What I’m reading: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

This book has restored my faith in reading… No, seriously.

 

I started this book sometime ago… This year has been a weird time for all of us… Add to that, several books I read during 2019 very nearly ruined me for reading at all. I understand everyone has different likes – and perhaps some people did truthfully enjoy the books I’m speaking of – but I find that hard to believe, personally.

Given all of that disappointment and disillusionment, it’s really no surprise that it took me so long to get back into reading… and, that I pretty much stuck to what I knew already.

When I finally sat down and gave this book a chance, it hooked me immediately. I got both my mother and my daughter interested in the series purely by seeing how much I was enjoying it.

I may not enjoy everything Gail Carriger writes (I’m already certain I won’t), but I LOVE this series!

Sophronia is precisely the sort of heroine girls need more of!

The irony is, many people might draw parallels between this series and Harry Potter… But, The Finishing Academy series is more dangerous, more daring, more inclusive, and more exciting from hilarious start to breathtaking finish!

Read it!

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2020

Midnight Sun has arrived! Finally!

Maybe it’s because I’m an author… Maybe it’s because I write fantasy… Maybe it’s just because I have never been one to take the word of others on whether or not something is good… Or maybe it’s just because it really is a GREAT book – and a LOT of people are missing out on why!

And… YES! These custom jackets from Juniper Books are on my wishlist!

As a young girl, I was one of those perverse kids who wore outfits and colors deliberately because they were NOT popular.

I am one who understands EXACTLY what she means when Alice (Alice in Wonderland) says: “Who’s to say what is proper? What if it were agreed that “proper” meant wearing a codfish on your head? Would you wear it? … To me a corset is like a codfish.

I NEVER watched movies or read books or wore clothes JUST because they were popular. In fact, most times I did everything I could to avoid those things. That is likely why I missed out on so many great book and movie series at the very beginning of their popularity. I was always late to the party. Which really isn’t all that bad a thing when you think about all the crazy lines I missed having to stand in as well.

With The Twilight Saga, it was somewhat the same story. I did not miss out entirely on standing in lines or waiting for upcoming releases. I picked up book 1 when the first 3 were out, so I did have to wait for book 4 and Bree. Plus, the movies were only a blip on the horizon at that point so I did have to wait in line for each and every one of those.

In fact, my mother and I were at the midnight show for the first 3

And I truly hope Stephenie decides to write the other 3 books (or more) from Edward’s perspective.

Of course, as much as I would LOVE for them to do the movies over with this wonderful new information, I would hate to lose the awesomeness that is Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2. So, I will live with the ridiculous Edward and the pathetic wardrobe and the crappy car chosen.

 

As for Midnight Sun…

And because the only thing about the book I don’t care for is the cover… this is my very own fan cover:

I will never understand how anyone could NOT LOVE this book!!! It was quite simply AMAZING! PERFECTION! STUNNINGLY BRILLIANT! Not only did Stephenie stick to what she had written in twilight… I know I would’ve been tempted to change things if it had been my story… She added so much depth to the story and the character.

I understand Edward in so many more ways that I ever have because of this AMAZING BOOK that I just could not put down.

Seriously… my mother and I fought over who got the read it first. We ended up taking turns, and it was always a struggle to let her have her turn. Fortunately, she is a morning person, so she mostly read before I got up.

Way back when, in another post about The Twilight Saga, I said the following:

Actually I do think that most of us “TRUE” fans got it.

And we are the ones defending it to the ground. We are the ones who realize that he is NOT being “human” here. He is not being a jealous, controlling boyfriend. He is being her protector and he’s doing everything he can just to keep her alive.

Maybe the problem is this…

Too many of us have bought into this whole women’s lib thing and forgotten how nice it is to actually have a great guy to lean on when we’re stressed or exhausted or just beaten down by all of the world’s crap. We’ve forgotten how great it feels to have a guy hold our door open for us, take our hand to help us out of a car, let us walk through a doorway first, pay for our dinner and surprise us with amazing gifts – just because they want to.

