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Top Ten Tuesday | Characters that are Unique Because Of the Following Reasons (aka They exist in Fairytale-ish Re-tellings)

Top Ten Tuesday | Characters that are Unique Because Of the Following Reasons (aka They exist in Fairytale-ish Re-tellings)

Happy Tuesday fellow readers, bloggers and friends. As the calendar does indeed confirm its Tuesday, this means we’ve a new edition of Top Ten Tuesday. Why? Because it’s fun – and who doesn’t like to chat all things books. Though instead of talking books in a general sense, we’re focusing on one element that’s particularly important.

Broke and Bookish September 26:  Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can't wait to see what you all come up with! – Broke and Bookish

As a blanket statement, I love characters. Sure there are many important moving parts to characters, but overall, characters are a primary in ensuring a book moves forward. It’s often this journey and their story (within the story) that keeps us rapidly flipping those pages.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday opportunity to feature some of these characters was a kind of challenge because I liked the idea of zeroing in on a group of characters (as the prompt suggests), but didn’t know how I wanted to structure the list. Do I zero in on a specific career? Character quirk? Hair color? Heritage? Quality or trait? The list is endless and full of possibilities.

The more I thought, the more confused I was. WHAT TO FEATURE. Then I had an idea to spin the list a character specific way using cover art. Well, that sort of fell apart or maybe I decided it was “too much” work in too short a time. Either way, I settled on spinning this list with fairytale or classic literature characters inserted in new worlds (aka retellings). Below is a mix of books I have read and books I’m curious about that fit this mold.  

With that lengthy explanation behind us, let’s get to the actual books.

Fairytales Retold: Characters

1. Ella (Belle) and Charlie (Beast) from The Lady and the Lionheart | One of THE most beautiful B&TB re-tellings I've read. The influence is "delicate," but so worthwhile. Amazon | Goodreads

2. Elle Whittier (Cinderella) from Geekerella | A 21st century fangirl, geeky Cinderella-esque character? Um, yes please! Amazon | Goodreads

3. Lorelai (Snow White or The Snow Queen) from The Shadow Queen | This is one I haven't read, but I've seen it likened to BOTH Snow White and The Snow Queen. I'm curious, for those that have read it, what's is most resemble? Amazon | Goodreads 

4. Talia (Aurora) from A Kiss in Time | I've not read this one (as is true of all but two of these), but it's been on my shelf for a long time. Considering I did enjoy Beastly, and Bewitching, I would like to read this one. Soon, I hope. Amazon | Goodreads   

Classic Literature Retold: Characters

1. Amy Gumm and/or Dorothy (Dorothy Gale) from Dorothy Must Die | This is a story I’ve looked at possibly reading for a long time now. I’ve heard it’s quite dark, so given that, I’m not sure it’ll be a story that “works” for me, considering I recently added it to my shelf, I’m hopeful. It certainly sounds creative! Amazon | Goodreads

2. Celia and Jane Woodward (Elinor and Marianne Dashwood) from  Jane of Austin | A beautiful contemporary (set in Texas, no less) re-imagining of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility, this is easily one of the best 2017 has published. Amazon | Goodreads

3. Jane Steele (Jane Eyre) from Jane Steele | Given we’re slowly sliding into the autumn season, I thought adding some “darker” characters to this list was appropriate. This is one of my recent acquisitions as well. Amazon | Goodreads

4. Olivia Twist (Oliver Twist) from Olivia Twist | Though it’s not my favorite Dickens tale, I’m crazy excited about this “twist” on the classic Oliver Twist classic. Plus, the fact it’s in Langdon’s hands means it’ll be great. Amazon | Goodreads

5.  Persis (Percy Blakeley) from Across a Star-Swept Sky | A sci-fi (YA) re-telling of The Scarlet Pimpernel? How amazing does this book sound? Also, I’m ashamed to admit it’s been on my shelf for waay too long. Amazon | Goodreads

Bonus! Classic Lit Retold | Not focusing on the characters with these (necessarily), but they still fit. Kind of. Ok, so not really, but they’re books (that retool classic), all of which I am interested in and it’s my list, so… *insert shrug emoji*

1. Life After Theft (The Scarlet Pimpernel) | A contemporary re-telling (described as a "clever twist") of an all-time, forever favorite classic lit story?? Um, yes please! Also, how did I forget and/or not know about this one?? Amazon | Goodreads

