Frozen in Love (2018) – Bookshop Girl + Hockey Star = Romantic Meet-Cute

Frozen in Love (2018) – Bookshop Girl + Hockey Star = Romantic Meet-Cute

Frozen in Love (2018) – Bookshop Girl + Hockey Star = Romantic Meet-Cute

The second original for Hallmark Channel’s Winterfest is, as we all know it will be, impossibly cute. Frozen in Love introduces us to Mary (Rachael Leigh Cook), a woman with a bookish aptitude who’s recently taken over ownership of her parents book shop. Quaint, but old-fashioned, Mary also lives by the same rules she applies to her business mentality. She doesn’t need modern trappings to have something good. No matter what her brother might try and convince her of.

Enter Adam Clayborn (Niall Matter), a hockey star who’s got something of a reputation. Suspended from his Denver team yet again in the matter of so many months, Adam is instructed to work on his public image during suspension. He needs to win back the public… or else there may not be a place for him on the team. Through a series of events, Adam is teamed up with Mary for some good PR with the book store. The only trouble is, Mary and Adam are polar opposites who seem to constantly “push” each other the wrong way…

Adopting the classic Bennet/Darcy, love-hate relationship, this TV romcom is yet again another charming from the network that promises it’s the “Heart of TV.” A tagline that encompasses so many of this network’s many stories and the scenes that truly “live” this moniker.

Like so many of their previous (and I’ve not a doubt, those to still come) productions, Frozen in Love puts an important emphasis on family. Despite their limited role, this includes Mary’s parent’s who leave an impression, but it’s really Mary’s relationship with her brother that I liked. Their relationship is typical sibling-cute and makes us smile more than once. Of course, we also cannot let a chance pass to discuss the rest of the characters, namely Adam. Mary and Adam, as each leading couple do, easily endear themselves to the viewer. Theirs is the kind of relationship that keeps the viewers on their toes as they volley back and forth debates and attempt to one up each other.

Those of us who watch this channel with frequency will recognize Niall from the ‘Father Christmas’ duo (where he stars with Erin Krakow) and of course, Rachael Leigh Cook has played leading lady in earlier Hallmark’s like Summer Love (one of my recently discovered favorites).

The same I say of every movie on this network could be written here. This is (yet again) a sweet romance that anyone can enjoy – especially those who respect and appreciate wholesome romances. Frozen in Love has some old-fashioned feels with the book store and its bookish heroine, plus as a bonus that I know several of us will appreciate, many of the scenes take place in a book shop. That's enough said.

Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press. 
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The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright – Atmospheric, Gothic-Inspired Time Slip Novel

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright – Atmospheric, Gothic-Inspired Time Slip Novel

Book: The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright – Atmospheric, Gothic-Inspired Time Slip Novel
(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Historical
Source: Author Launch Team / Publisher Provided – thank you, Bethany House
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★★

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to tragedy… or mental anguish. In the aftermath of her husband’s death, which the police rule an accident, Kaine believes he was murdered. No one believes her, but she knows the truth. Further reinforcing her theory is an unknown shadow who begins to stalk her. But when she can’t prove her case, she picks up the pieces of her life and heads for a place she's never been....

Her destination is Wisconsin where her ancestral family home sits. A century earlier, Ivy Thorpe tries to unlock the mystery of Foster Hill – and piece together the puzzle of the murder that took place at the home. Decades apart, these women work to solve a mystery that may have surprising answers.

From the moment I read the synopsis of this debut (Bethany House debut, anyway) author’s novel, it was one of those novels that begged to be read. The teasers promised a story sure to keep readers excitedly flipping the pages – for some of us, maybe even long into the night. Inside the intricate cover art lays a story that does indeed pull its reader in. Just not always for the reasons we may assume.

Well written and constructed, Jaime’s novel tells an intriguing story. Tagged with the newer “time slip” subgenre (also, does anyone else feel like this is the genre with that “it” factor right now?), the story’s dual points work well together. Best of all, I appreciate that Wright doesn’t switch off every other chapter (each time) but instead uses larger sections of the novel that remains with Kaine and vice versa. It helps hold the story together in a format that can sometimes be off-putting. That said, don’t be fooled, Jaime’s story knows precisely when to switch between the duel perspectives. Just as we’re settling into Kaine’s side of the story, we’re abruptly sent back into Ivy’s world as the tension fueled mystery continues to build.

