Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: October 30, 2016

Offline Ramblings:
Hello everyone,

Can you believe this is the last weekend in October? Tomorrow evening all the kiddos will be out in full force trick or treating. Next Halloween I will have my own little one to dress up. Although he or she will be still too little to go door to door. 

In baby news.. I'm finally starting to feel a bit better. The nausea isn't nearly as bad (thank God!) and I'm starting to have a bit more energy. We hope to find out the gender of our baby sometime in November. 

Last night (Saturday) was date night. We haven't gone out in quite a while, so it was long overdue. We went and did an Escape Room Adventure. Unfortunately we didn't complete the mission (we were so close), but we sure had a lot of fun. It was a great challenge and I'm looking forward to do another one sometime soon. 

Have you ever done an Escape Room before? If so did you complete the challenge before time ran out?

 My Reading Progress
I actually finished a book this week! I know its been a while since I've made any progress. 
It took me a lot longer than I anticipated, but I finally finished reading The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel. I rated this one 3 stars, as I had a bit of trouble connecting to the main character. I will be posting more of my thoughts on this book in an upcoming review. 
Next up in my TBR pile...

Hosted by: Book Date

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel by Shelley Shepard Gray

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel
By: Shelley Shepard Gray 

Published: October. 2016
Published By: Avon Inspire
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Genre: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction
Date Read: August 4, 2016
Rating: 3.5/5

 I was sent a copy of An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel by Shelley Shepard Gray, from the publisher via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

After the death of his father, Levi Kinsinger is absolutely lost. Unable to face his siblings he rents a small shack of a home in his hometown of Charm. He attempts to distract himself with work at his family’s lumber mill until he meets his beautiful new neighbour and her sweet little girl.

Single mother Julia moves to town to create a better life for her daughter Penny. Memories from her past keep her guarded, but an unlikely friendship with Levi begins to blossom. Then a secret she had been keeping for years comes to light and puts her and Penny’s safety in jeopardy. Can the bond she, Levi and Penny have created stand the test of these revelations?

Meanwhile Levi’s best friend Simon is helping his sister open a refuge for abused women and children. An Amish Family Christmas is the fourth book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s series The Charmed Amish Life.

An Amish Family Christmas is the first Amish fiction book I’ve read that wasn’t set on a farm in one way or another. This was a welcome change and gave me a different glimpse into their culture. It did seem as if the characters were slightly more immersed in the “English” way of life, but they still valued their faith and Amish traditions.

The characters were interesting with backstories that helped to justify their personalities and the decisions they made. I think that author could have easily extended the length of this novel on those stories alone.

Unfortunately because it was so short, I found as a reader that I missed out on some important relationship development. Especially when it came to Levi and Julia’s friendship. The secondary story line of Tess and her refuge for abused women and children seemed to be lost amidst the main story. Although hopefully the author will expand on this in future installments of this series.

An Amish Family Christmas was a light and cozy read that would be best read on a cold day, curled up by a roaring fire. It was a sweet story with strong a strong family dynamic. Because this is the first book I have read in this series, I am now curious to go back and read the first three books.

I would recommend this book to fans of Amish fiction, especially those have already read the previous books in this series.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: October 16, 2016 (An explanation and announcement!)

               Offline Ramblings:
Hello everyone,

Long time no chat, I know. I owe you all a big explanation for my absence so here it is..

I've been having quite a rough time health wise these past couple of months. As a result of this my reading progress has pretty much grounded to a halt. I have several books lined up that I have made commitments to read and review for authors and blog tours, but I haven't been able to concentrate long enough to read a couple of pages. I've tried to force myself to read, but that just feels like cheating to me. How can I give an honest review of a book I'm just skimming through?

I really began to feel stressed out. Finally I just had to put my books aside and focus on my health and getting as much rest as possible. I still have those books in line to read and I will read them, but it will just take me a lot longer than I normally takes me.

As you have probably noticed (if you follow my posts regularly) that I didn't post a wrap-up for September month. That was because I didn't complete any books last month at all. I've been pretty disappointed about this, but it is what it is.

However there is one book that I have been reading parts of and that is..

Because.. SURPRISE! I'm expecting!

That's right. All those health problems I've been having are due in part to the little one I have on the way. But the 24 hour nausea, massive headaches and crazy cravings pale in comparison to the joy of becoming a mother. I am due in April and we are over the moon-happy to be beginning this new chapter of our life.

Thankfully I have a better handle on the side effects and I'm starting to feel more normal, now that I am nearing my second trimester. I have even started reading a little bit again.

So what does this mean for my blog?

Well I have definitely slowed down a lot. I am not accepting anymore review requests at this time, because I am just so swamped with books that need to be read. Instead I will be concentrating on completing the ones I have.

My goal is to do at least one blog post a week, which isn't much, I know. I just think that is a reasonable number at this time as I need to be very careful to keep my stress levels down due to the high risk of my pregnancy. So I'm just going to relax and enjoy reading when I feel well enough to do so.

                Currently Reading

I am finally starting to make progress again with The Whiskey Sea. Unfortunately I missed out on the TLC book tour, but I am determined to finish it soon.

And that's all for today. Hope you all are having a wonderful October month.

Hosted by: Book Date

Thursday, October 6, 2016

TLC Book Tour: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

the-bookshop-on-the-corner-coverAbout The Bookshop on the Corner

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 20, 2016)

  “Losing myself in Jenny Colgan’s beautiful pages is the most delicious, comforting, satisfying treat I have had in ages.”—Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Summer Secrets

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Jenny Colgan


Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including Little Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake CafĂ©, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland. Find out more about Jenny at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

I was sent a copy of The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan, from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner was a delightful story of a woman who forges a new life for herself after losing her job.

I was able to relate to the main character Nina, in so many ways. Not only am I the same age as her, but her need to create a new life for herself mirrors my own situation. Even though The Bookshop on the corner is fictional, it is inspirational in that starting over is possible.

I enjoyed the authors laid back writing style, which made for a quick and entertaining story. This book was host to a cast of wonderful characters. The rural Scotland setting and the culture was beautifully described.

My one problem was that the title is a bit misleading, as Nina’s business is mobile and ran out of her van. The Bookshop on the Corner implies to me that it is an actual shop in a building. Thankfully this didn’t take away from the story for me.

Nina’s passion and knowledge of books will be very appealing to readers. I would recommend The Bookshop on the Corner to fans of contemporary fiction. I look forward to reading more from Jenny Colgan in the future.