In the Bookcase

5.26.2017

60% of all DOCTOR WHO art prints! #SALE

I'm having a sale! Check out my 17 Doctor Who-themed art prints, on sale RIGHT NOW. Perfect for all those fans out there, whether you're the Whovian yourself, or you know one...

17 DESIGNS TO CHOOSE FROM

Available only through May 27th on Pick Your Plum.





Fans of Doctor Who, these art prints are for YOU!

Select your favorite prints from 17 fun designs, which are perfect for any fan of the Doctor Who TV show/movie franchise, which spans decades of time (and space). Have you always wanted a TARDIS for yourself? Now you can have one in a frame! Showcase your inner sci-fi geek on the walls of your home. (Great for birthday, holiday, and other special occasion gifts!)





17 PRINTS TO CHOOSE FROM!
Adventure Awaits [B&W]
Silence Will Fall When the Question Is Asked [Chalk]
1-12 Forever [Blue] *Your favorite Doctor #
---- Traveling Through Time & Space Together Since ---- [Blue] *Customize with couple's names & wedding year
TARDIS door sign [Blue]
"We're all stories in the end" Doctor quote [B&W]
Hello Sweetie [Blue]
Don't Blink [Chalk]
I Love You With Both of My Hearts [B&W]
Bow Ties Are Cool [Chalk]
Allons-y! [B&W]
TARDIS Sweet TARDIS [Blue]
I Love You to ---- the Ends of Time and Space and Back [Chalk]
Silence in the Library [B&W]
"Wonders in this universe" Van Gogh quote [Blue]
I Love You to Gallifrey and Back [Chalk]
I Love You to the TARDIS and Back [Chalk]






  • Professionally printed on quality, heavy-weight paper.
  • Art image size is 8” x 10” (it will need to be trimmed if fitting it into an 8” x 10” frame). 
  • Paper size is 8.5” x 11” (for use in a larger matted frame). 
  • Your new artwork will arrive protected in a clear photo sleeve, and shipped in a reinforced rigid mailer for safe travel.
  • Frame, mat or other props are NOT included with your order.


Shipped and sold by Pixel Berry Pie Designs.

Sale price available on PickYourPlum.com only.

Limited quantities available through 5/28/2017 8:00am (Central time).


5.25.2017

Author Interview! Sarah Holman on Adventures and Adversities

Hi readers,

Today I'm talking with author Sarah Holman about her book Adventures and Adversities. It is the first in her Tales of Taelis series, the most recently published of the series being Courage and Corruption -- with a new summer release on the way!


Adventures and Adversities by Sarah Holman (5 star review)


Adventures and Adversities

written by Sarah Holman

314 pages // published in 2013 // Christian YA


BOOK DESCRIPTION

One day Alditha is content living with her family, the next she is taking her friend's place to serve at the king’s castle. Her father's final instructions, to keep smiling and to do what is right, will be harder to live out than she ever imagined. She will face a royal nephew who delights in making people miserable, an angry servant girl who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and noblemen who plot murder. Will she be able to keep the promise she made to her father? Will she find the faith she longs for during all her Adventures and Adversities?



I've already read Adventures and Adversities myself, and I enjoyed it. Be sure to take a look at MY REVIEW of the book, and check out book #1 of this series for yourself! It's a historical-inspired series, each book showcasing excellent biblical morals.

Well, let's get the interview questions going! >>



TARISSA: The Tales of Taelis series is pretty unique. It has a Medieval backdrop to faith-filled adventures. What inspired you to write the Taelis series?

 
SARAH: In my early teens, I fell in love with the Middle Ages. I loved the castles, knights, and the idea of a world dominated by the feudal political structure. I wrote a series of four (very short) books in my early series set in a fictional country. As I grew and matured, so did my idea for those stories. I changed the fictional name to Taelis, moved it to "somewhere in Europe", and have been excitedly writing the stories ever since.

 
TARISSA: That's great! I love that you moved Taelis to "somewhere in Europe". I always wondered if Taelis was based on a particular country, or not.
 

Zale Kahlon from Adventures and Adversities
ZALE KAHLON, Narrator of Taelis stories

"Who am I? I am a teller of stories. I have lived as a priest, a prince, and a peasant. I have known the heights of joy and the depths of pain. I have known friendship as well as betrayal, hate as well as love. I have served but one God, who has upheld me through my whole life, even in the darkest of moments. I am Zale."


TARISSA: Whenever I read this series I always happen to notice some of the details you include, like the kind of clothes the people of Taelis wear, the type of work each family is involved in, and even the foods they eat. Do you draw from any particular resources, books, or media for historical detail?