Intricate and full of mysterious puzzle pieces, The House on Foster Hill is a novel worth picking up. The characters are interesting (side note: plus, unique character names - Kaine, for the win), and the story keeps a good pace regardless of the switch off duel perspectives. Inside the doors of Foster Hill, you’ll find mystery, danger and maybe, just maybe, even that elusive happy ending.

Synopsis: Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. 

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives – including her own – are lost. - Goodreads

Coming Next from Jaime Jo Wright: Annalise knows painful memories hover beneath the pleasant façade of Gossamer Grove. But she is shocked when she inherits documents that reveal mysterious murders from a century ago. In this dual-time romantic suspense novel, two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their town before it's too late. – Goodreads, July 2018

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book; all opinions are my own. (Apologies to the author and publisher for the delay in publishing this review.) 
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Top Ten Tuesday | Let’s Get Organized (aka the List in Which I share all of my This-Is-What-I’d-Like-To-Do Goals)

Top Ten Tuesday | Let’s Get Organized (aka the List in Which I share all of my This-Is-What-I’d-Like-To-Do Goals)

Top Ten Tuesday | Let’s Get Organized (aka the List in Which I share all of my This-Is-What-I’d-Like-To-Do Goals)

Hey, hey happy readers! Today sees the return of Top Ten Tuesday to Finding Wonderland and marks the official debut of our new “hostess with the most-ess.”

That Artsy Reader Girl January 16: Bookish Resolutions/Goals - That Artsy Reader Girl 

(This post does contain affiliate links; I may receive a small commission if you order through this link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Goals. Ah, yes. The dreaded organizational topic that rolls around every New Year. Each year I suspect many of us make goals or resolutions. Whether or not we keep them is entirely another story. Today we’re asked to share some of our bookish resolutions. A list I feel really ill-equipped to make mainly because I know I won’t keep them. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still fun to make the list, and besides… perhaps putting pen to paper (metaphorically speaking) will inspire me to actually make some goals…and maybe – just maybe, I’ll even accomplish some of them. Stranger things have happened.

Let’s do this.

1. Bookstagram | I’d really like to find a good schedule for bookstagram, in terms of the actual task of taking the photos. I so enjoy doing it because it’s another creative outlet to learn about and experience, but I feel like too often I use part of everyday (I don’t think I really do, it just feels like it) to snap a series of photos. I’d like to revert to the “olden” days when I’d actually be ahead of schedule and shoot multiple prompts in one day and be set for a week or better.

2. Booktube | This is another of my recent pursuits that I’ve enjoyed. But like everything, I think it’s going to be most effective and work best for me if I find a schedule. Here’s hoping 2018 is THE year this happens.

3. Freelance Writing | This past year I had a chance to do a little (very little) freelance writing of the bookworm variety, and I found I really enjoyed it. It’s something I’d love to pursue more of in 2018, but isn’t something I’ve read a great deal about in terms of the ins and outs. What advice do you all have you the freelance world?

4. Goodreads | I used to use GR all the time. Now I skip over it and rarely make use of it until I’ve publish 10+ reviews on the blog. Once this happens, I go on a binge-cross-share-all-the-reviews on my profile. It’s a method, but not one I’m bookworm proud of.

5. Overhaul Bookshelves | Every year – post-INSPYs, I reorganize my bookshelves. The kind of reorganization where I take every single book off my shelf, unhaul and reorganize said books. (Much to the chagrin of myself and my floor which does not appreciate the extra clutter.) Putting this on the list might be a moot point because it is an annual even for this bookworm, but still… I wanted to add it. If only as a kind of reminder not to let myself off the hoof for this task.  

6. Read More Emery Lord Books | One may wonder why I specified a specific author rather than just say, read more books! This is because Emery’s books (or The Start of Me and You does) deserve to be singled out. Perhaps judging by it alone isn’t far, but what can I say… it’s a goal. The Start of Me and You: Amazon | Goodreads

7. Read More Morgan Matson Books | Copy and paste all the reasons listed above for this author. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour: Amazon | Goodreads

8. Read More Kasie West Books | Pretty much all of the reasons as those listed above (under “Read More Emery Lord Books”) applies to this author. The only difference is I have read a number of books by Kasie – all of which are catnip for this reader.

The Fill-In Boyfriend: Amazon | GoodreadsLucky in Love: Amazon | Goodreads 

9. Read More Books | Goes without saying… but ideally, how nice would it be to read more of the books that have been on my shelf for a while. (A subject coming up in a near future Top Ten Tuesday.) Also... why am I such a turtle reader?

