Friday, December 18, 2015

Mini Review and Blog Tour: The Bartered Bride

The Bartered Bride (The Brides Book 3) by Lena Goldfinch

Release Date: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Indigo Road Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Brides
Format: eBook
Pages; 354
Buy It: Amazon

Jem Wheeler has always been a survivor. He just wants to make a fresh start in Colorado Springs after the loss of his wife. But then he happens upon a young mute woman being sold off to the highest bidder. He wasn’t looking for a mail-order bride. He wasn’t looking to rescue anyone either. But desperate circumstances can drive a good man to do things he hadn’t planned on doing... 
When Jem steps into Annie’s life, she’s not expecting anyone to save her. Mute from birth, she’s just using all her wits to survive. All she’s ever really wanted is a family of her own. For someone to see her. To look at her long enough to hear the things she can’t say. 
Can a rescued bride who can’t speak communicate her love for a grieving widower and his little girl? Will her love ever be returned?
I loved this novel. I was a little unsure reading this before reading the first two (both of which I was able to read as well and will be reviewing soon), but this book works excellently as a standalone story. I immediately fell in love with Annie and felt for her struggles, and so badly wanted to give her the opportunity to share what she was thinking and feeling.

I also loved that the romance did not feel forced or move too quickly. So many romances push the romance when it seems unnatural. Because of the pasts of both characters, it made sense for them to take their time - which they both did.

An excellent addition to the series, and a great romance to add to your collection!

I received this book free for review through the author. I was not required to post a positive review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

To celebrate the release of her newest novel, Lena is hosting a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 18, 2015

24 Hour Readathon: Closing Survey

I was planning on having this post up earlier today, but today got crazy so it's up now instead!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Honestly deciding whether or not I was gonna stay up the whole time was the hardest part. There wasn't one particularly hard hour.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Honestly anything fantasy and action-filled would be my choices!

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I know this year the organizers struggled with getting prizes. I think finding a better way to get prizes donated would help!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Cheering seemed to be stronger this year than in the past! I had multiple cheerleaders stop by this year.

5. How many books did you read?

Two, and part of a third.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

A Friend in Me, and The Knot's Ultimate Wedding Checklist.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

A Friend in Me!

8. Which did you enjoy least?

The Wedding Checklist by default, since I only read two :P

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Yes! Block out a couple of hours, or a time slot each hour, to specifically spend doing nothing but cheering. It makes it more fun and less stressful that you're not reading!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I always do! Next year I'm thinking of hosting a mini-challenge.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

24 Hour Readathon: Bedtime

I was originally planning to stay up the entire 24 hours and make it to 5am this time. Unfortunately I'm not interested in reading and with everything we did for the wedding today I'm just kind of burnt out. So bedtime it is!

I will wrap-up with the ending survey tomorrow morning after I wake up.

24 Hour Readathon: Mid-Event Survey

All the festivities for my mother in law's birthday took much longer than expected, so I just got back home to update!

1. What are you reading right now?

Worry Less So You Can Live More by Jane Rubietta

2. How many books have you read so far?

Two, but I had already started them before the readathon.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Finishing my current book and Heart Sisters!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

The trip took longer than I expected, which was frustrating. But I just rolled with it, because family comes first!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How lazy I'm being this year! Usually I'm much more intense about it.

24 Hour Readathon: Master Challenge Post

I've decided to do something different this year. Instead of posting each individual challenge in separate posts (and clogging up my RSS feed) in going to keep them all on one master post!

Hour 2 Challenge: Cover Escape

I don't have many books in my stack with landscapes, but I do think the flowers on this one are gorgeous! Any garden like this would be a great place to escape. 

24 Hour Readthon: Pre-Survey

Now that I am more awake (the readathon starts 5am my time) I came back to do my pre-party post!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I'm reading from Longview, WA!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I'm not really looking forward to one in particular; I have a bunch of library books to read before they become due, and a few other books that are half-read and I need to finish. Hoping to get those done!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Anything salty! I have some pretzel sticks... :)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I'm currently planning for my wedding which is ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! Crazyyyyy! We will be taking a week-long honeymoon in Disneyland, where we met, and then in February we're moving to Florida to do the Disney College Program in Disney World!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

My goal this year is to make it all the way through hour 24. I usually crash around hour 19, so I want to make it the final stretch this time!

