First Line Friday – 5.3.19 + GIVEAWAY!

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, the book I’m currently reading, The Trail Boss’s Bride by Erica Vestch. I am seriously enjoying this read and didn’t want to put it down to write this post. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance to win a free copy!

To enter my giveaway: Share this post on social media and tag me @KathleenDenly. Then leave a comment below letting me know that you shared, along with a line from your favorite book or the book you’re reading right now.

**Giveaway closes @ 11:59pm 5/3/19**

The Trail Boss's Bride

Here’s the first line:

Steve Ketchum had heard it said that there were only two things on God’s green earth that cowboys were afraid of: being left afoot and a decent woman, and he believed it.

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From New York Times bestselling author Erica Vetsch comes a stirring western romance (part of the Journeys of the Heart anthology):

Steve Ketchum loves being a trail boss, almost as much as he hates river crossings. But it’s part of the job. As is moving an abandoned wagon out of the ford. But when he goes to haul it away, he’s stunned to see what’s inside.

Kitty Fareholm’s good-for-nothing husband picked a lousy time to die. How could he leave her stranded, birthing a baby in the middle of nowhere? She’d prayed for help to come, but did God honestly think a trail-worn cowboy was what she needed? What’s more, Steve’s trail crew is dead-set against having a woman join their camp. He promises the men he’ll leave her at the nearest town…but Kitty just might have other plans.

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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 – 4.19.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden.

A Daring Venture

Here’s the first line:

Connecticut, 1890

“You and your brother are to go to the music room, close the door, and don’t come out until I say you can.”

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As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against waterborne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city–but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York, Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team’s techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, the odds stacked against these two rivals swiftly grow more insurmountable with every passing day.

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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:

10 Awesome Books on Audible

10 Awesome Books on Audible

One of the great things about reviewing books is getting to read fantastic works earlier than most readers. One of the downsides is that by the time the audiobook releases for some of my favorites, I’m often too busy reading the next new release to get a chance to enjoy the audio versions.

That said, I do love a good audiobook, so I thought I’d share with you 10 awesome books currently available on Audible.

Since I have read and reviewed each one of these, I’m providing links to my reviews to help you with deciding which you’re in the mood for.

Book #1:

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Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

My Review5 Stars!

Book #2:

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Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

My Review: 4 Stars!

Book #3:

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The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham

My Review5 Stars!

Book #4:

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The Thorn Keeper by Pepper D. Basham

My Review: 4.5 Stars!

Book #5:

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A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

My Review5 Stars!

Book #6:

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Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

My Review5 Stars!

Book #7:

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The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

My Review5 Stars!

Book #8:

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Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

My Review5 Stars!

Book #9:

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Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

My Review5 Stars!

Book #10:

This one is newly released on Audible and I have enjoyed experiencing this story in a whole new way. I also recently reviewed this book on Goodreads and although I have mentioned it her previously (in a First Line Friday post and an interview with the author last summer), I never officially shared my review here. So below you will find the full text of my mini-review.

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The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

My Review5 Stars!

I picked up this fantastic novella at a writers conference in June of 2017. I started reading it that night thinking I would just read a page or two and go to sleep. WRONG! I couldn’t stop reading! This book had my attention from the start and didn’t let go until the last page. Almost a year later, I still think about it and with the recent release of its audible version, I am actually revisiting this story – an extreme rarity for me. Even if you don’t normally read this genre, I highly recommend giving it a try. I read a lot, but I have never read anything quite as unique and entertaining as this. There is a Christian message in there, but it is subtle (without being weak) and completely organic.

 

Let’s Chat!

Have you listened to any of these books? What did you think of the narration? Do you prefer printed, digital, or audiobooks?

 

TWEETABLE:

Check out these 10 Awesome Books on Audible! #BookReviews #Audiobooks #ChristFic @KathleenDenly

First Line Friday – 3.23.18

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Welcome to First Line Friday! Each Friday I pick a book and share the first line with you. In return, I hope you’ll share with me a first line from whatever book you have at hand!

Today I’m sharing the first line from the recently released, All My Tomorrows which includes three novellas written by Karen Witemeyer, Jody Hedlund, and Elizabeth Camden.

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Here are the first lines from Karen Witemeyer’s contribution to the collection, Worth the Wait:

OCTOBER 1894 – HARPER’S STATION

BAYLOR COUNTY, TEXAS

“Are you sure it’s safe?” Victoria Adams stared down at her exposed right leg as her friend Grace Mallory fit the Remington Model 95 over-under double-barreled derringer in the small holster affixed to her garter.

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Readers will take a journey across America and through time in this collection of three novellas from some of Christian fiction’s top historical romance writers. Originally released only as ebooks, these novellas–deeply moving and deeply romantic–now find print for the first time. The collection includes:

Karen Witemeyer’s “Worth the Wait” takes readers to the Harper’s Station women’s colony where a young mother must overcome pains and fears of the past in order to trust again.

