The Magnolia Duchess - Gulf Coast Chronicles Book 3 - Beth White

Friday, April 29, 2016

As the War of 1812 comes to a close. Lives will be lost, hearts broken, and dreams shattered. But love can conquer all in the midst of the chaos and destruction. 

"I found I could go anywhere, be anybody, in the pages of a story or a biography or even a science book."
- The Magnolia Duchess (Page 51)

About the Book
Reeling from the devastation that her brother has been taken prisoner by the British Navy, Fiona Lanier is in disbelief when she discovers a British sailor washed up on the shores of her home. Suffering from amnesia, Charlie Kincaid does not know why he is in America. As his memory returns in bits and pieces, duty and loyalties are challenged.

First Line Fridays - Week 1

Inspired by the lovely Carrie over on Reading is My SuperPower I have decided to try something new here. Each week I will post a "First Line Fridays" post and you can share with us the book you are reading (or happen to be sitting next to when you see the post)!

Just post the first line of the book that you are the closest to when you see this post. 

There is only one rule...No Cheating! The first few weeks I participated in this I had some obscure books that I happened to be the closest to...And it made for some good laughs!  

Here is the book that I just finished, and happen to be the closest to as I write this! 

The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White
Book Three in the Gulf Coast Chronicles

August 13, 1814
Mobile Point
She could set fire to the letter in her pocket and it would still be true.

So what is your first line? Share in the comments below and head over to Reading is My SuperPower to join in the fun with Carrie! She is also hosting a very fun giveaway today!

Happy Reading!

Wonderland - Amily Shen

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Look Inside the Book
Step into the magical world of Wonderland in Amily Shen's new book! 

"Look! Is that a rabbit running? 
Gentlemanly in a starched suit, 
pocket watch in hand, 
he mutters under his breath, 
looking flustered. 
Is he on his way to a party?" 

About the Book
Follow the White Rabbit into this imaginative coloring book inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, featuring intricate pen-and-ink drawings by acclaimed

Remembering William Shakespeare & Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare Book Review

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed.
Courtesy of 
National Portrait Gallery, London. (Wikipedia)
William Shakespeare was one of the most brilliant men that ever lived. And on this day, four hundred years ago, he died. He was 52 years old and died of a fever. Quite possibly typhoid. Now, I am in no way an expert on Shakespeare's life, (Although I watched a rather fascinating show on PBS called Shakespeare's Tomb.) but I wanted to honor his memory today. While his works are known and performed throughout the world, there is not much known about his personal life. In April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, WarwickshireEngland, William Shakespeare was
born to a leather merchant. The exact date of his birth is unknown, however, he was baptized on the 26th and is believed that he may have been born on the 23rd, the same day as his death. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582. They had three children, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. The following years are known as the "lost years". There is not much known and much speculation regarding his life until 1592. Where evidence can be found that he worked as an actor and playwright. He went on to become one of the greatest playwrights the world has ever known!
I found my information for dates, names and such at and from the above mentioned PBS show

Reading Challenge 2016 - Update

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I had every intention of posting this update at the beginning of the month...However, life happened! Myself and our oldest son came down with a cold. (Only the second time I have been sick in over 2 years!) In turn, our son Ezra had his first, really REAL cold EVER!!! If you know any of our story, you will know that sickness in our house is not good! But Ezra's immune system is beginning to function and he was able to kick it with minimal extra medication! Yay! 

Have you set a reading goal for this year? I am about 38% complete with mine! If you haven't set a goal yet, it's not too late. You can jump into this challenge or create your own. But I encourage you to try branching out  a bit this year. I have had so much fun diving into other genres and authors! So much so, I completed two series in the last month and a half! (Leviathan and The Selection) I am struggling to come up with ideas for the last few slots though. I would love to hear your recommendations! 

As always,

Happy Reading! 

2016 Reading Challenge:

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey - Audiobook - The Countess of Carnarvon - Read by Wanda McCaddon

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

As a Downton Abbey enthusiast, I enjoyed this book immensely! Full of romance, sorrow and drama! Just like the beloved show, Downton Abbey. Only, these people, really lived! 

About the Book
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS show, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants: Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war. Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild, who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon's ancestral home. Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman. This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle. (Description from Amazon.)

My Thoughts
I admit without shame, that I am an avid Downton Abbey fan. Having been sucked into it by the time the third season aired, I have been in love ever since. As some of you may know I have an obsession with finding out the real history behind stories that I love.

