Blog Tour: The Old River Road by Hailey Rose

Hi everyone! Today, I have the honor of being a part of a blog tour for my sweet friend, Hailey Rose! I’ve been following her blog and Instagram for . . . about a year (?) now, and now I get to help re-release her book, The Old River Road!

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The Old River Road has officially been published for three years, and it’s being republished with Hailey’s official author name! Fun Fact: it was originally published under Hailey’s pen name, Ivy Rose! Not only is that part different, but there is brand new content inside too!

About the Book-

TORR cover

When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was nearly perfect. For newlyweds in the great city of Chicago, the journey ahead was exciting and promising. When a frightening disease takes William in its grip, the young couple is forced to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.
This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great-grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.

Amazon || GoodReads

About the Author-

author.jpg

Hailey is a young novelist with a passion to create beautiful fiction. Armed with a desire to make scenarios readers can easily relate to, she writes in many genres about ordinary individuals faced with extraordinary choices. Two of her novels have been independently published. As a chronic illness warrior, Hailey eagerly encourages others to find joy no matter what the circumstances. In her free time, she loves dancing, playing music, and enjoying various outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest.

Website || YouTube || FaceBook || Instagram || Twitter

Although I haven’t actually read the book yet (oops), I’m looking forwards to grabbing a copy and reading it!

Have you “met” Hailey Rose yet? Or better yet, have you read her new book? What are you waiting for? Go get yourself a copy and check it out!

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My HUGE Summer TBR 2019

Hey everyone! Today, we’re going to . . . SCREAM ABOUT ALL THE BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ YET!!!!* Aren’t we all exCITED!!

*okay but fr am I the only person who gets existential crises every couple months or so about the sheer volume of books I have to read before the world ends and how I literally don’t have time to read all the books in the world or

My Summer TBR 2019.png

If you saw my Summer Bucket List, you would have seen that I want to read 40 books this summer. Ambitious, yes, but I also have 56 days of break . . . which means I’ll have 16 days off! (hi yes am I slightly off my rocker? maybe) THIS’LL BE FINE I’M FINE

So what are these books, you might ask? WELL GOOD QUESTION. Today, I’ll be sharing them with you! I’ll be sharing books from 4 categories: YA fiction, Christian fiction, classics, and nonfiction.

YA Fiction

YA fiction is the genre that I’ve been getting more into recently, so I have a ton of books that are now on my TBR. I haven’t read most of the books that are /hyped/, so I’ll be trying to catch up on a lot of those!

  1. Firstlife by Gena Showalter
  2. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welsch
  3. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  4. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusac
  6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  7. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  8. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  9. American Panda by Gloria Chao
  10. Out of the Easy by Ruth Sepetys
  11. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater
  12. The Raven King by Maggie Steifvater
  13. Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
  14. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  15. Harry Potter the the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

Christian Fiction

I blog a lot in the Christian fiction community, so I’m always catching up on books to read, or hyped books coming out soon, and stuff like that, so here’s my list to read.

    1. The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Ivy Klassen
    2. The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White
    3. The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White
    4. A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White
    5. The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
    6. The Line Between by Tosca Lee
    7. No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky
    8. A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes
    9. Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl
    10. 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons (!!!!) (and yes, I know it’s not actually Christian fiction, but that’s where I can find room the put it ><)

 

Classics

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (wish me luck, lads. he’s a big ‘un)
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Emma by Jane Austen
  4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein (yes, I haven’t read it. *hides* don’t come for me)
  5. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett

Nonfiction

  1. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  2. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  3. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon
  4. The Cell’s Design by Fazale Rana
  5. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman

As you can see, I don’t have 40 books on this list yet, because I’m sure this list will grow and change as the summer goes on, so what are books on YOUR TBR this summer? Let me know and I might just add it to my TBR!

Book Review: Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

About the Book-

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.

Decades later, Annie Sawyer is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn’t anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.

My Review-

THIS!!! WAS A SWEET STORY!!! It was such a sweet cross between a WWII story and a contemporary (ish) story, and everything wrapped together SO WELL!!!

Spoken from two points of view: one during/just after WWII, and one in 2001, the story covers the stories of Roy and Annie, as well as the rest of their family. Both of the timelines really came to life, and I enjoyed it so much! I also really enjoyed the setting: it was set on an island, small-town style, and it felt really nostalgic all around. And BOB. I loooooved him! He went through so much in his life, but he still held so much purpose and love towards those around him, and it was amaZing.

