Rachel is a stay at home mom who LOVES to read. She enjoys good (clean) books of all kinds. However, she has a soft spot for historical fiction. There is something magical that can only be found between the covers a book and her desire is to share that piece of magic with you. Rachel has been reviewing books since 2014 and is the sole owner/operator of Bookworm Mama. And she simply adores being immersed in the bookish world. Her husband and 2 beautiful children are her life and joy. Among the 500 things she does a day, she still finds the time to read.
Rachel was selected as a Judge for the INSPY Awards 2017 as well as The Christy Awards 2017. Rachel currently works for Pepper D. Basham as her Virtual Assistant.
Winter is here! And here to stay…At least where I come from. I am looking forward to curling up with a good read and enjoying the snow…from inside my warm house, wrapped in a fuzzy WARM blanket…Drinking hot cider. I LOVE winter, but I do NOT like being cold. I am looking forward to reading this particular book over the upcoming weekend. What is on your TBR this winter?
I am excited to share my First Line with you today! YAY for more Christmas books!!! Today’s First Line comes from Michelle Griep’s Christmas Novella, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. Book One in the series, Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. I can not wait to read it this month!
London, 1850 Christmas or not, there was nothing merry about the twisted alleys of Holywell.
I am excited to have Sarah Monzon with us today. She is sharing about All of You (which features a very swoon worthy military hero) and her NEW release, The Esther Paradigm.
Which books/authors do you YOU hoard?
As you can see from this blurry picture of my kindle, I hoard Tamara Leigh books. ❤ I’m going to limit myself to just the one author, or we could be here all day.
Which character do you relate to most in All of You?
Michael. Not because our stories are even remotely similar, but because how we approach difficulty is. Michael has suffered a severe blow and I’ve had some fairly rotten things happen in my life too. But those things make us cling to God and to our faith, not turn away from it. We may ask God why, cry at our finite understanding of injustice, but in the end we trust the He loves us, is moved by our suffering, and covers us with His infinite grace.
Tell us an interesting thing you learned while researching All of You.
My mind is going everywhere trying to pinpoint just one thing. Do I talk about how difficult it actually is to maim a fighter pilot? Or the process I learned about concerning amputation and prosthesis? Or the really amazing women who flew planes in WWII? Honestly, I learned so much researching this book. I’m forever changed by it.
What can you tell us about your new book?
The Esther Paradigm is a contemporary romance inspired by the story of Esther from the Bible.
Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she’ll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.
As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.
In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?
What’s something that readers would find surprising to learn about you?
I’m terrified of talking into microphones. I don’t like speaking to a crowd at all, but if I *have* to do it I usually can do okay if there isn’t a microphone required. Put one of those things in my hand, however, and I start to shake all over, my mouth goes dry, and I get a bit dizzy.
Present Day, 100 Miles off the Coast of Virginia
Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington pulled up the zipper of his green flight suit and stared at the mass on the opposite rack.
Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings. Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.
Today we are super excited to welcome our VERY FIRST GUEST to Hoarding Books! Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the HAWTHORNE HOUSE series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.
Kristi: All of them. I hoard all the books. Seriously. There are books on my shelf that I know I will never, ever read, yet they remain. As far as authors and books I go out of my way to include, if it’s a romance, I’ll at least consider it. Love me some boy meets girl, chaos ensues, happiness found sort of books. There’s quite a bit of Karen Witemeyer and Regina Jennings on my shelf as well as some general market authors like Julia Quinn.
As the Hubs is also a book hoarder of the fantasy and theological variety and we have passed this trait down to our children… our house has a lot of books.
Rachel: “I know I will never, ever read, yet they remain.” I am SO glad to hear you say this…Because I totally have a ton of these books as well! Maybe I’m not all that crazy after all. Hehe!
Which character do you relate to most in An Inconvenient Beauty?
Kristi: Um… none of them is probably not an acceptable response here, is it? I suppose Isabella because I do have a tendency to go off half-cocked on an emotional decision and take too much blame on myself. Honestly, though, I talk too much to keep secrets like she did. I felt like I knew Griffith better because I grew up in a family of Griffiths. Lots of logic, lots of thinkers, lots of planners. And then me. My poor parents.
Rachel: **Note to self: Never tell Kristi a secret** I adore Griffith SO much! From the beginning he ha been MY Hawthorne House Hero. ❤
Tell us an interesting thing you learned while researching An Inconvenient Beauty.
Kristi: **Okay, minor spoiler alert on this one because it’s a historical event that my characters show up at.** I won’t tell you what they do there, but I will mention the event because I stumbled across it while researching something else for the book and I loved it so much I simply HAD to include it.
After the Battle of Waterloo, a soldier was sent to deliver the news to the Prince Regent along with two golden eagles that had been captured from Napoleon’s forces. The eagles were from the tops of their flag standards and were guarded by the forces like treasure, so having two of them was a very big deal.
The soldier got to London, found out where the Prince Regent was, and interrupted the ball, still in his torn, dirty, bloody uniform. No pulling the Prince Regent to the side, no sending a message, just walked into the middle of the ball.
That’s so cool.
Rachel: I LOVE THIS! And I am SO glad you included it in the book. Really an epic scene…For more than one reason!
What can you tell us about your new series?
Kristi: Well, we’re leaving London for a bit, traveling out to the town of Marlborough. I’m very excited about this series because the group of ladies that ties this next series together is remarkable. They’re all incredibly different, and shouldn’t really have anything to do with each other, but a common goal has brought them together and they’ve formed a family around that. Only the foundation of that family is a bit unstable and as it starts to crumble, they’ll encounter some equally remarkable men and together they’ll build something even stronger.
Wow. That was really vague and poetic. I can also tell you that the cover for the first book is GORGEOUS. I may have danced around my house when I saw it the first time.
Rachel: If it has your name on it…I will read it…end of story. I am excited to see a different part of England through your characters’ eyes though!
What’s something that readers would find surprising to learn about you?
Kristi: I have no idea because I’m not quite sure what my readers think of me now. They might be surprised to learn that I’m rather unorganized and a bit flighty. I have to write my schedule on the fridge every week or I’ll forget where I’m supposed to go and when. (Seriously. It takes up the entire front of the fridge. I use chalk markers and write directly on it.)
This is rather easy to hide on social media, but if you ever meet me in person I have been known to be unintentionally rude and walk away in the middle of a conversation because… I actually have no idea why this happens and it’s really embarrassing because it’s never intentional and I won’t realize that I’ve done it until five minutes later. Whereupon I rudely leave the conversation I joined since then to come awkwardly apologize. Sigh. Vicious cycle. So if I’ve ever done that (or ever do that) to you…. I’M SORRY!
Rachel: This is rather hilarious! Not gonna lie. And you are extremely competitive! I am too though…So, I was really glad we got paired on the same team at CFRR 😉
The First Line
Eton College, Berkshire, England, 1797
The line between boy and man was never murkier than when a father died too soon, leaving his son to walk through the foibles of youth while shouldering the responsibilities of adulthood.
What are you reading? What is your first line?
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