The Mystery Blogger Award

So Jessica did this last week, her blog is awesome so head on over and check it out; she was sweet enough to nominate anyone who wanted to participate.

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The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma as a way to build a friendly blogging community and get to know each others blogs. You can check out Okoto’s blog for the full backstory.

The Rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  5. Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  6. Nominate bloggers.
  7. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  9. Share a link to your best post.

 

Three Things About Me:

  • Action Movies and Books are my favorite. I love the fast pace and all the stunts.
  • I take forever to finish TV series. I am not sure why but I will seriously drag it out way longer than necessary. For instance I started this show on Netflix called Night Shift. I watched the first season in one day. That was about a month or so ago. I love the show and characters so I really should have caught up, but no.
  • Besides being a avid reader, I am also a writer. I have always loved writing stories growing up and now I’m turning that passion into writing novels. I just started uploading one book (of quite a few)  onto Wattpad. You can check it out here if you want.

 

The Questions :

  1. What do you decorate your book shelves with ?

I decorate mine with artificial flowers (which are my props for photos) , my Funko Pops, and different types of banks (like piggy banks , but only one is an actual pig).

2. If you could have any pet, what would you get? I would get a giraffe.

Well I want a pet dragon, but since they technically don’t exist then I would say a Horse. I have dreamt of having my own horse since I was 12.

3. Do you have a favorite sports team?

Yes , college football – Florida Gators!!

4. If you had to wear only one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is so fun and hard because the unpractical part of my brain says opt for pajamas . But I would say my favorite pair of jeans, and a tee shirt with a bait shop logo on it.

5. Do you have a favorite bookish Funko Pop?

Currently the only Funko Pops I have are from the TV series Lost. My favorite is Sawyer 🙂 and he is holding a book so does that count.

 

My 5 questions for anyone who wants to join:

  1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
  2. Pick one book to disappear into.
  3. Would you rather your emotions be expressed by your hair changing color or your eye’s changing color?
  4. What is your favorite way to tell people about books ,example: goodreads, your own personal blog, throwing books at people till they read them. My favorite way is to tell my family /friends all about the book I’m reading so that they don’t have to bother reading it because they know everything already……see how nice I am to save them the trouble lol.
  5. Where is your favorite place to read?

So that’s it, feel free to join and use this on your blog, or answer my questions in the comments:)

Forever & Always,

Emily

 

 

Books That Have Surprised The Socks Off Me So Far In 2017

This is a link up with Broke and Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday. The Prompt for this week is ” Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far “. I’m only doing Five today because there have only been five books so far this year that were really good/ surprised me.

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Once Upon a Marigold By Jean Ferris : I was in a book funk and my sister let me borrow this book. It was so cute and fun. I also kept it after I read it , so I guess you could say I commandeered the book rather than borrowed.

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Deadly By Julie Chibbaro : In my full review of this book, I mentioned how my oldest Nephew got me this book for Christmas…..two years ago. I’m not really sure why I put it off for so long, but it turned out to be a good read.

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I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You By Alley Carter: I started reading this book fully expecting to not finish it. I’ve heard a lot of people say they didn’t like it. I however really enjoyed it. I mean sure it has a few clichĂ©s and it’s not perfect but I liked it enough to give the rest of the series a try. (Let me know in the comments if you have read it and what you thought).

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Geekerella By Ashley Poston: I am in love with the retelling trend, however I was never a big Cinderella fan growing up. This book though!!!! It’s such a good representation of fandoms . Ashley Poston did a fantastic job with this retelling.


If We Survive By Andrew Klavan : I’m going to post a full review of this later in the week, but I took a chance on this from the library and it so did not disappoint!! Seriously I’m so pleased with this book, it has action, a good plot, and the characters are AMAZING!!

So those are the five books that surprised my socks off , though that’s probably a good thing with how hot it has been lately. Did you read any books so far this year that surprised you?

Forever & Always,

Emily

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan

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I’m in love with this cover^^^

 They came on a mission of mercy, but now they’re in a fight for their lives.
High schooler Will Peterson and three friends journeyed to Central America to help rebuild a school. In a poor, secluded mountain village, they won the hearts of the local people with their energy and kindness.
But in one sudden moment, everything went horribly wrong. A revolution swept the country. Now, guns and terror are everywhere―and Americans are being targeted as the first to die. 
Will and his friends have got to get out fast. But streets full of killers . . .hills patrolled by armies . . . and a jungle rife with danger stand between them and the border. Their one hope of escape lies with a veteran warrior who has lost his faith and may betray them at any moment. Their one dream is to reach freedom and safety and home.
If they can just survive.

