Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Month in Review: May

  • Wrote 150 words
  • Sculpted 0 babies
  • Tatted 3 crosses
  • Sewed 0 sock monkeys
  • Knit 0 hats
  • Exercised 20 days
  • Read in the Bible 29 days
  • Wrote up 0 backlogged book reviews 
  • Book Review: "Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands"


    Abigail's Proposal by Cynthia Hickey: I enjoyed this book and how it set up the setting for the other books. Abby is feisty and doesn't let anyone give her any grief. I liked watching Josiah handle her and the town. It had a bit of suspense in it as well.

    The Kidnapped Groom by Susan Page Davis: I also enjoyed this story. Sam Cayford comes into town to find work and finds Maggie Piner instead. I liked their interactions with each other and the boys. This story also has a touch of action/suspense/mystery.

    A Clean Slate by Susanne Dietze: Drew Cooper was a hardworking, kind, godly man looking for a clean slate. He decides to find it in Turtle Springs. School teacher Birdy Green doesn't realize she's looking for a clean slate, too, but through the course of the story, she finds hers, too. I liked both of the main characters as well as the secondary characters of the Lomax family. I had a theory about who Freida would end up with but it proved incorrect. (however my 2nd guess was correct).

    Sunshine of my Heart by Darlene Franklin: This story was interesting with both main characters having taken part in the husband auditions and watching their love grow. I liked the characters and felt they were believable. I was a little surprised we didn't learn more about Zack's past and why he ended up in Kansas.

    Come What May by Patty Smith Hall: I love how Chardy is so fiercely protective of her brothers. I also really liked Luke. They both experienced growth in their lives during the story.

    Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels: Having gotten to know Caroline Kane in the previous novellas, it was nice to get her story at last. It was fun to see Barden and Caroline's interactions according to what they thought was the nature of their relationship. Being from Michigan, it was also fun to have the mention of Fort Mackinac.

    Louder Than Words by Gina Welborn: With as many times as Jane Ransome was mentioned in the other novellas, I figured we'd get her story eventually, so I was pleased when we finally did. I felt for her in her included but not quite included status. I hadn't expected the hero to be who would be who Jane needed, but it was exactly who she did. It was fun discovering that along with her.

    As with most books I get from Netgalley, this book had some formatting issues which made it difficult to read at times with the first letter of opening paragraphs being misplaced, paragraphs being jammed together making it hard to see who was speaking, etc. But this is not an issue in the final book, so it is not a problem.

    I really like compilations like this because you have a bunch of shorter stories that don't take as long to read and it introduces you to new-to-you authors. This one was interesting in that the stories tied together in the same town. I liked how some of the suitors and other characters showed up in several of the stories. There was a variety of love stories in this compilation. Some of the stories had one of the main characters participate in the husband audition, some had neither participate, one had neither of them participate. There were a couple of inconsistencies between the stories, but on the whole, the stories fit together like one big book that could have been written by one author. (so it is best to read them in order from cover to cover) It must have taken something to get all the details figured out!


    PictureGenre: Christian, Historical
    Publisher: Barbour
    Publication date: June 1, 2017
    Number of pages: 448


    Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
    When a British dime novel enthusiast finds himself flat broke in Kansas, he discovers what western life and true love are all about. Barden Granville IV grew up at Cheatham Hall, Kent, England, devouring cowboy stories and dreaming of the day he, with no prospects of inheriting estate nor title, could escape to the American frontier. Educated and ordained an Anglican priest, his trip to America is his “last hurrah” before accepting a vicarage in a small town far from his aristocratic family’s estate. When a series of misadventures leaves him without money and stranded, he must take up employment immediately.
    After her father dies, widow Caroline Kane becomes the owner and proprietor of a restaurant and inn. She also assumes responsibility for her five teenaged siblings. Caroline’s busybody married sister insists that an Englishman who purports to answer an ad for help, is the perfect candidate for Caroline’s next husband. While she’s relieved to have help, Caroline finds Barden’s primary asset to be his silver tongue. When his efforts finally bring fruit, Barden receives word from England that could leave Caroline worse off than before, for her heart will leave with him. Will Barden answer his heart and God’s call in Kansas, or will his family responsibilities compel him to leave his dreams behind?


    PictureCarrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is an ECPA bestselling and award-winning author. With a dozen Christian historical romances published, this former “Yooper” writes Christian historical romances about overcoming. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where many of her stories are set. Possessed with an overactive imagination, that wasn’t “cured” by twenty-five years as a psychologist, she loves bringing characters to life. Carrie and her family reside in Virginia’s Historic Triangle, which is perfect for her fascination with history. Carrie enjoys reading, traveling, baking, and beading-but not all at the same time!
    Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s “The Story” national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.


