The ABC Book Challenge – T




This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp is a YA book centered around a school shooting. It’s theme is really relevant and even though some parts fell kind of flat for me, it was an intense read-in-one-sitting kind of book.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is one of my favorite classics. It follows a girl living in the slums through daily life and is definitely a reality check for the reader. If you want to get into classics this is the book to start with.

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick is set in Victorian London, which alone was enough to make me pick this up. I think Victorian mourning traditions are fascinating, and this book was basically a mystery that revolved around them.

To be read:


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris / A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini / Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Bare Your Bookshelf Book Tag

bare your bookshelf tag

Since I finally cataloged my books last year and now I’m trying to read through some of them with Beat the Backlist, it’s only right that I bare my bookshelf! This tag was originally posted on PaperFury and I last saw it at Tomes with Tea.

Book you own but haven’t read yet

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This made me laugh out loud. I have about 300 books I haven’t read yet, so I’ll list some of the most pressing reads: Crooked Kingdom, Every Breath, Caraval, The Night Circus, Witches, and Children of Blood and Bone.



A good friend absolutely loved the the Inn Boonsboro trilogy and brought all three for me to borrow. I fell in love with them too, so much so that I had to buy them! It’s been a couple of years now so I’m ready for a reread.



The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. She’s my absolute favorite writer and one day I’d love to own every book she’s ever written – I have 18 of them so far.

Book at the bottom of the TBR


I don’t really rank my books because I am the textbook definition of a mood reader. I guess something that I won’t be picking up anytime soon is the Song of Ice and Fire series because I’m currently watching the TV show.

Book with color in the title


Between Shades of Gray (recently renamed Ashes in the Snow) by Ruta Sepetys, Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein, and Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Book set somewhere you’d like to visit


I’d love to visit the UK someday!

Most collected author


My most collected author is actually Janette Oke at 18 books, but since I already talked about my massive Janette Oke collection a close second is Nicholas Sparks at 15.

Mismatched series


The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer is probably the most noticeable mismatched series I have. The first three books are the original cover and short, the next five are the updated covers and tall, and I still have four more to buy!

Book you love but don’t remember well


When this book came out I was SO. EXCITED. Alternate history where women are drafted and fighting in WWII? Yes, please. I read it in 2016 and never got a chance to buy the sequel so I can hardly remember what actually happened. It’s on my reread list for Beat the Backlist.


I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me! What’s on your bookshelf?

Review: A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham


Title: A Woman of War
 Mandy Robotham
Publication Date: December 7, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating:4.5 Stars

Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Führer himself, Anke Hoff is assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die.

Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the Nazi regime, Anke is swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known – and she discovers that many of those at the Berghof are just as trapped as she is. And soon, she’s falling for a man who will make her world more complicated still…

Before long, the couple is faced with an impossible choice – and the consequences could be deadly. Can their forbidden love survive the horrors of war? And, more importantly, will they?



A Woman of War is part historical fiction, part alternate history centered around a fascinating concept: what if Eva Braun had conceived a child with Hitler? Enter our main female character, Anke, a renowned midwife who was arrested for caring more about the children she was bringing into the world than the Nazi regime. She’s tasked with the impossible – bringing the child of the man who’s caused her and her beloved country so much heartache. 

As I read this book several things stuck out to me. First of all, I ADORE historical fiction and alternate history (although the alternate history I read is usually less nuanced, less delicate), especially when it’s set around WWII. There’s been a huge influx of WWII fiction lately – most of which centers around a strong female character – and while I’m not complaining, it is a bit easy for the stories to blend together in my head. A Woman of War made a mark because it tackled Anke’s life after the concentration camp rather than focusing on the horrors she faced while inside. The reader gets to see her pick up the pieces, strengthen herself, and move on. 

Second of all, the alternate history aspect of this was fantastic. The few alternate histories I’ve managed to read are far less subtle than this one. They involve magical elements or complete changes to regimes, countries, etc. A Woman of War focused on one simple thing. One tiny detail that, for all we know, could have happened! Mandy Robotham found a small ‘what if’ and wove a tale so believable that I found myself sinking into the story and forgetting that Eva Braun, as far as the world knows, never had a baby.

The last major thing that stuck out was the completely unashamed, accurate descriptions of childbirth. Mandy Robotham is a practicing midwife and paragraphs dedicated to bringing life into the world didn’t shy away or sugarcoat the act – think call the midwife, but a bit more graphic. That aspect of the book alone made it fascinating to read and, more importantly, contributed to the feeling that Hitler’s baby had actually come into the world. 

