Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One Day in December by Josie Silver (TLC Book Tour Review and GIVEAWAY!)


Any fans of Love Actually out there?  One Day in December pays homage to this classic Christmas movie and uses a theme from this movie to create a new classic romantic comedy novel.  My favorite part of this was that the movie is referenced at the start of the novel and what a jerk the character is for being in love with his best friend’s girlfriend and then wife. . .

Laurie feels an instant connection when she is on a bus and looks across to make eye contact with a stranger that is outside of her bus.  She spends a year looking for him only to find him when her best friend, Sarah, brings him home as her new boyfriend, Jack.  Laurie is crushed but doesn’t want to ruin Sarah’s happiness.  Does Jack remember her?  How can she get over her feelings when she is always the third wheel with them?

Ten years passes by and the trio have their ups and downs.  Laurie eventually meets a wonderful man named Oscar in Thailand.  Will their romance continue when they return to England?  As Sarah and Jack’s careers progress, will they be able to keep their relationship together?  Will Laurie and Jack continue to be able to deny the spark between them?

I loved this novel.  The story was mainly narrated by Laurie through the years but did have sections where Jack narrated it as well.  I loved the ups and downs of their lives and how they dealt with them separately and together.  It was a wonderful romantic comedy and a joy to read.

Favorite Quotes:
“Even the closest of families have their tragedies, and it’s fair to say that ours came early and cut deep.”

“You know how some events turn out to be the big stepping stones between one part of your life and the next?  I don’t just mean the steps you intend to take, like leaving home or starting a new job or marrying the person you love on a summer’s afternoon.  I mean the unexpected steps:  the middle-of-the night phone calls, the accidents, the risks that don’t pay off.”

“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

Overall, One Day in December is a perfect romantic comedy and also a fun read for the Christmas season.
 
Book Source:  Review Copy as part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.  


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner has a chance to win a copy of One Day in December by Josie Silver. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book. What is your favorite Christmas movie or book?
 
As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.


For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using random.org (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday November 23rd!

Please make sure to check the week of November 26th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia


Title: Leave No Trace
Author: Mindy Mejia
Read by:  Patricia Rodriguez
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: Approximately 9 hours and 56 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster.  Thank-you!

A man and his 9-year-old son leave for a camping trip in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and are never seen again.  Their campsite is found destroyed by bears and it is thought that they were killed in the wild.  Ten years later, Lucas Blackthorn is found breaking into an outfitter store in Ely Minnesota.  Where has he been all this time and where is his father Josiah?

Lucas is brought to Duluth and put into a mental institution.  Maya is a speech therapist at the institution who was once a patient there.  Will she be able to break through Lucas’s reserve and determine where he has been and what happened to his father?

Leave No Trace is written by Mindy Mejia who also wrote the wonderful Everything You Want Me to Be, which was a perfect suspense novel.  Leave No Trace didn’t quite measure up to Everything You Want Me to Be, but it was a good suspense novel.  It dealt with abandonment and a search for one’s mother.  It also dealt with the definition of “crazy.”  Who is the crazy one when you really start to look at people?  Is wanting to live without people and without a roof crazy?  I like how the story was told peeling off layer after to layer to found out Maya’s past as well as Josiah’s over time.  The book was narrated mostly by Maya, but there were a few chapters from Josiah’s point of view as well.

I also really enjoyed the setting of the novel.  I live in Wisconsin and am from Michigan originally.  My husband is from Minnesota.  I have been to Duluth and north, but I have not been to the Boundary Waters yet.  I plan to get there some day!  I thought it was the perfect setting for a place where one could lose oneself.

Patricia Rodriquez did a fine job as narrator of this audiobook.  It was an engaging story that was very interesting to listen to on my long weekly commute to Milwaukee.  I recommend this book on audio.

Overall, Leave No Trace was a wonderful suspense story with a great setting and interesting characters.  It was also a great audiobook to keep you riveted with the story on a long drive.


Winner of Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd!

The lucky winner of Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd is traveler.  I have notified traveler and they have one week to send me an email with their mailing address before a new winner would be chosen.  traveler was chosen as the winner using random.org on the comments. Congrats to traveler!

Thank-you to all who entered the giveaway and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be on the book tour for this excellent book and host a giveaway.  I highly recommend this book, please read my review at this link.

Sad you didn't win?  Check out my other giveaways on the right sidebar and stay tuned as I will be posting a new one today!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge (Review and Giveaway)


It’s no secret that Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors.  What many casual fans may not know is that Jane Austen was the daughter of an Anglican clergyman, Reverend George Austen, and two her brothers followed him in his vocation.  Faith was an important part of Austen’s life that was filled with prayer and reflection. Three works of Austen’s that I have never read, are three prayers that she wrote.  Praying with Jane takes a contemplative look through these three prayers.  The book is broken up into three sections with 10 days for each prayer, and then a final day on the Lord’s prayer.

Each section starts with a printing of the entire prayer, and then each day takes a line or a few lines and breaks them down.  In each day you get a look into how the line applied to Jane’s life or to the lives of her characters in her novels.  For instance, the book discusses Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot when it discusses devotion and Emma Woodhouse when discussing the need for repentance. It then relates these moments to our everyday life.  A few related Bible quotes are included. An invitation for prayer at the end is followed by a closing prayer for the day’s use.

I enjoyed reading through Praying with Jane and will keep it by my bed for a more leisurely read through by day as it was intended.  I really enjoyed the tidbits about Jane’s life or thoughts about the morality of the characters in her novels.  There was a great correlation on how this relates to our everyday lives and it gave me a lot of great points to ponder.  Rachel Dodge not only found a way to really analyze and think about Jane’s prayers and how they relate to her life or characters and our lives, but she also found perfect Bible quotes to go with everything.  Out of different daily prayer books I’ve read over the years and as a fan of Jane Austen, I thought Praying with Jane was a perfect book of prayer.

Favorite Quotes:

“Reading Jane’s prayers is a bit like looking into her heart.”

“We’ve all had a Box Hill moment, when we said or did something we later regretted.”

Overall, if you are a Christian fan of Jane Austen, Praying with Jane is a not to miss book that will enhance not only your prayer life, but your understanding of Jane Austen as a Christian woman.  I also really liked the message that our lives in modern times are busy, but we should take the time to pray and put our faith first as they practiced during Austen’s day.

Book Source:  Review Copy as a part of the Blogging tour put on by Vic of Jane Austen’s World.  For more stops on this tour check out the schedule:


Blog Tour Dates:
November 2 – Laura’s Reviews, Laura Gerold
November 3 – Burton Reviews, Marie Burton
November 4 – BLOGLOVIN‘, Sophia Rose
November 6 – Calico Critic, Laura Hartness
November 8 – Diary of an Eccentric Anna Horner
November 9 – Becoming, Nichole Parks
 

GIVEAWAY

I received an extra copy of Praying with Jane in the mail and would love to give it away to one lucky blog reader.  If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book. What is your favorite Jane Austen novel?  Do you have a favorite book of prayers?
 
As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using random.org (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday November 16th!

Please make sure to check the week of November 19th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!