Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Blog

I stopped book blogging about a year ago because it was seeming like more of a chore than something fun. College was also coming up and I didn't want the stress of blogging about books when I wasn't even sure if I would have time to read books. A year later, I'm glad for the choice I made - it was the right choice at the time.

During this year a lot has changed. I have changed. Sure I still love to read. Sure I still love the same authors plus more that I've discovered.

At this point I miss writing for fun and I want to start writing again - this time with a different purpose. You can come check out my new blog Searching Noelle, where I'm going to share about my faith, life, and whatever I feel like writing! Come check it out!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia by Rachel A. James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.

Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it.

My Review
The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia was a captivating tale filled with strong characters and intrigue. The author’s writing style was perfect for the time period and flowed effortlessly, drawing me in from the very beginning.

The characters were interesting to read about and readers will not be able to dislike them. Teagan, while a princess at birth, was in hiding as a servant. Her strength, fortitude, and perseverance were inspiring and admirable character traits. Her determination to find her brother, and stay true to herself even when society’s views insist that she should act a certain way are something that we can all learn from, for Teagan will not be swayed. When she goes in search of her brother the action truly begins, and you will be turning pages at the speed of light to find out what happens around every corner. As she gains the aid of Ryce and Sherwin, a palpable attractions arises, and trust me, you won’t be able to get enough of their fun and entertaining banter. Through all the pain and trial Teagan had witnessed and gone through, she remains strong in her faith in the Lord, relying on Him to see her through and guide her. Can she show Ryce and Sherwin the light too, or will stubborn Ryce insist on holding on to his guilt instead of allowing the Lord to wash it white as snow?

Ryce and Teagan were a fantastic hero/heroine team and my only disappointment was that the story ended. The journey they go in is full of action, sweet romance, entertaining banter, beautiful faith, and just altogether awesomeness! There were so many obstacles for each of them to overcome, and it doesn’t stop with the main characters because the secondary characters were just as well developed! This is one historical fiction tale that everyone needs to read! There is something for everyone!

For fear of spoiling something, I must stop now, but go read The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch - she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban?
When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

My Review
Fools Rush In was such a fun and entertaining read, perfect for hot summer days relaxing outside! I laughed so hard throughout the entire book. The entire cast of characters were fantastic, I loved getting to know them and all of their family dynamics and quirks. I can't wait to read more about all of them in the sequels.

When the Italian and countryfied families started to merge, I was impressed at the faith and diversity between both families. From the Rossi's to the Neeley's, to Bella's best friend, they all found their way into my bookish heart with likeable personalities. Dwayne was such a nice guy, so sweet - I couldn't get enough of their conversations!

I really enjoyed getting inside of Bella's head. She had such a unique, fun, and witty voice that just made reading this book so much fun. I also loved watching Bella learn that their families really weren't that different after all. Her faith journey was beautiful and inspiring, and I'm taking the lessons she learned to heart - trusting the Lord with all of my worries, and just letting his plan play out the way he wants it to.

From the pizza shop to the wedding planning, there is lots of stuff going on, and not a minute to lose! Get your cowboy/cowgirl on, this is one cast of characters that you really want to get to know! Be forewarned that you will laugh a lot, so don't read this in any awkwardly quiet public places...or do, so you can convince everyone to read the book too! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'm Back!

I guess I kind of went on an unexpected, unannounced, hiatus for about 10 days, but really longer because my posting was so sporadic for about a week before. If you missed, well fear no longer, because I am back and ready for some fun!

Why the unexpected hiatus? Well, first of all I was super busy with my last couple weeks of high school and stress over a speech I had to give for a scholarship I received. All of that stress put me in a blogging slump, and I just couldn't bring myself to blog at all. I wondered if blogging was even worth all the stress, when my Netgalley review books won't open up (is there anything I can do about that, or are they just gone?). On top of that, my computer won't connect to the internet, so I have to use my mom's and that was kind of irritating because I miss my laptop where I don't have to log into everything every single time, and I don't want her to blame me if her computer gets messed up too.

