Top Ten Tuesday | The Authors I’d Love To Meet

Monday, March 27, 2017

The calendar says it’s Tuesday (or very nearly) which means we are present and ready for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, which is, quickly becoming one of Finding Wonderland’s favorite features. Or so history would suggest.

Broke and Bookish March 28 | Top Ten Authors I'm Dying To Meet / Ten Authors I Can't Believe I've Met  (some other "meeting authors" type spin you want to do) – Broke and Bookish

Any self-respecting reader knows that without talented authors there wouldn’t be stories. Without stories there wouldn’t be adventurous for us to discover; characters to relate to; romances to swoon over. Without these emotions, there wouldn’t be a community of fangirls, bloggers and readers to share thoughts, have conversations with and commiserate to. It’s appropriate then that the Broke and Bookish ladies turn the spotlight today on these authors.

In keeping true to today’s topic, I have to confess I haven’t met an author. Or if I have, it’s been unknowingly. Sure, I “meet” authors all the time through social media or email or here, but where I haven’t met them is at any kind of event. This is because I’ve never been to an author signing, event or expo outing. Oh, it’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy attending one of these, it’s more that I haven’t pursued attending one for various reasons.

Today, I decided to put this list together of these authors. Here are the parameters I followed while doing so. One being the authors I interact with most on social media (aka, these authors are super kind, personable and fun to “know”) and the rest (who I don’t interact with) are authors whose books I recently read and absolutely loved. There had to be some sort of “rule” set – because how else was I to narrow down this list? There are so many authors I’d like to meet!

Below are some (there are SO many more) of the authors who would be a privilege to someday meet. Only in true Typical-Forgetful-Rissi-Fashion, I missed adding some of these to my booktube version of Top Ten Tuesday. But happily, I added them in here!

1. Joanne Bischof author of The Lady and the Lionheart | Joanne is one of the nicest people I’ve “met” in this blogging world. To top it all off, she’s one talented lady.

2. Kristy Cambron author of The Illusionist’s Apprentice | Not only does Kristy write complex and compelling historical romance, she’s also a lovely lady to chat with.

3. Julianna Deering author of the Drew Farthering Mysteries | Julianna is another fabulous author, both in style and personality. She’s always up for a good Twitter conversation – and she never seems to mind the #WeHeartDrew fangirls.

4. Sara Ella author of Unblemished | I first discovered Sara Ella on Booktube where she has a great presence and her personality makes her videos fun. Since then, she’s released a YA fantasy novel with HarperCollins.

5. Rachel Hauck author of The Wedding Shop | One of (if not the first) authors I interacted with on Twitter, Rachel is a lovely person who’s books I consider favorites.

6. Jenny B. Jones author of Engaged in Trouble | Fabulous Indie author whose sense of humor is off the charts fabulous.

7. Ronie Kendig author of Conspiracy of Silence | Not only do I admire this author like none other for her dedication to writing exciting fiction that honors the military, she’s also a “present,” very generous author when it comes to her time on social media.

8. Dani Pettrey author of Still Life | Dani is an author who takes a lot of time to get her readers involved in the excitement of her new books. She does this through tours, scavenger hunts and other spotlights, all of which are always fun. Plus, she’s easy to talk to and always responds.

9. Katherine Reay author of The Austen Escape | The same can be said of Katherine as I’ve said of the previous authors I’ve discussed. Katherine indulges the fangirl thoughts as we put together random read-along groups and is always quick to offer to answer any questions we have while reading.

10. Sarah Sundin author of When Tides Turn | Copy, paste, repeat! All I’ve said until now can be said of Sarah. She writes fabulous WWII fiction and is always generous with her time when it comes to readers.

11. Melissa Tagg author of All This Time | Another author who’s humor, generous time with readers and stories makes me think she’d be lots of fun to meet.

12. Becky Wade author of True to You | Becky has a beautiful way of telling a story that translates to how she interacts with her readers.

