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First Line Fridays - A Reluctant Bride

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Happy Friday!

Oh, my lands! These authors! They have no sympathy for my poor nerves. Jody Hedlund's newest novel has my heart in a huge tangled knot. I've almost finished and it is so SO good!!!!

Happy Reading!

Today’s first line is from...

A Reluctant Bride
Jody Hedlund



London, England
May 1862
"Hang on a little longer, my lamb."


What author is one of your forever favorites?


Head over to Hoarding Books to link up with your own FLF post! (Please keep it family 
friendly...Or note otherwise in the link up)

Top Ten Tuesdays - Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years

Monday, May 27, 2019


This week's topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years (one book for each year) (submitted by Anne @ Head Full of Books)

Ok, I have a lot of books that I know are going to be on my favorite list for 2019. So I am strictly sticking to picking a book from the ones that are officially published already. And as for the rest of the years.....I tried not to duplicate authors and I just went through my favorites and picked one lol! I didn't think y'all REALLY wanted a list of 100 books lol!  So....without further ado...SOME of my favorite books from the last Ten Years...

Even though I didn't start reading Melanie Dickerson's books until 2015...She made it to the top of my favorite authors immediately. You can find a list of all of her books HERE

This one, I watched the movie first THEN read the book...Two thoughts: 1.) The book IS better (obvs) 2.) They did do a really good job with the movie. And I'm glad I watched the movie first. 


 If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I have a bad habit of waiting for YA series to all be released and the binge read them, and then walk around in a daze for weeks afterward. The Lunar Chronicles is AMAZING!!!! And I'm so impressed by Marissa Meyers storytelling abilities. She is a forever favorite. 
THIS book...I admit that I used to only read Historical Fiction...Until THIS BOOK! I don't know why I never tried them before, they just didn't seem to pique my interest as much I guess...And while I will always have a soft spot for historicals, contemporaries are well stocked on my shelf as well.

Julie Klassen really kicked off my reentry into reading. In 2014, I read The Dancing Master and I was hooked. Hooked on Regency books, and started blogging and reviewing. So when this one was released. You'd better believe that I jumped all over it. And it is SO GOOD!!!

One of my most favorite people recommended this book to me and so I gave it a shot. WOW WOW WOW WOW!!! Bawled like a baby and just like the other Susan Meisnner books I have read since, the story just lingers. And now I want to go reread this one!

Words will never do this story justice. I have read it 3 times now and every time, EVERY TIME...my heart beaks, I fall in love, I swoon, I cry, and I am reminded of the pure beauty and imagery of this story. Pure magic y'all...pure magic.

Joanna Davidson Politano's debut novel blew me away...very unique storyline...style...and voice. Her third book is coming out this summer! Eeeeeep!!!!

I was honored to get to read an early copy of this book last year. Wow...Split time, tons of history, tons of emotion, and an incredible story overall. I highly highly recommend this one!

After reading an early copy of this one, I knew that this would be a favorite of 2019. Even though we have half the tear left and a whole lot of good books coming, this IS one of my favorites for sure! 



The Artful Match - London Beginnings #3 - Jennifer Delamere


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

About the Book

London 1881

Her Entire World Is Changing . . .
But Will She Follow the Leadings of Her Heart or Her Head?



Cara Bernay has never fit in. At loose ends in 1881 London after a near tragedy costs her a job, she is befriended by a rising young artist. With his help, she begins planning a new life and developing her own artistic talent. But soon Cara finds herself at odds with the artist's brother--a handsome but stern earl forcing his brother back to a "respectable" life.

Henry Burke, the Earl of Morestowe, feels the weight of growing financial burdens. His spendthrift and emotionally unstable brother is making matters worse, and Henry needs him back home. Despite misgivings about Cara's mysterious background, Henry sees she's a positive influence on his brother and on Henry's unruly young ward, and he strikes a deal with her to return with them to their estate.

But the family has their own secrets, and when Cara, drawn ever closer to Henry, stumbles onto the truth, she must choose between following her heart and pursuing a bold plan that could bring disaster.
(from the publisher website)

My Thoughts

London. Victorian Era. Art. Romance...What an absolutely charming conclusion to the London Beginnings Series. I have genuinely loved getting to know the Bernay sisters. What a power packed bunch. Learning along the way, making some mistakes, falling down and getting back up again, there is so much we can take away from this story.

Cara is on a journey to discover who she is. She is determined to prove herself worthy and will go to any lengths to do so. Her passion for art is inspiring. And the Earl of Morestowe....yes, please! Kind, caring, protective, and determined. I love his personality and his love for Cara. But his brother....oh man, did HE take us on a ride. But I loved the ending!

