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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Scarlet - The Lunar Chronicles Book 2 - Marissa Meyer (& The Queen's Army)

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

About the Book

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. (Marissa Meyer)


My Thoughts
Fact: When I discover a series that completely sucks me in...I simply have to binge read the whole thing. If the series has stand alone novels in it, it isn't as much torture and I can wait...But if it is a continuing storyline...You won't see me come up for air until I am done (or to post the reviews for said books). So pass me the Starbursts and Red Bull, I will see ya later! Oh, after I finish this post. 

Scarlet picks up the day after Cinder ends. Cinder and Kai remain as main characters throughout the second book. But now we are introduced to a whole new level of intrigue in the storyline. Scarlet and Wolf are AMAZING! I adore them and can't wait to see where their story leads. Scarlet's grandmere is pretty awesome too! 


As secrets unfold of her heritage and her grandmother's past, Scarlet embarks on a dangerous mission to find her grandmere and bring her home. Scarlet will do anything to protect the only family she has left, even at the risk of her own safety. We also begin to learn more about Cinder's past and everything that she has gone through. 


Cyborgs, Wolf Gangs, Lunar aliens, space travel, escaped convicts, hidden princess, hidden genealogy, this series has so much to offer and entertain. Clean and sweet romance appropriate for Young Adults. I am comfortable recommending this book to teens and adults.

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

Purchase Options


The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1.5)
This novella was included in the edition of Scarlet that I borrowed from my library. It is a short read about Ze'ev's background. I know it says 1.5 but I would recommend reading it AFTER Scarlet. I liked this story and glad I read it. Adds more to Z's character than what we see in book two of the series. I believe you can read this novella for FREE on Wattpad.


About the Author
Photo Credit: Julia Scott

Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Heartless and The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and twin daughters. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg.
Connect

The Lunar Chronicles


                        
Book One My Review                   Book Three
Book Four

More about The Lunar Chronicles...

Friday, February 24, 2017

First Line Fridays - 2/24/17 - The Memory of You


Happy Friday!!!

Winter is beginning to fade around here. Although, I believe it will be quite a while before the snow is completely gone! However, I am not complaining. I have a whole list up of books lined up to read! I am super excited for the next few weeks! Coming up soon is a book that I have been looking forward to for quite a while. 


"The wood-paneled walls of the boardroom were closing in."

Pre-Order on Amazon

Now it's your turn! Post your first line below and blog hop and join in more First Line fun!

Andi - Radiant Light

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Confessions of a Bookworm Mama



Photo Credit: Photography by Tiffany Lynn
As a book blogging stay-at-home mom, teacher, nurse, chef, accountant, cleaning service...you get the idea...Sometimes I am baffled by the amount of time I actually do get to read and write, and well, quite frankly, escape from my children and adulting. This post is a little peek into my life as a SAHM and avid reader. First of all, my kids are 4 and 2...Not teenagers who can fend for themselves, oh no...Also we had a rough beginning to my 2 year old's life (I know I talk about him a lot, but if you haven't yet, you can read more HERE). The escape from all the medical stuff is why I got into book blogging to begin with. And I never in a million years could have imagined where it would all lead. The connections I have made and the opportunities I have had. I am beyond THRILLED to be able to attend Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR) again this year! Such a fabulous opportunity to connect and build relationships not only with fellow bloggers and readers, but with several fabulous authors as well. You can learn more about CFRR HERE.

1. I DO clean house...Not as much as I probably should. But enough that if you were to pop in for an unexpected cup of tea (or coffee), I wouldn't be embarrassed. 


2. I fantasize about being able to stay curled up in my book nook ALL day and have ZERO interruptions. With an endless supply of caffeine and skittle and starbursts.



3. The question "How do you have time to read?" is probably the most common in my life (after "WHY?" from my children). The question I would like to return...."How many hours a day do you spend browsing on your phone, crafting, watching TV, etc." I try and get up a couple hours before the kids do so I can have quiet reading time alone. I usually read during their nap as well, unless I can pull my nose out of a book long enough to watch a TV show on Netflix such as The Crown or Gilmore Girls. The bottom line is, I make reading a priority. I won't lie though, to be a book blogging mom, I HAVE to prioritize....EVERYTHING...be disciplined and stick to a schedule!



