31 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday | Books With Pictures

Hosted weekly by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Tuesday!

This week, I'm keeping it simple, highlighting a few favorite books with pictures. Here's a quick list of those books and their artwork:

30 January 2017

Sweet & Relevant | The Crowd by Alleece Balts

ABOUT THE BOOK

Whitfield Preparatory Academy ought to be the perfect school…

Not only does the Academy boast a distinguished faculty and lavish campus, it is also home to the privileged youth of the upper class. They will one day hold the reins of power in the business world and political arena – but for now, they exercise absolute authority at the Academy. 

For seventeen-year-old Ella Parker, acceptance into the prestigious Academy is a dream come true. But her delight quickly turns to dread when she finds herself in the crosshairs of an elite group of ruthless students dubbed “the Crowd.” Ella's been at the center of unwanted attention before – but never like this – and she'll do anything to make them stop. Anything, that is, apart from accepting the advances of popular and wealthy playboy Jackson Montgomery, the leader of the Crowd. 

Will Ella be humiliated, or triumph over her tormentors? 

An irresistible story of faith, friendship, betrayal, and romance, The Crowd will immerse readers in Ella’s tumultuous struggle from the very first page.


27 January 2017

Heartbreaking Yet Hopeful | Stars in the Grass by Ann Marie Stewart

ABOUT THE BOOK

"The summer before I turned ten was idyllic—until August 3, 1970. It perfectly describes a time when I thought the world was safe and good things lasted forever..."

Nine-year-old Abby McAndrews has just experienced her greatest loss, and in its wake, her family is unraveling with guilt, grief, and anger. Her father, Reverend McAndrews, cannot return to the pulpit because he has more questions than answers. Her older brother Matt’s actions speak louder than the words he needs to confess, as he acts out in dangerous ways. Her mother tries to hold her grieving family together, but when Abby’s dad refuses to move on, the family is at a crossroads.

Stars in the Grass, set in a small Midwestern town in 1970, is an uplifting novel that explores a family’s relationships and resiliency. Abby’s heartbreaking remembrances are balanced by humor and nostalgia as her family struggles with—and ultimately celebrates—life after loss.


The Friday 56 | The Looking Glass Wars

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

Apparently, today is Lewis Carroll's birthdayso I had to pull a slightly battered copy of a reimagining of his classic work, The Looking Glass Wars, from my shelf for this week's peek at a 56th page. Enjoy!

25 January 2017

Faith-Filled & Romantic | Summer on Sunset Ridge by Sharlene MacLaren

ABOUT THE BOOK

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is charitable, peace-loving, submissive—and a feisty abolitionist. Determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter what the cost, her path collides with that of formidable slave-catcher Clay Dalton. When Rebecca is assigned to nurse Clay back to health following a near-fatal gunshot wound, her uneasiness around him and the questions surrounding his mysterious past complicate their strained but developing relationship.

Sherriff Clay Dalton is grimly fighting several battles of his own as he stays on at the Albright farm to work off his debt to the family that has saved his life and taken him in. He is torn between his past commitments in the South and his unlikely present among this quiet Quaker community in the North. Almost against his will, he begins to ponder the impossible idea of a future with Rebecca.…

When tensions between North and South escalate, Rebecca and Clay find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be, and they soon realize that each holds a key to the other’s answer.

24 January 2017

Eye-Opening & Compelling | A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison

ABOUT THE BOOK

A beloved American corporation with an explosive secret.
A disgraced former journalist looking for redemption.

A corporate executive with nothing left to lose.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble, a bystander captures a heart-stopping photograph—a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America’s largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation.

Eight thousand miles away at Presto’s headquarters in Virginia, Cameron Alexander, the company’s long-time general counsel, watches the media coverage in horror, wondering if the damage can be contained. When the photo goes viral, fanning the flames of a decades old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization, he launches an investigation into the disaster that will reach further than he could ever imagine—and threaten everything he has left in the world.

A year later in Washington DC, Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist from the Washington Post, receives an anonymous summons from a corporate whistleblower who offers him confidential information about Presto and the fire. For Griswold, the challenge of exposing Presto’s culpability is irresistible, as is the chance, however slight, at redemption. Deploying his old journalistic skills, he builds a historic case against Presto, setting the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that Griswold is determined to win—both to salvage his reputation and to provoke a revolution in Presto’s boardroom that could transform the fashion industry across the globe.

“This exposé of the underbelly of the international fashion industry is disturbing, moving, and thoroughly engrossing.” —Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author of Violent Crimes


23 January 2017

Historical & Delightful | Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer

ABOUT THE BOOK

At the age of twenty-four, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires, but has only met through his letters.

Theophil Garrison is on the run from a past and a label he’s desperate to escape. Ten years ago, his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now their sentence is complete, but the plan for vengeance has only just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, a chance encounter could provide Theo with the escape he needs. 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com
Take a sneak peek at the first chapter.

20 January 2017

A Perfect Dystopian Conclusion | The Returning by Rachelle Dekker

ABOUT THE BOOK

They say the Awakening is coming.
That she’s the key.
But can she find her identity in the light
Before she perishes in the dark?

Twenty years have passed since Carrington and Remko Brant’s baby, Elise, was kidnapped and they were forced to leave her captive in the Authority City. Though they fled with the Seers far from Authority reach, they’ve never given up hope of rescuing their daughter from the man who betrayed them. Now Authority President, he’s ushered the city into a new era of “peace”―one where the Scientist Roth Reynard’s Genesis Serum has eradicated all memory of emotion or rebellion.

