Tag Archives: reading

11 Books on My “Must Read” Summer List

Summer Reads

I know, I know. I’m way behind. Way, way behind. Don’t judge.

Now that summer is here, my first priority is to catch up on my reading!

Here are the books at the top of my list (no particular order because I’m dying to read all of them!). Perhaps you will add them to your summer reading list, too!


  Remnants: Season of Wonder by Lisa Bergren.

Lisa is one of my favorite authors and this one has been at the top of my list since the moment the release date was announced. YA awesome. Can’t wait to devour it.





  Somebody Like You by Beth Vogt

Beth is one of the most amazing, encouraging women I know and I’ve loved her previous books. She writes truth in such a beautiful way. If you haven’t read her stuff, you’re missing out.





  Here to Stay  by Melissa Tagg

Melissa is hilarious. Her wit is spot on and her writing is nothing short of inspired. Can’t wait to read this one, her second release.





  A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

Katie and I talked about her love for this story a long time ago and here it is, in print! I’m so excited for her as she celebrates this third release! Katie is a wonderful storyteller and shows the glory of God so amazingly in her work. The premise of this story is so captivating!




  Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen

Jennie’s Anything was one of the best books I’ve ever read– it challenged me to the core of who I am as a follower of Christ. I am really looking forward to reading Restless and absorbing Jennie’s God-inspired wisdom.




  Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light At Every Turn by Melanie Shankle

I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf for at least 2 months now. Looking forward to this one quite a lot because I understand it’s laugh-out-loud funny.





  Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade

Becky writes some of the most realistic characters in Inspirational fiction. I love her stories and I am really, really looking forward to this one, her latest release.






  Silenced (Alaskan Courage Book 4) by Dani Pettrey

This series is one of my favorites in Inspirational Romantic Suspense. I’ve been looking forward to book 4 and can’t wait to find out what happens to some great characters. Dani is a fantastic storyteller and her attention to detail makes these stories some of the best in suspense.




  Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz

My soul-sister friend Lacie has been telling me forever that I need to read this book. Wonderful, amazing, incredible romance– those are some of the things I’ve heard about it. So I bought it months ago and it has been holding it’s place on my shelf. The time has come– I cannot wait to dive into this one because if Lacie says it’s good, it’s good.




  Into the Free by Julie Cantrell

I’m late to the game on this one, I know. I’ve been hearing rave reviews of this book since it released back in 2012, so it’s about time I read it. Another one that has been holding it’s place on my shelf.





  The One by Kiera Cass

Guilty pleasure reading. I can’t really tell you what it is I like about this series, but there’s something, so I’m looking forward to this book. Light, romantic, easy reading– the perfect escape.





Two eReads reads that are at the top of my list: Mindseige by Heather Sunseri and The Flower Girls by Wendy P. Miller. Both of these gals are amazing women and very, very talented writers. I’ll be reading both of these asap and I hope you’ll add them to your list, too!

Okay, this is just a small portion of my To Be Read list and I am determined to conquer them all and more over the weeks of summer. But there are so many other good books and fabulous authors on my list– I want to read them all!

Are we friends on Goodreads? If not, please feel free to look me up. I’d love to know what you are reading and what you recommend. And I’d love to share my favorite reads with you!

Share with me: What book is number one on your Summer To Be Read list?

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Filed under Books, Just For Fun

The 5 Star Book– How Do You Rate Your Reads?


There is nothing more disappointing than reading the last line of a book and thinking, “Well, that was a waste of time.”

When I think about my life in quantities of time, there’s really too little of it. I spend so much time doing things I have to do, that when I do something I want to do, I don’t want to feel like my time is wasted.

Wasted on soft plots. Wasted on unredemptive characters. Wasted on authors who clearly need to be psycho-analyzed. Wasted on filth for the sake of shock value or lack of creativity on the author’s part.

I don’t like to waste time on anything, especially on a bad story. Especially on a bad story that everyone else loves and it’s an international bestseller but when I read it I feel jipped—jipped of a good story and of the hours of my life I’ve wasted on a stinker of a book.

Maybe it’s me, but there are very few bestsellers that I’d give a stellar, 5 star review.

Goodreads is the greatest website ever invented. Period. It tracks the books I’ve read, the ones I want to read, and the ones I’m reading—without that site I would forget about so many wonderful books I want to spend time on. And I love that I can rate the books and leave reviews when I’m done reading.

What did we do before Goodreads? I mean, really? 🙂 I haven’t been able to add all of the books I’ve ever read to it, well, because I don’t remember them all, but if you’re interested in connecting with me on the site, look me up or click on the Goodreads link on the bottom right of this page.