I went to the library about two weeks ago. I didn’t get the book I originally went for (they didn’t have it #Rude), I found this AMAZING book instead. The title was what caught my attention, upon reading the synopsis it sounded like my kind of book. “If We Survive” did not disappoint.

Let’s start with the Characters : All the characters were realistic. They all had good qualities, bad qualities, and character growth.

  • Will : I am a picky person when it comes to main characters. I really enjoyed Will’s character and his narrator style. Will is a good kid in a tough situation who makes hard decisions. I love his bravery and good morals.
  • Palmer : My favorite character from the moment he walked onto the page. He’s portrayed as a bit of a  jerk in the first few chapters (but this is also because that is Will’s perception of him). Palmer however redeems himself pretty quickly. He is very intelligent and is the only thing standing between the rest of the group and death. I loved his backstory and the fact that he was an Ex- Marine. Plus the witty sarcasm!! Ok he’s my favorite I’ll stop rambling now.
  • Nicki: Nicki starts the book as a typical diva, and honestly I thought she would end the book that way. But her character finally got a grip on her emotions and turned out to be really sweet.
  • Meredith : Meredith is the definition of strong female character done right. She had a little problem with being “perfect” (but I don’t count being quiet/ shy as a negative trait so…). Meredith portrayed really strong moral character; and over-all strength while still being gentle and kind.
  • Jim : The most annoying character for me. I just don’t understand delusional characters. He finally got a reality check and became semi-useful, but I’m still not a fan.
  • Pastor Ron: Was a character who did what he felt was right at all times, even though he was a bit naĂŻve on how things work in life.

 

The Yes Factor:

  • I love the little mini stories about each character in the beginning of the book.
  • Once the action started , it was paced perfectly.
  • Romance was minimal, Will had a crush on Meredith. Meredith had a crush on Palmer. But it wasn’t a big part of the story, and it only added to the plot.
  • Character development was A+.
  • The “bad guys” were convincing and really well thought out. They weren’t just there to cause trouble for the group, they had goals and motivations.

The only thing negative I can think of is the action is a mite predictable; however I watch and read a lot of action so this could just be me. Even with that it was such a good read and kept my attention.

Since this is a library book, “If We Survive” got added to my wish list. I want to try some of Andrew Klavan’s other books, I’ve read good things about his Homelanders series.

Let’s Chat. Have you ever read anything by Andrew Klavan? Do you like action stories?

Forever & Always ,

Emily

10 Christian Books I Recommend

IMG_1889-19-06-17-05-41 The lovely picture above was taken by my bestie ( you can find her HERE).

All of these books had a major impact on my life at some point. To be honest quite a few of them came to me when I needed them most, like any good book should. While I find each of them inspirational and they helped me in diverse ways.

1.Shaken by Tim Tebow – I did a full review here, but in short this book is just amazing. I got it for Christmas last year and it could not have come at a better time. It is so encouraging and really shows how living out your faith looks.

2. One Thousand Gifts  by Ann Voskamp – I read this book many years ago but it is really just about being thankful for the little things in life . It also got me into the practice of being grateful and writing down blessings I found each day, and some days that’s hard. The goal is to turn our focus from the negative and show our gratitude towards God for all the things he does provide.

3. The Dream Giver By Bruce Wilkinson- This is a beautiful book told in an analogy. I loved it so much, and it’s such a good reminder that God gives us our dreams and he will help us accomplish them.

4. Preparing to be a Help Meet by Debi Pearl – This is a great book for young women who strive to be a good, godly, wife one day and it would make the perfect gift for a bride-to-be. This book is actually on my reread list for this year. I do remember that it had statistics and information from guys POV, along with just practical advise on relationships.

5. Cross Roads By W.M Paul Young – This book is so amazing!! While I haven’t read the authors more famous book “The Shack” , I can tell you that this one is so very good and should be on everyone’s TBR list.

6. Unafraid By Susie Davis – If you suffer from fear or on going anxiety I can tell you this book is such an encouragement. The author walks you through her very real struggles that’s started as a child, and shows how overcoming fear / anxiety is not an easy thing but it is possible.

