Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes (Revell Blog Tour)

Back Cover (from Revell):
Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?

Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra's heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes so much of her thoughts.

When a terrible accident compels her to end her betrothal, Cassandra heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. With time on her hands and good friends to help her, she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when Lord Whittaker slips back into her life, will she have to choose between him and her dream?

My Review:
Flight of Fancy is a fascinating tale of love in the Regency era.

It took about fifty pages for me to really get into the story of Cassandra Bainbridge and Geoffrey Giles. From then on the story drew me in, urging me to discover what will happen next. Miss Eakes poses so many questions I began to wonder if she would answer them all! I can gladly assure you she does.

Flight of Fancy, A, Laurie Alice Eakes, 978-0-8007-3467-1Sewing, house-managing, and dancing might interest most women, but not Cassandra. She would much rather stick her nose in a good book about ballooning or the Greek language. She is also known for her rebellion against her father’s wishes. Though her flaws, I thought she was a strong character.

Geoffrey, or Whittaker as he’s known in Flight of Fancy, is head over heels in love with Cassandra. Because of his fear of heights, he does not care much for Cassandra’s dream of becoming an aeronaut, but he does try to support her near the end. Whittaker really grew as a character, and I liked him.

I really felt for poor Whittaker more than I think I did for Cassandra and her extensive injuries. He comes up against so many obstacles, that to hear that his beloved wishes to end their engagement—for the second time—crushes him. However, it doesn’t stop him from pursuing her.

A few things I didn’t like about Flight of Fancy was the lack of a translation section at the back of the book. I came across more than one French word or Regency-era term that I didn’t understand and having a section at the back explaining each term would have been very helpful. Overall though, I liked this book but not enough to make it to my favorites list. 

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

About the Author:
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, A Necessary Deception, Heart's Safe Passage, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.
 I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo: Week 1

Technically, NaNo starts in two days but nonetheless it does start this week. When I have time to think about it, I panic. Like now. My procrastination is biting my rear end. I am proud to say, however, that I did make a giant step forward with my outline. :-D

Something I would like to do during NaNo is have a weekly NaNo update (this will replace "Writing Mondays"). In this update I'll share the words I've accomplished, my next word target for the week, and perhaps a little excerpt. Hopefully, those of you who are doing NaNo, can share your updates here in the comments and we can all encourage one another. :-)
http://files.content.lettersandlight.org/nano-2012/files/2012/10/Facebook_cover.png 
My word target for this week is:  5,500

Good luck, Wrimos!

Psst, by the way, don't forget to enter my giveaway! Three days left!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Review + Giveaway! Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

Hey everyone! I have another giveaway for you all! Told you I had great things in store. ;-) But before we get to that, let's start off with my book review and etc.

Back Cover (from Bethany House):
Michigan, 1883
In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?


Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan--and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell's help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what's right cost them both everything?

Unending Devotion, Jody Hedlund, 978-0-7642-0834-8My Review: 
Unending Devotion is a perfect title for this book.

I eagerly opened up the book and dove into the pages. This is the first book I’ve read from Jody Hedlund and I really enjoyed her writing style. In Unending Devotion, she shows us what a lumbering business looked like and she tackled the troubling topic of prostitution in 1883. This is a side of the late 1800s I haven’t seen before, and I liked how Miss Hedlund handled it.

Our headstrong, save-the-world, heroine is named Lily. Orphaned at a young age, all she’s wanted is to keep her and her sister together, to have a family. When circumstances force Lily to leave her sister with a family, she could never have known the consequences. Lily is hired on to help take care of sick woman. When the woman passes from her ailments, Lily receives a letter from Daisy, her younger sister, saying she’s run away. Lily begins the search of a lifetime trying to find her.

Our number-crunching and noble hero is Connell. He runs three lumber camps in Harrison and is a member of a very wealthy family. He ignores the blatant drinking and prostitution because it keeps his men from leaving. When Lily arrives in Harrison he never realized he’d fall in love with a woman so headstrong.

From the very start this book tugged at my curiosity and wouldn’t let go. There were some moments I was disgusted at Lily’s foolishness and other moments I was grinning ear to ear at the romance between her and Connell. I loved how real and flawed Miss Hedlund’s characters were. I also loved how you never really knew what was going to happen next, it’s something I really appreciate in books. :)

About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at JodyHedlund.com.



Book Trailer:

Now for the fun part, the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do to the sad realities of the cost to ship internationally, U.S. entries only. Sorry!