Jody Hedlund’s “An Awakened Heart” follows a young woman into the shadows of New York’s tenements where she and a newly appointed minister spar over the best way to care for the poor and orphaned.

Elizabeth Camden’s “Toward the Sunrise” finds a young female medical student trying to overcome the ramifications of a decision that leave her at the mercy of a stubborn but handsome attorney.

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

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

Rapid Review Roundup

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Ahh! Where has this year gone? How are we already past the middle of December? *Sigh* I don’t know about you, but I had so many grand plans that simply did not come to fruition this year. Don’t get me wrong. I had many amazing successes and blessings, but I tend to dream big and plan accordingly. Therefore, no matter how much I wish to accomplish some things, life happens and time moves on, and those things just don’t get done. So here I am with Christmas on the horizon and I’m so far behind on the reviews I’d planned to write for you all, that I’ve lost hope of actually completing them before the year’s end.

However, these were some truly amazing books and I so dearly want to share them with you that I have decided a compromise is in order. I just don’t have the time to write my full reviews for these books, but I can at least summarize my thoughts and share the highlights for each of them so that you can decide if they sound like something that might fit your particular reading tastes. So here goes my first ever Rapid Review Roundup:

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and The Lionheart by Joanne Bischoff

This year’s (tie) winner of the Christy Award for Historical Romance, it’s no surprise that I absolutely fell in love with this book. From the moment I opened the first page I felt I had stepped into this heroine’s world. I could see, hear, feel, and taste what it was like to live the life of Bischoff’s heroine. I never would have thought the circus would be such a compelling setting, but getting to know this unique subculture of the past was incredibly delightful and I would love to visit it again. Definitely one of my top five favorite books of the year, I cannot say enough how highly I recommend The Lady and The Lionheart!

At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

At Love’s Bidding by Regina Jennings

The opening of this novel just drew me in. There is a hint of story-telling quality to it that appeals to me, which is ironic since that usually isn’t a style I go for. If story-telling isn’t usually your style either, I encourage you to give this book a try anyway. At least find somewhere to read the first few pages. This novel is worth stretching your comfort zone. The characters are charmingly flawed and courageous in their own ways. The plot keeps a steady pace and I recall especially enjoying a twist near the end which I didn’t anticipate.

One of the things I liked most about this novel was its subplot involving of the heroine’s grandfather and his slip into dementia. Without bringing the story down from its light and laughter, the author gave us a peek into what it’s like for the family members of a person experiencing such a life change. I especially enjoyed noting the subtle differences of such a change for a man and family of this time period vs now.

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For The Record by Regina Jennings

This novel was just plain fun. Don’t misunderstand me. That isn’t an implication that this novel lacked depth. The layers and the writing skills were absolutely there, but when I think back on this novel I can’t help but smile. The hero and heroine in this story were my kind of people, not afraid to go after what they want and not too proud to apologize when they were wrong. This story isn’t an all-out action story, or edge-of-your-seat-suspense, but you won’t want to put it down either. It’s a little small mountain town and a little wild west. There are real troubles and real adventures had by characters who feel real and engage your emotions. Although this is a sequel to At Love’s Bidding, this novel can definitely stand on its own.

Against the Tide

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

This book stood out to me not only due to its excellent writing and compelling story, but it manages the unique feat of strongly involving the shipping industry without any of the characters stepping foot on a ship (outside of the prologue) – at least not “on scene” (so there are some memories of being on ships and discussions of travels, but no actual scenes happening on ships in “present time.). While I’m not sure that really matters when it comes to whether or not this is an enjoyable book, I found it an interesting quirk. Aside from that, I found the characters to be emotionally engaging and complex. The plot certainly held my attention (keeping me from sleep on more than one night) and the ending was most satisfying. I highly recommend Against the Tide.

(Incidentally, one of the other novel by Camden which I read this year, From This Moment, was a finalist for the Christy Award in Historical Romance. Needless to say, I highly recommend that one as well.)

Never Forget

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

I enjoyed the emotions this novel provoked in me. As a reader I couldn’t help feeling compassionate toward the heroine and the mess she gets herself into. I wanted to keep reading and discover how it all turned out. Would it blow up in her face or would she find a smoother way out? In the end, the author surprised me and I loved it. The hero is no less of a mess and must make some significant decisions of his own. I enjoyed reading along to see what became of these two characters. I definitely recommend this novel.

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The Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer

This is the first book I have read by this author. I can’t remember where I heard of this book, but I am so glad I picked it up. The premise drew me in and the story kept me reading. The author has a unique voice which I am looking forward to reading more of. This story brings you into the lives of two genuinely good, though flawed, people learning how to live in God’s strength through difficult and unexpected circumstances. Better yet, the love that grows between them is the warm and true kind you want to wrap up in. Not your typical marriage of convenience story, you’ll wish this book didn’t end.

Materials Note:  I purchased my own copy of each of the above titles for my own reading pleasure.