4. We do have chicken nuggets and tater tots for dinner on occasion...Like tonight for example. Especially when I am reading a Jody Hedlund, Jen Turano, or Pepper Basham book...However, I am really good in the kitchen and I adore my crockpot! Pasta is my weakness however...I could eat it every night, yet my metabolism doesn't like me anymore...So that is not a realistic possibility.



Photo Credit: Jeff and Amanda Dixon
5. My husband is bookish. This is probably one of the most encouraging things about being a bookworm...Is that Zach loves reading too. And yes, he is just as weird as I am...Although he tries to hide it in public.



6. I would rather buy books than new clothes. Erasmus said it best, "When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes." 


7. I own more books than I could possibly read...And I keep buying more. According to my "Book Catalogue" App (free in the Windows app store) I own 233 fiction PRINT books. Of those, I have read 57. And I have acquired about 200 of those just since I started blogging a little over 2 years ago. (Let's not get started on the eBooks I have...)


8. My kids own almost as many books as I do. Have you heard of Usborne Books??? If not...Check them out HERE! They provide some of the BEST kids books I have ever found! So addicted to these books. Learning, reading, colors, games, puzzles, eeeeee! Ok, calming down...actually...not really! Who am I kidding? 



At last, a Sherlock as thoughtfully played as Jeremy Brett!:
Pinterest
9. When people ask "Have you read any good books lately?" I usually give them a blank stare...However, this is what is REALLY going on inside my head: "Which ones have I read recently? Oh yes...there's that one...eh decent...Oh that one was good, but I'm not sure this person appreciates that genre. Oh, I liked that other one, and that one....they don't want to hear about all of these...maybe I should just pick one, WHICH one would they be interested in hearing about? OH!!!!! THAT ONE!!!!!" But what I say is..."Yes, actually, I just finished An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter.....(commence conversation)"



10. I really, really, REALLY want my kids to grow up bookish! And they have an amazing start. They love reading with me and by themselves (see #8), they know mommy loves to read and they know that books are an important part of life. 

You can learn so much from reading. If you don't like reading, there is a good chance you just haven't found the right book yet (thank you J.K. Rowling for your wise words). So, find a topic that interests you. Maybe it isn't fiction, or maybe it's comic books, just get a book in your hands! And if you need suggestions, you can check out some of my favorite reads HERE

Thank you dear reader, for sticking with me through the ups and downs of being a Bookworm Mama...I know I can fall off the radar, that sometimes my posts aren't as polished as I would like, but I LOVE what I do and I couldn't do it without YOUR support! Now go treat yourself to a new book, or coffee...or skittles....

Until next time friends...I remain your faithful Bookworm Mama 📚 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shine Like the Dawn - Carrie Turansky (Review + TWO Giveaways!)


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Shine Like the Dawn  
Author: Carrie Turansky  
Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

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


My Thoughts

Happy Book Birthday to Carrie!!! I have not read many of Carrie's books yet, but I love the settings she has chosen. Shine Like the Dawn takes place in 1903, at the beginning of the Edwardian Era we see so many new inventions and exciting contraptions, like motor vehicles!

This story starts with tragedy and through the difficult lessons and circumstances that both Nathaniel and Maggie find themselves in, it was so good to see them act and react as normal human beings. And through it all, they learn and grow. Maggie is full of questions and is determined to seek justice, no matter the risk or cost. Nate is such a protector, of the ones he loves and the ones that he is responsible for. 

Filled with unanswered questions, Maggie dives into an investigation. With Nate's help will she be able to solve a tragic mystery that is now years since past? Will she learn how to trust God to give her the answers she NEEDS, even if they aren't the answers she WANTS? Be swept back in time to solve the crime and bring justice to Heatherton alongside Margaret Lounsbury.




I received a complimentary uncorrected proof of Shine Like the Dawn from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. 


About the Author

CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.


Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

By Carrie Turansky

One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name. 1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally. The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews

February 21: Bookworm Mama


February 22: Tell Tale Book Reviews

February 22: Book by Book


February 23: Bibliophile Reviews

February 23: Smiling Book Reviews

February 23: A Readers Brain

February 23: Faithfully Bookish

February 23: Lane Hill House

February 24: Back Porch Reads

February 24: The Scribbler

February 24: I Hope You Dance

February 25: Stuff & Nonsense

February 25: The Power of Words

February 25: A Greater Yes

February 26: cherylbbookblog

February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 26: Splashes of Joy

February 27: Genesis 5020

February 27: inklings and notions

February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 28: Karen Sue Hadley


February 28: Neverending Stories







March 3: Pause for Tales


March 3: Mary Hake

March 4: Radiant Light





March 6: Baker Kella

Giveaway #1



To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

Giveaway #2

I am excited to be able to host a second giveaway! This one is for a print copy of Shine Like the Dawn. This is an UNCORRECTED PROOF. Giveaway copy courtesy of Multnomah Publishing.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 20, 2017

Emerald City - TV Series Review


















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

About the Show

Swept up into the eye of a tornado, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale (Adria Arjona) is transported to another world - a mystical land where an all-powerful ruler (Vincent D'Onofrio) governs over one kingdom, has outlawed magic, and faces not only the wrath of a growing cauldron of witches but a looming disaster brought on by a mythical force. Epic, romantic and fantastical, "Emerald City" is an empowering tale of a young woman finding her true strength and identity even as she battles to bring a divided world together.



Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu, Mido Hamada, Jordan Loughran, Gerran Howell and Joely Richardson also star. David Schulner, Shaun Cassidy, Josh Friedman and Matthew Arnold serve as executive producers. The series is directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, who also serves as an executive producer. "Emerald City" is a Universal Television production.

Rated TV-14


My Thoughts
My initial reaction after episode 1(&2 technically) was, "OK, this is weird....But in a weirdish, good way." Now 8 episodes in and I can say with confidence, this show is SO addicting! Emerald City is a very different from The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland. Very dark and suspenseful. This is not your cupcakes and rainbows Land of Oz. Heartbreak, romance, betrayal, secrets, magic....and science! The conflict between The Wizard and the witches is very strained and intense. Without giving too much away, the basic clash is between magic and science. The magic is dark and intense, yet science can be just as deadly if used by the wrong people.  

Dorothy is on a quest to find her way home and to find out who she truly is. Who her family is and what her destiny is. Along the way she meets several people, some who try to kill her, some who fear her, some who fall in love with her, and some who look to her for protection. What the final outcome will be, I do not know. But I am completely sucked into this show and will be sure to write a follow up review after the season finale. 

Content: This show is rated TV-14. There is violence and mild language. One of the main characters runs a brothel and there is one "intimate" scene  in the first episode that we skipped over. There is no full nudity shown, yet it is implied on a couple of occasions. Overall, it is better than what you can expect in a lot of shows out there today, yet I want my readers to be fully aware before they begin watching.

I have been watching Emerald City on NBC and through the NBC app on our Roku device. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Links to Watch
Airs 9/8c on Friday Nights
NBC - Free to stream
Amazon - $24.99 to purchase season or $2.99/episode

CREDITS

DOROTHY GALE


EAMONN


GLINDA


JACK


LUCAS


WIZARD


TIP


WEST


Starring
Adria Arjona, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu, Mido Hamada, Gerran Howell and Jordan Loughran, with Joely Richardson and Vincent D'Onofrio

Executive Producers
David Schulner, Shaun Cassidy, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, Matthew Arnold, Josh Friedman

Developed By
Matthew Arnold, Josh Friedman, David Schulner and Shaun Cassidy

Director
Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

Supervision Producer
Tracy Bellomo

Producers
Chris Thompson, Howard Ellis, Adam Goodman

Writers
Matt Arnold, Josh Friedman, David Schulner, Shaun Cassidy, Naomi Iizuka, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Tracy Bellomo, Josh Carlback

Casting Directors
Suzanne Smith and Zsolt Csutak (Hungary)

Production Designer
Dave Warren

Director of Photography
Colin Watkinson

Costume Designer
Trisha Biggar

Hair Designer
Jonhenry Gordon

Makeup Designer
Paul Engelen

Editor
Chris Willingham

Origination
Budapest, Hungary

Produced By
Universal Television