enjoyed about this book, let me first mention the couple of things that I didn’t like.
Firstly, I felt like the romance seemed to happen too quickly, and it seemed to be based mostly on infatuation, i.e. Beaver Tail’s strong arm muscles and muscular frame. Second, although this book is categorized as Christian fiction, I felt like the only references to God were when it seemed to be the source of conflict as to why the main couple couldn’t be together – because they would be “unequally yoked”. Not that I disagreed with that, but it just seemed convenient, but I’ll admit that I could be wrong, especially since I was partially jetlagged when read it.
Okay, now onto everything I enjoyed about the book. The plot was interesting, I liked the idea of a father and daughter going on a journey together before it’s too late. Especially since their adventure is following the journey of Lewis and Clark. There are also elements of the story that were sad and even made me cry a couple times.
I loved getting to know the characters. Sussanna was lovely, although she was a little bit of a flat character. Beaver Tail was alright, but I didn’t like that we never really find out why he is wary of women at first. It’s mentioned briefly, but that doesn’t really fully explain everything that happened in his past. All the other characters introduced were good, but they were also flat in some ways.
Overall, I did enjoy Freedom in the Mountain Wind, it was fast-paced and held my interest throughout the novel. However, while the plot was interesting, the characters were and we don’t get to know much else about them besides what we’re given at face-value. 3/5 Stars.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest opinion.
Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
When God Directs a Google Search…
I’m a history lover, but you may have guessed that since I write historical romance stories. 😊 Most of my books are set in the Rocky Mountains during the mid-1800s, but as I began brainstorming ideas for this new series, my heart became drawn earlier to the earlier part of the century—a time period with which I wasn’t quite as familiar with the history.
I love when God orchestrates even the most mundane part of our lives, including Google searches! During one particular search (I can’t even remember what I was originally looking for), I stumbled across part of a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition, which trekked across Montana during the time period I was looking into. I’d forgotten that expedition had even entered the territory that would later become Montana, but now I was fascinated.
After finding an audiobook of the abridged journals of Lewis and Clark, I happily listened to almost 19 hours of fascinating stories from the Corp of Exploration’s journey up the Missouri River and across the mountains to the Pacific Ocean, then back mostly the over the same path they’d come. The stories the men told were so amazing, and the detail of their trials so absorbing, I’ve actually re-listened to the audiobook twice! Many of the true tales wouldn’t be believable in fiction, but as I listened, my mind formed the premise for Freedom in the Mountain Wind: a father/daughter duo who sets out almost two decades after Lewis and Clark’s journey, determined to retrace the steps of that famous expedition.
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I loved writing it! And whether you’re a history lover or not, I pray that you too will be touched by this “epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.”
Simple Harvest Reads, January 15 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Daysong Reflections, January 15
My Devotional Thoughts, January 15
Genesis 5020, January 16
Blossoms and Blessings, January 16
Connect in Fiction, January 17
SPLASHES of Joy, January 17
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 17
Emily Yager, January 18
Deanne’s Book Thoughts, January 18
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 18
A Baker’s Perspective, January 19
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 20
Mary Hake, January 20
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 21
Wishful Endings, January 21
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 21
Pause for Tales, January 22
Bigreadersite, January 22
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 22
Through the Fire Blogs, January 23
Betti Mace, January 23
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 23
Older & Smarter?, January 24
For the Love of Literature, January 24
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 25
Rebecca Tews, January 25
For Him and My Family, January 25
She Lives to Read, January 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 26
Inklings and notions, January 26
Blessed & Bookish, January 27
janicesbookreviews, January 27
deb’s Book Review, January 27
Texas Book-aholic, January 28
Hook Me In A Book, January 28
To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Book: The Thief of Lanwyn Manor
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Genre: Regency Romance
Release Date: January 7, 2020
In this sweet Regency romance, Julia knows Matthew Blake, copper mine owner and very eligible bachelor, is the gentleman she should set her eyes upon. But why can’t she steal her gaze away from his younger brother, Isaac?
