Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley
There are so many words to describe this book... 
Wonderful, witty, fun, funny, lovely, sad, inspiring, heartwarming, heartrending, profound, thought-provoking, encouraging, sweet, emotional, tear-jerking (and by tear-jerking, I mean, like this is the first book that's ever made me CRY- not just tear up), beautiful- and so many more.
Dear Mr. Knightley is a book that has events and characters that so many people in our day and age can relate too; Samantha Moore is hurt; she has no self-confidence, she's nerdy, and kind of avoided. But she's smart, can read people really well when she tries, and doesn't know just how brave she can be. She just wants to be loved and not thought of as a total wacko- what she doesn't know is to Whom she needs to turn for that Love- and that she may have herself in the wrong position, mentally. (Until amazing characters like Mr. and Mrs. Muir show up to encourage and lend a helping hand and leave us all in a puddle of aren't-they-adorable-fangirling-antics.) There are so many things in this book that the bookish of our society can not only relate to, there's so much they need here. This book could really work in someone's life who has gone through any of the things Sam relates to Mr. Knightley in this story. 
Btw- when I read the synopsis I was totally expecting the same plot as Daddy-Long-Legs -while it was similar in many ways, I was beyond surprised and pleased at the differences. 
There is someone and something for everyone in this story. 
This is really random- but I SO enjoyed ALL the references to coffee, Starbucks, and lattes in this story. As I said- there is something here for everyone. ;)
Thank you, so much, Reay, for this story. <3


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Inside & Out

My sister sent me a link to this fun blog idea ~ I am not participating in an actual Book Tag, but thought posting this would be fun anyways. ;)

I ~ Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough 
I think it depends... there have been some books I've read and I didn't necessarily HAVE to read it, seeing how I got the entire story through summary. :P Then there are some books that don't tell you anything- or they summarize in a way that makes you think one thing, when the plot is actually completely different...then of course there are those books that have THE perfect plot summary and you can't wait to start reading- then you finish the book, read the back again- and start re-reading the book. :D However, I don't usually pay too much attention to the inside/back blurbs. .. I usually skim it once, and see if anything catches my attention. And if it is an author I love- I don't usually read them at all, and just let myself be surprised. ;) 

N ~ New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?Paperback. I'll read a hardcover if I MUST read the book and can't get a hold of it in paperback... but never... absolutely never.... digitally... and I've never been able to really follow audiobooks- I'd rather be able to go at my own pace, and to 'hear' it the way I want to, in my head. ^_^ 

S ~ Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean? (Tell us why)
This is kind of how I feel about writing in books... I do, however, always write down any sentences or quotes that I like, or in which I find the wording simply beautiful. 

I ~ In your best voice, read for us your favorite 1st sentence from a book.
Haha...oh dear... *think think think*
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' 

I also really like- 

D ~ Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you're deciding on a book? What if you're unsure of the author's gender?
No, this doesn't influence my decision at all. (
I have favorite female authors, and favorite male authors.) Their reputation, beliefs, genre, and style, however, DO.

E ~ Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?
I'm sure I've read ahead at some point or other, and I've glanced at the farther page or a few lines down before, but looking ahead pages at a time has never been an issue for me. I'd rather be surprised. :) I DO have the random annoying problem of looking at the very last sentence in the book, before I even start. I don't know why this is a habit for me... although sometimes its fun to see a little of the conclusion, and then go back and watch it work out to that end... but looking at the last line doesn't always give anything away. ;P


~ Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?
Hmmm...organized as  in everything neatly in a place, with stacks of either the same size books, or from big to little, and mostly having the same authors' books together- yes. Organized as in genre, historically, alphabetically- no. 

U ~ Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?
Oh, wow... maybe once or twice... but I usually don't buy a book by an author I've never heard something of, or writes a genre/era I like... so I usually know something about every book I buy. I don't want to spend money on a book I may not like, that I could have spent on a book I knew I would have liked. 
After thinking about it... 

