Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review ~ The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

WaterBrook Multnomah, Oct. 2014
About the Book

Fans of Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Pride & Prejudice will enjoy this pure and inspiring romance taking place in Edwardian England amid a clash of cultures and changing times.

Eighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End. When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow.
My Review

The Daughter of Highland Hall is the second book in the Edwardian Brides series and from beginning to end, I felt as if I was part of the Ramsey family. This is one of my favorite books so far this year!  In fact, the opening scene where Kate is learning to curtsy, and Jonathan sees her, is one of the most delightful I have read in a long time.  

Carrie Turansky’s research into the Edwardian Era shines as brightly as freshly polished silver. The scenery, the language, the dress and etiquette all blend beautifully within the walls of Highland Hall. This story reads like a classic novel with its delicate blend of mystery, intrigue and romance.

If you enjoy Historical fiction, I believe you will be enthralled with this latest novel in The Edwardian Brides series. I know I completely enjoyed the hours I spent in a Downton Abbey like atmosphere. There are funny moments that will have you chuckling and serious moments that will draw upon your heartstrings.  But the highlight of the story for me is that of Kate’s faith journey. It is superbly written and executed!

I want to thank the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation has been received.

If you choose to order a copy using the link below, I make a small commission on the sale of the book.

I took the plunge...


I've started a photography blog!
Well, at least a blog for all my endeavors that don't pertain to books.
If you would like to hop over to HIS World...as I see it, so you can still see my photography posts -- rural, family, and all else-- then please do! Once you get there, I hope you will follow along by clicking in the sidebar and signing up. That way you won't miss anything photo related.
From now on, Stuff & Nonsense will only be about books, books, and more books!
I do hope you will continue to follow here, as well. I have lots of author interviews and giveaways coming up in the following months.
Thanks for riding along on the journey with me :)
Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I know, I know...

I need to get some book reviews written and posted. I am working on them. 

But for today, I want to share two more photos.

We're finally seeing some autumn color in town.

Yesterday we had an amazing storm pass by and just miss us. I think the trees look so pretty against the stormy sky.

Well, I am off to work on book stuff.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Barn Collective Link Up # 3

No new barn photos this week so I pulled this one from my archives.  
I don't think I've posted it before, but if I have, I do apologize for the repeat.
At my age, that frequently happens ;)

Sharing with

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Pain is a kindly, hopeful thing, a certain proof of life, a clear assurance that all is not yet over, that there is still a chance. But if your heart has no pain — well, that may betoken health, as you suppose: but are you certain that it does not mean that your soul is dead?  ~A.J.Gossip

Though poor in this world’s goods, though grieving the loss of loved ones, though suffering pain of body, though harassed by sin and Satan, though hated and persecuted by worldlings, whatever be the case and lot of the Christian, it is both his privilege and duty to rejoice in the Lord.  ~ A.W. Pink

In spite of sorrow, loss, and pain, Our course be onward still; We sow on Burmah’s barren plain, We reap on Zion’s hill.  ~ Adoniram Judson

: : :

Tomorrow would have been my daughter Amy's 31st birthday. Each of these quotes speaks of pain and how that pain shows proof of life. I know that in my pain my heart is able to rejoice because of Him who loves me, who sustains, me strengthens me. He makes me able to  press on and delight in the Lord, for He is good. 

Praying you have a blessed Sabbath!

Sharing with

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tricky catch

My son caught this beautiful male *Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly with a 'Gandolf" move. 

If you don't know what that means, we can't be friends. 

Just kidding! 

We can be friends.

But you really need to watch Lord of the Rings :)

I did a little editing in Picmonkey to give it an ethereal look. 

Totally missed between my son's fingers. 

But it's a fun photo, anyway.

*no butterflies were harmed. he flew happily away into the wilderness after I took the photo.

I also used this un-ethereal (?) version of the photo for my Take 52 Challenge a few weeks ago:

What do you think? Ethereal or not?

Have a blessed weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review ~ A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

Note for my Book Friends: This summer was unusually busy and sad. I spent much of the time traveling to and from FL, as my daddy (yes, I have called him that since I was a toddler) was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer in June. I mistakenly thought I would be able to have hours to read as I visited him at his home, or sat by his bedside in the hospital. I won't go into detail, but let's just say that I barely had time to read, let alone blog about books. My daddy passed away on Sept 14th, and I am back home now with no plans to travel in the near future. Most of the authors whose books I had in my TBR knew what was going on and have been very gracious. I covet their friendships and appreciate all the prayers they have prayed for me and my family during this time. 

My plan is to get back to a regular blogging schedule--manage to get caught up reading and reviewing books this autumn and winter--so that I will be ready to tackle new books next year! 

Again, a heartfelt thank you to all!

: : :

The following review was posted on various vendor sites but never got its own highlight here on Stuff & Nonsense. Jen Turano writes some of the wittiest historical fiction in the market today. Be sure and check out her website @ http://jenturano.com

Synopsis ~ After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancee, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes--by hook or by crook--she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along? 

My Review

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

(Ladies of Distinction Book #4)

 A Match of Wits transports us into a charming and rousing tale with Agatha. She is a woman before her time--fearless,  impassioned about many things, and relentless in her pursuit of a good news story.  In many ways, she is a product of a forward moving generation.  As I read along, I had to wonder at how she could get herself into so many arresting situations. She doesn’t always come out unscathed and I think that is what is most realistic about them. At times it seems like she is never going to learn, which mirrors real life. (At least mine.)  But all along she has a goal in mind, and her heart is always in the right place, even if she shouldn’t be!

Zayne is such a great guy. I’ve been looking forward to his story through three books now J He’s a loyal friend to Agatha, but has been totally oblivious to her deeper interest in him all these years. Anytime she is in a tricky situation, he seems to be right there by her side, protecting her and giving her advice, and sometimes doing some pretty ridiculous things in order to keep an eye on her. Because you know, she needs a keeper. He’s devised a scheme in order  to find her a husband. During a precious moment with his niece, Piper,  he finally realizes he is in love with Agatha. I thought it was one of the best scenes in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the characters from Jen’s other books. That is the great thing about this series. There is a lot of interaction between them so it seems like only a few moments have gone by since reading the last book.

There are some hilarious moments in A Match of Wits. Someone builds an interesting contraption for Zayne (I won’t say why). In it, he has some precarious moments that had me laughing out loud. I can only imagine what it would have been like to live in an era on the cusp of so many fascinating inventions.  

If you’re a fan of witty historical Christian fiction, then I would venture to guess you are going to like A Match of Wits! I look forward to Ms. Turano’s future books.

My appreciation to Jen Turano and Bethany House Publishers for a review copy. I wasn’t required to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book.

Side note - This is a stand alone novel but I highly suggest reading Ms Turano's other three books in the Ladies of Distinction series first, as the characters overlap. You will get far greater enjoyment from the book, if you do so.

Purchase a copy today.

Disclosure: I make a small (meaning minuscule) commission from the sale of the book 
through Deeper Shopping if you use the link provided.