Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday Post - 11/27/22

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday I took the boys to the doctor. Little Boy had 103 temperature when we got there. Baby Boy was 101.5. They both tested negative for the flu which is what I thought they had. Little Boy was clear for his throat and ears, but Baby Boy's throat was so red the doctor decided to run a strep test. That was also negative. His ears had some fluid in them, but the fluid wasn't infected yet. The doctor gave us a prescription to keep his ears from getting infected. But we spent the next few days with fever, coughs, and runny noses. Thankfully, everyone was well enough to visit family for Thanksgiving Day. We went to Georgia to Husband's sister's. It was a wonderful day full of good food and good company. Friday morning I did some online shopping. Husband had to work a few hours, and then we went to Troy. My cousins had a big reunion meal. They own a farm and so the kids got to feed the goats and chickens. We went on a hayride which was better than any pumpkin patch we've been to. It was so good to see family members that we just don't get to see often. Many of these family members I grew up with and were close to until everyone grew up and got married. Saturday, we started decorating for Christmas. There's still more to do, but it's a start.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Second Blind Son (Chronicles of Saylok, # 2) by Amy Harmon (4 Stars)
Friday: 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Belle of Bellgrave Square (Belles of London, # 2) by Mimi Matthews
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

No new books this week.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, November 25, 2022

2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up

Time for our Monthly Wrap Up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Sandy finished Holding the Line (Love Along the Wires, # 3) by Jennifer Delamere. Holly hasn't finished any series enders this month.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the November giveaway runs from November 25th - December 23rd. On December 23rd we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a grand prize winner.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Second Blind Son - Review

The Second Blind Son (Chronicles of Saylok # 2)

By: Amy Harmon

Publication: July 20th 2021 by 47North

448 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--An insidious curse is weakening the Norse kingdom of Saylok, where no daughters have been born in years. Washing up on these plagued shores is Ghisla, an orphaned stowaway nursed back to health by a blind cave dweller. Named for a mysterious god, the boy, Hod, is surrounded by prophecy. To Ghisla, he’s a cherished new friend. To Hod, the girl is even more so. For when Ghisla sings, Hod can see.

Unable to offer safe shelter, Hod urges Ghisla onward to become a daughter of the temple, where all the kingdom’s girl children have been gathered. But because of a magical rune, the two cannot be separated, no matter the time or the distance.

Now, subject to a ruthless king, Ghisla enters a desperate world of warring clan chieftains and catastrophic power struggles. Who among them can be trusted is unknowable. So are the sacrifices Ghisla and Hod must make to defeat the cursed forces that could destroy a kingdom and the fated bond between two souls.

A lost girl and a blind boy discover their greatest strength is their bond with each other in a beguiling fantasy by the New York Times bestselling author of The First Girl Child.

Amy Harmon has written multiple books that I've rated 5 Stars. She is an author that I almost always want to read. Her characters are always deep and full of life. And her stories are beautiful, each in their own way. One thing I've noticed about her books is that the pacing isn't always the best for me. Her stories always seem to get me invested, but they aren't always quick to do so. And that doesn't make her pacing bad. Because most of the time, I end up thinking they're nearly perfectly done. The problem lies with me. I've struggled to find the amount of time to read that I would like to have. And so I often gravitate toward books that will hook me early and not let me go. The Second Blind Son did have a slow start for me. And I actually put it down more than once in favor of reading something else. I believe after 30% or so I felt invested enough not to want to put it down in favor of anything else.

The Second Blind Son overlaps in time with The First Girl Child for most of the book. Some events even get repeated, simply from a different perspective.

Hod is the older half brother of Bayr from The First Girl Child. Hod's mother is sick and dying and comes to the Keeper's Temple to receive a blessing for her son. Master Ivo does bless him and sends him to the Cave Keeper, Arwin, to learn and to wait. Hod has rune blood, and Arwin trains him to use his other senses to be able to defend himself and more. Arwin and thus Hod believe his path is to one day also become a keeper. But that changes for Hod when Ghisla washes up on his shore.

Ghisla is a Songr. Her home was plagued and she was essentially the only one to survive. She got on a boat, but was swept overboard during a storm. Ghisla also has rune blood and her songs bring sight to Hod. Not sight like his eyes suddenly work, but when she sings he can see what she's describing, sometimes her memories, sometimes just whatever she sees. The two form a pretty quick connection to one another. Each is the other's only friend.