*Sigh* Isn't this a captivating cover?? Blue- ship- swords! This is one I remember buying based on the cover (however, I did know it would be Elizabethan- one of my favorite eras) and one of the reasons I don't buy-by-cover anymore. Rather disappointing, and I wouldn't recommend it. 
This was the "or twice", I mentioned above. ;) I love this cover.... all I knew about this book was it was Christian fiction by a debut author. I thought it was set in the prairie days (come on, she looks like she's wearing a dress, and her hairstyle coincided. :P) but it turned out- after I bought it- to be modern. ^_^ It was really good though, so I don't regret this one.

This is another beautiful cover- I picked it from a list to review, so I didn't necessarily BUY-by cover- but I had never heard anything about it or the author. ;) (very satisfactory, btw.)

TTake it outside to read, or stay in?
I love doing both! But only outside if it's not too cold or too hot; warm, but with a cool- even nippy- breeze. I can always wear a jacket. ;)


Friday, January 24, 2014

Mildred Keith

Mildred Keith (Mildred Keith #1)
Mildred Keith was a really sweet story about family loyalty, and trusting God through change- that He will work everything out for good. I enjoy that Martha Finley uses more dialogue than narration- and her stories are always spiritually uplifting. The story was the perfect length- not too long, but nothing rushed. I'm looking forward to reading Mildred at Roselands. :)


Friday, January 17, 2014

Cloak of the Light

Brilliant. Literary genius at it's best - Chuck Black  has come up with a plot so intricate and well thought out, and yet it directly concerns what's going on right now in our society regarding good and evil - we should all be aware of this stuff! Chuck Black has such a way of describing things- specifically fight sequences (which this book is full of!) -that is really easy to follow and creates an accurate mental picture; unlike so many suspense novels where I get totally confused trying to follow the characters actions on my mental "television screen". 
**Spoiler** This is one of the only Christian books I have read where by the end the main character still has not accepted Christ as their Savior. Also- there was NO closure! Everything was left open and Drew still has barely any answers to what he's been working on the entire time; and there are some characters that you've kind of lost track of that are a big part of the story. These things didn't bother me, however, knowing that this is book 1 and that book 2 is in the works. So I didn't totally freak out- but it did come as a bit of a shock when I finished the book and realized all that I wasn't able to figure out. :P 
I didn't know how I'd like the book, having fallen so totally in love with Chuck Black's Medieval stories- and this is such a different setting. And yet- it wasn't. It was still the same style of writing and even had all the cool "cloak and dagger" stuff- literally! :D
Drew and Sydney made a really great hero/heroine duo! They put me a little in mind of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy... but Drew Carter was way cooler! 
I highly recommend this to those who enjoy Christian suspense novels, and allegories. I would say it's a little intense for younger children, but this is great teens- and I think adults would definitely enjoy it as well. 
"It's wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something."

You can visit Chuck Black's webpage here.
More information about the book and author.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this honest review.


Monday, January 13, 2014

A Psalm of Encouragement

"The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."
Psalm 9:9-10


Faro's Daughter

Faro's Daughter was a really fun read! The hero and heroine were so unique compared to Heyer's others. I kept looking at my progress and thinking "something has to happen- and soon- because they still hate each other!" Everything came to a quick and happy conclusion in the end and was very satisfactory. 
The secondary characters in this story were really fun! :D Kennet, Mablethorpe, Silas, and Arabella were great fun! 
I laughed out loud at a few different parts of the book- but especially the scene where Ravenscar is locked in the cellar and Kit Grantham goes to set him free. :) You've gotta read it to understand! ;D
Another amazing Heyer- not my favorite, but I did love it, and each Heyer makes me more eager to read the others.