2. Wild (Tarzan) | The Tarzan legend is not one I've any kind of re-telling for. Needless to say, this one popped up in my searches, and I had to wonder if I should add it to by TBR. Amazon | Goodreads

*video goes live tomorrow afternoon; channel linked above

This brings another Top Ten Tuesday week to a close. Who did you feature this week? Which of these should I read first?? I’d love to chat all the bookish fun with you all! Comment down below to let me know all the details and bookish chatter. And feel free to leave your Top Ten Tuesday links or introduce yourself. It may take me the entire week to do so, but I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland
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Bookstagram Challenge | October 2017 #WishfulWonder Challenge

Bookstagram Challenge | October 2017 #WishfulWonder Challenge

Hello happy readers and fellow bookworm friends. Posting today to share another #WishfulWonder bookstagram challenge. It's time for the tenth (WHAAT!!) - or is it now more than that?? I'm confused - edition of #WishfulWonder.

My friend Tressa (of Wishful Endings) and I have had so much fun putting these all together for everyone who enjoys Instagram challenges. Though Tressa is taking a step back due to a busy schedule (which I completely relate to), we have a few more challenges already prepped (if you're anything like us, you like to get in as much prep work for projects as possible) and ready to go, so that means #WishfulWonder isn't going anywhere. Yet.

Let's have a look (but first let me try and convince you to join in).

Pressed for time? Not sure a bookstagram challenge is for you? Below I give a spiel hoping to convince you otherwise.

+ 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!

\\\\\ You're invited to join our October 2017 #WishfulWonder Challenge.

Hopefully everything is self explanatory, but if you have any questions about the prompts. We’d love to see your pictures, so be sure to tag us with the usual, #WishfulWonder hashtag. Also, feel free to share this.

As we do every month, we extend our thanks to everyone who has joined our challenges. We're having so much fun browsing our tag, and appreciate your creativity and time. (If we haven't clicked that heart on your photos and/or commented, it's not because we won't, it's simply due to time restraints - summer always seems busy. BUT please know we enjoy browsing your photos, and sooner or later one or both of us will find them with that #WishfulWonder tag.)

We'd also LOVE your feedback on favorite prompts. Drop a comment down below. 
Happy day, Book Nerdigans. Join us in our fun, bookish endeavors - we look forward to chatting with you.
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.
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Top Ten Tuesday | Fall 2017 TBR-ing (Or the 13 Books that Sit on My Shelf and Look All Kinds of Pretty!)

Top Ten Tuesday | Fall 2017 TBR-ing (Or the 13 Books that Sit on My Shelf and Look All Kinds of Pretty!)

Autumn is in the air. Can you feel it? We sure do in my corner of the world. (Edit: or we did when I wrote this. Summer has now made a return... 😒) It’s all about the crisp, smoke infused air of the season. PSL is back, my boots are at the ready and the colors of the year are about to change. In celebration, Top Ten Tuesday wants to know all about our Fall TBRs.

Broke and Bookish September 19Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List - Broke and Bookish

Ah, the seasonal TBRs. They’re bothersome creatures, aren’t they? Don’t get me wrong, I love to make a TBR list. It’s always fun to put the books together and take the bookstagram monthly TBR photo (because BOOKS! Pretty covers! Pretty photo ops!), but it’s not so fun to look back and realize there’s an #EpicFail feeling attached when you don’t read those books. Or this is certainly the mindset that applies to moi.

Despite this, I wasn’t not going to join today’s meme and make a fall TBR list. Most of all because I love putting together these prompts with Top Ten Tuesday.

Here’s my Fall 2017 TBR (aka the List I’ll Probably Not Read but Really Want to Read)

1. Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan | This is actually my #AmReading current (or one of them). I’m not far into it yet (page wise), but I did sneak in a little reading Sunday morning (as if to spite the fact I wouldn’t today) and it’s shaping up to be a first-class read. In fact, this one may even end up on my fall recommendations video – provided I get it filmed this week. Amazon | Goodreads

2. Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon | This one may not release until March of 2018, but thanks to the publisher, I was kindly sent a copy. Needless to say, this twist on Dickens classic Oliver Twist sounds like a wonderful and atmospheric novel to read for fall. Amazon | Goodreads

3. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo | When a title references Jack the Ripper, is there a better book to read during the autumn season!? Amazon | Goodreads

4. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon | In consideration of all the buzz, this one has caught my attention many times over. Plus I do love my contemporary reads. Amazon | Goodreads

5. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Since I finally read Lola and the Boy Next Door post Anna and the French Kiss (circa summer 2016… maybe??), adding their companion novel, ‘Isla’ is something I’d really (really!) like to accomplish. I didn’t like ‘Lola’ quite as well as its predecessor, but nonetheless, I’m ready to read book three. Amazon | Goodreads

6. Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey | Can you believe we're this close to Dani's third and final Chesapeake Valor novel? Wow, this series went by fast. Despite this, I loved that two of the books released in one year - less wait time makes me a happy reader. Amazon | Goodreads

7. Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano | A debut novel I’m very much invested in reading. Aside from its beautiful cover (*cover snob alert*), this book has an insanely interesting premise. Amazon | Goodreads

8. The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay | I almost forgot to add this one, which is 100% unacceptable. This is one of my most anticipated 2017 reads let alone a seasonal TBR must! Amazon | Goodreads

9. All This Time by Melissa Tagg | In the interest of full disclosure, let me say this: I’ve already read this book. OHMYSTARS! So sweet. Lots of signature "Tagg-isms." Make sure you pick up a copy September 28th! It’s a beauty. Amazon | Goodreads

10. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbrook by Bethany Turner | Everything I hear about this book is all about the rave reviews. Oh, and it sounds like it has sass, which is always a pro. Amazon | Goodreads

11. Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh | Cute cover aside, this one is high on my must list because I know it’s going to be a wonderful story. Plus today is Hometown Girl's birthday. *confetti toss* Amazon | Goodreads  

12. Rescue Me (+ A Matter of Trust) by Susan May Warren | With the fourth book in this series (and the one I'm most excited for!) just around the corner, the fact that I've not yet read Rescue Me (book two) OR A Matter of Trust (book three) hasn't escaped me. Amazon | Goodreads

13. By Your Side by Kasie West | Because this is one of the two novels by Kasie I’ve not read, I’d really like to make this one a priority over the next couple of months. Time will tell if this is a bookish wish that comes true. Amazon | Goodreads

*publishes tomorrow; channel linked above
What books made your fall TBR? What’s your stance on seasonal (or monthly) TBRs? Do you keep to them or not? Comment with all the comments down below. I’d love to chat with you – and as always, feel free to leave your Top Ten Tuesday blog posts. I’d be glad to visit.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

...before you go...

Enter the Book Giveaway 

Read Finding Wonderland's take on The Chocolate Book Tag
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Booktube Talk | The Chocolate Book Tag

Booktube Talk | The Chocolate Book Tag

Today is a notable day for chocoholics. Today is National Chocolate Day. Or so the silly holidays powers that be inform me. Sometimes I question their sanity since I swear we have some form of “Read a Book Day” once a month. But that’s not the point. Back on schedule for today’s topic, and we’re mean to be talking all things chocolate.

To be honest, I don’t consider myself a chocoholic. Sure, I enjoy a piece of chocolate (peanut butter M&Ms are a weakness) or a good chocolate chip cookie (homemade for the win!) now and again, but overall, I’d rather have a good crisp (apple, rhubarb or peach, doesn’t matter) or muffin to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Still, today was too fun of an opportunity for a blogger to let pass. I’m celebrating in one of two ways. One being this post, the more “rigid” format in which I answer book tag prompts (I also wrote another chocoholic post, but decided to hold off on posting it). Secondly, I decided to catty the fun over to BOOKTUBE

This is a tag I saw this on a fellow booktuber’s channel and thought it’d be fun to join in – no, I wasn’t tagged in this one, but still... So part of the Q’s are answered on my booktube channel, the rest I talk about down below (and those that do crossover feature two different answers).

Let’s get to the questions!

White Chocolate – Your favorite light-hearted/humorous read*
This question is so unfair. I have so many favorite light-hearted reads. Mostly because, overall, it’s this that’s my favored genre. As someone who reads for pleasure, I love it when a novel can take me on an adventure in a humorous way.

Because I’m forced to choose one, I’ll go with… Geek Girl by Holly Smale. BONUS! Some of the authors I turn to for such reads include, Jenny B. Jones; Melissa Tagg; Kasie West and so many more!

