Top Ten Reasons To Read When It’s Cold

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday Link-up prompt is the books we have on our winter TBR pile. But! I thought it would be more fun to talk about the ten things I’m looking forward to most about reading during cold weather. *cue winter time and coldness and happiness and squeal!*

  1. The long, dark, chilly evenings provide a perfect opportunity to grab a book and catch up on your reading list
  2. There’s nothing like sipping hot cider, creamy eggnog, delicious coffee, or spiced tea while diving into your favorite book
  3. Cuddling up with a cozy blanket or big sweatshirt makes reading a book into an incredible experience
  4. Re-reading old favorites helps you decide what books to buy your family members for Christmas
  5. People visit friends over the holiday season – why not also visit books?
  6. So. Many. Baked Goods. And we all know reading and baked goods mix the best
  7. Best afternoon idea ever involve a window seat, good book, and delicately falling snow
  8. Candles. Must I say more?
  9. Having a fluffy pet join you to keep warm
  10. Books that take place over the holidays #bestever

And that’s it folks! Ten reasons why I am so excited about reading this winter. What are you looking forward to most?

Thankfulness and Books Mix Admirably​

Happy Tuesday, folks! Today I’m having fun linking up with the Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday series. This morning I had fun thinking of ten of the books that I’m really thankful for.

  1. Control Girl by Shannon Popkin I read this book at a time when I really needed it and I’m still thankful and benefiting from the lessons I learned from it. (Nonfiction)
  2. Way of Escape by Catherine Farnes Years ago when I spent nearly a decade being sick I found this book late one night and instantly felt like I’d made a deep friend. 
  3. Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart This book is beautiful on so many levels. I loaned it out, but I can’t hardly wait to read it again. (Nonfiction)
  4. The Bridge by Jeri Massi Three-year-old me learned how powerful words were while listening spellbound to my sister reading this book.
  5. Screens and Teens by Kathy Koch Balance is so important, and this book has reminded me of that over and over again. (Nonfiction)
  6. Of Stillness and Storms by Michèle Phoenix This book. It showed exactly what I’ve wanted to say so many times. (Although there are somethings I don’t agree with.)
  7. The Insatiable Quest for Beauty by Tiffany Dawn I’ve seen so many girls struggle with this issue and Miss Tiffany talks about it in an honest, delightful, and raw way. (Nonfiction)
  8. Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John The first “big” book I ever read – my life was changed from that moment and I’ll forever be thankful to Miss Patricia.
  9. Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson I have this book both as paperback and kindle – it’s a must for all young writers. (Nonfiction)
  10. Tiger Shark Strikes Again by Anthony G. Bollback Another one of those books that captivated me as a child. When I later became friends with the author, I was thrilled.

What are some books you’re thankful for?

Characters Who Make Great Leaders

Hey Folks! Today I’m joining the Top Ten Tuesday Link-Up, and today we get to talk about leaders. Leaders for what, you might ask. Well, leaders for anything. Below I have a list of eight books who had a character that sticks out in my mind as a good leader.

The Way of Escape – Ben is a fantastically wonderful leader of a church. (And one of the characters in all of forever that I want to meet the most.)
The Bracken Trilogy – The Wise Woman is the best behind-the-scenes leader of a country and may have pretty much single-handedly (well, with the help of one other author) inspired my great care for books.
Many Sparrows – Jeremiah Ring was a great guide for leading someone into the wilderness.
For Such a Time – Jean is the kind of cousin I would want to lead a rescue mission if I was ever held captive in enemy territory.
High as the Heavens – Evelyn does a pretty great job of heading up a spying ring. (Say what?)
Ready or Not – Aggie, how in the world does she take care of all the kids? She’s an amazing leader of the family she’s inherited.
All Fall Down – Grace gets the award for leading the readers through an incredibly confusing journey where they don’t know what’s true or what to believe.
Samantha Sanderson Off the Record – Samantha is a pro when it comes to leading an investigation for her middle-grade newspaper.

Who’s your favorite “leader” character?

Unique Book Titles {Top Ten Post}

Today I’m linking up with The Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday series. The theme for this week is unique book titles, so I had fun looking through my Goodreads shelves and finding fun book titles.

