October 20, 2013

Updates and Whatnot...

Hi everyone! *waves*

This is just a quick little update to let you know what's happening. But first of all, I feel I should point out that awesome picture you just looked at. A dear friend of mine gave that to me the other night at my goodbye party. ISN'T IT AMAZING?! Did you read it? Do you see all the little details?! I have made no secret around these parts of my love of North and South. I mean, you only have to read this post, or look at this Pinterest board and you'll figure out I'm kind of obsessive about it in fact. :D So this gift is incredible and I haven't been able to let this bag out of my sight since I got it. It will absolutely have a special place of honor in my new house! I'm pretty sure I can say this is probably my favoritest gift this year! (I won't say favorite gift ever because I have gotten some pretty awesome gifts in the past. But this year? This little bag trumps everything! ;)

And speaking of goodbye parties, yes, I had one the other night. It was wonderful! And sad. I got home and read all my cards and bawled myself to sleep that night. It's an amazing feeling to know so many people love me and will miss me. I'm going to miss them too! :(

Anyway. On to the actual update!

I am officially down to my very last week here. Only a few days left before I get in the truck and head out. Roadtrip here I come! :D Therefore, that means this week is going to be very, very busy for me and then I'll be driving for five or six days and then I'll be unpacking and settling in and yeah. Needless to say, the blogging thing will not happen. So this little place will be pretty quiet for at least two weeks. I'm hoping not much more than that, but we'll see. I'll still be active on twitter though (hopefully), and I will definitely be back to blogging eventually. I promise!

To anyone who is still following me, who is still reading my sporadic posts, who is still commenting even though you haven't received a comment back, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart I sincerely thank you. I have read all the comments and loved every single one. I am so grateful for your patience as my life has gotten crazy the last couple months. I hope very very very soon I will be back to commenting and visiting and blogging and all the wonderful fun around the blogosphere! :)

Don't give up on me yet! The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer by the minute! Until then.....

October 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes

So if you'll remember way back in August, I reviewed Bleeding Heart, a book written by a friend of mine. She is currently working on the prequel of that first book and I have the privilege of sharing the cover with you today! Amber is a wonderful writer and I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on this story. :) I have every confidence that it will be fantastic. Without further ado....

Isn't it so pretty?! It's similar to Bleeding Heart, yet has it's own distinctive look at the same time. The two books would look lovely sitting side by side on a bookshelf! :) I love the dress, it's graceful and feminine. The background's so rough-looking, it makes the heroine stand out. And the fact that she's looking down with an unsure look on her face makes me so very curious what her story is. She has to be pretty strong though, to be wearing such a pretty (wedding?) dress out in that desert! The combination of the dainty dress set against a backdrop of desert certainly makes a striking display, so much so that I'd pick this one off the shelf for that very reason. What do you think?

About the Book

Prequel to Bleeding Heart

Old hurts, new betrayals, and a love that survives them all...

Summer 1885

A startling revelation sends Elizabeth Lawson escaping into a stormy night - and tosses her into the arms of a young mountain man with secrets of his own. When he offers to take her to the Nevada mining town where her long-lost brother lives, she accepts. Suspicions and uncertainties are pushed aside as she struggles to forge a future for herself by meeting her past.

David has been hiding from his painful memories for years. The solitude and wildness of the Rocky Mountains are challenge and comfort enough for him - until Elizabeth's arrival. Fueled by anger and a sense of obligation, he strives to take control of his new situation...only to find control slipping from his grasp with each new emotion Elizabeth evokes in him.

When their journey leads them on unexpected paths, can two lonely hearts find the strength to remember the good amid the heartbreak?

You can find all the latest news about Forget Me Not, along with book extras, at the Forget Me Not blog.

About the Author

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word - from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing. You can connect with Amber on her blog, Seasons of Humility.