Wafer-free Kit-Kat – Name a book that surprised you lately | Hmm… I don’t know that I’ve read one that surprised me lately. Back in December, I did read Close to You which is absolutely amazing. I guess since I read repeat authors (and am happiest when I do), going into the book “knowing” it’s going to stun, I don’t really end up being “surprised” because I was confident it’d reach that level of amazing. But this is the first book by Kara Isaac I read, and so it was a lovely treat to discover her brand of storytelling.

Snickers – A book that you are going nuts about | Melissa Tagg’s All This Time which is my current read. I really wanted to be further along in this one, fellow bookworms, but sadly, this week has been full of canning. (Blogger trivia: I detest making applesauce.)

Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows – What book would you turn to for a comfort read?* | Here I’ll be more generic. Some of the authors I turn to for comfort reads (because they’re so talented and good at it) are Nicole Deese (A New Shade of Summer); Denise Hunter (The Goodbye Bride, Just a Kiss); Katherine Reay; Melissa Tagg; and plenty more. 

Into these stories, I could also insert Debra White Smith's Jane Austen (contemporary) re-tellings. Though it's been years since I read them, I adore the new covers and I'm now SO ready for a reread. 

Box of chocolates – What series have you read that you feel has a wide variety and a little something for everyone | Good question. I’ll choose the Doon series and Unblemished trilogy. Both seem to represent this question really well. Both are set in contemporary worlds before eventually travelling to other realms (the former travels in time to historical Scotland, the latter into a kind of parallel world called a “Reflection”). There’s also plenty of romance, adventure and angst y teen drama. If you want an adult novel, look no further than Becky Wade’s True to You (or any of her novels).

Q’s Answered on Booktube <<<

Dark Chocolate – A book that covers a dark topic [abuse, domestic violence, rape, lonlieness, bullying, death, etc]

Milk Chocolate – A book that has a lot of hype that you're dying to read

Chocolate with a caramel center – Name a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while you were reading it

* Answered here and on booktube


That’s a wrap for the Chocolate Book Tag! Have you joined this fun tag? Let me know down below; I’d love to come by and visit. Have you read any of these books? Do you like them? What books would you pair with chocolate?? (What’s your favorite KIND of chocolate??) Let’s chat, bookworms!

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland
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A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese - Contemporary Fiction Sure to Set Hearts Aflutter

A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese - Contemporary Fiction Sure to Set Hearts Aflutter

Author: Nicole Deese
Publisher: Waterfall Press
Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Source: Author Street Team – thank you, Rel and Nicole!
Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★★★
If you adore swoon-worthy stories with heart, A New Shade of Summer is one that rivals the best of the best. It’s smart, funny and beautifully romantic in all the right places, spaces and ways. It’s a story sure to set hearts aflutter. 
Failure is something Davis Carter feels the crippling weight of. As a single parent, he’s trying to find the hole in his relationship with his son, Brandon, which will allow him to slip past the kid’s defense. Between his son and running his vet client, he has very little time for anything. Furthermore, Davis is having to deal with bothersome in-laws that cannot – or won’t, respect Davis’ role as Brandon’s parent.

Life turns upside down for both of these men when into their small town breezes the red-headed free-spirit, Callie Quinn. On her annual visit to spend time with her sister’s family, Callie is the “fun aunt,” the girl everyone loves, but never expects to stick around. Callie has a wanderlust that hasn’t been caught. As Callie bonds with Brandon, the creative souls form a connection that slowly forces him to open up. Also under her spell falls Davis, a man who’s cautious and patient heart has already been broken…

Unfortunately, I’ve not read all of the novels boldly sporting the name Nicole Deese on their cover. What I have read (a novella, and one full-length novel), I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, which is why this, her latest, immediately caught my attention. From the brightly lit hues of the cover to the eye-catching hot air balloons, this story certainly looked the part of perfect romantic-comedy. As I settled in to begin flipped its pages, whether or not the story would match its cover were the answers I was seeking. 
Falling in love with you was not happenstance. - Nicole Deese, A New Shade of Summer
‘Summer’ boasts a unique story. Perhaps not at first blush, but the further Deese tugs readers in the story, the more we realize this. On the surface, this is merely an adorable romance novel that is as charming as its cover suggests (which would be more than enough for this reader). Read on and you discover the story is actually one of a complicated, and emotional upheaval (backstory) for its primary players. Speaking of those protagonists, let’s talk about them.

