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Cover Reveal!

Hi readers and friends. Today I have a special post to share. I’ve been hard at work on my next book, as well as its cover, and am pleased to announce the title, as well as reveal its cover.

Introducing, A Time For Adventure (The Abi Hensley Series Book 4)

Read further to find out what the book is about.

The year is 1921, and after years of dreaming, Abi Hensley has set out to travel through Europe. Along with her friend Meg Clery, Abi travels from the rich historical sites in England, to the gorgeous green landscapes of Ireland, visits an abandoned castle in Scotland, and roams through the chic streets of Paris. Along the way, they meet a myriad of interesting people, encounter familiar faces, and see things they’ve only ever dreamed of.

Yet their time in Europe isn’t without its challenges. While in Ireland, Abi joins Meg in spending time at her family’s farm. There, they find that the Clerys are overwhelmed by the demands of their farm. In light of this, the family must make some hard decisions; choices that could change the course of their lives forever.

One thing is for certain; Abi’s tour of Europe will most definitely be a time for adventure.

And here's the cover!

A Time For Adventure is now available on Goodreads, as well as in the Kindle store for a special pre-order price of only 99 cents.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post today. I can’t for you to read this book!

-Miranda Atchley

Sense and Sensibility Read-Along | Vol. II Discussion

Hey, readers and friends. It’s our second discussion for the Sense and Sensibility read-along and this week we’re all about Volume II. This is a full volume and Amber has posed some interesting questions, so let’s get to it!

Favorite Quotes

“Marianne’s joy was almost a degree beyond happiness, so great was the perturbation of her spirits and her impatience to be gone. Her unwillingness to quit her mother was her only restorative to calmness; and at the moment of parting, her grief on that score was excessive. Her mother’s affliction was hardly less, and Elinor was the only one of the three, who seemed to consider the separation as anything short of eternal.”

“‘Have you no comfort? No friends? Is your loss such as leaves no opening for consolation? Much as you suffer now think of what you would have suffered if the discovery of his character had been delayed to a later period- if your engagement had been carried on for months, as it might have been, before he chose to put an end to it.’”

“Elinor could have given her [Lucy] immediate relief by suggesting the possibility of its being Miss Morton’s mother, rather than her own, whom they were about to behold; but instead of doing that, she assured her, and with great sincerity, that she did pity her- to the utter amazement of Lucy, who, though really uncomfortable herself, hoped at least to be an object of irrepressible envy to Elinor.”

“‘This is admiration of a very particular kind!- what is Miss Morton to us?- who knows, or who cares, for her?- it is Elinor of who WE think and speak.’”
And so saying, she [Marianne] took the screen out of her sister-in-law’s hands, to admire them herself as they ought to be admired.

General Impressions

Much has taken place in this volume. We’ve seen Elinor and Marianne travel to London with Mrs. Jennings, where Marianne’s dearest wish is to spend time with Willoughby. When this does not take place, Marianne is heartbroken and her spirits are further depressed when she learns the reason why Willoughby has ignored her. I must admit, Marianne’s reaction to the revelation about Willoughby is a bit annoying. Knowing Willoughby’s character, I don’t see this as a great loss for Marianne; in fact, I agree with Elinor in that it was better that she found out the truth now rather than later when things were even more serious. I don’t think I would have handled Marianne’s outbursts as well as Elinor did. And I don’t care for becoming more acquainted with the Miss Steeles, nor with Mrs. Dashwood. They’re such catty characters and seem altogether miserable to me.

Discussion Questions

Which scene in Volume II tugged on your emotions the most, either positively or negatively? (Was it Willoughby’s letter? Colonel Brandon’s revelation? Edward’s arrival? Or some other moment?)
I think the scene from this volume that stands out the most to me is the one in which the quote I featured above takes place; where Mrs. Ferrars and Mrs. Dashwood are discussing the screens. I love that even though Marianne was still very upset (and rather feeling sorry for herself, I might add) she was able to put it aside and stand up for her sister. While her reaction may have been a bit much, it was touching and speaks to the relationship between her and Elinor. Even though they’re so very different from one another, they’re still close and would do anything for one another.

