Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Silver Chair: Read-Along Discussion-1


For all of the details about the read-along go to our hostess Amber's Blog at Seasons Of Humility and check it out!

Today we discuss chapters 1-6:

FAVORITE QUOTE:

Walks after the first halt---like school mornings after break or railway journeys after changing trains---never go on as they were before.

Have you ever felt that way? So excited to start out on the adventure, but then it kind of gets old real quick! ha!

THOUGHTS:

I love Narnia! I love all of the hidden spiritual messages and meanings in the characters and the place.

Eustace has definitely grown some, but he can still be a jerk! As with all of us, there is still room for improvement in his character. This is Jill's first time into Narnia. While she understands that Aslan is important, I don't think that she quite gets how serious she needs to take the task that he has given her. Puddleglum...he cracks me up! I love him! He's so gloomy, yet I can see him using that to manipulate the kids to do what he wants. He is definitely a wet blanket, but I think he has a good heart.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. What do you think of Jill's first impressions of Aslan and Narnia? If you were in her shoes, how might you react to the Lion and the new world in which you arrived?

I'm glad that she had a heads up from Eustace about Narnia, otherwise she might have been totally freaked out! Talking lions? Yeah, if I was in her shoes I'd probably be running for the hills! 

2. Which scene or character has made you laugh (or smile) the most so far? What makes it (or him/her) so amusing?

Oh definitely Puddleglum! I just love his, "The sky is falling" attitude. I have no idea why, but it just amuses me. 

3. How did the recounting of Prince Rilian's disappearance make you feel? If this is your first time reading the book, do you have any theories about what happened to him and why? If you've read the book before, did you notice anything new or more impactful when rereading this scene?

This isn't my first or even my second or third reading of this book, but it has been years since I last read it. Nothing new or impactful in re-reading the Prince Rilian's disappearance. Just that foreboding feeling of knowing where he is and with whom he is with. 

4. What do you think has been Jill and Eustace's greatest challenge so far on their journey? What do you think they might struggle with in the future based on how they've already acted?

Their greatest challenge has been trying to get along with each other. But also trusting each other. Eustace has been to Narnia before so he thinks he has all of the answers. But Jill has seen Aslan already and has a mission from him that Eustace needs to trust her on. Jill's greatest challenge is to remember all of the signs that Aslan gave her. Both of them need to be more respectful of Puddleglum, I mean seriously, at one point Jill told him to, "Shut up!" That really bothered me. So not only do they need to be more respectful towards each other, but as Puddleglum is probably the adult figurehead right now they need to start listening to him and treating him more respectfully instead of acting like two childish brats. Hmmmm, no wonder I like Puddleglum best! 

Have you read the Narnia series? What are your thoughts on this installment? Honestly for me it is not my favorite book of the series, but at least it has its light-hearted moments...Puddleglum!


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Taken In Texas by Susan Sleeman



Kendall McKade has worked hard to become a detective in her small town. The job isn't hers yet, but she has just landed a case that will help her prove that she is capable of holding that position. Kendall is called to make a welfare check on an elderly woman. When she arrives at Eve's home Eve is missing and Kendall is ambushed by an intruder. When she awakes after being clobbered Cord Goodwin has arrived. He is Eve's nephew and had called in for the welfare check. Cord and Kendall have a past together that did not end well, will they be able to put aside their old feelings for each other and find Eve before it is too late?

Cord is a detective in Houston, he and his nephew have suffered too much loss recently, they do not want to lose Eve as well. Can Kendall help the two navigate their touchy relationship and can both Cord and Kendall learn to allow God to be in control of situations instead of themselves?

This is the last of the McKade Law series. They will be missed let me tell you! I think this may have been my favorite though. I loved how strong Kendall was, but also mature enough to realize when her life was in danger she needed to let others help her. I also loved her caring nature, she's a hugger! Sometimes that is all you can do for someone, give them a hug and let them know you are there. I liked that about her character. Author Susan Sleeman always captures the readers attention from the very first pages of her books to the very end. The suspense ran throughout the story, not overdone, but enough to move the story along and keep the reader invested in the outcome. TAKEN IN TEXAS was exciting and moving. I love how the characters faith is interspersed throughout the story and how both Kendall and Cord mature in their trust in the Lord and learn to hand over their control to Him. An excellent ending to a series that I totally enjoyed!