But now, it's summer! I am officially done with high school (pretty much - our last day was last Thursday, but graduation is this Friday, and unfortunately I have to speak). I missed blogging, and I'm ready to come back! I did do some reading, so I'll have some reviews and blog tours up soon, and I'll get back to doing Top Ten Tuesday posts, discussions, and more! I'm excited to be back to blogging where I can release my voice and share my love of books! 

Now I have some "spring cleaning" to do - reviews to link to my review archive, organizing my blog planner, etc. Really I just need to get back on track when it comes to blogging! So, wish me luck!

I also plan to cut back on the number of times I post weekly. It just won't be possible for me to post every day when I'm in College, so I am going to schedule less for a week and schedule farther ahead.

Have you ever gone through a blogging slump? How did you get through it? Can I ever read those Netgalley review books or do I have to go buy them when they come out?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cover Reveal: A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis

Today, I am thrilled to present you with the cover reveal of Ashlee Willis's A Wish Made of Glass! 

Displaying AWishMadeofGlassFinal.jpgBLURB:
Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.
The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.
Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.
Displaying AshleeWillisAuthorPic.jpg
Ashlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, photography, and playing the piano.
~ ~ ~
Isn't it gorgeous?! I love the contrast between the colors, and the design is beautiful. And that synopsis? Oh, doesn't it just make you want to dive right in? I know I want to! It will be hard to wait until this summer to read it.

What are your thoughts? Do you love the cover as much as I do?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blog Tour: A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

Fall in love with Becky Wade's new book, A Love Like Ours, a story of healing, romance, and cowboys. A glimmer of the hope Jake thought he’d lost returns when Lyndie lands back in Texas, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

To celebrate the release of her new book, Becky is giving away a $100 cash card and a book-inspired prize pack!


One grand prize winner will receive:

love like ours - prize pack 
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 26th. Winner will be announced May 27th on Becky's site.

    About the book:
  • A $100 cash card
  • A copy of A Love Like Ours
  • A copy of the Secretariat DVD
  • A scarf
  • A dog-tag/cross keychain
  • A pair of earrings
  • A Scarf
  • A Texas-shaped cutting board
  • A Jake Porter mug
    A Love Like Ours (Bethany House, May 2015)
    • Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

      When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion's reluctance to run.

      Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

      Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1R9Tv8p

      About the author:
      Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky's work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award.

      Find Becky online: website, Facebook, Twitter

    My Review
    5 Stars
    I honestly do not have the right words to express my love for this book. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and had high hopes for A Love Like Ours, and it definitely did not disappoint! My curiosity about the gruff, statuesque Jake couldn't have been satisfied in a better way.
    I was drawn in from the very first page, and loved how the book started out with a flashback of Jake and Lyndie as childhood best friends, giving us their personality and friendship background as well as Lyndie's move that broke them apart. 
    I've also always had a soft spot for horses, and the horses portrayed in this book, as well as both main characters love for them burrowed it's way into my heart in lightning speed. I especially fell in love with Silver Leaf, who I met in Undeniably Yours (book 1). Lyndie's sister, Mollie, was such a shining light in A Love Like Ours as well, full of inspiration and hope. I really loved how that aspect was portrayed, with Lyndie's personality and her whole family - they were so supportive, and faithful through all of the trial and pain. Mollie's circumstances really spoke to me, and were instrumental to Jake's 360 degree turn.
    I really liked both main characters. Lyndie was so full of compassion, kindness, capability, determination, strength, and had a special touch with horses, her sister, and well... Jake. She was a really good friend. I loved hearing about her stories and art, and her love for animals (I loved her dogs names - Empress Felicity and Gentleman Tobias!). I pretty much just loved every minute spent in her head. Jake was full of hidden emotions. He was so stoic and the epitome of strength, even though he was hurt, bruised, and battered on the inside. His love of horses and protective nature toward Lyndie showed his soft, vulnerable side, and will make any girl fall for him. There were flashbacks showing the "full story" behind Jake's PTSD, and I loved every aspect of how his, and Lyndie's journey, and how perfect they were for each other! It was so sweet and made me smile. Oh the unexpected banter (I should have known - Becky Wade is a pro at it)!
    I also really appreciated and enjoyed seeing more of Amber and her son Jayden! She really made a complete turn around as well, and I was so proud of her. (But I can't say any more than that!)
    Be forewarned that A Love Like Ours is an emotional roller coaster - a really amazing and beautiful one! I laughed, smiled, cried, and felt every single emotion imaginable plus ten more! This book, and its characters now have an indefinite place in my heart.
    There are so many more things that I loved about this book, and I could talk about it all day long, but I really think that you NEED TO READ IT FOR YOURSELF!  You won't regret it - I promise - but I will take full responsibility if I am somehow wrong (but that won't be necessary)! Oh, I want to go reread this one immediately!
      I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    Silenced by Dani Pettrey

