I really do not like dragons. Please keep your dragons at home! No Dragon Zone! haha.

I am Fire, I am Death by Five-OClock on deviantARTfrom pinterest.


“Emma, by Jane Austen.

Recently, I read “Emma.” I enjoyed the story and chuckled my way through most of the book. I wanted to see the movie before I wrote a review. After mentioning I was going to watch the movie, a friend suggested, I watch the BBC mini-series of “Emma.” I did and I really enjoyed it.

Emma is young, pretty and spoilt. After the marriage of her governess, Emma decides to do some matchmaking. Well, Mr. Knightley advises Emma against any such doings but, she perseveres with her plan. The matchmaking does not go well, and she thoroughly confuses her protégé’ Harriet.

“Emma” is one crazy, comical story! There are several likable characters, Emma being one of them, even though she is flawed. Somehow I loved her in spite of herself. Of course, Mr. Knightley is wonderful. He doesn’t pull any punches with Emma at all. Emma’s dad is an amusing sweetheart and Emma loves him dearly. The story is predictable, which I think it’s suppose to be – it’s about the getting there! Of the Austen books I’ve read, this one is my favorite.!

emma woodhouse | Tumblr// *GASP* Donwell will go to Henry indeed!picture from pinterest.

“The Children of Hurin,” by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Well. My goodness. I really did not know what to expect, when I started reading this book, but what I read was a surprise. Once I got past the new names, words and all the Middle Earth information, the story moved along nicely, but I have never read a story with so many curses, deaths, grief, sufferings, tragedies and woes! This is without a doubt a tragic tale in Middle Earth history! Strangely I did like it. I really can’t say, I didn’t like it.

Of course, there is a dragon in the story. I REALLY DO NOT like dragons! This dragon was beyond evil.

In regard to characters, I can’t say I really had a favorite. Beleg was a pretty good character and Turgon the King was okay.

In a word, tragedy!

“The Golden Ball and other Stories,” by Agatha Christie.

The Golden Ball and other stories / Agatha Christie. Large Print

This is an interesting collection of unusual short stories by Agatha Christie, the Queen of mystery! There are fifteen short stories. She started with tales of romance and adventure, that I enjoyed. I thought they were a little different for this author, but I did like them! Then she switched to the unexplainable, the weird, those experiences in life that cannot be explained. I thought, those stories were a little out there. Then she ended with two interesting tales that were in a category all their own. Overall, it is a good collection!

Introducing Jamie –

Good morning! I would like to introduce to you – Jamie!



Jamie is on the Advisory Board for the INSPY’s. The Advisory Board is responsible for reading through the nominees and picking the top 5 from each category for the short list! “It’s a tough job, especially this year! Some excellent fiction out there!”

I am not on the Advisory Board, but Jamie and I connected through INSPY.

Books&Beverages_Blog_Header_3.0 copy

Thank-you so much for having me on your blog!

1.) How long have you blogged and why did you start blogging?

Answer: Next month will mark three years of blogging (whoa, that went by fast). I had been blogging for several years before that as a wedding photographer. I wasn’t nearly as consistent or focused as I am now, but that is what originally got me into blogging. After I stopped shooting weddings, I realized I wanted to keep writing, so I went with my other favorite pastime – books!

Last spring I also started writing over at “She Laughs with Dignity.” I had a desire to have a more personal blog, so that one is all about beauty, faith and other such mischief. My hope is that other women will be encouraged (and encourage me!) in this journey called life.

2.) What is your favorite genre? Why?

Answer: Based on the novels I own the most of, definitely historical fiction. I love history (like a I-did-graduate-work-in-history kind of love) and there’s so much to learn from the past, so books that bring that story to life (and grab people who might not be huge fans of history) are so fascinating to me! Plus the stories can stand the test of time and I love that!

3.) Who is your favorite author? If you want to name more than one – go ahead.

Answer: If you’ve been around my blog for a little bit, you won’t be shocked that when coming up with favorite books and authors there’s J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis in one category and then the rest of the world;) They are my favorites of all favorites, but I just keep them in their own category, you know, to play fair.