 
SARAH: I have read a lot of books. Some of the most helpful resources have been Daily Life in Medieval Europe by Jeffrey L. Forgeng and movies set during the time. The book really gave me a feel for what life was like for various groups of people, while being honest about the holes in our knowledge of the time. I also loved watching movies set in the time and picking up so ideas from that. From one scene in a movie, I decided that the men of Taelis would carry their swords over their shoulder.
 

Castle Delmore in Adventures and Adversities
CASTLE DELMORE, found in Taelis


TARISSA: As the author, did you find yourself personally relating well to any of the characters in Book #1, Adventures and Adversities? ... Who are you most like in this book?

 
SARAH: While I dearly love Alditha, I'm more like William. I'm the protective older sibling and the one explaining things to others. Alditha is more of who I want to be with her kindness and compassion.
 

Alditha from Adventures and Adversities
Alditha, Heroine of Adventures and Adversities

"Whatever you do, Alditha, wherever you go, trust God, and never stop smiling."


TARISSA: I really connected well with the character of Alditha in Book #1. She has to persevere through many trials, as the reader can find out about in Adventures and Adversities, but she has an inner strength that can only come from God. Also, I just really like her name, Alditha, and I find that it somehow suits her very well. Do you remember how you came up with her character name?

 
SARAH: Alditha went by another name in the first draft of the story. However, I wanted a more Medieval sounding name for her. I searched for a list of names common in the Middle Ages and thought Alditha sounded pretty.
 

"We all doubt, my child. We all question at one point in time or another." His eyes sparkled as if the joy within could hardly be contained. "But there is a faith that lies on the other side of doubt that God gives. You will doubt, but hold onto your faith. Seek God and His son Jesus even as you doubt. He is a living God, slow to anger, and abounding in love. He will meet you where you are."


TARISSA: FUN QUESTION! >> Of all the gazillions of books published throughout history, which are your absolute tip-top favorite titles? (Yes, I'm asking this in the plural form, because I'm pretty confident in saying that all book-lovers in the world can't pinpoint just one. #personalexperience)

 
SARAH: The Bible is, of course, my source for wisdom and truth so it has to go at the top.

Christy by Catherine Marshall is my favorite fiction book of all time. I read it as a teenager and it greatly impacted me.

Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George really helped me through some depression I struggled with so also means a lot to me.

Of course, there are a lot of books that I love, but I think I will end the list here.

 
TARISSA: That's a wonderful list of favorite books, Sarah! The book you mentioned, Christy, has an amazing message in it. I've enjoyed reading it too, though more recently in life (it was a couple of years ago, anyways). I have yet to read Elizabeth George's books, but will definitely keep in mind the title you mentioned.

Thanks for taking part in the interview, Sarah. I think we might just have to do something like this again, later this summer! Readers, stay tuned. :)
 

"Do you think bravery means to be without fear? You are greatly mistaken. You are brave not because of your lack of fear, but because you did not let that fear stop you. That is what true bravery is."



Available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and audiobook format.

Add to Goodreads


Author bio:
Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of many published books and short stories. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Author Sarah Holman

Visit the author online!
BlogFacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreadsLinkedin

Some of the above images can be found via Sarah Holman's Pinterest board for this book.
All quoted material comes from the book.




5.23.2017

LMA June Reading Challenge & COYER >> Starting soon!

Starting in June, I'll be participating in TWO summer reading challenges...



The first challenge lasts for ONLY the month of June. Ya'll, I'm bringing it back! The annual Louisa May Alcott reading challenge. It's where we celebrate the American writer (most famously known for Little Women) as together we read her works and other books written about her. Everyone chooses their own books, so you can hopefully try something new or re-read an old favorite. If you're interested, be here at In the Bookcase, June 1st.


. . . . .


COYER

The second summer reading program I'm joining is COYER. Where you squeeze in as many books as you possibly can! [June 17th to September 8th] I'm signing up for the optional Summer Reading List challenge too. So I have to come up with a list of 30 books that I might like to read during the challenge, and try to stick to these particular titles as much as I can. No, I'm not saying I'm going to finish all of these, but it's the list of titles I'll be selecting most of my summer reads from. Here we go!