And because so many women have forgotten how great these things are, too many men have stopped doing them. They make us open our own door, make excuses like they left their wallet at home and we get stuck with the check (or they expect more than they should if they actually pay for your dinner) and they treat us like crap – because they can and we keep coming back to them for more – because we don’t know that WE ARE WORTH MORE!

I don’t know if the words in the above paragraphs are actually why so many people dislike the books, or if it’s jealousy or just plain meanness, but this new book is an exceptional addition to the series – and I do not understand why ANYONE is saying anything to the contrary.

In my book, the only thing that really matters when you pick up a book to read – is whether you enjoy reading it.

And I did!

I enjoyed every single part of the book. The story pulled me right back in. I was entranced and entertained and I remain enthusiastic about even the remote possibility of more books from Edward’s perspective!

 

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Feature & Review © J.C. Morrows 2020

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What I’m reading: The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

A wonderful story about faith, family and love.

 

THE MEMORY HOUSE by Rachel Hauck is just what I have come to expect from her books; WONDERFUL!

Another exceptional story from a unique perspective, exploring the past and the present through disaster and healing and a house that connects two couples across time.

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a new captivating novel of two women whose lives have been destroyed by disaster but find healing in a special house.

Embracing the future means remembering the past . . .

When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that either.

Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.

Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

“Hauck is a master at weaving together plots from multiple time periods.” —Library Journal

Accomplished Hauck demonstrates genre finesse as she blends inspirational romance with a cinematic style of storytelling, bringing empathic characters to life as they cope with grief in marriage and faithfulness, parenthood and adoption, death and tragedy. Challenging decisions, the blessing of finding love again, and the solace of a beautiful Victorian home all come together in this spellbinding, lovely novel.” —Booklist

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m reading: Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton

A wonderful story about faith, family and love.

 

GLORY ROAD by Lauren K. Denton is one of those stories I pick up because it intrigues me, but I’m never sure what to expect.

Thankfully, this one does not disappoint. Denton does a wonderful job of pulling the reader in to her story about life, family, and the love that binds them together. Every family is different, and they each travel their own path in this world, searching for love along the way.

That is this story. And it’s positively delightful.

 

Written in Lauren Denton’s signature Southern style, Glory Road tells the story of three generations of women navigating the uncertain pathways of their hearts during a summer that promises to bring change—whether they’re ready for it or not.

“Glory Road brims with faith and family, second chances, and new horizons.” —LISA WINGATE, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.

Nearly a decade after her husband’s affair drove her back home to South Alabama, Jessie McBride has the stable life she wants—operating her garden shop, Twig, next door to her house on Glory Road, and keeping up with her teenage daughter and spunky mother. But the unexpected arrival of two men makes Jessie question whether she’s really happy with the status quo.

When handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. Then Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school, moves back to the red dirt road, and she feels her heart pulled in directions she never expected.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and navigating a new world of emotions—particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, is suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses and faces a frightening, uncertain future.

In one summer, everything will change. But for these three strong Southern women, the roots they’ve planted on Glory Road will give life to the adventures waiting just around the curve.

“Rich colorful characters capturing my heart, combined with a story that kept me up till the wee hours, Glory Road is a perfect read. Lauren Denton has done it again!” —Lisa Patton, bestselling author of Rush and Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter

“Once again Lauren Denton brings her lyrical writing and compelling characters to a story that will enthrall readers from page one.” —Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, author of Only Ever Her and co-founder of She Reads, for Glory Road

“From the opening of The Hideaway, the reader is captured by the voice of a woman who has for too long kept a story that must be told, one the reader wants to hear. Denton has crafted a story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

“A poignant and heartfelt tale of sisterhood, motherhood, and marriage, Hurricane Season deftly examines the role that coming to terms with the past plays in creating a hopeful future. Readers will devour this story of the hurricanes—both literal and figurative—that shape our lives.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m reading: To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

This is not your grandmother’s kind of girl power.

 

To Best the Boys is one of those books that young girls, and young teen girls need today! It’s not some ridiculous novel that keeps shouting “girl power” at you. It’s the kind of story that SHOWS you girl power… and still shows human weakness and imperfection.

