Tuesday Teaser & Intro: Hope at Christmas

first-chapter-first-paragraph

Synopsis ~ Hope at Christmas

A recently divorced woman and her daughter look for a fresh start by moving to a small town that embraces them in ways that only fate and the magic of Christmas can explain.

Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, Ray Anne, head for tiny Hopewell, NC to the only asset her ex has no control over – a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she’d loved as a child during her summer stays.

Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year-old son, he’s Hopewell, North Carolina’s most sought after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He’s been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born.

But when a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.

 

Chapter 1 

Sydney Ragsdale pulled her car along the curb in front of the elementary school and faced her daughter with a go-get-em-kiddo smile. “Have a wonderful day, RayAnne.”

“It’s just school, Mom.”


Teasers

She’d make a plan. It’s what she’d always done to make sure she and Jon met his goals. Why was she treating her life any differently?

 

“When a customer buys a book, fiction or non-fiction, it usually ties to something going on in their lives. It’s like getting a puzzle piece. Not a nice edge or corner piece, tough. One of the murky middle ones that takes a while to figure out.”


Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros was created by Bibliophile By The Sea and is now hosted by Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.

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Review: The Master of Strathburn

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Master of Strathburn
Author: Amy Rose Bennett
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Release Date: May 2017
Length: 260 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realizes that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

Jessie Munroe has had a fall from nobility. For years her uncle ruthlessly whiled away the family fortune while her father tried to save it. Despite the delays, the day came when they were homeless. Her father has accepted a position at Lochrose Castle. Jessie takes a liking to the elderly Earl of Strathburn, although his wife and half-son, Simon, are not cut from the same cloth. They are snobbish and devious. The Earl pines for his long-lost son, Robert, who took part in the Jacobite uprising. With a price on his head, a near fatal injury, and his brother hounding the Dragoons to steal him away to the gaol, Robert was secreted away to a ship and never seen again. 

After a decade during which he is presumed dead, word makes it halfway ’round the world of the troubles of his father and the estate. Robert plots to return to have a clandestine meeting with his father. He is a different man now and is pained by the lives lost following him into battle. He regrets his hot-headed ways, but fears there is no redemption for a man like him. After all, he is a wanted man. The castle is filled with caring, helpful servants who understand the bounds of their duties and follow the Earl at all cost. It is how Robert escaped with his life, and it is why hiding out in the Highlands, awaiting the right moment, Jessie flees the castle to protect herself against the wretched and lecherous Simon Grant. He is an ugly, vengeful, borderline demented young man. He will not let Jessie, his Jezebel, get away. He hunts her to the ends of the earth, which is how she winds up with a foot injury traipsing to the Earl’s abandoned hunting lodge. Her plan is to get to the nearby coach station and travel to a relative’s home for safety.

The castle is filled with caring, helpful servants who understand the bounds of their duties and follow the Earl at all cost. It is how Robert escaped with his life, and it is why hiding out in the Highlands, awaiting the right moment, Jessie flees the castle to protect herself against the wretched and lecherous Simon Grant. He is an ugly, vengeful, borderline demented, young man. He will not let Jessie, his Jezebel, get away. He hunts her to the ends of the earth, which is how she winds up with a foot injury traipsing to the Earl’s abandoned hunting lodge. She plans to get to the nearby coach station and travel to a relative’s home for safety.

Her plan is quickly foiled when she awakens to a searing pain in her arm, and soon a strange man presiding over her. While transported here and there, she quickly gathers he is not quite who he says he is. To protect her virtue, she fictionalizes an engagement to Simon. Beautiful as a siren Jessie may be, but anything attached to Simon is tainted in Robert’s eyes. As Jessie helps Robert accomplish his task of reuniting, Robert promises to help her escape.

Once inside the castle, all bets are off. A series of unfortunate events occur, leading Robert and Jessie down an entirely different path while they both struggle with the unquestionable attraction to one another and their desire to protect each other.

Despite her moments of indecision and innocence, Jessie is a strong, determined young woman. She uses her quick wit and intelligence to get out of a scrape or two, and Robert’s warrior instinct vows to shield her. He has grown since that young man he was, and is a stark contrast to his villainous brother, Simon. He and his mother play large parts in moving the plot onward,  and it is utterly despicable. The gooseflesh will rise on your arms. I wanted to wrap Jessie up in bubble wrap and hide her away somewhere.

I loved the Earl. He is wise beyond his semi-senile appearance. The servants served as a supporting cast of characters and were an asset to the family name. Heart and loyalty abound within the walls of Lochrose Castle, and it was wonderful to see all of these individuals cheering Robert on from the sidelines.

I thought the ending would lead into another book, and I was disappointed that there was an epilogue, considering the events that had just transpired. In the writing world, it was the easy way out to slither out of truly unfolding that final event. I could have done without the epilogue entirely in exchange for a well-crafted chapter that brings all the pieces to a proper ending.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter 

Sunday Post ~ The Easy & Scary Week

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


I am still on a bullet journal organization kick. I bought some things to help me make it easier to transport all of it back and forth every weekend, but it wasn’t quite working. I went online to buy a colored pencil case and another larger case for my pens and markers. They arrived this week and I am so happy with how things worked out. All I have to do is pick up the big bag and go.

This week was a smooth and easy week. The kids came back on Monday. They took their screener test online and then on Tuesday we went to the library. Wednesday we launched our new unit, Thursday I was writing district assessments, and Friday we finished up their poetry terms. On Friday I had all of my students and all of my partner’s students crammed into my classroom because we were so short on subs. I spent my conference period on the couch in the instructional specialist’s room. Apparently my principal walked in on me sleeping.

