Friday, June 23, 2017

First Line Fridays - Unending Devotion

Happy Friday! Happy Summer! Happy Reading!

Summer is OFFICIALLY here! And as much as I really DON'T like the heat...I do like the sun...and being able to send my kids outside to play. Check in with me about the end July and ask if my opinions still hold! Haha! I am thankful for A/C that is for sure!

Today's first line comes from a book that has been sitting on my shelf for over a year now. I ADORE Jody Hedlund and can't wait to get caught up reading her books prior to the Beacons of Hope Series....Someday...

It was time. The drunk shanty boys were finally quiet

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact Carrie on Reading is my SuperPower.

What books are on YOUR summer TBR?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making Waves: A Novel (Lake Manawa Summers Book #1) - Lorna Seilstad

7685281My Rating
 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Book

Lake Manawa may mean peace, but a witty debutante finds only turmoil when Mr. Boring presses for an engagement, and she meets a intriguing sailing instructor who is everything her humdrum suitor is not.

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews. But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's 
gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means abandoning the family she loves?

Author Lorna Seilstad's fresh and entertaining voice will whisk readers away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday. Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves is the first book in the Lake Manawa Summers series.

My Thoughts
Set in 1895 on the shores of Lake Manawa, Marguerite Westing has a summer she will never forget.

Her beau, Roger Gordon, is not just the boring, uninteresting man she thought he was. And her loving and caring father has a secret as well that could destroy his family. In a time when women were practically forbidden to sail...Marguerite falls in love with sailing...and the sailing instructor Trip Andrews. Her fiery spirit gets her into trouble on more than one occasion. And she has a tendency for making waves wherever she goes.

A difficult choice lays before her, will she give up all of her hopes and dreams to save her family? Or will she follow her heart and put her trust in the Lord to work things out.

This book is a very easy quick read. Has some surprises and twists. I enjoy the use of scripture, as well as the lessons of trusting the Lord. I enjoy the time period and the fact that Marguerite tends to go against the flow of what is normal and expected for women in this era.

I found Making Waves at my library. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Award-winning author Lorna Seilstad has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in Education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. “I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby's bottoms, and counter tops every day. But at nap time, I wrote." Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters series, a wife, and a mother of three.

More Books by Lorna Seilstad on Bookworm Mama

Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher/tour logos, and author pictures not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

High as the Heavens - Kate Breslin

My Rating

★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

My Thoughts

Kate Breslin's new book is FINALLY here! I have been waiting for this day since the moment I finished Not by Sight. And I am so excited to share my review with you. Filled with raw emotion that will grip your heart, this is not a light read, but it is an AMAZING story!

"How in the midst of all this sorrow"...Can hope possibly be found?* 

Kate's books continue to elicit emotions in me that I have rarely felt on such an excruciating level. Set in Belgium during WWI we live through the memories of our heroine. We walk with her through the heartache, the pain, the suffering, but also the joy. Evelyn Marche has seen her fair share of evil and sorrows, but as a nurse she is able to bring peace and comfort to those who are also suffering. Through her work, she is making a difference in more people's lives than she knows. I don't want to say TOO much about Eve's story, because I want you to read it! Be warned though...I was not even half way through and I thought I was going to puke, cry, and throw the book across the room.** THAT is how powerful Kate's words are. There were many times of laugh out loud moments, but this is a book set in a WAR ZONE.

While in the middle of reading this book, I had the opportunity to hear a WWII survivor speak. (I know, I know...different war...but a hero is a hero.) Her name is Marthe Cohn, she is 97 years old. Marthe is a French Jew who served as a spy in Nazi Germany during WWII. She was a nurse. She is a HERO. There are SO MANY PARALLELS to Eve in Marthe's story that it was kind of weird. Marthe was instrumental in bringing about the end of the war. I share this with you because I want to honor those who have served...in any war. Those who would risk their lives daily so that my family may live in peace. The heros who, without them, things could have ended so very different. 

