Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Susanne Dietz | Author Chat + Giveaway

I had the blessing to meet this sweet woman years ago when we ended up living close-ish to one another and were going to the ACFW Conferece on the same flight! I'm so happy to host her here to talk about books--especially hers!
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys | RE:View

This book. Oh my heart! I went into this blind (like I typically do) and had no idea what I was in for. But honestly, the story was so good that I’m glad I did. I might have been scared away if I knew hints of what the story would hold, but this way I was able to watch it unfold in its interpersonal beauty despite the weightiness of the topic.

The plot and historical facts were woven so seamlessly together that it felt like a historical account but with heart. It did take a few chapters for me to really get in to it and connect with the four main characters, but once I did it was incredible to see how they came together and to see what their story became.

I would highly recommend this to fan of historical fiction, YA historical, and those who enjoy stories with more weight to them but in a satisfying way. I walked away from this book with a greater understanding of a happening in history I’d had no prior knowledge of and a feeling of being a part of a great and beautiful story.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews | New Novel News

Isaiah's Daughter
by Mesu Andrews

Published: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Waterbrook/Multnomah
Purchase: Isaiah's Daughter 

The Hebrews are a divided nation. Israel in the north—ten tribes strong—has bowed to pagan worship. In Judah’s two tribes, an evil king mocks King David’s legacy while a remnant of Yahweh’s faithful cling desperately to their one true God.

Caught in the middle of the warring is an orphaned girl named Ishma—meaning “desolation.” Her short life already mirrors the name.

Yet Yahweh’s plan for her has only just begun.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck | Re:View

She’s done it again. Rachel Hauck has made me cry. I mean…Every. Single. Time. No matter what it is, if Rachel Hauck writes it I’m usually crying by the end (note: they are pretty much always happy tears!).

I was in desperate need of a great Christmas book to help me continue the feeling of the holiday’s past December and this book was exactly what I needed for that. I have long loved her royal series and this was the perfect end to that! Plus, combine a quaint kingdom, a handsome prince, and a spunky Georgia girl and you’ve got a recipe for success.

In this sweet (and relatively short) Christmas read we see Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom become reacquainted with Avery Truitt (Susanna’s sister). We also find out more about their past and how that affects their current history. Plus, in addition to all of this, we get let into a past tradition in Brighton Kingdom involving a bell and a potential marriage on Christmas Day. What more do you really need to know?

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon | Re:View

This book was my first introduction to Nicola Yoon’s writing and wow…what an introduction. From the very beginning I knew this book was going to be different. Unlike most books I read, I did know a very little about this. That it turned the idea of “insta-love” on its head. And honestly, I have to agree.

Yoon did a fantastic job of creating characters with incredible depth and a connection that wasn’t fake within a very short period of time. I love love love the diversity of her characters and the fact that their interaction dealt with the difficulties that come from such diversity. I also loved that the circumstances were so…dire. That may sound counterintuitive but it created great stakes for the story.

I would recommend his to fans of YA contemporary (please note my clean-reader warning). I think you will be charmed by Yoon’s sense of humor, her characters, and her impossible yet possible story.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth |Re:View

Powerfully moving with fresh honesty that goes beyond the “normal” things to admit. Holley Gerth expresses her deepest, heartfelt longings with a rich, descriptive hand and invites readers to join her as she dives deep into the reality of what it is to be a woman and to have flaws.

I got this book several months ago and—sadly—couldn't get to it until now, but as most things tend to happen, it came at the perfect time. The holidays were over and I was able to curl up with this book and devour it in big, over-large chucks that fed my soul in ways I can barely find words to describe.

I absolutely loved the format of this book. Each chapter was only a few pages and felt more like reading Holley’s journal entries. That, or personalized posts created just for the empty space my heart needed it to fill.

I think this book can be life-changing for those who read with an open heart. To hear Holley’s message that it’s possible to be brave—to be fiercehearted—even when you feel the least bold. To hear her heart for true beauty and her realization that who you are made to be is exactly who you need to be.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Invictus by Ryan Graudin | Re:View

Doctor Who meets Firefly in this spectacular time-travel  novel!

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book (or from Ryan Graduin since this was my first time reading one of her novels) but I was sooo pleased with this book and her excellent writing!

First of all, to tackle a time-travel novel is no simple task. There are consequences to consider, past and present timelines, as well as the sciencey stuff you've got to have in there. All of these aspects (and more) were carried out to perfection with an eye to humorous detail and spunky characters.

As you jump into a world where time-travel is possible, you will discover that this book is about more than just Farway Gaius McCarthy. It's about a unique cast of characters that draw you in and cause you to feel for the story. You will root for this small band of time-marauders. You will cringe with them, hope with them, and face the future--and the past--with them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Reading Habits Tag

I thought I'd do something fun today on the blog. I'm going to do the Reading Habits tag! I've heard of this one and considered doing it on my BookTube but I've been so sick and am only now just feeling better so I thought I'd do the written version for now.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Called to Create by Jordan Raynor | Re:View

Are you called to create?

In this stunning, and possibly ground-breaking, book by Jordan Raynor, we find that there is such a thing as being "Called to Create".

I've been a creative person from the start. Growing up in a home where my father is an artists and musician and my mother is a quilter and a musician, I was never far from art supplies, music, a camera (disposable or otherwise), and the encouragement to create. My family nurtured my creativity. That is not always the case with some.

As we face in the "real world", the stress of choosing a career based on what you can be paid and what jobs are available is a big deterrent to creativity. It can be hard to say we want to "follow our creative dreams" when becoming a doctor seems so much more helpful. Or perhaps its the thought that starting up an Etsy shop doesn't seem as "holy" as becoming a missionary. For those of us who do break the mold and become entrepreneurs, we may find ourselves wondering if we can possibly serve God and our creative passions at the same time.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Create Explore Read with Me in 2018

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while you'll probably have noticed a few things recently. I've been posting less (oops!) and over the last few years the content has mostly been filled with interviews and the occasional guest post. While I don't mind that, I also don't think it's the direction I want to continue in.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Most Anticipated Releases of 2018

Yes! It's that time again. The time to look forward to new books in this New Year! There are so many amazing books coming out - and I'm sure I've missed many in this list - but here are my most anticipated releases for 2018.