10. Schedule | Finding that “magic ticket” when it comes to blogging scheduling and even reading is a must; and tied into this is a genuine feeling I'd like to return to pre-2015 or is it 2016 blogger when I responded PROMPTLY to comments. I say it every year which I why I don’t like to make resolutions… but what can I say? It IS a genuine goal, I just don’t manage to meet its lofty expectations.

*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above

That wraps up Finding Wonderland’s first Top Ten Tuesday with That Artsy Reader Girl! Thank you so much, Jana for hosting.

Tell me, reader friends: what reader/booktube/blogging or bookstagram goals do you have for 2018? Do you make resolutions? More importantly - *she asks selfishly* - tell me, all the tips you have for some of the things I’ve rambled about above. I’d love to hear how you stay organized.

As always, feel free to leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below. The standard rule is still in effect; I may not be by until the end of the week, but I’m excited to come by and read YOUR posts.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland
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Love on the Slopes (2018) – Extreme Fun in Winter Wonderland

Love on the Slopes (2018) – Extreme Fun in Winter Wonderland

Love on the Slopes (2018) – Extreme Fun in Winter Wonderland

The holiday season is come and gone. For many of us, one of the guilty pleasures we indulge in over the season is the seasonal TV premieres. Fortunately for those of us who aren’t quite ready to give us this viewing indulgence, Hallmark Channel has the solution. Love on the Slopes is the first of four waiting to invite us to stay in on those Saturday nights.

Hallmark Channel Preview | #Winterfest 2018

Working as a copy editor is not exactly where Alex (Katrina Bowden) wants to stay. But for now, it’s good experience and she has dreams of someday writing articles for the travel publication she works for. When the chance to pitch an article unexpectedly pops up, Alex finds herself saddled with an assignment that requires she walk outside her comfort zone – like, a lot outside it.

Her assignment takes her to a resort where on-hand experience means she’ll have to try a select number of extreme sports. Activities that the play-it-safe career girl isn’t happy about. When she meets reclusive photographer, Cole Taylor (Thomas Beaudoin), Alex’s priorities shift… but will her newfound freedoms lead to the story she needs?

With a New Year entering our lives, there is a new set of 365 days ahead of us. Instead of abruptly ending seasonal programming in the aftermath of their Countdown to Christmas campaign, TV network giant, Hallmark Channel introduces their Winterfest. For the month of January, they air four new romances that invite us to snuggle in with that warm cup of cocoa.

Love on the Slopes is, as one would expect, a delightful story. The acting is good, and I enjoyed the “adventure” of the film. Everything from the zip-lining to snow sports makes the story seem fun and it keeps the pace moving at a fast clip. Plus, while we adore the characters, it also lends more interest to the story because everything is always shifting – we never know for certain where the characters are heading, and this makes the journey interesting.

Of course, the characters are also endearing. Alex is the girl-next-door we can relate too, and Cole is a modern “Gothic”-esque hero we understand Alex falling for. Their love story and scenes together is again another slice of Hallmark magic that makes us smile and swoon simultaneously.

For those of you who are like me, and aren’t ready to say goodbye to the seasonal original romances, don’t miss Love on the Slopes. It’s an example of fun set in a winter wonderland that (bonus!) we can enjoy from afar, all while in the comfort of our living room.

Photos: Hallmark Channel
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Hallmark Channel Preview | #Winterfest 2018

Hallmark Channel Preview | #Winterfest 2018

On the blogging agenda today is talking about new Hallmark movies. Who here loves the sound of that? *raises hand* Of course, everyone knows I don't mind in the least. Hallmark Channel is a happy place for this movie fan, but they also don't skimp on the touching and emotional scenes. (Something I was reminded of last night when I finally finished watching Three Weeks, Three Kids.)

For their Winterfest programming of 2018, Hallmark invites us to stay in with FOUR all-new original premieres. Those are:

Love on the Slopes (January 6) | Frozen in Love (January 13)
One Winter Weekend (January 20) | Winter's Dream (January 27)

All titles and story lines I've zero doubt will be charming and fun. If Love on the Slopes is any indication (a film I watched last weekend with all the "awww" reactions), this will indeed be true. The themes for all of these seem to have some sort of winter-y sports involved, which is a fun experience. It gives the stories a kind of adventurous quality and ties into the excitement for the upcoming winter Olympic games. Or that's my thinking.

