Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Never Forget by Jody Hedlund



Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Never Forget

Author: Jody Hedlund  

Genre: Historical Romance  

Release Date: January 4, 2017  

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island  

June 1880  

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

My Thoughts 

Let me start by saying that I have only read the prequel novella to this series and I haven't had a chance to read any of the others, so this was the first book in the Beacons of Hope series that I read. I did enjoy it and the characters although there were a couple of things that happened towards the end of the book that I didn't like.

I loved Abbie and how she cares for her Gramps and the lighthouse. I also loved how she is willing to do anything in order to makre sure she can keep her Gramps on Rose Island, even it means deceiving someone. I also really liked Nathaniel, especially towards the end when he starts to grow as a character. It was also interesting to see how both characters have a past that they are afraid will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I also like how they both have to learn that it is only by God's grace that they are able to prevent themselves from spiraling downward and that they are not their parents.

While I liked the plot and the whole premise of it surrounding a lighthouse, there were a few things that I didn't like that happened in the last few chapters because I feel like they were added in to increase the number of pages and to cause more unnecessary drama. Although they made sense in the end, I felt like it still could have been left out. But I still liked it all the same, it was a cute romance and I am looking forward to checking out the rest of this series. I am giving this book 3.5/5 Stars. 

About the Author


Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.


Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?

By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.

Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.  

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.

If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!  

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?
 

Blog Stops

January 10: Karen Sue Hadley
January 10: Bookworm Mama
January 11: Faithfully Bookish
January 12: Genesis 5020
January 13: The Scribbler
January 14: Daysong Reflections
January 14: Blogging With Carol
January 16: A Greater Yes
January 16: Bigreadersite
January 18: Book by Book
January 19: Carpe Diem
January 19: Splashes of Joy
January 20: Stuff and Nonsense
January 21: Radiant Light
January 21: cherylbbookblog
January 22: Neverending Stories
January 22: A Path of Joy
January 23: Henry Happens
January 23: Onceuponatime

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ad6d

Monday, January 9, 2017

Library Haul #4

I went to the library last week and checked out a few books. I might be crazy and I have no idea if I will have a chance to read all of these, but here are the books that I checked out:

1. Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly
I finally got my hands on a copy of the final installment of the Waterfire Saga. I am excited to find out what happens next, but I am also sad to see these characters go. When I finish it I will be doing a series of reviews on each of these books.

2. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket 

This is the second book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think I have read it before, but it has been a long time. Since I am planning on reading the whole series this year I decided to pick this up so I can read it as soon as I finish the first book.

3. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen 

I decided to pick this book up because I wanted to read another Sarah Dessen book. It sounded really interesting because it is about a girl who lives under her brother's shadow but when he is arrested she is forced to become her own person. She also meets another family that she wishes to belong too. I've heard that the writing is beautiful and it is somewhat psychological so I am looking forward to giving it a try.

4. Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck 

I've had my eye on this book for a while because it deals with Indian mythology. It is set during the summer and the main character ends up in India and has to break a 300-year-old curse and her companion is a white tiger. It just sounds great and I am looking forward to picking it up soon!

5. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

I have been wanting to read another one of Jennifer E. Smith's books every since I read This Is What Happy Looks Like last summer. Her books just seem to be cute, contemporary romances and something to read if you want something light and fluffy.

I am looking forward to giving each of these a try and I am looking forward to more trips to the library this year.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. Please feel free to like The Scribbler Facebook page, follow me on Twitter (@Jlc0904Janelle) and/or Instagram (jazzyjan101). 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter 2017 Biannual Bibliothon TBR

Last year I took part in a couple of read-a-thons and I really want try and take part in some more of them this year, so when the dates for the Winter 2017 Biannual Bibliothon I knew that this had to be the first read-a-thon that I take part in. The Bibliothon will be taking place from January 8th-14th.

1. Read the group read: Stalking Jack the Ripper
2. Read a 2016 new release
3. Read a book a BookTuber recommends
4. Read a book you were excited for but never picked up
5. Read a retelling
6. Read a diverse book
7. Throwback challenge from previous bibliothons - I decided to pick the Wildcard/ free book challenge from the Summer 2016 Biannual Bibliothon

1. Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 
This is the group read for the Biannual Bibliothon and it sounds really interesting. It will also fulfill challenge #1.

2. Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh 

I'm already about 150 pages into this book, but I have put it aside to read a couple of other books. This will fulfill challenges 2 and 5.

3. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige 

I am using this to fulfill challenges 3 & 4. This was recommended by Hailey over at Hailey in Bookland in her Fairy tale retellings recommendations video.

4. The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

This will fulfill challenge number 6 because the lead character is a person of color as well as written by a person of color. And I've also just heard really good things about this book from friends that have already read it.

5. Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

This will be my wildcard book because I need to finish it before January 13th. I have already started it and plan on it being the first book I finish for the Bibliothon. 

These are the five books that I plan on reading for the Bibliothon, however I don't know if I will get through all of these.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. Please feel free to like The Scribbler Facebook page, follow me on Twitter (@Jlc0904Janelle) and/or Instagram (jazzyjan101).


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge

Image result for Around the Year in 52 Books
I found this image on Google, but I don't know who the owner is. 


Several days ago I heard about this challenge in which there are 52 categories and the goal is to read at least 52 books, each one fulfilling a different category. This sounds really cool, and it isn't as hard as I thought it would be, I already know most of the books I am going to read in order to fulfill various categories, but I don't want to put it down on this list because those might change. The categories are:
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 (link)
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E" 
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list
10. A dual-timeline novel
11. A category from another challenge
12. A book based on a myth
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list (link)
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books (link)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
33. A magical realism novel
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee (link)
37. A book you choose randomly
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold)
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next" (link)
45. A book with a one-word title
46. A time travel novel
47. A past suggestion that didn't win (link)
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) 
52. A book set in a fictional location

I think most of these challenges are doable and I am hoping to complete all of these challenges by the end of the year. At the end of June I will do an update as to how many of these challenges I have completed and which books I have used to complete them. 

If you would like to find out more about this challenge click here. 

Happy Reading,
Janelle L.C.

P.S. Please feel free to like The Scribbler Facebook page, follow me on Twitter (@Jlc0904Janelle) and/or Instagram (jazzyjan101) 

Monday, January 2, 2017

What I Read in December 2016

December ended up being another great reading month which made up for the reading slump that I had in September and October. Here are the books I read in December:
1. A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck 

This was a cute read although it was hard to get into at first, especially since I haven't read the rest of the series. But this was definitely a nice romantic Christmas read. Click here to read my full review. 3.75/5 Stars

2. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
This was an okay book but it came across as a hodgepodge of different ideas and the plot was hard to follow at times. I will have a longer review up soon. 3/5 Stars.

3. As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
The plot sounded intriguing but there were several places where it was weakly executed. I liked it but I was still disappointed in it because this book had a lot of potential. I will have a longer review up soon. 3/5 Stars.

4. The Thousandth Floor by  Katharine McGee
This was an okay book, but I'll be honest, I only read it for the futuristic parts of it. Reading books about teenagers drinking and partying is not my thing and if it wasn't for the fact that it was set in the future I probably would have stopped reading it. However, the prologue also kept me reading - I had to find out how it ended. 3/5 Stars.

5. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
I loved this book, Marissa Meyer did not disappoint. I loved how it was a blend of the original elements and some Tim Burton-esque elements and I need more stories set in Hearts! 4.5/5 Stars

6. A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury
This was a cute, Christmasy read and it was nice to revisit the Baxter Family who I've been reading about for over 7 years. However there were some plot holes in reference to the previous books about them and it was somewhat predictable. 3/5 Stars

7. Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
This was another cute, Christmasy read and it only took me a few hours to read it. I loved the idea of two strangers having to share a rental car, even though it isn't really realistic. I will definitely be reading more of Debbie Macomber's Christmas novels next year. 4/5 Stars.

8. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
After reading Heartless I decided it would be interesting to reread Alice in Wonderland and see all the various elements that Marissa Meyer used. I loved rereading this absurdly fantastic childhood classic. 5/5 Stars.

9. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
This is the first book by Danielle Paige that I have read and it was good, but I never got sucked into the book - I felt kind of indifferent the whole time I was reading it. It is a Snow Queen retelling and I liked all the different elements that came into play even though it was still its own story. 3.5/5 Stars

10. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 

This sequel to Illuminae was fantastic. Once again I loved the action and just everything that happens in the book. It had me on the edge of my seat until the very end and I can't wait to get my hands on Book 3 next year. 5/5 Stars

Those are all the books I managed to read in December, I don't know how much I will get to read in January because I start my last semester of university and I am still working on my Senior Thesis. On Wednesday I will have a post about the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bookmas Day 12: Countdown of the Top 12 books I read in 2016

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is a great year for you all. I thought a good first post for  2017 is my Top 12 books from 2016:

12. Sandy Toes by Robin Jones Gunn

11. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

10. Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

9. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 

8.Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

7. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

6. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

5. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

4. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

3. Heartless by Marissa Meyer 

2. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

1. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

There were several other books that I really enjoyed and this list was hard to compile. But these are the books that I loved and had an impression on me this year. If you would like to check out my year in reading, GoodReads has compiled a cool graphic of the books I have read and some stats based on that, click here if you would like to check it out! Here's to another great year of reading!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.