Like Bayr and Alba from book 1, Ghisla and Hod spend most of the book separated. There are years that go by without them even seeing each other. This makes the story feel like it's dragging a little, yet it also makes the events feel more real, more desperate. The distance between the characters brings life to the pages.

Favorite quotes:

-The moment an exception was made, the rule ceased to exist.

-"Arwin says the pain will become strength if we embrace it," he said.

-"There is no liar as skilled as pain. Pain will say anything to save itself."

-She did not want to do great things. She wanted a place to lay her head and a family to love her. She wanted a friend and a fire and a song that would make the ache go away.

-It looked like fear and fondness, an odd combination. Mayhaps it was fear of fondness....

-And yet she kept on singing, and he kept on listening, doing his best to shoulder her sorrow and speak relief to her soul.

The Second Blind Son gets 4 Stars from me. It had a slower start than I prefer, but that was necessary to establish the characters and their backgrounds enough to allow the story to flow as it should. Once I got to about 30%, I was hooked. And Amy Harmon always finds a way to make her stories beautiful. I look forward to more. I hope it will be Elayne and Aidyn. Have you read The Second Blind Son? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunday Post - 11/20/22

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a more normal week. Tempatures have dropped here below freezing a few days, but thankfully it warms to the mid-to-upper 50s by midday. Tuesday it rained all day. And that was frustrating to not be able to get outside like we normally do, but Husband got my curtains hung in the bedroom. And I hung a few picture frames on the walls. Things are really starting to come together. I finished painting the last interior door casing. I'm not quite done with all painting, but we're really down to the piddly stuff now. Thursday, Little Boy had a terrible day with behavior. I kept my calm all day, but man was it challenging. He was so disrespectful and throwing fits any time I told him something he slightly didn't like. Baby Boy had an ear check with the doctor. Ears were all clear, but the doctor said he did hear some congestion. I told him that I'd noticed him coughing and worried he might be getting sick again. If he ends up with another ear infection, he's going to refer us to an ENT for tubes. Friday was a much better day for Little Boy, but we still had a couple of moments of bad behavior. After dropping the big kids off at school I ran to the grocery store. Usually I do grocery pick up but I wanted to be able to pick my own substitutions if necessary since Thanksgiving is this coming week. Saturday, Baby Boy woke up with a fever and a runny nose. So here we go again. I had to take Little Girl to basketball evaluations and by the time we got back Little Boy was also running a fever. The boys slept most of the afternoon, and Husband stayed home with them while Little Girl and I went to a going away party for some friends of ours from Korea. They're moving back to Korea on the 29th. Happy Thanksgiving week to all of our US friends.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of In Honor's Defense (Hanger's Horsemen, # 3) by Karen Witemeyer (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Second Blind Son (Chronicles of Saylok, # 2) by Amy Harmon
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

Crossed Lines (Love Along the Wires, # 2)

By: Jennifer Delamere

Publication: August 3rd 2021 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Emma Sutton knows she should be satisfied with her position at London's Central Telegraph Office. But ever since she was orphaned young, she's longed for a family of her own. Things look up when a handsome engineer is thrown into her orbit and he sends Emma the love note of her dreams.

Mitchell Harris's sharp wit and facility with a pen have enabled him to thrive despite serious obstacles. That the woman of his dreams works just one floor above his should make life perfect. But a childhood accident has left Mitchell convinced he'll never draw a woman like Emma Sutton's attention. When his best friend--who once saved his life--falls in love with Emma, too, and asks for help writing her love letters, Mitchell is torn between desire and loyalty.

Believing the writer of the letters is the answer to her prayers, but confused over her growing attraction to Mitchell, Emma's heart must decide where to call home.

A Heart Worth Stealing

By: Joanna Barker

Expected Publication:

288 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Sowerby, England, 1802

Miss Genevieve Wilde—a magistrate’s daughter and independent heiress—is determined to meet life’s challenges all on her own, just as her late-father had taught her. So when her father’s pocket watch is stolen, she will do anything to get it back, especially when the local authorities prove incompetent.

Upon reading an advertisement in the paper, she takes a chance and contacts a thief-taker to find the watch. It’s a choice Ginny regrets when former Bow Street officer Jack Travers arrives on her doorstep. He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.