Below you can see a snipped of the article I wrote for Silver Petticoat that previews all four originals and takes a quick look at a few of the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries set to premiere this month.

Tell me over there or down below which of these you are anticipating and why! I'd love to chat with you about these new premieres.  

Previewing Hallmark Channel’s Winterfest 2018 – Four All-New Premieres! 

Though it’s probably gone faster than most of us would like, Christmas 2017 is now gone. With a favorite holiday’s disappearance, Hallmark Channel’s beloved Christmas programming also disappears (at least until next Christmas). Fortunately for us, Hallmark understands our attachment to the charms of their Saturday night movies. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat →

Photo: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press
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Booktube Talk | 2018 Releases to Anticipate: January – March (or So)

Booktube Talk | 2018 Releases to Anticipate: January – March (or So)

Booktube Talk | 2018 Releases to Anticipate: January – March (or So)

Hey there, readers and friends! I hope 2018 has started off well for you. Early in the year though it is, hopefully one of the things that has been a good surprise is the discovery of a grand new read.

BOOKTUBE TALK | The Chocolate Book Tag

     (This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

If there is one positive thing about a new year it’s the possibilities that come with it, specifically the possibilities of new reads. Though I’m behind on my reading (what else is new, I know!), this doesn’t keep me from anticipating all the new reads coming to bookstores. The list is endless, which is why I pared this list to such limited numbers. Eight to be exact. Four in the latest booktube ramble, and four down below.
But on the upside, since I do limit myself (how could I??), I’m thinking a “part 2” will need to be in order. The plan is to film again before this month is over, so one can hope that will pan out.
For now, let’s take a look at four of the books I’m anticipating in January and February.
1: The Lost Castle (February) by Kristy Cambron | Kristy always writes with a heartfelt voice and genuine love of Story. This is why, I’ve zero doubt her upcoming French fairytale will be magic; a novel that falls into the new buzz genre of time slip novels. Amazon | Goodreads


2: The Heart Between Us (March) by Lindsay Harrel | A new-to-me debut author, this Thomas Nelson release intrigued me from the moment I first read about it. That seems like a long time ago, and now we're a mere two months away from its entrance into the book world. Amazon | Goodreads   

3: Heart of Iron (February) by Ashley Poston | Pitched as a sci-fi re-telling (or at least inspired by) the classic tale of Anastasia, my only reaction is: heck yes! Oh, and please be good! Amazon | Goodreads


4: Reclaiming Shilo Snow (March) by Mary Weber | Must know how this epic YA sci-fi duo ends as Sofi completes (!) her mission to find the brother everyone but her believes is gone. Amazon | Goodreads

Swing by Finding Wonderland's booktube channel to discover four other January and February releases this reader is anticipating!

Tell me about the books at the top of your 2018 lists. Which are must reads? Are there any you’re preordering without a second look? Any auto buy authors releasing new books? Tell me all about them – and which I must add to my “part 2” list.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland
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Gunslinger Girl by Lindsay Ely – YA Dystopian Western Marks Debut

Gunslinger Girl by Lindsay Ely – YA Dystopian Western Marks Debut

Book Review: Gunslinger Girl by Lindsay Ely – YA Dystopian Western Marks Debut

(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Author: Lindsay Ely
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson 
Publication Date: 2018
Genre: Fiction; Dystopian, YA Lit
Source: Publisher Provided ARC – thank you, Little Brown
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★½

Serendipity “Pity” Jones is living a tough life. A life that’s forced her to be skilled in one specific way: a sharpshooter. As she and her best friend make plans to escape Pity’s cruel and domineering father, tragedy strikes. Along the way, Pity loses everything but her six shooters. Left for dead, she’s rescued by a band of misfits bound for the glittering (and lawless!) city of Cessation…

Figuring out how to describe this debut novel is proving a task. Part of the quandary is that it’s not totally within my wheel house of genres. Weird, I realize, as this is to say since I did request a copy of it. (But, come on! I couldn't help it because a. its synopsis sounds kick-butt cool and b. that cover art is amazing.) The blend of genres (western and dystopian) also seemed too good to pass up. Despite the tone this review is setting, don’t let me fool you. I did enjoy this book. That said, there are some opinions I walked away with that aren’t five-star quality.

