In the Bookcase


Book Review & GIVEAWAY: The Sound of Silver // BLOG TOUR

The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea (5 star review)

The Sound of Silver
Steadfast Love series, book #2

written by Rachelle Rea

300 pages // published in 2015 // YA & adult fiction // Reformation era

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Rachelle Rea's second book, The Sound of Silver, is absolutely perfect. It's cozy-time-in-your-nearest-book-nook PERFECT. The story is set at a steady pace of things to laugh at and to cry over, as we watch our favorite heroine and hero (that's Gwyn and Dirk, if you somehow missed Book 1!) try to keep their love afloat amidst the daily turmoil.

In the mid-1500s, a religious war wages on between the Catholics and Protestants all throughout Europe. Within this dramatic time period, our story unfolds in England as the two lovers are torn apart by matters now uncontrollable; matters of murder, double-crossing, and tender devotion. How can Gwyn and Dirk's love survive or ever progress under such hardships?

This book has such a sweet and fragile romance (or perhaps a couple of romances, but I shouldn't tell more), that the reader can't help but root for. The underlying spiritual themes are fantastic with Gwyn and Dirk's faith in God and hope for each other being the only elements still holding them together...

"I drew a deep breath. I had an old soul, Anders said. I was wise. Then why had I done such a despicable thing to the man I loved? I was not wise. I was foolish. The most foolish girl alive." (Chapter 18, The Sound of Silver)

Rachelle Rea's writing style is faultless. Time and again, I just couldn't get over how well her characters spoke in the language of the time -- the phrasing of a sentence giving the reader more insight into the story. And although the vocabulary retains the right kind of time authenticity, there's no Shakespearean terminology, I promise (it's still in the English we know and love!).

It was also such a pleasant surprise for me that many of the characters from Book 1 (The Sound of Diamonds) returned for the sequel -- Captain Tudder, Reverend Joseph, and others. Each of these were endearing the first time I met them, although I hadn't expected to see them again quite so soon. Miss Rea fleshes out her characters well, making you want to learn more about these people that come alive from her writing.

"Sometimes God calls us to walk in circles, eh? Like the Israelites of old around the Jericho wall." (Chapter 25, The Sound of Silver)

Readers who enjoy historical fiction will love The Steadfast Love series. Buy the books for birthday or Christmas gifts this year. You won't be disappointed.

The suspense of waiting to hear how this trilogy comes to an end is overwhelming for me -- but of course, I wouldn't want Book 3 to come too soon, because then I'd have nothing more of this series to look forward to, no?

The Sound of Silver hits a shelf near you on October 15th.

Rachelle Rea, debut author Author Bio // Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Silver the summer after her junior year of college.

Visit her website and blog at Inspiring Daring.

The Sound of Silver will be released on October 15.

What can you do until then?

ADD THE BOOK to your Goodreads TBR list
/ / / / /
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READ BOOK #1 (if you haven't yet!)

AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF... Rachelle is giving away free copies of BOTH The Sound of Diamonds & The Sound of Silver! HOW EXCITING IS THIS?!

To get your name entered in the drawing, visit Rachelle's blog today!

Win both of Rachelle Rea's books!

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and (by Oct. 15th!) Amazon.


Book Review: Dead Wake

Dead Wake by Erik Larson (5 star review)

Dead Wake
The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

written by Erik Larson

430 pages // published in 2015 // non-fiction // maritime history

My Review...

5 Star Rating

I have waited a long time to get to read Dead Wake. (Well, a few months since it's publication anyways...)

And it is PERFECT.

Erik Larson has researched and collected together everything you need to know about the Lusitania in a single volume. It covers Captain Turner and his life, Kapitänleutnant Schwieger and how he destroyed the largest moving ship, and the government's angles on the whole affair as well. You can read about the passengers, the crew, the impact on Woodrow Wilson's presidency, and the big secrets the British Admiralty kept in Room 40.

"The ship seemed as indestructible as anything that could be imagined, even for an age that imagined well and placed so much trust in immensity and invention." (Erik Larson, Dead Wake)

"There were so many on the ship that it really was like living in a town, one saw fresh people every day & never knew who they were. (Gertrude Adams, Lusitania passenger)

The tragedy of the great sinking is striking, considering the amount of lives lost, and what it meant for World War I. It's a part of history we should read about it, contemplate, and share with others.

