What We’ve Been Reading – March 2021

What We’ve Been Reading – March 2021

Where has February gone? In my opinion, it’s just too short. 😉 Although I didn’t get very much reading done this month, there are some really good books I recommend on this list. 🙂 Happy Reading!

Roseanna’s Reads

With the Kids

A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt by C. Coco De Young
A Depression-era set small novel, this one is set close to home in Johnstown, PA, and is based on the author’s family’s experience of nearly losing their family home in the 1920s…until a brave letter to the president’s wife changes everything.

For Bookclub

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell
SO GOOD. This one was packed with tension, little-known facts, danger, and just enough romance. I’m really loving Siri Mitchell’s contemporary suspense!

With the Kids

The Kitchen Madonna by Rumer Godden
This is a story with a really unique telling…that I really love. It’s about two siblings in London who go way out of their way to give their cook what she most desires: a small picture of Madonna and Child for the kitchen. So sweet and touching!

For Bookclub Too

To Dwell Among Cedars by Connilyn Cossette
I love all of Conni’s books, and this one was no exception! And intriguing view of what might have happened when the Ark was sent back into Hebrew territory by the plague-struck Philistines, this novel is thrilling, romantic, and deep.

Rachel’s Reads

For Fun

Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski
My turn to list this one. WOW! I loved this story. A brooding Scottish Laird, the middle of WWI, mysterious “accidents”…Oh and a Scottish war cry preceeding a kiss….Most definitely recommend!

Tackling the TBR

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Do you have any movies that you refuse to watch until you’ve read the book? This is one for me. I’m happy to say that I’m half way through this book and absolutely loving it! I was a bit hesitant on the format (all in letters), but it is really well done!

Also for Fun

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen
Stories by Julie Klassen are my cozy go-to reads. Opening one of her books is like drinking a soothing cup of tea while wrapped in a cozy blanket. Don’t get me wrong…There is plenty of action and bad guys, as well as sweet romance. But I think because Julie’s books are what got me back into reading 7 years ago…They are comforting.

With the Kids

Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw (A Sam London Adventure)
I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while and we decided to give it a go. It is a fun adventure with magical creatures. We aren’t very far into it yet. I’d be grateful for book recommendations to read-aloud with my 7 and 8 year old boys.

Cover Reveal! Shiloh by Lori Benton

Cover Reveal! Shiloh by Lori Benton

About the Book

Shiloh (Kindred #2)

Release date: 10/5/21

Available for pre-order: 3/1/21

It’s cover reveal time for Shiloh, the second installment in Lori Benton’s Kindred duology. If you haven’t yet read Mountain Laurel (Kindred #1) be sure to grab a copy before Shiloh releases this autumn (10/5/21). Shiloh also revisits several key characters from Lori’s debut novel, Burning Sky. If you’ve yet to make their acquaintance, good news! There’s plenty of time to meet the frontier denizens of Shiloh, New York in the pages of Burning Sky before Shiloh’s October release. 

Award-winning author Lori Benton delivers a rich historical novel of faith, hope, and second chances.

DECEMBER 1795

A year has passed since Ian Cameron reluctantly sent his uncle’s former slave, Seona, and their son, Gabriel, north to his kin in Boston. Determined to fully release them, Ian strives to make a life at Mountain Laurel, his inherited plantation, along with Judith, the wife he’s vowed to love and cherish. But when tragedy leaves him alone with his daughter, Mandy, and his three remaining slaves, he decides to return north. An act of kindness on the journey provides Ian the chance to obtain land near the frontier settlement of Shiloh, New York. Perhaps even the hope for a new life with those he still holds dear.

In Boston, Seona has taken her first tentative steps as a freewoman, while trying to banish Ian from her heart. The Cameron family thinks she and Gabriel should remain under their protection. Seona’s mother, Lily, thinks it’s time they strike out on their own. Then Ian arrives, offering a second chance Seona hadn’t dared imagine. But the wide-open frontier of Shiloh feels as boundless and terrifying as her newfound freedom—a place of new friends and new enemies, where deep bonds are renewed but old hurts stand ready to rear their heads. It will take every ounce of faith and courage Ian and Seona can muster to fight for their family and their future . . . together.

About the Author

LORI BENTON was raised in Maryland, with southern Virginia and Appalachian frontier roots generations deep. Her historical novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she expertly brings to life the colonial and early federal periods of American history. Her books have received the Christy Award and the Inspy Award, and have been honored as finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year. Lori is most at home surrounded by mountains, currently those of the Pacific Northwest where, when she isn’t writing, she’s likely to be found in wild places behind a camera. LoriBenton.com

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Isn’t this simply stunning? I for one can’t wait to have this beautiful book in my hands! Mark your calendar for the March 1st preorder date!

