Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Book Review: Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard

 

A new series and a new beginning for a community of characters you'll look forward to getting to know is what you'll find in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard. 

When five maidels from the Morning Star community find an abandoned barn, they are sure an Amish marketplace in this location will prosper. After meeting with some resistance, the community agrees to pursue this endeavor to support another community need. None of them, however, could have imagined what happened next.

The new Morning Star Marketplace provides Regina Miller a chance to share her secret work with the world. Though Old Order Amish forbid the creation of art without a purpose, without a husband, Regina has been free to explore painting in her attic. When Gabe Fraud’s curiosity leads him to speculate that she is the painter, the full weight of the community’s judgment falls on Regina’s shoulders.

By questioning the Order’s restrictions in Regina’s defense, Gabe reveals his own guilty secret and is shunned along with her. Forced to turn to each other for companionship, they must learn to balance their own needs with their deep faith and, in the process, discover a love that shows them all things are possible.

I am happy to hear when Hubbard releases a new book. The first Maidels of Morning Star novel is a stellar offering in what I’m sure will be a superb series. It brings with it the trademarks of her work: a strong sense of community, female characters supporting their community and remaining true to themselves, and a tale of love and forgiveness. I admire authors who find their voice early on and can share that voice book after book with fresh new ideas that make each story engaging. Hubbard continues to excel in this arena, creating fabulous stories with characters you root for, you relate to, and want to see succeed. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book of the series.

Lovers of Amish fiction, inspirational romance, and stories about new beginnings will enjoy Morning Star.

Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1420145126
ISBN-13 : 978-1420145120 
Publisher : Zebra (July 28, 2020)

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall 2020 TBR



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Well, it certainly is feeling like fall around here, so this week's post is right on target. I'm pulling out my Kindle and looking through my stacks to see what's there. 

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2020 TBR













Will I get to all of these? Probably not, but I hope to polish off at least half of them. What's in your Fall 2020 TBR pile?

Top 5 Tuesday - Top 5… Fave Characters P-T



Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics. Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. For a list of September topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.

We are back for another Top 5 Tuesday. Continuing with this month's theme, we are looking at favorite literary characters. Sometimes it's easy for me, but sometimes I struggle. Let's see what this week looks like.

Top 5… Fave Characters P-T



The Amazing Spider-Man cover art by penciller Jack Kirby and inker Steve Ditko 

Peter Parker or Spider-Man joined the comic book world in 1962. Peter lived with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben after the death of his parents. He is bitten by a radioactive spider, which enhances his athletic abilities and allows him to cling to walls and ceilings. Peter then develops a gadget that allows him to shoot webbing. 

Unlike the typical superhero of the day, Peter is a teenager and self-centered. He refuses to stop a robbery, which would prove to be an error he would always regret, because that same criminal would later murder his Uncle Ben. As Spider-Man's first story closes, Peter reflects upon the horrible lesson he learned; a lesson that he would carry with him from that day forward. 



Panel from Spider-Man, Amazing Fantasy #15



Dr. Quinn, is such a cheater's way to approach this, but I'm really at a loss otherwise. Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman is a television series that aired from 1993 to 1998. Michaela Quinn is the daughter of a Bostonian physician, who answers an advertisement for a doctor to practice in Colorado Springs, CO. From the moment she arrives, she turns the town on its head, making enemies and friends along the way. The show became so popular, that a few tie-in books were written by two different authors. So, I guess it works.




Rue only appears in the first book of The Hunger Games series, but her impact lasted throughout the series. She is the youngest tribute in the 74th Hunger Games and from District 11. She finds Katniss trapped in a tree by the career tributes and points to a tracker jacker nest. Katniss cuts the tree branch and the nest falls on the career tributes, killing two of them. Rue cares for a sick Katniss, who was also stung by some tracker jackers. They become allies and make plans to destroy the careers' supplies. Unfortunately, Rue is killed after being trapped in a net set up by the careers. 

Determined to show the Capitol that Rue was more than just a part of their Games, she covers her body in flowers before bringing her fingers to her lips and raising her arm, a gesture signifying respect and admiration in Katniss' District 12. District 11 sends Katniss a loaf of bread as a sign of respect and appreciation. (In the movie, a riot breaks out after Rue's death.)

Katniss will mention Rue and their friendship more than once in future books, and it appears Rue's death propels Katniss in wanting to take revenge on the Capitol and make them pay for the dreadful Games where so many lives are lost.





Miss Stacy becomes Anne Shirley's teacher after Mr. Phillips leaves. She is Avonlea's first female teacher. Well liked and admired by her students, she employs more modern methods of teaching, which become popular with her students. Anne is immediately drawn to her and considers her an ally as Anne studies for her entrance exams at Queen's Academy.

It is possible, without Miss Stacy's influence, Marilla would have encouraged Anne to seek out a more traditional lifestyle for young women her age. Instead, she joins the class of scholars and, later in the series, goes on to teach at a private women's college.




