Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paige Turned by Erynn Mangum {CFBA}

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paige Turned
TH1NK (April 1, 2014)
Erynn Mangum


A few things about her:

So, if we were having this conversation in person, we would probably be hanging out at Starbucks or one of the cute coffeehouses in town. I’m nuts about all things coffee, I’m crazy about all things pink and girly, and I love, love, love the Food Network! I’m married to my best friend and the most amazing guy ever, Jon. He is amiable toward coffee, does not like anything pink or girly and tolerates the Food Network. So, we make a good match! In July 2010, we became parents to one of the funniest, cutest, sweetest little guys in the whole world (and nope, we aren’t biased at all!), our Nater-Tot, who is legally known as Nathan. Most days, I’m cleaning up messes, making goofy faces, trying to fit some writing in, and just LOVING the life that God has given me!


Despite her valiant efforts, Paige Alder seems stuck in chaos. Her new job as youth intern keeps her hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop all summer long, but at least she’s loving the one-on-one time she gets to spend with the girls. The unfortunate side-effect is that now, four weeks of laundry fills her apartment. Plus, she barely has time to help her sister and best friend with their weddings! And even worse? Something is definitely wrong between her and Tyler. She apologized for what he thought he saw happen with Luke. Can’t they move past it? Or could there be something he’s not telling her—something that could change everything?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Paige Turned, go HERE.

My Review:
A fun conclusion to the Paige Alder series!

I was thrilled to read and review Paige Turned after I enjoyed Paige Rewritten back in November. The saddest part about returning to Paige's world is knowing that it's for the last time. I didn't want the book to end! I can honestly say that I had no idea how Mangum would wrap things up for us. Am I pleased with the end result? Not entirely, but that's only because I suspected a different outcome. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything, but Mangum did offer us a positive ending.

Moving past my personal minor disappointment, Paige's hilarious personality kept me smiling throughout. I adore her character in so many ways. Not only that but I could also relate with many of Paige's internal struggles, especially having struggled myself. I liked how she eventually answered her questions using Scripture.

If the previous books were three quarters of Paige's journey, this book completes it in a beautiful way. I will definitely miss further adventures with Paige, but I will be certain to reread her books every now and then. Mangum has done a wonderful job crafting Paige and writing from the first person POV. The supporting cast are completely their own, though we see them mostly through Paige's eyes. I am really impressed with Mangum's skill. I readily recommend this book to teens fifteen and older.

I received this book from TH1NK through CFBA in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

Monday, April 28, 2014

{Book Review:} Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings

18008072My Review:
A fun western from Jennings!

OK, so maybe I can't classify Caught in the Middle a western per se, but I loved the historical edge to this novel. I'm saddened to say I've missed out on Jennings' prior releases, but after enjoying Nick and Anne's story, I intend to go back and read them. "Old" fans I'm certain will be excited for a quick glimpse of Molly & Bailey living out their happily ever after.

The heart and soul of what molded Anne into the woman she is, is slowly revealed to us through the novel. It's heartbreaking and it saddens me to know that many women can probably relate to Anne's former predicament. Anne's internal journey is amazing and in my opinion, well handled. I won't go into detail-you'll have to read the book-but it could be well worth your time.

Nick was a character I adored as a writer. In a sense, he was perfectly flawed. I loved that. I also loved how he would call out Anne's flaws and she'd return the favor. They worked fantastically well together, though they may have disagreed with that assessment at one point or another.

I loved this novel for so many reasons, several of which I've shared. Jennings offers us a novel with heart, and I don't say that lightly. This book is definitely going on my keeper shelf as a new favorite. I recommend this book to those who enjoy historical novels and raw characters with an emotional depth. I suggest this book to readers fifteen or older do to flashbacks of an abusive husband and a mention of murder.

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

Back Cover:
The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life's next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected--Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in Garber to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees--leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in Garber, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society--and it's not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick's work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others' expectations, can the pair find their way to love?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Little Letters {Edition #2}

Dear Spring, 
you're here! It's been a long winter and I am ever-so-glad to see green again!

