Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

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I’m all in for this top ten, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.¬†At first I thought, “How am supposed to pick ONLY 10.” But, then as I really started thinking through it for my favorites, the ones I check frequently, the list shrunk. Secretly, I’m sitting here hoping I’ll show up on someone else’s list ūüôā In no particular order:

Reading Is My Super Power and Just Commonly

I’m putting Carrie and Annie on the same line because they should be on everyone’s list as go-to blogs for new reads. If you haven’t met them yet, they’re awesome and make sure to sign up for #2 so you can meet them…

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

If you haven’t been yet, you should put it on your schedule and go register! It’s an amazing event, founded by Annie, Carrie, and Bonnie (something about the -ie). The CFRR blog is filled with fantastic interviews from several authors who have visited CFRR. Registration is almost full, so hope on the train soon!

Popular Books Sites

…like Amazon, Goodreads, etc. You all know them. I thought about not including them at all, but they’re important for readers to be able to see reviews for books they’re considering and are even more critical for authors to get new readers.

Novelly Yours

…because who doesn’t want a delicious smelling book boyfriend?

Etsy

Because you can find about any bookish item you want on Etsy. Quote art? Check! Pillow with clever bookish puns? Check! Cross stitch, pendants, mugs? Check, Check, Check!

Pinterest

Kind of like Etsy in that you can find photos of anything bookish. I’ve entertained myself during many random waiting periods by reading book memes.

Kristi Ann Hunter’s Instagram

Entertaining. Also her Good Little Reader’s Group on Facebook. Kristi is one of the most active authors I follow on FB, which as a reader is cool and makes me feel like we’re friends.

Karen Witemeyer’s Reader Group

Also on Facebook. Karen is another author who does an fantastic job interacting with her readers in the reader group, especially since she’s newer to the FB group world.

Celebrate Lit Publicity Group

As a blogger, part of the fun is getting to read books and help authors promote them Celebrate Lit is who I most often tour with, finding new authors and more good books than I would on my own.

For The Love of Christian Fiction

Ok, technically, I stalk Alysha’s Instragram feed. Mostly because I’m jealous in awe of her bookstagrams and can only hope one day I’ll be half as good.

 

Hope you found a few new sites to check out!

More Than Meets The Eye

Hi friends! After a long absence, I am hopefully back for a while! I’ve been fighting some pretty intense health issues as well as family emergencies; it’s been an intense month. But, I know this: God is faithful. Back in June before it all got crazy I spent a happy Saturday reading Karen Witemeyer’s latest release,¬†More Than Meets The Eye.¬†It is finally getting a post!

“Love stayed. Even when things became messy
and unpleasant, love stayed.”

more then meets eyeMany consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.¬†

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is¬†truly¬†responsible for¬†his lost legacy, and¬†will¬†restoring¬†the past¬†satisfy¬†if it means¬†forfeiting a future with¬†Evangeline?¬†

My Review

IMG_6671Evie has a unique condition called¬†Heterochromia that causes her two eyes to be completely different colors. It’s an interesting “disorder” that may present within one eye, or both (as Evie has) and can be similar colors or very different (again like Evie). It can occur in humans, dogs, and cats! Looking up facts about¬†Heterochromia, I learned that eye color is the distribution of melatonin within the eye. I knew that it had a role in skin color , but never knew it had bright colors.

This is one of the reasons I love fiction – learning cool stuff, because how else would I come across random information to file away? Now, if I ever meet someone with Heterochromia, I’ll be able to understand a little. I admit that I’ll still be insanely curious and probably still stare (sorry, Evie), but that’s because I find learning things fascinating and new facts enthralling.

“‘People might try to hide their broken places and pretend to be whole, but the truth is that we all have failings. That is why we need each other.'”

I love Evie’s cheerfulness. She often faces prejudices and people believing lies about her, but she chooses to look on the bright side of life and draw closer to her Savior. She learns a lesson that most of us struggle with our whole lives; that we are good enough and our identity is in Christ, not what other people (or ourselves!) think. I relate to the mean teasing Evie endures from struggling with weight my entire life. Most people are too polite to say something, but sometimes you get the¬†look.¬†You know the one; it makes you feel like crawling under a rock. I too struggle with feeling beautiful and accepted, and just like Logan, my hubs tries to speak into that place as much as possible. However, there’s no replacing letting the truth that God loves me no matter how I look sink into my soul.

I also enjoyed the family dynamics in this story. While it’s certainly a romance, there is a thread about the love between these chosen siblings. In a way, it’s a coming of age story; while the characters are grown adults, they’re learning how to function in their new world that is changing every day as they each try to find their place.

If you’r a Karen fan, or of historical set westerns, then check it out. If you’re not a fan of either of those, I’d encourage to get a copy from the local library and read; you never know when you’ll find a new favorite.

I was provided a copy of this story by the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

About The Author

Karen WitemeyerKaren maintains a super fun Facebook group, The Posse. Join the fun!