  1. The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines
  2. Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs
  3. Village School by Miss Read
  4. The Return of Sherlock Holmes 
  5. Mission Titanic by Jude Watson
  6. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
  7. To Live Again by Catherine Marshall
  8. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum
  9. The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum
  10. Mandie and the Hidden Past by Lois Gladys Leppard
  11. Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm by Lois Gladys Leppard
  12. Mandie and the Graduation Mystery by Lois Gladys Leppard
  13. Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club by Robert J. Harris
  14. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  15. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  16. Dreams and Devotion by Sarah Holman
  17. Continuing Destiny by Sarah Holman
  18. Father, Forgive Them by Sarah Holman
  19. The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene
  20. Hunting for Hidden Gold by Franklin W. Dixon
  21. Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse by Helen Wells
  22. The Lincoln Project by Dan Gutman 
  23. Hammerhead by Sigmund Brouwer
  24. Manderley Forever by Tatiana de Rosnay
  25. Horse Whispers by Bonnie Bryant
  26. English Horse by Bonnie Bryant
  27. Quarter Horse by Bonnie Bryant
  28. Schooling Horse by Bonnie Bryant
  29. Blood in the Water by C. Alexander London
  30. The BFG by Roald Dahl

* The COYER rules state I cannot change my list once the challenge starts (June 17th), so although I believe this is going to my reading list for the challenge... what if I "accidentally" read some of these titles early?? So I might have to check back in on this post the week before COYER begins, to edit. We'll see though, maybe I'll be able to keep it as is.


Do you have summer reading plans?


5.21.2017

Book Review: My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (5 star review)


My Cousin Rachel

written by Daphne du Maurier

352 pages // published in 1951 // Gothic romance classic




BOOK DESCRIPTION

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet... might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?




My Review


5 Star Rating


An amazing classic by Daphne du Maurier, who may be better known for writing Rebecca (my favorite!). Still, though. My Cousin Rachel? Absolutely thrilling!

This is one of those books (just like Rebecca was for me), where I breathlessly hold on to every single word while I sit in my reading nook and devour the chapters. This book just encapsulates twists in the story, and it turns in directions you didn't know were possible, yet giving you everything your heart desires out of such a maze. If I could describe My Cousin Rachel in a few short adjectives, those words would be: tasteful, refined, dark, and mysterious. Oh, and amazing.

Phillip Ashley, twenty-four years of age, has just lost the one parental guide and fatherly figure in his life. Orphaned at a young age, his bachelor uncle Ambrose reared him in his own (not always traditional) methods. These two had been incredibly close. Suffice it to say, that when Ambrose (on holiday) writes to Phillip to say he has married their cousin Rachel in Italy, the news is quite shocking, especially since it seemingly comes out of the blue. Not long after, Ambrose dies in Italy, never returning home to Cornwall. Already the questions and the intrigue have begun, and it never stops.

Eventually this Rachel, now widowed, visits Phillip at the estate which will soon be put in his name, once his twenty-fifth birthday arrives. Phillip's perspective of Rachel changes over time, from imagining the worst of her to switching to, well, quite the opposite.

This is a book with an ending that... the reader just has to make up your own mind about. It's one that makes the blood pump in your veins and makes your thinking organ to do its work. What was the author trying to say in the end? Did good or evil triumph? That's for each reader to decide. It has left me with a fantastic, absolute thrill though, that's all I know for certain.

NOTE to the discerning reader & parents: The one thing I didn't approve of is how many times the characters so easily took the Lord's name in vain.

It's a Gothic classic from 1951, and the thrilling bits unravel slowly, building tension, drawing the reader in willingly. I could hardly wait to get through each chapter because the suspense was always there on the horizon, like something dangling in front of you just out of reach, and you always keep wanting it, and more.

What intrigue.





Available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audiobook format.

Add to Goodreads



This is book #4 for me in the Back to the Classics 2017 challenge.
[CATEGORY: Romance Classic]





P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.


5.18.2017

Book Review: If He Lives

If He Lives by Sarah Holman (5 star review)


If He Lives

written by Sarah Holman

40 pages // published in 2016 // Christian YA




BOOK DESCRIPTION

In the month leading up to Easter, four friends are challenged with one question: What if we lived like Jesus really did rise from the dead?

A tale of faith, friendship, and the power of the Resurrection.




My Review


5 Star Rating


If you like the idea behind the classic "In His Steps" (which spawned the question "What would Jesus do?"), then you'll appreciate this story in "If He Lives". And if you haven't read "In His Steps", no worries, this new short story will be just as powerful to read, one way or another. I mentioned the other book because both stories present the characters with a rather provoking question about Jesus and rediscovering biblical truths.

"What if we lived like Jesus really did rise from the dead?"

There it is, a simple question that can change things. It is a challenge that can turn whole lives around. What could change in your life if you asked yourself this question several times a day when faced with decisions and find yourself in one of those many small moments where big things could happen? Or rather, what would you allow this question to change about you?

I think some very relevant modern issues are presented and discussed in this book, including small immoral elements we allow ourselves to watch on television, and that things we say behind a digital mask are just as hurtful as if spoken face-to-face... and others. This is a fairly short book, but contains a powerful story to tell, and may give your convictions an internal rise. I know it set me to thinking about my life. I should ask myself that question more often.




Available on Amazon in e-book format.

Add to Goodreads






P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.