But after Ginny discovers that the missing watch is just a small part of a larger, more frightening plot against her, she needs Jack’s help more than ever. To protect her home and her reputation, the two enter into a risky charade—pretending Jack is her cousin so he can begin his investigation, starting with the household staff. As they work together to unravel the mystery, Ginny finds herself falling fast for her charismatic thief-taker, leaving her heart in just as much danger as her life.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Monday, November 14, 2022

In Honor's Defense - Review

In Honor's Defense (Hanger's Horsemen, # 3)

By: Karen Witemeyer

Publication: June 7th 2022 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life--for respect, for country, and most recently, for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he's left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nate, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she'd have.

When Nate stumbles into the path of the rustlers Luke is tracking, Luke acts to protect him and winds up gravely injured. Feeling indebted, Damaris nurses Luke back to health. But suspicions grow regarding the death of her brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.

I can't say why I put these books off. I enjoyed book 1 and was excited about continuing the series. If I'd had book 2 immediately, I probably would have read it immediately. But time dimmed my excitement to return to the series, so I put off reading book 2. And even though I enjoyed it as well, I only finished reading it right before book 3 released. I knew I would want to read the third book eventually, but I didn't want to jump into it immediately. So I put it off. Now that I try to analyze it, I wonder if the mystery is what puts me off. I know the entire book isn't dedicated to the love story but also to some mystery or bad guy that has to be addressed. And something about the book description for this particular book just had me putting on the breaks.

I guess, ultimately, I'm glad that I waited to read this book when I did because it spurred me out of a reading slump. I went from not reading at all, and not even having much desire to do so, to devouring this book within a couple of days. Considering how busy real life is right now, that was a feat.

Luke is the Horseman the group calls Preach. That's because he's always reciting Bible verses. But Luke doesn't have a cheery past. His mother left when he was ten, and his father was an abusive drunk. The faith Luke found when he was in the army, as well as the brothers that adopted him as their own, gave him purpose. But now his fellow horsemen are settling down, and Luke feels adrift. He takes a solo job that brings him to Maris and Nate.

Demaris is used to being overlooked. She has been deemed a spinster and sent to be the companion to her aunt. Her older brother was the only one who could pull her out of her shell. And when he dies, leaving his fourteen year old son an orphan, Demaris steps in to raise him so he can stay on the property his father and mother are buried on. But Nate is an angry teen and blames their neighbor for his father's death. As a result, Nate has been pulling nightly pranks. Things like hacking up a garden, leaving snakes in various places, etc. He doesn't realize that he's about to stumble into real danger.

Luke has been hired by the Baxter's neighbor to find the rustlers and missing cattle they've been stealing. And Mr. Grimes is set on blaming Nate Baxter for his missing beeves since Nate has been a nuisance. One night when Luke is keeping watch, the rustlers appear attempting to steal another cow when Nate accidentally stumbles upon them in an attempted prank on Mr. Grimes. Luke saves Nate from the rustlers but ends up with multiple stab wounds. And Nate gets Demaris to transport Luke to their home and nurse him back to health.

Of course, Luke and Demaris begin to form a relationship, and Luke even sees himself in Nate, and he takes him under his wing. I won't give any more details than that about the plot or twists. But even though I wasn't sure I would like this storyline, I actually did. Mary Whitmeyer does a great job of establishing characters you can't help but root for. Even Nate, with all his anger and teenage acting out, was easy to feel sorry for and hope he could overcome his grief.

Favorite quotes:

-Invisible people rarely received correspondence.

-To be chosen for herself--it was the secret desire of her heart. To be important to someone. More than a glorified servant who fetched and carried and entertained at her aunt's whim. To be wanted truly for herself. Seen instead of invisible. Valued instead of tolerated.

--...one who'd rather rail at the world for dealing him a raw hand than actually do anything to make it better.

-"Your aunt's not the kind of woman to choose what's easy over what's right," Luke said.

-"Contentment isn't chained to a certain set of circumstances, Luke. It's portable. You can take it with you wherever you go."

I'm so glad that I picked In Honor's Defense up when I did. This book was exactly what I needed to spur me out of a deep reading slup--one of the worst I've been in for years. Luke and Demaris had a sweeter journey than I expected. And I don't know why I felt a little dread before starting this book. In the end, In Honor's Defense gets 4 Stars. Have you read In Honor's Defense? What did you think? Let me know!