24 Hour Readathon

Hi everyone! I will be participating in the 24 Hour Readathon today. I won't be updating too much, because it's my mother in law's birthday, and I still have wedding planning to do, but I will get reading in! Keep checking back for updates throughout the day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cutting Back on Book Blogging

I've been so lazy with blogging on here, and there are a few reasons for that.

First of all, I haven't been reading much at all. The last few books I started are all non-fiction and  lost interest and haven't finished like, three of them. I'm venturing back into fiction to see if it helps, but I'm still not that into it.

Also, I recently made the decision to consistently blog on my personal blog, Keys to My Life, again. I'm wanting to be posting on there fairly regularly, and as such that is taking up a fair amount of my time.

Because of all this, I have deciding to stop my regular weekly posting schedule on here. I will keep reading and reviewing, and once I finish a book I will post the review here. However, they will be few and far between.

Thank you to those who have followed me for so long, and thank you to those who will continue to follow me, even with a major lapse. It means a lot!

Keep on reading!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Crazy Little Thing Called Love: A Destination Wedding Novel by Beth Vogt

Release Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Howard Books
Genre: Christian Romance
Series: Destination Weddings
Format: eBook
Buy It: Amazon
Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancĂ©. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after? 
I was conflicted about this book. I loved the sweet romance returning to the couple, as they were reminded of their past. However, Vanessa was now remarried and I just feel that was inappropriate for her to have feelings for an ex-husband on her honeymoon.

Overall however, this was a great romance read. It was a  nice reading break amidst the business of my life!

I received this book free for review through LitFuse Blog Tours. I was not required to post a positive review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mini Review and Blog Tour: Tattered and Mended (+ Giveaway!)

Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Pages: 208
Format: eBook
Buy It: Amazon
For years, society and especially the church required that we hide our brokenness and pretend that all was well, even when it was terribly broken. Now, people have become comfortable with our tattered edges, our character weaknesses, our “old, familiar sins,” and forgotten that God doesn’t intend to leave us in a state of disrepair. God calls us to something other than the wild pendulum swing from hiding our scars to flaunting them. Rather than resigning ourselves to desperately clinging to shreds of recovery, or discarding the broken, threadbare, scarred relationships, we can engage in the process of healing through Christ. Jesus reclaims what we fear was damaged beyond repair. His soul-mend leaves hope where the wound once was. And, as we engage in the process of healing, we grow in appreciation of how God tends and transforms our wounds.
This book was a glass of fresh water on a parched soul. Often in traditional Christian churches today, we are taught to struggle though past experiences and pretend they never happened. In reality, those experiences often tear us up and make us ripped or shattered.

As we try to heal from those experiences, it can be hard to know how to move forward when everything seems to be holding you back. This book artfully draws us from start to finish in the healing process, and helps the reader learn to love all flaws, while still healing them. An excellent read!

I received this book free for review through Litfuse Blog Tours. I was not required to post a positive review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

How can the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live be mended and healed? In Tattered and Mended, Cynthia Ruchti walks readers through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Celebrate the release of Tattered and Mended with Cynthia by entering to win her Reclaimed Treasures giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 27th. The winner will be announced July 28th on Cynthia's blog.


Plus, now through mid-July, sign up for Cynthia's mailing list for a five-day virtual tour around Madeline Island for the chance to win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack. Each day begins with an email from Cynthia that introduces where you'll be “visiting” that day (all key places from As Waters Gone By) with various interactive elements, including“I wish you were here” postcards, trivia quizzes, and an ongoing Island scavenger hunt. The person who interacts the most will win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack (valued at more than $200).