A fun, beautiful story filled with beautiful artistic descriptions and quite the artful match. This whole series is one for the keeper shelf for sure!

I received a complimentary copy of An Artful Match from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


About the Author

Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.




More Books by Jennifer Delamere on Bookworm Mama

   

Within These Lines - Stephanie Morrill

Saturday, May 25, 2019


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

About the Book

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family living in San Francisco in 1941 is quiet and ordinary until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment makes life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world is treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out against injustice, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their ideals and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.

Within These Lines is a story about the gritty, exhausting side of love. The kind of love that seems to only invite heartbreak, but is tenacious and unrelenting all the same. It’s available in stores now! (From author website)

My Thoughts

Ansel Adams - WikiCommons
I have REALLY got to stop reading WWII books back-to-back...My heart can't handle it anymore lol. That is one reason why this review has had to just marinate in my heart and brain.

Evalina and Taichi's story pulled at my heartstrings so very much. Living in such a dark time in history, the perseverance, the tenacity, the strength, and the power of love, is overwhelmingly beautiful. Morrill brought the injustice and sorrow that we, as a nation, like to gloss over. I am so glad that authors are tackling this topic that has been long looked over.

Ansel Adams - WikiCommons
Morrill's descriptions were so tangible that I could hear the sounds, see the street market, and feel the wind and dust from Manzanar. I learned so much about history and culture while reading this book. Different details and conversations sparked my interest and of course, I had to go look things up. As you can see from these pictures it's easy to see why society thought that everything was cupcakes and rainbows at these camps. The media's agenda to shed the camps in a positive light was far from the truth as we now know.

But this is a review, not a history lesson lol! I do highly encourage you to read Within These Lines let your heart and eyes be opened to a new side of WWII history through this story of love, hope, and faith.
Ansel Adams - WikiCommons

Replica of a historic watch tower at the Manzanar National Historic Site, built in 2005.
Eight watchtowers, equipped with searchlights and armed with machine guns that were pointed
inward at the prisoners, were positioned around the perimeter of the 
World War II
American concentration camp


I received a complimentary copy of Within These Lines from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


About the Author


Stephanie Morrill writes books about girls who are on an adventure to discover their unique place in the world. She is the author of several contemporary young adult series, as well as the 1920s mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and the WWII era romance, Within These Lines. Since 2010, Stephanie has been encouraging the next generation of writers at her website, GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in the Kansas City area, where she loves plotting big and small adventures to enjoy with her husband and three children.



More Books by Stephanie Morrill on Bookworm Mama


Recommended Reading



The Last Year of the War - Susan Meissner

Friday, May 24, 2019


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

About the Book

An American girl’s life changes forever when her German immigrant parents are interned in a WW2 Texas internment camp.

Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old but then her German immigrant father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of her very identity. At the camp she meets fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teenager from Los Angeles, and their unlikely friendship, even after they are both repatriated, challenges Elise to hold on to the belief the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Here is a little-known WW2 story with great resonance for our own times which speaks to the notion of who we are when who we’ve always been is called into question. (From the author's website)

My Thoughts

I adore Susan Meissner! Ever since I read The Secrets of a Charmed Life, I knew her stories would be ones that would linger in my heart and soul. The beauty, the pain, the LIFE that flows from her words melt into your very being.

I can't imagine life being turned so topsy-turvy as what these families lived through. The strength that these people had is admirable, to say the least. I am honored to have been able to have my heart touched by these families, as represented in Meissner's story.

Throughout my life, I have had friends come and go, and that will continue, I know. But it is always so interesting to see the people God has brought into my life for specific seasons. He knew that I would need those specific friends for that specific time. This story speaks to so many aspects of life, friendship, and character. Do we know who we are? Who we want to be? Who is it that we want people to see in us?

Anyone who reads WWII stories really should read this book. A different perspective than the "norm". And your heart will never be the same.

I received a complimentary copy of The Last Year of the War from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


About the Author

Susan Meissner is the critically-acclaimed author of 20 novels. Her engaging stories feature memorable characters facing unique and complex circumstances, often against a backdrop of historical significance. A multi-award winning author, her books have earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and BookList. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, but spent some of her adult life living in Minnesota as well as in England and Germany, before returning home to southern California in 2007. Susan attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Prior to her writing career, she was a managing editor of a weekly newspaper in southwestern Minnesota. She enjoys teaching workshops on writing, spending time with her family, reading great books and traveling. Susan makes her home in the San Diego area with her husband Bob, a pastor and chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. They are the parents of four adult children.


More Books by Susan Meissner on Bookworm Mama


Recommended Reading


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