Friday, January 10, 2014


First and foremost, Blackmoore had one of THE best and non-mushy proposal scenes EVER! (Well, we know from the synopsis that there are several, so let me clarify that I mean the actual proposal. ;))
Julianne Donaldson has a way of writing that- no matter if what she is saying is happy or sad- I always feel like crying. I can't explain why, just whenever I read her books I feel as if I'm on the verge of tears the whole time. I would have to make a guess and say the reason may be because Donaldsons' way with words and style of writing is simply- Beautiful. 
Some things about Julianne's style I love- 
She ties everything together SO well throughout the story. As a random example, if a character in the beginning of the story has a certain hair ribbon, that same hair ribbon will come back into the story WAY later, to prove a point, or link parts of the plot together, etc. I know, I know, REALLY random example, but it's true. ;) I love that! I love reading about the tiniest things and then later on thinking- didn't she mention that in chapter one?? It makes the whole story mean so much more, and makes the reader want more. Well done.
Also, I love the word pictures used to explain and describe different things. So intricate and beautiful- each one seemed like she was describing the story within the story, even in simple description. What a talent the Lord has given this author. :)
Donaldsons' characters never fail to draw the reader in. I can always find at least one that I relate to, and you find yourself feeling as if you knew them all, and that you're going through everything with them. Being able to create an emotional tie between the reader and characters is another amazing talent. 
Blackmoores' 'rival' character was a breath of fresh air- she wasn't your same old same old hateful girl. She really was a sweet and lovely character- just in the wrong place. :) I'm glad that in the end everyone (including this character, herself) were able to see that, and there were no hard feelings. It was just really overall a 'different' story, and I enjoyed experiencing it. 
Blackmoore was definitely a lot heavier, and had a more 'depressing' feel to it than Edenbrooke. Like Northanger Abbey, or Sense and Sensibility, compared to Emma. All enjoyable and beautiful in their own way, with different atmospheres. 
I really can't say which I prefer... I so enjoyed both stories, and Edenbrooke definitely had more of the quick wit and humor I'm used to in a regency. But Blackmoore left something with me days after I'd finished it. So I couldn't say. ;)
I also would say, the one thing I did not like was that there was no point in the story when Kate and her mother made up and (at least) settled their differences. I wished that they would have ended up with a better relationship- but it also did good in making me SO much more thankful and aware of the blessing the Lord has given ME in giving me a mother that loves me (and always will), and is always there for me, and that I can count on. <3 :)
Kate was a great heroine. Henry was an amazing hero. Enough said. ;)


The Black Moth

I have been putting off getting back to my reviews for so long, that this one may be a bit choppy, as the story is not as clear in my brain anymore. :P Please forgive. ;) I did write down some points to hit so I'll follow those! :)

One thing I loved about The Black Moth was the theme of loyalty in the family. Our family is the best and closest earthly thing we have, and they deserve our utmost loyalty! Especially the two brothers in this story, really got this point across. Both of them stayed loyal to the other by keeping things quiet that could cause ruin for their sibling but gain for themselves, to keep each other safe- and in the end everything worked out. :)
Dicks wife Lavinia REALLY got on my nerves for the better part of this book! She was so annoying and demanding- she kept bringing to mind that verse in the Bible that says "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." ;P But she was another aspect of the book that I ended up really liking, and it played along with the loyalty theme. Her transformation was really sweet to watch, and I felt so happy for Dick in the end- knowing he had truly loved her from the very start, and never let her down, even when she was horrid and selfish. 
The hero of our story- Lord John Carstares- reminded me a lot of Wesley, from The Princess Bride. Calm, daring, servant-hearted, great sense of humor, disguises! :D I really enjoyed his character.
Diana, seemed to me to be put out more as a secondary character than as the heroine- like she was there merely as a love interest for the hero. Being a love interest and being a heroine are two completely different things- so I would have to say the title would go to Lavinia, who got most of the limelight. However I did really enjoy Diana's character! I liked that she was bold and confidant, but also sweet tempered and positive. :)
There was definitely no mistaking our villain! Tracy was so conniving and mean in that smooth-and-creepy way. I was glad Diana could tell from the start that he was bad news- I can't stand a 'heroine' who is completely oblivious to what everyone else around her can see clear as day (when it comes to spotting the villain). I was glad that he lived in the end- another score for the hero- because he was able to make up with his siblings and carry on the family theme, and actually apologize to the heroine for being so nasty, but still got his punishment, as he deserved (another thing I can't stand is a villain who gets off completely without even being reprimanded). 
My favorite couple from this story was Miles and Molly. They were so sweeeet!!! :D
The ending to this story was hilarious! Most comedic way to make everything lighthearted and involve all the characters at once that I've ever read. Well done. :)