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars
    Goodreads Summary
    Romantic Suspense's Rising Star Returns with an Electric New Thriller

    A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route leads her face to face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

    Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine.

    My Review
    I'm going to try to keep this short in order to avoid spoiling any of Dani Pettrey's genius!

    I love the entire Alaskan Courage series! I've read the other four so this is the last one for me, and I don't think I've ever been so extremely curious to read a characters story as I was to read Kayden and Jake's, and Silenced did not disappoint!

    What I love most about this book and this series is the faith messages and the family dynamics. It is so beautiful to watch these characters grow, and trust in the Savior. I love how Dani Pettrey uses multiple perspectives so we get to see into previous and future main characters as well.

    The mystery was very intriguing, and intense - it takes a lot to scare strong Kayden so I had a feeling it would be. I loved seeing inside Kayden's hard exterior into her inner emotions, and Jake's past...I was so curious! I can't say anymore, just go read it!

    Plus readers get to experience more of Alaska through Kayden and Reef's rock climbing!

    I can tell that there is plenty of action, romance, faith, family, Alaskan adventure, and more! I promise you won't regret reading Silenced, but I do recommend you read books 1-3 first though you obviously don't HAVE to read them in order - I didn't (kind of my Library's fault because they weren't available in order).

    Thursday, April 30, 2015

    A Separate Peace by John Knowles

    My rating: 2 of 5 stars
    Goodreads Summary
    An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war.

    Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

    A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.

    My Review
    First of all, I was forced to read this book for school, and honestly if it had been my choice and I had, for some weird unknown reason, started reading it I wouldn't have finished it.

    To be fair, it wasn't terrible. Looking at A Separate Peace from a literary/writing perspective, it's a well written book and I see why it's a classic. Life at the Devon school for boys is a microcosm for the world at war, and there are many literary aspects to it that were kind of genius.

    Looking at it from a readers point of view - I kind of hated it. I didn't like the main character/narrator Gene at all. He was academic, calculating, and kind of dark. He looked for the worst in people. Finny was sporty, optimistic, sunny, and naive. He loved sports, where everyone won. He was charismatic and made up rules as he went easily getting everyone else, even teachers, to follow him.

    But I didn't like or understand the main character at all. I get that his thoughts and actions show the darker side of humanity, obviously, but I just can't even. I don't know even know how to write about my feelings for this book, so I'm going to leave it at that. 

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015

    Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London

    Aimee and the HeartthrobAimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars
    Goodreads Summary
    He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…

    Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister―and off-limits―but won’t even give him the time of day…

    As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails. the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback.

    But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…

    My Review
    To be honest I have mixed feelings about this book. I really liked the basic essence of the story - friend from past turns boy band heartthrob, girl had crush before he was famous, meet again and sparks happen, but they both have their issues and have to work out their relationship, and an overprotective big brother.

    I thought they were a really adorable couple, and I loved the wit and humor displayed between them.