Imagine yourself in Elinor’s shoes for this trip to London. Do you think you would have responded the same or differently to Marianne’s situation and Lucy’s company?
I think I would have lost my patience with both of them. I know a broken heart is hard to deal with, but Marianne just takes it to a whole other level. And Willoughby isn’t worth it in the least! I do know that when certain events later occur, I would be terribly worried and stressed out having to care for a sister without the help of my mother. And Lucy just grows more annoying with each encounter Elinor has with her. Granted, I probably would have been like Elinor and kept my thoughts to myself, but I definitely would be seething on the inside.

And thus concludes Volume II of Sense and Sensibility. Looking forward to wrapping up the book next week (how can this read-along already be coming to a close!?) and chatting about it with you all. What are your thoughts on this volume of Miss Jane Austen’s classic?

-Miranda Atchley

Sense and Sensibility Read-Along | Discussion: Vol. I

Hello readers and friends! It’s the first discussion for the Sense and Sensibility read-along, hosted by Amber. Today we’re discussing Volume I.

Favorite Quotes

“She had an excellent heart;- her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them.”

“Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent.”

(And here we have sense, and, sensibility. J)

“With what transporting sensation have I formerly seen them fall! How have I delighted, as I walked, to see them driven in showers about me by the wind! What feelings have they, the season the air altogether inspired! Now there is no one to regard them. They are seen only as a nuisance, swept hastily off, and driven as much as possible from the sight.”

General Impressions

Quite a bit has happened in this first volume. We’ve met the Dashwoods and seen them leave their beloved (mostly by Marianne) Norland. Their neighbors, Sir John and Lady Middleton, have been introduced and we’ve seen the potential suitors of Elinor and Marianne come into the story. I think we’ve gotten to know our heroines more quickly in this book than in other Austen novels. In the first few pages, we were told what their personalities were and they’ve pretty well lived up to those descriptions. I like both sisters in their own respects. They each have their faults; but who doesn’t? I really like Mrs. Dashwood; she’s the best Austen mom (though she doesn’t have much competition). Edward is a nice person, though he needs to develop more of a backbone. Having read the book before, I know Willoughby and can’t stand his character. I’m torn when it comes to Colonel Brandon. He seems like a nice guy, but he’s just too old for Marianne.

Discussion Questions

1: So far, do you relate more to Elinor or Marianne? Do you find it more important to act properly and rationally, or do you prefer to speak your mind and express your true emotions?
Overall, I think I relate more to Elinor. But there are some instances when as I’m reading the book, Marianne will say something that I relate so much to. Like the quote about fall that I mentioned above. I have a great appreciation for the seasons, and certain places. I just don’t always voice my feelings.

2: Imagine you’re invited to tea at Barton Park and have to make conversation with Sir and Lady Middleton and Mrs. Jennings. What would you talk about? How would you survive the afternoon? J (Feel free to round out the imaginary occasion with other guests of your choosing, like Colonel Brandon , Willoughby, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, or the Miss Steeles.)
I think I would be pretty uncomfortable around this group. Sir John sort of gets on my nerves; he’s not a bad person, but he’s just kind of goofy. I don’t have much of an opinion on Lady Middleton, but I do like Mrs. Jennings; she seems kind and caring, even if she is a bit too preoccupied with making matches (ahem, Emma when she’s older). I can imagine if we were having tea, Mrs. Jennings would be coaxing whatever words she could pry out of me as I attempt to keep up with Sir John’s ramblings while my mind would undoubtedly be a million miles away, thinking of something I either read or hoped to write. The Miss Steeles would be in the corner talking to one another, while Mrs. Palmer sat giggling incessantly at something she said (grating terribly on my nerves), her husband sighing as he kept his nose buried in his paper. I would be ignoring Willoughby, wishing he would just leave and I think Colonel Brandon would be sitting quietly in the corner observing this all as it happened.

3: How would you respond to Lucy’s revelations at the end of Volume I if you were Elinor? Would you keep Lucy’s secret from everyone? Would you continue to remain “friends” with Lucy?
For my initial reaction, I would probably respond exactly the same as Elinor. I wouldn’t have said anything when Lucy made her declaration. But, I don’t think I could have kept it to myself for long; I probably would have blabbed to Mrs. Dashwood and Marianne all about it.

So there we have the first volume of Sense and Sensibility. What are your thoughts on the book so far?

