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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monthly Reflections (#19) ~ July


Monthly Reflections, where we take the time to reflect on the previous month.

My goals for July were...

To read 10 books, including:
1 nonfiction

In July I...

Read 13 books, including:
1 nonfiction

Books read:


Favorite Read This Month:

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer is my favorite, but I did read a lot of books I ended up loving. :)


Fairchild's Lady by Roseanna M. White
Small Town Girl by Ann H. Gabhart
Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson
Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman
Hurt by Travis Thrasher
The King by Steven James
A Bride for All Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, & Mary Connealy
Anomaly by Krista McGee
7 Hours Series
A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Mistaken: First Impressions Are Never What They Seem by Karen Barnett

Reviews on Goodreads that I haven't posted here:
(yet. I might later on...)

Interviews & Special Posts:

Interview with Roseanna M. White

Interview with Regina Jennings

My thoughts on July:

July was a good reading month for me (especially the last couple days) and I'm so happy I was able to complete both of my goals.

Looking ahead:

My goals for August are:

To read 10 books, including:
1 nonfiction

If you want to do your own Monthly Reflections, feel free to grab the button and post about it on your blog, then leave a comment with the URL - otherwise, please share your thoughts in a comment!

Now it's your turn! What did you accomplish in July, what do you hope to accomplish in August?

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're
eagerly anticipating.

 This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig
Barbour Publishing / ISBN# 978-1616266394
Expected Publication Date: January 2014
Find on: AmazonGoodreads

About the book:

Beowulf—a hulky, brindle-coated bullmastiff—is the only “boy” for Timbrel Hogan. And she has a history to remind her why. But when Timbrel, a handler at A Breed Apart, embarks on a mission to detect WMDs in Afghanistan, she reunites with Tony “Candyman” VanAllen and her no-other-man philosophy is challenged. While tension mounts between Timbrel and Tony, the team comes under fire after Beowulf gets a “hit.” When tragedy threatens Tony’s career and Timbrel’s courage, they must maneuver through an intricate plot and a mission like no other. . . .

Why I want to read this book:

Ever since reading Trinity (book one) I've been itching to read Timbrel's story and, after recently reading Talon (book two), I want to read it even more now! I can't wait to see what happens between Candyman and Timbrel! :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mistaken: First Impressions Are Never What They Seem by Karen Barnett

Mistaken: First Impressions Are Never What They Seem 
by Karen Barnett
Abingdon Press / 2013
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:

Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Daniel has mixed feelings about returning to the dirty mill town of his youth, but grudgingly agrees to manage his grandfather’s drug store until a replacement can be found. The moment he meets Laurie on the windswept bluff overlooking the beach, he knows that if he can earn her love, he might have a reason to stay. But when Laurie pushes him away--for none other than Federal Agent Samuel Brown--Daniel wonders if Laurie really is the upstanding woman he thought her to be. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the beaches of Port Angeles, Washington, was treacherous water for reckless rum-runners—and the agents who tried to catch them. So when she realizes her brother is in danger, romance is the last thing on Laurie's mind. Yet the people she believes she can trust, may not be so honorable after all.

My rating:
My thoughts:

Mistaken is a mix of two of my favorite genres - suspense and historical romance - and I absolutely loved it! The story was so good and held my attention throughout - I ended up finishing Mistaken in less than a day! I loved one of the messages in the book - how you shouldn't judge people/ things just by appearances, as things aren't always what they seem.

The characters in Mistaken were fantastic! I loved how they were flawed and struggled with things - it made the story more realistic. The romance was sweet - as was the ending - and I couldn't help smiling at times. :)

I don't know whether or not Mistaken is Karen Barnett's debut novel, but, regardless, it's the first of hers I've read and I look forward to reading more of her books. I definitely recommend Mistaken to fans of historical romance books with some intrigue.

*I received this book free for review from Abingdon Press through its early reader program. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up (July 26th)

Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and hope to read this coming week, and (when applicable) the current giveaways/giveaway winners. Occasionally I'll post some other stuff as well.

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've accomplished (reading-wise) this past week. :)

 What I've read this week:


I loved both of these books! :)

What I'm currently reading:
There you have it, that is what I'm reading this week! What about you?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview & Giveaway: Regina Jennings ~ Author of Love in the Balance!!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Regina!! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

You bet. I married my high school sweetheart before graduating from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. My professional life included employment at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards. I currently write historical romance for Bethany House and homeschool my four children.

What is your newest book, Love in the Balance, about? 

