Saturday, October 9, 2021

Five Fall Favorites || Day Six { Top Five + Backpacks }

Can you believe the final day is already here? And it's a special one too! We have oodles of books available for less than a dollar each. Many are even free! You can check all those out by clicking over to Rebekah's blog

Backpacks! What better way to carry your bookish treasures from this week home with you? After this full week, you may need several to tote all your books in! 

T O P   5   O F   2 0 2 1

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London's east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within--and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden. 


Oh, I do love me a good Politano novel. Every one I've read has been an absolute pleasure, but I do believe this one is my favorite. <3 

Sweet on You by Becky Wade || A Bradford Sisters Romance #3

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him—Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?


I love me a good Wade novel, too. ;)  I read the first two books in this series as soon as they came out, but didn't get to this one until almost two years after it released. But oh, it was worth the wait. Britt and Zander are my favorites. 

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer || Swiss Agents #1

It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich. When Joseph Engel, a German physicist working on the atomic bomb, finds that he is actually a Jew, adopted by Christian parents, he must flee for his life to neutral Switzerland.

Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. When she is asked to risk her life to safely "courier" Engel out of Germany, the fate of the world rests in her hands. If she can lead him to safety, she can keep the Germans from developing nuclear capabilities. But in a time of traitors and uncertainty, whom can she trust along the way?


This book had been on my TBR for ages and I finally read it this spring. The beginning was a little slow and hard to keep up with who was who, but the ending made up for it. 

A Promise is Forever by Robin Jones Gunn || Christy Miller #12

Throughout the series, Christy learns about friendships, dating, becoming responsible, waiting on God, being faithful, and God's rewards for obedience.

Off on a European jaunt with her best buddies, Christy Miller discovers foreign adventure is her cup of tea. But tension between her friends, struggles with her boyfriend, and indecision about her future dampen Christy's enthusiasm for all her new experiences.


It's not as gushy as the synopsis sounds—I promise. (Get it? Promise?) This book started out as my least favorite Christy Miller book and ended as my top favorite. The ministry angle spoke to my heart. <3 

How Far You Have Come: Musings on Beauty and Courage by Morgan Harper Nichols

How Far You Have Come is an exquisitely illustrated collection of poetry and essays from bestselling artist and writer Morgan Harper Nichols. In the midst of the hurt and the mundane, the questions and the not yets, you can forget just how far you have come. Morgan weaves together personal reflections with her signature poems, encouraging you to reclaim moments of brokenness, division, and pain and re-envision them as experiences of reconciliation, unity, and hope.

As Morgan reflects on the moments that shaped her, she invites you to:

Awaken your heart and recognize how your own history has made you who you are today

Into a deeper understanding of pressing on and pressing in, of transformation and surrender, of meaning in the losses and wild anticipation for the splendor ahead 

Reclaim moments of brokenness, division, and pain and re-envision them as experiences of reconciliation, unity, and hope

Become who you are in the moment you hold right now


I've loved Morgan Harper Nichols writing for years—back before she had three published books and a massive social media following—and her words never fail to make an impact. 

so.... how many new book recs have you nabbed this week? 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Five Fall Favorites || Day Five { Historical Non-Fiction + Bikes }

Day five, and the next-to-last day of the party! Tomorrow comes the big book sale, so be sure you're back for that :)  Today's theme is "babies" but I couldn't come up with enough books that featured babies and little kids, so we're going with historical non-fiction for today's book list. 

Now... I don't recommend reading while riding a bike, although I'm living proof that it is possible. Those baskets look nifty for hauling your books home, though! 

H I S T O R I C A L   N O N - F I C T I O N

War Letters compiled by Andrew Carroll

In 1998, Andrew Carroll founded the Legacy Project with the goal of remembering Americans who have served this nation and preserving their letters for posterity. Since then, more than 50,000 war letters discovered in basements, attics, scrapbooks, and old trunks have poured in from around the country. 