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If you enjoyed these rapid reviews, be sure to sign up for Kathleen’s Readers’ Club to receive quarterly emails in which I share more reviews like these as well as other bits of information and news you may find interesting, not to mention the giveaways only KRC members are eligible for. In fact, I’ll be writing my winter email and sending it out tonight with an extra special Celebration Giveaway you won’t want to miss, so sign up today if you aren’t already a member!

Christmas 2017 KRC Giveaway
Open ONLY to members of Kathleen’s Readers’ Club, so join today!

So what do you think of my rapid reviews? Would you like to see more of these or do you prefer my longer, more in-depth reviews? Which of these books most appeals to you?

Reading Update: Loves, Likes, & Losses

This past July I shared my Summer Reading List with you. As we are nearing the end of the year, I thought you might like a quick update on those books.

LOVE

Love Held Captive

Love Held Captive I loved this book! The next book in the series is on my TBR. You can read my full review, HERE.

LOVE

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and the Lionheart Did you know this book just won the 2017 Christy Award?! Oh wow, did it deserve it! I absolutely adored this singularly unique novel. I hope to share my review soon.

LIKE

Finders KeepersAll of You

Finders Keepers & All of You These are the first two books in Sarah Monzon’s Carrington Family series. While I enjoyed both novels, I think I preferred the first. You can see my full review of All of You and a mini review of Finders Keepers, HERE.

LOSS

Carolina Dream

Carolina Dream I remember starting this book and struggling to get into it. The pace was a bit slow for my taste and I didn’t feel connected to the characters. It may have been a victim of my struggle to concentrate during my travels in China this summer and no fault of the book at all. Either way, it wound up on my DNF list. I might try it again in the future.

LOSS

The Captive Brides Collection

The Captive Brides While I did finish this novella collection, I ultimately decided not to officially review it.  My reasons in a nutshell:  several of the stories went beyond my estimation of plausibility, the romance was more of an afterthought for a few of the stories than the main plot, and at least one author presented a view which I strongly disagreed with. That said, a couple of them were fun, quick reads with entertaining premises. Also, I do know there are other bloggers who fully enjoyed this collection. So take my opinion for what it is:  my opinion.

LOVE

Finding Love At the Oregon Coast

Finding Love at the Oregon Coast This was a thoroughly entertaining collection of contemporary romance novellas which I can confidently recommend. I enjoyed the fun way the collection began with one novella that included all the heroines in the following novellas. Each of these women were well-rounded, developed characters worthy of their staring roles.

LOSS

One Thousand White Women

One Thousand White Women – The real sour apple in the bunch. I loved the unique premise of this book, but the execution went in a direction I didn’t anticipate or care to read. It contained cursing and glorified situations I consider sinful. This is permanently on my DNF list.

LOVE

Turtles in the Road

Turtles in the Road The golden apple! I absolutely fell in love with this novel and have read it twice now – and I am NOT a rereader! I cannot say enough how much I just adore this novel! You can find my full review of this hilarious contemporary Christian romance, HERE.

WAITING

Beneath the golden veil

Beneath a Golden Veil This one breaks my heart because I have wanted to read it for so long and I still haven’t. I know. I know. I said I was going to read it and I fully intended to read this one on the plane to China. That was my downfall right there. I could not have concentrated on that flight to save my life. I knew better than to even attempt reading. And so this poor book is still languishing on my TBR list. *sigh* Soon. I will read this one soon.

WAITING

from this moment

From This Moment Another book I fully intended to read and just didn’t. I don’t know why. I have no excuse other than:  life. You know? That annoying thing that gets in the way of reading. Thus this one is also still waiting on my TBR list.

What about you? Do you ever make reading lists? Do you always finish them or are you like me and life gets in the way?

 

First Line Friday – 9.1.17

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Whether you’re looking for a good book or just curious what others are reading, you’ve come to the right place. Each Friday I pick a book and share the first line with you. This week I am sharing the first line from Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden.

Against the Tide

 

Here’s the first line from the Prologue:

Lydia was embarrassed to wear a damp dress on the first day of school, but it rained last night while her clothes were strung across the boat’s rigging to dry.

This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth Camden and I must admit I now understand why so many rave about her writing. Look for my full review HERE.

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

Then head on over and share your first line with these friends:

Andi @ Radiant Light

Carrie @ Reading Is My Super Power

Rachel @ Bookworm Mama

Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books

Robin @ Robin’s Nest

Katie @ Fiction Aficionado

Bree @ Bibliophile Reviews

Beth @ Faithfully Bookish

Amanda @ With A Joyful Noise

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Trisha @ The Joy of Reading

Jeanette @ C Jane Read

Molly @ Molly’s Cafinated-Reads

CJ @ Moments Dipped In Ink

English Lady @ Romances of the Cross

Heather @ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Sarah @ All the Book Blog Names are Taken

Lauraine @ Lauraine’s Notes