Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beautiful Bandit by Loree Lough

Whitaker House (July 3, 2010) 400 pages

Description from Amazon:
Joshua Neville is a quiet, even-keeled rancher who was just minding his own business when he witnessed a brazen bank robbery in San Antonio, Texas, that leaves three men dead. Even more shocking than the heist itself is that the ringleader looked like a woman! Weeks later, when Josh is on the trail, a lost and confused woman stumbles upon his campsite. He agrees to take "Dinah" to Mexico, but soon their journey is hampered by harsh weather and wild animals. When Dinah breaks her ankle, Josh takes her to his ranch to heal. As the two grow closer, Josh realizes he's fallen in love, even as he learns the truth about Dinah. But does he know the whole story? And, after the truth comes out, will he put his life at risk to keep her with him?

My Review:
I don't know what rock I've been hiding under for this to be my first Loree Lough book! She's definitely on my radar now, though!

I adore a good, sweet romance. I like to feel the looks across the room and the sparks from an innocent hand brush. I love getting to see a bit of the "dating" process of a couple. I got that and so much more from Beautiful Bandit.

Kate, aka "Dinah" is tiny and spunky, with a sense of humor that floods the pages. Josh is a man of few words, but you can feel his love and admiration for Kate. Josh's grandmother was just a lovely, admirable lady!

I enjoyed every minute of reading Beautiful Bandit. I was immediately drawn into the story and I fell in love with the characters just as quickly. There's romance, humor, and action...what's not to love! I can't wait to read more of the other characters in the rest of the series!

*A huge thanks to Kav for my copy of Beautiful Bandit and Maverick Heart, which I can't wait to devour!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Few Reasons Why I Still Love My Husband!

Today is Jonathan's birthday! He turned 32. (His birthday is only 8 days before mine. Well, actually 2 years and 8 days). ;) I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, but just in case, I thought I'd surprise him.

He's patient. God knew I would need a patient man to put up with me, so I'm very grateful for this trait.

He loves our boys.

His sideburns. I adore my husband's sideburns. Now, if you're like me, you understand, but if not, you're probably thinking I'm a bit weird right now. And, that's okay! ;)

If he's home, I never have to tote in the groceries.

Whenever he doesn't have a little one in his arms, he still opens the car door for me.

As much as I sometimes hate Jonathan's job, I'm grateful that he always gets up early on his work days and goes to it. And, he doesn't expect me to get up before he leaves. I know I may sound horrible, but with two little ones, I do need sleep! (He always tells me "Bye" before he leaves, though).

He's never complained about my book obsession!

He cooks better than me. He doesn't cook very often, but when he does it's almost always better than my cooking.

And, simply because he is who he is! And, I love him for it!!

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge

When I first started reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it wasn't looking very promising. I was a little bored. Sorry!! ;) It did pick up, though, and it has become my favorite book yet. Although, I do still have 4 to go. :)

I felt like the writing of this book was intended for an older audience. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe just gave me a warm feeling of sitting in front of the fire having a story told to me. In that sense, I think it will remain my favorite. Voyage of the Dawn Treader was more adventurous, though, so that's why I like it the most right now. It was like a series of short story adventures.

I was very excited to see Reepicheep back! Lucy's thoughts sum up mine really well.

"Lucy longed, as she had slways done, to take Reepicheep up in her arms and cuddle him. But this, as she well knew, was a pleasure she could never have: it would have offended him deeply. Instead, she went down on one knee to talk to him."

My favorite part of the whole book was at the Magician's Island. It was very humorous and fun. I love how quite often through this book, it would get slightly suspenseful, but not for too long.

I won't lie...there's a few things I don't like about the series. But, nothing on Earth has ever, or will ever be perfect other than Christ and His Word. I've never read anything that fit my beliefs perfectly, other than the Bible, so I really don't expect the Narnia series to be a perfect fit. Like most things in life, you have to take the good with the bad and create a happy medium. There really is way more that I have thoroughly enjoyed!!

I do hate that some of my favorite characters won't be in the other books. At least I assume they won't. I know the books do go back and forth in time a bit, so I guess I'll have to see. I'm looking forward to reading of more adventures through Narnia!