I was greatly impacted with Larson's writing about the Lusitania, and am now compelled to read more of his books.

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


Walking the distance of a mini to-scale version of our solar system

7-mile solar system project

Starting With the Earth as a Marble, This Is the First Timelapse of the Solar System to Scale

article by Christopher Jobson

"When looking in a science textbook or a toy mobile of the solar system, it’s easy to depict the sun, planets and moon to scale in comparison to each other. What’s not so easy to visually comprehend the staggering distance that separates each planet on its individual orbit around the sun. Filmmakers Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet challenged themselves to build such a model and the result is this fascinating short film To Scale.

Starting with the Earth as the size of a marble, it turns out you need an area about 7 miles (11.2km) to squeeze in the orbit of the outermost planet, Neptune. The team used glass spheres lit by LEDs and some GPS calculations to map out the solar system on the dry bed of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada...."

— Continue reading at

I'm so intrigued by the to-scale solar system project that this team put together. Who knew that if the Earth were the size of a marble, you would still need 7 miles to re-create the rest of the solar system? Check out the video at for the full experience!


How to live the Victorian lifestyle

Living a Victorian life

I love the Victorian era. So I decided to live in it.

article by Sarah A. Chrisman

My husband and I study history, specifically the late Victorian era of the 1880s and '90s. Our methods are quite different from those of academics. Everything in our daily life is connected to our period of study, from the technologies we use to the ways we interact with the world.

Five years ago we bought a house built in 1888 in Port Townsend, Washington State...."

— Continue reading at

Isn't it so refreshing (and mind-boggling) that this couple can really pull the Victorian lifestyle off? And they do it so authentically! This article is a must-read if antique oil lamps, iceboxes and cast-iron clawfoot bathtubs make your heart flutter.


Book Review: Mama Needs a Do-Over

Mama Needs a Do-Over by Lisa Pennington (5 star review)

Mama Needs a Do-Over

written by Lisa Pennington

208 pages // published in 2015 // non-fiction // Christian life

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Blogger and homeschool mom Lisa Pennington dishes on how a busy woman can wrangle her life back in order -- the easy way.

If you judge a book by its cover this one is obviously geared towards moms with kids at home, but I can tell you it's more than that. I'm a single young lady and still connected with all the chapter topics that this warrior-mother-of-9 shared. Maybe you feel like you're stuck in a rut, life feels mundane, or rather, life feels out of control. Any of these are sure signs that... It's time for a do-over. Lisa Pennington's book can help you make that change.

With simple-to-learn steps, participation by the reader (to make a do-over happen, you must participate in the change!), and some good old-fashioned Bible-reading, you'll soon be part-way through a life do-over before you know it. It's so simple when someone gives you the advice you've been needing about how to reset your life.

"Through my relationship with Christ and the gifts that He gave me, this mama got to have plenty of do-overs. And that's where we begin with this book. With fears and doubts and messes all around that we wonder if we can ever recover from. We'll meet in my kitchen for some hot tea and laughter." -Lisa Pennington

Chapter topics include: Knowing Yourself, What's Your Dream?, What Is Your Problem?, Make the Connection, The Plan, Making Changes, Joy, Practice, Motherhood, Breaking It Down, Wrapping It Up with a Bow.

Fellow Christian women will most benefit from this book. Through the entire do-over process, it's God that helps you through it and guides you in the direction right for you. Lisa tells you about how hardships in life have knocked her down -- and how she made the decision to CHOOSE JOY over having a day filled with bad-tempers. With each chapter, she has a true story to tell (even at her own expense), a laugh to share, and soon the moral of the story becomes clear. I enjoyed hearing all about her unique situations that include not only keeping tabs on her 9 children, but homeschooling them on a daily basis. It's a hard job, but she makes it work.

By sitting down to really think about Lisa's ideas for a do-over, and jotting down some ideas, I found my dreams again. I found a reason to be joyful again.

Change is good.

Thanks to the author and Netgalley for the free review copy.

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