Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Save the Date!

Hey, friends! Writings of Rosie is celebrating its third blog anniversary next month! The celebration begins April 12th, check back here then for a load of surprises! I've had this news under lock and key since January and it's finally almost here. Okay, I'll stop now. I don't want to give it away too soon. See you on April 12th! Make sure to save the date, because you don't want to miss this. ;-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

{Book Review:} Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

My Review: 
Oh. My. Austen!

This story is delightful and beautifully emotional. I immediately was drawn into the family conflict. Reay makes you care about her characters in a way that it sneaks up on you. It's not until it's time to set the book down that you realize how attached you have become. I didn't expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. I loved this book so much that I already dearly miss the characters. 
Though I would never admit to having favorites, I dearly like Lizzy's character. Oh, I was so happy to watch her grow and change over the course of the story. She's funny and caring, but deep down she's broken. This story is her journey to healing. It's a journey of forgiveness and of familial love. Her sister, Jane grew on me as well. Jane experiences her own growth in this story, but it's different from Lizzy's.

And that's why, I think, I love this book so much. Like other books I've happened to read recently, this book is full of heart and soul. There's meaning in the pages. The characters are relatable. The story is heart-twisting. While yes, I can say there's "romance" in this story, it's far from the focus, which is so refreshing. It proves you don't need a central romance for a good story. All these things mentioned make up a wonderful book and this one is certain to remain on my shelf to be re-read. I highly recommend it.

I bought this book, my opinions are my own. 

Back Cover:
Lizzy and Jane never saw eye to eye. But when illness brings them together, they discover they may be more like Austen’s famous sisters after all.

Lizzy was only a teenager when her mother died of cancer. Shortly after, Lizzy fled from her home, her family, and her cherished nickname. After working tirelessly to hone her gift of creating magic in the kitchen, Elizabeth has climbed the culinary ladder to become the head chef of her own New York restaurant, Feast. But as her magic begins to elude her, Paul, Feast’s financial backer, brings in someone to share her responsibilities and her kitchen. So Elizabeth flees again.

In a desperate attempt to reconnect with her gift, Elizabeth returns home. But her plans are derailed when she learns that her estranged sister, Jane, is battling cancer. Elizabeth surprises everyone—including herself—when she decides to stay in Seattle and work to prepare healthy, sustaining meals for Jane as she undergoes chemotherapy. She also meets Nick and his winsome son, Matt, who, like Elizabeth, are trying to heal from the wounds of the past.

As she tends to Jane's needs, Elizabeth's powers begin to return to her, along with the family she left behind so long ago. Then Paul tries to entice her back to New York, and she is faced with a hard decision: stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane, or return to New York and the life she worked so hard to create?

Friday, March 6, 2015

{Book Review:} How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

My Review:
An awesome, beautiful release from Hauck! 

22574070How to Catch a Prince is like watching your favorite chick flick on a rainy (or snowy, as the case may be) day. It's the kind of story that even if you think you see something coming, you read on to see how the characters will face the challenge. Why read on? Because there's a fair chance they'll mess up. We mess up too. That's why we like them so well. We can relate to them. This is but one of the many things about Hauck's latest release that had me glued to the pages. I wasn't always right in my "predictions", which isn't a bad thing. I was glad to watch Corina and Stephen both grow in their struggles. 
Something I just recently became particular about in novels is a strong positive theme or message and Hauck accomplishes that in a lovely manner. Hmm, I don't want to spoil the beauty of it so I suppose I'll be vague. Honestly, I couldn't see the story without that element. It's weaved so carefully in with everything else it simply belongs. In addition, the theme itself is fresh when compared with novels I've read in the past. Is it in actuality all that new? No. But the presentation changes a lot. 

All in all, I highly encourage you to check out How to Catch a Prince. You'll be in for a beautiful story with darling characters and a lovely theme. I didn't know I would enjoy the story as much as I did, but it definitely beats out Once Upon a Prince for my favorite in the series. If you love cute, endearing stories and characters this book will be a good fit for you. ;-)

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

Back Cover:
Prince Stephen came to America to escape responsibility. But what he found complicates his life more than ever.

Corina Del Rey is happy with her life in Melbourne, Florida. She spends her days engrossed in her career as a journalist and has her sights set on climbing the corporate ladder if for no other reason, to distract herself from her dissolving family. But when she is confronted with the past she fought so hard to put behind her, she struggles to make sense of her future.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom has moved on since the tragic death of his buddies in Afghanistan. A star professional rugby player, he has no intention of looking over his shoulder at what could ve been.

But when a notice arrives in the mail requiring his and his wife s appearance before the courts to dissolve their marriage, he must deal with the questions rumbling around in his heart. He thought his marriage had been annulled long ago, but his memories of Corina Del Rey remain close. Does he still love her? Can he even find her? Above all, can he tell her the truth about that fateful night in Afghanistan seven years ago? If he does, he might really lose her forever.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

{Throwback Thursday} Book Favorites Near & Dear to My Heart...

A few days ago a good friend of mine blogged about her top ten favorite books. Of course, this is a hard thing for book lovers alike to accomplish... Nevertheless, I felt inspired to reflect upon my own favorites and to share with you a few of them. So consider this a Writings of Rosie Throwback Thursday. ;-) Below you'll find the list of my ten personal favorites, however, they are listed in no particular order.
Dear Mr. Knightley
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
This book delighted me merely a page in. Though I picked the book up during a busy time (Thanksgiving!), I was hard pressed to be separated from it for longer than an hour or so. As it is described on Goodreads, "Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen." This is certainly the truth! Austen fans will love this one. Read my review here.

Rules of Murder by Julianne Deering
I love a good mystery, and Ms. Deering provides just that in her debut novel. I have devoured every part of the series and I eagerly await more fun mysteries with Drew and Co. :) Read my review here.

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
This quaint little book I found in a Lifeway store one rainy afternoon. I bought it and had it finished by bedtime. I never got around to writing a full review about it, but I can assure you I loved it. It's a cute story with real-life issues inside.

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof
Oh, friends, if you're looking for a story to melt your heart and possibly make you cry you need look no further. Lonnie feels like a close, dear friend in a way that few fictional characters do. There's something particularly special about this series. I encourage you to look it up. You can read my review here.

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Whew, this one is a long-time favorite going all the way back to 2012! I read this one while I was going through a rocky time. It cheered me up and certainly brightened the week or so I spent reading it. This was a delightful debut for Wade and I have loved nearly every release of hers since. :-) You can read my review here.

My Stubborn HeartThe Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
This would be the first novel by Klassen I got my hands on. At the time I read it, I had recently been bitten with the "Downton Abbey" bug. This book gave me exactly what I loved about the popular drama while including Christianity! A perfect match for a girl scrambling for historical novels. I have been a loyal fan to Klassen ever since. Read my review here.

The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson
Ah, Thompson's books frequent my lengthy "Favorites" pile. Her clean rom-com novels are perfect for a pick-me-up. Before you know it, you'll be laughing so hard you'll have to put the book down! That said, this one makes the list for a couple reasons. First of all, her character, Scarlet is so realistic. Second, I loved all the references to "I Love Lucy" who doesn't love that show? (Well, I suppose that would be the people who haven't watched it...) ;) Read my review here.
How to Catch a Prince (Royal Wedding, #3)
In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar
This sweet retelling of Ruth and Boaz is close to my heart. Never mind the fact that it's one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament, but Afshar keeps close to what the Bible says while weaving in fiction to fill in the gaps. It's beautifully done. You can read my review here.

Silenced by Dani Pettrey
Oh my. Prepare yourself for some gushing here... It's no secret I love the McKenna clan. But when it comes to a favorite it's like trying to favor one sibling over another. It's just not easy. However, I suppose I can admit that out of all the McKennas' stories, I believe I enjoyed Kayden's the best. Each family member has a beautiful story, but there simply was something about Silenced that I liked more. Check out my review here.

How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
I confess, this is my most recent favorite and the only one on this list released in 2015 (granted it is only the beginning of March...). I also confess that I can't say much until I post my review on Friday. So I'll just gush when I say this, this book is amazing, this series is amazing. Wow! I saw my friends chatting about this book over Twitter and how well done it was, but I had no idea it would be such a delightful, captivating read. Check back tomorrow for my review!

Well, folks, there you have it. You've now seen first hand my favorites of my favorites. There are so many additional titles I could have listed...authors that I could have named. Unfortunately these little blog posts are too small to contain the ginormous list I've compiled over the years. If you want to view the comprehensive list, check out my Goodreads page. Thanks for taking the time to read! Don't forget to come back tomorrow for my review of How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck! You don't want to miss it! (You can now read my review here.)