The best of these letters are assembled in this extraordinary collection, offering unprecedented insight into the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Korea, the Cold War, the Persian Gulf, and even the fighting in Somalia and the Balkans.Featured here are dramatic accounts of combat written immediately after the most ferocious battles American troops have ever faced; poignant expressions of love by homesick husbands and sweethearts; humorous anecdotes and gripes about insufferable conditions; thoughtful reflections on the nature of warfare; and perhaps most devastating, a startling number of last letters, heartfelt messages penned just hours before the sender was killed. These historic letters capture the full fury and intensity of warfare, and they reveal in vivid detail what the servicemen and women of this nation have experienced and sacrificed on the front lines. 

War Letters is a lasting tribute to those who have fought for this country, and celebrates the enduring power and lyricism of personal letters.


I listened to the audio of this book last fall and enjoyed it so much! The narrator did a fantastic job with the different stories presented through historic letters. Unfortunately, the audiobook is abridged so I need to go back some time and read the ones I missed. 

Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly

Lincoln's Last Days is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic nights in American history—of how one gunshot changed the country forever. Adapted from Bill O'Reilly's bestselling historical thriller, Killing Lincoln, this book will have young readers—and grown-ups too—hooked on history.

In the spring of 1865, President Abraham Lincoln travels through Washington, D.C., after finally winning America's bloody Civil War. In the midst of celebrations, Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theatre by a famous actor named John Wilkes Booth. What follows is a thrilling chase, ending with a fiery shoot-out and swift justice for the perpetrators.

With an unforgettable cast of characters, page-turning action, vivid detail, and art on every spread, Lincoln's Last Days is history that reads like a thriller. This is a very special book, irresistible on its own or as a compelling companion to Killing Lincoln.


I'm slightly fascinated by assassinations (and attempts), especially Lincoln's. This book was a fast-paced, informative chronology of the events leading up to and proceeding the assassination and subsequent manhunt. 

Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe by Donna Ryan

Inspired by the conference “Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe, 1933–1945,” hosted jointly by Gallaudet University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998, this extraordinary collection, organized into three parts, integrates key presentations and important postconference research.

Deaf people living in Europe between 1933 and 1945 were mistreated, forcibly sterilized, incarcerated, and murdered by the Nazis. Their stories have been overlooked or underappreciated because of the complexities of communication and the difficulties historians face gaining access to those communities.


I had to read this one for a Deaf culture college course, but actually enjoyed it. It was an interesting look into aspects of WWII history I'd never read in textbooks. 

In the Line of Duty by Bernard B. Kerkik, Thomas Von Essen

On September 11, 2001, with the terrorist attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the United States entered one of the greatest trials in its history. There were thousands of deaths in the wake of that tragedy -- and thousands of heroes. Led by Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the New York Fire Department (FDNY) banded together in courage and hope during the rescue and recovery effort. 

In the Line of Duty salutes the brave men and women of those two departments, who proved to the nation and the world the strength and heroism of the American people. Through over 100 pages of black and white photographs (and 16 pages of full colour), this memorial volume documents the heroism of New York's Finest and Bravest in the hours and days following the disaster. With a Foreword in tribute to the search and rescue teams -- and their fallen comrades -- by Commissioner Kerik, and filled with the inspirational words of national and spiritual leaders, In the Line of Duty bears witness to the indomitable spirit of the American people.


A thoughtful but melancholy collection of photos, quotes, news articles, and speeches from and about September 11, 2001. 

History’s Worst: Bonnie & Clyde by James Buckley Jr.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are possibly the most famous and most romanticized criminals in American history. When the police found photos of them posing with guns and goofing around, they became media darlings. However, their fame was short-lived, and their lives would end in a violent police ambush.

Because the reality was very different. During their 1930s crime spree, the two young Texans and the rest of their gang lived a vicious life filled with narrow escapes, bungled robberies, injuries, and murders. And they weren’t the only gangsters operating at the time. Criminals like Al Capone, Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, and “Ma” Barker grabbed their own share of headlines, but in the end it was Bonnie and Clyde who really captured the public’s imagination. A lot of that was because of Bonnie herself. The cute, blonde criminal was unique at the time.

There is no question that their story continues to fascinate writers, musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers. But is that fascination justified? Or are we confusing the movie images with reality and ignoring the ugly truth of their story?