Evelyn is a strong and powerful representation of the many women who served in WWI. The heroes who cared for the wounded. The heroes that changed history one day at a time. Eve's independent spirit and tenacity has been an asset throughout the war. But living in "survival mode" can wear a person down. Will she continue fighting in her own strength or will she open her heart to God, and allow Him to carry her burdens? Although I have not seen the same horrors that Evelyn (and Marthe) were faced with, I hope that in the midst of chaos I will stand strong, be a light and do what I can to make the world a better place. To bring hope to those who have none. 

*Quotation is from the song Days in the Sun found on the 2017 release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
** No books were harmed during the process of reading this book and writing the review.

I received a complimentary copy of High as the Heavens from Bethany House Publishers I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

4A Florida girl who migrated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin lives with her guitarist husband, John, and a spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written several travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript, a Scottish historical romance, was finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest. These days, when she’s not writing inspirational fiction or spending time with her author friends, she’s reading books, watching anything Jane Austen on BBC, or following John’s musical career as his #1 fan. An avid “tree-hugger” she often enjoys long walks in the forests or playing in the garden. Kate’s also a traveler–she and John have toured most of Washington state and many places in the U.S. And with her intrepid mom as traveling companion, Kate’s also been abroad–Paris, Munich, Rome, Pompeii, Athens, even a day trip to Turkey. She’s always looking for the next story idea!


More Books by Kate Breslin on Bookworm Mama

Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher/tour logos, and author pictures not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva

Monday, June 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Series I Keep Meaning to Start...But Haven't

It could be really super easy to continue repeating my favorite books/authors...so here is a list with a little different variety. I inevitably missed some books. Please know it was not intentional. Thanks to the wonderful people at The Broke and the Bookish for hosting Top Ten Tuesday. Click on the IMAGE to go to the author's website. The links for Amazon and Goodreads are included below the cover photo for each series beginning. And now...in no particular order...Series that I wish there were more hours in the day for...

 What series is at the top of your "I really need to get to that someday" list?

Walker Family
By Melissa Tagg

It all starts with Three Little Words. A FREE novella. Three little words that I have yet to read. 


The Gifting Series
by K. E. Ganshert

This series has been calling my name since it came out. The first book, The Gifting, is available for FREE.

The Gifting by Katie Ganshert

Matched Trilogy
by Ally Condie

Young Adult is one of my favorite genres. This series has been on my list for a LOOOOOOOONG time...


The Kingkiller Chronicles
by Patrick Rothfuss

My Wendy (you can meet her in her guest post HERE) recommended this series to me. My husband has read it (or what is available of it) TWICE. And I haven't even cracked the pages yet. It also doesn't help that I met the artist who created the maps. #BookBloggerFail


Hidden Masterpiece Books
by Kristy Cambron

If I could drop everything and read something...ANYTHING...I think I would end up here. Kristy is one of my favorite authors and I have been longing to read these book.


The Heart of San Francisco Series
by Julie Lessman

I met Julie last summer and won this whole series...and got it signed...They have been staring at me from their perch on the shelf...taunting me. *Sigh* someday....


Elite Guardians
by Lynette Eason

This series intrigues me SO MUCH! I now have book 4 sitting on my shelf (an advanced copy that I got for free through LibaryThing) but have to come back and start here...


by Scott Westerfeld

Ya...told you Young Adult is a favorite. I LOVED Scott's Leviathan series. I can't wait to get my hands on this one now.

Uglies (The Uglies Book 1) by [Westerfeld, Scott]

Belle Meade Plantation
by Tamera Alexander

After visiting the Belle Meade Plantation myself in Nashville last summer...I have been LONGING to read these books. To immerse myself in the world where I have actually set foot. Be still my nerd girl heart!


Michigan Brides
by Jody Hedlund

Jody is a forever favorite. I have read and/or own ALL of her books. I have been putting off some of them though, because....You can only read a book for the first time ONCE.