I was a little wary of starting this book, since this was a debut novel, which usually means it could go one of two ways: really well or really poorly. This one was one that went really well! IT MADE ME CRY, GUYS. The two storylines eventually melded into one: the story of one family, throughout the ages, and it MADE SENSE so much.

Unlike most Christian fiction, this story wasn’t just between a guy and a girl: there was also the story between siblings, community, family, and especially parents and their kids. Not only that, but the faith bits were so well done: they were just woven into the storyline, and it wasn’t a “I need to put this in because this is a Christian fiction book” type deal.

Overall, this was a beaUtiful book!  The writing style was beautiful: it was super poetic and smooth, but filled with emotion and thought. I loved the twist at the end that brought everything together: I love books that do that, and this one was done so well! If you haven’t read this book, or even heard of it, GO READ IT. IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

My Rating-

9/10

Things Liked-

  • I LOVED the dynamic between Roy and Bob!
  • The setting was so well done: it was so sentimental and nostalgic!
  • Duo-timelines done SO well!
  • Not just love between a guy and a girl
  • IT MADE ME CRY!!
  • The writing style was beAUTifuL
  • Faith bits were well done
  • Bob himself needs his own point honestly like
  • I LOVED the twist at the end

Things Disliked-

  • I wasn’t really a fan of the present tense writing? It just threw me off

I’M BACK! || My Summer Bucket List and GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ve finished my freshman year of college (?!?!?! yeah, I’m amazed too), and I’m back and hopefully better than ever! In this post, I’ll be giving a little recap on my life over the past few months, and then share my summer 2019 bucket list. Finally, I’ll be including a giveaway (!!!) to thank you all for sticking around during my months and months, and months, and months of accidental hiatus.

I'm Back!.png

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash, editing via Canva by myself

What I’ve Been Up To

So . . . what have I been up to? Well, I finished my second semester of college, which means I’ve officially finished my first year of college!! *insert celebratory balloons, confetti, music, and whatever else you deem necessary* I’ve learned so much this year, not just about the things that I studied, but also about myself, my friends, living alone, and God. It was a really fun year, though not without its own struggles. (I realized that I, a homeschooler, was, surprise, surprise, REAL BAD at taking tests. Finals week was . . . a train wreck).

However, I also had the opportunity to make a great group of friends, as well as join a Bible study, where I met some awesome girls that I even got to go to church with a couple of times! Close to the end of the year, I decided to change my major from biochemistry to a psychology and biology double major, which is very exciting: I’m so much more pumped for the next years than I was!

I’m on vacation right now with my family, visiting extended family. While we’ve been here, I’ve been catching up on a lot of book reviews and reading in general, which is really nice: I’ve missed just being able to /read/ a lot! I’ve also managed to stilL be ahead on my GoodReads reading challenge??? How does that happen??? This has never happened????

With all that’s been happening, I’ve still been on the internet scene, a bit, even if I haven’t been blogging! I’ve been REALLY on top of my Instagram game, if I do say so myself! I’ve really enjoyed taking and editing photos to fit my feed, and the accompanying growth has been really fun too! Here’s my latest post!

I’ve also still been tweeting sporadically on my Twitter. In addition, I was introduced to kittens game at college, which is a completely nonsensical idle game that I’ve spent probably too much a lot of time on. (I probably have an addictive personality . . . oops)

My Summer Bucket List

Since we’ve been on an extended vacation, I don’t anticipate a road trip/vacation, and I’m planning for a very at-home summer.

  1. Clean the house and donate things
  2. Go to a baseball game
  3. Make my blog something I’m proud of/update my social medias
  4. Make a piece of art every day
  5. Read 40 books
  6. Finish my psychology class
  7. Learn statistics
  8. Get my driver’s license!
  9. Go to a sunflower field
  10. Watch 10 movies
  11. Go visit my college friends
  12. Cook 5 things I’ve not cooked before

The Giveaway

And now for the part of the post you’ve all been waiting for! You can enter to win either a $10 Amazon giftcard, or a book of your choice from Book Depository!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Capture

(the rafflecopter doesn’t embed in my page, but here’s a preview of what’s on it!)


Happy summer! Have you entered the giveaway? What are some things that you’ve put on YOUR summer bucket list?

 

Book Review: Over the Line by Kelly Irvin

About the Book-

Gabriella has never forgiven her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, for breaking her heart. Then a man she’s never met shows up at her restaurant, a bullet in his chest and her brother’s name on his lips. Gabby soon realizes this man is connected to a powerful ring of criminals who know far too much about her.