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October 14, 2013

Chasing The Sweetness

quote from The Bee Tree

I was over at my cousin's house the other day, reading a library book to his children. I found this quote and loved it! So of course I had to take a photo of it. And then share it with you. There is such wonderful sweetness found in stories! :)

October 12, 2013

Review: It Happened At The Fair by Deanne Gist

It Happened at the Fair
Goodreads :: Amazon

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

Wow! This was a spectacular story! And that is a huge compliment from me. Why? Because I've tried reading several of Ms. Gist's other books and have never been able to finish one before now. Have you ever had an author that loads of people rave over and you just can't get into their stories? There's just something about their writing that doesn't click with you? And you want to like them, you want to finish just one book of theirs, but you're unable to? This is exactly how it was with Ms. Gist's books and me. Fast forward to a few months ago when a fellow blogger (who had similar trouble with this author's books) happened to read this one and loved it, raved over it, and encouraged me to try it. So I finally did. "Just one more try," I decided. And yay!! I am so, so happy I read it!

The parts that reached out and grabbed me were all the details of the actual workings of the Fair itself. Ms. Gist spends paragraphs and pages describing the exhibits, the people, the rides, and all manner of behind the scenes particulars for us. Most chapters begin with a photograph or artist rendering of some portion of the Fair and then it gets described in the pages to follow. I love history. So of course I loved all the information I learned. I'm sure I studied the Chicago World's Fair in school, but I had forgotten most of it by now. Reading this made me feel as if I were standing right beside Cullen and Della, watching the Illumination Show, riding the moving sidewalk and the Ferris Wheel, touring the Manufactures Building, and the multitude of things available to do each day. It felt quite obvious that Ms. Gist had well-researched the Fair and her enthusiasm for it shown in every page. It made me enthusiastic as well! :)

Of course there is actual plot involved. There's Cullen and Della, both far from home and working at the Fair for different reasons, and watching them "meet cute" and frustrate and confuse one another, yet sweetly and hesitantly fall in love was fun. There's an instant spark between them and even with their bumbling, the inevitable happy ending follows along in due course. Their romance is wonderful (and I sigh in happiness with every reading of one scene near the end ;), yet the fact that it's taking place against the backdrop of this amazing time in history is really the hook of this story for me. Amazingly enough, the romance happily took a backseat to the extravaganza unfolding before our eyes. Ms. Gist's descriptions of Cullen and Della's many stop-ins at Blooker's Dutch Cocoa Company even had me craving some of that delicious cocoa! 

So if you enjoy history and stories with the setting overshadowing the plot (in a good way!), then this is a must try for you! A fascinating time in history combined with a delightful romance makes for an absorbing story. One that will happily find a place on my bookshelf soon and there it will stay. :D

Weaving between the Machinery and Agricultural Buildings, a short, red-faced man pushed a rolling chair into her path. She quickly jumped aside, then followed its progress. In its seat was the man's rather large and portly wife, with a young tot in her lap. Two little girls in their Sunday dresses sat on each armrest, holding tightly to their mother. A young boy, not quite old enough for school, sat on the mother's feet, dangling his legs over the footrest.
Good heavens. They certainly were making the most of their forty-cents-an-hour chair rental.

Mad Libs With Books!

I saw this idea over at Books and Movies the other day and just had to try it for myself! I loved mad libs as a kid. I remember my brother and I having fun with it a lot, especially if we were in the car. So of course I wanted to do it again as an adult! Using book titles instead of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc, I filled in the blanks with books that I've read this year only. :)

In school I was: Something Like Normal

People might be surprised I'm: a Fangirl

I will never be: Picture Perfect

My fantasy job is: The Heiress of Winterwood

At the end of a long day I need: The Chocolate Kiss

I hate it when: (I feel) Invisible

Wish I had: A Room With A View

My family reunions are: The Icing on the Cake

At a party you'd find me with: The Host

I've never been to: Edenbrooke

A happy day includes: Turning Pages

Motto I live by: Catch A Falling Star

On my bucket list: Yellowstone Memories

In my next life, I want to be: Fossil Hunter


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