Mary mentioned on social media the other day that she struggled with this novel more than a little bit. I tend to think that is part of what makes this such a compelling read. That struggle is embedded in every word on the page, shining through the characters’ words and actions!

There’s also adventure, and danger, and MAGIC!

Don’t miss it!

 

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University.

Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m reading: Evermore by Sara Holland

You know that meme that says…

Or, in this case, hardback…

Yeah. Evermore is one of those stories.

I actually read a few other reviews for this book, and the ones that said it was not as good as the first, I wondered at.

And then I read it, and WOW! I do not get those reviews! Because I thought Evermore was every bit as good as Everless… maybe even better. It pulled me in, and every time I had to put the book down, it was all I could do not to snap at whomever was the reason for it that time. It was AMAZING! The ending was not at all predictable. The story was so intriguing, I found myself racing ahead, just to find out what was going to happen. I actually had to make myself go back and read what I had rushed through several times because I was so excited, I missed things.

It was just that GOOD!

 

The highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestseller, Everless!

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m reading: Defiant Joy by Stasi Eldredge

TAKING HOLD OF HOPE, BEAUTY, AND LIFE IN A HURTING WORLD.

 

Bestselling author Stasi Eldredge shows readers how to choose a joy that stands against the tides of life’s real and often overwhelming pain.

We are called to live. And, miraculously, to live with joy.

We all spend a lot of energy reaching for happiness, but we are never quite able to hang on to it. Real life happens, and our circumstances take us on an emotional rollercoaster ride. So the Bible’s call to “be joyful always” sounds almost crazy—and out of reach. But it doesn’t have to be.

Joy is meant to be ours, a joy that is defiant in the face of this broken world. This joy is not simply happiness on steroids; it’s the unyielding belief that sorrow and loss do not have the final say. It’s the stubborn determination to be present to whatever may come and to interpret both goodness and grief by the light of heaven.

In Defiant Joy, Stasi Eldredge invites us with courage, candor, and tender vulnerability to a place beyond sadness or happiness. She shows us how to maintain a posture of holy defiance that neither denies nor diminishes our pain but dares to live with expectant, unwavering hope.

We are called to live.

And, miraculously, to live with joy.

Those are words written with the intention of changing lives!

 

Why defiant joy? Why not… simply joy?
… In this world where we find ourselves living, having joy often feels both crazy and out of reach.”

Those words say it all. This world is not one where any of us can find joy without being defiant… without “standing against the tide, going against the flow…” without making the tough decision to grab hold of joy and refuse to let go.

This is a book that everyone needs in this hopeless, miserable world we exist in, this world where joy is quickly sought out and squashed by the enemy on a daily basis.

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m reading: Everless by Sara Holland

I can see this is going to be a year of stunning reads!

Have you ever been so enthralled with a story, so immersed, so desperate to get to the conclusion that is dangling oh so tantalizingly out of reach… that you actually miss part of the story and have to go back and re-read?

THAT is precisely how intense the pull was for this reader at multiple points of the story. I literally had to put the book down, remind myself to breathe, and then pick it up and read again the story I had just read.

Everless is one of those stories that will pull you in and refuse to let go. Long after you release the last page, the haunting story will hold you in its grip and you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s not real… that the words are just a fictional creation that was given birth by a mere mortal from this little blue world we inhabit.

Yes. It’s that GOOD! And how fortuitous that we do not have to wait for book 2. Evermore is already here, released into the world to wreak a similar havoc among readers such as me.

 

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m reading: Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

WOW!

CJ Redwine was 100% spot on it when she said this book was “Brilliant, fascinating, and utterly impossible to put down.”  

I picked this book up at the library yesterday and only put it down early this morning, nearly breathless with the absolutely exceptional ending.

Whether you enjoy fairy-tale retellings or just refreshingly exciting fantasy, this is a book you should immerse yourself in immediately!

You won’t be sorry!

I picked it up at the library on the recommendation of a friend and now I will be buying not one, but two books, because I have to have both books in the series and I dearly hope Miss West will grace us with another!

Don’t miss the companion novella; Fields of Fire! That’s my next read. It will keep me enchanted until I get my hands on Realm of Ruins; book 2 in this incomparable new series!

