Christian fiction

A Love Transformed...A Sneak Peek

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

A Love Transformed

Tracie Peterson

A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Goodreads Summary:

The Riveting Final Story in the Sapphire Brides Series
When Clara Vesper's husband, Adolph, dies suddenly, Clara is stunned--but not grief-stricken. Her marriage to Adolph had been arranged, their primary interaction revolving around the sapphire jewelry Clara designed and Adolph produced and sold. Widowed and penniless, with two small children, Clara decides to return to her aunt and uncle's ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy. 
Curtis Billingham, injured in a sapphire mine collapse, is recuperating at the ranch of his friends, Paul and Madeline Sersland. But when the Serslands' niece returns from New York City, Curtis curses both his broken body and his broken past. Clara, the love of his life, has come back to him, but he is no longer worthy of her love.
Clara's brother-in-law Otto Vesper, Adolph's business partner, fears that the loss of Clara's design skills will doom the company's prospects. Following her to Montana, Otto is prepared to do whatever it takes to get Clara to return with him to New York. 

As Clara fights for love and freedom, a dangerous secret in her late husband's life comes to light, threatening everyone she loves.

Sneak Peek:

"If not for Otto's insistence that he needed a full twelve pieces for the gala presentation to introduce Clara's artistry, she might have given up.  Despite his pressure on her to finish the designs, Otto had been very good to her and the children." p 42

Initial Thoughts

So far I am so-so for this book.  It's a typical historical, clean romance, story... so again, it isn't driving me to keep turning the pages. But the characters are well developed and the plot is different enough, I'm still plugging away.  As far as this being the third book in the series, I am not concerned because these tend to stand alone just as well as a series. 

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa @ Reading List

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 

Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

You can leave your teaser, author, and title in the comments (click over to the web version if you're on the mobile site). Or write up your own post and join us weekly!  Then you can share your link in the comments, and I will stop over and leave you a comment!!!  YAY!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

adult fiction

45+ Gift ideas for Book Lovers

Friday, December 09, 2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

The best part of having a book lover on your gift list is that you can order well-priced books from Amazon and get them in a day!  Or stop by your local bookstore and grab a few books!   

But which books to get them, you say?  Here's my list for 2016 to help you out.  I'll try to include a few for some of those harder to shop for people too...

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

Let me start by saying, kids books can be great for all people!  Like, Dr. Seuss... I mean everyone needs some great Dr. Seuss in their lives... 

For Kids:

As far as kids, I put together my all time favorites last year, so check those out, they haven't really changed this year. 

For YA fans:

Alright, so this is my current favorite genre... but in order not to be too biased this year, I'm getting recommendations from Goodreads

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Mass - This series is very popular with the fantasy fans.
  2. The Shadowhunter's Chronicles by Cassandra Clare - Another series that is gaining a large following.
  3.  Salt to the Sea by Rute Sepetys - This stand alone read has amazing reviews and won the best YA book of 2016 on Goodreads.
  4. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - While this book has mixed reviews, it is popular.
  5. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West - Just like the rest of this list, I have not read this one, but I have read West's books before, and she is just a fun real-life writer. 

For Fiction Fans:

  1. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty - This book is officially the winner of the fiction books of 2016 on Goodreads... but it has some serious opinions...
  2. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney - Who wouldn't want to read about a "spectacularly dysfunctional" family? Granted this is another mixed review book...
  3. Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab - This series is gaining popularity.. it is full of mystery and magic.
  4.  All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders - this book is clearly an odd book... it is it's own story to say the least, but for fans of good literature and wonderful stories, this could be a big hit!
  5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany - Alright, so if you are buying for a real book fan, this might be the wrong pick as most fans have already read this... but still, you never know!

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

For Non-Fiction Fans:

  1. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Maneul Miranda, Jeremy McCarter - Clearly this would be a slam-dunk if your recipient doesn't already have it...
  2. Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing, by Jennifer Weiner - This is probably for the women on your list, but it's down to earth and real...
  3. When Breath Becomes Air  by Paul Kalanithi - This is the kind of story that will never leave you, while the author died from cancer (the focus of the book) before finishing, this is still a must read
  4. Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man  by William Shatner - Perfect for fans, and for those who love a good biography!
  5. The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore - This is the book to get for the history buff on your list.  

For Christian Reads Fans:

  1. Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey - This is a surprise book for most Christian fiction readers and should please all fans of murder mysteries.
  2. A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson - Perfect for the Regency Era fans
  3. CS Lewis's 'Mere Christianity': A Biography by George Marsden - Clearly if Christian books are a popular choice, then this is going to be a great choice.
  4. No God but One: Allah or Jesus? by Nabeel Qureshi - This is a must read for all Christians who are looking for understanding, and could really help Muslims who are fearful of converting... oh and it's a must own...
  5. Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness - Perfect for the apologist, or hopeful apologist, on your list!