We’ll discuss those first. This book is decadent. I’m not sure what other word to use. It’s set in a world of power and debauchery. As its synopsis alludes to, parts of it harken back to The Hunger Games as it compares its heroine as a cross between “Annie Oakley and Katniss Everdeen.” It’s an accurate portrayal of who you’ll meet inside these pages. Pity has the sharpshooting skill and abilities of the famous western figure and the survival mentality of the pop icon.

The colorful world in which this story takes place will make readers who wish for something beyond “cookie cutter” normal happy. The politics or “system” of the world isn’t one I’m overly fond it. It echoes back to The Hunger Games, which is uses a form of control I’m not fond of. The loss of a character’s choice is not something I like reading about, though in all fairness, as a reader, its purpose isn’t lost on me.

BOOK REVIEW | The Selection by Kiera Cass - A Romantic YA Dystopian

Pity is a fighter and unique character, and a heroine I did enjoy getting to know. The characters that support her lead are interesting and entertaining. Though subtle, there is a thread of romance that weaves through the story. There’s danger, excitement and moments of quiet. In short, Gunslinger Girl packs a lot into its story. Ely’s debut is a memorable one sure to make fans of the genre happy. It effortlessly combines a desolate (dystopian) world with the imagery of western. The latter is a genre I don’t see much in fiction, so for that alone, I applaud Gunslinger Girl.

Those who like everything tied up in a neat bow will be disappointed in the open-ended conclusion (at this time, there is no follow up). The end is a kind of new-adventure-ahead kind of place, but this doesn't translate to the same in terms of character connections and relationships. 

Full of twists and unexpected reveals, this is an exhilarating novel. Fast-paced and unique, Gunslinger Girl is, in short, a memorable debut. The blended genres suit each other, and the storytelling keeps its reader engaged and eager to flip pages; especially because of its gun-toting, fierce heroine who seems unafraid of most everything!

Content: There is some sexual content and profanity throughout the book. Some of the situations also become intense as do some of the “violent” descriptions.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great....

In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot. – Goodreads

Sincere thanks (and apologies for the review delay) to the publisher for providing an ARC copy of this book; all opinions are my own
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INSPYs 2018 | Nominations Now OPEN!!

INSPYs 2018 | Nominations Now OPEN!!

Hello, readers and friends! Welcome. Today, just in case you missed it, I wanted to share that you can now nominate your favorite INSPY reads of 2017! That's right the new season of INSPY Awards is now live! Swing by INSPYs.com anytime between now and January 16th (one week from today!!) to tell us about your favorite 2017 read.

Did you get transported to a fantastical world in a speculative fiction novel? Nominate it!

Was there a YA Lit novel that you related to? Let us know, and nominate it!

Did a specific romance novel (or leading hero!!) make you swoon? Nominate it.

Below you can see the official INSPYs post and learn more about the process by clicking over to our website. We do ask that you refresh your memory on the criteria before you nominate,  including that you remember our shortlist is determined by popular vote. We've already received 300+ nominations!

Thank you to everyone who's submitted votes and shared about the 2018 INSPYs! We invite you to nominate your favorites, and please do make some noise; tell your friends. We look forward to seeing your nominations.

2018 Nominations Now Open!

Hello, INSPY readers. The advisory board is excited to open year eight of the INSPY Awards, a program for the bloggers’ “best in fiction” award is welcoming a new year and opening the nominations for 2018.
The Inspys were created to select and showcase books with the highest literary standards that grapple with the Christian faith and were designed to help readers in their search for the preeminent faith-inspired literature of today.  This program is organized and judged by book bloggers who have considerable experience and knowledge of books published for both the CBA, general and INDIE markets.
If you haven’t nominated a book in recent years, please note, we’ve made a significant change to our nomination process. For you, the nominator, the rules remain the same, only difference you’ll note is the lack of a publicized long list. This is because the advisory board will be collecting our long list from the top 15 nominated novels in each category. So, even if you know someone else has nominated your favorite read of 2017 or you’re certain it’s already been nominated, go ahead and add your voice because that nomination could be the 15th vote that gets the book into the top fifteen.
Once the task of the top 15 is calculated and complete, we will publicize our long list, which will be then narrowed down to five books and from there, the same judging process will apply. For more information on the changes, please refer to our announcement post.
Please read through our nominating refresher post, and the nomination rulesbefore you submit nominations.
The dates of eligibility include books published in print between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. If a print book was released as an ebook prior to 2017, it is ineligible. Reissued books are also ineligible.
Books may be nominated in any of the following categories:
Debut Novel
General Fiction
Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Historical Romance
Speculative Fiction
Mystery & Thriller
Literature for Young Adults
For more detailed description of categories please see the Revised Nomination Categories. If you’d like to read more about the nominating process, read our blog post with some tips on nominating the right books in their best categories. Pull out those lists and let’s begin!
The deadline to nominate a book is January 16. Winners of the seventh annual INSPY awards will be announced June 28, 2018.
To stay up to date with all things INSPYs follow along with us on Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads
Or email us with any questions: inspyawards@gmail.com
We look forward to your nominations. Besides nominating the best in faith-driven literature, another way to help today is to spread the word — blog about the INSPYs, tell your friends.
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Top Ten Tuesday | Eight (PLUS MORE!!) Books from 2017 I *Really* Meant to Read and Instead Allowed to Gather DUST!!