That includes:
  • The letterpress block Hope sign from DaySpring
  • A set of 6 Hemmed in Hope notecards showing a hope-themed Bible verse
  • A leather “I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope” journal
  • Signed copies of each of Cynthia’s books, fiction and non-fiction

Sunday, July 26, 2015

IMM and Stacking the Shelves: 7/26/15

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme previously hosted by the Kristi at The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga from Tynga's Reviews. We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

IMM and Stacking the Shelves: 7/19/15

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme previously hosted by the Kristi at The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga from Tynga's Reviews. We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review and Blog Tour: Picture Perfect Love

Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Christian Romance
Series: A Year of Wedding #7
Format: eBook
Buy It: Amazon
They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

When image becomes everything, it’s up to love to refocus the heart.

Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren't always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God's plan and His perfect timing.

Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away.  When an embarrassing Photoshopped picture of put an end to his political aspirations, he blamed Jenna. So what if the photo led to his being offered a dream job and changing his life for the better? Jenna betrayed his trust, and two years later, Ashton's heart still hasn't recovered.

It was me. His younger sister's three words turn Ashton's world upside down. He must ask Jenna’s forgiveness, but can he risk his heart a second time? Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love?  
I didn't realize how much I love second chance love stories before reading this novella. From the beginning, I was rooting for Ash and Jenna. Badly. Almost unhealthily, haha. I didn't want to put it down!

My main concern with this novel was the pettiness of the Vance family. They were so focused on Ash's campaign that they were willing to hurt both him and Jenna to do it. Then when he tries to get Jenna back, it happens all over again. It was just annoying to read.

Overall, I loooooved this novella! It was refreshing to read a fiction book after so much time spent reading non-fiction, and the shortness of it made it a fun and quick read. Definitely recommend!

I received this book free for review through LitFuse Blog Tours. I was not required to post a positive review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: The Healer's Apprentice

The Healers Apprentice by Book Author

Release Date: September 15, 2010
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Christian Romance
Series: Fairy Tale Romance #1
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
I'll be honest, I read the second book in this series before the first. (The order doesn't matter.) I had been avoiding this series for awhile, mainly because the hype in the Christian book blogging community was so high for this book! I know see why.

I was hooked from the first page! I seriously did not want to put this book down. While the ending was predictable, I was found myself screaming at the characters through most of the book to realize the true situation and not stress out about unnecessary things.

The one thing I really did not like about this novel was the love triangle. I'm sorry, it's just so overdone! Especially when it is two brothers. It just needs to stop.

This series is a great option for anyone who loves fairy tale re-tellings, especially romances! Definitely pick them all up.

I received this book free for review through a giveaway. I was not required to post a review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Date or Soul Mate?

Release Date: August 30, 2005 (Revised Edition)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
He feels a strong attraction to her. She wonders if he could be "the one." In the glamorous haze of early romantic attraction it's hard to know whether a relationship will lead to true love-or to a negative or even catastrophic relationship. This book helps men and women who want healthy and satisfying marriages identify the early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. Dr. Warren shows readers how to hold out for God's best for their lives instead of settling for the first one to come along and outlines the factors that increase the chances for marital success. For those who want to become wiser in their relationship choices, this practical guide will help them find the love they want and avoid the pain they don't need.
I didn't dislike this book, but I wasn't blown away by it either.Dr. Warren uses basic dating and relationship principles to stress matching with others who are nearly identical to you. He firmly believes our ideal soulmates are basically the same person as ourselves, just the opposite gender.

I don't agree with this. While I feel our soulmates, and mine specifically, do have a lot in common with us/myself, we aren't 100% identical. We have differences. We disagree on things. That's what makes us human, and that's what makes us perfect for each other. We balance out each other's flaws.

I'm not saying this book isn't worth it; it's a great book on finding what you truly want in a partner and how to find that person. But don't expect to agree with everything in this book; we all have our own opinions on relationships.

I received this book by purchasing it. I was not required to post a review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Social Media Saturday: 7/11/15

Welcome to Social Media Saturday! This is a meme created by myself, where each week I share a different social media account that I use, and that you as readers can follow to continue connecting to me and my blog!

This week, I'll be highlighting my Instagram account, ariel_librarian! This is a personal Instagram account, so I use it for both blogs and random topics.

