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Friday, January 19, 2018

First Line Friday - Across the Blue

Happy Friday! Not gonna lie...It has been quite the week here...New adventures...sick kiddo (and husband)...lots of reading...and crazy weather...Rain, snow, rain, snow, wind. So I am REALLY excited for the weekend...rest and quiet..I hope. Prayers appreciated that myself and kiddo #2 don't get sick...

Happy Reading!

Today’s first line is from...

Across the Blue
by Carrie Turansky



February 1909
Isabella Grayson's shoes sank into the plush carpet of Broadland's south hall, and she released a soft sigh. What luxury!

I am starting this book today. I am super excited to dive into it! Edwardian is one of my absolute favorite eras to read...or watch (yes, I am a Downton Abbey fan)! 

What is your favorite Edwardian story(book, TV show, movie)???

Comment below with your first line and head over to Hoarding Books to link up with your own FLF post!



Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Beginning of New Adventures


Recharge

Photo from Pixabay
As most of you know, I recently took a month long break to refresh and refocus my goals. What you MAY not know, is that I also spent 2 weeks in the Caribbean in December. The husband and I went on our first REAL vacation together. A cruise to the Southern Caribbean and WOW! It was incredible!!! One of the highlights was that we made some amazing friends from England! We spent loads of time laughing at the way we say words differently, comparing customs and traditions, and planning our next vacation together (in England of course). 


It just goes to show that you never know who will cross your path and the doors that will be laid out for you. 

(Pictures will be coming as soon as I sort through all 1,500 of them haha!)



New Adventures

I absolutely love reading and reviewing books! However, about a year ago I had to sit down and ask myself, "What do I want to do with this reviewing thing?" And I decided then, and it has become my heart's prayer, that I wanted to be a virtual assistant for authors. I want to build relationship, encourage, serve, learn from, and create more time for the author to actually spend time doing what God has called them to do....Write.

In March 2017 that dream began to take form. I became Pepper D. Basham's Virtual Assistant and have been loving every aspect of the job. We have both been learning the ropes of what it means to be a VA and work together as a team even though we are on opposite sides of the country. A couple months ago I jumped in to help Meghan Gorecki out with her upcoming release Amongst the Roses (coming April 2018). A year ago I never imagined where God would lead me...straight into the position as Roseanna M. White's Virtual Assistant. Yes, you read that right. I am officially employed by THE Roseanna M. White...I am still in shock! I am so honored to have been chosen for this position and I can not wait to begin this new adventure. 

However, due to increasing responsibilities, I will be cutting back a bit on the blog/reviewing so that I can focus on my positions as a VA and my Premier Designs Jewelry Business. Not to mention homeschooling my Kindergartner...



I will NOT stop reading, and as such, I WILL always review the books I read (because my brain might explode if I even attempted to skip writing a review). But this year I am going to focus on the teams I am already on and my review requests are currently turned off...And make some headway on my TBR list that has been increasing in size everyday. 



I can not express how much I love and appreciate my readers! And thank you for the GRACE and the ENCOURAGEMENT! 



-Rachel

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Butterfly and the Violin - Hidden Masterpiece Book 1 - Kristy Cambron

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

About the Book

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz--and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl--a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover--the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul--who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart. (From Goodreads)

My Thoughts
Set during one of the most horrific times in human history, be prepared for an emotional and heart wrenching journey to Auschwitz. 

Kristy Cambron has long been a favorite of mine. However, I have only now had the opportunity to read her debut novel. And I was blown away! The depth of emotion, the spiritual journey that all of the characters undergo, the style of writing is all so beautiful. Kristy's voice is unique and stands out among the masses of WWII novels. She brings to life the love, hope, despair, and passion of history on every page. 

It is always hard for me to read stories set in WWII. Especially inside the concentration camps. But while the characters in thus book may not have "actually" lived, they are birthed from true events. I believe these stories are important for us to read. So that we never forget those who lost their lives and so we can see the HOPE and the LOVE that carried the world through one of its darkest times. 

The split timeline is an aspect of this book that gives it a unique and completed feel. We get to see the story come full circle and that is incredible. This is very well done and very easy to follow. 

If you read WWII fiction, you will fall in love with this book. I highly recommend and am off to start A Sparrow in TerezĂ­n now. 


I have purchased this book, won a print copy, and for this specific review, I borrowed the audio book from my library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.



About the Author

KRISTY CAMBRON has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. The Illusionist’s Apprentice (HarperCollins, 2017) is her fourth novel. Her first Bible study DVD and study guides, The Verse Mapping series, will release in 2018.
Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University, and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She loves storytelling from the stage and travels to speak about her love for Bible Verse Mapping throughout the year. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

The last and most important thing? Jesus Christ is everything — let her tell you about Him sometime.

More Books by Kristy Cambron 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 unless stated otherwise. 




Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Spotlight - Love Held Captive - Shelley Shepard Gray

About the Book

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

I received a complimentary copy of Love Held Captive from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in Loveland, Ohio, where she writes full time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.






Thursday, January 11, 2018

First Line Fridays - The Saturday Night Supper Club


Are your Christmas decorations still up? Mine are...Mostly because I was gone for 2 weeks in December and didn't get a chance to enjoy them for very long.....OK, ok...and I just don't feel like putting them away yet! Haha! What are you reading this weekend? I am going to be diving into Carla Laureano's upcoming release. Please note this is from the ARC, not the final copy. This book is one of only a select few contemporary books that I have on my review list for this year.

Today’s first line is from...

The Saturday Night Supper Club
by Carla Laureano




Three hours into Saturday night dinner service and she was already running on fumes.

Love the setting for this book! Can't wait to share my review with you.

Comment below with your first line and head over to Hoarding Books to link up with your own FLF post!