Against her better judgment, Gabby turns to Eli for help in finding her brother. When she receives a cryptic text from her brother’s cell phone, she realizes she is in deep and may be dragging Eli down with her. With her brother nowhere to be found and pain from her past threatening to overwhelm her, Gabby wonders how she will make it through this unexpected quest unscathed—or alive.

Taking us into the heat of Laredo, Texas, the secrets of a gun-smuggling ring, and the tensions on both sides of the border, Over the Line will keep you guessing until the last page.

My Review-

I haven’t read anything by Kelly Irvin yet, so I was very excited to read it! I’m still confused (and a little awed) at how she manages to write Amish fiction as well as shooty-murder-suspense fiction.

And it was HEAVY shooty-suspense too! The story moved a lot slower than I expected and was a lot denser on the gun/drug smuggling side, as well as the law enforcement side (also I am dumb and didn’t realize where they were and distances and stuff until a whiLE into the book)

I wasn’t really able to get into the book due to this reason: it was quite heavy and technical, and I just didn’t understand it well enough to be able to connect with the plot, which also felt stilted at times. There were parts of the plot that were good, and that I enjoyed, but I felt like those were just inserted into the book, as were the faith moments. There was also a lot of backstory feeling story written in that didn’t really fit.

I enjoyed most of the characters: they were all fairly distinct, and the storyline involving them was also good. Overall, it was a good story, especially since it was fairly clean and not romance heavy, but it just wasn’t for me.

My Rating-

2/5

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

About the Book-

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network–field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

My Review-

*pounds table* SPINOFF SERIES SPINOFF SERIES SPINOFF SERIES!

Well. In case you didn’t know, I love Roseanna M. White, and I will gladly read any book she writes. (Although, I’m a very bad favorite author fan, and actually haven’t read most of her books. But still) I actually got to meet her last year, and totally made a fool of myself when I did, but it was THE HIGHLIGHT of my bookish career!

I loved her Shadows Over England series (book 1 and book 2 reviews), and when I heard she was writing another series in the same setting, I was HYPED. And because I’m a bad bookish fan (have I mentioned yet?), I didn’t realize this was a spinoff series until I started it! IT’S A SPINOFF SERIES OFF THE SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND SERIES!!! If you look at my A Song Unheard review, you’ll see that I enjoyed Margot, Lukas’ sister, and wanted to see more of her. WELL GUESS WHAT. WE ALL GOT IT! AND I LOVED IT.

The actual romance part of this book wasn’t actually great? And yes, I know that it’s LITERALLY THE TITLE, but I feel like that the romance wasn’t really done that well. Margot and Drake are a great couple, and I enjoyed their romance, but I felt like it could have been done better (Drake just,,was obsessed with her pretty soon after knowing her, without any seeming reason?).

Aside from that, though, I really enjoyed the book! It still hasn’t topped the Shadows Over England series, but I so enjoyed going back to that world, and hearing about WWI, and Margot’s job, and her code-cracking, and war and it just,,MAKES ME SO HAPPY.

My Rating-

7/10

Things liked-

  • Margot! she’s so brilliant and is making her own life in a world that isn’t really all that friendly towards women in the workforce yet
  • the “in the field” looks were also really fun!!
  • I also really liked Dot (Margot’s friend and Drake’s sister): can we get a book on her next?
  • allusions to previous books/characters!
  • WWI, which is very different from most other historical (that is to say, WWII) books I read
  • also just spies and codebreaking and room 40 and aaa can you tell I really like this time period?
  • Drake was also so cool! The bits where he was investigating was so fun and aaa

Things disliked-

  • the romance wasn’t done great
  • sometimes the plot points weren’t all the way fleshed out
  • the book ran a little long? I’m not really complaining because more of Roseanna White isn’t a bad thing, but also,,it was a bit long

Thank you to Bethany House Fiction and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review: I was not required to write a positive review.

Blog Tour: Dawn Chandler by Eliza Noel || Book Spotlight

Hey everybody! Today, I have the honor of being a part of Eliza Noel‘s blog tour for her new book, Dawn Chandler! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Eliza over social media and her blog recently, and I’m super excited to help her announce her new book, which is coming out tomorrow, May 18th!

Dawn Chandler Banner.png

About the Book-

Dawn Chandler

Amazon || GoodReads

Dawn Chandler likes the way her life is— or was. She liked going to the mall with her best friend, excelling at middle school, and attending church with her family. Typical life for a twelve-year-old in the city of Fresno.

When Dawn’s parents announced they were going to homeschool her, on her birthday no less, she felt like her world was falling apart. Normal kids are supposed to go to school, not read books at home. To make matters worse, they may be leaving the only home she’s ever known.

What are her parents thinking?

Before making the final moving decision, the Chandler family visits Lone Pine, a small town between Mt. Whitney and Death Valley. While there, Dawn and her siblings become acquainted with their eccentric great uncle, explore the new area, and meet a large homeschooling family. All of this makes the ‘vacation’ more bearable. Still, Dawn isn’t sure if she can make the move and leave everything she’s familiar with behind.

Can Dawn learn the values of faith, family, and contentment?

About the Author-

Author Photo

Eliza Noel is a home school graduate with passion for Jesus, people, and literature. Growing up, her favorite books were always Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice. Around age twelve she wanted to read something with positive values in a modern setting, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. So she wrote it.

When not doing something book-related (reading, writing, blogging, bookstagramming), Eliza works at her day jobs, spends time with her many younger siblings, longboards, has coffee with friends, eats chocolate, and listens to music. California is home, but she would like to travel more and feels she could learn to be content anywhere.

You can follow her writing journey and see snippets of her everyday life on elizanoelauthor.blogspot.com or by following @elizanoelauthor on social media.

Giveaway-

Eliza is giving away one copy of her new book, Dawn Chandler! Enter the giveaway here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour-

Monday, May 13

Tuesday, May 14

Wednesday, May 15

Thursday, May 16

Friday, May 17

Saturday, May 18

Book Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes || MAGIC + The Story of Anastasia!!

Romanov Cover

About the Book-

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her. . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

My Review-

Me, at midnight on Release Day: “hmmm why don’t I start Romanov?”
Also me: *finishes Romanov at 3am*

This was a good book!!! I personally liked this a lot more than Nadine’s other book, Fawkes, and I enjoyed that one a lot! Like I mentioned, I saw that it was release day on Instagram (I’m SO out of the loop at college, y’all. SO OUT OF THE LOOP) and decided to start  it . . . and finish it, all in one swoop.

Romanov is a magical retelling of the story of Anastasia Romanov, as well as the story of the rest of the Romanov family. There is a conspiracy theory that Anastasia Romanov and her brother, Alexis, did not die with the rest of their family, since they were found buried in a separate grave. Although this was disproved, Nadine went down the rabbit-hole of . . . what if? and what if magic was happened?

One of the parts about Romanov that stood out the most to me was the characters! I have such a GARBAGE memory that books have to be super specific with their characters for me to remember them, and this one did it! Nastya (Anastasia), the protagonist and heroine of this book, was smart, feisty, loving, and thoughtful. Zash was protective, sweet, and conflicted. Alexei was portrayed so well: his sass, his illness, and how absolutely sweet he was. The Romanov father!!! 😍😍😍 he was so WISE and so loving and so sweet and I LOVE HIM!!! The rest of the family was also portrayed so well, as well as really, all of the other characters! They were given a depth that really brought them to life and I loved getting to know each of them better.

The history was also SO good: it was so beautifully written and well researched. Unlike Fawkes, there was a lot less description and a lot more plot, which makes me like it a lot more! I’m not one for huge descriptions: I just want the story already!! In that regard, this book was wondERful. (also it literally had a puppy so like. I’m sold). The pacing was also awesome: it didn’t feel like anything moved too fast or too slow (also it’s also due to the length of the book: it’s way shorter than Fawkes which made it a lot more enjoyable for me). The romance felt a little bit rushed, but it still made sense.

All in all, Romanov was one of my favorite reads of 2019! The characters were well written, the plot moved well, and while the setting wasn’t particularly well set, setting isn’t my cup of tea anyways!

My Rating-

9/10

Things Liked-

  • Nastya was so beautifully written! I loved her character and what she believed in, and her heart!
  • Father Romanov! I LOVED him: he was so wise and understanding
  • Alexei was also great: he was bantery and strong and lived for himself (also greAT disability rep!)
  • The rest of the characters: they were super well written and sweet!
  • The villains were proper villains (well, except for those who weren’t. but still) and you grew to loathe them but also respect them and AAA it was goOD
  • also there were puppies so like
  • The plot moved at a great speed! It wasn’t too fast or too slow, and flowed easily
  • The magic was SO well woven in!!
  • The book was a good length: it was long enough that it felt like it was a Book™, but wasn’t hard to read in one sitting?

Things Disliked-

  • The romance was a /little/ bit too fast for my liking?

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.