Anke was an intensely likable character and without giving anything away, I found her love interest a perfect match. The chemistry was a little rocky to me at first, but after they’d met a few times I was totally won over by the two of them. The supporting cast was all very well written in my opinion and I was thrilled to see that the SS officers weren’t over the top. It’s easy to turn a Nazi into a caricature, but that didn’t happen here.

I’ll be first in line to read anything else Mandy Robotham writes! 

4.5 Stars

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

The ABC Book Challenge – S




Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen is, in my opinion, the best book she’s written yet. Sydney, whose family is less than ideal, finds her home within the chaos of the Chatham family and begins a journey of self-discovery. It’s premise is similar to My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, and it’s definitely Sarah Dessen’s most mature read yet.

See Me by Nicholas Sparks is a love story between a man with a second chance and a woman who works too hard. Unlike a lot of other Nicholas Sparks books, there are a lot of thriller-y bits which made it even better than a classic cut and dry romance.

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols is about a girl with a deadbeat mom and a passion for flying. She ends up in a precarious position when her boss dies suddenly, leaving the business to his two sons. Books like this aren’t usually my type, but I loved it.

To be read:


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes / Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys / The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

The 20 Questions Book Tag!

20 questions book tag

I’ve had my nose to the grindstone all week working on The Brides of Blooming Grove Book 2 and school work, so I thought it would be fun to keep going with the get to know me style tags. This one’s about my reading preferences, but the last one I did was all about me!


How many books are too many in a series?

That’s a tough question because it really depends on the series and genre. If I had to pick I would probably say trilogies are the sweet spot. Just enough without overdoing and stretching the story line. There are always exceptions to the rule though, like Harry Potter and Bloody Jack.

How do you feel about cliff hangers?

I actually don’t mind them because 9.9 times out of 10, I’m reading the book so late that the next book in the series is already out. In the off chance that I have to wait for the next book in the series they help keep me interested. As an author I’m a HUGE HUGE fan of  having mini-cliff hangers at the end of each chapter so the reader wants to keep going!

Hardcover or paperback?

Either works for me. With the rare exception, I always buy paperbacks when I’m buying brand new books because they’re so much cheaper, but if I’m buying a box set or buying used I’ll just take whatever’s available. Big floppy paperbacks are the best!

Favorite book?

I could never narrow it down to just one! My *most recent* favorite book is Six of Crows, though. 

Least favorite book?

There aren’t any books that I particularly despise, but *most recently* I was pretty disappointed in Daughters of the War.

Love Triangles: Yes or no?

I definitely don’t seek love triangles out, but I usually don’t mind them if they pop up in a book I’m reading.

What’s the most recent book you couldn’t finish?

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz. I can’t remember the last time I DNF’ed a book because I’m pretty honed in to my reading tastes but I only got through the first ten pages.

What are you currently reading?

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham, and The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman. I’m in a reading slump right now and far more interested in watching TV than reading on my down time so progress is slow.

What’s the last book you recommended someone?

Six of Crows!

What’s the oldest book you’ve read?

According to Goodreads it’s the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (published in 1791), but I’ve read a TON of Shakespeare and classic literature that I’ve obviously forgotten to add to Goodreads. I want to say that Canterbury Tales is the oldest thing I’ve read.

What’s the newest book you’ve read?

A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews published on November 13, 2018.

Who’s your favorite author?

If I had to narrow it down to one I’d probably say Janette Oke, but I could name plenty of runner-ups!

Would you rather buy or borrow books?

Well, based on the astronomical number of books sitting on my shelf, I’d say buy. As I work through reading a chunk of the books on my shelf this year (thanks, Beat the Backlist!) I’m going to work on paring down my collection and transitioning over to borrowing more than buying. That’s the plan, anyway.

Is there a book you dislike that everyone else seems to enjoy?

The Maze Runner series for sure. I read it when I was a teenager and dystopian trilogies were being published left and right and it just didn’t entertain me the way the other series did. Maybe I was just burnt out on dystopians!

Do you prefer bookmarks or dog ears? 

I shouldn’t even justify this question with an answer. Bookmarks ALWAYS.

What’s a book you could always reread?

The Slow Burn series by Maya Banks, Harry Potter, anything by Janette Oke but especially the Love Comes Softly series, the Beautiful series by Jamie McGuire…. I could keep going forever.

Can you read while listening to music?

Only if it’s instrumental! I have a hard time focusing if the music has lyrics. Plus, my reading time is pretty exclusively right before I go to bed these days which means my brain is already done for so the less focus required to read the better!

Do you prefer one POV or multiples?

I’d say multiples, both as a reader and an author, as long as they’re done well. Two is my sweet spot but some authors (lookin’ at you, George R. R. Martin) can do a billion and make it work.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

It depends on how much time I have and how into the book I am, but I usually go for multiple days. 


Let me know if you’ve done the 20 questions tag so I can get to know you too!