Top Ten Tuesday | Eight (PLUS MORE!!) Books from 2017 I *Really* Meant to Read and Instead Allowed to Gather DUST!!

Top Ten Tuesday | Seven Books from 2017 I *Really* Meant to Read and Instead Allowed to Gather DUST!!

Hello fellow Top Ten Tuesday-ers and readers. Today marks the end of something. Something the bookworm book blogger world has been able enjoy for these past seven years. Before we talk about what this is, let’s have a look at the official topic.

Broke and Bookish January 9: Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!) – Broke and Bookish

(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Today’s bittersweet. Today is the last Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday. After seven years, the ladies at the bookish haven have chosen to close their blog. Fortunately for those of us who so enjoy this meme and have fond memories from our time participating, Jana (one of the Broke and Bookish ladies) of the Artsy Reader Girl has decided to carry the meme over to her personal blog.

To the ladies of Broke and Bookish, thank you for creating and hosting this meme for these many years. It’s been a lovely place to meet new bloggers and bookworms to say nothing of the fact it’s a darn fun meme. Thank you Jana for taking Top Ten Tuesday. We’re glad to have you continue the tradition. We’ll look forward to January 16th’s topic and our first Top Ten Tuesday with The Artsy Reader Girl!

Speaking specifically about today’s topic, we’re taking a look at those books we really meant to read in 2017, but alas did not. I suspect I could talk about a great deal more than seven, but since it’s 2017, I though picking seven was a good a place as any to hit “stop” on.

Let’s have a look.

1. The One, the Heir and the Crown by Kiera Cass | Why I haven’t finished these novels is a mystery. I so enjoyed The Selection and find them to be really entertaining stories; plus they’re my kind of tailor-made kind of guilty pleasure reads.The One: Amazon | Goodreads; The Heir: Amazon | Goodreads; The Crown: Amazon | Goodreads

2. Murder on the Moor and Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering | Julianna’s novels are always delightful. Sadly I haven’t read ‘Moor’ yet and because I’m a turtle reader, I will have to skip ahead and read ‘Thorburn’ next. Still, the former is on my 2018 reading list. Murder on the Moor: Amazon | Goodreads; Death at Thorburn Hall: Amazon | Goodreads

3. Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason | Completing Lynette’s dynamic Elite Guardian series is something of a must for me. Hopefully sooner in 2018 rather than later. Amazon | Goodreads

4. Wait for Me by Caroline Leech | As I've read very little YA historical, this book really interests me! Add in the fact that the story also sounds interesting, and of course, I'm making this one a 2018 priority. Amazon | Goodreads

5. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord | I remember being so stoked to have Emery’s new book on my shelf. Though I didn’t get it read in 2017, that excitement remains. Amazon | Goodreads

6. When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin | Reading Sarah’s 2017 release was something I had the best of intentions to read in 2017. Sadly, I did not accomplish this. Amazon | Goodreads
7. Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh | Yet another book I had every good intention of reading in 2017. But on the plus side, it’ll be another fabulous book I can enjoy in 2018. Amazon | Goodreads

8. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | 2017 is the year I discovered Kasie West novels, and I look forward to discovering more of her books in 2018. This one being high among them. Amazon | Goodreads

Video publishes tomorrow; channel linked above


Ps; to everyone who visited last week's Top Ten Tuesday, and left comments... thank you. 
Life happens, and unfortunately I didn't get replies to them any sooner than today. 
As always, I read and enjoyed each one; thanks for your continued comments, 
and to those of you who have been a longtime Finding Wonderland reader, 
thank you for your support.

