Dust - Heirs of Neverland - Kara Swanson

Saturday, May 23, 2020

My Rating

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

About the Book
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself. (from the author's website)

My Thoughts

It's no secret that Peter Pan is my favorite fairytale. It holds such a special place in my heart. And when I saw this book was coming, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. 

Kara Swanson brings us a unique retelling of this beloved tale. Claire and Peter are brought together by forces bigger than anyone knows. Filled with suspense and fairy dust...Watching these two discover their true selves and true potential was truly magical. 

Captain Hook, Nibs, Tiger Lily, and more of your classic favorites can be found between the covers of this book. Forget everything you've known about these characters and dive into a new world.

I can't wait for book 2! We are definitely left with anticipation of what is to come next at the end of Dust. Get ready for an awfully big adventure.

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

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. 

Swanson is the award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See and Peter Pan retelling/sequel Dust (Enclave Publishing, July 2020). She helps young writers explore their passions as a faculty member of the Young Writer’s Workshop and also offers her own author coaching services.

Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order.

Storing Up Trouble - American Heiresses Book 3 - Jen Turano

My Rating

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

About the Book
After Miss Beatrix Waterbury suffers multiple mishaps due to her involvement with the suffrage movement, her mother decides a change of scenery is in order for her incorrigible daughter. Banished from New York, Beatrix is sent off for an extended stay with her Aunt Gladys.

Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman and a brilliant man of science devoted to his work, doesn’t have time to be distracted with members of the feminine set. When robbers descend on the train, intent on divesting him from his important research papers, Norman is thrust into Beatrix’s company when she has the audacity to interfere—leaving him no choice but to try to save her from herself.

When Beatrix’s life is put at stake after her arrival and employment as a salesgirl in Chicago, they find themselves propelled into each other’s company again and again. With danger and intrigue dogging their every step, they become surprisingly drawn to each other—until information comes to light that threatens to crush this relationship that’s barely had a chance to blossom. (from the author's website)

My Thoughts

I'm pretty sure I start each review of Jen Turano's books with, "This is my new favorite Jen book!" But it's TRUE! Every book just pulls me in a little deeper and makes me laugh a little harder. 

Norman's unique qualities make him stand out among heroes. His ingenious mind, his quirks, and complete ignorance of what "proper etiquette" entails...just endears him even more. Watching his mind and heart open to his friends and family as he became more aware of the world around him made my heart flutter! (And oh my heart...Chapter 19 anyone?) Beatrix is an heiress in a class all her own. Prone to find herself in...interesting...circumstances, Beatrix has the chance to experience life in a new city and through new eyes. I adore her heart, her determination to see things through, and her loathing for injustice. 

Storing Up Trouble is full of adventure and sprinkled with electrifying kisses. Prepare yourself to laugh, sigh, and hold your breath through this story. 

"I always find it best to gather pertinent information about one's nemesis because you never know when such information might be useful."

I received a complimentary copy of Storing Up Trouble from the publishers as part of the author's influencer team. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author
Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Serpent & Dove - Shelby Mahurin

Saturday, May 9, 2020

My Rating

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

About the Book

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

***This book is general market fiction. There is language and Mature elements***

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book a couple months ago. And oh my lands! WHAT a story! I was completely blown away...

This unique take on magic had me enthralled from the first pages. Lou is tenacious and incredible. Her abilities are outstanding and she is just brilliant. Reid is...WOW! Swoonworthy and dedicated....Passionate and maybe a bit conflicted...I really don't want to give away any spoilers...So I'll leave you with this...

If you love stories with magic...You won't want to pass this one up!

I purchased a copy of Serpent & Dove for my personal library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Shelby Mahurin is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of Serpent & Dove and Blood & Honey. She grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn't fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Instagram feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral children, two dogs, and one cat.

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

My Rating

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

About the Book

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a magical novel for adults and children alike 'I've stolen a garden,' she said very fast. 'It isn't mine. It isn't anybody's. Nobody wants it, nobody cares for it, nobody ever goes into it. Perhaps everything is dead in it already; I don't know.' After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle's gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed - and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined. (from Amazon)

My Thoughts

I have been loving rereading these classics! It's been such a breath of fresh air that brings back all the childhood memories.

As with Little Women, it was so eye-opening reading this story again as an adult. As a kid, I always thought Mary was such a wicked, spoiled girl...And now, my mama's heart aches with the pain and neglect that poor child went through.

Watching her come alive and passing that joy and life to Colin...Wow! So powerful and so encouraging. Also, I'm a little jealous of her green thumb...I can't seem to grow anything properly...unless it requires zero care...ok...maybe a little weeding....but I can't even be trusted with Hens & Chicks! LOL!

If you need a sweet uplifting read, I highly recommend you give The Secret Garden a read. 

I purchased The Secret Garden for my own library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

My Rating

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

About the Book

Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with "woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the "girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Reading this story again as an adult has completely shifted my views! Jo is still...and will forever be my favorite! But it's amazing what a little perspective will do.

When I was younger, I always thought that Amy was spoiled and ungrateful...But now, I rather admire her. And argue all you want she DID earn that trip to Europe with Aunt March. I also think (and I know this will cause a riot....) that Amy and Laurie are perfect for each other!

I loved, LOVED, escaping into the mind of Jo and her sisters in this story. It was refreshing...and heart-wrenching...loving...exciting...and so passionate. The bond between the sisters, the compassionate heart of Marmie...All of it. And a review will never do it justice...

I encourage you, to give this one a read. It is a beautiful classic that will warm your heart and speak to your soul. And if you haven't seen the new movie must! It is my FAVORITE!!! (Apart from Laurie looking like he's 12 LOL)

I purchased Little Women for my own library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Hope's Highest Mountain - Hearts of Montana Book 1 - Misty M. Beller

My Rating

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

About the Book
Ingrid Chastain readily agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. She never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. When rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, she's hesitant to put her trust in this quiet man who seems to have his own wounds.

Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. But his self-imposed solitude in the wilds of Montana is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he's forced to face his regret and call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can't help but admire Ingrid's tenacious determination despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine--with or without his help--he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known. (From Amazon)

My Thoughts
Misty M. Beller delivers a beautiful story filled with loss, sorrow, love, and hope. With the gorgeous mountain setting, this story is sure to sweep you into another time and place.

I admit, the outbreak of a contagious disease hit a little closer to home than normal. But I loved this story of perseverance. Regardless of the dangers, both Ingrid and Micah showed so much courage. I loved watching their relationship grow and care for each other...and others. The past can beat us up if we let it. Mistakes...things we should have said, but didn't...A guilty conscience...And learning to extend grace to ourselves when we need it most is harder than it seems. This season we are living in is teaching me self-grace on a daily basis. And I keep reminding myself of Anne's words..."Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it...yet."

Montana is my favorite place to be...other than HOME...and it was interesting to see it through a new lens and in a different time period. 

I received a complimentary copy of Hope's Highest Mountain from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author
Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

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