7. Before you meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally –  I especially recommend this book for teenage girls who are just starting to seriously notice boys. I remember a friend and I reading this when we were young and discussing how we related to the daydreaming aspect of waiting on our prince charming’s. It really try’s to inspire girls to focus on the here and now, and to become the best version of themselves before they worry about boys.

8. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers – This is a classic ,and there is a reason for that. So many of these daily devotions hit on whatever subject I needed most. I have read it multiple times and each time I use a different highlighter to see what means something to me each time.

9. Kisses From Katie By Katie Davis – This girls story is so unique and amazing.  Katie went to Uganda on a missions trip before college, but her life changed very quickly. Now Katie is the mother of 14 girls she adopted over in Uganda. I love this story because it just shows how God has His own plans for our life if we are willing to follow his lead.

10. Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald – This is a study book for mothers and daughters to read together. I however read it on my own and then discussed it with my mom as I went. I think I love this book because of its focus on being feminine and modest. It also has lists in the back for other Christian books, and modest clothing sites.

So those are some of my most recommended Christian books. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of the books above? What are some Christian books you recommend?

Forever & Always,

Emily

10 Books I Would Sell My Siblings For

To clarify on the post title, I wouldn’t actually sell my siblings……well two of them I would (which still leaves me two and I feel good about that) if you know the opportunity presented itself….just kidding Mom I wouldn’t sell your other children (unless you want half the profits…..we can talk it out).

So I’m actually naming 10 books I’m dying to read , which is a link-up with Top Ten Tuesday , not this weeks because I don’t do what I’m told……I’m sure the afore mentioned mom would agree.

 

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  1. Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell : A Peter Pan retelling that focuses on Good vs. Evil, ummm yes please!! Also I love anything with Pirates so I can’t wait to read this books version of Captain Hook.

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2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: I have heard such good things about this book and I want to read it this very instant. My best friend (who happens to be one of the siblings I refuse to sell) and I have very different tastes in books, it’s not often that we both want to read the same thing and Bone Gap is one we both are excited for.

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3. Uprooted By Naomi Novik : A Fantasy, fairy-tale book about magic and a wizard who is known as “The Dragon” , I need it.

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4. Reckless -The Petrified Flesh By Cornelia Funke: First off I loved Cornelia’s Inkheart series, though it had it’s issues I am still a big fan, so I’m excited to read the Reckless series. Second – Pretty covers !!!!

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5. Dare (The Blades of Acktar) By Tricia Mingerink : I heard about these books from a girl who was listing books that both her and her husband liked (I wish I remembered her blog, but my memory is horrible ). I read the Chiveis Trilogy off the list and loved it, so I am interested in giving this series a go.

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6. The Lies Of Locke Lamora By Scott Lynch : An orphan who makes a life as a thief / con artist, yes please a thousand times over. My only worry is I have heard there is quite a bit of swearing in it……but most people seem to love the story besides that.

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7. Fairest of All – A tale of the wicked Queen : I’m a fan of retellings and have read quite a few (mostly Robin Hood), so I think reading one from the villain’s POV would be awesome. The concept reminds me of the tv show “Once Upon A Time”, where all the characters and their stories aren’t what you always expect.

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8. Meddling Kids By Edgar Cantero : A Scooby- Doo retelling!!!!!!!! ALL THE EXCITEMENT ( am I right, of course I am). Seriously I have never met anyone that didn’t like The Mystery Gang (except a sister I will give in exchange for this book). It sounds  awesome and takes place when the meddling kids are grown up and dealing with their past. Again ALL THE EXCITEMENT!!

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9. The Silent Songbird By Melanie Dickerson: I haven’t read a Melanie Dickerson book yet that I didn’t like, while some of her books have better built and more relatable characters, all her books are still good. This is suppose to be a Little Mermaid retelling and I’ve never read one of those.

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10. Hittite Warrior By Joanne Williamson: This book has been on my wish list for years. I love History and anytime it’s Biblical history I really want to read it.

So those are the 10 books I’m dying to read. I noticed a lot of them are retellings, but that is pretty much normal for me.

I have some awesome news as well. I will be writing one of my books on Wattpad. I am going to try and have the first chapter up this Friday and then continue to post every Friday. The link to my Wattpad Account so stop by and check it out on Friday if you like. It’s about two brothers who happen to not only be opposites but also Princes . They are both currently engaged and neither is particularly happy about it , but it’s a chance to unify three Countries. However certain events bring them closer to war and a not so happily ever after , then either brother anticipated.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Talk to me. Have you read any of these books? See any that you want to read now and would consider selling a sibling for? If you have a Wattpad account link it in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

 

Deadly By Julie Chibbaro


Prudence Galewski doesn’t belong in Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls. She doesn’t want an “appropriate” job that makes use of refinement and charm. Instead, she is fascinated by how the human body works—and why it fails.