13. Mary Weber author of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow | If you follow Mary on Instagram you know it’s a fun place to hang out. Stands to reason she’d be a fabulous person to hang out with.

14. Kasie West author of By Your Side | I recently (aka finally) read two of Kasie’s books this winter, and LOVED them. The kind of author who writes not only sweet fiction that fits into the YA market but also contemporary (MY FAVORITE!) is someone I’d like to meet.


(Publishes tomorrow afternoon)

That’s it for today! What authors have you met? What authors would you like to meet? Comment down below with your thoughts. I’d love to know who made your list! Or comment about any bookish related stuff. I’m always game for a good fangirl session.

Leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below, or if you’re a new reader, introduce yourself. I’d be glad to visit your websites and blogs.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

When Calls the Heart Recap, Be Enchanted by THE Episode Fans Have Waited For in "My Heart Will Go On"

Ordinarily, I don't share my recaps from Silver Petticoat on Finding Wonderland. Or when I do, it's not the entire series. But currently, I'm recapping When Calls the Heart every Monday over there. If you follow this show, you know last night's episode was THE episode fans of this period drama have been waiting for. The promos said this was the episode viewers couldn't miss, a kind warning that was with very good reason.

Sunday's "My Heart Will Go On" episode broke hearts with its bittersweet conclusion, but through the tears, it also puts a wide smile on our faces as we experience THE moment we've waited four (very long) years for and hear those sweet, long-awaited four little words.
You are my life. You are my everything.
If you watch this show you know exactly what I mean. If you're behind, well then, steer clear of this recap. It's all spoiler-y with all of the goodness that was yesterday's episode. If you have seen it and still want to gush, rant or swoon over the episodes beauty, read onward or comment down below. I'd love to chat it up.
I would wait an eternity for you.
When Calls the Heart, My Heart Will Go On Recap – Partings and a Standout Romantic Moment (Worth Waiting For)

Elizabeth Thatcher’s life is in disarray. Or that’s where last week left her. She was distraught over the idea of leaving her pupils as their teacher while the end returned to her a sense of purpose. One that includes tutoring her students so that they can better excel under their newly appointed, but harsh teacher. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat → 

Photos: Hallmark/Crown Media

Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Disney’s Magical Live-Action, ‘Tale as Old as Time’ Romance

Sunday, March 26, 2017

While some may say nothing can ever surpass their childhood films, one of which includes the 90s animated film, Beauty and the Beast, I respectfully disagree. At least when it comes to something else matching its greatness. The response I’ve had to Disney remaking the classic films of our childhood has been favorable beyond my wildest dreams.

Once upon a time, there was an enchanting castle. Its occupant is a vain prince, who surrounds himself with beautiful things and people. Everything changes when a powerful enchantress places a curse on the prince and those in his household. Now in response to his rejection of outward appearances, the curse reflects the prince’s true nature; the ugliness of his heart is reflected in his outward person.

The only way to break the curse is for the beast (Dan Stevens) to find someone who will love him unconditionally before the final petal on the enchanted rose falls. When a headstrong villager named Belle (Emma Watson) comes to be the beast’s prisoner, the castle begins to feel a sense of hope. But will it be enough to break the curse?

After the live-action imagining of Cinderella, the anticipation for what Disney would next enchant us with was palpable. When rumors swirled that the next would be Beauty and the Beast, naturally, I was excited anew for the feelings of nostalgia this was sure to evoke. Of course following confirmation, social media became the place to be for cast updates plus its release date.

Needless to say when March 2017 was announced, it seemed such a long way off. Controversy also attached itself to this film, some minor, some more important. Either way, here we are. March 17th has come and gone. Beauty and the Beast has become a record-breaking hit, but the question remains, is it worth the hype?

The long and short answer is, yes! This film is magic from opening frame to the final swish of Belle’s ball gown. There’s something about this story that transfixes its audience. Whether it be its plucky, headstrong heroine or its timeless tale of unconditional love, or more simplistically, its titular song sequence, it’s a stunning example of poetry in motion picture elegance. All that to say nothing of the old-fashion fable this storytelling promotes. It’s the kind missing from the box office, but I’d be so bold as to say, it’s the kind the masses most want.

Before my adoration slips away from my control, let's chat about those controversial issues. (Only be aware, this paragraph will contain some spoilers.) These include the “exclusively gay” comment, and some of the technical complaints. The former is, as one might expect, overblown to be something entirely unimportant in the film's scope. (Blink and you may miss Lefou dancing with another dude!) That said, it will bother some people, and that’s okay. The secondary issue some viewers take issue with is the CGI. This is something that doesn't bother me. I found the beast to be, appropriately, beastly, which is precisely what his character needs. Prior to seeing this, I didn't read reviews (and I still haven’t), but I did see snippets around the interwebs which is where the information about these issues crop up.
Think of the one thing that you've always wanted. Now find it in your mind's eye and feel it in your heart.” - Beauty and the Beast
Moving on from the bothersome issues, I have more to say on the pro side. One being the cast. Dan Stevens is an actor dedicated to his craft as is further proven by his portrayal of Beast. He is wonderful as Matthew Crawley; he continues to inspire as a leading man as the tortured soul of this iconic character. In this script, he’s allowed to give the Beast character and feelings, all of which is marvelous. He and Emma share an easy-going almost flirtatious banter (“Are you making jokes now?”) that’s difficult not to smile over. 

Their friendship is developed in a way that makes the pacing seem longer than it is so that the love story payoff reads as genuine. The “who’s who” of British talent turns in amazing performances from Ian McKellen (X-Men), Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Hattie Morahan (Sense and Sensibility) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle).

Beyond all this gushing, the staging, costumes, sets and songs are a stunning replica of the original, only better because of their life form. From elaborate (“Be Our Guest”) to (wisely) simplistic magnificence (“Beauty and the Beast”), the songs are unforgettable. The latter in particular is a romantic, swoon-worthy scene that is worth experiencing on the big screen even if nothing else touches its viewer. The script keeps things mostly the same but in an effort to keep current with the times, Belle is obviously fashioned after a contemporary feminist. From her actions down to how she’s styled, the nods are there.

If you love fairy tales or the remake of Cinderella, this is sure to enchant you as a new Disney classic to love. It’s magic. It’s romance. It’s true. Beauty and the Beast is everything a fangirl could wish for, and in my humble opinion, so much more. ♥

Booktube Talk | The Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

CONTENT: Rated PG for frightening images (wolves threaten people, they inflict harm on one person) and some "peril" (a man is purposely left in the woods in the hopes the wolves will finish his off). One man seems to embrace his femininity when he's dressed in ladies clothes.

Photos: Disney

Booktube Talk | The Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy It’s-a-week-after-Beauty-and-the-Beast-Opened-Day Friday, friends. If you are reading this intro and thinking, “Nooo, she’s not talking about that, again??” You might want to skip this post altogether. However if, like me, you’re quite excited about this brand new Disney film, please read onward because a. there’s plenty of BATB (an acronym I’ll use from now on to shorten the length of the words I have to type – because lazy!) talk forthwith, and b. some of you might be tagged in my booktube video chat. 

Three years ago when Disney live-actioned (is that a term? I’m going with it) Cinderella, I came away starry-eyed. When news broke their next endeavor would be BATB, I was excited. Then casting was announced. Unlike my experience with the prince in Cinderella (I have since come to believe Richard Madden is the best princely prince ever – proof of which can be found in Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C), the prince cast in this instance was the opposite reaction.

Beloved Matthew Crawley aka Dan Stevens stepped into the role of the beastly prince.

What followed was controversy of the pairing of him with British star, Emma Watson. The age gap was a source of annoyance while I was over here, all like, “DAN STEVENS IS PLAYING THE BEAST!” *heart eye emoji x ten*

In short or to put it in a more professional manner, I was elated. Channeling all this excitement into something fun seemed a good idea so I’m doing just that.