Are you still looking for a #Christmas gift for your family or friends? Look no further! @Reading_List1

The options are limitless when it comes to books. That has to be one of the best parts of it.  You can get books for all the people on your list if you just think about it.  If you have someone who would really benefit from just some time with you over the next year, think of a book you want to read, then buy two copies, one for you, and one for them.  Then insert a little card in the one you are gifting, telling them of how you will visit with them to discuss chapters in the book over the next couple of months. Then they can mark their calendar, and you have a gift that will keep on giving!

Also, just my humble opinion here, but if you are going to give someone a book, try to go for the hardcovers.  They are little extra, but when possible, they fill out bookshelves beautifully!

Already have a book, and want a little something extra?  Check out these wonderful Etsy & online shops full of bookish gifts!!  And you will be "shopping small" this season! (Granted shipping on these won't be as quick... maybe these can be extra gifts for birthdays??)

Bookish Gifts: Support a Small Business

  1. Soceity6 - this site has fun book inspired extras that most book fanatics would love!
  2. The Melting Library - Hand poured book inspired candles... I mean seriously, this is the perfect combination for a relaxing evening... a good book and a candle!
  3. FantaScents - this store has a selection of Fandom-inspired body butters, and is highly recommended.
  4. NerdyGrlDesigns - I personally love these magnetic bookmarks, they are cute and easy to use, plus there are a ton of options! 
  5. KickArtDesign - if you are looking for something a little more personalized, this shop makes custom wire bookmarks that are adorable. 
  6. OwlCrate - This is a monthly subscription box that always has a highly anticipate book plus bookish extras... it's a fun way to give a gift to someone who lives far away... and it can last a few months if you want! 

What kind of book people are on your list this year?  What books would you ask for? 

***This post contained affiliate links, please do not be afraid of them.  It doesn't cost you anything to use them, but it helps me tremendously! Thank you!

Blog hop

Hearts for Home 12/8

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Welcome to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop

I am so glad you are joining us!  When you share your posts with us, your post will be displayed across 12 different sites, isn't that wonderful? 

And each week there will be at least one feature to check out from the previous week.  I hope you come back every week. If this is your first week, take a moment and say to me in the comments.  If you sign up for the community newsletter, you will get reminders of the hop, and some random freebies!  YAY!

Just for the Reading List Community

It's been a while since I've shared a special gift for those of you who are part of our little community. If you are already a member, and have received a newsletter at all in November, you already saw this, but I am still giving out monthly (more like bi-monthly) freebies. 

I enjoy creating printables, I just don't have much time to, which makes me sad. But since I've started keeping a Bullet Journal I am trying to create a few more now. So for the month of December, I am including a free link in the newsletter to print out a book tracker for you all for 2017. It will print up to an 8.5x11 sheet, or as small as you want to fit in your own BuJo or binders. Just sign up to be a member of our community above and wait to receive your first newsletter!

Reading List Community Freebie - Book shelf reading tracker for 2017

Once you print out your book tracker you can fill in the empty spines with the title of the books you want to read in 2017. Then once you read it you get to color it in. Hopefully, by the end of 2017, your bookshelf tracker will be full of color! I left space also for you to doodle if you want to embellish your sheet. 

And don't forget, I will be updating and sharing my Blogging Scheduler for you all soon!  It's my most popular freebie, so you want to make sure you are on the mailing list now. 

Most clicked post from last week

Check out Liz's 7 Clutter-Free Gifts for Kids!  

Now for this week’s Hearts for Home Blog Hop!

Share your posts this week, and then take time to discover some new ideas from all the other fabulous posts in this week’s party! Click on the little blue rectangle below to enter your links.

Please visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love receiving a word or two from our visitors, so please consider leaving a comment when you find something that inspires you!

Other nice things you can do:

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Grab our button and share it on your side bar or link party page.
  • Be sure to visit a few links and share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!

Glad You’ve Joined the Hop!

By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. We are here every Thursday – be sure to stop by next week to see who’s been featured. By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Book review

The Red Pearl {Book Review & Tour}

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Red Pearl

C K Brooke

The Red Pearl by CK Brooke a Book Review on Reading List

There are so many books out there, and the number grows each day. While some of you might just love to read as much as I do, I am sure there are many of you who have no idea what books to pick up and which to avoid, so you just don't read at all. I get it, time is too fleeting to waste it on bad books. But the thing is, each person will be drawn to different stories at different times. So I am sharing today's book with you because I know there are some who will love it, and other who might want to skip it... but reading my quick review and thoughts should help you decide if this one is worth your time.