A good review helps authors, so I’m always willing to leave a positive, honest review. I’m not afraid to leave a not-so-hot review, either, when I feel it is necessary, but I don’t leave “this was horrible” reviews just to be mean. If I really disliked a book, I usually won’t leave a review at all. That whole “if you don’t have something nice to say” thing…

Some authors get a little touchy about a review that isn’t a 5-star, but I rarely leave a 5-star review. An honest review rarely calls for 5 stars, and a 4-star review, even a 3-star, can be very, very positive. I can love a book and not give it 5 stars.

When you read a book, how do you rate it? What’s your rating scale? How do you distinguish a five star book from a four? A two from a one?

Here’s my book-rating scale:

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One Star—I didn’t like it at all. I probably didn’t finish reading it, most likely because the story was too disjointed (or just boring) or the filth was over-the-top.

Two Stars—I couldn’t connect. I didn’t love it and I probably won’t read any of the author’s other books. It was a struggle to finish the book, but I did finish.

Three Stars—I liked it. It held my interest with a decent plot and interesting characters and maybe even intrigued me a time or two. I will probably read the author’s other books and look forward to doing so.

Four Stars—I really enjoyed it. It was a good story with compelling characters, intriguing plot, and well-written prose. It gripped me and kept me turning pages. It kept me involved long after the story was over. I want to support this author by reading his or her other books.

Five Stars—I loved it. Something about the story or the characters moved me enough to add this book to my “read it again” list. This book sticks with me and I can’t let the story go. I will definitely read the author’s other books and will sing this book’s praises from the mountaintops.

So to make my 5 Star list, I have to want to read the book again. Maybe a couple more times. And I don’t always need a happy ending!

Writing, like any form of art, is subjective. You are going to dislike a book I love, and visa versa.

A good story connects us with humanity in the most basic way—a need to engage emotionally. Anger, fear, love, hatred, happiness, satisfaction…the mark of a good story is an emotion that is evoked; an emotion that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last line. [Click to tweet]

Share with me:What is your book rating scale? What does a book need to have to earn 5 stars from you? How about one star?

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Add Another Candle and Is Age a Turn-Off?


Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeeeee……Happy Birthday to me!

I don’t really feel any older than I did yesterday, or ten years ago for that matter. I bet my body would disagree, though.

And I am proud of every candle on my cake. Each one brings one more year of wisdom and one more year of blessings!

I will be partaking of chocolate cake today because when it’s your birthday, chocolate cake is the only way to go!


Today’s post is about age. How appropriate. 🙂

Let’s pretend we’re reading a romance novel and we find out that our hero is ten years older than our heroine. As a reader, how does that sit with you?

My guess is that the majority of female readers would be a-okay with this age gap, crediting our hero and his ten years with maturity and wisdom earned by living. It might even make him more appealing to our heroine and our reader. Same thing goes for real life, I’d wager.

My husband is four years older than I. I like to remind him that I was in the 8th grade when he finished high school. Perhaps the age gap would have mattered in those years (my parents would never have let me date a boy 4 years older when I was in high school), but now, the age gap doesn’t matter at all.

But what about when the age gap goes the other way? What about when she is older than he?


Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about dating and she let me in on her little prejudice against younger men. She’s single, thirty, and feels like dating younger basically equates to dating someone less worthy.

Hmm…. But what if he’s the one? What if God has designed him just for you but because he’s two or three or four years younger, you won’t give him the time of day?

How young is too young when it comes to relationships when the woman is older?

Now, let’s set some parameters here. I’m not talking May-December romances, gold-diggers, or “cougars”, which clearly deserve a post all to themselves with serious psychiatric evaluation.

I’m strictly talking about women and the possibility of dating/marrying someone younger than themselves within a reasonable age gap.

The question is then– what is a reasonable age gap if the woman is older than the man?

I personally know a couple of gals who have married men who are three years younger than themselves. Acceptable? What about four years? Unacceptable?


Put it in this context– if you were reading a romance novel and the heroine was older than the hero, how many years is acceptable between them? How many years between them suddenly becomes “weird” or unacceptable and would cause you to toss the book aside?

Share with me: Would you date a younger man? How many years between a story heroine, if she’s older, and a hero is acceptable to you? Why do you think there’s more of a “stigma” for women who date/marry younger men than there is for a similar age gap if the man is older?

Enjoy my birthday, readers! Have a piece of cake (chocolate) in my honor. 🙂

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Filed under Romance