This week, the blog and booktube channel has been BATB-fied with tags, a giveaway (closed) and this past Monday, I was over on Silver Petticoat with a list of BATB themed books on my bookshelf. If you’re as excited as I am, come along with me. There’s lots of fun down below.

This is a kind of “Part 2” of this tag since I split the prompts up. Answers to the rest can be seen in my new booktube video! Until then, join the fun and read ahead.

 “TALE AS OLD AS TIME” – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading

Though this totally ties into today’s topic and theme, I’d opt for the unconditional love theme. There’s something so beautiful about the story inside Beauty and the Beast. It’s such a deep, poignant and when done well, romantic (in the trust, most realistic sense of the word) trope. In short, it’s one I shall never tire of. Unlike certain other romantic tropes.

BELLE – A book you bought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too

Yes, I’ve seen this as the answer, but I’ll choose The Selection. The series’ covers are stunning, and the story inside is stunning too. It’s a juxtaposed blend of The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games, but with a fairy tale “old world” angle that also takes inspiration from the Biblical story Esther.

BEAST – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

Probably either If I Stay or The Fault in our Stars. They probably aren’t my favorite books on my shelf, but I was pleasantly surprised how well I did enjoy them. A great deal more than I expected. (Although to be fair, I always loved the beast – even at his worst. He was just having a really bad day, something we all have, right?? *wink*)

GASTON – A book everyone loves that you don’t (Booktube answer!)

LEFOU – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counter part

This isn’t in the same “realm” as the books I’ve been talking about because I’ve not read the books, but I’ll name Dr. Watson. Although to be honest, I don’t think I can say I love him more than his counterpart (Sherlock Holmes), I simply love him equally.

MRS. POTT, CHIP, LUMIER & COGSWORTH – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

I can remember reading Denise Hunter’s Barefoot Summer and being wowed by it. Though I don’t remember the section, in particular there was one specific point that really impacted me.

“SOMETHING THERE” – A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end (Booktube answer!)

“BE OUR GUEST” – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner

Umm, all of them?? Or at least those who I really like. How’s a girl to click “select” on a few characters? I’ll say this, my dinner party would require a very looong dinner table and set. Some of whom would include, Juliette D’Alisa (I mean, inviting a chef is practical, right??); Drew Farthering, Matthew, Col Brandon, and Mr. Knightley (gentleman represented!); Anna and Etienne (obviously); Harriet Manners; Charlie and Ella; Jem, Merida and Ray; and SO(so) many others!

That’s it for today! Have you put together this tag? Do you like this “Tale as Old as Time”? What Beauty and the Beast (or Disney) tags or post have you put together? Comment down below with your thoughts! 

TAG! You’re it! I’ve tagged some amazing booktubers and bloggers, but if YOU are reading this and are a blogger (or booktuber!), consider yourself tagged. Swing by and let me know if you put this together. I’d love to come by and visit. Find my booktube video to see more BATB fun. 

Thanks for being my guest and visiting today. Always happy to chat with you all.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

Life After by Katie Ganshert – Emotional, Heartwarming Inspirational Fiction

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Source: Publisher / Blogging for Books
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Find the Review Elsewhere: 
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Genre: Fiction; General, Inspirational
Rating: ★★★★★

23 passengers stepped on a Chicago “L” train on what seems an ordinary day. 

It’s ordinary for an elderly man who’s been married to his wife for over sixty years. It’s ordinary for a college student who’s a bright, beautiful young woman on the cusp of her whole life. It’s ordinary for a young mother and son. 

It’s not ordinary for Autumn Manning or Vivian Elliott. 

23 passengers step on the train. 22 passengers never return to their homes in the wake of a bombing. Autumn is the sole survivor of the attack, an attack that’s dubbed her the “miracle survivor,” but left her emotionally unable to “live.” When her path intersects a year later with that of Paul, the widower of Vivian, things become complicated, painful and somehow, full of joy in a combination of unexpected emotions.

