Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall is right around the corner!

Who else likes loves is totally obsessed with fall like me?

(C'mon, I know I'm not the only one.)

It's my favorite time of year-something about the cool temperature, leaves blowing, and sense of anticipation in the air gets me every time. Also, the knowledge of acceptably unlimited amounts of pumpkin food products excites me almost as much as an unlimited shopping spree to Target.


Yup, I'm a total sucker for Autumn. If there was ever an official "fall approved" groupie t-shirt, I'd be wearing it. Like every day. No joke. Justin Bieber, who?

(Of course, I'd buy multiple T's in case you wonder about unspecified hygiene issues.)

I'd also bottle up the months of October/November and keep them with me all the time, like one of those weird little purse dogs that holly wood bimbos carry around as a fashion statement.

Eh, all right, that squeemed me out a bit. No, I wouldn't. Really. Stop staring at me like I'm a total wacko! Tee-hee. :)

Anyhow, if you're crazy, scary, horror movie like, obsessed with fall as I am, here's a slammin' high five from me to you.

If not, forget the high five-but I'll give you a polite finger wave anyhow. 

So, do tell. What is your favorite season of the year, and why?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Blog Tour for Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz

Love's Reckoning is book one in the Ballantyne Legacy series and here's the scoop:

On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come.. "Love's Reckoning" is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

Wow, this was a fantastic start to Laura's new series and thrillingly sets the stage for, what I'm sure, is much more delicious drama to come!

If you enjoy emotional, nail biting, angsty, tension filled, reads then this book will be right up your alley. I loved every second, even as my fingers were itching to slap a few very deserving people. I won't drop names, but you'll know who I'm talking about.

(Because this story is very plot driven with several twists and turns I don't want to ruin for anyone,  I'm going to be careful not to give any spoilers but instead focus on what I felt while reading.)

The various family dynamics are vividly etched and explored with sensitivity, yet realism. I honestly felt like a fly on the wall during the conversations, dinners, scheming, personal moments, and social functions Silas and Eden are part of. I held my breath when certain events unfolded, kisses were stolen, tragedy occurred-I really felt each emotion the characters did. 

I thought the growing relationship between Silas and Eden was nicely paced and not rushed, which I appreciated. They took their time getting to know each other before romance came into play, and the foundation of a spiritual connection was formed naturally rather than forced into awkwardly. Silas endeared himself to me in all the thoughtful ways he left scripture notes for Eden in unexpected places, brightening her day just a bit more. The play on your typical "love notes" was original and incorporated a really sweet religious element to the story, while strengthening the plot/storyline also. 

Love's Reckoning is not a light read and contains some darker elements that are handled without any unnecessary  detail, but just enough to make clear what's happening. The fallout from one such incident involving Eden was truly heart breaking, and I ached for what she was going through by no fault of her own. That tragedy can be overcome despite the loss of something we hold dear, is captured here movingly. Beauty can come from the most unexpected places and our past doesn't have to define out future, as this story so succinctly shows. 

The finale doesn't exactly end on a cliff hanger but it definitely leaves you wanting more, especially after you've read the sneak peek from book two! Every Laura Frantz book I've read has been exquisite, like the finest delicacy that you want to savor again and again. She just has a way of writing straight to your heart while also consistently engaging your imagination. The combination of earthy reality yet almost ethereal dreaminess, is stunningly combined to create an unforgettable novel. Love's Reckoning is, for lack of a better term,  hauntingly good.

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

If you'd like more information about author Laura Frantz, you can visit her blog here

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