I had not received this book from Bethany House at the time of this review.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Promise to Love by Serena B. Miller (Revell Blog Tour)

Promise to Love, A, Serena B. Miller, 978-0-8007-2117-6Back Cover (from Revell):
Can a marriage of convenience ever become one of true love?

Ingrid Larsen, a young Swedish immigrant, arrives in Michigan in 1871 to search for her brother who has disappeared into the woods to work the dangerous lumber camps. Destitute and barely hanging on to hope, she encounters a newly-widowed farmer who is struggling to raise five children on his own.

Marriage would solve both of their problems, and so Ingrid proposes to a man she barely knows. She will fight to protect her new family--but the hardest battle of all will be winning the heart of her new husband.


My Review:
An enthralling read from the start!

When I picked up A Promise to Love, I never would have guessed I would be clinging to the book until the end. This book is utterly fantastic. Miss Miller’s writing and characters, from the start, transport you back in time to Michigan in 1871.

In the first few pages, we meet Ingrid. Oh, how I loved Ingrid! She and her twin brother, Hans, moved to America from Sweden. They made a promise to meet each other when they parted. But when he doesn’t show up, Ingrid fears the worst and moves to White Rock to take a position as a maid for a snobbish woman. It’s there in White Rock that Ingrid’s life takes a turn.

There are so many things I enjoyed about this book. One in particular is how Miss Miller was able to write Ingrid’s broken English. It gave the story another layer of accuracy, it made me laugh, and it made me smile.

Miss Miller has done a wonderful job with her latest release. Her writing is so easy to read and her characters so lovable. I read A Promise to Love in a day simply because I couldn’t put it down for very long. I was so sad to see it come to end.

Those who liked Janette Oke’s Love Come Softly series will enjoy this one. :-) 

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group


About the Author: 
Serena B. Miller is the author of The Measure of Katie Calloway and Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio, as well as numerous articles for periodicals such as Woman's World, Guideposts, Reader's Digest, Focus on the Family, Christian Woman, and more. She lives on a farm in southern Ohio.

I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones


Back Cover:
It’s All Just a Show…Right?

“This is an authentic old west ghost town, son. Around these parts the dead don’t stay dead.”
Nick Caden’s vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fifteen-year-old finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims and… vanishes. Great theatrics, Nick thinks, except now he’s alone in the hayloft with the bullet-riddled body of Billy the Kid. And by the time the sheriff arrives, the body disappears.

Soon Nick is caught in a deadly chase---from an abandoned gold mine, through forbidden buffalo hunting grounds, and across Rattlesnake Gulch. Around every turn he finds another suspect. Will Nick solve the murder? Will his parents have him committed? Or will the town's infatuation with Hollywood theatrics conceal the real truth about souls, spirits and the destiny that awaits those who die.

My Review:
A YA mystery that will keep you reading until the last page!

The first in Eddie Jones' new series, The Caden Chronicles, we meet Nick Caden, a cyber super-sleuth. His parents have dragged Nick and his little sister, Wendy, to Deadwood for a wild-west adventurous vacation. To say the least, Nick would rather be in Vegas for a video game convention.

Man, this book is definitely a wild-west mystery! Complete with realistic gun fights, history lesson tours, and...oh yeah, a murder. I've said this before in previous reviews and I'll say it again: I love a book that can keep me guessing. And this book did.

There were a few times throughout the book that I struggled to keep up or something wasn't exactly clear. There were also times I felt like giving Nick a sharp kick for his reckless thinking, but he was still a well developed character. As for Nick's family, Jones made the extra-dysfunctional family pop off the page. The ending left me quite curious about what Jones has planned next.

If you like murder mysteries you'll enjoy this one!

I received this book from DJC Communications in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan (Revell Blog Tour)

Twice PromisedBack Cover:
Two beautiful brides. One unsuspecting groom. Three weeks to figure it all out.

Greta Olsen arrives in Central City, Colorado, as a mail-order bride, expecting to marry Jess Gifford, the man she’s come to know through his tender letters. But when she meets Cora Johnson, she discovers she’s not the only bride waiting at the train station for Jess.

Already shocked to find they must compete for Jess’s affection, the young women can hardly believe it when not Jess but his brother Zach picks them up from the station—and reveals that Jess knows nothing about any mail-order bride, let alone two. Will either bride make the match she hopes for?