Bailey Garner is an earnest young cowhand with a reputation for godliness, but he knows he’s got everyone fooled. In a search for accountability, Bailey pops up before the church and confesses a temptation that continues to beset him. Of course it doesn’t take much imagination for the congregation to surmise that the block he’s stumbling over closely resembles beautiful, sassy Molly Lovelace.

For a year, Molly’s parents have been after her to drop Bailey and marry for money. Now he’s asking for some time and space to make himself worthy of her, robbing Molly of her best friend and support. When her family’s finances force a decision, how will she choose between her duty and her heart? 

Love in the Balance is a sequel-like to Sixty Acres and a Bride. Do you plan on writing more novels with characters from these books?

Oh, yeah. The third book in the Ladies of Caldwell County series, Caught in the Middle, is the mysterious Anne Tillerton’s story. Although the story stands alone, readers will get to see more of Bailey and Molly as they watch her brother Nick try to manage Anne’s reentry into society.

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you? 

I’m a huge fan of European history, particularly British History. How did I end up writing cowboy books? Well, knights and cowboys have a lot in common when you think about it. They ride, they fight, they love their land and they know how to treat a lady. The accent is a bit different, but when you’re reading you can supply your own voice.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In the sixth grade a friend and I wrote a sequel to Gone with the Wind. It was epic, all 30 pages of it, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I made a second effort to write something marketable.

How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite? 

Love in the Balance is my second book. Since then I’ve written a novella and two more full-length novels that are currently being revised and edited. The novella comes out this December and the novels will be out over the next few years. And my favorite book changes constantly. Usually it’s whichever one is giving me less grief at the time.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

Because of the kids, I rarely get uninterrupted time to write. I drag my laptop with me everywhere and maybe only get a paragraph here or there. Eventually I have to go somewhere quiet and really polish it, but that first draft is written on the run.

Where do you like to write? 

Anywhere and everywhere. I have a desk. I have a bed. Sometimes if I’m waiting for the kids at choir practice I’ll hide in an empty Sunday School classroom or sit in the car.

What is the best and/or worst part about being a writer? 

The best part is getting to share stories. I love stories. I love telling stories, but I don’t necessary want to be the center of attention. Books let me tell stories without everyone looking at me. J

The worst part is just the time it takes. I enjoy researching, writing, even revising, but I have to fight Mommy-guilt. There’s always something else you can do for your children and there’s always more polishing you can do on a manuscript, but you can’t do both at the same time.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

I read a lot, of course. I also like to travel, play the piano and play games with the kids. And then in the fall there’s college football.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?

No surprises here. My favorite genre is historical romance, although well-written historical non-fiction is even more captivating.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet? 

This fall we’re headed to the UK. I’ve been to London once, but didn’t get to spend much time there. This time we’re going to hit London, Bath, Stratford, York and Edinburgh. Excited!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

It changes all the time, but here’s one that’s blessing me recently:

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, For so He gives His beloved sleep.” – Psalm 127:2

This reminds me to stop striving and rest in God. Without His help my efforts are in vain, anyway.

Do you have a favorite song? 

This changes, too. As of July 2013 my favorite song would be “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons.

A few this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Thunderstorms, although in Oklahoma they are deadly.
Call or Text? I like email because I’m less likely to lose my laptop than my phone.
Early-bird or Night-owl? Strong early-bird. It’s in my DNA. I can’t sleep late even when exhausted.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 

The next project to be released is a Texas-sized novella collection in December 2013. A Match Made in Texas includes novellas by Karen Witemeyer, Carol Cox, Mary Connealy and me. Writing with these authors has been all kinds of fun. I can’t wait for this collection to be released.

Then, next spring Caught in the Middle will be released. It begins with Anne Tillerton saving Nick Lovelace’s life during a train robbery. Although more suited to her job as a buffalo hunter, Anne must stay in town when she’s left with an unexpected bundle…of joy. She turns to Nick for help finding the child’s parents, but he’s even less equipped to manage a baby than she is. His association with the unconventional Anne threatens his political aspirations, but can he turn his back on the woman who saved his life?

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

Thank you for inviting me! I’m so appreciative of my readers. You wouldn’t believe how encouraging your notes, emails and comments are. I want to thank you all for making this dream come true and I pray that God keeps letting me bring you stories.
I love hearing from y’all online. You can find me here -

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Love in the Balance by Regina Jennings! Giveaway is only open to US residents. Ends 8/8.

To enter, be sure to sign into the Rafflecopter form and click “enter” on each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

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