Series: I think it may be a sequel to Indivisible (which I haven’t read – but I do know they concern some of the same characters). However, you can read it without absolutely having to read the first book, although I believe that there are a few references to the earlier book.
My rating on a 1-10 scale: 7.5
Number of pages: 324
Time period: Present
My overall opinion: By the end, I didn’t really love it. The gift that Natalie, the main lady, had was a little confusing (I thought). The whole book had some strange ideas and some rather freaky scenes sprinkled throughout. I don’t really recommend it, but it was okay.
Book blurb from Google books : “Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart. Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?”
Why I like this cover: I do love librarians, so this should be a good book for me. J But I do think, having read the book blurb, that since Eden’s a librarian, she should be holding a book. Anyway! The man, Levi, is distinctly rugged. Brown arms (rather dirty) full of muscles, and not a slight build. Classic blacksmith attire – blue jeans, heavy boots, and a striped shirt. And then Eden. A spring green dress over an underskirtthat has a white background and a variety of pink flowers. White gloves, curls, and a tiny smile go perfectly! And her bouquet. While I do think a book would have fit there best, the flowers do add a pretty touch. There they stand, in the middle of town. I can’t wait to read this!
My overall opinion: Wonderful series! I whole-heartedly recommend them for pre-teens and teens – and even adults. I know the covers (on the ones I’ve read, at least) are a little weird, the stories inside are great!
Type: Fiction (one of the most elaborate works of fiction I’ve ever read!)
Number of pages: 1095 of story, 1130 total (includes end notes)
Time period: Probably the 1700’s
My overall opinion: I liked it better than Nicholas Nickleby. That was another huge book, you know! By the time I was 500 pages into this one, it really started to pick up. Oh, I still had some trouble keeping characters apart at times, and there are tons of subplots (you get that in books this size…and they weren’t in the movie), but it was good. I’m glad I read it, and I recommend to any extremely brave reader who likes classic literature.
Yes, you read that title correctly. I am gone! As of this
morning, very early this morning, I left home to fly to Alaska! You see, I’m
spending the summer up there – today through early August. I’m working at a
Christian camp as a cook’s assistant. While I’m there, I usually won’t have any
internet access, so if you email me or leave a comment, you probably won’t hear
from me for a few months. As you may have noticed, I changed the comments – now,
after you enter word verification, your comment will automatically publish. I
won’t be home to publish comments, so I decided this would be the best way.
Right now, I’m planning to change it back to no word verification and my
publishing them all once I’m home, but we’ll see.
I will miss all of you in the blogging world! However, don’t
worry that this blog will be silent…preparations for this trip have been going
on for literally months. Posts will continue to appear regularly, almost like
I’m actually here! And I’ve engaged several very special guest-bloggers…you’ll
be meeting them in the next few weeks as they blog here about delightful
I hope you all have a wonderful summer! And I’ll be back in
early/mid-August. See you then!
You know him because – he is a fairly well-known actor, I believe. I’ve seen him in two movies: the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy as Gandalf, and The Scarlet Pimpernel that came out in the 80’s, as Chauvelin. He was a perfect Gandalf.
My overall opinion: I am so much enjoying this series! Nancy Springer I must say that I consider quite brilliant to come up with a little sister for Sherlock Holmes, who solves mysteries in some truly innovative ways! Enola is a delightful heroine, and I am really liking Sherlock himself… J Some of the premise of the series is that Enola has run away from home and is hiding out in London, trying not to be found by her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock. She comes up with dozens of disguises, does her best not to run into her brothers, and also finds missing persons – in this book, she’s looking for Dr. Watson…yup, Sherlock’s sidekick. Really fun! Highly recommend this series.
My overall opinion: I enjoyed it! In some places, she’s a little more…outspoken than I would be, and includes a few mild swear words, but I enjoyed the book. Not for kids, but an interesting rant for adults.
My overall opinion: Incredibly moving. Karen Kingsbury has a way of touching my heart – few other authors have done so with more than one book. In fact, she may be the only one. She’s amazing. And this whole series seems to be amazing too! This book made me cry, but I still loved it, and highly recommend it.
Book blurb from goodreads.com : “Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.
But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
Read my review: Loved it! Great book. Read my review here, and my interview with Lisa here.
Why I like this cover: The girl, Lia, is so stunning! I do admit that I think the eyes closed thing is a little weird (but not nearly as weird as I would look were I to try and do that) but it works for her! Looks like there’s just the faintest breeze to blow her hair…what long blond hair, with just a touch of wave! And I love thosebraids. I’m not a big fan of off-the-shoulder dresses, but this one is beautiful. I love the shade of blue (it’s perfect for Lia!), and the sleeves! They’re long Italian sleeves. I want some. J All those rays of light result in a very interesting effect…and the Italian city is elegant! All told, I love this cover – though not quite as much as the story inside. J
Today, I'm delighted to welcome Ronica Stromberg to Austenitis for an interview! I recently read her book, A Shadow in the Dark and enjoyed it. My review of that book came out earlier today. Now, on to the interview!
Welcome, Ronica! I’m glad to be talking
with you about your book, A Shadow in the Dark. Could you please give us a little auto-biography?
I’ve been a
book lover most of my life. I had difficulty learning to read, but once I
caught on, I seemed to always have a book as a hand extension. To this day, I’m
hard to catch without a book.