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Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting.

An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors?

She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.

 

 

Feature © JCMorrows 2019

What I’m Reading: Belle by Cameron Dokey

 

 

The story of Beauty and the Beast finds new life in this magical and imaginative retelling that’s filled with romance and adventure.

By the time her sixteenth birthday comes around, Belle feels more convinced than ever that she is being called by the wrong name. Unlike her older sisters Celeste and April, whose names suit them perfectly, Belle knows that she is not beautiful. She begs to be called by her given name, Annabelle—or even Anna for short—but to no avail. Her solace is her wood-carving hobby, and she longs to find the Heartwood tree: Legend has it that, when carved by the right hands, it can reveal the face of one’s true love.

One day, during a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the fabled tree—only to become ensnarled by it and come face-to-face with a terrifying and lonely Beast, who will set him free on one condition: that Belle carves the Heartwood. Belle agrees, never dreaming that she and the Beast have the same wish: to be seen not with the eyes of the mind, but of the heart.

 

There is nothing I like more than an intriguing fairy tale retelling that is fresh and original… even though the story holds more similarities to the original story than the most frequently told story these days.

One of the best parts about a retelling is how much more involved you get with the main characters. In the original fairy tales, the story focused on the middle and the end. With a retelling, you can explore the beginning.

Belle does that and it’s wonderful. We have a chance to become very attached to Belle and her family, get a look into who she really is and what makes her tick. It makes the middle of the story that much more exciting and intense.

I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the books in this series, and I’m glad to discover that I’ve not started in the middle since most of the books seem to be stand-alones.

If you haven’t read them, you should check them out HERE.

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy has such a way with cowboy fiction! She is one of two authors who I read. . . and enjoy. . . every book!


She’s the only witness to a wagon train attack. Keeping her safe, though, means his world is about to be turned upside down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

 

This book unwittingly reminds me of one of my first favorite books; a book my mother read to us as children and one I have read many times as a teen, and later as an adult – so, of course, The Accidental Guardian will likely also hold a special place in my heart for years to come.

Mary has a talent for pulling her readers into the character’s skin, making you feel what they are feeling; both good and bad, which always makes for a story that is nearly impossible to put down!

I am already looking forward to book 2 in this series!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

Peach Cobbler Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 6 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

WOW! Everything about this book is DELICIOUS! From the cover to the colors to the name to the AMAZING story within! I recommend you start at the beginning of the series, but I also highly recommend you DO NOT STOP READING until you get to this one! And hopefully, Naomi will release her next book SOON!

 

Things are changing in Abbott Creek. . .

Between babies and budding romances, busy schedules and unexpected gossip, the small town and its residents may never be the same.

Everyone at the Sweet Shop Bakery and the Irish Blessings cafe is worrying over Bella and her baby – and busily trying to convince her to take it easy.

Katie is not the only person in town with some big decisions ahead of her. And the busy summer season is kicked off with a big surprise for everyone.

Don’t miss the revelation everyone has been waiting for – in Peach Cobbler Mystery; the sixth cozy mystery of Naomi Miller‘s Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series.

 

OH MY WORD!

OK… I’m going to try to do this without any spoilers, but it’s NOT going to be easy.

Naomi Miller handles what could have been a horrific and tense event with grace and acceptance, and in such a way that even a young girl could read the story with no problem – and I definitely think young girls should read this story. The message within is one that every young woman needs to be mindful of in this crazy world we live in today!

 

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Don’t miss Peach Cobbler Mystery by Naomi Miller – Tweet this!

 

Feature ©JCMorrows 2018

Chocolate Truffle Mystery by Naomi Miller | Book 5 in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

WOW! Everything about this book is DELICIOUS! From the cover to the colors to the name to the AMAZING story within! I recommend you start at the beginning of the series, but I also highly recommend you DO NOT STOP READING until you get to this one! And hopefully, Naomi will release her next book SOON!

 

 

Katie Chupp is not the only person in Abbott Creek looking forward to the most romantic holiday of the year. . .

But Valentine’s Day will not be all hearts and flowers. There are secrets to be kept, feelings to be explored, and difficult decisions to be made — and each one has something to do with the heart.