And if not, hopefully you'll start to trust my reviews, and return to find the next perfect book for you!

Story Overview 

The Red Pearl
C.K. Brooke
Genre: NA Fantasy/Adventure Romance
Release Date: November 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Treasure lost... passion found? 
Antonia Korelli is on the run from her coven of priestesses. She never desired a life confined to the temple, relegated to chastity and service to the goddess, Azea. Instead, she longs for true love and adventure in the Kingdom of Elat. 
Robin Watkins is a fiery dreamer on a mission of his own, to uncover the legendary lost Red Pearl. Only, he must first regain his treasure map, which was stolen by his former best mate and conniving ex-girlfriend. 
When Antonia becomes unwittingly entangled with Rob, she's more than dismayed to find herself stuck on his harebrained hunt. But somewhere amidst their bickering and banter, their plight for survival through desert and tropics, and the joint pursuit of impossible dreams, Antonia begins to realize that perhaps she might have found the unforgettable adventure – and romance – she was seeking.

*Advisory: Contains some sensual/sexual content

Personal Likes

I appreciate the unique character of Antonia. She is certainly a girly-girl looking to find her dream man who will take her on adventures since she has spent her entire life being told how routine her life will be. She is willing to risk her life for a complete stranger, which show serious spunk that I did not quite expect. And still she is surprised herself with some of her willingness for adventure. 

I also enjoyed Dr. Thaddeus Watkins. It's fun to a character's father add a little humor and relief to scenes that could have been boring. And who doesn't love an inventor and slightly odd father in a story?  I read him a bit like Belle's father in the Disney cartoon.

And, just like Brooke's last book I reviewed, this was a quick read!  Let's be honest, there is a lot to be said about being able to pick up a book and experience the whole thing in a weekend.

The Red Pearl by CK Brooke a Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

I struggled with the world and setting in this book. It clearly is in a time with less technology, yet some of the phrases the characters used in conversation were modern, while others were way outdated. It left me confused and never allowed me to escape into the story. 

Also there is a bit of unnecessary swearing, I did not need. And of course, as mentioned above, intimate scenes. We are not talking mature over the top here, but if this were a movie it would clearly be rated R. And I'm sorry, but I miss the poetic language that made it clear a couple had advanced their relationship, without being so black and white about it. 

Overall, too much of this read like a young YA book, when in reality, I think it belongs in a NA category, as the characters are not in high school, there is a lot of mature interaction between the love interests. 

Reading List Rating

I can only give this book a three heart rating... I just was never pulled in completely, and the world building lost me. And there was too much intimacy between characters that acted like immature young teenagers...

My Suggested Audience

I suggest this book to college aged readers and up. Simply because I do not condone such relationships in high school books... but I know I am a small minority here... Fans of quick fantasy novels - stories of hidden treasures, daring adventures - will most likely enjoy this one. It's quick and fun. 

Wondering Questions to Consider

The YA/NA romance genre is getting flooded with new books all the time as more and more writers self-publish and because of the rise of Indie writers.  As a result more and more young readers are getting their hands on these books, and we should all be aware. This story is a great example because while it doesn't hide the fact there is physical intimacy in the story, it still looks like a book a young teen might get their hands on. 

Parents need to find good and trusted ways to get reviews. It's tricky though, because teens do not want to be told what to do, I mean what person does? And those teen years are when reading can become a chore. So even if your kids pick up books you'd rather they not read, maybe supply them with a review that supports your reasoning. But also let them read it, if they talk to you about the book. Because these topics should be discussed with our kids, even when they are almost ready to leave the nest, and fiction is a wonderful door into the difficult topics. 

This book is great for discussions on physical relationships before marriage; being burned by trusted friends, and just how far we should go to help a stranger... just to name a few... 

About the Author

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers' Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books - reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There's tons to check out at the new, so come and see what she's up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)

Author Links:


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What sort of empty future awaited a person without a dream? #TheRedPearl @authorCKBrooke @Reading_List1

Have you ventured into the NA (New Adult) genre yet? What are your thoughts? In fact, what are your thoughts in the expanding genre categories in general- are there too many? Or is the breakdown helpful in finding fiction you like? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

** If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. I promise it won't cost you anything, but it will help me!

*** If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** While I received a copy of this book for the tour, I am not required to give a certain review. All opinions are my own. Blog Tour Organized by:

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