So I have a slight fascination with Bonnie & Clyde stories. Not the wild, made-up tales, but the irony and humor within the surviving true stories. This was definitely one of the good ones, lots of cool history stuff. 

last day to enter the giveaway

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Five Fall Favorites || Day Four { Hope + Blankets }

Welcome back to day four! I can't believe it's almost the weekend already. Any special plans, other than the wrap-up of FFF? :)

In my opinion, wrapped in a blanket is the best place to enjoy a good book. Would you like one? 


A Touch of Purple Paint by Hailey Rose

Seven-year-old Harper’s biggest concern isn’t that she has cancer. Or even that her diseased leg was just amputated. She’s worried about getting well enough to see the purple bedroom her daddy painted for her birthday—the birthday she spent undergoing chemo.

Chad Bailey is more than content with the world-traveling plans he and his wife have in place. What started out as posting their travel vlogs on YouTube for their niece, Harper, to watch during her chemo treatments exploded into an immensely popular channel—and it’s still growing.

When a single phone call changes everything for both Chad and Harper, YouTube is the last thing on his mind as he faces the biggest decision of his life.

With their world full of questions and pain, can a little purple paint mend the fragments of their lives? 


Ohh, this one hurt. It hurt a lot. But still, hope shone through and brought warmth and light to the broken pieces. This little read is a total gem. <3 

No Chance Meeting by Jaye Elliot || No Chance Love #1

Alex Jennings is done with life. After losing her brother in Afghanistan, everything has collapsed around her. Getting laid off from her day job and failing in her art career, she has nowhere left to turn. She once had faith to believe that all things would work together for good, but that faith died with her brother. Now she just wants the pain to end.

Riley Conrad served thirteen years in the military until three bullets sent him home. After a year and a half of physical therapy and scraping together a living, all he wants is to live a simple life and perhaps even open the coffee shop he dreams about. However, the weight of failing his parents’ expectations doesn’t make it easy, and working as a bartender isn’t getting him anywhere fast.

Could a “chance” meeting between Alex and Riley set them both on the path God always intended?


There's lots of sadness, darkness, loss, and pain in this story. But there's also hope. Joy, love, second chances, and grace. I enjoyed it very much. 

~ R E V I E W  H E R E ~

Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy

They say time heals all wounds. But he was finding it a poor painkiller.

Tyler Collens has seen grief and loss in his years of experience as a paramedic—but he never expected it to touch his life in such a personal way. The death of his wife eighteen months ago shook his steady world and changed him in more ways than he can count. Time and routine have steadied his feet, and he looks toward the future as he raises his infant daughter—but the past has a tighter grip on him than he knows. 

Alyvia Emmerson has never been certain of who she is or where she belongs. Her dad’s abandonment as a teen broke a fragile piece of her heart, but ten years later, she has moved on. Living on her own, she at last has a project to devote herself to: revitalizing a shabby bookstore. But she didn’t count on her dream job revealing the shattered pieces of herself she thought mended long ago.


Never Say Goodbye combined several things I love in a book and delivered on all fronts. Single parent stories get me every time, but especially ones like this. <3 

Beloved by Kaitlyn Krispense

Life without love is hopeless. 

Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.

Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what? 


My book release buddy from just over two years ago! Suicidal survivor stories might be my favorite kind of hopeful. 

~ R E V I E W  H E R E ~

Tattered Wings by Kassie Angle

Some scars can't be seen. And some can't be hidden.

Layla Trent's life is pretty much perfect, except for the little matter of a dog of her own—and maybe a brother. So why does a random nightmare of a princess dress, a hospital, and a stranger who's definitely not her daddy feel more like an aching wound? And can a broken, glassy-eyed puppy somehow help her release the pain she didn't even know she was carrying?

Corporal Andrew Reyes has proven he has what it takes to be the best—a US Army Ranger. But when a double tragedy rocks his world, his resolve is shaken to the core. What's left for a man to live for when he's lost everything he ever wanted to be? And is the sudden appearance of a teenage girl with a three-legged therapy dog a cruel joke or a divine appointment?