The text switches off between Callie and Davis’ respective first-person POV’s (chapter-by-chapter). Though many things do, it’s this factor that has a great influence on the depth of the characters. Nicole’s characters suffer no shortcomings in terms of being fleshed out because of this. Davis and Callie are among the most memorable couples in fiction I’ve encountered. They’re strong, independent and multifaceted souls on their own.

Together, they bring out the best in one another, and even, on occasion, the worst. Their journey is the best of the best. The simmering, longing emotion is beautiful. They sort of “fall” into a relationship, but it’s the kind of transition that feels natural, so it reads authentic and romantic. And oh my, that first kiss!

A New Shade of Summer is a magical masterpiece. Nestled inside these pages is a story so charming, it’s sure to melt the romantic of any reader’s heart. It’s swoon-y (this thanks to Davis – speaking of, who else things he resembles Colin Egglesfield??), quirky (attributes to Callie) and heartwarming. The cast of characters keeps the reader giggling over their antics, but it’s the writing that keeps us fully engaged. Deese’s beautiful prose impresses throughout every corner of this story. It’s more than a contemporary novel because it pushes its characters towards something more.

If you adore swoon-worthy stories with heart, A New Shade of Summer is one that rivals the best of the best. It’s smart, funny and beautifully romantic in all the right places, spaces and ways. It’s a story sure to set hearts aflutter. ♥

Synopsis: As an artist, Callie Quinn relies on inspiration to guide her wandering soul. This summer she accepts a short-term muralist job in her sister’s charming town to spend some much-needed time with her family. After meeting her nephew’s friend, Brandon, she’s eager to draw out his untapped artistic talents—however, it’s the boy’s straitlaced single father who could use a little color in his life.
Davis Carter may be the town’s favorite animal whisperer, but his experience is limited when it comes to understanding his preteen’s rebellious behavior. Desperate for a breakthrough, he follows the lead of a free spirit who claims to know the way into his son’s closed-off world. Soon, Davis isn’t the only one caught up in the hope of a new beginning.
Just as Callie considers trading her unattached existence for a life rich with promise and permanence, an unexpected visit from the past threatens to send her packing once again. Davis and Callie must learn to surrender their fears so they can find a love that will outlast the summer. - Goodreads 
Sincere thanks to the author, and Rel's Author Support Services for providing an e-copy of this book. All review opinions are my own.
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Top Ten Tuesday | Throwing it WAAAY Back (aka Books I Read Before I Knew What the Term “Blogging” or Word “Blog” Meant)

Top Ten Tuesday | Throwing it WAAAY Back (aka Books I Read Before I Knew What the Term “Blogging” or Word “Blog” Meant)

Hello, friends. After taking a week off from “Top 10,” Finding Wonderland is returning to the fun. We may have woke up today (or for night owls like me, be going to bed) with the calendar telling us today is Tuesday… but we’re channeling our inner Throwback Thursday with a blast from the past.

Broke and Bookish September 12Throwback Freebie: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog, Favorite Books Published 5 or 10 or 15 Years Ago, Ten Older Books I Forgot How Much I Loved, etc. etc. Tweak however you want! - Broke and Bookish 

Ok. So how to spin this topic? It’s one of the easier topics I’ve recently put together, but it also requires the Top Ten Tuesday-er to do some leg work and dig through the graveyard of “old reads.” I’m not really sure what I was loving the first year I blogged. *Looks through blog’s review archives* This might be for a couple of reasons.

A. I have a terrible memory (a very likely truth)
B. I didn’t review books during my first year of blogging (Or very few in comparison to more recent years)

So between this combination of facts, I’m unsure what to feature today. That said, I did decide to go ahead and split this up into “two parts.” The first five titles are books I reviewed or read during my early days of blogging (or as best I can remember). The latter five titles are Older Books I Forgot How Much I Loved (because they need more love).

As we do (nearly) every Tuesday, let’s get to listing.