Prudence is lucky to land a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of a mysterious fever. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, Prudence explores every potential cause of the disease to no avail—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. But she’s never been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in solving one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century? 

This book surprised me so much. Honestly I started it expecting to be disappointed and toss it in the to- go pile and mark it off my list. Instead I enjoyed it so much and it now holds a permanent spot on my bookcase.

While Deadly wasn’t action packed, it was a nice pace and the plot flowed smoothly. I loved how it was set up as a diary.

Prudence and Marm’s love lives didn’t overshadow the history in the book, which is such a win for me. Concerning  Prudence I loved the ending for her -letting her hope for the future be about furthering her education and following her dreams instead of the typical ” This boy will complete my life” trope. I found this to be such a refreshing difference in YA and I loved it.

Marm is such a good mother. Her and Prudence talk, she takes up for her daughter, tells Prudence how proud she is of her and includes her on some of her dates. Their relationship was sweet.

I however am left with mixed feelings on the leading gentlemen in Prudence’s life. Did Mr. Soper like Prudence but keep their relationship professional or was he just really sweet and saw her potential? I’m leaning towards the latter but I lowkey shipped them from day 1……so honestly not sure. Then there is Jonathan who is an arrogant, pushy creep at the beginning. He blamed his advances on Prudence (still not forgiven for that) but then spent the rest of the book acting like a perfect gentleman = I’m very confused on who this lad truly is.

Prudence struggle with what she felt was right or wrong concerning “Typhoid Mary” was candid and realistic. And while I didn’t always agree with her , I fully understand where all the questions came from, because they were ones I could see myself asking in the same position.

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro was a unique read and I loved all I learned from it. An easy 4 stars.

By the way – SHOUTOUT to my oldest nephew who gave me this book for Christmas 2 years ago. Thanks bud I enjoyed it……sorry it took so long for me to read it, but feel free to buy me other books because I trust your taste 😉

Forever & Always,

Emily

What book(s) have you read and they surprised you? Do you like when other people buy you books they think you’ll enjoy? What’s the longest amount of time you procrastinated reading a book?

Prayers for an Anxious Heart

cover110622-mediumDozens of practical and encouraging prayers inspired by Philippians 4:6-7 will help you strengthen your heart-connection to the Master Creator. Each prayer will draw you ever closer to the heavenly Father as you discover a deeper understanding and love for the One who holds the whole world in His hands.

I originally requested this book because I have anxiety and am a worrier……or should I say used to be. I’ve grown quiet a bit over the past year and while I still have anxiety it’s not the state I’m constantly in anymore. This book probably would have meant more to me in my earlier state of being , than it did now. However Prayer for an Anxious Heart is a beautiful book that would be perfect for anyone struggling with anxiety or worry.

I’ve recently taken to copying things that really mean something to me in my Prayer Journal. I find it helps things stick in my mind better and I can always go back to it. I copied quite a few prayers from this book into my journal.

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The book was full  of inspiration and uplifting prayers that often remind you who you are to God. I came away from reading it everyday (usually multiple prayers) feeling very encouraged and peaceful. I love how every prayer has a scripture at the top to start you off, and it also includes scripture in some of the prayers as well. The prayers were written like a conversation and made it feel more natural and unique when using them.

I want to thank Netgalley and Barbour publishing for the review copy.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor

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Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.

“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you. 

 

I’m going to start by saying I really need to stop having expectations for books, because it’s sort of ruining my life. Why books ? Why? The world keeps turning while I’m over here dealing with the crushing reality that thus far this year- books are disappointing me. I don’t understand what’s happening to me, am I becoming unpleasable? Who can know ( and the answer is always- not me).

Moving forward or rather just focusing on the book at hand – Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor.