This will be my last post in connection with the Narnia Reading Challenge, but I'm going to continue having my own little challenge. I very much want to find out what else happens in Narnia, and I have a couple more books relating to Narnia and C.S. Lewis that I'm very curious to read!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Ten Books I Decided To Read Because of the Cover

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I know some people are cringing as they read this! I can't help it, though. I absolutely adore beautiful book covers! They are my favorite type of artwork. I especially love the ones that after reading the book, I can see what special part of the book the artist picked up to create it. Some book covers, you can tell the artist didn't put a whole lot of thought into the story or the characters when they created it. The ones that do, though...that's the ones that become the most beautiful to me.

These are the book covers that persuaded me to skim the book's description. I always skim reviews, because I don't like knowing too much about the story. I'm bad about starting a book and being surprised by something in the plot, only to discover later that the surprising aspect was written on the back cover all along. I do have to know a little about a book when I start it, unless it has been highly recommended by a trusted blogger. I might pick it up blindly then. :) But I find each of these book's descriptions intriguing along with the covers.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

If you've been around my blog long, you'll know this is one of my favorite books ever! If you like fairy tale stories, I HIGHLY recommend you pick this one up! I plan on re-reading it very soon as part of the Contentment Reading Challenge. The artist did a beautiful job of capturing many parts of the story with this one. I picked it up recently and I'm still just amazed at the beauty of it!

Alice I Have Been: A Novel [DECKLE EDGE] (Hardcover) by Melanie Benjamin

I hate to even feature this book again, because I hated it. It's one of my favorite covers, though, and I definitely decided I HAD to read this one because of the cover. SO, it belongs on the list!

To Have and To Hold (Bridal Veil Island) by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

So dreamy! I haven't read this one. (I don't think it's released yet).

Tailor-Made Bride, A by Karen Witemeyer

Y'all know I'm obsessed with blue. This one is so much more beautiful in person, though! The story is just as beautiful, too!

by Heather Dixon

Just Gorgeous...and again, beautiful story to go with the cover.

The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia A. McKillip

I haven't read this one, but the cover is lovely.

The Grimm Legacy
by Polly Shulman

I find this one very intriguing! I haven't read it yet, though.

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

I actually like the 13 Secrets cover the most, but I do want to start with the first one.

Tiger's Curse (Book 1) by Colleen Houck

I saw this one in Wal-Mart one day, and stood there admiring the cover. I'd never heard of it, so I came home and did a quick skim of the description and decided this is another one I HAD to read. This past week, I traded for this one at I'm very excited to read it! I know it's a picture of the audio book, but that's the cover I love so much. I keep finding the other cover. Although I really like it, I adore this one! :)

Rose of Winslow Street, The by Elizabeth Camden

I don't think this one comes out until next year.

I do want to point out that some of my favorite books have "not so pretty" covers, and I don't love them any less. Those books are usually the ones that I wasn't initially drawn to, but were recommeded. That's why I rely on my fellow book bloggers!! :) And I think I've had pretty good luck so far judging my books by their covers. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis

Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge

Well, I wasn't as fond of this book as I was of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I was very vaguely familiar with this one, but not as much as I anticipated. I saw the newest movie version of it, but apparently didn't remember much. I didn't recognize most of what happened throughout this story.

While I did enjoy it, I'm actually expecting this one to be my least favorite in the series. We'll see, though.

I just loved all the lessons scattered throughout the book. I guess more than the other lessons, I favoured the parenting "tips."

"Up until now King Miraz had been talking in the tiresome way that some grown-ups have, which makes it quite clear that they are not really interested in what you are saying, but now he suddenly gave Prince Caspian a sharp look."

"...and though(being a prince) he had wonderful toys which would do almost anything but talk, he liked best the last hour of the day when the toys had all been put back in their cupboards and Nurse would tell him stories."

This was probably my favorite part of the whole book!

"He was far bigger than the ordinary dumb squirrels which he had sometimes seen in the castle gardens; indeed he was nearly the size of a terrier and the moment you looked in his face you saw that he could talk. Indeed the difficulty was to get him to stop talking, for, like all squirrels, he was a chatterer. He welcomed Caspian at once and asked if he would like a nut and Caspian said thanks, he would. But as Pattertwig went bounding away to fetch it, Trufflehunter whispered in Caspian's ear, "Don't look. Look the other way. It's very bad manners among squirrels to watch anyone going to his store or to look as if you wanted to know where it was."

So funny! I actually laughed while reading this part. (Some of you probably see my childish humor shining through right now)! :)

And then there's Reepicheep. That little mouse has already won my heart!