Other books in the series:

Holiday Secrets

Rodeo Standoff

Christmas Hideout

**I received my copy of the book from the author for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Book releases February 1, 2019**




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Line Between by Tosca Lee



Wynter, her sister Jaclyn and their mother arrive at the Enclave and feel safe for the first time. At first everything seems peaceful. They have learned a new life and Magnus, the founder of the Enclave, seems like he truly is the mouthpiece of God as he claims. After years of Magnus telling the people what God expects of them and being their prophet how can they doubt him when he has a new revelation from God? Wynter does just that though, and it eventually gets her banished from the Enclave into eternal hell(the outside world).

When her mother's best friend picks Wynter up from the Enclave she takes her home and has to teach Wynter a whole new way of thinking. Strange things are happening in the world now. People seem to be getting early onset dementia for no reason. Could Magnus possibly have been right? Is the world really coming to an end? When her sister Jaclyn escapes the Enclave with something of Magnus's, Wynter's life is in danger as she risks travelling to Colorado to help save those infected with this horrifying disease. With the world in chaos, and lawlessness abounding, nowhere seems safe for Wynter. With the help of a stranger will Wynter be able to reach her destination and then ultimately go back to the one place she fears most in order to save one more person from the Enclave?

Author Tosca Lee certainly knows how to write a nail-biting suspenseful novel! I loved this one from the very first page to the very last page! Wynter's time in the cult was written in flash-back form which was interesting to me. I didn't understand all of the scientific terms of the disease, just that it wasn't good! The author wrote very believably about the life of the cult and also what could happen if there ever was a pandemic breakout, with lawlessness abounding, but also the ability for humans to help each other survive. I love Chase's character! An ex-Marine and very capable of protecting Wynter and getting her to where she needs to go. THE LINE BETWEEN was very entertaining and hard for me to put down! I haven't read whether the author plans a sequel, but I think there needs to be one as there were several things left unanswered. Entertaining, suspenseful in parts, and scary to think that something like this may someday happen in our world. I definitely recommend this book!





Thursday, January 3, 2019

Web Of Lies by Brandilyn Collins



This time around forensic artist Annie Kingston teams up with Chelsea Adams. Chelsea has visions from God. Her latest vision includes a case that Annie may be working on. Chelsea's vision is petrifying to both of them, but the detective that is handling the case refuses to listen to either one of them. Two people's lives are at stake and Annie and Chelsea forge their way through the case hoping to save them before this latest killer gets away with murder once again.

Spiders y'all! Gah! I'm not normally skittish about spiders, but yeah, this book was terrifying in it's description of them. No spoilers, but be prepared to be repulsed! Okay, now on to the characters. Annie's son Stephen has matured a lot since his mother's life was in danger the last time. Now all of the sudden he is the man of the house and ready to take on anyone who threatens his family. Good for him! A definite turn-around for the better. Both Jenna and Stephen are skeptical about Annie's and Kelly's faith in God but neither one are scoffers. Dave and Annie have progressed in their relationship, but Annie still has feelings of guilt and unworthiness that she has to deal with. I'm a definite skeptic about "visions from God" but for the purpose of the book it was entertaining and provided a nightmarish look into the killer's reasoning and thoughts. This was the last book in the Hidden Faces series. It was just as good as the first 3, but I am glad that it is over with. I don't think Annie and her family could handle anymore killers coming out of the woodwork! Annie was less hysterical this time around, but still there were scenes that provided her with lots of emotional trauma that translated into panic/hysteria. Author Brandilyn Collins' books are described as "Seatbelt Suspense" and WEB OF LIES fit right into that category! Buckle up and be prepared for a wild ride...er, read!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Murders and Metaphors by Amanda Flower



The magical book shop is doing it again! Helping Violet solve another murder. When someone is murdered at a book signing Violet feels that she has no other choice but to help solve the murder in order to clear her friend. With the bookstore throwing copies of LITTLE WOMEN at her every time she turns around, Violet is having a hard time figuring out what the bookstore is telling her this time around. As always, Chief Rainwater is there to discourage Violet from snooping, but he knows it is a useless cause. Suspects seem to be coming out of the woodwork, but finding the murderer before Violet gets hurt proves to be a difficult task. Not only is Violet trying to solve a murder, but she is also trying to deal with her feelings towards David Rainwater. Having just taken over the Caretaker position at the bookstore Violet assumes that she is destined to be single the rest of her life, but is that really what is expected of the Caretaker? Can Violet trust David with the secret of the bookstore?