Filled with surprises, misunderstandings, and tender romance, Twice Promised is the story of how two unlikely women become twice blessed.

My Review: 
It isn’t very easy to twist my heart into knots like Maggie Brendan did in Twice Promised

This is my first read from Miss Brendan. It’s a sweet mail-order bride romance tale set in the mid-west in 1888. But there’s a problem. Another woman has answered the ad too. And the bridegroom didn’t even know they were coming!

This is the first book I’ve read that I couldn’t for certain figure out which woman would end up with which man. I knew the two whom I wanted to get married. But as the story went on we learn more about the character’s personalities. You’ll have to read the book to find that out, but let me just say I wasn’t cheering for the pairings until close to the end…

Greta is my ultimate favorite character in this novel. She’s sweet, yet she has some fire in her. She’s a woman who has lost her loved one but is ready to move on. I really liked her. Oh, and Granny too.

To sum up, I’ve never read or watched a mail-order bride story. But I really liked this book. Miss Brendan gives us wonderful characters, many twists, and two sweet romances! I was glued to the pages until the very last. I look forward to see what Miss Brendan releases next. :-)

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group


About the Author:
Maggie Brendan is the author of the Heart of the West series and Deeply Devoted, which was a 2012 ICRA Award finalist. A member of the Authors Guild, Romance Writers of America, and Georgia Romance Writers, Maggie lives in Georgia. Visit her at www.MaggieBrendan.com.

I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Writing Mondays: Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Hey everyone!

NaNoWriMo is in 16 days. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to panic. Everything I've been working on since July is creeping together. But it's still not enough to have me prepared for NaNo. So I've devised a checklist for myself that will, hopefully, motivate me.

    http://files.content.lettersandlight.org/nano-2012-beta/files/2012/09/Participant-120x240.jpg
  • Finish my outline
Now, I know what you're going to say. "You still haven't finished your outline? No, no I haven't. You see I "know" what's going to happen. I just need to write it down and let it flow with the rest of the story. 
  • Finish my villain sketch
The more I learn about my plot the more my villain is making sense. I need to gather up all my scattered notes on her and write some back story. From what I have learned, creating a good villain is key to a story's success.
  •  Work on my synopsis
This is something I have been wanting to do for a while now, but other things continued to steal my attention. When I finish it, I may post it here. :-)

I assure you that once this post goes live I will have thought of another three things I have to do. But none come to mind at the moment so I'll close the post with this question:

How do you prepare for NaNo? Please share!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What's Happening Next Week?

Hey everyone! What an awesome week, right? Two amazing blog tours and one interview! If you missed it you can find them here: (The New Recruit, When a Heart Stops, and the interview with Jill Williamson)

There are still some great things coming this month so stay tuned! To start off next Monday, I have another Writing Mondays post about preparing for NaNo, so don't miss that. On Tuesday, Writings of Rosie will be on a blog tour of Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan.

Here's the back cover (from press release):

Twice PromisedTwo beautiful brides. One unsuspecting groom. Three weeks to figure it all out.

Greta Olsen arrives in Central City, Colorado, as a mail-order bride, expecting to marry Jess Gifford, the man she’s come to know through his tender letters. But when she meets Cora Johnson, she discovers she’s not the only bride waiting at the train station for Jess.


Already shocked to find they must compete for Jess’s affection, the young women can hardly believe it when not Jess but his brother Zach picks them up from the station—and reveals that Jess knows nothing about any mail-order bride, let alone two. Will either bride make the match she hopes for?

Filled with surprises, misunderstandings, and tender romance, Twice Promised is the story of how two unlikely women become twice blessed.


And finally on Thursday, there will be a book review of Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones.

Here's the back cover (from Goodreads):
It's All Just a Show...Right? 'This is an authentic old west ghost town, son. Around these parts the dead don't stay dead.' Nick Kindle's vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fifteen-year-old finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims and... vanishes. Great theatrics, Nick thinks, except now he's alone in the hayloft with the bullet-riddled body of Billy the Kid. And by the time the sheriff arrives, the body disappears. Soon Nick is caught in a deadly chas---from an abandoned gold mine, through forbidden buffalo hunting grounds, and across Rattlesnake Gulch. Around every turn he finds another suspect. Will Nick solve the murder? Will his parents have him committed? Or will the town's infatuation with Hollywood theatrics conceal the real truth about souls, spirits and the destiny that awaits those who die.

Enjoy your weekend! I'll see you next week!