First Line Friday – 03.15.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris. It is a nonfiction book on Joseph Lister’s Quest to transform the grisly world of Victorian medicine. I picked it up with plans to skim it for research questions pertaining to a work in progress and wound up devouring it like a novel. Seriously, I read this thing cover to cover which is not my norm for a nonfiction book. It is very well written and I found the medical history combined with Lister’s personal life to be simply fascinating. That said, it’s probably not something you want to read over lunch.

The Butchering Art

 

Here are the first lines:

On the afternoon of December 21, 1846, hundreds of men crowded into the operating theater at London’s University College Hospital, where the city’s most renowned surgeon was preparing to enthrall them with a mid-thigh amputation. 

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Winner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize
A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly
A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically reconstructs Lister’s career path to his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by a sterilizing agent applied to wounds. She introduces us to Lister’s contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and leads us through the grimy schools and squalid hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied, and the cemeteries they ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

AMAZON

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Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

I am so touched to have been nominated for this Sunshine Blogger Award by Becca of The Becca Files.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer recognition for bloggers across all genres who inspire “positivity and joy.” While there is no formal evaluation or vetting process, and no tangible prize, it is so sweet to receive this award because it is special when it comes from fellow bloggers who view my blog as “inspiring positivity and joy.”

Sunshine Blogger Award rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

My answers to the 11 questions from Becca:

  1. What is a favorite book from your childhood? This one is tricky because I loved so many books as a child. However, the one that I think most inspired my imagination has to be, Lily of the Forest by Brian McConnachie, illustrated by Jack Ziegler. I actually still have the copy from my childhood and it turns out that is a good thing because when I checked today, I discovered it is no longer in print. 😦 Lily of the Forest
  2. If you could have lunch with any author who would it be? Well, that is a tough question! I have met so many wonderful authors while at the various writers conferences I have attended. I can’t imagine picking just one. So, if I take it a step further and add the “living or dead” clause, I would have to say that I would love to have lunch with Jane Austen. While I admittedly haven’t studied much on her biography, her writing makes me imagine sitting on the edge of a gathering somewhere, listening to her quietly make witty observations about the people around us. Not in a gossipy sort of way, but in the unique and humorous way she has of seeing beyond people’s social masks.
  3. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? Another tough one. I’ve done quite a lot of travel, actually, but there are still many places I’d love to see. The three that spring to mind are Ireland, England, and Australia. Although, I’ve also always dreamed of seeing the setting for Anne of Green Gables. So Prince Edward Island would definitely be near the top of that list.
  4. What is your favorite genre to read? Finally, an easy one:  Historical Christian Romance. I enjoy delving into what life may have been like for our ancestors–the nitty-gritty things like how they did their laundry–and I love reading about God working in people’s lives to bring joy from tragedy and trial.
  5. Is there a genre you refuse to read? Erotica. Point blank.
  6. What is your favorite part of blogging? Helping to connect readers and authors of wonderful books. I have always wanted to shout the news to the world whenever I have finished a particularly enjoyable book. As an author, I now appreciate the hard work and perseverance that goes into bringing those stories to the world. Blogging gives me a chance to reward their diligent efforts and to bless a fellow reader with another fascinating story. Because I review Christian romance, I also have the pleasure of knowing that God often uses these stories to bring His children closer to Him.
  7. If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers what would that be? Don’t over commit yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. Do figure out what makes you different. Always keep close to mind the reason you are putting in this effort. Oops. I guess that’s four pieces of advice. 😉
  8. What’s a real-life fact you learned in a fictional book? From Karen Barnett’s Where the Fire Falls, I learned that for nearly one hundred years, the workers at Yosemite National park would push hot embers over the edge of Glacier Point, creating the illusion of a “fire fall” for the spectators watching from Camp Curry. The spectacle was a nightly tradition which drew many visitors.

    Book Quote - Where the Fire Falls - Waterfall Surrender
    See my review HERE.
  9. What is your favorite book, character, or story in the Bible? I don’t think I could pick a favorite, but recently I’ve been studying the book of Matthew again and was struck by the story of the disciples and how they still questioned Jesus’s instructions after all the miracles He’d performed. In particular, I found it both amusing and reassuring that even after he feeds 5000 men PLUS women and children with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, leaving 12 baskets of leftovers, they still question him when he tells them to feed another crowd even though that crowd held fewer people (4000 men plus women and children) and the disciples had more food (seven loaves and a few small fish}. The disciples still ask, in essence, “How are we going to accomplish this seemingly impossible task you have asked us to do?” It makes me laugh because it sounds so foolish given what happened the last time, yet it also is far too familiar. There are so many times in my life when God has proven Himself capable of the impossible, yet every single time I am presented with another impossible task that I feel He has given me I ask the same thing, “But how?”

