Category: Reading

A Regency-Era Mystery – The Secret of Pembrooke Park {Review}

Posted October 27, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

A Regency-Era Mystery – The Secret of Pembrooke Park {Review}The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House (2014)
Paperback (451 pages)
Rating:
Also by this author: The Painter's Daughter
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, Read 2016

Synopsis

Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend--has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.
Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

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A Girl, a Goal, and the California Gold Rush – Walk on Earth a Stranger {Review}

Posted October 24, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

A Girl, a Goal, and the California Gold Rush – Walk on Earth a Stranger {Review}Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Series: Goldseer #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (2015)
Hardcover (431 pages)
Via: Library
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.
Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.
She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.
The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

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Proclaiming True Beauty and Boosting Self-Esteem – Beauty Begins {Review}

Posted October 22, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Proclaiming True Beauty and Boosting Self-Esteem – Beauty Begins {Review}Beauty Begins by Chris Shook, Megan Shook Alpha
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (2016)
Hardcover (208 pages)
Via: Blogging for Books
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

You are, and always have been, beautiful.
“Beauty begins. That’s the point of this book. Our understanding of beauty got started somewhere and somehow, and probably due to someone. Now that may have been a good start, but then again it may not have. But regardless of what your past looks like, we want to offer up this word of hope: it’s never too late to make peace with your reflection.”
We live in a culture that’s obsessed with beauty. Walk by any magazine stand, turn on a television, or visit the local shopping mall, and you’ll be bombarded with the images and ideals that our culture believes are the epitome of what it means to be beautiful. And if you’re like most women, you’ve probably spent countless hours trying to measure up to this standard of beauty whether you realize it or not.
But if you don’t make peace with your reflection, you’ll end up declaring war on yourself.
That’s where mother-daughter team, Chris and Megan Shook, want to help. In Beauty Begins, they explore the origins of beauty (hint, it didn’t start with a fashion magazine) and challenge each of us to trade the pressure of perfection for God's perfect love.
Poignant, relevant, and relatable,
Beauty Begins is for every woman who wants to reclaim what it means to be truly beautiful.
Do you feel beautiful?
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Others may tell you that you’re beautiful, but do you believe them? Why not? Don’t let another day go by without believing and knowing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
It’s time for you to exchange society’s cookie-cutter suggestions for what is beautiful and instead discover and reclaim what true beauty looks like – and the One who created it.
In
Beauty Begins, Chris and Megan Shook share with you their own experiences and struggles with appearance and body image, as well as equip you with the wisdom to distinguish what’s artificial beauty and what’s real. Filled with heartfelt encouragement, insightful challenges, and undeniable truth, after reading Beauty Begins, you’ll never look in the mirror the same way again.

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An Elizabethan Historical Fiction – Maid of Secrets{Review}

Posted October 20, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

An Elizabethan Historical Fiction – Maid of Secrets{Review}Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
Series: Maids of Honor #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2013)
Paperback (406 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, 2016 Royal Challenge, 2016 What's In A Name?, Read 2016

Synopsis

If God won't save the Queen...they will.
Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth I and pressed into royal service. With a faked noble identity, Meg joins four other skilled girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.
Meg's natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: not everyone is who they appear to be. Meg’s mission tests every talent she possesses, even her loyalty to her fellow Maids. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?

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Wonderful Start to a New Series – Rebel of the Sands {Review}

Posted October 17, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Wonderful Start to a New Series – Rebel of the Sands {Review}Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Publisher: Viking Books (2016)
Hardcover (314 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

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