""There are twelve of us, Sire," he said with a dashing and graceful bow, "and I place all the resources of my people unreservedly at your Majesty's disposal." Caspian tried hard (and successfully) not to laugh, but he couldn't help thinking that Reepicheep and all his people could very easily be put in a washing basket and carried home on one's back."

""What on Earth?" said Doctor Cornelius. "Has your majesty got grasshoppers-or mosquitoes-in your army?" Then after stooping down and peering carefully through his spectacles, he broke into a laugh. "By the Lion," he swore, "it's a mouse. Signior Mouse, I desire your better acquaitance. I am honored by meeting so valiant a beast.""

Sometimes a happy ending is best, but I'm not sure that I like what Aslan does for Reepicheep after his tail is cut off. I'm still pondering it, but I kind of wish that it happened different.

I'm very curious to find out about Aslan seeming bigger as children grow older. It seems backwards, so again, very curious!

The big disappointment I had with the book is when Peter calls Reepicheep a certain word that is not allowed around my house. It doesn't seem to be used in a Biblical way, so my husband and I consider it profanity. Although Jonathan doesn't care about books(other than in connection with my love of them), I sometimes discuss things I run across in my reading. So, we discussed this a bit, and he seemed as surprised as me that it was in there. I won't hold it too much against the series, but it did break my heart a bit that it was in there. I do have to consider that it was written in a different time period and all, so maybe it wasn't suppose to be such a bad word. (???) I know I'm making a big deal out of a word, but I'm weird. :) If I was reading regular young adult books, I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but I was just really surprised with it being a Christian series. But anyway!

I'm still very much enjoying my journey through Narnia!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Restless in Carolina by Tamara Leigh

Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011) 352 pages

Description from Amazon:
She’s all about going green. Could he be her white knight—or will he make her see red?

Tree-huggin’, animal-lovin’ Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is on a mission. Well, two. First she has to come to terms with being a widow at thirty-three. After all, it’s been four years and even her five-year-old niece and nephew think it’s time she shed her widow’s weeds. Second, she needs to find a buyer for her family’s estate—a Biltmore-inspired mansion surrounded by hundreds of acres of unspoiled forestland. With family obligations forcing the sale, Bridget is determined to find an eco-friendly developer to buy the land, someone who won’t turn it into single-family homes or a cheesy theme park.

Enter J. C. Dirk, a high-energy developer from Atlanta whose green property developments have earned him national acclaim. When he doesn’t return her calls, Bridget decides a personal visit is in order. Unfortunately, J. C. Dirk is neither amused nor interested when she interrupts his meeting—until she mentions her family name. In short order, he finds himself in North Carolina, and Bridget has her white knight—in more ways than one. But there are things Bridget doesn’t know about J. C., and it could mean the end of everything she’s worked for…and break her heart.

My Review:
Bridget is definitely not the usual leading lady! I was shocked while reading to discover she had dredlocks. I had to completely "re-picture" her in my mind. Now, I'm not putting down dredlocks! :) It's just not everyday that you run across a character with them in Christian Fiction. She also has a pet opossum. Unfortunately, that just makes me cringe a little. It took a bit for me to like Bridget, or connect with her. The story starts out with her making a little girl cry. Come on, I'm a momma! So, she had to convince me to like her.

I haven't read the first and second books in this series, so while I kept up okay with the story, I kept feeling like I was missing something. I really think I would have liked this book more if I had read the other two. This is the first book I've read from Tamara, but I am looking forward to reading some of her others. Splitting Harriet and Stealing Adda are probably at the top, though.

Overall, this is a fun, light, humorous read!

Click HERE to read the first chapter.

*I was provided a review copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge

Although I never officially joined, as part of the Narnia Reading Challenge, I have decided to finally actually read the Chronicles of Narnia. I have to admit if not for this challenge, I wouldn't be reading them now. I've saw some beautiful posts about the books and C.S. Lewis, so I just have to know about Narnia myself!

In the past, I've bought a couple of the books when I found them for almost nothing, and I hate that they have barely survived a couple of book clean-outs. They did survive, so I'm glad of that! :)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is such a beautiful story! I was vaguely familiar with it, since I've saw two different versions of the movies at different points of my life. Actually reading the book brought about a whole new experience, though! I got very emotional while reading it, and I didn't expect to in the slightest way. Carrie, the host of the Narnia Reading Challenge, posted about her experience reading the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to her oldest and how emotional she got. (Click HERE for that post). Well, I assumed that the emotions would come once I understood the series a bit more. Nope! This is the scene where I realized I couldn't even see the words on the page.