But the mysterious Aaron and his Seers are once again on the move, threatening the illusion the Authority has worked so hard to build. As the Seers send seven chosen warriors to rescue Elise and bring restoration to the Authority City, the lines are drawn for a final battle between light and darkness. The key to ultimate victory may rest within the strangely powerful girl who has felt forgotten but was never abandoned―a truth she’ll need to wage war against the powerful forces of evil.


The Friday 56 | The Returning

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

On a day fraught with political tensions, I figured I might as well feature a book with its own set of political troubles... The Returning, released earlier this week, completes Rachelle Dekker's riveting dystopic Seer trilogyenjoy!
 

19 January 2017

Kindness & Friendship | The Sisters of Sugarcreek by Cathy Liggett

ABOUT THE BOOK

Many lives were changed the day a fire burned down Faith Community Church, devastating the small town of Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Now a young Amish widow, Lydia Gruber faces an uncertain future. Her husband, a craftsman and volunteer firefighter, always took care of everything, keeping her isolated from others in their community. Without anyone or any skills, how will she survive?

With the death of her beloved aunt Rose in the fire, single mom Jessica Holtz inherits Rose’s Knit One Quilt Too cottage. Though determined to keep the shop open in her aunt’s memory, she doesn’t know the first thing about knitting and quilting and begins to see her aunt’s dream slip through her fingers.

When Liz Cannon lost her dear friend Rose, she also lost her partner in the Secret Stitches Society―the name they gave themselves while delivering gifts of hope to troubled folks in the dark of night. Liz convinces Jessica to keep the anonymous society going, despite the younger women’s inadequacy with knitting and sewing needles. But soon Liz has problems of her own as the life she has rebuilt for herself begins to crumble again.

When Liz and Jessica choose Lydia for their first mission, the three women cross paths and form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of tragedy. As they walk together through triumph and heartbreak―through grief and new chances at love―they begin to discover that with friends by your side, a stitch of hope can be found anywhere.


18 January 2017

Swoon-Worthy Romance & a Lighthouse | Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island
June 1880

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Watson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

16 January 2017

Quick Reviews | January


January seems to be the perfect month for a bit of blog-related change... I've decided to start sharing "Quick Reviews," monthly discussions of the many books I read but wouldn't otherwise review. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section below.

13 January 2017

The Friday 56 | Girls in the Moon

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.

Happy Friday!

This week, I'm sharing from Janet McNally's Girls in the Moon, one of the exciting books that recently landed on my doorstep thanks to Book of the Month. Like A Monster Calls, this is another book I'm hoping to read soon... But for now, I'll settle for a snippet. Enjoy!

12 January 2017

Historically Atmospheric | The Angels' Share by James Markert

ABOUT THE BOOK

Some believed he was the second coming of Christ. William wasn’t so sure. But when that drifter was buried next to the family distillery, everything changed.

Now that Prohibition has ended, what the townspeople of Twisted Tree, Kentucky, need most is the revival of the Old Sam Bourbon distillery. But William McFee knows it’ll take a miracle to convince his father, Barley, to once more fill his family’s aging house with barrels full of bourbon.

When a drifter recently buried near the distillery begins to draw crowds of pilgrims, the McFees are dubious, but miracles seem to come to those who once interacted with the deceased and to those now praying at his grave. As people descend on the town to visit the “Potter’s Field Christ,” William seeks to find the connection between the tragic death of his younger brother and the mysterious drifter.

But as news spreads about the miracles at the Potter’s Field, the publicity threatens to bring the depth of Barley’s secret past to light and put the entire McFee family in jeopardy.

The Angels’ Share is a story of fathers and sons, of young romance, of revenge and redemption, and the mystery of miracles.


08 January 2017

Fast-Paced & Dangerous | Because You're Mine by Colleen Coble

ABOUT THE BOOK

Alanna has been plagued by tragedy. So it should come as no surprise that in the beauty that surrounds Charleston, all is not as it seems.

When her husband is killed by a car bomb while their band is on tour in Charleston, Alanna doesn’t know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but the one thing she knows for sure is that she can’t lose the last piece of Liam she has left.

Their manager offers her a marriage of convenience to gain her U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution . . . but her doubts begin almost as soon as she arrives at Barry’s family home, a decaying mansion surrounded by swamp.

To make matters worse, Liam’s best friend survived the car bomb. She’s never really liked Jesse and now she can’t seem to get away from him. When he takes Liam’s place in their band, it’s almost more than she can bear.

But then things start happening. Things that could easily cost Alanna her life—or the life of her unborn child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is there something much more sinister at work?


06 January 2017

The Friday 56 | A Monster Calls

Hosted weekly by Freda's Voice. 

Happy Friday!

Well, it's been a few weeks since last I participated in a Friday 56... But it's a new yearand time for me to get back into the swing of things. 

So, I'm starting off the year with A Monster Calls. I've been interested to read this one for many monthsplus the movie looks quite good, too. I hope I can start reading it soon (fingers crossed).

05 January 2017

Complicated & Dark | Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places will love the New York Times bestselling novel Girl in Pieces.

"A haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will stay with you long after you've read the last page." 
—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.


04 January 2017

Waiting on Wednesday | Wait for Me & The Edge of Everything

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Happy Wednesday!

I'm so excited about all the books this new year will bring, and these two (very different) YA novels get the spotlight on this first Wednesday of 2017.

02 January 2017

Bout of Books 18

Bout of Books 18
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever timezone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books team

Happy New Year!

I'm so excited for another Bout of Book read-a-thon. With the holiday season just coming to a close, I desperately want to reestablish a rhythm for reading and blogging. And here's the list I'm hoping will help me with that endeavor:

-The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
-Because You're Mine by Colleen Coble
-Buried Memories by Carol J. Post
-It Started With Goodbye by Christina June
-Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
-Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge
-The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

And throughout this read-a-thon week, I'll be posting here with my progress.

Happy reading!