Katie Ganshert is one of THE brightest and most talented authors in the contemporary inspirational (or Christian) fiction scene. Or this is my impression of her stories. Her writing is challenging, simple (again, always used as a compliment), and emotional, all of which she conveys to page with a “no fuss” kind of storytelling. It’s no surprise then that her latest novel, Life After, would be no differently composed. In fact, this may be her greatest accomplishment yet.

Life After is a breathtaking symphony of loss, hope and forgiveness told in a way that brings together so many people without overwhelming the reader by cluttering its pages. Some books can shove too many characters at us, but this is an example when lots of characters are for the benefit of the tale. The characters that come into Autumn’s life aren’t only mere figments of therapeutic release, they’re somehow made to be vital to the story even though their time “on screen” is brief, especially in comparison to Autumn (who carries much of the story) or Paul.
I guess that's what life is, though, isn't it? A whole bunch of little moments that don't seem significant or life-altering at the time, but when you look back . . . They become the most profoundly beautiful things.” ― Katie GanshertLife After
This isn’t the typical happily ever after story. Instead, it’s a mature story of love, acceptance, healing and finding our way “home.” Interwoven into this are the personal relationships and tribulations between families. The structure or “set up” of the story is well put together. From the POV switch off to the journal entries and Reese’s letters, this story has all the classic makers of a tearjerker that’s sure to, in the end, leave you with a smile. Though not everything ends up being a rose-colored glass result, I was surprised at the tenderness of how everything comes out even if it’s just a tiny bit “rushed.”

No matter what, it’s in the flaws that this story shines. Whether it’s the journey to feeling “whole” again; a teen trying to navigate the secret she doesn’t understand; or a man who inadvertently restricts a healthy healing process, the stories in Life After is an emotional heart stopper. Those who enjoy this type of fiction are missing out unless they pick up this beauty. You’ll be hooked from first page to last. ♥

Life After hits store selves April 18th!

Synopsis: On the day of a late spring storm, in Chicago, Autumn Manning boarded an “L” train. A bomb explodes, killing everyone in the train car except for Autumn—the sole survivor. A year has passed and Autumn suffocates under a blanket of what ifs and the pressing desire to bring the victims back to life, every day, if only for her. She doesn’t want their stories to be forgotten. She wants to undo what cannot be undone. An unexpected ally joins her efforts, also seeking answers and trying to find a way to stumble ahead. 

But one victim’s husband, Paul Elliott, prays to let the dead—and their secrets—rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to hurt his loved ones. 

Caught between loss and hope, these restless souls must release the past to embrace a sovereign God. - Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book.

Review text is © Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), 

Can't Wait / Waiting On Wednesday | Third Edition

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hello, readers and followers! I've again got another 'Waiting On' / 'Can't Wait' Wednesday post for you all. There's more fun to come later this week (a book review and Beauty and the Beast stuff), but since I love any and all excuses to feature books, this week, I wanted to again join this popular middle-of-the-week meme. 

I'm linking up with my Bookstagram partner in crime, Tressa of Wishful Endings. (Read about our April challenge!)

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. (Find out more here.)

For today's meme, I'm turning the spotlight on a popular YA series. Today I'm waiting on...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary Romance; YA Fiction
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?  - Goodreads 

WHY I'M WAITING | ok, don't judge. I've never read a novel by Jenny Han let alone a 'Lara Jean' novel. BUT I did start the first one a long time ago (SO GOOD) and plus, I mean, look at these covers?? The aesthetic is amazing. 

So, why am I "waiting" on this, a series I've not read, you ask? Well, the idea of the book is precisely one I feel I'd love, and as I own books one and two, chances are high I'll pick this one up, and enjoy binge reading the trio!

Have you read this YA novel or anything by Jenny? Comment down below with your thoughts, Waiting on / Can't Wait Wednesday blog links. I'd love to chat all things bookish with you. 

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland. 