Some scars can't be hidden. But some don't need to be. 


As much as this book touched me, I can't believe it's still the only "Kassie book" I've read, but at the same time I'm not sure another can compare. Broken wings still fly. <3 


Next to last day! How much is your TBR pile teetering just now? 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Five Fall Favorites || Day Three { Go-To Favorites + Books }

Welcome back to day three! Who else can't believe the party is already half over? Today's theme is go-to favorite books, and I tried to pick books that I've read more than once or are by favorite authors. 

Did someone say "book room"? :)  Click on the graphic above to claim your copy of my free short story! 

G O - T O   F A V O R I T E S

The Mercy by Beverly Lewis || The Rose Trilogy #3

Rose Kauffman pines for prodigal Nick Franco, the Bishop's foster son who left the Amish under a cloud of suspicion after his foster brother's death. His rebellion led to the "silencing" of their beloved Bishop. But is Nick really the rebel he appears to be? Rose's lingering feelings for her wayward friend refuse to fade, but she is frustrated that Nick won't return and make things right with the People. Nick avowed his love for Rose--but will he ever be willing to sacrifice modern life for her?

Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, is living in her parents' Dawdi Haus. Her estranged "English" husband, injured and helpless after a car accident, has reluctantly come to live with her and their young daughter during his recovery. Can their marriage recover, as well? Is there any possible middle ground between a woman reclaiming her old-fashioned Amish lifestyle and thoroughly modern man?


Ahhh, this series is such a gem. I felt like the spiritual aspect and soul-searching was deeper than some Amish fiction, and some of the issues that arise more serious. I loved the redemption story <3 

Untitled by Jesseca Wheaton

Okinawa, 1945

Two brothers. Two Separate Paths.

A Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines, Jess Walker’s world is shaken as he struggles to aid the men around him. But the battlefield isn’t his hardest challenge. The nagging memory of how he lost his brother weighs on him, serving as a constant reminder of his failure. War has no mercy for anyone and Jess isn’t sure he can survive the war inside. As his world comes crashing down around him, he struggles to believe there is a future beyond the pain. 

Clay Walker has moved on from the life he once lived. A successful Marine pilot, he wants nothing to do with his family and the God he left behind. Japan is on the brink of surrender when his unit is shipped off to Okinawa, and it’s there that Clay is forced to realize his past is not as deeply buried as he thought. Faced with heavy losses and questions without answers, Clay has a choice to make. Is he willing to step back and let God take the controls? Or is it too late for a second chance? 

As WWII rages, the two brothers must face their demons — or be lost to the burning world around them.


Do I even need to explain the reasons why you should read this one...? WWII, brotherhood, messy war time. It broke my heart in the best possible way. 

~ R E V I E W  H E R E ~

The Pursued by Willowy Whisper || Hills of Innocence Trilogy #3

FAWN WENDELL has no choice but to flee. Her life depends on it. She has no where to go, but that doesn’t matter. She has to disappear. She has to get lost, never to be found again, before her pursuer attacks. 

ADAM PRESTON loves his children. They’re all he has left. But with the ranch to run, is there any way he can give them what they need, especially when he’s hurting himself? 

JAKE SUMNER returns to an old house, a place that arouses too many memories. If he decides to stay, he may have trouble on his hands . . . trouble a whole lot bigger than him. 

SADIE is an injured, silent bird, locked in a cage she can’t free herself from. Her nightmares are real. The fear kills her voice. Will she ever fly again? 


Another book that absolutely broke me. I've loved all of Willowy's books—they always keep me up for hours, wondering where the heck all these loose ends are going to come together. But they do, every time. 

~ R E V I E W  H E R E ~

Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker

Can love really heal all things?

If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. 

Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved. 


I've read this book multiple times and I'm due a reread. It's the best combination of a coming-of-age story and a wartime romance, with a full cast of unforgettable characters. (And I just really love Sam sooo.) 

The Lady & The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia. 

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.