What We’ve Been Reading – January 2021

What We’ve Been Reading – January 2021

Welcome to a New Year! We are kicking off this year with a book release! Dreams of Savannah released on January 5th and if you haven’t snagged a copy yet, you can order a SIGNED copy from my shop HERE! And…coming in May 2021 is the launch of a brand new series. You can preorder The Nature of a Lady HERE.

We’re sharing a few of our recent reads with you today, but we want to know…What books have you been reading as we kick off 2021?

Roseanna’s Reads

In the last few weeks, I’ve done plenty of reading…but none strictly for pleasure. Even so, I’ve added quite a few fabulous books to my list, including some of my favorites from this school year with the kids!

For the Edit

Delia and the Drifter by Melody Carlson
This one’s for an edit–book releases 2/15–and it’s very much a classic Western romance in some ways…and utterly surprising in others! I highly enjoyed my read!

On Audio

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
I listened to this one on audio, as I have the other 2, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, it took me until 3/4 of the way through to realize the narrator wasn’t saying “Serious Black” but rather “Sirius Black.” The quirks of audio, LOL. Looking forward to the next one!

With the Kids

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
I loved this pioneer story the first time we read it a few years ago, and I loved it just as much this time around. The titular character is adventurous, audacious, yet we see her grow from a wild tomboy to a loving sister and gracious young lady in the course of the year the book covers.

With the Kids

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney
I absolutely love the premise of this book: a boy who thinks his town is so boring and wants to go see the world, and whose father promises him a trip to visit relatives if he can find seven Wonders of the World–er, town–in the next seven days. It’s full of delightful, homespun, miraculous stories, the likes of which are always surrounding us. Such a fun story!

For the Edit (too)

Heart of the Crown by Hannah Currie
The summation of the Daughters of Peverell princess books was soooooooo good! A satisfying end to the series and just a beautiful story in its own right!

Nonfiction

How to Fight Racism by Jemar Tisby
I’m not finished this one yet, but I’m excited to have a practical guide to understanding and fighting racism tendencies! I loved The Color of Compromise by the same author so snatched this helpful little book up as soon as I saw it.

With the Kids

The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson
This story of the original, massive Ferris Wheel for the Chicago World’s Fair is told from the point of view of an Irish lad who comes to America to seek his fortune and follow his aunt’s prophecy, that says he’ll follow a star westward and ride on the greatest wheel ever built. Such a fun slice of fictionalized history!

Rachel’s Reads

For Fun

I am a little obsessed with all things WWII right now. So when I received an ARC of Kristy Cambron’s new book, you’d better believe I tore into it immediately!

On Audio

My husband and I recently went on a road trip and decided to reread this one since the squeal just released. This is one of those books that is so drastically different from the movie that it feels like it’s a completely different story. (Some language)

With the Kids

We just finished this book as part of our school curriculum. My third grader read it all by himself, aloud to me…And he really loved learning about George Washington!

Because I'm Obsessed with WWII Reads...

I told you I was reading a lot of WWII right now….This story was INCREDIBLE!!! I highly recommend it. Takes place on US soil (mostly) during WWII and follows the incredible women who flew the planes all over the US for the military. (General Fiction)

With the Kids

Read-Aloud with the boys. My 8-year-old has discovered that he loves reading! We JUST started reading this one together as a family and will work on taking turns reading. We’ve read several books in the Narnia series to the boys when they were so young, they don’t rememeber them…Hence…starting over from the beginning.

Holiday Book Buying Guide 2020

Holiday Book Buying Guide 2020

This has been a pretty crazy year. As the holidays are upon us, you may be looking for a book for a friend, child, family member, or yourself…My assistant Rachel and I are here are some of our favorites this year!

This year I was struck with the call to be more purposeful in my love for people of color, so I’ve read a few books with that aim. Be the Bridge was the first, and it really helped open my eyes to the truth about diversity. It’s really approachable and easy to read, and it encourages what I think is the absolute most important step: to open a dialogue with people who don’t look like you and just be honest and open and loving.

One of the most fabulous suspense novels I’ve read in a long, long time! It was unique, SO well written, and is seriously one of the only books this year that lured me into reading past my bedtime.

If you have a teen girl in your life–or just a lover of princess stories–then Heart of a Royal and Heart of a Princess are a MUST! Hannah Currie writes with a wonderful voice, and the stories are the sort to take you by the heart as well as the imagination. And book 3 will be out in the new year!

Maybe you’re not one to usually read fantasy–I know I don’t very often–but oh my gracious. This trilogy is SO GOOD! Start with the first and, now that they’re all out, read them all together! The premise is that our heroine is from a family who can walk in other people’s dreams. The imagery used for the faith in this fantasy world…the themes explored…the adventure…the love. So good!