As a child,
I wanted to be a writer, librarian, judge, or missionary. I’ve worked (paid or
volunteer) as all but the judge. I’ve found most of my writing falls in the inspirational
market, which nicely blends my lifelong interests in being a writer and a
Mmmm, book hand extension sounds like me. :) Please tell us a little bit about the plot
of A Shadow in the Dark.
her parents’ divorce, young teen Kirsten Hart reluctantly moves to the country
with her mom and brother. She goes door-to-door to the neighboring houses,
attempting to introduce herself and make friends. A four-year-old neighbor boy
tells her a girl her age lives in the farmhouse across from hers. When Kirsten
goes there, an old woman answers the door and, after hearing what she wants, slams
the door in her face.
meets another neighbor girl, Gail, and the two keep seeing signs that a young
person lives with the elderly woman, but she never comes outside. Kirsten and
Gail become fearful that someone is being held captive in the home. They step
deeper into danger with only the God that Gail believes in as backup.
What inspired you to
write A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down, the other book that’s in the series?
similar to what occurs in A Shadow in the Dark happened to me when I was
younger than Kirsten. I
had been visiting my grandmother in small-town Minnesota, and she had warned me
away from a neighboring house. She wouldn’t tell me why she wanted me to stay
away, but she seemed scared. Years later, I discovered what she knew. This
served as the spark for A Shadow in the Dark.
Living It Up to Live It Down, shows Kirsten’s life after Gail has gone away and
Kirsten returns to school as a new Christian. Her old friendship with Danette
and Madison disintegrates, and she attempts to befriend Sarah, a preacher’s
daughter and popular ninth grader. Kirsten believes pretty popular Sarah will
make a great role model for her as she grows in the faith. But Sarah cheats,
lies, pulls pranks, and dates guys against her father’s wishes. Sarah becomes
another mystery for Kirsten: If Sarah believes in God, why doesn’t she
How long did it take you to write A Shadow
in the Dark?
I think it
was a little over a year.
What is the biggest thing you’d like a
reader to take away from A Shadow in the Dark?
that even if life seems rough, they are never alone in what they’re
experiencing. God has gone before and is with them even now.
Your biggest fan and supporter is…
friends, Diane and Cheryl. They always buy my books, donate them to libraries,
and talk them up. They’ve helped me get into schools as a visiting author and
have both served as subjects for magazine stories I’ve written. Neither one has
as much interest in writing as I do, so I think that shows what wonderful
people they are that they care about something because they know I care about
What wonderful friends! Is there a random fact about you that most
people don’t know?
spent more time in the principal’s office than outside it in third grade. Most
people don’t know this because my family moved while I was in third grade. In
my new town, I was considered a goody-two-shoes and star student. But both
experiences contributed to what I know about life as a child and influence what
What is one thing you dread doing?
speaking. For some reason, though, TV interviews and question-and-answer
questions at conferences and schools don’t bother me. I guess I like speaking
off-the-cuff more than formally presenting.
What are you currently reading?
finished Bliss (a novel about
modern-day life in Turkey) and have switched to nonfiction (a travel guide) to
plan a family trip to New York this summer.
Thanks for coming, Ronica! Do you have a
website where our readers can learn more about you?
Series: It has a
sequel called Living It Up to Live It
Down, but I don’t know of the series name.
on a 1-10 scale: 8
opinion: I enjoyed this story! It’s about a young girl named Kirsten whose
parents are divorced. She goes to live out in the country with her mom,
struggles with her parents’ divorce, and meets a new friend. Kirsten and her
friend suspect that an unkind older lady living near them is keeping a girl
about their age against her will! This book has a fun dose of mystery and
adventure too. It will keep you reading ‘til the end! It’s aimed at
pre-teen/early-teen girls, but as an older teen, I enjoyed it too. In the end, Kirsten
learns to trust God as her very best friend. A good book!
My overall opinion: It was…interesting! A little too fantastical for me (I don’t think I’ve had that problem before) but it was fun anyway. Very story-bookish, and might be frightening for younger kids – but too fantastical (is that a word?) to make older people very worried.
You know her because – she was King Henry VIII’s second wife, and one of the most famous. Also the mother of Elizabeth I.
***Incidentally – historians disagree about her birthday. She died on May 19, we know that for sure, but it’s not known whether or not (for sure) it was her birthday. Some say yes, others, no. So I’m posting about her today, but it’s not actually for sure!
You know her because – she’s sung a lot of songs, and come out with many albums, including A Day Without Rain. She also sang the credits song in Fellowship of the Ring, a piece called May It Be. Her real name -- Eithne Ní Bhraonáin.
Y'all know I love Lisa T. Bergren River of Time series. :) (Click the River of Time link at the bottom of this to read my reviews of Waterfall, Cascade, and Torrent). Anyway, the cover for Lisa's new novella, Tributary, that comes out this summer...the cover is finally here! Look:
It's way too perfect. That's Luca, you know...absolutely Luca. It is my current favorite cover! Can't wait to read Bourne (Lisa's first novella sequel to the series) and then Tributary!!!!!
My overall opinion: Karen Kingsbury definitely wrote a lot of amazing books, and this is no exception. I’m reading her series all out of order…and enjoying them just the same. It’s so fun to learn the back-story on some of these characters! Another wonderful book and series.