    All those Siblings! -- Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels

    My heroine, Caroline Kane, has an older sister and quite a few younger siblings she’s taking care of, in “Dime Novel Suitor,” my novella in this collection.  Many times I and my reader and reviewer friends have discussed how often, in historicals, there are only a few or no siblings. But that wasn’t the case for most families, if you look at genealogy and statistics. While many children may have died in infancy or from untreatable illnesses, large families were the norm. However, since this was a novella, I wasn’t sure about whether I could manage all those kids!
    It turned out, as I developed the character, Caroline wasn’t doing such a great job of managing the siblings, either. Whenever you take a sibling and have to place them in charge of managing the rest of them it can become problematic.  In Caroline’s case, she was also tasked with managing her family’s inn. And although her older sister had married, she’d not wanted any of the siblings to come and live with her. So we have Caroline, a young widow, the second eldest sibling is now left managing the inn and caretaking her siblings. You just know she had to be resentful!  So I had to be careful to show a young woman grieving the recent loss of her father, who has lost her childhood sweetheart earlier, and who is getting no help from anyone.
    Not only is my heroine not receiving help from her older sister, but that sister is trying to boss Caroline around. Caroline does need help, but it goes against her very grain to consider the idea of a mail-order husband. Still, when Barden Granville IV arrives, and her siblings immediately love him and he helps with them, it is almost as though a pressure valve has been released in Caroline.  She can relax a little, for the first time in a long while.
    But then the army comes to visit in their town. And her siblings wishes and desires mesh with the goals of the army, who is enroute to the fort on Mackinac Island, Michigan. And Barden unwittingly becomes part of Caroline’s siblings’ plans! Can you imagine how angry she’d be to discover/believe he has interfered in a way that goes against his plans? God makes each sibling different in real life and He has a plan for each of us – that’s something Caroline has to learn.
    Question: When you look at your own family’s genealogy do you see lots of siblings or just a few?
    Grand Prize Giveaway: Kindle Fire + Postcards of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order, bookmarks from upcoming release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands, cowboy-themed earrings, and an ebook copy of Holt Medallion finalist “The Steeplechase.”
    Blog Giveaway: An autographed paperback copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Brides. There must be ten unique comments on this post from different readers for the giveaway. 


    May 29--
    Bookworm Lisa
    May 31--

    "Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 448 pages
    • Publisher: Barbour Books (June 1, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 168322132X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1683221326
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 2478 KB
    • Print Length: 448 pages
    • Publisher: Barbour Books (June 1, 2017)
    • Publication Date: May 15, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0711QTYTM

    I got a free copy of this book. All opinions and thoughts are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    Book Review: "The Genesis Tree" by Heather L.L. FitzGerald

    "The Genesis Tree" is the third and final book in the Tethered World Chronicles series. I looked forward to reading this book with great expectation. Once I started, I didn't want to put it down and stayed up later than I should have to read. There are plot summaries from the first two books given throughout this book, but it would be best to read the books in order to get the full effect of the stories. Plus, then you get to read two other amazing books. I found myself reading the beginning of the book wondering what was going to draw the Larcen family back down below to the Tethered World. Things topside are spiraling out of control and things looked bleak. The characters grew even more by the end of this book and tremendously since the beginning of book one of the series. I liked how God and our need for Him was woven through the story. "The Genesis Tree" had me laughing, crying, angry, sad, and confused at times. I was shocked and amazed at things that happened (both positively and negatively - ie the things that happened were sometimes good and sometimes bad, but I didn't see them coming). Like the second book in the series, this book is written in first person when we are following Sadie and third person when we follow Brady. This book also includes the viewpoint of one of Nekronok's sons (it never really says which one, although by the end you know who it is). There was one major plot element that made me unhappy, but I did like how it was used and redeemed to show that God's ways are not always our ways and that He uses them for our ultimate good (even if it doesn't seem like it at the time). I liked how the story wrapped up the "hanging" story lines from the overall story that covered all three books. I will miss visiting the Tethered World. I totally recommend this book (and the whole series)

    "The Genesis Tree" is available in paperback:
    • Series: The Tethered World Chronicles
    • Paperback: 318 pages
    • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (May 29, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1943959293
    • ISBN-13: 978-1943959297
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 5082 KB
    • Print Length: 330 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (June 1, 2017)
    • Publication Date: June 1, 2017
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B06XF6ML74

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

    Monday, May 29, 2017

    Memorial Day 2017

    As is our custom for Memorial Day, we went out to the cemetery to put flowers on Grandpa Dempsey's grave.

    Time for the annual picture of the kids:

    Dan snuck into the picture.

    We decided to do a family picture, but I hadn't brought the tripod, so I used the empty water bottle to sit my camera on. Unfortunately, the wind kept tipping it, so I got a few without me as I knew there was no way I'd get there in time after righting the camera.

    I forgot I had on my sunglasses

    Finally, a group of people came along and I asked if they could take our picture. She took two...

    At least my mistakes weren't this bad!

    We went to Rockford and ate at Vitales. We ordered wet burritos and pizzas and Mondays are 50% off pizza and buy one get one free burritos!

    Wire pizza!

    We walked over to the dam to look for turtles:

    Hard to see, but it was a round spider web

    Saw this in the parking lot

    The kids "napping" when we got home.