These are a few of the 2017 releases I really meant to read in 2017. Tell me about the books you fully meant to read in 2017, but never did. I’d love to learn more about them (and perhaps discover moreto add to my 2018 TBR. A TBR I suspect is going to spiral out of hand – rapidly.

Leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below. It will probably take me a week before I swing by to visit, but I look forward to discovering your lists and the books you meant to read in 2017.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland 
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Snowed Inn Christmas (2017) – Cute and Witty Lifetime Romance

Snowed Inn Christmas (2017) – Cute and Witty Lifetime Romance

Snowed Inn Christmas (2017) – Cute and Witty Lifetime Romance

Though this is number, what, ten… fifteen… on the list of 2017-Christmas-movies-Finding-Wonderland-reviews, I saw this one post-Christmas and couldn’t help write a little review of it. The reasons for which I shall attempt to convey below.

(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

They may work in the same office for the same publication – Epiphany, but Jenna (Bethany Joy Lenz) and Kevin Jenner (Andrew Walker) couldn’t be more different. She’s type-A responsible and organized. He runs on a ten minute late time table, and thinks a slice of cold pizza a healthy way to start his day. Both are also competing for an assignment their boss is about ready to hand out. Only much to their surprise, she jointly assigns the piece as a way of determining which of them is the better journalist.

On their way to the Aspen resort their subject is on, a freak snowstorm grounds their plane in the little town of Santa Clause Indiana. While there, the polar opposites are whisked away to a quaint little inn where they not only find new inspiration, they also rediscover Christmas.

Christmas movies may generally follow the same recipe as modern scripts lay out, but sometimes there’s an extra spark of “magic” that makes them special. The secret ingredient of Snowed Inn for Christmas is its cast. From their first lines of witty banter, to the last kiss (and that cookie making scene... awww!), it’s clear these lead stars were going to play off each other with ease.

Familiar though he’ll look, the leading man is actually “stepping out” on the network he usually appears on. Instead of Hallmark Channel, Andrew Walker switched Christmas cards. In this case, it’s not a bad thing because Snowed Inn Christmas is delightful. The banter he and his leading lady share is ideal, hilarious and eventually forms something much more important. If you wonder why I talk (so much) about the “need” for or “like” of good dialogue and banter between the leads, this is because it’s important.

This is especially true of a telescript that has 85-90 minutes (sans commercials) to convince us they fall head over heels in love. Fortunately for this story, the back-and-forth cute meter is off the charts perfect between these two. From their fun love-hate banter to the eventual romance, it’s a charming way to build a story and their respective characters. If there is one thing I wish had been written differently, it would be the whole “declaration” thing. Because of the restrictive time frame, when a script adds those three little words, I do wish they’d take a more realistic approach. This is why, harping back to that time frame, so many scripts (wisely) stray away from that kind of admission by final scene.

Instead of banking on all of the clichés of its cousin scripts, this one steps away from the overt ones. It “throws away” or twists upside down the most common tropes but keeps the familiar comfort of the seasonal story telling firmly in place. With its sparkling characters and hometown setting, Snowed Inn Christmas evokes a warm feeling and invites its viewer in for a warm cup of hot chocolate. 

Christmas may have come and gone, but winter's here, an invitation to stay bundled up and enjoy another season charmer. ♡

You can buy Snowed Inn Christmas on Amazon Video or (at last check) find it on demand.
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Month in Review | December 2017 + #Booktube Talk

Month in Review | December 2017 + #Booktube Talk

Month in Review | December 2017 + #Booktube Talk

The twelfth month of 2017 is done - as is the entire year. 2017, where'd you go?? Yes, that’s right, 2017 is gone. Ciao, 2017. Bonjour, 2018 and JANUARY!

Another month’s end means another “month in review” here on Finding Wonderland. Also... gosh darn it, I just realized I'm going to have to learn to write and say 2018!!

Here we go.

»Favorites from December 2017« 

1. #Bestof2017 | Top Shelf Reads of 2017 | One of my favorite posts every year is the "best of" post on Finding Wonderland, and in that same vain, all of the posts I spy around the blogosphere of fellow blogger's favorites. It's always fun to discover what everyone else enjoyed and loved. Which 2017 books were among your favorites?

2. Box Office | Though I only got to one movie over the holidays, heavens are there a lot of new flicks playing that I'd like to see. These include The Greatest Showman, ThorDarkest Hour, and Jumanji (because giggles - and also AMY aka Karen Gillan). What did you see and love?