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    See more of my bible journaling on Instagram.
  10. Who is your favorite historical figure? Oh, come on! I only get one?! Well, fine. I’m going for the obvious:  Jesus. 😉 Not satisfied? I guess, my next favorite might be . . . well, they are all so complicated, just like the people of today. It’s difficult to call someone “my favorite” because there will always be some things I admire about them and other things I don’t. Two that come immediately to mind are Helen Keller–because of her incredible contributions to the deaf/blind community–and George Horatio Derby–because he is connected to local San Diego history and makes me laugh. He stands out as a man unlike many of his contemporaries, a true character. Which is, of course, why I gave him a cameo in my first novel.
  11. If you were stuck on a deserted island and could have 1 personal item and 1 survival item what would you pick to have? The Bible. No contest. As for the survival item . . . Assuming there is a source of fresh water somewhere, I would pick a book of survival skills because there are very few things that can’t be made from found objects but you can’t find the objects or turn them into useful tools without the knowledge of how to do so. Since no one can memorize how to do or make everything, written instructions sound pretty good to me. My second choice would be a knife to make just about everything I needed to do easier.

My 11 nominees are:

Reading Is My Superpower

Bookworm Mama

Faithfully Bookish

Joy of Reading

The Christian Fiction Girl

Christian Shelf Esteem

The Engrafted Word

A Baker’s Perspective

Molly at Cover to Cover Cafe

C Jane Read

Just Commonly

 

The questions for my nominees:

  1. What is one lesson you had to learn the hard way?
  2. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  3. Why did you start blogging and is the reason you continue to blog different?
  4. What are you reading right now and which book is next on your TBR?
  5. What is your favorite comfort food?
  6. When you aren’t reading or blogging, what are you most likely to be doing?
  7. Who inspired your love of reading?
  8. Of all the pieces of clothing you own, which is your favorite and why?
  9. What is the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome as a blogger?
  10. What is your favorite genre to read?
  11. Of all the blog posts you’ve written, which is your favorite? Please post the link.

 

First Line Friday – 03.08.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from Entanglements by Rachel McMillan. It is McMillan’s contribution to the Finding Ever After novella collection which I am currently reading. Unless my memory fails me, this is my first story by Rachel McMillan and although the writing style is unique, so far I am enjoying it very much.

Entanglements

 

Here are the first lines:

Boston, 1920

Once upon a time, Father Francisco told Nic Ricci that to find math in music he merely had to look to Mozart.

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Nic Ricci is a North End piano tuner and part time math tutor who wants nothing more than to compose; but there are few pennies to be found and an ailing father whose work life was terminated by an factory injury to support.

When a well-paying opportunity arises as a rehearsal pianist for a wealthy heiress giving a recital at the Boston Conservatory, Nic grabs at the chance. He does not, however, anticipate a beautiful, intelligent woman frustratingly accompanied by a chaperone and promised to a brute of a fiance.

Esther Hunisett is trapped by her father’s poor business decisions, her dowry and future attached to a man who will save her family’s estate. With little to barter before her life is signed away to a man she does not love, she exacts a promise so she can perform one last time at a recital of all of her favourite pieces before he spirits her from the city she loves and locks her away in his sprawling upstate manor.

When Nic learns of Esther’s entrapment, he promises to help her find an escape route — and together they plan a strategy as intricate as the chess games they play every afternoon while her chaperone dozes.

To Nic, Esther– with the long coils of golden hair he sees loosened as she exchanges pins for failed chess moves–is the princess in the tower, entangling him in an unexpected adventure he never imagined.

But every Princess needs a Prince and Nic isn’t sure if he can be anything more than the rusty tin soldier when she needs a white knight and a trusty steed.

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 03.01.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first lines from The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky, a book on my wish list.

The Governess of Highland Hall

Here are the first lines:

October 1911

Berkshire, England

Julia Foster lifted her gaze to the clear October sky as a lark swooped past. Her steps slowed and her thoughts took flight, following the bird as it dipped into the golden trees beyond the meadow. If only she could fly away, back to the familiar life and cherished friends she had left behind in India.

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Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help? 
 