I tend to post random selfies, #widn (what I'm doing now), Throwback Thursdays, among other things. You never know what I will post next! I usuaully follow back as well, as long as I find your content interesting. If you're looking to expand your Instagram, give me a follow and send me a message so I make sure to follow you!

Do you use Instagram for your blog? Leave your links down below so I can follow you!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Follow Friday: 7/10/15

Follow Friday is a weekly meme host by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week they feature bloggers, and we trade blog follows to meet new people!

The rules are simple:
  1. Follow the hosts, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. (This is is required.)
  2. Follow both of the featured blogs, one from each host's blog. (This is required.)
  3. Put your blog name and link into the linky on one of the host's pages.
  4. Make your own Follow Friday post and answer the questions or simply say "hi" for new followers to have an easy place to comment.
  5. State your preferred way to be followed, if it's not apparent on your blog.
  6. Follow as many people as you want! Leave a comment so they know you are a new follower.
  7. Follow back when someone new follows you!
I would love to be followed via GFC or RSS if you can follow that way! Otherwise feel free to choose one of the many ways I've listed on my sidebars. Whatever is easiest for you!

This week's question:
You can only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life. Which would you choose? (E.g. Italian, French, Greek, Mexican, Chinese, Indian etc…)
Oh man. I love food! This is a hard one! Honestly I think it's really close between Mexican food, Chinese food, and Italian food. I love all three pretty equally, so I don't think I can choose one!

Leave a comment down below so I can check out your blog!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: Scars

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Release Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: WestSide Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 248
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
WARNING: This review and book may contain triggers for cutting and self-harm.

This book is full of so many different emotions. At such a young age, Kendra is exposed to the cruelties of the world in one of the worst ways possible: child sex abuse. She is constantly haunted by her experiences, and wants nothing more than to move past it. However, the terrifying messages her mysterious abuser continues to send her keep her silent and suffering.

We see Kendra grow from a terrified little girl to a confident and powerful young woman, She finds strength in the relationships she makes with her friends Sandy and Meghan, and she begins to slowly find healing. When everything comes to the climactic ending, the reader is left hanging on the edge of their seat awaiting Kendra's peace.

This book sheds light on two important issues in a great way, and gracefully ties it all together. A great read.

I received this book by buying it. I was not required to post a review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: When God Writes Your Love Story

Release Date: June 2, 2009 (Expanded Edition)
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Genre: Christian Devotional
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
In their most popular book, bestselling authors Eric and Leslie Ludy challenge singles to take a fresh approach to relationships in a culture where love has been replaced by cheap sensual passion. When God Writes Your Love Story shows that God's way to true love brings fulfillment and romance in its purest, richest, and most satisfying form. This new edition includes an extra chapter from Leslie Ludy about the surprises of life after marriage!

“I had dreamed of a perfect love story for my entire life. But somewhere in the midst of the endless cycle of temporary romances, my dreams had shattered.” How can I find a love worth waiting for?

Lay the foundation now—whether you’ve met your future spouse or not—for a lifelong romance. Bestselling authors Eric and Leslie Ludy invite you to discover how beautiful your love story can be when the Author of romance scripts every detail.

Story Behind the Book

Eric and Leslie Ludy want to offer an exciting vision of hope, proving that the Author of romance is alive and well and that true and lasting love can become a reality. Using the “four secrets to an amazing love story,” Eric and Leslie present a Christ-centered approach to building a relationship that will stand the test of time.
While I have not read the original version of this book to compare to the expanded edition, I have seen from other reviews that the expanded edition has much more information and tips, so I was excited to get my hands on that version.

The expanded edition does not disappoint. Each chapter is based on a main topic surrounding relationships, and the Ludys break it down with ways to handle each common issue and how to bring others in on the relationship as well.

This is not just another relationship book. This book is a great resource for any couple, whether you are dating, engaged, or have been married for years. I will be picking up my own copy of this book in the future!

I received this book free checking it out from my church library. I was not required to post a review, and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs images from the Wonder Emporium kit by MK-Designs