What I Liked:

  1. Male Protagonist : Don’t ask me why but I love reading and writing in male POV.
  2. Cam Smith or Skip O’Rourke : Is the most adorable thing ever. I love his moral character and how he is honest about it not being easy to be …..well honest. Growing up in a family of weasels makes him know how the world of cons works, but he also knows how to be better than them.
  3. All Characters stayed in Role : Nothing is more annoying than reading a book and characters changing mid way through. I understand character development, but I’m talking about just changing for no real reason. Despicable relatives stayed despicable , Cam did what he had to do but still kept true to his beliefs in being a better person.
  4. Cam and Claire : equals total cuteness. The way they met was totally adorable and I just loved every moment they were together.
  5. Dialogue was witty and funny. I wasn’t bored reading their conversations or Cameron’s thoughts for that matter.

What I Disliked :

  1. This book was full of triggers: I know different things bother different people so I wanted to name some of the things just for other readers benefit. These include : Mild swearing, drinking (and underage drinking), smoking pot, a gentleman’s club ( or a cross between Hooters and a Strip -club), Suicide attempt, car accident where someone dies, infidelity. Those are the main ones I can think of. However nothing is graphic  or highly detailed.
  2. The Cover : I don’t judge books by their cover, I judge by content. That being said what’s so wrong with pretty covers? 

It was actually good besides the above named things I would consider triggers. Though the book wasn’t what I expected it was still an enjoyable read. I liked the view into the con artist family life.
Forever & Always ,

Emily

Have you read “Thieving Weasels” ? Do you like books about con artists and the world of thievery? Do you ever read a book and it disappoint you but still be good?

 

 

 

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

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She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .

if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

 

Thank you Netgalley for the review copy of Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson.

I missed posting last week because I usually write my posts on Monday and then review and edit one last time Tuesday morning. So last week was a little crazy and I just didn’t get to it or feel up to rushing a post Tuesday. That being said I decided to post this on Monday to make up for it 🙂

I am a huge fan of Melanie Dickerson! So when I got approved for this book I was extremely excited.  I wish I could tell you I immediately fell in love with this book but that’s just not the case. I was a quarter of the way through before I really got interested and it finally held my attention. That being said , once the pace picked up I didn’t put it down till it was finished.

What I Loved:

  1. A+  Character Development. Magdalen and Steffan start the book both very entitled, and selfish. But as the book progresses the reader gets to see them both evolve into compassionate, sweet and humble characters. The struggle is shown though about how tough it is to change one’s self.
  2. Supporting characters had personality and depth. My favorite being Lenhart, who was the sweetest little thing ever. I love how Magdalen protected him.
  3. Spoiler free : The romance was cute, both character’s were so unsure of themselves and not willing to be hurt. It was so relatable. But once they admitted their love, the adorable couple-ness (shh that’s totally a word) made me smile.
  4. The characters had solid background stories that played deep in the plot. They were so different and it made the emotional baggage they carried contrast to each other.
  5. The plot was so well thought out and written perfectly! Though it started out slow it eventually picked up pace and then went along nice.
  6. It quotes Scripture! I love when books do this.

What annoyed me :

  1. Magdalen’s relationship with her mother, while it served the plot was quiet tedious to read about. I mean I’m not stupid, so after the second time of explaining why Magdalen would not want to go home because of how her mother treated her, I got it. No need to remind me ten more times.
  2. How slow the beginning was , and maybe this is just me I don’t know but it took awhile to get into for me.
  3. Magdalen’s oblivion to the fact there was a trader amongst her friends. Like even I saw it coming a mile away.

Over all this book was cute and I loved the characters , you know once they got over the whole entitled brat thing. Easily a four star.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Have you read any Melanie Dickerson books? What’s your favorite? Do you give books a chance to redeem themselves if they start a little slow ? Let’s chat, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

7 Truths Writers (Probably) Won’t Admit Out Loud

All of these are so true it kinda hurts ( but only if you have been lying to yourself )

You Write Fiction

Highlight the ones that apply to you and go confess your sins afterward.

#1 We stalk our readers on Goodreads to see what their progress updates say

But only because we value and crave feedback. Not because we’re paranoid. Why would we be paranoid?

#2 We don’t write as much as we pretend to

Raise your hand if you’ve tweeted #amwriting when you’ve done nothing of the sort. Good, now put it down and get to work.

#3 We do care about the money

Despite a hundred wise (and obnoxious) sayings to the contrary, most of us want to earn money through our writing, and it’s frustrating when sales are constantly flatlined. Not that I’m trying to be a Scrooge, but “I write because that’s who I am” doesn’t pay many expenses.

#4 We have at least one genre we hold a grudge against, though we’d never say so out


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