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

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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:

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

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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:

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?

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

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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

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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

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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 – 02.08.19

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 A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter, the recently released second book in her Haven Manor series. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, I am eagerly looking forward to crossing this one off my TBR list.

A Return of Devotion

Here is the first line:

Marlborough, England
1816

She should have been prepared.

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Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed–loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she’s come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford’s main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

They’ve spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?

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:

Creating A Sense of Place – Guest Post by Pepper Basham

I am so excited to welcome Pepper Basham to my blog this week for a special guest post!


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One of my favorite parts of writing is creating a sense of place. It’s what I look for in my favorite books too. Do you know what I mean? That ability to ‘feel’ as if you’ve really traveled to a location you’ve only read about? I recently enjoyed that wonderful ‘place traveling’ by reading Laura Frantz’s newest novel, A Bound Heart. Wow! What a wonderful trip to Scotland!!

In my newest release, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, I invite readers to travel with Jonathan Taylor to Maple Springs, North Carolina, a small mountain community in the Blue Ridge. It was such fun to introduce readers to the Appalachian culture as Jonathan is introduced. From mountain lions to get-togethers to corn shuckins, the traditions, beauties, trials, and changes of the mountain people set the stage for discovery…and, of course, there are the magnificent views.

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There’s something about these mountains, something indescribable, that calls to the hearts of those who’ve lived among them for a while. I’m not sure how to describe it except to say it’s a sense of belonging that settles around the heart like an internal hug, nudging you to slow your pace, take a deep breath, and take in the scenery.

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Welcome to Chapel Hollow

 

The pace of life is different. The people talk a little differently. And there’s an unspoken understanding of community, hard work, and…always…the music.

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I grew up listening to my family play bluegrass gospel together. Some of the menfolk would play on their instruments – fiddle, guitar, bass – and then women and men alike, would bring on the words. Intricate harmonies of family voices. Songs of various texture and depth, but all with the sound of the mountains.

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That’s what I hope to draw readers into through my stories, and this one in particular. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge steps back into a time where the mountain people were only beginning to feel a greater impact from the outside world. Where their traditions were being questioned and their way-of-life threatened. I also hope to challenge the stereotype some people still have of Appalachian people. Were some of them lazy? Sure. Were some closeminded or thick-headed? You bet. Were they’re alcoholics, abusers, filth, uneducated, poverty-stricken people? Yes. But there was also marvelous imagination, dreamers, artists of all kinds, musicians, crafters, inventors…and, of course, storytellers.

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Come take a journey with me and Jonathan Taylor into Laurel McAdams world in My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge.

And bring me your questions.

Is there anything you’d like to learn about the Appalachian culture? Any questions about the story or the people/traditions you read about in the novel?

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Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

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About the Authorpepper basham

As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.

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“There’s something about these mountains, something indescribable, that calls to the hearts of those who’ve lived among them for a while.” – Guest Post by @PepperBasham