Book Reviews, Fiction

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden | Book Review

Another book by Elizabeth Camden means another excellent read! What makes her such a strong writer, is her ability to remain fitting and true to the time period she chooses, but also makes the plot intriguing and gives you a heroine you can root for.

Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin’s connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they’re wading into will take them.

I enjoyed the relationship between Colin and Lucy. There were some frustrations (which again, were very fitting for the time period), but I thought Camden did an excellent job with that part of the story.

I really liked Lucy (and Colin too!). But Lucy, there was a realness to her that’s sometimes missing in heroines. She was hardworking, committed, loyal, and brave. I thought her development was honest and encouraging. Plus her relationship with her brother? Loved it!

And the story had me intrigued the whole time – I was curious with each new piece revealed and enjoyed the satisfying ending. Once again, the unique piece of history Camden focused on was fascinating and I love learning new bits of history, especially with my background of journalism.

What characteristics make you like a heroine?

(Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

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Bookish Radness

Book Blogging Programs | Blogger Resources

I’ve talked a little bit about book blogging review programs in the past, but since then, I’ve expanded my horizons :). After chatting over SkiWees Book Corner about it (if you missed the show, you can catch it here!), I thought it would be fun and helpful to share the ones I’m a part of and hear from y’all about some of your favorites. So let’s dive on in!

Blogging for Books

This book blogging site for the Crown Publishing Group (in the Christian Fiction world: WaterBrook Multnomah Fiction) was recently revamped and is AH-Mazing. The options people. The options! Cook books, Christian fiction, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, crafts…seriously… all the books! They aren’t lying when they say over two million books.

I just started with them, but my first book is The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton, so I’m not complaining. I look forward to reading many more books for this site!

Bethany House Blogger Review Program

I’m a huge fan of Bethany releases. So many of my favorite authors publish books through them, so I always look forward to the monthly emails (I know when they come out each month and trust me….I’m ready to request!)! I’m on the list for fiction and non-fiction, you know to keep my options fresh.

There’s a handful of options each month to choose from and you only get to pick one (which is soooo hard sometimes!). You also have the option of e-book or hard copy. I’m so glad to be a part of this program. It’s great.

Litfuse Publicity

I’m so glad this publicity firm exists. They are so much fun to work with and make it so easy to promote and be part of book tours. When I see an email from them, I know something awesome awaits!

They really do make it easy. They send you the book (hard copy or e-book), send you all the graphics and codes you need for your post and there’s always awesome contests to enter. I still have hope that one day I’ll win one.

Tyndale Blog Network

I haven’t reviewed a ton for Tyndale yet, but the ones I have, I’ve really enjoyed. Jessica Dotta’s novels are published through them, so that’s all the evidence needed to sign up. Each month they send out the new releases and you can request one from the list (although now you can request two!).

They have plenty of options for fiction and non-fiction, so there’s lots of variety as well.

BookLook Bloggers (formerly BookSneeze)

This is the site for Thomas Nelson, Zondervan and Westbow Press E-Books. I love the variety. Love it! From non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, devotionals and bibles, there’s plenty to choose from. The two I have right now are a photographer’s memoir and a book written by Dr. King’s niece. I’m really excited about them! They have awesome fiction options as well and you have the option for applying to receive more than one at a time.

Another plus for BookLook is they are available beyond the month of release (same as Blogging for Books).

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Moody Blogger Review Program

Moody Publishers has a fantastic history and continue to produce Gospel-centered books and resources. Their fiction wing, River North Fiction, has published some of my favorite authors, including Tessa Afshar (biblical fiction) and Jocelyn Green (Civil War history fiction), so I’m a fan.

They have pages and pages of options to choose from, not just new releases, so the choices are endless. Once you review one, you can go back and simply request another one. Done.

Revell Reads Blog Tour Program

This program is a lot like Bethany’s program (they’re under the umbrella of Baker Publishing), so you can’t expect much of the same! The one difference is they request the reviews to be posted between specific dates (since it’s a tour). I’m also on the fiction and non-fiction lists, so like the others, it’s always fun seeing the email pop up in my inbox.

B&H Publishing

I’m rather new to this one as well, but it’s been a pleasant experience thus far. They have a site with all the options available for reviewing. I’ve also been able to email them requests too. While they send out emails of new and available books to choose from, the website site also has past options available too.

NetGalley

I haven’t done too much with NetGalley, besides the times I choose to get the e-book from one of the other publishers. I learned recently you can get auto approved for certain publishers, so when you request it, you automatically get it. There’s ridiculous amounts of options and you’ll never be in need of more books. It’s only e-books though, so if you’re anti e-reader, then you won’t like this one ;). With so many other programs, I’m not sure when I’ll dive more into this one, but I do like being a member!

What programs are you a part of? Any specific ones you really like?

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author DeAnna Julie Dodson

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

One of my favorite books last year belongs to the one and only DeAnna Julie Dodson! The book? Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery), written under the pen Julianna Deering. It’s kicked off the beginning of a fabulous new mystery series full of Agatha Christie vibes and English accents. So if y’all haven’t dived into the world of Drew Farthering, why you must.

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency.