Dear Marvel,
well done with Cap. America 2. Can't wait to see what you bring us in Guardians of the Galaxy!

Dear College,
one year more...

Dear Books,
please don't tempt me to buy more of you. My stack is tall enough for now...

Dear Kari Jobe,
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new album. Thank you for the new praise and worship music!

Photo Courtesy of worradmu // FreeDigitialPhotos.net

Dear INSPYs,
I feel so honored and blessed to be part of your judging panel this year. Thank you for the opportunity!

Dear Garden,
well, you won't plant yourself will you? 

Dear Friends,
God has surely placed you in my life for this season. Thanks for being awesome.

Dear God,
Thank You for never leaving. Thank You for being all that is good. Thank You for Your Son.

Monday, April 21, 2014

{Book Review:} Death by the Book by Julianna Deering

18008076My Review:
An amazing follow-up!

I love sequels that follow the same characters we met in the first. Sequels are a great opportunity to further character development and as a bonus we get to spend more time with our favorite characters! Win-win scenario, right? Once again I found myself impressed with the vivid settings and the tangibility of Deering's characters.

Drew was a model hero, yet again. His continued integrity and honor towards Madeline warmed my heart. Aunt Ruth had nothing to worry about. ;-) Time and time again, Drew proved himself a gentleman even when met with discourteous individuals. This is probably what makes him such an attractive lead. He isn't without his flaws, but I think it's fair to say that Drew has learned from plenty of mistakes in his past.

I don't have too much to say about Madeline, but I will say I admired her patience with her stubborn aunt. I also really liked her unwillingness to rush into marriage. I thought it was a wise decision on her part and realistic. After all, you don't go out and marry someone you just met.

As far as the mystery goes, Deering did a wonderful job yet again. I was constantly guessing throughout the book and then I made conclusions alongside Drew. I love it when I can be surprised, and Mrs. Deering did just that. Overall I loved the book and I can't wait to return to Farthering St. John! I highly recommend to fans of mysteries, ages fifteen and older due to some minor violence.

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

Back Cover:
Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bookswappin' Time!

It's been several months since I last hosted a book swap- far too long in my opinion! So go raid your bookshelves, tweet or Facebook your friends, and let's start swapping!

If you've never participated in a book swap before don't worry, it's simple. Find books that you own that you are willing to swap and post a list as well as your wishlist. You will also need to share an email address so people can contact you if they are interested in swapping. To avoid spammers, write your email address like this: youremailhere(at)domainname(dot)com. Lastly, if you are limited in the amount of books you can ship or if you are not able to ship internationally please state so that in your post. All right, sound good? Great!

Here are my books available to swap:
Where Courage Calls by Laurel Oke Logan and Janette Oke
Summer of Joy by Ann H. Gabhart
Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover (ARC)

I know there aren't many. I'm afraid my library has received quite a few from me lately. As for my wishlist, I'm flexible. If you're interested in one simply send me a message at writingsofrosie(at) gmail(dot)com and we'll see what we can do. :-) Please feel free to spread the word about the swap. I look forward to seeing your lists!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Book Review:} The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benson

My Review:
The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is Lori Benson's sophomore novel, but it is my first novel I've read by her. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Generally I don't go for novels set in the late 1700s, but knowing Benton's debut was highly praised, I snatched up the chance to review it. Goodness, I'm glad I did! Benson's writing style is so fluid and the effort she put into research is obvious- but the information isn't shoved in your face. It was presented as the need arose.

There are so many reasons I adored Tamsen and Jesse, but I'll only mention a few each. I'll start with Tamsen. That girl is so strong! And I'm not talking about physical prowess here. She may have felt in shambles, or even like porcelain, for a couple weeks but she persevered. She never gave up. Jesse was a perfect hero. No, I don't mean his character wasn't flawed but the guy had his priorities straight. He was willing to give up Tamsen if God told him to. I love the trust he expressed and willingness to follow God's will.

All I can really say is: wow. I will definitely be going back and reading Burning Sky in the near future, no questions asked. Benton has an addictive style writing that captivates you until the last page. This one's a keeper! I recommend to readers ages fifteen and older who enjoy the late 1700s American setting. I also recommend to those looking for an inspirational read.