    Some things really bothered me, though. First of all the text speak was kind of hard to get through at times. I mean, I am eighteen, and I do text, but it just bugged me a little. Most of all, the amount of kissing and making out (I don't normally use that term, but in this case I have to), was a little extreme. They didn't go past that, but between the language in some of their thoughts I was afraid they were going to. They were way to focused on the others looks. I just have really liked to see more talking and less mass kissing, it's like after kissing the first time that was almost the only thing they wanted to do. I just didn't appreciate some of the thoughts processes and such.

    If it wasn't for the really sweet moments such as writing songs and going on picnics, and mainly being curious about the end (which I really liked, by the way), I might have put the book down. It did take me a while to get through this one, I just wasn't in a huge hurry to pick it back up instead of watching tv, but maybe that's because I was stressed.

    I enjoyed that there were character pov switches, and the sweet romance. I just found some things weren't really my style.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

    View all my reviews

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    Life Updates

    This is what I categorize my wandering whims under! My mind may be wanting to write about life, blogging, music, movies, or anything under the sun, and if it doesn't fit into one of my other features then, well, here it will goes!

    Today, I think I'm just going to spew out current thoughts and what I've been up to lately.

    ~ ~ ~ ~
    Let's start with what I'm excited about! - I'm going to Costa Rica on a mission this summer with a group from my Church! I went to Romania last year, and I'm so excited to follow God's plan for me and show His love to others!

    I'm having a more positive attitude - I don't know why, but a couple of weeks ago I was just kind of down. I was really stressed and irritable, and that made me feel terrible because I like to be in a good mood. So, last week I returned to sunshiny attitude and I've been looking at the bright side of things! I've been trying to hand all of my worries to God, and trust in Him take care of everything for His good, guide me, and write His story on my heart!

    College Visit and Schedule - Friday I went to Admit Day at the College I will attend next fall. I will be living at home and commuting to the College I've always wanted to go to. Friday I got to meet a few of the teachers/leaders in the education department, and schedule my classes. I'm excited to be graduating high school soon, but I'm also extremely nervous. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me with this next life step. (My classes - English 1108, History, Algebra, Intro to education, Intro to Technology).

    Studying - I have a College Spanish final this week, and my AP Gov teacher has been giving a ton of quiz/tests, to prep us for the AP exam.

    "Friends" - I'm at a weird place regarding friends right now. The people I thought were my friends aren't really true friends - definitely not like the ones I read about in books. I haven't had a best friend since 8th grade. My "friends" that have been my friends in the past are the ones I eat lunch with and I tune them and their conversations out more than I listen to them, we seem to be becoming more and more different. They are always complaining, have negative attitudes, or talk about their boyfriends (and what they do ...) and I just don't want to hear it so I'll literally pull out my phone book, Nook, or a physical book and completely tune them out. I think they get annoyed with me sometimes too, because I'm (in their words) naive and a goody two shoes. I'm not. I am a Christian, and if I don't want to hear and participate in certain conversations and activities than I am not going to - I'm stronger than participating in a conversation I want no part in. I hardly ever talk, and sometimes it's really frustrating because what if I never have a best friend other than God and my family?

    Friends - My College English class is full of people that I am semi friends with, and I feel like they are more true friends than my "friends." I feel like they know more about me and understand more way better than my "friends" ever did. I talk to them and laugh with them way more! To be honest they are the better friends!

    Reading - I haven't had as much time to read, therefore I'm not reading as fast. Sometimes I just don't even feel like reading.

    TV - I've said before that I've been watching a lot more TV lately. I'm so sad that Scorpion and Good Witch just ended their 1st seasons:( I also think that I'm caught up or almost caught up with the current season of NCIS, but it would be so nice if I could watch the first 11 seasons. 

    Stress - As one of the top ten of my graduating class, I have to write a speech to give at graduation. I have tests, babysitting, blogging, etc.

    *I'm sorry, I know I rambled, but I needed to get all of this out! I'm also not proofreading this, so excuse all of my mistakes, please. (Just so you know, I normally do proofread, lol)

    What about you? Where are you at in life right now?