3. Christmas | Who doesn't love Christmas? It's the bestest time of year! Ours was, as usual, quiet and simple, and a family Christmas had to be postponed, but nonetheless, it was nice and lovely. I hope you all had a merry and happy season.

4. Enchanted... ten years later  | This past month I re-watched (for the first time in years) Enchanted. Not only was I reminded how adorable and happy it is, but I also discovered it turned ten years old in 2017. Like, whaaat?? I had so much fun writing about it in a review and a Romantic Moment feature. Who else fondly remembers this story?

» Bookstagram Challenge «

There’s another #WishfulWonder Bookstagram challenge. The fun began, January 1! All the details can be found in the introduction post. PS: if you’d ever like to join in as a host, let me know.

 »Favorite Blog Posts«
 (Blog posts that, while not necessarily the most popular, were fun to write)

1. The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay – Escapism at its Brightest, Most Classy and Finest | One of 2017's BEST!

2. A Christmas Prince (2017) – Netflix Original Decks the Halls with Contemporary Fairy Tale | I know many viewers thought this one was not good, but I thought A Christmas Prince (the first Netflix original seasonal flick I've ever seen or known them to produce) is adorable

3. Jane Eyre (2006) – Masterpiece Adaptation of Classic and Romantic Gothic Story | Thanks to some prodding, I finally saw this one - over a year ago? Only recently did I finally open the review doc, dust it off and hit that publish button.

4. One Enchanted Noël by Melissa Tagg - Festive Novella Sure to Enchant | Another story written by Melissa that is pure magic!

basically, in a nutshell, I had fun with everything published this month primarily because it mostly had a theme: Christmas!! 

» Monthly Popular Posts | December 2017 «
(more of the same as last month - and the month before)

»Popular Posts of the Week«
(Skipping this feature because it's essentially a "copy and paste" list of the monthly line up.
 hmm... *questions stats*)

» Search Terms «

Christmas Next Door
My Christmas Love Wikipedia
Rissi 2 Cute on Instagram (hmm...)
Rocky Mountain Chrismtas 2017
"Christmas Next Door" and "Jesse Metcalfe"
12 Gifts of Chrismtas
A Christmas Prince Writer
A Song for Christmas Review
Arrow Hashtag Olicity
Autumn Reeser 2017

»Finding Wonderland on Booktube | December 2017 «
(Click Graphics to see Videos)

»Books Read | December 2017 «

One Christmas in Winter 
One Enchanted Noel

»Around the Interwebs«
what else have I been up to?

Silver Petticoat:  Here’s a recap look at what I contributed to the amazing webzine, Silver Petticoat. 

Articles and Lists | With the upcoming (December of 2018!!) adaptation of Disney's Nutcracker, I simply had to write about it and the trailer debut. It looks gorgeous, don't you think? 2017 marks ten years (does anyone else feel old?) since Disney released Enchanted. Of course, to celebrate I wrote a commemorative article about Enchanted with a romantic moment feature. In the US, there's a new ITV adaptation of Little Women heading our way, so naturally writing about my excitement there was a must.

Because it's adorable, I also placed the spotlight on A Christmas Prince in a weekly Romantic Moment of the Week feature

Snow makes a scene all the more romantic, right? This is why I wrote a list of ten scenes in which gentle snowfall takes a scene to great heights. 

Film and TV Reviews | My contributions to the review archives were slim. But one I did add was the new big-screen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, a film that's glamorous and beautiful. One of the films I intended to see in the box office this summer was the new Pirates film. Then, when that didn't happen I planned on seeing it the week it came to DVD. That never happened, so finally this past month I accomplished this, and discovered it was super entertaining! There was something about it that felt closer to its origins, and that was fun.

On Silver Petticoat, I also contributed a few Hallmark reviews. These included Magical Christmas Ornaments and A Joyous Christmas

TV Recaps | None!

As always, thanks to the editors of Silver Petticoat and my fellow contributors! Working with you all is always fun. 

That’s an end to the month here at #FindingWonderlandBlog.

I do hope you enjoyed a wonderful December and Christmas season!! Happiest New Year 2018. Tell me about your favorite activities or new seasonal finds. Are your Christmas cards ready? Is that shopping done? Comment down below with your thoughts! As always, I’d love to chat with you.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.
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