#WishfulWonder | April 2017 #Bookstagram Challenge

Hello, my book loving friends. As inch towards another month, it's that time again. Tressa (of Wishful Endings) and I are pleased to announce we have put together another Bookstagram challenge.

Before we get to the the specifics of April's challenge, I'd like to give everyone who has and is joining in, a round of thanks for joining the fun. As always, your time and creative efforts are such fun to "see" reflected in the photos you take inspired by so many amazing authors and their novels.

Today, I'm sharing a couple of the photos from our March challenge that caught my eye recently.

Next, yes I am going to indulge in my usual "spiel" trying to tempt you to join us.

I learned today that months have FLOWERS? How cool! Apparently the March flower is a daffodil and there just /happened/ to be daffodils growing just outside of our house! (I guess that means it's March?) So here's some #bookandflower love paired with a nice cup of tea and some classics. 😉 . I can't believe it's already Thursday. This week has seemed extra long and far too short all at the same time, but I'm managing to write every day and that's a first for me! (Usually I only write a couple times a week...if that.) . Also, apparently today is National Book Day? And its 20th anniversary? I didn't even know about it the first 19 years! I think I might go buy a book today. 😉 To celebrate. And because there's a new bookstore in town. And it's my favorite. And because...BOOKS. Der. . 🌹🏰(p.s. Don't forget to enter my Beauty and the Beast themed giveaway! Two posts back.)🏰🌹 . . 📚#WishfulWonder - March Flower: Daffodil (book challenge by @WishfulEndings & @Rissi006) 📚#livelaughbooksmarch - children's books
A post shared by Nadine Brandes - YA Author (@nadinebrandes) on

(And there are more I could have shared! But I figured I'd best stop looking or else I'd be pasting them all in here.)

+ If you’re pressed for time to participate in daily challenges, first and foremost, while we love it when you do, there’s no rule that says you must post every day. (Not that you needed my permission to say this, but I thought I'd put this out there.)
+ If you think you can’t participate because of it being “too much work,” try taking a handful or several days’ worth of photos for an hour. (This is generally what I try to do, which is nice and I often find I have a little “stock pile” of Instagram photos as a result.)  
+ If you're looking to meet other Bookstagrammers (people in the book community on Instagram) and bloggers, or build your "brand" in the book community, joining a challenge is an excellent way to do this. 
+ If you don’t think our #WishfulWonder challenge looks like a good fit for you, there are TONS of challenges on Instagram. A brief #Bookstagram or some variation of a #BookChallenge hashtag search will show this. 
+ Best of all, the best thing about these challenge (well, aside from the people. And the books.) is the creative outlet. You develop your OWN style of photos, which is what makes everyone's account so unique! I've seen simplistic (in terms of prop use, etc.) photos that are stunning and I've seen more elaborate shots that compliment the book and suit the style of the bookstagrammer. Plus, if you're like me, and you love creative outlets, this is an excellent way to do this. 
+ Still not convinced? Go ahead and follow our #WishfulWonder tag on Instagram or Twitter to be inspired!

Everything for this month is self-explanatory (or we hope so!). Introducing our April 2017 #WishfulWonder Challenge.

If you have any questions about the prompts, please feel free to ask! Again the rules are simple. We’d love to see your pictures, so be sure to tag us with the usual, #WishfulWonder hashtag. Also, feel free to share this.

Finally, consider letting us know what ideas you enjoy best! We'd love to have your feedback.

Happy day, Book Nerdigans. Join us in our fun, bookish endeavors - we look forward to chatting with you.
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Top Ten Tuesday | The Books I Read In One Sitting (But Not Really Because TURTLE READER!)

Monday, March 20, 2017

More bookish crazy is upon us with yet another participation in the popular Top Ten Tuesday meme.

Brokeand Bookish March 21 | Read In One Sitting Theme ten of the shortest books I've read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc. – Broke and Bookish

When I saw today’s topic I thought it was really unique. I liked the idea of a “Read in One Sitting” theme immediately. And then realization struck. I had to remind myself that I never (like, ever) read a book in a sitting. This is because I’m a. a turtle reader and b. I really don’t like to read a book (no matter how good it is) in a sitting. I don’t like to sit there and stare at a page for the length of time it takes me to read a book.