-Miranda Atchley

First Line Fridays: On Love's Gentle Shore

Happy Friday, readers and friends! Since it’s the end of the week, it’s time for another Frist Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books.
This week I’m reading On Love’s Gentle Shore. Here’s the first line.

She’d thought it was safe to come back to the island. She’d thought it was safe to come home.
She’d been wrong.

I really enjoy Liz Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams series. PEI is at the top of my list of places I want to go to someday and this series gives a clear picture why. It just seems like such a beautiful, peaceful place.

So there’s the first line of my current read. What are you reading? What are some books with settings you’d like to visit someday?

-Miranda Atchley

April in Review

Though it was a long month, April seemed to zip by with alarming speed. It seems as though I say something entirely too often in my month-in-review posts, but it’s true that time really does fly. It’s been a rather quiet month in my world, as I’ve been working on my current novel. I did read a lot, though, and here’s a look at what that consisted of.

Books Read in April
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Once Upon A Prince
The Secret
The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Where Trains Collide
Murder at the Flamingo
The Innkeeper’s Daughter
The Sea Before Us
Where Two Hearts Meet
The Lost Castle
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
The Age of Innocence

I enjoyed nearly all the books I read this month. They were lovely reads. If I had to choose favorites, I would say Where Trains Collide, The Sea Before Us, Murder at the Flamingo, and The Girl in the Gatehouse would top the list. But it’s hard to choose, so I’ll just say that I loved them all.

Favorite Posts from April
First Line Fridays: The Girl in the Gatehouse
Lately 4.14.2018
A Sweet Romance with a Stunning Setting | Review: Where Trains Collide by Amber Stokes

Sadly, I did not get as much blogging done as I would have liked to. But, at least I did get some posts up, and I suppose that’s what matters most.

I hope April went well for you all, readers and friends. Thank you all so much for stopping by and reading this month.

-Miranda Atchley

The Best Novel of The Roaring '20s Since Gatsby | Review: You're The Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

by Jennifer Lamont Leo

About The Book

In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee’s the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart-presumed killed in the Great War-alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he’s not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing-especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she’s engaged, who keeps begging her to come home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store’s loading dock so late at night?

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee-the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

My Thoughts

Marvelous read! When I saw this book on Amazon, I knew it would be right up my alley. The 1920s is one of my favorite historical eras and I love seeing more of it in Christian fiction. Jennifer Lamont Leo spins a vibrant tale of the 1920s full of life and grace. While the author portrays the turbulence of the Jazz Age, with a world still grieving in the wake of WWI and a country littered with speakeasies during Prohibition, she doesn’t cross the line, leaving this a clean novel. Instead, she portrays a message of forgiveness, grace, and hope, which I love. Marjorie proved an endearing heroine that seemed like the kind of girl one would want to befriend. I rooted for Marjorie as she started a new life and made her own path in Chicago.

Overall, You’re The Cream in My Coffee is the cat’s pajamas. If you love clean, Christian romance with historical settings, give this book a try.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

A Magical New Book from a Favorite Author | Review: The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

by Kristy Cambron

About The Book

 Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.
Bridging the past to the present in three time periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

My Thoughts

I consider Kirsty Cambron to be one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her stories just work their way into my heart and I always thoroughly enjoy reading them. I was so excited when I heard about her new series set around castles. I love castles and I love Kristy Cambron, so it seemed like the perfect book for me. While I did enjoy this book, I didn’t love it the way I had expected to. I think the main reason for this was because of the three different story lines. It became somewhat overwhelming trying to keep up with three different stories and at times it just felt like there was too much going on. Plus, Aveline’s story didn’t seem to tie in with Viola and Ellie’s story very well. That said, I did enjoy the stories separately and the characters therein. I love the French setting and reading about the castle in its different states during the French Revolution, WWII, and present day as Ellie travels to France to uncover the truth behind the photo she found of her grandmother and a mystery man during the war. Viola was a very courageous heroine who’s story of love and loss was heartbreaking. And even though her story didn’t jump out at me the way Vi’s did, I still liked Aveline and found it interesting reading about her life at the castle during the French Revolution.

All in all, while this wasn’t my favorite book by Kristy Cambron, I still really liked The Lost Castle and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.