March 3, 2015

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Ten

Oh look! Time for more bite-sized reviews! These were all stories I enjoyed, but didn't have enough to say that they warranted a full size review. (Except for A December Bride. But I didn't figure y'all wanted me to gush over and over "READ IT, READ IT, READ IT", so I refrained. ;) And now I'll stop the chitchat and just get straight to the books, shall I?

Match Made by Erynn Mangum
I recently mentioned The Lauren Holbrook stories because I love them so. Well, this is a continuation of the series! Only Ms. Mangum took Lauren herself and made her a secondary character. Which is not a bad thing at all! Lauren is living her happily ever after, but she's always ready to help others find theirs. This time it's Anne and she is a girl after my own heart. She's quiet and introverted, yet friendly and fun when you get to know her. She's also a bit lonely and watching Lauren and her friends take her under their wings and fill her life with friendships, coffee, dessert, and a certain handsome someone is just wonderful. The friendships in these books are my favorite aspect of the stories. This group of people just makes me wish they were real so I could go hang out with them! :) The only complaint I have? Is that now I'm so anxious for the next book and I still have several months to wait!!!

Making Faces by Amy Harmon
This one started out rather slow and the writing wasn't pulling me in very well. But a good friend recommended it, so I decided to keep going anyway. And I'm so glad I did! About halfway through, things picked up and the heart of the story really started shining. Ambrose is so broken by his experience and Fern is so sweet and wonderful that she breaks through his barriers without him meaning to let her. These two are so good for each other. But I can't forget Bailey! Because he's just awesome. The friendship between these three people makes such a big difference for each one. And isn't that what friendships should do for us? Change us and help us and open us up to the idea that people can have a huge impact on our lives?

22839422Prudence Pursued by Shirley Raye Redmond
I wasn't blown away by the story, I admit. But it was very sweet. And quirky! I mean, it begins with Prudence and her cousin Margaret getting ready to go to a pox party (to be vaccinated with cow pox, meant to prevent small pox). If that's not an interesting beginning... :) Prudence is on the shelf, as almost all of these sorts of heroines are, and she's quite happy there. But then she makes the acquaintance of Sir James, who is promised to Margaret. And over the course of them getting to know one another, and finding many things in common, they fall in love. Which is inconvenient since he's already taken! But in due course, all works out. It was pretty cute as they fumble their way to their happily ever after. If you need a quick read filled with sweet moments, try this one.

18221496A December Bride by Denise Hunter
I hadn't realized until I started this one that the main character is a sister to Beckett O'Reilly from Barefoot Summer! Which completely explains why I loved this story so much. (You don't need to read that one first, this stands alone quite well. But if you haven't read either, you should remedy that! :) Layla and Seth have some seriously great chemistry. I loved all their bantering and dancing around their attraction. Ms. Hunter fills her (too short! I want more!) story with a sweet romance that left me grinning happily by the final page. And then I turned around and read it over again. It was just that good! Definitely a keeper. Highly, highly recommend this one! READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!! ;)

March 2, 2015

Movie Quote Monday :: Edition Six

Jane: "Hey, um, I’m not going to report your aunt, so it was a little overkill to send you all the way here."
Henry: "She didn’t send me."
Jane: "Mr. Nobley, or whoever you actually are—"
Henry: "My name is Nobley. It’s Henry Nobley. I’m a history professor."
Jane: "Oh . . . that’s really nice . . ."
Henry: "I used to think that my aunt’s profession was somewhat grotesque, but the truth is I enjoyed stepping into history. The idea of a simpler world where love is straight forward and lasting. I believe we have that in common . . . But all of this is secondary to the fact that I am completely mad about you."
Jane: "Alright, well, you may have been mad about Ms. Erstwhile, but you don’t even know me—”
Henry: "You are Ms. Erstwhile. I saw you in the theatrical and you were horrifying."
Jane: "Whoa! Wait a minute! You were horrifying, I was . . . I wasn’t great—"
Henry: "My point exactly. Neither one of us is capable of pretending."
Jane: "Nobley, I just don’t think—"
Henry: "The night of the ball you said you wanted something real. I’d like to believe that I am real. Is it possible that someone like me could make you happy? Would you let me try?"
*heartstopping pause*
Jane: "No! See, people don’t do this . . . This is my fantasy . . ."
Henry: "Have you stopped to consider that you might have this all backwards? Jane, you are my fantasy."
*cue kissing scene*
Jane: "Tallyho?"
Henry: "Tallyho."
I love this final scene! Actually I just love this movie period. But this scene? And JJ Feild's smile? And Keri Russell's flustered surprise? And that kiss? And "Tallyho"? And just everything!!! *swoon* :D

February 28, 2015

The Literary Heroine Blog Party ~ 2015

I joined in this fabulous blog party a couple years ago and had so much fun! (And incidentally, it's where I "met" Hamlette, who is simply the coolest person ever! :) I was unable to participate last year, but this year is a different story. So here I am! Ready to make the rounds and see what everyone else has to share. {Although, nothing like getting involved on the very last day of the party! :/ I blame the snow.}

So! On to the questions, shall we? {There are several of them, and you know how I tend to get wordy, so beware the lengthiness of this post! Ye have been warned. Also! I did refer back to some of my answers from last time, so....}

1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!