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

First Line Fridays – A Vast and Gracious Tide

A Vast and Gracious Tide Blog and Review Tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today’s first line is from:

Vast GraciousTide

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

“Sergeant First Class Caden Wallis grinned as his CO whistled – perhaps the fifteenth time today – that same tune again.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Award-winning author Lisa Carter describes her Southern suspense novels as ‚Äúsweet tea with a slice of murder.‚ÄĚ She is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas, and a contemporary Coast Guard series. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure.‚ÄĮA native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


AVGT giveaway

Don’t miss your chance to enter this great giveaway prize pack! One winner (US only) will receive:

Print copy of A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter
Sea glass jewelry set (see here)

Anticipated Summer Reads

I’m sorry I have been MIA, ya’ll. It’s been a couple interesting weeks. Work has been crazy, and then all of this allergy stuff (I’m sure someone can relate!) decided to settle in and turn into a sinus infection. Thus, I was a giant ball of misery last week, which is why there was no post. I felt so awful I didn’t even post to Instagram (GASP!), so if you’ve been wondering where I went….then our normal trip to see family for Memorial Day weekend, a trip which is normally 9 hours and turning into 10.5 (yes, while still fighting a sinus infection- misery). It’s also turned summer way too early, and while some of you all have a gushy relationship with the heat and sun, it is my least favorite season.

I NEED SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. 

Here are my most anticipated summer reads. I hope to find a nice air conditioned spot to curl up and read (i.e. not my unconditioned apartment, except my bedroom, which thank you, God, has a window unit). What are you looking forward to reading this summer? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. It’s 10:30 at night and I might miss some…if I think of more, I’ll add them!

5-31-18 РI added Jane by the Book since the cover was just revealed!

Hearts Entwined

Hearts entwined¬†Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory.¬†

Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

My Review

Anyone who enjoys American western historicals will enjoy this collection. In my opinion, all of the authors to a great job of developing a believable romance within the shortened format of a novella.

Karen starts off with the final story in the Harper’s Station series and Claire Nevin’s happily ever after. We find out why Claire so quickly left home to marry Mr. Fischer and while we also see the immaturity that her age denotes, she also grows and develops.

Mary’s story brings another Kincaid tale. It good to catch up with part of the family years later and revisit the cavern. I love the way Connor supports Maggie. As a woman with a hubs who is so supportive of my career, my heart melted with how he championed her.

Regina’s story seemed familiar. I’m not sure why and I still really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I’ve read another story with the same historical impetus or what. Bradley’s self confidence would annoy me in person, but in this hero is adorable.

Melissa creates a heroine who reaches beyond her upbringing and crosses class divides in an era where it was rare and show compassion that is admirable in anyone. Calvin frustrates me, but he comes around eventually, so it ends happily.

Overall it was a very enjoyable collection and I encourage you to pick up a copy.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the author. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own!

About the Authors

Karen Witemeyer¬†is a winner of multiple Carol Awards and has been a finalist for the RITA Award and National Readers’ Choice Award. She lives in Abilene, Texas.¬†www.karenwitemeyer.com

Mary Connealy is well-known for her award-winning, bestselling historical romantic comedies. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska. www.maryconnealy.com

Regina Jennings is the acclaimed author of The Fort Reno Series. She lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children. www.reginajennings.com

Melissa Jagears,¬†author of the Unexpected Brides series, lives in Kansas. Her novella, “Love by the Letter,”¬†won the 2014 Carol Award. www.melissajagears.com

First Line Fridays – Hearts Entwined

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. This is a collection of novellas written by some favorite authors including Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind.”¬† Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” and Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True.”¬†

Hearts entwined

The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer

“Claire Nevin frowned at the cheerful white clouds frolicking across the blue sky and tried to close her ears against the chipper melodies the birds insisted on singing in response to the deceptively fine morning. Ignorant creatures. Could they not sense that this day held no cause for celebration?”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.

Heart on the Line

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Made by @melissag823.

defaultToday I am reviewing a super fun book! Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite authors for good reason and her newest release, Heart on the Line, reinforces that notion. One of my favorite things about this book is it’s geekiness. Not even sure if that’s a word (I’m sure a grammar geek will let me know). So many heroes and heroine seem to be all of the ideals manhood/womanhood wrapped up into one. You know, ruggedly hansom and the perfect mix between brooding and charming, or slender, but with curves in all the right places? Not for the focus of this story. Instead, they are both telegraph operators! And, they LOVE IT¬†(Fun link of Karen’s about “online” dating). It makes me think that if they were visiting my house, they’d hop right into a game of Settlers of Catan with the the hubs and I.

hearonthelineGrace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

My Review

There are so many good things about this book, I’m not sure were to start or that you’ll read long enough for me to list them. As I mentioned above, this book was very refreshing with it’s less than “ideal” hero in Amos Bledsoe with his glasses, bike riding, and self-described unmanly physique. But what Amos doesn’t have in appearance he makes up for in heart, and that ladies, is what we ultimately fall in love with. My husband is much closer to Amos then all the ruggedly handsome heroes I read about and I think that makes Amos all the more attractive to me; men with patient constant hearts. Amos proves himself worthy of Grace’s trust by being patient and sticking around no matter what.

My heart hurts for Grace and all she’s experienced. We’ve glimpsed Grace in two previous Harper’s Station stories and I knew her back story couldn’t be a pleasant one. She is slow to trust, but through Amos’ steadiness and God’s quiet prodding, Grace learns the true meaning of her name.

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Image by @redheadzee.

What’s not mentioned in the descriptions is the sub-story that happens throughout the book with Helen, which I found delightful. Helen struggles with very real fear, an emotion that I frequently battle that is sometimes overwhelming. I am super proud of this girl and she inspires me to also loose the chains fear holds over my life.

The geeky side of me wants to learn Morse Code so I can tell if all of the dashes and dots are correct, but I trust that Karen has done her homework. I also may want to sew up a pair of bicycle bloomers.

(…and…as regulations require… I have received a copy of this book from the Publisher for promotional purposes. All opinions are truthfully my own!)

There are many great quotes in this book, hence all of the photos included in this post, but I’ll close out with my favorite. I think it’s self explanatory.

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Image by Brandy!

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