There’s plenty of folks I love to read and will buy their books, no matter what they’re releasing. Authors like Lynn Austin, Jody Hedlund, Katherine Reay, Francine Rivers and Erik Larson to name just a few.

4.) Has a book ever inspired you? What book? How did it inspire you?

Answer: Another question I can answer with a resounding yes!! There’s been so many that have impacted my life and that’s probably why I love books so much. Sometimes a book comes to you at the exact moment you need it. Whether it’s been one to encourage me in my faith (like Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” or a Timothy Keller book) or a fictional piece that inspired bravery, the list is long. One recent read is “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” I just finished re-reading it for the Inkling Series and I love how we see glimpses of God’s character in Aslan. Lewis was a genius like that and it really inspired me to go deeper and study more about the God I worship. I got chills with some of the passages. One day I’ll write a blog post about it;)

5.) If you could live in a fictional story, which book would you live in and why?

Answer: Just so every answer won’t be related to Tolkien or Lewis :), I’ll go with Harry Potter. I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. It must have gotten lost coming across the Atlantic to Texas. It’s a great story of friendship and the battle between good and evil, so count me in – I’m ready!

6.) What is something you enjoy, outside of reading?

Answer: I have an incredible obsession with traveling. There’s always new and exciting places to see, so I try to hop on a plane as often as I can. I love photography and I also enjoy running. (never thought those words would leave my mouth!) It’s relaxing and keeps me healthy.

7.) If you could travel anywhere in the world – no cost to you – one location, where would you go and why?

Answer: Oooo! Fun question! There’s so many places I want to see, but since you said at no cost to me, I’m going with a cruise and tour of Antarctica. It would be stunningly beautiful and I’d get to see penguins and polar bears. Yes please!

Thank-you again for having me!

It was my pleasure Jamie. Thanks so much!!!


“Last of the Breed,” by Louis L’Amour

Last of the Breed - I thought Louis L'Amour only wrote westerns, but this was recommended to me by my dad and I REALLY liked it. It wasn't a western - it was an adventure filled with drama and intrigue. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. smfrom pinterest

Well! U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack’s aircraft was forced down in Russia. Taken prisoner, Mack escaped a Soviet prison camp. He must survive, as he travels across the Siberian wilderness, while an aggressive manhunt is in pursuit.

This book was an educational experience for me. As I read, I googled anything new to me. It’s a good survival story! I would have died, either from starvation or the cold!

I believe most of the books written by Louis L’Amour are westerns, well, this story is not a western! Happy Reading!!!

“Beyond All Dreams,” by Elizabeth Camden

I was reading “Emma,” when the library sent me an e-mail, informing me, a book I ordered was ready for pick-up. After I picked up the library book, it sat on the nightstand, for several days, waiting for me to finish “Emma.” Well, I decided I should probably read the library book before I need to return it. I set “Emma” aside for a couple days so I could read “Beyond All Dreams,” before it was due back at the library.

“Beyond All Dreams,” is a mystery/romance. Anna O’Brien is a map librarian at the Library of Congress. She loves her job! During the course of her work, she discovers documentation revealing a missing ship. As she investigates, attempting to discover what happened to the ship, she is met with continual resistance and some threats. I was completely caught up in the story! I enjoyed the plot!

Luke Callahan is a congressman. I think he’s a colorful character, so full of passion. Anyway, he meets Anna and the two of them decide to work together to solve the mystery of the missing ship.

I thought all the characters in this story had such interesting occupations! I loved reading about the various positions and what each person did in their places of employment. The inventions and the work at the patent office were especially interesting to me.

The author created interesting characters. I especially liked Neville and his friendship with Anna.

There were so many morsels – delicious comments – I’m not sure how I want to describe these morsels, but I enjoyed it! If you like a good mystery that will keep you wondering what happened, combined with a sweet, clean romance, I recommend “Beyond All Dreams.” Happy Reading!

Iola's Christian Reads: reviewing Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden. Excellent Christian historical romance!picture from pinterest.