I really enjoy this series and am so glad that the author found a publisher to continue writing it! I love the uniqueness of the bookstore and how it helps Violet to solve murders. As always with this authors writing there are animal characters. And boy are they characters! Faulkner the crow cracks me up with his quotes and sayings and general grumpiness. And Emmerson the tuxedo kitty that seems to be an escape artist is entertaining as well. The town of Cascade Springs has many entertaining people characters as well. They keep the reader chuckling and trying to guess who the killer is. I love Chief Rainwater, but I do have a complaint. I wish that the author would decide what she wants Violet to call him. I find it very unromantic for her to constantly be referring to him as "Rainwater" or even "Chief Rainwater." I think to make their romance a bit more believable Violet needs to have a more personal way of talking about him. Either call him David or Chief. That's just being a bit nit picky maybe, but it bothered me while reading.  The mystery was pretty good and had a few twists and turns that kept me guessing as to "who-done-it." I was pretty surprised when it was revealed! If you are a cozy mystery fan then definitely give this series a try.

**I received my copy from Netgalley. All opinions are my own**




Saturday, December 29, 2018

Top Picks of 2018

I love going through all of the books that I have read over the year and seeing what great reads they were! I had a wonderful year of reading pleasure. I made my Goodreads goal, but admittedly I set it pretty low. It seems that the older I get the more busy I become and reading is relegated to right before bedtime. I read a lot of my favorite genre which is romantic suspense, but I peppered in other genres that were just as entertaining and wonderful. So here are my top 10 favorites of the year, but I could have put pretty much everything I read on the list:


10. Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite authors and I will pretty much pick up anything she writes. This was a sweet read and even threw in some suspense that totally made me happy!














9. The conclusion to this series was exciting! Luke ya'll!!! 
















8.  I've always been a fan of YA literature and anything that Ally Carter writes. This was a fantastic read and I hope that there will be other books to go with it.














7. Cindy and Jeremiah have got to have a happily ever after or this reader is going to be totally ticked! So much time has been spent waiting for this series to close. I think the author's fan base suffers in the waiting, but we devour them when they finally come out and we breathlessly wait for more. 









6. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I hadn't really read much about it. Written in letter form, I really fell in love with the characters within it. 














5. Susan Sleeman writes my favorite genre of romantic suspense. I will read anything she writes! I read several of her books this year and they all should be on this list, but then that wouldn't be fair to the other books I read! This was my favorite of Susan Sleeman's this year.













4. Short stories, novels, poetry, YA, elementary, Holly Schindler can write it all! And write it all well! I loved SPARK! There were a couple of other books by Holly Schindler that I read this year that should be on this list as well, but again...I picked my favorite.













3. Julie Lessman! Her novels have the ability to make me laugh, make me cry, make me want to throw the book across the room! She can write the steamiest, sweetest kissing scenes without turning it into porn! And she can write the most heart-wrenching redemption-come-to-Jesus scenes that I have ever read. She's always at the top of my list of recommended reads.








 2. Terri Blackstock usually writes more mystery/suspense type books. I loved this Christmas story! It was lighter than usual, and just filled a warm-fuzzy need that I had at the time I read it. Perfect for Christmas reading.















1. Wow! This was such a good read. It was hard to read because of the slavery issues that it dealt with, some of the characters were definitely unlikable and even evil, but it reminded me of Gone With The Wind in it's epic-ness. Strong female character trying to make it in a man's world. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I read 2 books by Lisa T. Bergren this year. I enjoyed both, but this one was my favorite. 









Well there are my Top 10 of 2018. I have 2 more to share with you, but they were a short story and a novella so I didn't include them in the Top 10, but they were pretty good Christmas reads:


A re-imagining of A Christmas Carol. Perfect for a quick Christmas read.












A short story that will give you a warm fuzzy feeling. A nice little Christmas read! 










Did you have a successful year reading this year? Did you set any goals? Did you keep those goals? Did you have a favorite? Feel free to leave a comment on this post. I monitor all comments so it will appear as soon as I okay it. I pray you all have a blessed and happy 2019!


The Daily Bible


I have been reading through the Bible in a year for several years now(as in 18 or more) and each year I try to change the version I read and the reading plan. For 2018 I chose this Bible. I have to say that I read all of the scriptures, but I skipped the devotional parts. I'm not a big devotional fan and I do a pretty intense Bible study through Precept classes so didn't feel the need for the devotional part. This is the first time that I can remember reading the Bible chronologically. I wasn't that big of a fan of it. I prefer to start in Genesis and end in Revelation. I like to start and know where I am going to finish.