I’m so excited to host DeAnna on the blog and join 4 Questions, so let’s dive right in!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
After more than a decade of no contracts, I am amazed that I am now a Bethany House author. Their editorial and support staff are a dream to work with, and they’re all incredibly sweet. Everything they do is first class, and I am blessed to be with them. Having them publish the book (and series!) of my heart is just an added bonus.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would have more actively written and pursued publication after my medieval trilogy was published in the late ’90s. It took me about ten years to get back into the swing of things, but thanks to my wonderful agent, Wendy Lawton, things are better than ever. I believe God doesn’t waste anything, so I’m sure that ten years of “lost” time was beneficial to me and my writing in one way or another. I’m just glad I got a second chance.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
My cat Elliot passed away in August of last year. I had just lost another cat, my sweet Emily, and was heartbroken to lose my boy, too. But when I was at the vet’s office letting Elliot go, they brought me a tiny little orange kitten who needed a home. I was sold. Even though a “toddler” kitten is always a handful, he brought me such joy from that moment on. He makes me laugh every day, and I couldn’t imagine being without him.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
You are loved, and you are forgiven. God loved you enough to give Himself (Jesus) to die for any- and everything you’ve ever done wrong. He wants you to come to Him and will never turn you away if you do.

Thank you so much DeAnna for taking the time to hang out at Books and Beverages! Be sure to connect with DeAnna around the web! With her next coming out at the end of February, Death By Book, you don’t want to miss out on any of the news!

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Bestselling Author Deeanne Gist

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Guys.

Look who is on the blog today. Look! Yep, the very same I always mention is absolutely hilarious and how I love all her books. The bestselling author herself, Deeanne Gist! Do you know how exciting it is for me to be able to host my favorite authors on this little corner of the web? All I’m saying is I’ve been known to dance around the room from excitement. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did and be sure to pick up one of her books stat!

Deeanne Gist — known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee — has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary love stories. Add to this four RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

You can connect with Deeanne on at her website, Twitter or Facebook!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
In the last five years we’ve seen 2 kids get married, 2 graduate college, and 1 move to the other side of the country to pursue a career in music. In that time, as Greg and I became empty nesters, our sweet border collie suddenly moved way up in the pecking order. He’s not *quite* top dog, but he’s close. Never did I dream we’d let him on the furniture with us, on our bed, in our hotel rooms, and hardly ever out of our sight. Our kids are all shaking their heads at this sad state of affairs.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Oh, goodness. There are too many to count, much less narrow down to one. So many words I’ve let spill out that I’d love to recapture. So many decisions I’ve made that I so wish I’d never fallen through on. So many falls I took that could have so been avoided. One thing? Hardly.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I remember looking out the window above the kitchen sink while washing up some dishes. The day was glorious and the girls were playing hula-hoop on the deck and the boys were eating popsicles while they watched Greg work on a fort he was building for them. I remember resting my hands against the sink and thinking, “You know, life just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Before
After

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I hope the next generation never forgets that though they are connected to “friends” all over the globe with a touch of their fingers, that it is still extremely important to have friends they spend time with, play with, and share with–live and in person. No amount of texting, tweeting, or facebooking can ever replace the rewards which come from those face-to-face, day-to-day relationships.

Thank you so much Deeanne! Such a pleasure to host you at Books and Beverages!

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author Melissa Tagg

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Y’all! Here’s two reasons you need to be excited about 4 Questions with Melissa Tagg today:

1. She gives a shout out to the harms done to Pluto.
2. She didn’t spam my email when I quoted ” Tag team back again…” in an email. So you know she’s alright with me!

But why am I really excited?? She’s releasing her first published novel Made to Last (with the ever wonderful Bethany House) this month! What an exciting time for an author!

So without further ado, here’s the wonderful Melissa!

Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at http://www.melissatagg.com.

During her reporting days, Melissa interviewed presidential candidates and llama farmers, rode a hot air balloon and flew a plane, and once came face to face with a buffalo. But today she gets her kicks by letting her characters have their own fun. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
Ooh, fun question. I think five years ago I never would’ve imagined the craziness of my current lifestyle. Between writing and my day job, I’m basically working two full-time jobs, and I usually travel at least a couple weekends each month. Whereas, five years ago, I had just moved to Des Moines and wasn’t yet pursuing writing—at least not seriously. I was still super organized, cleaned all the time, and could actually tell you the last time I cooked a real meal for myself. 🙂

But I have to say, I’m relishing this season in life. I have a feeling I won’t always be able to take off on a road trip with friends on a random weekend. Later on in life, things like cooking and cleaning may matter more. And while it’s crazy doing the two career thing, I’m also living my writing dream. So I’m thankful—and frankly, having lots of fun!—in the midst of my frazzledness!

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Ooh, another good question. You know, like anyone, I’ve had my rough patches in life, but I’m honestly not sure I’d change much about those times…because they ended up being mega growth seasons, spiritually and otherwise.

But looking back, I can definitely think of times I wish I’d been more present in my everyday life and taken the time to invest in the people around me. That busyness I mentioned above can get me sort of self-focused at times. And I can think of specific times when I rushed through conversations—or didn’t take the time for conversations at all—when I could’ve had the opportunity to encourage someone else. So I’d do that differently if I could.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
The evening I got the call about the book contract from Bethany House was definitely one of my happiest moments.

But I’ll also never forget this day in England (I studied abroad there) when I went on an all-day outing with British friends—we took a train to this little town, walked eight miles from there to the town of Windsor, had water balloon fights and a picnic on the way, saw a couple historical landmarks, completely carefree and unrushed. Took a train back to London. Hung out at a little pub then walked along the Thames to get back to our place. Got home late—dirty and exhausted but just sooo satisfied and alive. Definitely one among several happiest moments.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
That their identity and worth has less to do with what they do than who they belong to. That when all the labels and achievements, successes and failures are stripped away, it’s what we believe about God and who He’s created us to be that defines us. Finding security in that, being convinced of His faithfulness, that’s when we can walk confidently into the purpose He has for us.

And that Pluto really was once a planet. 🙂

Thank you so much Melissa! I’m so incredibly excited for the start of this new journey of published work!!

Also, be sure to connect with the lovely Melissa! And maybe even show some love in the comments! 🙂