Sometimes getting up and moving on to something else (usually a blogging project, or simply living life) is required.

This is why, for today’s topic, I decided to feature either the shortest books I’ve read or more specifically, novellas. All of which probably tie together neatly since it stands to reason the shortest stories I’ve read are in fact, novellas. A (re: novellas) sub-genre that seems to be gaining a lot of traction lately, and though I never used to, I’ve read more in the last year or two than I have in my entire life.

Seemed like all that combined provided a good opportunity to turn a spotlight on these tales, no matter their length, they’re still entertaining. Some of these I have read, others I plan to read soon. Let’s have a look.

1. The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott | Technically this might not be considered a novella, but its page count comes in at under 150 pages (or my copy does), so I put it on this list because, well, it fits my "under 150" page count rule of today's parameters. Sadly, this is a book that improved far and away with its film adaptation. Amazon | Goodreads 

2. A Summer Remade by Nicole Deese | This charming novella is perfect as we transition into the warm sunny days of summer. Pick it up today and discover why! Originally part of the Just One Summer collection.  Amazon | Goodreads

3. The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert | Think You've Got Mail when you think of this romcom; plus it's by Katie Ganshert, so yeah, it's a beauty. Amazon | Goodreads 

4. Waves of Summer by Tammy L. Gray | Another perfect summertime read, this beauty is as charming on the inside as it is on the outside. Originally part of the Just One Summer collection.  Amazon | Goodreads

5. Wild Heart Summer by Jenny B. Jones | Jenny's books are always comical magic. Short in length or no, this story is no different. Originally part of the Just One Summer collection. Amazon | Goodreads 

6. A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo | A kind of "modern" Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants concept, this novella rounds out the final in this 4-story collection. 'Painted' is sassy and swoony (and features a favorite hero of m mine!). Originally part of the Just One Summer collection. Amazon | Goodreads

7. A Singular and Whimsical Problem by Rachel McMillan | The launch to Rachel's debut series was this 54 page novella that does indeed live up to its delightful title. Amazon | Goodreads 

8. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg | Melissa Tagg is my go-to author for joyful (yet still impacting), delightful, and swoony romcom! Plus, her meet cutes are da bomb. Oh, and BONUS! If you've been wanting to start her Walker family series, check this one out, it's her (FREE!) novella that helps to launch this series. You'll be hooked. Amazon | Goodreads 

9. Then Came You by Becky Wade | This one looks charming, and is the (free Kindle) novella that launches Becky's ALL new series with True to You (arriving in May). It's also available in paperback, something I snagged right away and cannot wait to read! Amazon | Goodreads

10. If Ever I Would Leave You by Susan May Warren | Simple and sweet, this novella is also the launch of Susan's latest (ongoing) series, Montana Rescue. While not essential to enjoy the series, it really helps give background on two characters who play important, recurring roles in the series. Amazon | Goodreads



That concludes today’s “shortest-books-I’ve-read” talk. Do you like shorter stories? Novellas? How did you spin this week’s topic? Share your links below (I wanna’ come by and visit!) or any other bookish comments you want to talk about. The comment section is yours!

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

PS: swing by the Giveaway, running now!

Emerald City (2017) - NBC's Urban (Romantic!) Fantasy Remakes ‘Oz’

Several weeks ago, I sat down to watch NBC's pilot episode of Emerald City. While entertaining, it apparently didn't leave the kind of lasting impression that drew me in, because I left without watching more episodes. Then, as is a normal reaction, suddenly I realized, it was a must watch because I had a review due for it in a matter of days. *While perhaps this is an exaggeration, that due date loomed large* Needless to say, this hastened the necessity to finish this limited ten-episode series.  

