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Thursday, 30 April 2015


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May Clean Sweep ARC Challenge

Wrap Up:  My second year participating, I anticipated 6 ARC reads.
The month ended with  8  9 ARC completions
[along with a Lot of other reading, being Short Story Month, as well].
Very pleased with that - and surprised.  It proves to me, once again, the motivational impact of
taking up challenges that make my choices intentional.  With some pretty great outcomes!
~ Thanks for hosting, Kimberly ~

Anticipating a clean sweep of my ARC copies since I discovered Kimberly's signup in March.
It's about to begin and I intend to be ready. My goal is at least {least!} 6 ARCs.
Some reads waiting to be enjoyed and introduced ?
I've been following a radio broadcast discussion 
of Sonja Corbitt's meditational read, UNLEASHED,
increasing interest as I've been anticipating my arc copy.
Review will follow and Ave Maria Press will be happy
for that [or at least satisfied] :)  June 2nd I had the opp to participate in a live webinar with author, Sonja Corbitt, hosted by Ave Maria Press.
*My Thoughts?
Excellent first hand insights gained by live discussion of book content with author and educator, Sonja Corbitt, describing her own journey in the understanding of living 'Unleashed' by and with Holy Spirit.  Understandable concepts and language enable incorporation into readers/listeners lives.  Living abiding in the Vine allowing the 'sap' of Holy Spirit to energize faith life.  To expose root issues that produce habits that need to be dealt with for  healthy living and ministering.  Rich resource.

Two audiobook arcs by the amazing Susan Meissner for review,
I 've decided to hold off til June for Audiobook month..
I did love the print library copy of
SECRETS OF A CHARMED LIFE.  WWII story, London setting, tells the story of two sisters during the evacuation just prior to the blitz.  Now to review the audiobook arc as to narrator and recording quality...  as well as for A FALL OF MARIGOLDS, a dual storyline of past and present losses.  Cover love for both these beauties!


 THE SECOND SISTER  [see below for review link]
has been biding its time for this ARC Challenge despite being paraded out in anticipation.  It's kept my interest piqued in the interim!


is one I anticipate incorporating into my daily rhythm.  Definitely looking forward to hearing what author, Michael Ortiz offers readers...
May 12-15
My Thoughts?
Found this one to be directed to those of RC tradition.  Theology was specific and pointed in comparing and denouncing other faith perspectives. Not the welcoming daily rhythm inspiration I'd hoped for. 

Just a few top of the stack ARCs for me and my goal of 6...
Here are the Rules for the Challenge:
  • ARC’s must be read between May 1st and May 31st, 2014
  • Challenge starts and ends at midnight in your local time zone
  • All ARCS/finished copies that were provided by publisher/author are eligible.
    They can be in any format (eBook, physical, audio)
  • Post start-up post with goals (can be posted during event)
  • Tweet using hashtag #CleanSweepARC
  • You do not have to post review on blog during the month of May. Just provide a link to Goodreads showing read May 1 to 31st with a two sentence review.
  • Twitter Party Wednesday May 13th 7pm (EST) #CleanSweepARC
  • Participate in at least one challenge.
  • The Participant Giveaway will include entries for books read (1 book entry a day allowed on giveaway), posting about challenge, start up/results post (can be combined), having button on your sidebar, participation in Twitter party, entering challenges and for following hosts.
  • Grand Prize- One winner will receive a new release of their choice (can be audible credit, novel or gift card) valued at up to 20.00 US dollars. Open internationally.
  • Challenge Schedule and entry form will post on May 1st and
    participant giveaway will close on June 3 at 11:59 (CST)
Are you participating?  or are your ARCs under control?
I'll look forward to hearing more from my reading friends following this ARC clean sweep!
~ Clean Sweep ARC Updates ~

by Victoria Connelly [audiobook 1 hr 43 min]
Delighted to listen to Victoria's eventful journey from urban London to rural Suffolk with many twists along the route. Concise chapters, short stories in themselves, kept me intrigued. Emotive insights into British life in both settings had me laughing along with her at the misadventures. Victoria's acquisition of a growing menagerie, dealings with real estate agents, new country neighbours and side trips with her artist hubby, Ron, all provide charming anecdotes. 