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

Back Cover:
Western North Carolina, 1787 ~ To escape a threatening stepfather and an unwanted marriage, Tamsen Littlejohn enlists the aid of Jesse Bird, a frontiersman she barely knows, to spirit her away from Morganton, North Carolina, west beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Trouble pursues, as the two men intent on seeing her recovered prove relentless in their hunt. Trouble awaits in the form of a divided frontier community. Across the mountains the State of Franklin has been declared, yet many settlers remain loyal to North Carolina. Chaos reigns, thwarting Tamsen and Jesse’s hastily cobbled plan to keep her safe.
With her pursuers ever nearing, the region in turmoil, neighbors grown suspicious of her presence, Tamsen’s safety is soon put in greater jeopardy. Gaining the freedom she longs for will mean running yet again, to the most unlikely refuge imaginable—the Cherokees, a people balanced on the knife edge of war.
But the biggest complication may prove to be Tamsen’s growing bond with her knight in greasy buckskins, Jesse Bird. Falling in love was never part of the plan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Has it Really Been Two Years? {Writings of Rosie's Second Anniversary!}

Wow! I can hardly believe it's been two years since I began blogging. Originally I started out for the books, but since then I have come to befriend and value the people I encounter daily on the Internet. I have gotten so much out of this experience in just two years that I get so excited to think about the years to come. My dreams are big. The possibilities are endless. I'm reaching for the sky!

It is a delight blogging and promoting Godly Christian fiction. I am eager to do more of it, however, as several of you might have noticed, I am backing off from book reviews for a couple months. Too easily I find my schedule clogged and myself overwhelmed. Thus it's time for things to change. Does this mean I will no longer be doing book reviews? Absolutely not! I love reading and I love the interaction I have with publishers and authors alike. This does mean that I will be slowing things down in the coming months and that I shall be introducing more posts about my thoughts and of life in general. One day it is my desire to have a balance of both book reviews and regular, casual, blogging. But I'm afraid that dream is still several months off.

So to celebrate the blog's second birthday (albeit a week late...) Writings of Rosie shall be hosting another book swap beginning Wednesday (April 16th). Feel free to come by the blog Wednesday morning to post your lists, take a look at mine, and start swapping! [U.S. participants only, please. Sorry!] 

I hope you'll stick with me through this season of transition and I hope you're as excited for the future of this blog as I am. God bless!

Photo courtesy of Dan / Free Digital Photos.net

Monday, April 7, 2014

{Book Review:} Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell

18008073My Review:
A charming novel set in the Roaring Twenties!

I was swept back in time to the interesting era known as the Roaring Twenties in Mitchell's new book, Love Comes Calling. I loved seeing the events and culture filtered through Ellis. I personally think Mitchell did a fantastic job capturing the feel of the times as well as portraying characters that mold to their surroundings. Places, characters, they all jumped off the page and played out like a movie in my imagination.

Ellis is easily distracted. This annoyed me at first but as I pushed further into the story I accepted that this was Ellis's personal quirk. I had no idea until I read the author's note at the end what was behind it. But all quirks aside, Ellis believes so many lies about herself. I ached for her over and over, especially after encounters with her family. I think she's a great example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. She believed she couldn't do anything right and thus she never could. You have to have confidence in yourself.

This is my first read from Mitchell and it definitely won't be the last! I'm very impressed with Mitchell's writing style and I loved meeting her characters. I have another of her books on my shelf, waiting to be read. I think I'll double my efforts to get to it soon. ;-) I recommend this book to readers fifteen and older. As far as content to know about, this is a book set in the Roaring Twenties and both drinking and smoking is mentioned consistently. There is also mention of an indiscretion before marriage.

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

Back Cover:
A girl with the best of intentions.
A heart set on Hollywood.
An empty pocketbook.

That's all it takes for Ellis Eton to find herself working as a telephone operator for a look-alike friend. For Ellis, this job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get her a start in the movies. She's tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can't deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she's not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It's simple: avoid Griff's attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call...with her very own Griff as the target.