Series Feature: Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta + My Dream Cast!

Series Feature: Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta + My Dream Cast!

Welcome to my post alllll about a favorite series! The “Price of Privilege” series by Jessica Dotta, that is. This gushing post is long overdue— I’m blaming it on the way this series blows me away each time I consider putting into words my thoughts. I should warn you there might be MILD SPOILERS AHEAD with the cast descriptions and book synopses.

I reviewed book 1, Born of Persuasion, a while ago. Then I reread the whole series a year ago with blogger friends and we fangirled on Twitter (with hashtag #POPral). Now, I want to share a few thoughts on each book and my dream cast for the series.

Oh, and I have compiled this fun Pinterest board with my dream cast, quotes, and photos that match the feel of the series :).

MY THOUGHTS ON EACH BOOK

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Born of Persuasion – like I said in my earlier review, it’s a page-turner with the feel of a slightly gothic setting with deep, complex characters. The story is told from a first person narrative in the future, so it’s like Julia is telling her life story with additional insight. A brilliant setup for the rest of the series, we’re plunged into Julia’s fascinating world with questions of who to trust and very few answers. Pay close attention to every detail in this book — upon rereading I noticed so much foreshadowing for books two and three.

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Mark of Distinction – this book takes us deeper into the secrets Julia’s family has kept and the hidden agenda of a certain person trying to dictate her life. It brings to light a real-life good vs evil battle that tugs Julia in multiple directions at once. Through an unexpected friendship (and even mentor-like relationship) with Isaac Dalry <3, Julia finds her footing and a deeper spiritual purpose driving her toward something…. the cliffhanger-like surprise at the end of this book threw me for a loop and had me rooting for Julia!

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Price of Privilege – like the title suggests, this book truly shows the cost of deception and the contrasting beauty of sacrifice. The Christ-like picture painted through one character’s unalterable choice blew me away. Talk about a twist! (and ugly cries!) I appreciated how both Isaac and Edward are portrayed in this conclusion, both loving Julia through anything. And both making selfless decisions to help her in any way they can out of love. For any fans of gothic mysteries or the Victorian era, this series is perfection.

DREAM CAST

I’ve said before that this book series NEEDS to be adapted to a miniseries! I’ve had some of these actors/actresses in my head since first reading the series. I’ll list the book’s descriptions if you need convincing!

Casting Julia Elliston

Julia Elliston – 17 years old, ebony hair

I think Felicity has a youthful look that would convey Julia’s growth and journey to maturity very well.

Casting Edward Auburn

Edward Auburn – hazel eyes and curly, “honey” hair.

Tom Hiddleston could pull off the boyish charm of Edward, along with the more mature role he portrays while offering wisdom to Julia.

Casting Chance Macy

Chance Macy – a “captivating….dark angel”, longish black hair, much older than Julia.

Two words: Richard Armitage. After all, one moment you are as infatuated with Macy as Julia is, the next, you don’t know if you can believe anything he says.
Casting Isaac Dalry

Lord Isaac Dalry – blue eyes and russet hair

James Norton IS Isaac Dalry in my mind. Might as well call it a fact. ❤ ❤

Casting Minors 1

Casting Minors 2

(all images obtained through Pinterest)

What do you think of my choices? See any of your favorites actors on my list? 😉 Would you pick someone else for these roles?

SONGS THAT MATCH

Sometimes, I run across songs that just match a book I’ve read. These three songs fit this series in feel and theme. Do you agree?

Born of Persuasion: Volcano as performed by Phillip Phillips. The melancholy and mysterious feel of it just works. And, when applied as the male antagonist’s perspective, all sorts of underlying meanings make sense.

Mark of Distinction: You Set Me Free  by Angie Miller. This song perfectly matches the faith transformation Julia undergoes midway through book 2.

Price of Privilege: We Remain by Christina Aguilera. I love how this song matches the struggle Julia goes through with a triumphant “whatever happens here, we remain” proclamation.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Book 1, Born of Persuasion

Born of PersuasionThe year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

Book 2, Mark of Distinction

Mark of DistinctionLondon is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

When Julia discovers that Lord Roy Pierson, her guardian and one of most influential men in England, is the father she has never met, she begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.