Jan Cramer's expressive narration follows the story with excellent voice inflection, providing characterization and colour. The authentic British accent is tops - one I'd highly recommend for audio listening. The quality of recording is clear and free of distraction, adding to listening enjoyment. Sharing these tales is like accepting Victoria's personal invitation to further the acquaintance begun by reading her novels. A definite pleasure. 

Put the kettle on for a cuppa while you listen to this highly recommended memoir.

May 4-5th Completed ARC of 
TO WIN HER FAVOR by Tamera Alexander
#2 Belle Meade Plantation series  
352 pages
Expected publication: May 19th 2015 by Zondervan

I'd happily give this historical novel
5+ many more *s
It is that good.  


by Marie Bostwick
352 pages 
Published March 31st 2015 by Kensington
Emotionally rich, inspiring new novel about family, second chances--and the connections that bring women together in hope and healing. . .

Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey's boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson's Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown she'd left as a teen. - publisher

*My Thoughts of ARC?

New to me author, Marie Bostwick, offers a homecoming journey to roots, discovery of healing, and a new beginning for several characters plus our protagonist. 
Well drawn contrast between politically driven environment and characters surrounding Lucy vies with the multi-layered stories of hometown neighbours growing in friendship and support as women who begin quilting together. Fulfillment of the deceased sister's hopes for her pragmatic, politically involved and ever absent younger sister.  As does reconnection with a former school crush.
A  surprise twist in the history of these two sisters leads to a welcome though unexpected 

and very satisfying conclusion.


by Carla Stewart
300 pages - Published June 2014 by Hachette
Couture fashion in the Jazz Age 1922 New York
and London England...

*My thoughts?
Reading and luving this enchanting story of British born Nell and her creative millinery designing for NY and London's elite in the 1920's...

A favourite of the customers,
her nasty boss, Oscar, is another story. Ms Stewart describes a vibrant jazz era and draws well defined characters, easily denoting my likes from dislikes! Though Nell is surrounded by supportive friends, 
Oscar is a nasty piece of work. I kept watching for strength in Nell to stand up against his bullying and cheered inwardly at every step she took in that direction. Yet it appeared there was no denigration of her to which he would not go. Oh, and those promised work recognition perks? right!
Only when it served to ingratiate him in the eyes of the public...
Romance seems at once closing in on Nell, then with the turn of the tide she's facing life standing on her own.
Excellent writing kept me guessing.
Plot twists shocked then provided for a satisfying yet surprise ending.  
Another novel endearing Carla Stewart's writing to this reader -

May 28.15 Hope in My Heart 
by Alexis A. Goring
148 pgs by CrossBooks Publishing Sept 2013

Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories
 with characters in need of hope.

*Ecopy received for reading and review without obligation or compensation.
*Review posted HERE

May 30 - 31st
Squeezing another ARC in before #CleanSweep ends-
Ready to begin this next ARC with anticipation for both #CleanSweepARC and my 
last month of the annual #CanBookChallenge -
Canadian Book Challenge #8 -
ending July 1st each year when the next, #9, also begins.
You're invited to participate
in reading Canadian authors, settings, publishers, characters
- all broaden our reading and
experience of our wonderful Canadian writing heritage.
So my newest ARC addition to read by end of June 3rd for #CleanSweepARC
is by Canadian author Susan Anne Mason, a new to me author.
Baker Books Publishing to release early July 2015
*My Thoughts?  A well researched historical novel set in 1911 NY, descriptive of the struggles of Irish immigrants of the era. Struggles that inform the attitudes and expectations of patriarch James O'Leary toward his daughters and family.  Not an easy home relationally, a lifetime of experiences lie ahead for this family's maturing and the saving of their thoroughbred farm, Irish Meadows.

Sharing With 
* Friday Finds at A Daily Rhythm * Literacy Musing Mondays * Book Nook

* Small Victories Travel the World * Musing Mondays *

~ * ~

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