Behemoth & Goliath - Leviathan Trilogy Books 2 & 3 - Scott Westerfeld (Illustrated by Keith Thompson)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

As the world plunges into The Great War, the Leviathan travels to the Ottoman Empire in hopes of keeping the peace with the Emperor. Follow Deryn and Alek as they travel around the world. These books abound with secret missions, new beasts and machines, hidden lies and truths that are (FINALLY) revealed and many historical figures encountered. 

***Please note that these books do not stand alone...My review for the first book in the series Leviathan can be found HERE***

Behemoth - Book 2

About the Book
The Behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker Powers. Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory. Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead. (Description from the back of the book.)

As you may have guessed, I have a problem with binge reading. When I find a series that I am IN LOVE with, I won't stop until I am finished! However, most of the time I need to wait six months to a year before the next installment.
Thankfully that was not the case with Mr. Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan Trilogy. My favorite beastie by far is the perspicacious loris. This picture is pretty close to how I envisioned it. I want one!!! It was so much fun reading this alternate history of WWI. Learning a few interesting details about the war that did in fact happen along the way. Although Mr. Westerfeld has

Cascade® Platinum™ ActionPacs™ - BzzAgent Product Review

Sunday, April 17, 2016

About the Product
You’ve got life upgrades in spades: Whether taking steps into parenthood or taking steps into a new place to call home, there’s a lot going on. Why not upgrade your dishwasher detergent with Cascade® Platinum™ ActionPacs™? With 3X more film-fighting power, better grease cleaning abilities and rinse aid action powered by Shine Shield, these tough-on-grime dishwasher packs make it easy to clean even the hardiest stains. Formulated with the grease-fighting power of Dawn®, ActionPacs™ clean tough food stains better than six bargain brand detergent packs combined. That’s why it’s the #1 recommended detergent by North American dishwasher manufacturers.

The Reluctant Duchess - Ladies of the Manor Book 2 - Roseanna M. White - Guest Post + Giveaway

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I have been looking forward to The Reluctant Duchess since the moment I finished book one, The Lost Heiress! As the mystery of the Fire Eyes continues, we will follow Lady Rowena on her journey of faith and love. We also have a special guest post by Roseanna M. White and a giveaway! (Make sure you click on the link below.) 

"Ye're incorrigible, aren't you, Duke?"
He leaned forward a bit, the grin feeling at home now. "The word you're looking for, my dear lady, is charming."
- The Reluctant Duchess (page 79)

About the Book
By the year 1912, Lady Rowena has suffered much and is determined to flee the terrors of her life in the Highlands of Scotland. Yet she reluctant to submit to the schemes designed for her escape. In a rather unconventional way, Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, sweeps in and saves her from a daunting future. With the Duke, Lady Rowena has the chance of a new life, new love and a new hope that she never thought possible. (Please tell me I am not the only one who started humming the Star Wars theme song just now.) Yet she is plagued with nightmares of the past. Afraid that she will never be worthy, convinced that no one could care about her. Rowena also discovers that Brice is involved with a treasure that brings sorrow wherever it goes.  Will Brice be able to help her see the true worth and the beauty that lies within her? Will she find her confidence, her voice and maybe fall in love along the way? Can they overcome the "curse" of the Fire Eyes, together?

"Be whoever you want to be, and be it with confidence." 
- The Reluctant Duchess (page 156)
My Thoughts
While I have no personal understanding of the exact situation that Lady Rowena experiences, I know full well the horror of emotional trauma. I avoid talking about our experience in my reviews because, books are my escape. I didn't want the stress, the

As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers - Author Interview + Giveaway

Friday, April 8, 2016

I am so excited to have Melony Teague visiting with us today! Melony is also graciously giving away an eBook of As the Ink Flows (courtesy of Judson Press). Make sure you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

About the Book

As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers integrates the craft of writing with the faith of people of the Word, in order to deepen, sustain, and expand ministry in the world. The volume includes 90 devotions written by members of Friends in the Word, a Canadian Christian writers’ group. Each entry features a Bible verse, a brief meditation on the Scripture and the writing experience, and a prompt for personal reflection and creative response. For ease-of-use, the devotions are organized topically, including: The Craft, Inspiration, Priorities, Life Stories, Wellbeing, Personalities, and Faithfulness.

My Thoughts

It has been a LONG time since I have done any writing outside of my reviews (journaling/poetry/creative ramblings) and in just a few days of reading these devotions,
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