  1. Boycrazy: And How I Ended Up Single and (Mostly) Sane
    (Nonfiction) This book is exactly what the title would make you think – real, honest, funny, tough, and totally spot-on.
  2.  Hiding from the Kids in My Prayer Closet
    (Nonfiction) I’m not even a mom and I can relate to this.
  3. The Insatiable Quest for Beauty
    (Nonfiction) The book is as beautiful as the title which is saying a lot.
  4. Getting Jesus Wrong:: Giving Up Spiritual Vitamins and Checklist Christianity
    (Nonfiction) Not my favorite book – but the title is definitely intriguing.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird
    (Fiction) Growing up I heard this title over and over again, but it wasn’t until I read the book earlier this year that it became evident why everyone talked about it.
  6. Thicker Than Blood 
    (Fiction) Family rifts, old books, ranches…a winning combination.
  7. Loglines in the Wild
    (Nonfiction) Being a writer sometimes feels like I’m hacking my way through a jungle, so this title is so fitting.
  8. Take the Key and Lock Her Up
    (Fiction) A title that asks so many questions.
  9. Tournaments, Cocoa & One Wrong Move 
    (Fiction) I didn’t particularly like this book, but the title set-up is one I really enjoy.
  10. The Lost Girl of Astor Street
    (Fiction) A lost girl, a desperate friend, and a mystery that transcends social classes.

Have you read any of these books? Or what are some of the most unique titles of boosk you’ve read?

Ten Books I REALLY Liked as a Kid {And Still Do, Actually} Top Ten Tuesday

Today I’m doing the Top Ten Tuesday link-up, and talking about some of the books that were my childhood.

Y’all. If you ever want to help a child discover how amazing books are, go ahead and get them some of these books. They’re pretty much the best ever. Each one of the books listed below have a definite place in my childhood, and they helped cultivate my delight in words that led me to being an author.

I’ve also bought nearly every book on the list for other children I know, plus I own all (except maybe one?) in my library upstairs.

Have you ever read any of these? Which ones look the most interesting to you? Happy Tuesday, folks!

  1. A King for Brass Cobweb 
  2. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children
  3. Baby Brown Bear’s Big Bellyache 
  4. Go Dogs Go 
  5. The Biggest Bear
  6. Blueberries for Sal 
  7. Make Way for Ducklings
  8. Cranberry Thanksgiving 
  9. The Mitten 
  10. The Christian Mother Goose 

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Y’all! Only two weeks from today until the release of my latest book, Where Dandelions Grow! We’re gonna have lots of fun and party, so make sure you come back!

Books I Didn’t Think I’d Like {Top Ten Tuesday}

Today I’m joining The Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday link-up. The theme for today is: Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into/Thought Weren’t My Style, But Ended Up Liking. 

  1. Dangerous Love by Ray Norman (Nonfiction)
    Forgiving the man who shot you and your daughter? Wow. Captivating and inspiring. (After you get past the info dump at the beginning.) See My Review 
  2. Out of the Depths by Edgar USMC Harrell (Nonfiction)
    A WW2 account at its finest – a sunken ship, surviving way too long at sea, and being heroes.
     See My Review 
  3. Christian’s Hope by Ervin Stutzman (Fiction)
    I was unimpressed with this book until a friend mentioned it was based on a true story. The I was quite intrigued. (Amish captured by Indians? How did I never know about that?) See My Review
  4. Hand of Providence by Mary Beth Brown (Nonfiction)
    My mom highly recommended this book, so I wanted to read it, but I never expected it to draw me in so completely. Just thinking about it makes me want to re-read it. See My Review 
  5. Ready or Not by Chautona Havig (Fiction)
    This book has way too many characters which made it difficult to get into, but after months I finally got caught up in the story and devoured the series. See My Review
  6. My Daughter’s Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark &  Leslie Gould (Fiction)
    For some reason this book looked boring (#oops), but literally, as soon as I began reading I was hooked. See My Review
  7. A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin (Fiction)
    I really dislike the cover and so nearly didn’t give the book a try. And, although this isn’t a story I would ever gush over/highly recommend, I did like it a lot. See My Review
  8. Rule of Law by Randy Singer (Fiction)
    This was an unfamiliar genre for me (Thriller), so I was a little bit nervous. The book rocked. Just finished it and haven’t been able to form a full opinion for a review yet.
  9. The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson (Fiction)
    Another unfamiliar genre (Fairytale Retelling), but one I’ve wanted to try for a long time. I’m intrigued by the idea of retellings, but I don’t want too much romance, ya know? See My Review
  10. Unplanned by Alana Terry (Fiction)
    Yet another unfamiliar genre (Suspense) – I guess these past few months were good for trying new genres? This book was one I did not want to put down at all. See My Review

Have you read any of these books? What are some books you didn’t think you’d like but were pleasantly surprised by?

Plus, y’all should totally check out this cool give away going on over at WriteMind. You can see me opening (and gushing) over my WriteMind Planner on my Youtube Channel. It’s really a fantastic writing tool, and they have free shipping for the next few days. Totally cool!

