Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen | Book Review

Once upon a time I didn’t think I could enjoy a new Julie Klassen book any more than her previous releases, then Lady Maybe came along. After I finished this book I wanted to immediately re-read it. To go back to Regency England, to follow the characters, to enjoy it all over again!

One final cry…“God almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…

Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.

But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.

Lady-Maybe-julie-klassen

A few pages into this book and “bam!” a curveball was thrown. One of those that causes the reader to sit up a little bit straighter, maybe even rub their hands together and say “alright then! Let’s do this!” I get why the description is a bit vague, because this book is a delightful mix of surprises.

Throughout the book there were many thoughts, including (but not limited to):

  • “Say wha???”
  • “Hold up!”
  • “Oh no she didn’t…”
  • “Can’t say I saw that coming.”
  • “Wait, did I read that right?”
  • “Le sigh….”

I can say that without a doubt this book was not what I expected, but that made it all the more entertaining and captivating. I would love to say more about specific characters, but I shall refrain! Sneaky…sneaky…right? But I don’t want to ruin plot lines or anything like that, so just read it Internet! But I promise the plot is intriguing. I appreciated honest and real life characters who struggle with decisions made, the consequences and the changes.

If you love Regency England books, are a fan of Julie Klassen or love reading : ), then I recommend this book!

What’s the last book you read that wasn’t what you expected?

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book!)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

And surprise! I’m giving away the ARC I received (you can thank pre-order ; ), so be sure to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 Questions with Brandy Vallance | Author Interview + Giveaway

I seriously love the book world. Getting a chance to read amazing books is awesome enough, but these days it’s extra awesome with the opportunities to connect with authors (and of course fellow readers and bloggers). It’s seriously the best and just one reason I enjoy the 4 Questions series so much. I had the chance to read Brandy’s debut a few months ago, so it’s a pleasure to have her on the blog!

Brandy Vallance fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, loving the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Unaccountable amounts of black tea have fueled this ambition. Brandy’s love of tea can only be paralleled by her love of Masterpiece Theater Classics, deep conversations, and a good book. Brandy is the 2013 Operation First Novel winner and the 2012 winner of the ACFW Genesis Contest for historical romance. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Covered Deep, has been featured in USA TODAY and Writer’s Digest.

4Questions-Brandy-Vallance

4 Questions

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
I am working on my third book and mapping out my fourth. That’s hard for me to believe! I focused so long on getting The Covered Deep published that I never really considered all the books that would come after.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
This question stumped me. Of course some things come to mind. However, if just one of those things were altered, I wouldn’t be who I am today. As humans we want to live a pain free life, but there is value in sorrow and grief, especially if you are a writer.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
One of the happiest moments of my life was holding The Covered Deep in my hands. When the box came to my house I was afraid to open it. Then, when I opened the box, my entire body started shaking. When I held that first book, my entire body went weak. It was a fourteen-year journey to be able to hold that first book. I keep that first copy on my desk. Sometimes I pick it up and smell the pages. Sometimes I flip through it and read scenes at random.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
The road to achieving your dreams hardly ever looks like what you imagine, but that’s okay. No experience is wasted, especially in the Kingdom of God. Don’t wish away the length of your journey because that is often just as important as the goal itself. The friends I made along the path to publication are forever friends. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Thank you so much Brandy for sharing!

Where to Connect with Author
Website | Twitter | Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Printer and the Preacher by Randy Peterson | Book Review

For as much as I love history, there always seems to be a key player or two who I have never heard of and then I feel like a fake fan. One such example? George Whitefield. We’ll just blame my Church history professor on my lack of knowledge. After this book though, all that has changed.

A groundbreaking look at the strange friendship between George Whitefield and Benjamin Franklin, who together defined what it means to be an American.

They were the most famous men in America. They came from separate countries, followed different philosophies, and led dissimilar lives. But they were fast friends. No two people did more to shape America in the mid-1700s.

Benjamin Franklin was the American prototype: hard-working, inventive, practical, funny, with humble manners and lofty dreams. George Whitefield was the most popular preacher in an era of great piety, whose outdoor preaching across the colonies was heard by thousands, all of whom were told, “You must be born again.” People became excited about God. They began reading the Bible and supporting charities. When Whitefield died in 1770, on a preaching tour in New Hampshire, he had built a spiritual foundation for a new nation―just as his surviving friend, Ben Franklin, had built its social foundation. Together these two men helped establish a new nation founded on liberty. This is the story of their amazing friendship.

the-printer-and-the-preacher-randy-petersen

“Whitefield and Franklin were not just the two most famous people in America in their time – they were also the most significant. The effects of their lives and their work are still being felt today.”

There was plenty for me to learn with this book, including several fun facts about both Benjamin and George. The organization of the chapters interrupted the flow of the book a bit, especially in the first half. Even with that, the author made good points showing their impact and friendship was long lasting.

If anything, I think this book spurs people to look deeper into both of their lives and how people on opposite ends of the belief spectrum can still be friends.

I’ll close with this interesting quote:

“Like George, we are, as a nation, very religious. Like Ben, we like to make up our own beliefs. About half of Americans call themselves evangelical, children of the Great Awakening. Many use George’s favorite term: born again. But others do not share this faith. Many, like Ben…take an “enlightened” approach to life, focusing on the natural world, not the supernatural.

We are George and Ben.”

Who have you recently learned about from the pages of history?

(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant | Book Review

Summertime is the perfect time for grabbing books and enjoying the sunshine. Unless you live in Texas, then you better be by a body of water otherwise, you’ll melt. Anyway…Summer reads are always fun and Betsy St. Amant’s latest arrived just in time.

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.

Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.

Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.

Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.

A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

love-arrives-in-pieces-betsy-st-amant

I’ll start off by saying I really liked that this featured the journeys of Stella and Chase. Each had their own path of discovery and I thought that was done well (it fit well with Stella embracing her art along the way). Dealing with the rejection of a breakup/divorce is no easy web to fight through and St. Amant wasn’t afraid to show the messy.

There were some characters that warmed me from the beginning (Dixie) and some I didn’t quite understand (the mom), but overall I thought this was a sweet tale about finding beauty in the broken.

And that’s always an amazing thing.

What’s on your summer reading list?

(Thank you to Litfuse and Zondervan for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

It’s a real YouTube video! Let’s Chat Sports Books

Alright, confession!! I’m nervous posting this since it’s my first non-Inklings’s announcement video. Eee! But here it is and hope y’all enjoy! I also promise I don’t say “so, yeah!” that much in real life. Apparently that’s my phrase for YouTube though.