1. The Selection by Kiera Cass | This one was read and reviewed in my early days of the blogging game. More pertinent than that (aka why it’s on this list) is that this is really the book that started my I-like-YA-fiction journey. Amazon | Goodreads

2. Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden | One of my most favorite from this author. A beautiful historical read that I’d often like to re-read (and don’t because OHMYGOSH! Look, at my TBR!). Amazon | Goodreads

3. Beastly by Alex Flinn | Different than its film adaptation, this one (another “early days” YA read) is still a lovely read for those who enjoy contemporary fairy tales. Amazon | Goodreads

4. A Journey by Chance by Sally John | According to my “book review” tag (which may not be accurate considering I do forget to properly tag things!), this book was my first-ever book review. My memory of the story particulars is fuzzy, but I do think I enjoyed this series. Amazon | Goodreads

5. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks | My first Nicholas Sparks read. I’ll admit: Yes, I do enjoy his books. Only problem is, I haven’t read one in a while because there hasn’t been any film adaptations recently (I read them prior to the new films releasing). Amazon | Goodreads

Part 2 >>

1. Fire by Night by Lynn Austin | It’s been years since I read this one. But my finishing PBS’ Mercy Street reminded me of it. As I remember, it’s a fabulous 5-star kind of story. Amazon | Goodreads

2. True Devotion by Dee Henderson | Ah, the heroics of a Navy hero. Before Dani Pettrey (my favorite!), I read this series. Of course, I love the nod to the military and the wonderful way in which the author portrays the military. Amazon | Goodreads

3. One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury | I don’t know that I can say I “enjoy” this series because tears! That said, it’s a beautiful story about the aftermath of 9/11 and just one example of the emotional fallout of the attacks. Though fiction, the idea and emotions of the story are no less complex and well, emotional. Amazon | Goodreads

4. Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt | LOVE this wonderful contemporary romance. In fact, just thinking back on it (which I read several years ago) reminds me I’d really like to read more by Beth. Amazon | Goodreads

5. The Princess by Lori Wick | An oldie sweetheart of a story that I read long before blogging. Someday I’d like to revisit its charming world. Amazon | Goodreads

*publishes tomorrow afternoon; channel linked above

That’s it for another week and another Top Ten Tuesday. Tell Me, have you read any of these? Are there any old reads you feel all the nostalgic feels for? Tell me about them and how you spun this week’s topic. I look forward to chatting with you – here and on your own bookish havens. (Leave your Top Ten Tuesday links because I’d love to visit.)

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

ps: before you go, check out the book giveaway
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#NeverForget | 16 Years Later... #Remember911

#NeverForget | 16 Years Later... #Remember911

16 Years.
September 11th 2001.
Today, we remember. Today we reflect. Today we  Remember September 11th.

As I think back, I realize I didn't fully grasp the ramifications of this day 16 years ago. But today, and each year since, I am reminded of the lives lost 16 years ago. The men and women who stood up to be heroes in defiance of evil. 

To those who rushed towards danger, to them, I feel a rush of gratitude towards them.  A heartfelt thank you goes out to them yesterday, today and tomorrow for all they do. 
Feeling proud to be an American, and enormous gratitude and thankfulness for the sacrifices of those who protect our home front. ♥

I hear people sayin'. We Don't need this warBut I say there's some things worth fightin' forWhat about our freedom and this piece of ground?We didn't get to keep em' by backing downThey say we don't realize the mess we're gettin inBefore you start your preachin' let me ask you this my friend
Have you forgotten how it felt that dayTo see your homeland under fireAnd her people blown awayHave you forgotten when those towers fellWe had neighbors still inside goin through a livin hellAnd you say we shouldn't worry about Bin LadenHave you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my TV
Said it's too disturbin for you and me
It'll just breed anger is what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it every day
Some say this country's just out lookin' for a fight
Well after 9-11 man I'd have to say that's right

Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside goin through a livin hell
And we vow to get the ones behind Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

I'v been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember just what they're fighting for
Have you forgotten
All the people killed
Yes some went down like heroes
In that Pennsylvania field

Have you forgotten
About our Pentagon
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry 'bout Bin Laden

Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten? - Darryl Worley, Have you Forgotten?
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The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce – Friendship and Romance Collide on Sandy Beaches

The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce – Friendship and Romance Collide on Sandy Beaches

Author: Brandy Bruce
Publisher: Bling! Romance
Publication Date:
Genre: Fiction;
Source: Author Provided – thank you, Brandy!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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Silence has become normal for Sara Witherspoon. She’s familiar with the dips and change of its non-committal aptitude. Since her return to Texas, Sara’s group of friends (seven, all of whom she met through church) has been Sara’s “safe place.” As they’ve all changed and emerged in their chosen career fields, they’ve remained tightly knit.