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

My Rapid Review – Ladies of Intrigue

 

my rapid review - ladies of intrigue

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3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

My Thoughts

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady

Helen Fletcher is a surprisingly determined young woman whose past has left her more than a little biased against Isaac Seaton. Yet his complicated past (and present) winds up being the very thing which draws them together. A fresh twist on the robin-hood concept, complicated by questions of biblical morality, this story was fun to read and kept me turning the pages.

The Doctor’s Woman

The romance between Emmaline “Emmy” Nelson and Dr. James Clark was, by far, my favorite of the three entertaining novels included in this collection. Unexpectedly paired to tend to the soldiers and Sioux people encamped at Fort Snelling, the two work side-by-side on a daily basis allowing their friendship to blossom into something more. With several sweet moments that warmed my heart and enough surprises to keep me reading, this is a story I could have kept reading for much longer, despite its satisfying conclusion.

A House of Secrets

A bit reminiscent of the plotline from A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears, this story nevertheless held its own charm. Featuring a heroine struggling to win her father’s heart and a hero fighting to right past wrongs, you can’t help but root for the two of them as they overcome fierce adversaries, troublesome secrets, and life-threatening events.

Overall Conclusion:

This collection takes the reader from a small town on the Cornish Coast of 1815 to the American frontier of 1862 and finally to 1890 St. Paul, Minnesota. With engaging characters and entertaining plot twists as diverse as their settings, all three stories are fully worthy of your time and money.

Overall Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Available: Amazon

Let’s Chat! Have you read any of Michelle’s other books? Which is your favorite?

TWEETABLE:

Three well-written stories with engaging characters, vivid descriptions and entertaining plot-twists, all in one collection. #BookReview

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!


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View Disclosure of Materials HERE.

Ladies of Intrigue FB Banner

About the Author

Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.

 

3 Reasons to Read Historical Fiction

Guest post by Michelle Griep

 

Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past.

  1. Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.

Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.

  1. Makes for great conversation.

In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.

  1. Because truth is timeless.

Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.

In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.

Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 23

The Power of Words, February 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Kathleen Denly, February 25

Genesis 5020, February 25

Splashes of Joy, February 25

For the Love of Literature, February 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 26

Faery Tales Are Real, February 26

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 26

Inspired by fiction, February 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 27

Back Porch ReadsFebruary 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 27

A Baker’s Perspective, February 28

Andy Carmichael, February 28

Stories By Gina, February 28

Emily Yager, March 1

Multifarious, March 1

A Reader’s Brain , March 1

Baker kella, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Remembrancy, March 2

Just the Write Escape, March 3

BigreadersiteMarch 3

Inspiration Clothesline, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Vicky Sluiter, March 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 4

Book by Book, March 4

Kat’s Corner Books, March 5

Inklings and notionsMarch 5

Living Life Free in Christ, March 5

The Morning Chapter, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 6

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Daysong Reflections, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 7

A Humble Cup of Lukewarm Tea, March 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 8

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 8

Carpe Diem, March 8

Giveaway

amazon gift card 25 (1)

 

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of Ladies of Intrigue!!

Be sure to comment on blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the image below to enter.

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First Line Friday – 02.22.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first lines from A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz, a book I’ve recently added to my Kindle.

A Bound Heart

Here are the first lines:

Isle of Kerrara,
Scotland, 1752

As the sun slid from the sky, Lark pressed her back into the pockmarked cliff on the island’s west shore.

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Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning–together.

Laura Frantz’s prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 02.15.19

first-line-friday-3Hey Everyone! It’s First Line Friday. So grab a book near you and share the first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from Between Stairs and Stardust by Pepper Basham. Between Stairs and Stardust is Pepper’s contribution to Finding Ever After: four fairytale-ish novellas which just released yesterday!

Finding Ever After

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Here is the first line:

Sunset and sunrise captured the magnificent country chateau best.

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Stella Faye Emory has known a life of loss. Orphaned at the age of eleven, she is sent from her home at the Biltmore Estate to become a companion for a wealthy family in Boston. As she grows into a kind and talented young lady, a benefactress recognizes Stella’s artistic skills and funds her education but Stella’s fame as an illustrator inspires jealousy and an unwanted rumor that sends Stella fleeing back to the Biltmore.

James Craven is the second-born son of an automobile tycoon. Following his family to their new estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, James finds his place among the forests and mountains of the countryside. When his little sister is saved from drowning by the mysterious, “Faye”, James’ interests take a new turn in the direction of this fairy-like artist who seems to appear and disappear at the most unexpected times.

As James and Stella’s friendship deepens, Stella’s past finds her and threatens her newfound romance. Can a charm bracelet and an unanticipated visitor restore hopes for a happily-ever-after?

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating: