Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Shine Like the Dawn



 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Shine Like the Dawn  

Author: Carrie Turansky  

Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

My Thoughts

This is the first book I have read by the author, Carrie Turansky, and I loved it! I love anything to do with the Victorian and Edwardian time periods and this book was great! 

First, the plot was fantastic. It was both about redemption and forgiveness, however there was also intrigue and tension throughout the novel that had to be resolved. I loved how it dealt with the growth of industrialism during this time period. There were even certain elements that reminded me of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South while dealing with this topic. I also liked the mystery that was solved throughout the novel and how it eventually was solved. 

I loved the characters in the this novel, except Helen Harcourt because she is just awful the majority of the novel. Maggie was a great character and I enjoyed seeing her wrestle with her doubts about the existence of God after the death of her parents. I also enjoyed getting to know Nate and one fact I enjoyed is that he fought in the Boer War - this is a war that doesn't get mentioned a lot in novels, but having grown up in South Africa and learning about this war it was great to see someone reference it in a novel! :) I also liked that Nate was caring and did what he had to do in order to do what was right. I also liked the other side characters in this novel and how there were several other story lines that were threaded together throughout the novel. 

I also appreciated how the novel included references to God without being preachy or even not dealing with Him at all. I thought it was tasteful and definitely showed why this book is considered Christian historical fiction. 

I am giving this book 4/5 Stars because I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading more works by Carrie Turansky in the future. 

About the Author


CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.







Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

By Carrie Turansky


One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.



Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name. 1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally. The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.



Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.

Like to my Facebook Author page:/https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews
February 21: Bookworm Mama
February 22: Book by Book
February 23: Bibliophile Reviews
February 23: Smiling Book Reviews
February 23: A Readers Brain
February 23: Faithfully Bookish
February 23: Lane Hill House
February 24: Back Porch Reads
February 24: The Scribbler
February 24: I Hope You Dance
February 25: Stuff & Nonsense
February 25: The Power of Words
February 25: A Greater Yes
February 26: cherylbbookblog
February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 26: Splashes of Joy
February 27: Genesis 5020
February 27: inklings and notions
February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 28: Karen Sue Hadley
February 28: Neverending Stories
March 3: Pause for Tales
March 3: Mary Hake
March 4: Radiant Light
March 6: Baker Kella

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

Friday, February 10, 2017

January Owlcrate Unboxing: Classic Remix


I love Owlcrate, this is my third box I have received and I love everything that comes in it. The theme for this month was Classic Remix and I loved everything in it. Here are all the items that were in this box:

On the bottom right hand corner is a picture of the spoiler card that comes with every box. The bottom middle picture is of the other side of the spoiler card.

In the bottom left hand corner is a loose-leaf tea that was inspired by The Little Prince. It is a mint and rose herbal tea that was made by the First Edition Tea Co., and I believe it might have been exclusively made for this Owlcrate box.

On the middle right I received a book-shaped soap and it has a white tea and berries scent. It was made by TeaSoapBooks and it was inspired by The Secret Garden.

In the middle of the middle row is a picture of the pin that now comes in each Owlcrate and it says "The Owlcrate Theater."

On the middle left is a Phantom of the Opera magnet that was designed and made by Sweet Sequels. It's so pretty!

On the top right hand corner was a desk calendar made and designed by Obvious State. Each month has a different image from a different children's classic and a quote from that book.

The top middle is a watercolor bookmark that was designed exclusively for this month's Owlcrate by Lexy Olivia. On it was a quote from Slaughterhouse Five, which I have not read, but it is a really pretty books mark. 
And finally, this month's book was RoseBlood by A.G. Howard, which is a Phantom of the Opera retelling. It also came with a letter from the author and a signed book plate. I don't know a whole lot about the book except that it is kind of an urban fantasy. Here is the summary from Goodreads: 

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera. 

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

These are all the items I received in Janaury's Classic Remix Owlcrate, if you would like to know more about how Owlcrate works, click here

I hope you enjoyed this unboxing and I hope to do more in the future! 

Happy Reading, 
Janelle L. C. 

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :) 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Library Haul #6

So I accidentally deleted half of the Library Haul #5 post, even though it had already been posted... so instead I decided to make this Library Haul #6 which includes the books that I renewed that were in my last haul and three new books that I got the other day. Here are the books that I got:



1. First & Then by Emma Mills
I've heard about this book several times on BookTube and the cover was really pretty and I was in the mood to pick up some more contemporary novels. First & Then is about a girl named Devon who is content to cheer on the football team from the bleachers and has a crush on her best friend. However her life is soon turned upside down when her cousin, Foster and the star running-back Ezra are in her P.E. class and soon they start ending up being apart of more aspects of her life. It sounds really interesting, especially since it sounds like it has a Pride and Prejudice kind of romance in it.

2. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Just Listen is about Annabel who is a model, but then she has a falling out with her best friend, Sophie, and some horrible rumors are spread about her. She then becomes friends with Owen who is obsessed with music and he is a former bad-boy. He isn't afraid to tell her the truth when she needs to hear it and he wants to help her face the facts about what ended her friendship with Sophie.

3. The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan 
I had never heard of this book before, but I was looking for another book and this title just jumped out at me as I was scanning the shelves. Since one of the challenges for Around the Year in 52 books is to pick a random book, I think this definitely counts as random. But after I checked it out and read the summary, it also sounds very interesting. Lena wants to learn how to surf but her father doesn't want her to because he almost drowned several years before the novel. However, something draws Lena to the water and one day she see a woman with a tail. Lena does whatever she can to try and catch a glimpse of the mermaid again, even if it means putting her own life in danger. She also sees something in "the mermaid's mirror" that will change her life forever.

4. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
This is the 3rd book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I have already read it and enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

5. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill 
Ever the Hunted is fantasy YA novel about a girl named Britta whose father was killed and she is forced to live in the Ever Woods. She starts poaching and is caught and in order to gain her freedom she must find her father's killer. It sounds interesting, I don't know a whole lot about it because I don't want to be spoiled, but I do know that it has gotten god ratings on GoodReads.

6. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Wayfarer is the sequel to Passenger (which I read last year). It picks up where Passenger ends and it is also wraps things up in the duology. Again, I don't know a whole lot because I want to go into it without knowing too much, and I also don't want to spoil Passenger for those who still want to read it. I plan on doing a review on Wayfarer when I finish reading it.

Those are all the books I checked out of the library this month and I am looking forward to reading each of these.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@Jlc0904Janelle) and Instagram (jazzyjan101). And don't forget to like The Scribbler Facebook page! :) 

Friday, February 3, 2017

What I Read in January

It has been a few weeks since my last post and that is partly due to school. This semester is going to be a busy one, especially until March, but I am determined to keep up with posting starting from this week.
This month was a pretty good reading month until school started and I have no idea how much I will be able to read in February (besides books for school), but I am going to try. Here are the books I read in January:

1. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
I buddy read this with my friend Allison and we both loved it! It was a really good book and there were several twists that happened that I wasn't expecting. The ending was heart-wrenching and I can't wait to read the rest of the series soon. 4/5 Stars.

2.  The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket 
I flew through this book and it was a great reread, especially since the TV series just came out. There were a couple of things that bugged me as an adult, but I still think it is a great series and I can't wait to read the next book. 3/5 Stars.

3.  Crimson Dagger by Morgan Rhodes 
This is a prequel story to Falling Kingdoms involving Magnus. I really enjoyed it and I am kind of hoping that it somehow the other characters end up in the series. 4/5 Stars.

4. Never Forget by Jody Hedlund 
I enjoyed this sweet romance that takes place against the backdrop of a lighthouse in Rhode Island. I do want to go back and read the rest of the books in this series, although they can be read as stand-alones. I was part of a blog tour a few weeks ago for this book, click here if you would like to read more of my thoughts. 3.5/ 5 Stars.

5.  Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh 
I had very high expectations for this book and they kind of fell flat, however once I got to the second half of the book I really enjoyed it! I loved looking for the Pride and Prejudice allusions against this interesting setting. I will have a longer review up soon. 3.75/5 Stars

6. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 
I read this because the group read for the Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and I love anything to do with the Victorian Age, especially since it is dealing with a female forensic scientist. However, this book was a let down and I am still kind of in a reading slump because of this book. I think I had to many expectations and they weren't met. 3/5 Stars.

7. The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture by Rene Pache 
I had to read this for a Theology class that I am taking and I liked, however I had skim through most of it because of deadlines, but the parts that I did read really good and I feel like he deals with a very important issue surrounding Scripture. 4/5 Stars.

8. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
I read this for my Detective Fiction class and it was pretty good. There was one section where there is a major side story that ends up being connected to the case, but I feel like it could have been shorter. This was a great introduction to Sherlock Holmes (I have read some of the short stories) and I am looking forward to reading more of his stories. 4/5 Stars.

Those are all the books I read in January. I have no idea how many books I will read in February, but I am determined to read at least two books that aren't required for school.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.