Monthly Favorites: August

mll blog

I’m trying out a new kind of monthly wrap up! I used to do a wrap up of things happening on the blog, but this time I want to share my favorite things from around the web, including author news and favorite blog posts from my friends! This may vary between a few items some months and several things that deserve highlighting other months, depending on what’s caught my eye. I’ve been wanting to start this for a while, so I thought I should finally just jump on in. Let me know how you like it and what you want to see in these monthly posts!

 

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron is already available for preorder! It releases in March 2017, but you can already secure your copy. Can. Not. Wait.

 

 

You guys! Basically everyone on the planet know Gilmore Girls is coming back via Netflix for 4 movie-length episodes, which I can not wait for. In addition to that happy news, Lauren Graham, who flawlessly embodies Lorelai Gilmore, is coming out with a non-fiction book about her life [including GG, obviously]! You’d better believe I’ll be reading it when it comes out this November!

Michael Bublé is coming out with a new album on October 21. I love his music!!!

I’ve also been loving all the pictures of my favorite authors at the ACFW conference this month. It just makes me want to be friends with all of them!

The third book in Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family series comes out next month! I am dying to read it, especially since, as a newsletter subscriber, I got a sneak peek at the first chapter. Let me tell you, it was fantastic, and I think it has a good chance of being my favorite story in the series so far. And the cover, as always, in so pretty!

What are your August highlights?

The Many Reasons I Loved Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin
Waves of Freedom, Book 2
Revell, 2016

Remember how I always tell you Sarah Sundin is my favorite author? Well, that is still a true statement! She always writes the best characters who have the best back-stories and growth and I love them. And my heart always gets tangled up in her stories and I am so attached. Anchor in the Storm is no different. It’s my new favorite!

In lieu of a normal review, allow me to list the reasons I loved this book:

  • THIS COVER. JUST LOOK AT THE BEAUTY. IT IS STUNNING.
  • Lillian Avery. She has this tenacious spirit I loved. And her strength hides her heart from hurt.
  • Arch Vandenberg. Well isn’t he a keeper? He caught my attention from the beginning, and I just adored the way he wooed Lillian.
  • Arch’s gentle approach to courting Lillian. He understood how easily he could scare her away otherwise.
  • Lillian’s emerald green dress and Arch’s dress whites. I could always picture how they looked because, again THE COVER.
  • Arch and her brother, Jim, are best friends. (Which means we also get to see Jim and Mary from book one, YAY!)
  • The ice skating scene.
  • Opening Day at Fenway Park! (I just visited Boston, and I absolutely loved Fenway and watching a Red Sox game. Highlight of the trip!!!)
  • The scene at the piano.
  • Basically every scene Arch and Lillian share.
  • When Lillian counts the days she and Arch have been apart.
  • How the girls Lillian lives with take turns cooking dinner for their roommates.
  • The bracelet and how Lillian chose to see it.

Arch and Lillian were a strong couple, and their relationship was built on friendship and their ability to be vulnerable with one another about their deepest fears and pains from the past. I hope we see them marry before the end of the series. I could even see them getting married before Jim and Mary!

All that to say, I really loved this book and this couple. I enjoyed it more than the first book of the series, too, so I can’t wait to see what book three will bring!

Review: The Lady and The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

This novel is beautiful beyond words. I not sure if I can really write anything to describe what my reading experience was like with The Lady and The Lionheart. But you should definitely read it.

The Lady and The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
Mason Jar Books, 2016

Experiencing the circus is a myriad of sights and sounds and smells bombarding your senses. The atmosphere is alive with excitement and color. Joanne captured this perfectly on the page, and I really felt like I was standing amidst the chaotic magnificence of the circus. This is one of the few reading experiences I can think of that the scenes were written so vividly, I felt I was there.

Within the circus is where the majority of the story takes place. And where the setting comes alive, the characters do more so. Charlie Lionheart and Ella Beckley are two characters made up of so much depth and heart. They have entirely different backgrounds and upbringings, yet they find each other. A lion tamer and a nurse. They both carry hurts from their pasts and pain that is hard to grapple with. Both of them find it difficult to hope for a future with anything but what they already have. They hesitate to want more, to reach for something different for their lives.

My heart ached while reading this novel. I was so invested in these characters and their lives. I wanted to see a happy ending, but I had no idea how it would be found for them. During the work week, I couldn’t wait for my lunch break so I could read a few more chapters.

It is lovely and breathtaking and a story that I have not been able to stop thinking about since I finished reading it days ago. It is a powerful story about love and sacrifice.

Heartrending and beautiful, please don’t pass this one up. I never felt like I could figure out where this story was going, so every time the plot was given a new layer to grapple with, my heart would hurt a little more. Wanting to find resolution and not knowing how or if it would come for these beloved characters. Wanting happiness to be a reality for them after the darkness they had both experienced in the past.

And I definitely cried. Chapter 32 broke my heart so completely. And a book that makes me cry is a rare gem.

*I received an e-copy of this book from the author and was under no obligation to write a review. This is my honest opinion and all thoughts are my own.*

Review: From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

I started reading this book on a plane to Boston (vacation!), which also happens to be where this book is set. Boston 1897 to be exact.

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House, 2016

So to say this book came alive to me would be accurate. This book takes place during the building of the subway system in Boston, which was a fascinating backdrop to this story. What I found most exciting was being in the city this book revolved around. I had been to the places and seen the streets and ridden in the subway this book talked about. How fascinating to really see the city in two different ways at once!

Romulus has this flamboyant and bigger than life personality. Hidden under that is an insecure man who doesn’t have a lot of meaningful relationships. I enjoyed his character, but I doubt we would get along in real life. Stella is a confident, take charge of your situation woman. She is strong and loves her family deeply, and with those convictions, she continues to push forward. I really liked her drive and how she fought for the answers she was looking for.

I always enjoy Elizabeth Camden’s writing style and the stories she creates, so I’m glad I picked this one up. The characters still couldn’t top Bane and Lydia from Against The Tide, but really, they are one of my favorite fictional couples!

And because I was visiting recently, I’ll leave you with this gorgeous picture of the Boston Public Library. (Don’t you wish this was your local library? I would be there all. The. TIME.)

bostonlibrarypic