Will those secrets come between friends? Will the happy couples in Abbott Creek get to celebrate. . . together? With the demand for sweet treats fierce this year. will the Sweet Shop’s baker find time for romance?

And will one young woman be able to live with the choice she must make on the most romantic day of the year?

 

Book 5 of the Sweet Shop Mysteries series

 

 

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Feature ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is book 4: Winter! WAH!!! It’s over. . .

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

 

It’s available in Paperback now so I can finally complete my collection! I’ve been waiting forever because I LOVE having all of my books matching (of course, I’ve had the eBook all this time so I could read it!)!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is Fairest: the story of that most wretched of all evil queens!

 

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

 

I detest stories that try to excuse a villain’s abhorrent behavior–and I was thrilled to find that this is not one of those and that is all I’m going to say because I simply refuse to chance spoiling it for anyone!

But trust me… READ IT!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

What I’m Reading: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is book 3: Cress! HELLO Thorne!!!

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

 

Thorne reminds me of the clever and inventive reluctant hero from a certain NEW movie about the long haired fairy tale Princess. . . and I am not the only one!

Oh my, Captain Thorne! Who doesn’t love a devious scoundrel!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2018

NOMINATE Naomi Miller’s NEW release for an INSPY!

Nominations for the INSPY awards are officially open and I hope you’ll all join me in nominating Naomi Miller’s NEWest book: Pumpkin Pie Mystery for the award!  

 

 

Naomi Miller writes cozy mysteries like NO OTHER AUTHOR I KNOW! Her stories focus on the importance of grace, forgiveness and faith! 

 

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s Pumpkin pies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop. . . baking for the upcoming holidays and enjoying the changing seasons.

Thanksgiving is approaching and the residents of Abbott Creek are preparing to give thanks for their blessings.

But between fielding questions from every person in town who is desperate to find out where Mrs. Simpkins has gone, to finding extra help for the busy holiday season, Katie’s blessings this year are being outweighed by her problems.

When a stranger comes to town looking for work, will it be an answer to Katie’s prayers or spell trouble at The Sweet Shop?

 

Nominate Pumpkin Pie Mystery for the INSPYs! – Tweet this!

I hope you’ll join me in nominating this wonderful debut novel. I feel it deserves to win!  http://inspys.com/?page_id=1183 

 

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CONNECT with Naomi on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website: NaomiMillerAuthor.com

You can also check out the Author Spotlight I did for the books back in November: Blueberry Cupcake Mystery | Christmas Cookie Mystery
Lemon Tart Mystery | Pumpkin Pie Mystery

©JCMorrows 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Naomi Miller

Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery Front Cover N Christmas Cookie Mystery Front Cover B Lemon Tart Mystery Front Cover B 

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery released in Spring of 2016 to rave reviews.  Christmas Cookie Mystery released just in time for the Holiday season in 2016.  Readers are already devouring Lemon Tart Mystery; which just released this  past summer and readers so far have been delighted with Pumpkin Pie Mystery.

Naomi Miller is working to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series. I know I’m excited!

Book Review | Life is Better at the Beach: Inspirational Rules for Living Each Day Like You’re at the Beach

You can almost believe you’re really there!

 

Take long walks.

Watch the sunset.

Shoes are optional.

The beautiful four-color book of inspirational photos, Bible verses, quotations, and short writings invites you to escape the buzz of the everyday and into the tranquility that the beach offers. Each section of this book will cover a “beach rule” and encouraging thoughts on how you can incorporate that mind-set or behavior into your daily life.

Much of Jesus’ ministry happened along the seashore, where He told His followers about the peace and rest His Father offered them and modeled the best way to live. In the same way, this book transports you to a favorite beach locale and helps you apply rules for beach living to everyday life—rules to slow down, to notice the beauty in the little things, and to incorporate rest into even the most stressful times.

Full of serene images, inspiring quotations, and restful Bible verses, this book will be a natural addition to your coffee table or desk, as well as a lovely gift for that beach-loving friend.

