Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wildflowers From Winter

Title: Wildflowers From Winter
Author: Katie Ganshert
Labels: Fiction | Romance | Contemporary
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Reading Range: YA | Adult
Contains: (baby) Labor scene.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | The Publisher
Blurb From Goodreads: A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park.  An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.  
          Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
          Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years.  When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
          For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?
          I'm not the kind of person who cries easily. Like...rarely. Extremely rarely. This book almost made me cry, multiple times. (almost, mind you. I did manage to keep from it :P) The raw emotion in this book is incredible, especially for a debut book. I'm still trying to rack my brain to figure out how Ganshert did it.

          Bethany goes back to her hometown, only to face blow after blow of tragedies...which I can't name lest I give away the awesomeness :P. I was a tad skeptical of the plot-line at first; since the whole going-back-to-home-town-and-fall-in-love-with-the-cute-dude seems to a common baseline of late. However, this book gave the concept a fresh look, and really surprised me. Excellently done!

          Wildflowers From Winter sucked me right into the story, involved me in each of the character's stories, and made me want to read more. The romance aspect was definitely interesting. Both characters were initially turned off by each other, and yet admired certain traits the other possessed. Both were hurting, and eventually saw the best in the other. Very, very good :-)

          Katie Ganshert is by far one of the most talented debut authors I've ever seen! Wildflowers From Winter is among the best, well-written books I've read, and is now one of my favorites. Recommended! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blue Moon Bay

Title: Blue Moon Bay
Author: Lisa Wingate
Labels: Fiction | Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Reading Range: YA | Adult
Contains: Zippo. Clean as a whistle.
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | The Publisher

Blurb From Goodreads: Heather Hampton returns to Moses Lake, Texas, to help facilitate the sale of a family farm as part of a planned industrial plant that will provide the area with much-needed jobs. Heather's future fiance has brokered the deal, and Heather is in line to do her first large-scale architectural design--if the deal goes through. 
          But the currents of Moses Lake have a way of taking visitors on unexpected journeys. What was intended to be a quick trip suddenly morphs into Valentine's week--with Blaine Underhill, the handsome banker who just happens to be opposing Heather's project. Spending the holiday in an ex-funeral parlor seems like a nightmare, but Heather slowly finds herself being drawn into the area's history, hope, and heart.
         Two words: Utterly Fantastic. Really the only way to describe this book. Let's start with the writing itself. Lisa Wingate has, without a doubt, the most beautiful writing style I've ever seen. Now I know what people mean when they say someone has "lyrical writing." Not only is it beautiful, but I thought it conveyed character voice amazingly as well.

          Plot and character wise, very interesting. Heather is a girl whose more or less estranged from her family, but is forced to reconnect due to her mother interfering with the land sale of Heather's uncles in Moses Lake. The problem? Everyone seems to be against her. None of the family is being entirely cooperative, but the longer Heather is forced to stick around the place she hated growing up, the more she realizes her family isn't telling her everything. The question is, what are they hiding? Add in a highschool crush she never really got over, and there's one interesting mix going on in this book.

          The other thing I really liked about this book was the emotion. I felt super connected to Heather, whether is was during a time when she was super frustrated over her family, or giddy over Blaine (said highschool crush). Lisa Wingate managed to pull me along on a fantastic ride of a book, keeping me hooked and pulling me in deeper the further I went. Recommended without any hesitation! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cheap Indie Books!

Hey wonderful peoples! So I have a friend, whose great-grandmother was an author and wrote 9 books, all of which said friend and family now are looking to get rid of, due to the fact both great-grandparents have passed away. Long story short, they're selling these books for $4 bucks a piece (plus shipping and handling). These books are independently self published. These books are not currently sold in stores, and hence some have limited copies left, so hurry and get your copy!

Andrea Series:
  • The Heart of Andrea
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Banner of Love
  • The Yearning Heart
  • Jason's Legacy
  • The Jennie
Jennie's series:

  • Jennie's Pathway
  • Jennie's Parsonage Life
Stand Alone Novels:

  • Love Was Waiting
  • The Broken Hedge

    You can contact Debbie or Carla at these addresses:
      johnson04 (at) fairpoint (dot) net
      jewelrymaker18 (at) gmail (dot) com

    *Disclaimer: This blog is not in affiliated with the author of these books nor a publisher. This is strictly an advertisement for a friend; any business conducted will be between the buyer and seller. This blog was not compensated in any way for this offer.*

    Fearless ::Video::

    Click here to begin reading chapter one: Clicky!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking

    Title: Quiet
    Author: Susan Cain
    Labels: Psychology | Personality
    Publisher: Crown
    Publication Date: January 24, 2012
    Reading Range: Adult
    Contains: N/A
    Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | The Publisher

    My Rating: (It was good)
    Blurb From Goodreads (Full blurb HERE): Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
              Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking covers a fairly wide range of topics (subject related, of course), ranging from societies "Extrovert Ideal", to how introverts and extroverts think differently, to the physical and psychological components and free will, to how to relate to those of the opposite personality type. Overall, all very relevant and useful topics to discuss.

              Being an introvert myself, it was interesting to read Cain's breakdown of how introverts and extroverts think different, and how social situations affect each type differently. While the "Extrovert Ideal" is definitely prevalent in the world (or at least in the US...), I liked that Susan made the point that there needs to be a balanced compromise from both sides.

              Also, I liked that the things Cain discussed were basic facts (or as far as I could tell, anyway), rather than being influenced one way or another by religious beliefs. I would be totally fine with reading a psychology/personality book from a Christian perspective, but I'll admit I most likely wouldn't be reading this type of book if it were strongly influenced by the world's view. However, Quiet didn't seem to bend either way. At one point Cain made a reference to God, and in another chapter used the term evolution. But even when she did say things like that, it didn't feel like she was swayed to one or the other. Long story short, I felt that this book was based primarily on researched facts, not religious or worldly views. The whole book is choc-full of interesting facts and research accounts--all told in a way that didn't weigh the reader down too much or lose the reader's interest.

              I though Quiet was a very well written, informative, and useful resource for both introverts and extroverts, particularly in helping the two understand each other. Recommended. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.