"No," said Aslan. "I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that."

And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission, but what they had longed to do ever since they first saw him-buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fur and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him."

Just beautiful! Most of the symbolism in this particular book was pretty obvious, I think, which explains the emotional part. I am looking forward to browsing through other books to see what symbols I know I missed.

I also love how the book reads. I could very easily picture Mr. Lewis in front of a fireplace telling this story to a group of children. It's not written like an actual book.

"But such people! Ogres with monstrous teeth, and wolves, and bull-headed men; spirits of evil trees and poisonous plants; and other creatures I won't describe because if I did the grown-ups would probably not let you read this book...."

And, I just adore the letter at the beginning of the book. I definitely picture Mr. Lewis as a grandfatherly figure(at this point, anyway). I'm really looking forward to learning more about why he wrote the books and about Lucy.

I now have a better grasp of why children should be introduced slowly to this story. I know parts of it would have very much scared and disturbed me as a child! It's the same way with the Bible, though. I know some of the events of the Bible need to be introduced very slowly. Please know that I'm not trying to actually compare the Bible with any story written by man(without the inspiration of God). There's just no comparison to God's Word! :) I am very much looking forward to sharing this story with my boys someday, though!!

I have had such a lovely time reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and finally getting a bit better acquainted with Narnia. I'm now very glad that I have set aside time to read the rest of the series. I have all review books ahead of schedule, so I can't wait to read more!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Balzer + Bray (August 30, 2011) 560 pages(Yes, this is one big chunk of a book!)

Description from Amazon:

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.

You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.

And this is where the crows take her brother.

So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.

A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.

My Review:

"The first book in the epic middle-grade fantasy series full of magic, wonder, and danger—nothing less than an American Narnia—from Colin Meloy, lead singer of the highly celebrated band the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, the acclaimed illustrator of the New York Times bestselling The Mysterious Benedict Society."

The previous statement is why I decided to read this book. That, and Trenton Lee Stewart endorsed it. I've heard wonderful things about his books, so I figured this would be a good book. I debated whether to even review Wildwood on my blog, but since it is going on my "on the fence" list I figured I might as well do a little explaining. I got this book as part of the Amazon Vine program, where I've already posted my review and gave it 4 stars. It's definitely one those books that has weighed on my mind, though. I just don't think it deserves 4 stars due to the content.

The fact that the book is promoted as a Narnia-type book upsets me. I'm not going to say much on that, though, because at the time of writing this I'm only in the second book. I don't feel I'm entitled to too much of an opinion at the moment. There's obvious plot similarities between Wildwood and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I don't think plot similarities is exactly something that authors brag about, though. :) I did decide this is definitely one I'll be keeping a watch at reviews. I have a feeling the true Narnia fans will be highly offended! There's already one very interesting review on Amazon that I encourage you to read. (the 1 star review) I'm not saying I agree. I won't even pretend that I got all that she did out of the book. I'm way more of a "surface reader" for the most part. That's why I've already ordered a book to help me understand more about what the Real Narnia series means.

On to the content now! (Possible spoilers here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

It was just a very dark book to be for young readers, in my opinion. I was a bit surprised by some it! There was drinking(and the characters even slurring their words to show how drunk they were), smoking, cussing(both actual words and just saying that someone cursed), and violent scenes. The "bad" woman in the story planned to sacrifce a baby to vines, so they could drink his blood. She had also put her dead son's teeth into a mechanical being to bring her son back to life with magic. Prue, the main girl, left her 1 year old brother outside in a wagon while she went into the library. Come on, people!! It was definitely written for young reader's, but some of the content seemed for a much older crowd! This is the second young reader's book I've felt this way about, so maybe this is normal these days. I've always been a pretty sheltered person, though, (and wouldn't have it any other way!) so maybe I'm being too hard on books. I do read much differently now that I'm a parent than when I wasn't. ???? If this was targeted as a young adult book, I wouldn't have thought much about it, and it would go straight to my clean read list. I'm just much harder on young readers booksI read.

Other than the (extra) content, the story was enjoyable. It was adventurous and all. When I wasn't wanting to smack the author(I say that kindly!), I enjoyed reading about Prue and Curtis. There were pictures scattered all throughout the book, and I really loved looking at those. The final copy will have 6 full color pages, too. since I have an ARC, I didn't get to see those and many others. Whenever I'm at a book store, I'll definitely flip through a copy. From my understanding, the author and illustrator are husband and wife. (?) Very sweet! :)

*I was provided an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tag, You're It!