Cornwall, England 1818—Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. Lanwyn Manor is at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks in the home’s ancient halls.
As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and the livelihood of those around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made his intentions to court the lovely guest clear. And Isaac knows his place.
When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and items go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their own best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.
Click here to buy your copy.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I read this book. The last time I had attempted to read a historical romance novel I ended up putting it aside. I expected to slog through The Thief of Lanwyn Manor, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The Thief of Lanwyn Manor starts off with a bang, right in the beginning we’re thrown into the action – and I loved it and I was fully invested in the story. The pacing of events seemed to be pretty good until about the middle when it dragged, but it quickly picked up again. My only complaint is that it took a while to get the “thief” part of this book.
I really enjoyed the plot, it was pretty intriguing, but about half-way through the book I kind of predicted the big reveal that comes at the end, which honestly felt a bit rushed.
I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this novel. Julia was a great leading lady, and although I know that the previous book in the series isn’t abut her, I am intrigued to see her as one of the side characters in The Governess of Penwythe Hall and see her character development since then.
Isaac was a great male lead, but there were times he aggravated me, especially towards the end of the novel. I get that this is also set in a different era where societal expectations and norms were different, but I was still bugged and I don’t know inf I can pinpoint an exact moment without sharing a spoiler.
I also found Julia’s aunt and uncle – Mr. and Mrs. Lambourne – extremely irritating, especially with her aunt’s disregard for Isaac and her uncle’s disregard for the mine that he owns. I will say that the villains in this novel – I don’t want to reveal who they are, because it is a spoiler – but they were developed really well and I liked how their dastardliness was slowly revealed until they were fully exposed to the other characters. I also liked Margaret Benson and how she also contributed to the story, albeit in a small way.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Thief of Lanwyn Manor, I think the story was pretty great despite the couple of things I didn’t like. This was the first book I’ve read by Sarah E. Ladd, and I think I will be reading a lot more of her books in the future. I am giving this a 3.5/5 Stars.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrating Lit in exchange for an honest review.
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.
Click here to read an excerpt from the book.
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13
Genesis 5020, January 13
A Baker’s Perspective, January 13
For Him and My Family, January 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14
Inklings and notions, January 14
Bigreadersite, January 15
For the Love of Literature, January 15
Texas Book-aholic, January 15
Through the Fire Blogs, January 16
Pause for Tales, January 16
Wishful Endings, January 16
deb’s Book Review, January 16
Betti Mace, January 17
KarenSueHadley, January 17
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 17
Robin’s Nest, January 18
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 18
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18
The Christian Fiction Girl, January 19
Remembrancy, January 19
Books, Life, and Christ, January 19
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, January 20
My Devotional Thoughts, January 20
Hallie Reads, January 20
Blogging With Carol, January 20
Kat’s Corner Books, January 21
Life of Literature, January 21
Danielle Lozada, January 21
She Lives to Read, January 22
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 22
By The Book, January 23
Blossoms and Blessings, January 23
SPLASHES of Joy, January 23
My Precious Bits and Musings, January 24
Mary Hake, January 24
Back Porch Reads, January 24
Daysong Reflections, January 24
Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 25
Mamma Loves Books, January 25
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 25
Hookmeinabook, January 26
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 26
Simple Harvest Reads, January 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Today’s review is on Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman.
Well, here we are, 2019 is over and 2020 has begun. Not only is it the start of a new year, but also a new decade! Last year was pretty great year, both reading wise and with some events that took place in my personal life, and I think 2020 is going to be a great one too – there are a lot of changes on the horizon, but all good things. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll do a life update post, I’m still undecided on whether or not to do that.
Today I’m going to share with you all the books I read in 2019! If you are interested in seeing some of my stats for my reading year, here is My Year in Books on Goodreads.
I decided to split all the books I read this year by month, kind of just to get an idea of how I did each month, and also to see what kinds of books I gravitated towards in those months. Without further ado, here are the books I read in 2019:
Janelle L. C.