Learning from History – Top Ten Historical Fiction Books

Today I’m linking up with The Broke and Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday post. The prompt for today was Back To School Freebie: anything “back to school” related. I’m doing ten of my favorite Historical Fiction (and Biblical fiction) reads, because as a homeschooler I read a lot of Historical Fiction for school, then would research things I’d read about.

  1. Saving Amelie – This one felt especially potent because it showed me how easy it is for people to be blinded and to accept prejudices. See My Review (Set during WW2)
  2. Counted With the Stars – Watching the world flip upside down from the perspective of an Egyptian slave girl. See My Review (Set during Exodus from the Bible)
  3. Tattler’s Branch – Living in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains has made me very interested in realistic portrayals of the life of coal miners, and this book hit home. See My Review (Set in 1911)
  4. The Mark of the King – The beginning of this book shocked me and made me scurry for the internet to see if the setting was real to life – it was. See My Review (Set in the 1720s)
  5. Shadowed in Silk – Set in India this book was sad but so well-written. I felt as if I’d been transported to India. See My Review (Set in 1918)
  6. So Shall We Stand – This whole trilogy is well written, interesting, and full of espionage. See My Review (Set in WW2)
  7. Egypt’s Sister – I was instantly transported into Egypt whenever I picked up this book – fantastic world building. See My Review (Set during Cleopatra’s life)
  8. In the Field of Grace – Ruth is one of my favorite Biblical people to read about, and this made me imagine so many more possibilities about what her life might have been like. See My Review (Set during Ruth’s life in the Bible)
  9. My Daughter’s Legacy – Going back and forth between modern time and history doesn’t always work for me in a book, but these authors really pulled it off. See My Review (Set during the Civil War)
  10. The Lost Girl of Astor Street – With perfect world building, an intriguing mystery, and well-developed characters, this book is a winner. See My Review (Set in 1924)

Have you read any of these books? Which looks the most interesting to you, and what is YOUR favorite Historical Fiction read?

(And remember! If you haven’t signed up to read my book Where Dandelions Grow in exchange for review, you can do so right here.)

Top Ten Book Recommendations for Nonfiction Readers

Today I’m linking up with The Broke and Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday post. The prompt for today was “Ten books we’d recommend to ________,” and I choose ten books I’d recommend to someone who wanted to read nonfiction. Even if you’ve never enjoyed nonfiction before, these books would be a great place for you to get your feet wet.

I came up with a variety of my four and five star reads, trying to stay away from books I’ve talked about recently. These books seriously contain fantastic stories, information, writing, and ideas. I’ll give a little blurb about each book below. I highly recommend all these books and have even bought extra copies of some of them to give away.

  1. Whatever the Cost
    Written by identical twin brothers, this book is brimming with wit, laughter, and solid information.
  2. Life Creative
    So, so beautiful. The book itself, the writing, the ideas that are shared. Living a balanced life while being a creative person is possible.
  3. 20 Things We’d Tell our Twenty-Something Selves 
    Told by a husband/wife team, the writing is honest, clear, and helpful. (What twenty-something person doesn’t need advice and honesty?)
  4. Every Body Matters 
    This one dives right into the heart of the matter that most people in the church today avoid.
  5. Screens and Teens
    Yes, yes, and yes. How to have a healthy balance in today’s age of screens all over the place.
  6. Knowing God By Name
    This book goes through various names of God, exploring what they really mean and who God really is.
  7. Dangerous Love 
    Getting shot by terrorists? Yep. Finding forgiveness? Yep. There’s a bit of an info dump near the beginning of the book, but when you get past that the story is riveting.
  8. God’s Smuggler 
    Smuggling. For God. Say, what??? Yeah – it’s a mouth-dropping (and sometimes laughable) true account of the life of a man from Holland.
  9. Forensic Faith 
    Picture this: A real-life detective sets out to prove that God couldn’t exist, and instead becomes a passionate Christian. Here’s how that happened.
  10. Control Girl
    Nothing like wanting to take control of a situation (or should I say every situation). But that’s dangerous. Here’s a good look at just how dangerous that can be.

Have you read any of these books? Which looks most interesting to you?

Top Ten Authors I Want to Meet

It’s Tuesday so I’m joining The Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday linkup. Today’s theme is the top ten authors I want to meet. For any of y’all who don’t know I am an author, so meeting other authors is something I really like doing.