Oh, look, another book that broke my heart. Anyone see a trend here? This novel is painful and hopeful and tells the dearest story of two tender hearts finding each other. The prose is elegant and dreamy and I love it. 

all-time favorite book? be sure to get your giveaway points in! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Five Fall Favorites || Day Two { Family + Boats }

Welcome back to day two! Did you get to visit all the blogs yesterday? I think I made it to nearly all of them—lots of good books floating around out there this week already. Speaking of floating... 

Ahh, it's a lovely day for some reading on the lake, don't you think? You can head out as soon as you grab something to read! Just make sure you don't lose your book (or bookmarks) in the water ;) 


The Swamp Robber by Paul Hutchens || Sugar Creek Gang #1

The Sugar Creek Gang series chronicles the faith-building adventures of a group of fun-loving, courageous Christian boys. Your kids will be thrilled, chilled, and inspired to grow as they follow the legendary escapades of Bill Collins, Dragonfly, and the rest of the gang as they struggle with the application of their Christian faith to the adventure of life.

In this book, the Sugar Creek Gang discovers a "disguise" hidden in a old tree. Does it belong to the bank robber hiding in the swamp? A mysterious map hidden near the tree proves to be even more exciting than the disguise. Before the adventure ends, the gang encounters the robber, helps Bill Collins welcome a new baby sister, and saves the victim of a black widow spider bite. Join the gang as they learn the lesson of sowing and reaping. 


I have so many memories of this series being family read-alouds growing up, or the audiobooks of choice during long car rides. They're filled with fun adventures, while presenting kids with Biblical truths as well. 

Kate’s Dilemma by Sarah Holman || Kate's Case Files #3

Kate can’t stay with the team any longer. She has worked for too long to keep the walls around her heart and around her past to allow the team to tear them down now. She doesn’t think they can handle what is behind them; she’s not sure she can. Heading to Charleston with the team on one last case, she and Brian go undercover as brother and sister to find out if a young musician is profiting from illegal activity.

Patrick is going undercover as a summer student at the University of Charleston. He tries to befriend the sister of a suspected drug runner, but nothing is coming easily. The sister won’t trust him, leads keep drying up, and tension in the team is building. When things begin to fall apart, Patrick is convinced that he can fix things, but can he?


I've loved this series ever since I read the first book several years ago! Kate and Patrick and the gang are lots of fun, the mystery is always intriguing without being confusing, and the Christian viewpoints remain at the forefront. 

With Lee in Virginia by G.A. Henty

The Civil War, as seen through the eyes of young Vincent Wingfield, a spirited teenager from the South and heir to a southern slave plantation, who staunchly supports the rights of slaves but, because of fidelity to the state of Virginia, joins Lee's cavalry and fights for the Confederacy. 


My family listened to the audio version of this book so many times when we were younger we could literally quote certain passages. Young Vincent felt more like a friend than a character ;P  An absolute classic! 

My Father’s Words by Patricia MacLachlan

Declan O’Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing while he played basketball. His favorite song was “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Grant Us Peace.” His family loved him deeply, and always knew they were loved in return.

But a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever, and Fiona and Finn O’Brien are left without a father. Their mother is at a loss. What words are there to guide them through such overwhelming grief? At the suggestion of their friend Luke, Fiona and Finn volunteer at an animal rescue shelter where they meet two sweet dogs who are in need of comfort, too. Perhaps with time, patience, and their father’s gentle words in their hearts, hope will spark once more. 


A wonderful story about family. And loss. I'll be honest—this one made me cry. But the hope and strength and growth shown within the grief makes it a wonderful story that shows the journey back from the most difficult of circumstances. 

Just Saying by Dandi Daley Mackall

Just Sayin' tells the story of an almost-blended family that almost falls apart before it even begins. 11 year-old Cassie Callahan is staying with her grandmother while her mom, Jennifer, recovers from a difficult breakup from her fianc', Trent. Cassie, along with Trent's kids, Nick and Julie, are trying to figure out why their parents' relationship ended so abruptly and searching for a way to bring them back together. Meanwhile, the kids get caught up in a game show that encourages the "art" of insults, and learn along the way that our words have much more power than they think.