We meet Mr. Tumnus in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. A male faun, he is the first Narnian Lucy Pevensie meets when she passes through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia. They become fast friends. 

When Mr. Tumnus invites Lucy to his home, he plans to lull her to sleep with his flute and bring her to the White Witch. He is, however, unable to go through with it and leads Lucy back to the wardrobe. Though Tumnus will pay the price for deceiving the White Witch, he takes the time to let Mr. Beaver know about Lucy and gives him the handkerchief Lucy originally gave to him so that she would know he is a friend. 

How do you like my list? Do we share any of the same favorites? What are some favorites I should add to my list?

Monday, September 21, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Sep 21



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

We are at Monday again. How is it the last full week of September already? I hope you had a nice weekend. I took the weekend off of real estate and finished decorating and cleaning--at least the first floor. The bonus room is still a mess. My office is in decent condition, since I can't work unless it's in some semblance of order. 

I'm eager to see the second edition of A Christmas Kindness come out this fall. This updated version will be released in softcover and hardcover. It will include extra content not found in the original, like: discussion questions, games, activities, and crafts. 

Between cleaning, decorating, and working on a large editing project, I haven't had much reading time. I managed to finish this latest release--the start of a new series--from Charlotte Hubbard. My review should appear this week.





These two will be reviewed soon.






I'm not sure what I will read next, but Karen White's book is on my list. 



I also picked up this one on Sunday via Kindle Unlimited.



It seems we are on the new Blogger. How do you like it? I'm not a fan yet. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Top 5 Tuesday - Top 5… Fave Characters K - O



Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics. Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. For a list of September topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.

Top 5… Fave Characters K - O


Katniss Everdeen is one tough young woman. She winds up the adult in her family and hunts to keep them fed. She volunteers as tribute to protect her younger sister, Prim. Without even trying, she becomes the face of a rebellion, and she will survive to spite them all.


Lois Lane might be Superman's love interest, but she is also an award-winning journalist for the Daily Planet. Intelligent and determined, she was one of the first female characters to appear in superhero comics. Lane has evolved over the years, but I remember the Lois from the 70s and 80s in her various comic book and TV show forms.



Moaning Myrtle is a former Ravenclaw student whose ghost haunts the second floor bathroom where she was killed by Tom Riddle. Bullied when she lived at Hogwarts because of her appearance, she returns after her death to seek revenge against her tormentor, Olive Hornby. Because Harry is kind to her, Myrtle develops a crush on him. It is one of the reasons she can't keep secrets from him. Though she annoyed a lot of people, Myrtle could be helpful from time to time. 




Nancy Drew, along with the Hardy Boys, introduced me to the world of amateur sleuths that I love to this day. The daughter of a lawyer, Nancy is clever, independent, and has a life filled with social activities, sports, and volunteering. She started solving mysteries as a teenager. 


I'm sure if I thought long and hard about it, I would find a character in a book for teens or adults that I love whose name begins with O. I simply didn't want to think about that because this big, blue octopus, voiced by Fred Savage on the TV series, is too adorable to ignore. My girls loved the adventures of Oswald, his dog Weenie, and his friends Daisy and Henry when they were little.

That's my list for this week. Hope you enjoy it.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Covers That Remind Me of Christmas



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I tried the new Blogger for this post. It didn't work. It wouldn't access any of my photos from the blog. So, I'm officially not trying it again until I have to. 😝

Jana really should be careful about freebies from now until the end of the year. Pretty much, 2020 has been one ridiculous mess after another, so I'm focusing on the only holiday that even the Pandemic Grinch won't ruin.

Top Ten Covers That Remind Me of Christmas


I loved this book! It's the story of Santa Claus. 



Hubbard has such great Christmas covers. They make me want to spend Christmas with her characters.



One of my favorite Christmas book covers and a fabulous story.


This story has nothing to do with Christmas, but the town being shut down by a blizzard in this cover really reminds me of Christmas. 


Small towns and snow always remind me of Christmas.


Wouldn't this be a pretty place to spend Christmas?



Clever to have the main characters inside a Christmas ornament.



I have to ask why orange on this cover? The Grinch is what reminds me of Christmas, but orange? 


Scrooge carrying Tiny Tim means Christmas.


This cover shows the true meaning of Christmas. 

What was your cover freebie today? 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Sep 14



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. Prayers go out to anyone in the Pacific Northwest who is impacted by these horrible fires. One of my author friends is sleeping with her clothes on tonight, their important belongings packed in case they need to evacuate. Gosh, I wish 2020 ushered in some relief and kindness for the last few months of the year.

My mind has been on many things, so Saturday was the first night I had a chance to sit down and read. I am halfway through this book.




I need to start this next one soon.





My review for this next one will appear at An Imperfect Christian Mom on September 30.




I picked up this one from the publisher's website.



I also saw Karen White posted on Facebook that she typed THE END on her latest Tradd Street book due out in 2021. So, now I really want to read the only book in that series I haven't opened yet.


I am determined to read more Christmas books this year. Wish me luck!