For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. —Habakkuk 2:14 NLT


This is an exceptional book – either to give as a gift or to buy for yourself. It is full of wonderful advice, insightful life tips, and beautiful imagery!

Reading through the book, it’s easy to imagine hearing the waves crashing outside your window… or the call of gulls as they glide over the ocean water.

I have the e-version of this book and while I highly recommend snagging the hardback edition as well, it is exceedingly handy to have a copy on my iPad. I get to take this wonderful volume everywhere with me – and there are unexpected stresses everywhere. It is a delight to have this book with me when I’m on the go!

Review © JCMorrows 2016

 

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Book Review | An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller

 

“An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna’s world is changed forever.”

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover… but can you judge a book by its tagline?

I think so!

Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that each and every book I have read by Kathleen Fuller is AH-Mazing!

She writes believably about REAL life! She pulls the reader right into her characters’ world… into their story… even into their head.

She writes about tragic events, cautious decision and difficult circumstances – and through it all, she shows that if her characters hold tight to their faith, they can accomplish even the most impossible goals!

Even wrapped in tragedy, the hope and beauty shines through Kathleen’s latest story: An Unbroken Heart – Tweet this!

I hope you’ll give it a chance (of course I always suggest reading a series from the very beginning) – and I really hope you enjoy each story as much as I have!

Happy Reading!
Review © JCMorrows 2016


{MORE ABOUT An Unbroken Heart}

An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna’s world is changed forever.

One minute, Joanna Schrock was arguing with her parents, and the next, her parents’ lives were claimed in a hit-and-run buggy accident.

Her body is broken, but her heart is in even deeper pain — after all, how do you cope with your parents’ deaths when your last words were spoken in anger?

After an extended stint in a physical rehabilitation center, Joanna re-enters her Amish life. But nothing is the same — not even her feelings for Andrew Beiler.

Joanna has loved Andrew since the age of twelve, and her feelings have not changed throughout the years. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to get married, but she wonders whether it’s love he’s feeling, or pity. As the couple’s wedding date approaches, Joanna isn’t overcome with the deep joy she was hoping to feel; instead, she’s wracked with anxiety and guilt.

Joanna hears God whispering to her, Be strong and courageous, but she’s afraid that courage looks a lot like walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father. If Joanna takes the first step toward healing, will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? Or could God be changing the desires of her heart?

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

BOOK REVIEW | “Anchor in the Storm” by Sarah Sundin

An exceptional progression of the series!

 

Not that I’m surprised… not even a little. Every book I have read by Sarah Sundin has had several common threads – fantastic plot development, marvelous character development, and exceptional story-telling!

Anchor in the Storm is NO different. It is a wonderful second story in this series.

Sarah brings WWII to life for her readers!

I – for one – love it!

I love the intrigue! I love the friction! I love the romance!

Sarah not only gives us a look at the tension on this side of the Atlantic during WWII – she links it to a much larger mystery that has global ramifications.

 

WWII, Romance and Mystery – you’ll find them all in “Anchor in the Storm” by Sarah SundinTweet this!

 

The next installment in Sarah Sundin’s Waves of Freedom series is HERE! Don’t miss it!Tweet this!

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2016

 

 

More about Anchor in the Storm:

One plucky female pharmacist + one high-society naval officer = romance—and danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

{MORE ABOUT SARAH SUNDIN}

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including “Anchor in the Storm.” Her novel “Through Waters Deep” was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in “Where Treetops Glisten” was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER BY MELANIE DICKERSON | BLOG TOUR AND FAIRY TALE PRIZE PACK

This is one contest I entered! 

I mean . . . have you noticed how AWESOME these prizes are!

Read on . . . You will!

Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll

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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie’s blog.

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DISCLAIMER: This giveaway is sponsored by Litfuse Publicity Group. The only connection I have with them is that I occasionally review books they offer. I am in no way connected with this contest (other than I really hope I win! LOL)

~ JC

Book Review | The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

I have never been much a fan of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale . . . NEVER.

Melanie Dickerson has changed all of that for me!

 . . . because I LOVE LOVE LOVE this story!