In a way that only Dandi can accomplish, this story weaves together, in a contemporary way, an old-time game show, letter writing, outstanding vocabulary, and reminders from God's word that taming our tongue is both difficult and important!


This is such a cute book, of kids from broken homes banding together to help create the family that they want to have. The epistolary style makes it a special treat! 

Don't forget to visit Rebekah's blog for the other links + updates on the giveaway! 

best family-oriented book you've read this year? are you racking up giveaway entries? :)

Monday, October 4, 2021

Five Fall Favorites || Day One { Adventure + Barns }


Hi, guys. 

Long time, no see, huh? 

So by a series of events, including a very spontaneous (and since then, much over-thought) decision, I'm taking part in FFF this year! If you're not familiar, it's a week-long blog party in which participants share five favorite books across several different categories. The giveaway and hosting blog are linked towards the end of the post, but between here and there are five epic adventure books, sooo... here goes, huh? :D

Welcome to the barns room! Because who doesn't want to hide away in a sweet-smelling hayloft with a good book for a few hours? 


Defy by Tricia Mingerink || The Blades of Acktar #3

The war for Acktar has begun. 

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades. 

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected. 

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands. 

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope: 

The Leader is ready.


My favorite book from one of my all-time favorite series. The Blades of Acktar are rich with adventure and excitement and epic heroes. <3 

~ R E V I E W  H E R E ~

Island Dreamer by Robin Jones Gunn || Christy Miller #5

Christy Miller is spending her sixteenth birthday on Maui with her family, Todd, and Paula, her best friend from Wisconsin. What could be better? Christy soon discovers that she and Paula don’t have as much in common anymore. What's worse is that Paula is obsessed with getting a boyfriend and Todd is suddenly Paula's idea of the perfect guy. Will Todd choose Paula over her? Christy's heart is tested even further when she receives an unexpected phone call on her birthday. What happens when it's up to Christy to drive the gang to safety on the famous winding road to Hana? Will her friendships endure? Or will the islands send Christy dreaming in new directions?


I'm quite certain the island/jungle adventure in the second half of this book—which is not at all addressed in the synopsis—qualifies it to be in this category. ;)  Written with a teen/preteen audience in mind, but readers of any age could enjoy the adventures of Christy and her friends and family. 

If I Run by Terri Blackstock || If I Run #1

Casey knows the truth.

But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.


Oh my stars, this series. I grabbed book one from the library shelf on a total whim, after seeing a couple people screaming about it on social media. And I then proceeded to devour the whole series as soon as I could get my hands on them. This story of a girl on the run for a murder she did not commit is a definite win with true crime, mystery, and/or thriller fans. 

Tales from Memory Creek by Susan K. Marlow

Andi and Riley's adventures continue in this short-story book based on blog posts. Twelve fun stories like:

Special Spot--Riley insists he is the only one who knows about his hideaway in a corner of the Circle C ranch. Andi insists there is no place she hasn’t explored. Who is right? 

Yosemite Getaway--Riley and Andi head to Yosemite for a dream honeymoon that turns into a nightmare when the Yosemite stagecoach is robbed. 

Sierra Adventure--Andi wants a tree in true Carter tradition, and Riley has to work hard to make it become a reality. There’s no snow but plenty of danger in the Sierra high country.

Overgrown Kitty--A cougar cub Andi gave to Chad wreaks havoc on the Circle C, so Chad hauls the overgrown kitty back to Memory Creek ranch. What will become of this lonely cub?

Lamb Trouble--Andi loves lambs, but Chad has always said “no.” Riley is a different story, and Andi gets the pet she’s always wanted. How much trouble can one lamb be? 

Andi Had a Little Lamb--Andi discovers that no pets--no matter how cute and cuddly they are--can compare with her very own “little lamb,” Riley and Andi’s first baby. 

Plus six more!


An absolute trip down memory lane. Any book with the Circle C logo is like instant flashbacks to my early teen years. This collection of stories from Andi's married life is a special treat for all true fans of the series. 