I'm Kara. I'm a reader. (Obviously.) I moved back to my home state within the last year, after living 3000 miles away. And let me just say that the last year has been full of change! So it's made for a very interesting life. I'm happy to be back though, and closer to my mother who's health isn't that great. And I'm slowly finding my new normal. Which is good. :)

2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?

Someone who has enough quirks to make them feel real, who has a heart full of wonder and joy at the beauty of the world and the people in it, who goes through adversity and comes out stronger on the other side, and who has a story to tell that doesn't ever grow old. {Yes, same answer as before, but I think it bears repeating because it's true!}

3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.

Anne Elliot from Jane Austen's Persuasion

4. Five of your favorite historical novels?

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? 

I could mention Anne Elliot again, but I'll go with someone different just so you won't get bored with my answers. :) So, John Thornton from North and South it is! I know I gushed about him all during our January read-along, but seriously. This guy is amazing! I just love how steadfast he is. How much he loves Margaret and chooses to love her no matter who or what else may be against it. Margaret's rejection, his mother's scorn of Margaret, nothing will change his mind. He accepts how his heart has changed him and determines to love her always. The man is a swoonworthy hero if ever I saw one! I also love how much time we spend in his head, so that we truly come to know and understand his motivations and his heart. He's awesome! :)

{I know. He's a hero, not a heroine. But I just love him so much!}

6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?

I love Nicholas Higgins from North and South! He's so gruff and set in his ways, but he comes to know Margaret Hale and her family, as well as John Thornton, and he allows these people to help change him. Or at least to change his opinion and how he feels about life as a cotton mill worker. He and Thornton's slow building friendship is one of my very favorite aspects of the story. He's simply a good man.

I love that he takes Boucher's children in. And he's got a great head on his shoulders! I think that's what Mr. Thornton didn't realize about him at first. Nicholas has a very good sense of right and wrong. He also understands people really well. For all his rough talk, he sees what Margaret's heart is when she approaches he and Bessy about bringing them flowers when they first meet. And what he wanted to happen with the union was actually pretty smart. He was seeking ways to get masters and millworkers to work with one another. And he's honest and upright in all he does. You always know where you stand with him. Sometimes a little too well! :D But I think that's what Mr. Thornton finally saw and came to appreciate. {This passage is from my answer during the read-along.}

{Again with a hero. Sorry! Guess I've got North and South still on my brain.}

7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?

England, and I'd love to visit all of the significant Jane Austen spots.

8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?

Regency England

9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing… what is your act comprised of?

Preferably helping behind the scenes in some way. Not a spotlight sort of gal!

10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 

Anne Shirley. Not sure I could rock the red hair, but I'd love to attempt to use all the big words she loves! :)

11. Favorite author(s)? 

Impossible to list them all! But here's a few: Jane Austen, Katherine Reay, Erynn Mangum, Julianne Donaldson, Marissa Meyer, Serena Chase, Julie Klassen, Laura Frantz, Lisa McKay, L.M. Montgomery, Jennifer E. Smith, Megan Whalen Turner, Lindsey Leavitt, Melina Marchetta....and many, many more!

12. In which century were most of the books you read written?

The 21st century

13. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is…

I don't know about ultimate, but Captain Wentworth is definitely a favorite!

14. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... 


15. Describe your ideal dwelling place.

My only requirement is to have space for lots and lots of books. :)

16. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.


17. Three favorite Non-fiction books?

Love at the Speed of Email by Lisa McKay
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Front of the Class by Brad Cohen

18. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?

With a good book, of course! :)

19. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.

Oh goodness, I have no idea. I don't wear hats. Although I admit that I admire them on others. The biggest requirement, I suppose, is that it be comfortable. I am all about wearing comfy things, people! :)

20. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.

Moving! Trust me when I say that change is never easy and after living away from home for 12 years, moving back again has been a major change.

21. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

"There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there..." Hosea 2:15 amp

February 24, 2015


That's an old picture, by the way. It's so snowy and cold around here, I wanted to remind myself of happier climes. Like California where the almond blossoms are in full bloom and glorious!! *sniff sniff* I miss those almond blossoms. :(

Okay! Just a little update for you lovely people. I know your feeds/inboxes have gotten several posts from me this week and I do apologize. All the crazy snow we had last week kept me homebound a lot. Which meant that I had lots of time for reading. I read six books last week, y'all. SIX!!! I was on a role, wouldn't you say? After having been in a reading slump for what felt like years (but which in case of fact, was really only a few months), it was so much awesomeness to fall back into reading again! And that also means I finally got to a few books I've had for review for....well, I refuse to admit how long they've been at my house. So that means review time! But the major ones are all done now, so I'll probably go back to my sluggish posting again. ;)

I trust all of you are doing well and if you're homebound by snow/ice/cold/whatever winter weather you have, I hope you've had some delightful reading time! Meanwhile, I'm off to see how much more I can whittle down my TBR. (Which won't be much because you know that for the six that got taken off of it, probably twenty more got added. ;)


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