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  1. Cathrine Farns
    It was late one evening when I was around sixteen that I first found Miss Cathrine’s books. At the time I had been sick for two years, and had recently given up trying to sleep at night due to having my days and nights switched around.
    My family ordered a box of books, and Way of Escape was the first book I choose to read from that box (and I later realized it was the last book in the series – oh well). The book pulled me in, held me tight, and eight years later still hasn’t let go. All of Miss Cathrine’s books are now like old friends to me – friends that helped me through a very hard time in life.
  2. Stephanie Morrill
    If you’ve been around Noveltea for long, you’ve heard me talk about Miss Stephanie. She started Go Teen Writers, as well as a book by the same title, and has been one of the most influential people in the writing part of my life. I happily call her my writing mentor, and although I’ve never met her in person, I’m quite thankful that I have gotten to email with her some.
  3. Bob Goff
    When it comes to inspiring, Mr. Goff is high up on my list. I’m incredibly thankful for how he’s choosing to live his life for God’s glory. I’d love to get to learn from him in person.
  4. Maria Goff
    I was first “introduced” to Miss Maria through the pages of her husband’s, Mr. Goff, book. Earlier this month her first book was published and I was thrilled to read it. I gave it to my sister, and the next time she saw me she’s like “Wow, Lydia! You’re so much like Miss Maria – it’s crazy!” And I agree – our personalities are a lot alike, which means I was able to learn a lot through her book.
  5. Franklin Graham
    I can’t even imagine how much I’d be able to learn from him. His life is so inspiring to me. I don’t want to wander through my time on earth, I want to make a difference that will count for eternity, and Mr. Graham is doing just that.
  6.  Julie Nye
    Miss Julie was one of my favorite authors growing up, and therefore she was one of those influential people who made me dream of being an author. I can’t begin to thank those authors enough for filling my little-girl-heart with starry-eyed ideas of writing.
  7. Patricia St. John
    As a child I didn’t just want to meet Miss Patricia, I wanted to be Miss Patricia. Since that wasn’t possible, I figured I would just name a daughter after her. Strangely enough, I have a hard time saying “Patricia” though, so that probably won’t happen either.
    Growing up, Miss Patricia was my favorite author. I read her books over, and over, and over again, and delighted in them each time.
  8. Dawn L. Watkins
    Some day I hope little children look at my book as fondly as I looked at Miss Dawn’s books. I’d like to thank her in person for being a writer.
  9.  Corrie ten Boom
    I am so looking forward to one day meeting this heroine in heaven. If you don’t know who she is, please stop what you’re doing and click on her name. It will be well-worth your time.
  10. Brother Andrew
    I feel like his books should have a warning about not reading them unless you’re prepared to have your life change. They are that good. I am SO thankful for his work. As a young teen I dreamed of one day meeting him, and being a part of his work.

What about you? What authors would YOU like to meet?

Thicker Than Blood And Other Books I’ve Read in One Day

A couple years ago I had fun regularly joining The Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday Linkup. How it works is they give a category or theme (that has to do with books), and then a bunch of bloggers join in and all post about it. Today’s theme is about books that you can’t put down, so you pretty much read them in one sitting. So, without further ado, here’s my list:

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  1. Thicker Than Blood While I didn’t literally read this book in one sitting, it was one of those stories that was really hard for me to put down. I remember wandering through an airport in Colorado late at night, trying to keep my family in sight as I was totally captivated by this series.
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  2. See How They Run This book isn’t what I would consider my normal style. In fact, I very rarely read books that have this type of plot/theme/etc…. Unreliable narrators aren’t what I generally go for. But for some reason Ally Carter’s writing pulls me in and makes it hard for me to put down her books. (Not that I recommend everything in them, but her writing is pretty cool.) 
  3. The Extraverted Writer Not only is this book short and to the point, but it’s written in such a way that it’s a breeze to read through.
  4. Life Creative I’m not a mom, but I am creative, and this book was beautiful all the way around. While reading it I hardly wanted to stop because it was so many different forms of art combined.
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  5. For Keeps Ah, this series took me SO long to get into, like two years to finish the first book. But, then the second book (which is nearly 400 pages long), only took me one day. So, I guess you can say the characters grew on me.
  6. More Than a Hobby I was quite surprised to find this book so intriguing. Who knew retail could be interesting? But yes, I started this book one evening and finished it the next afternoon.
  7. Love Lives Here Delightful! Books like this that are so real make me want to hug the author and thank them for letting thousands (or millions) of strangers become their friends.
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  8. When Grace Sings I really hardly ever read books like this, but thankfully I try it sometimes, because this book obviously was a win.
  9. Finding the Core to Your Story It’s so much fun to find short books about writing that I can read over and over again. This is only 108 pages long, and has been re-read by me multiple times.
  10. Wedded to War The Heroine Behind the Lines series was not a light and fluffy read. In fact, sometimes they made me want to gag. But, they made the Civil War seem so crazily real to me. I’m very impressed by the author.
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And there we have it! 10 books that I’ve read in one day, or at least close to it. What are some books that you’ve read in a day? Have you read any on my list?