Amber @ Seasons of Humility very sweetly tagged me. So, here goes! :)

Are you hot/cold/warm right now? Where are you at?

Surprisingly, I'm pretty comfortable at the moment. Jonathan likes the house MUCH cooler than I do. I'm on "my spot" on the couch.

Upload a picture of the wallpaper you are using.

Well, I was going to say, don't judge me on this one, because I just don't really change up my wallpaper and this is just what it is. :) But, I can't seem to get my weird background to upload. It's one that comes with the computer, so maybe I'm not suppose to be able. I told Jonathan it looks like a weird mix between Tim Burton and Lisa Frank. Is Lisa Frank stuff even still around? When I went to school, it was the "in" thing to have Lisa Frank folders, pencils, and all things school supplies.

I'll upload the one that Jonathan has on his computer.

Some of you may recognize this one. :)

When was the last time you ate chicken?

Hmmmm......13 years. I became a vegetarian right before my 17th birthday. I may have ate a bit of chicken at the first of this pregnancy, but I can't remember for sure. I know I trid a bit of tuna and turkey, but I just couldn't mentally handle the fact I was eating an animal. I was desperate for a normal pregnancy, so I did give it a shot for a few days, though. So, it's either been 13 years or about 9 months.

What song or songs have you listened to recently?

I haven't listened to any music lately. Jonathan has to have the radio on when we are riding in a vehicle(I don't), but I can't remember what was playing.

If I were to go get a CD right now, it would definitely be Something For Everybody(Baz Luhrman). That is my favorite CD ever, minus soundtrack #6, I think.

I've been singing Blessed Assurance a good bit lately, but I'm not on CD, so I don't guess that counts. And I have the singing voice only a baby could enjoy! :)

Bless├Ęd assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Do you have any nicknames? If so, what are they?

Not really. Around the blogosphere, I'm known as Bluerose, but nobody in real life has ever called me that. My best friend, in our college age years, called me Blue. My sister used to call me Wammy(short for Tammy Wammy). That's about it, I think, though.

I'm suppose to tag 5 bloggers, but I'm going to tag anyone and everyone who is reading this that would possibly like to play along. If you do, please come back and let me know, because I would love to see your post!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham

Starscape (September 13, 2011) 336 pages (from what I can tell this is a re-release from 2001 with a new cover, which I like much better!)

My Review:

Max the Wolf, who is actually a 12-13 year old boy, not a wolf, wakes up in a strange world one day. He has no recollection of his immediate past and has no idea how he ended up where he's found himself. He quickly meets Banderbrock(a badger), McTavish(a cranky and very mean barncat), and Walden(a black bear who was a sheriff in the past). They learn that the "Blue Cutters" are after them to cut out parts of them that make them unique. Down the Mysterly River is about their journey to safety.

I can almost guarantee that when you finish this book, you'll be wearing a smile(or at least one in your heart). I thought I had an "Aha" moment about half way through the book as to what it really was about, but I was wrong. At the end, when the real "Aha" moment came, it brought a smile to my face. I don't think you'll be able to guess the ending.

I can't recommend this book without a few warnings, though. While the Amazon page lists this as a young adult book, the advanced reader's copy I read lists it as a middle grade novel(I usually think 8-12ish for middle reader's). It was really an odd mixture between the two. It has the beautiful black and white pictures at the start of each chapter(illustrated by Mark Buckingham). I wouldn't recommend it for young readers, though. Here's a couple excerpts to help you decide.

"The only worry I have about you is how bad you'd taste with my teeth buried in your throat, and how little sport you'd provide before your corpse lay rotting under my claws," Banderbrock said."

"The dog-a giant of a Shephard-Golden Lab mix, with more daring than sense-had partially torn away a great bloody flap of flesh, from his chin down to his chest. As McTavish lay bleeding into the dust of the barnyard, preparing to join his adversary in death......"

I'm pretty sensitive, though. There's scenes of "cutting" that I really think would be disturbing to young readers.

There's also a line about God that I didn't care for.

"When that god you like so much first created the world, I delivered an egg to him to hatch it from. Then when he had his tantrum and flooded the thing, I brought him another one to start it over with."