But my partner started feeling crazy heartburn and then ended up throwing up constantly. On Thursday her husband took her to the ER and she is in ICU. They are waiting for her body to regulate some things. I went to see her Friday after school and there was no real improvement. She talked for a little bit and then went back to sleep. She can’t eat anything. They won’t even let her have water because she’ll throw it up everywhere. I am really worried about her.

My blog is FIVE years old!! Yesterday was my five year blogoversary and I’m actually doing something for it for once! Help me celebrate by entering the giveaway!

I am reading One True Pairing and then I’ll read Game of Hearts. I spent much of the weekend working in my bullet journal. I still have all those reviews to write. Most of them are NetGalley books, so that will help out my percentage a smidge. Maybe I’ll work on those tomorrow.

  • Monday
    • Audiobook Review ~ The Master of Strathburn
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ TBD
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ Hope at Christmas
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ Audiobook
  • Thursday
    • Beyond the Books ~ Interesting Posts Read Lately
  • Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 1.19.18

Yesterday was my 5 Year Blogoversary! Help me celebrate by entering my giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

@sissybearla

 

Five Year Blogoversary + Giveaway!

Today I’m excited to celebrate my  Five Year Blogoverary! Five years!! Wow!! Where has the time gone?

The day I started blogging I was scared. Y’all, I am a bit worry wart (thanks, Dad). I didn’t want to fail. I started out by sharing reviews with a friend to put on her blog. After a couple of months, I started my own blog in January 2013. I had just graduated college the month before and had some time to figure out how things worked.

I spent little time deciding on my blog name. It was inspired from a fictional place of similar name from a book I read several years ago, Land of a Hundred Wonders. The book was filled with characters I came to love. My first year was rough. I was learning about this whole new world and then I was a teacher! I lived at my school (and I still do), so I had to step away from my blog that first year. When 2014 hit I had a little bit better handle on things and I started coming back.

Since then there have been so many great books that have come along. NetGalley helped out there, and I’m still paying the price, but I love that I am auto-approved from a few publishers. I met some really great people and enjoyed so much of my blogging journey. I’ve had to take several hiatuses over the years, but I never considered leaving my blog behind. These past five years have been such a bright spot in my life with my blog.

Some Stats

379 Books Read
1,922 Posts
9,775 Comments
58,823 Blog Views
442 Followers on Instagram
1,595 Likes on Facebook Page
1,462 Followers on Twitter

It is so great to have this space and the freedom to share my thoughts about books and my life.  I want to thank all of you for visiting and commenting. In celebration of this milestone, I want to celebrate you! Without all of you fellow bloggers, I wouldn’t have enjoyed blogging nearly as much.

 Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

  • Open Internationally
  • Ends: 12:00 AM February 5th
  • Winner will be notified within 72 hours and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.
  • Sweeps and giveaway accounts are ineligible.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and emailed within 72 hours and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Prizing is provided by Girl of 1000 Wonders. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Book Blogger Hop ~ 1.12.18

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


Have you ever thought of writing a respectful, but angry letter to an author to ask them WHY they killed off one of your favorite characters in a novel? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

I have never thought of writing a letter to an author asking them to explain killing off a character…or asking them anything else, for that matter. I have, however, thought of writing an angry, as-respectful-as-possible letter to an author to inform them to quit sending daily emails criticizing my review of their book. I just started ignoring them and within two weeks the emails stopped.

Beyond the Books ~ Most Popular Posts

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

Most Popular Posts – Why do you think they got so much love? 

In order of views…

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for Readers Who Like Dead Poet’s Society

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros – Wonder

Book Review – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Book Review – One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

Book Review – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Book Review – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

How Dare You, Goodreads!

Teaser & Tuesday Intro – Somebody Like You

My Bullet Journal – Things That Didn’t Work

Book Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

It’s not surprise the Harry Potter reviews are popular. Everything HP is! A much-loved series of books. I think my post for readers who liked Dead Poet’s Society caught attention just because of the subject matter. It is a popular book and movie with older generations (meaning mine and older, younger ones aren’t in on it yet), but the themes found within the book are what resonate with so many.

Wonder was such a popular buzz book in 2017 that I think just the name alone attracted readers. I’m surprised that One Thousand White Women was so popular. I wouldn’t think it would be! My Goodreads post was full funny, and of course people take joy in finding out things that didn’t work out so well for others.

 

Upcoming Posts: 

January 18- List some interesting posts you have read lately (loved or hated)
January 25- Foods that remind you of childhood

February 1- Best Moments in Blogging
February 8- Romantic Movies/Shows
February 15- Blog(s) you read daily
February 22- Kids and Social Media

Famous Last Words #40

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


Leah Santelli always knew that Zach Harper, son of a rock legend and her best friend’s brother, was painfully out of reach. Then, on the night of her eighteenth birthday, Leah shocked herself by asking for–and receiving–the gift she wanted: one night of passion with Zach before he left town to pursue his rock star dreams. Now, years later, Zach is back in Cloud Bay to record his first solo album. His return could also be Leah’s big chance to step up her own music career. But getting the producing credit she needs means spending long hours with Zach in the recording studio…and falling back into the habit of longing for him, for better or worse.

Zach used to believe that a man must put his past behind him. But coming back home for Cloud Bay’s famed music festival has allowed him to finally make amends with his family and, much to his surprise, reunite with Leah. He might have left her once but now it seems he can’t stay away. Trouble is, even though the heat between them burns hotter than ever, Leah has old wounds in need of healing before she can give Zach a real chance. Can he find a way to convince her that they can make more than just great music together–and that she’s the one that he wants for all time?

No Place Like You