Both Benjy books (the first is Benjy and the Belsnickel) are wonderful reads for the middle schoolers in your life, especially the boys! My son absolutely loved these fun-filled stories of Benjy, a boy in the 1930s who wants to be good but just keeps falling into mischief. Highly recommended!

I’ve loved all of Bob Goff’s books, but this one is special; it gives actionable ideas and steps for turning our lives into bold, daring witnesses for the Lord. For searching for and finding the big dreams He instills in us and then running after them. I’m recommending this book for absolutely everyone! But don’t just read it. Do the work he challenges you to do. Make lists. Write down your actual thoughts and dreams. And then go out and chase them.

I’ve decided that I want to be Lisa Wingate when I grow up. 😉 Seriously, her books are all amazing. My fangirling really started with Before We Were Yours, which millions of other people have read and agree with me on how flawless it is. I found The Book of Lost Friends to be just as compelling and beautifully written, and so very timely. I listened to it in audio, but I’m going to be asking for a paperback for my keeper shelf for Christmas!

Any romantic comedy fans out there?? If so, you’d adore the three wedding-themed books by V. Joy Palmer. The series just came to a hilarious conclusion with this one, and it will so have you laughing and flying through even the pages, even while she deals with serious topics like forgiveness and overcoming some mental/emotional addictions. I loved all three of these books!

I read the first book in this series soon after it released and then had the honor of reading book 2 for endorsement. Can’t wait for the final installment! Jocelyn Green is one of my favorite authors, and these two books set in Chicago–first one during and after the Great Fire and the second during the World’s Fair–are just stunningly written, fully-engrossing stories. Veiled in Smoke and Shadows of the White City definitely need to go on your list!

If anyone on your list is a fan of snark and sarcasm, then this young-adult book will be right up their alley. The voice is hilariously filled with it, and the story itself is one of stretching ourselves and discovering that building relationships is worth more than anything else in life.

Rachel Dixon here…You might know me as Bookworm Mama…I am also Roseanna’s Virtual Assistant. I am so excited for Christmas this year! Our family has decided to start a new tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve! Our boys are 8 and 6 this year and they both love books as much as my husband and I do…So with our help, we all drew names and picked out a book for that person. 🙂 Here are some of my favorite books this year.

One of the best Young Adult books I have read. This novel blew me away! Clean fantasy, this story was a finalist for the Christy Award! The Winter King is a great story that had me on the edge of my seat till the final page.

Do you (or the person you are shopping for) enjoy a good suspense novel? The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus was a FABULOUS read! I adore everything that Jaime Jo Wright has published. And this newest book of hers really kept me guessing. Creepy and full of mystery!

If you have a child in your life that still likes picture books…You need this book! It is so.much.fun! You have to “rock” the dragon at one point, “knock on the door” to ask the neighbors to be quiet. OH it is so much fun!!!

This book made my soul and heart happy! A split-time romance with adventure and mystery. So good! And I highly recommend it! Amanda’s first novel won TWO Christy Awards this year too! Yay!!!

This was one of the first books I read this year…And WOW! This Austen inspired story has mystery, romance, and a healthy dose of Austen references and quotes. Young Adult genre.

My 8-year-old loves books! But trying to find books that he can read on his own easily, has not been easy. This book was in book box we received this summer and he has been devouring these books! This line of books (Harper Chapters) is a new type of book that is making our transition to chapter books easier for us all! The publisher recommends these books for ages 5-8.

Cover Reveal for The Nature of a Lady

Cover Reveal for The Nature of a Lady

My new series, The Secrets of the Isles, releases summer 2021 and it’s time to share the cover for the first book! Are you ready? 
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About the Book
 
1906 – Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn’t exactly a hit in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer…and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage’s former occupant, also called Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.

Oliver Tremayne—gentleman and clergyman—is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he’s happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth’s summer cottage…especially when he realizes it’s the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can’t quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As the two work together, along with Libby’s maid—his cousin—they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.
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When I filled out my cover info sheet for this one, I had one request: PURPLE. Libby wears a purple gown in the book, and the fact that it’s “her color” plays into the story several times. So I was beyond thrilled to open this up and see my lovely Lady Elizabeth in a beautiful purple dress!!

And the garden background is PERFECT too!! Several key scenes take place in a garden, and her love of all things botanical and biological are super important. Even the jasmine flowers tucked in her hair and that she’s holding are from a pivotal scene!

Then just to look at the design…that title treatment. I love it with the love of a thousand pieces of chocolate. So pretty!!!

So….What do you think? Leave a comment below!