Avery’s Crossroads by Deanna K. Klingel || Avery's Battlefield #2

Avery's skills as a doctor and his dog Gunner's friendly personality make the pair a welcome sight to the soldiers in the Civil War hospitals. But mending wounds is not the only challenge Avery faces. Dwindling supplies, insufficient medical facilities, and local troublemakers add to the stress of the war. Avery realizes that the real wounds of the war the wounds of the soul will take years to heal. But he finds hope for the future in his deepening friendship with Claire, a girl from back home who shares his passion for helping the wounded. Together they pray for the long war to end. 


This adventure story of a boy reaching manhood starts in book #1 and carries over into this one—which is my favorite. From stolen livestock to a search for missing family members to medical school and caring for the wounded, this series is the ultimate Civil War adventure. 

Be sure to hop over to Rebekah's blog for the rest of the fun!


Ahh, best for last. What would a book-oriented blog party be without a bookish giveaway? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

best adventure book you've read this year? excited for another year of FFF? :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

It's Been a Hot Minute...

 Hey, people :) 

Yeah, it's me. Your former favorite blogger friend. I haven't been here since February, although it feels like so much longer. I've thought about it often, though. I've missed being here. 

(I've written a few things during that time, but didn't have the guts to post them. They're very personal, heavy, straight from the heart. I'll probably share eventually.) 

So hey, I'm here now to give a run down + photo dump of what's been going on since I disappeared. Buckle up. ;)

• • • February 

At this point, school was still insane. My winter semester was super heavy. Bought bell bottoms. Did school in the car parked at the library a lot because internet at home terrible and the library was still closed because #covid soooo. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. 

• • • March 

Work started back up. A class on food prep/safety/service. Long walks in the cow pasture. Lots of painful memories showing up in my photos <3  A last minute trip to Kansas to see my people. 

• • • April 

Spring's arrival. Long, peaceful evenings sitting in the yard eating pasta and studying psychology. Campus sunsets. Work and housesitting and study study studying. Quick trip to Florida for my friend's wedding + getting to be a bridesmaid <33

• • • May 

Finishing the spring semester and diving into the summer semester less than two weeks later (someone save me). Attending yet another wedding (ahaha). Binging a new crime show. The NC gas shortage making life a little extra-stressy for a few days there. Buying new swimsuits because SUMER IS A CUMIN. Got jury duty summons and freakin loved it. More housesitting, more work, more school. 

• • • June 

Lots of work and studying and long days. Late nights at work with epic coworkers. Day at the lake with my mama (spoiler: I got TOASTED). Epic weekend at the beach with my people. <3 More work. More always being tired. More studying. Rewatched Outer Banks because #JJ. ;P 

• • • July 

Working the weekend of the 4th and trying not to die. FIREWORKS. Buying cute clothes that I'll likely never/rarely wear. Housesitting for over 2 weeks. Rainbows and sunsets and curly hair and lots of coffee. Oh, and finishing the summer semester without dying, yayyy me. I turn 21 next week, what the heck. 

So yeah. There's that. Some days it feels like everything is happening at once and somedays it feels like nothing is moving at all. But it's good and messy and beautiful. More and more I find myself desperately trying to hold onto the tiny, special moments before they're gone, and far too often I fail to miserably. But it's okay. Life goes on. We get more chances, and we still have the memories. 

I feel like I should end this totally disorganized, chaotic ramble by promising that I'm going to get back on track or saying I'll be around more, but I honestly can't. I can't say that because I have no idea if I'll be able to stick to it. Less than a year from now I'll graduate college and I have no idea what life will look like (specifically) after that. 

So am I back? Not really. Am I still writing? Not really, although I dearly want to. Will I share more stories one day? Absolutely. But when? No idea. 

I'm genuinely trying to be okay with all these questions and uncertainties and "I don't know yets". Because I know they won't last forever, and I don't wanna miss a single second of here and now by wishing for tomorrow and the next day. 

Until next time, I hope you all are doing well (assuming anyone actually still reads this blog). Drop a comment or shoot me a message, and let me know how things are going in your life these days. I'd love to hear. <3 

Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name. // psalm 86:11