Their group begins to come apart at the seams when two of their members begin to date one another. More specifically, life as Sara knows it shifts when it’s Luke, the guy she’s been crushing on for years is the one dating Deborah. As Sara watches the glow of Deborah’s happiness from the sidelines, she gently pulls away just as the possibly of a fresh start – a new love, begins to take shape.  

Books with calming summer vibes (and covers!) are exactly the kind of reads I favor over the hazy and hot summer time. Over these past few months, that’s precisely the sort of books I’ve been reading. The Last Summer among them. Though it’s one I had seen around (on blogs or bookstagram prior to having the chance to read it, I didn’t know much beyond the familiarity of its cover. As I began to read the book, it’s this that was an advantage to reading this book.  
The concept of this novel is absolutely fabulous. It’s one of the more unique stories I’ve read because of the friendship bonds it tightly knits together. Everyone supports one another in good times and bad. They stand by and up for one another, and it’s a unique group the reader enjoys getting to know as we journey with these seven people. As it’s inclined to do, an entanglement crops up that threatens to tear apart the solid friendships many years together fosters.

A kind of “love triangle” (or maybe a love Quadrilogy? Or quartet?) develops about halfway through the story. It’s an interesting quandary that sets itself apart from the norm because of the unique circumstances. This relationship isn’t only about a boy-meets-girl, this is about friendship; the strengths and weaknesses of its complexities. This is where my endgame opinion veers from the masses.

Anyone wishing for a happy-ever-after, or at the very least happiness, will be pleased with the conclusion of The Last Summer. It has a nice ending that if not completely “whole” (because there is a lot of healing yet to be done) is certainly in a happy place. That said, I will confess I wasn’t rooting overmuch for the ultimate conclusion. Much as I’d like to say more and explain the “why” of this, I cannot because of spoilers. Don’t misunderstand, as I say, it’s not that the ending is bad (on the contrary), it’s just I’d set my heart on another outcome… one that, from this girls viewpoint, seemed to be the healthier or more satisfying conclusion. But again, I realize I’m in the minority, so don’t let any ideas prevent you from picking this story up.

The Last Summer is about growing up, change and coming to terms with a new normal. It's also the perfect summertime read. From the lake house outings to the sizzling Texas heat, The Last Summer is a perfect end-of-summer read for those wanting to cling to a few more days of the hazy summer days. ♥

Synopsis: For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara's longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara's forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends' relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.

Does growing older mean growing apart? – Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book. 
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Giveaway | In Celebration of September Book Releases.

Giveaway | In Celebration of September Book Releases.

Hello and happy Thursday readers. Last week, we previewed a few of the books arriving on store shelves this September. Today, we're giving one of those pretties away. Because there are so many grand books releasing this month, I thought that was reason enough to throw a little party and give one of these books away. 

Waiting on Wednesday | Eleventh Edition

I will note before moving on, this giveaway features Kindle books, the giveaway rules have been slightly altered and the giveaway runs for a while because this includes several September book releases.

You can read all about said books in our Anticipating September post. (And there will be a paperback giveaway coming up for two recent releases soon-ish.)
And now let's get those annoying rules and regulation details out of the way. 

+ The (Kindle) giveaway(s) is open to ALL readers 18 years* and olderThe prize will be a KINDLE copy, unless otherwise noted (US readers might have a paperback option when applicable). 
+ Anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment (I ask this in consideration of 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). S
+ The winner is chosen randomly (via Rafflecopter); failure to complete the "tasks" does result in disqualification 
+ The winner(s) will be contacted via the Rafflecopter email address within 1-3 days of giveaways close
+ 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 September 20. Happy Rafflecopter-ing!

*Or you must have a parent's permission to provide a mailing address

SHARABLES | #GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win 1 of Finding Wonderland's September releases #BookNerd #Bookworm via @RissiJC 🍁

Book #Giveaway | Win a book from Finding Wonderland's "Anticipating September" #Kindle #BookNerd @RissiJC 🍁🍁🍁

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