Of course, if you’ve ever read one of my reviews of Melanie’s books, you’ll know I am flat-out IN LOVE with each and every story she writes!

Aside from her AMAZING writing talent, there is the fact that she writes fairy tale re-tellings! And since I LOVE fairy tales, what more could a girl ask for in a favorite novel!

Also, Melanie writes her books with no magic needed! God has blessed her with such ability that she is able to craft a magnificent story using all of the most important elements of the original story – and yet present the reader with a conclusion that is solved through faith, hard work, skill or pure and simple determination.

No magic required!

Each and every one of these stories is a masterful retelling of our most cherished tales of olde – and in my opinion, these are the books we should introduce to our daughters . . . not some silly tale about a witch of a fairy godmother who gives the hero/heroine whatever their hearts desire without an ounce of reason or work behind it.

But that’s just my opinion. . .

A Beautiful Pretender is all of that and MORE!

Melanie has taken the best elements of the “Princess and the Pea” tale and woven them together with the exceptional characters she introduced in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest – and taken us on another lively adventure where heroes are just the way you always hoped they would be and there is always more than meets the eye where our lovely heroine is concerned.

Forbidden love . . . Danger . . . Excitement . . . And an ending that no one could ever see coming . . . What more could you ask for in a medieval fairy tale re-telling!

And hey – just look at the BEAUTIFUL cover! Can you think of a more fitting cover for this book? I think not.

LOVE IT!

 

Review © JCMorrows 2016

More about The Beautiful Pretender:

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Book Review | “Sit, Stay, Love” by Dana Mentink

What do you get when you add one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog? A lesson in love—Tippy style—in Dana Mentink’s new book, Sit, Stay, Love. As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too. . . .

Join Dana in celebrating the release of Sit, Stay, Love with a blog tour and a Travels with Tippy prize pack giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Sit, Stay, Love
  • A $75 Visa cash card
  • A basket filled with Tippy-themed goodies
    • Travel-themed decorator box
    • Reading dog statue
    • Dog journal
    • Poems for Dog Lovers
    • Snuggle Paws fleece blanket from Animal Rescue Site
    • Pawprint scarf
    • Doxie desk pen
    • Pupmobile auto magnet

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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on April 25th. The winner will be announced April 26th on Dana’s blog.

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Sit, Stay, Love

I am not a huge fan of dogs . . . so when I say I am excited about this book, you know I REALLY AM.

First of all, who would NOT love this CUTE little dog!

And it’s not just the dog that is cute . . .

Tippy’s story is a fun, adventurous read that will leave you laughing . . . and shaking your head at this surprisingly playful still a pup at heart’s antics.

And don’t miss the second book; Fetching Sweetness  – COMING in AUGUST!

{MORE ABOUT SIT, STAY, LOVE}

Sit, Stay, Love (Harvest House, April 2016)

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Dana Mentink

{MORE ABOUT DANA MENTINK}

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Find out more about Dana at http://www.danamentink.com.

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2016

 

BOOK REVIEW | “Room For Hope” by Kim Vogel Sawyer

 

 

WOW!

I mean… WOW!

I shouldn’t have expected to be so blown away… I mean, I’ve read other books by this author… but… just… WOW!

Kim Vogel Sawyer has a style of writing that drags you right into the story – and the case of Room For Hope, that is a good thing… and maybe a bad thing too.

You will feel Neva’s despair… mourn with her… cry with her… worry with her…

This book will sweep right into your heart and take hold – and, if you’re anything like me, you won’t mind one bit… except maybe when you’re experiencing the heart break right along with the main character.

Of course, that’s all part of the journey. That’s the point of the story. That’s the point of the writing – to put you in Neva’s shoes. You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. It’s absolutely true!

I can’t honestly say I would have handled things the way Neva does. I’m not certain I would have had the strength she did. But then… I didn’t live through the depression either so I may never know if I could have done what she did.

And no! I am NOT going to spoil it for you! You’ll just have to read it for yourself!

I know I can hardly wait to get my hands on another book Kim has written!

 

© JCMorrows 2016

 

More from Water Brook about Room For Hope:

In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?

Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.

When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”

Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are entirely my own.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.