As it turns out, I'm grateful for this "push" to finish this series because ohmygoodness! Inside its fantastical, beautiful and often creepy world, I discovered a unique story. As all TV is bound to do, this one won't appeal to some viewers who aren't fond of an overabundance of magic, PC story lines or moral lines that blur. 

That said, I watched this purely for its entertainment resources and as such, I found Emerald City to be a fabulously fun ten hours of telly. 
You got your wish. - Dorothy from Emerald City
If you'd like to read my official review, you can click through to find it on Silver Petticoat.

Airing a limited miniseries is a trend that seems to appear and disappear on TV screens before I blink. NBC’s latest is Emerald City, an urban fantasy that tweaks, revamps, and in most instances reconstructs, the classic known as The Wizard of Oz. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat →

Have you seen Emerald City? Did you like it or detest it? What modern re-imaginings of classic fables are among your favorites?? Comment down below with your thoughts. I'd love to chat with you.

Content: there are adult situations (including two sexual situations, and one implied). Other issues like a transgender character is an important part of the story as is magic; characters are often tortured with magic. There's swordplay, and other instances of violence. A character is decapitated in a vicious battle. Most episodes are rated TV14

Giveaway | Beauty and the Beast

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Good afternoon fellow fairy tale enthusiasts, readers and friends. Today is a fun day. Or I hope it is. Today, in anticipation of Beauty and the Beast, I'm celebrating its arrival with a little giveaway prize pack.

What does this prize pack entail, you ask? Well, to be honest, I don't know. Let me explain.

You see, I ordered a book only to discover upon its arrival, it wasn't what I thought it'd be. So, I went down the wide black, unknown hole (aka the Interwebs) in search of something more align with my idea. Long story short, I haven't received said book yet which means I haven't been able to take a photo. But here's an idea of what you'll get in a fun little package

Beauty and the Beast Giveaway Prizes

- Beauty and the Beast Themed Book (aka the book I ordered in replace of the first) OR
- a Melanie Dickerson Fairytale, The Princess Spy
- Small, dainty pair of earrings (unlisted) from Baubles, Beads and Stuff
- Beauty and the Beast Themed Bookmarks (1-2); where they'll come from, I'm not sure. They might be from my own printer (i.e., my random designs) or an Etsy shop. But they'll be in the package!
- Keychain Funko (Belle with Rose)

Plus, who knows, maybe they'll be one or two other small, but fun treasures tossed in. Keep an eye on this post or my Instagram because chances are, I will update with a photo of the prize pack asap (when I have all the items together). And since I a. have an extra copy and b. am going giveaway crazy, you can also enter to win a copy of another book! This is the perfect book for today's giveaway because, well, it does contain echoes of Beauty and the Beast, no matter their subtlety. Details below.

FOR LOVE AND HONORLady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise? – Goodreads 

Amazon | Goodreads

Can you all tell how excited I am about this film?? And yes, there will be MORE BATB fun this week into next. It's not a question of if, but "when" and of "how much" since my original plans might not happen because, well, life happens. Something that loves to throw a ringer in my best laid plans.

(If you've never entered a giveaway on Finding Wonderland, read on below for the rules.)
And now let's get the rule details out of the way. (If you're a pro in giveaway's around here, just skip to the good bit: the widget!)

The giveaway(s) is open to US readersThe prize will be a paperback copy, unless otherwise noted (US readers might have a paperback option when applicable). I do ask that anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment - it's not easy to try and match comments when there is no name and in fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify. So please, I don't mean to overwhelm, but just keep this in mind when entering future giveaways. I'd sure appreciate it! Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification (you'll be contacted at the email address in the Rafflecopter form) before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The Giveaway ends March 22nd. Happy Rafflecopter-ing!

SHARABLES | #GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win fun #BeautyAndTheBeast prizes! #BookNerd #Bookworm via @RissiJC

Book #Giveaway | Don't miss a chance to win Jody Hedlund's FOR LOVE and HONOR #BeautyAndTheBeast #BookNerd @RissiJC

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