I just don't like that statement being part of the book....not one bit. It actually broke my heart a little when I got to it. BUT, I'm going to assume since the author does breifly mention Max praying that the whole book in general isn't a jab at Christianity. I hope not, because I can't recommend it if it is. Anyone that has read it, please feel free to chime in on that matter. :) I'm going to just pretend like it isn't in the book, though.

Then there's the possibly a curse word. (?) The way it's used, I'm not sure it's suppose to be. I've had this happen with one of my other clean reads, too. I know I'm not being much help on that matter, but if you've read it, again, feel free to chime in. This is a book I especially would love to hear some other opinions. :) I am putting it on my clean read list, though. I'd say as a young adult book, it's definitely clean!

My favorite character by far was McTavish. He thinks he's very smart, since he is a barn cat. He says words like elocution(education), nopinions(opinions), and mysterlious(mysterious). It was really cute how the others tried not to laugh at him. Some other wise statements from McTavish:

"You're a professor of egg delivery? I suppose a bit down the road we'll meet a doctor of shoveling manure."

"Paddy and Piffy? Don't tell me the horse's nickname if Poofy. That would be just too glorious for Mama's little kitten to ever hope for."

Down the Mysterly River ended up being very different from what I expected, but I wasn't disappointed because of it. It was a very clever and charming story, and I defintely recommend it for young adults(12ish and up) and adults!

*I was provided an Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Bethany House (May 1, 2011) 347 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

My Review:
If you've ever read a Karen Witemeyer book before, then I know you don't need me to convince you to read another one! If you haven't read one, then you're really missing out. I became an instant fan after reading A Tailor-Made Bride. I just absolutely adore Karen's style of writing. She truly pulls you in the story and you love the characters like you know them.

Levi's character just really pulled at my heartstrings. He was a true "gentle giant." He can't pronounce the letter "s" without lisping, so he has to find words that don't include that letter. I know that really had to slow down the writing process, and thought it was extremely creative on Karen's part. There are only two instances(that I recall) that Levi uses a word with the letter "s" and I won't lie, the last time brought tears to my eyes! It was just so incredibly sweet!
I also love that Eden runs a library out of her home, along with making artwork out of dried and pressed flowers. How wonderful would both of those be?!

There's so many other characters to fall in love with, too. It was just so easy to connect to all of them and I hated to see it end. I can't wait to read more from Karen!

*I was provided a review copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.

Top Ten Books On My Wishlist for July

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I still really want to read several of the books on my June wishlist, but I decided to feature different ones for July.

Rae: My True Story of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia (Louder Than Words) by Chelsea Swigget

Last week during my review of Craving Grace, I mentioned that I just absolutely don't like memoirs. might be surprised to see a memoir on my Top Ten Wishlist. And while the rest of them are in no order, Rae sits at my #1 want! I'm very curious to read her story, because in high school the description of the book could have been of me. I'm much better these days than I used to be, but I "jokingly" say I have social phobia.
I've also realized since then that I also have a few other memoirs that I hope to read one day including Growing Up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) by Barbara Kingsolver. (They just don't quite make it on my top ten). So, I guess I like SOME memoirs better than I thought. :)

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

I've been trying lately to support my library, but they don't have any of Jessica's books. :( I will probably just find another fairy tale re-telling to satisfy my craving, but I'd still love to read this one.

Tiger's Curse (Book 1) by Colleen Houck

I'm VERY curious about this one!

Cordelia Underwood: Or the Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League by Van Reid

I'm curious about this one, too.

The Big Book of Exclamations

I want this one for my Grasshopper. I still have a little while before I think it would be really (or more)beneficial. I'm keeping a check on it, since it's still a little pricey everywhere I've looked.

Operation Bonnet: A Novel by Kimberly Stuart

I've actually had this one on my wishlist for a little while now.

Book of a Thousand DaysChildren's Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths Books) by Shannon Hale

Another fairy tale book.

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

I've really been in a young readers(and fairy tale re-telling) mood lately. I've finally finished up all my review copies that were time pressed, so I'm looking forward to diving into all the books I have lined up.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

...another young reader book.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own MakingTeen Science Fiction Books) by Catherynne M. Valente

...And another. I actually have more young reader books on my wishlist, but they will show up in my next week's top ten list, so I left them off this one. Just in case you're curious, next week's will be "My Top Ten Favorite Book Covers...At the Moment." :)

*Sorry about some of the extra words and links in the titles of some of the books! I used the provided Amazon links and I don't know how to take off the extra stuff.