Book 3, Price of Privilege

Price of PrivilegeHaving finally discovered the truth of her birthright, Julia Elliston is determined to outwit Chance Macy at his own game. Holding a secret he’d kill to keep, however, is proving more difficult than she imagined.

Just when Julia thinks she’s managed to untangle herself from Macy’s clutches, he changes tactics with a risky ploy. As the scandal of the century breaks loose, drawing rooms all over London whisper what so far newspapers have not dared to print: Macy’s lost bride is none other than Lord Pierson’s daughter–and one of the most controversial cases of marital law ever seen comes before Victorian courts.

Though Julia knows Macy’s version of events is another masterful manipulation, public opinion is swaying in his favor. Caught in a web of deceit and lies, armed only with a fledgling faith, Julia must face her fiercest trial yet.

Have you read this amazing series? Do you have thoughts or FEELINGS about it?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Book Quotes About Books

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Book Quotes About Books

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official Top Ten Tuesday meme is taking a hiatus from weekly topics until August 15th. Until then, we bloggers are tasked with coming up with our own topics, if we want!

This particular list has been bouncing around in my head and in my “book journal” for a while. I’ve been noting and collecting a few quotes here and there during my reading routine about books. It’s super fun when you can share a love for reading with authors vicariously through their own stories. Further proof that books and stories are influential and important to life!

Top Ten Tuesday 10 favorite book quotes about books

10 Favorite Book Quotes About Books

1. “That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.” – Juliet in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

2. “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in book that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.” – Juliet in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

3. “‘They’re as much your friends as they are mine. I don’t mean it in some strange or creepy anti-social way. I mean that reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence.’ She popped up straight. ‘You learn drama from the Brontës; sense from Austen; social justice from Dickens; beauty from Wordsworth, Keats, and Byron; patience and perseverance form Gaskell; and don’t even get me started on exercising your imagination with Caroll, Doyle, Wells, Wilde, Stoker –‘ “-Lucy in The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

4. ” ‘You are your own person and I wouldn’t worry about the stories. We all compare our lives to them. That’s why we love them; they help us understand ourselves.’ ” – Helen to Lucy in The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

5. “I love coming to the bookstore. Cause it’s awesome. I take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. I love the smell of books. Of paper. Of coffee. Of coffee and paper. It’s poetically beautiful.” – Izze’s POV in Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations by V. Joy Palmer

6. “Books told stories. Books told us about ourselves.” – from A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

7. ” ‘You put new meaning to the word bookworm. More like a book… boa constrictor.’ “- Blake Hunziker in Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

8. “She still remembered the expression on his face last week when he’d finished and closed the last tome. He’d looked pleased and just a bit melancholy. She knew those dual feelings well – the satisfaction of completing a well-written piece of literature while also coming to terms with the fact that those few moments of pure bliss would soon be replaced with a longing for more.” – from Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

9. ” ‘Within the pages of books one’s heart can be revealed.’ “-Sister Agnes in The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea Cobb

10. “John had once vanquised terrorists intent on killing him and the people he’d been guarding. She couldn’t even vanquish the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.” – from True to You by Becky Wade

Did you participate in this week’s TTT? What are some of your favorite quotes about books? 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Memorable Dads in Literature & #BookDadQuotes

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official topic is ~ Father’s Day related Freebiefavorite dads in literature, best father/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your dad, worst dads in literature, etc. etc.

Dads can offer that bit of wisdom you need to hear, the funny inside joke to brighten a moment, or the insight to looking at life in a new way. My dad was like that — ready to share his thoughts on the subject, if you sought out his opinion. And sometimes when you weren’t exactly looking for advice :).  Appropriately, this week’s topic leading up to Father’s Day is all about dads!

I had multiple ideas for this topic, but because it’s my blog, I decided to go with 2 different ones! First up, as in last month’s Mother’s Day Freebie, I’m listing 10 memorable dads in literature. I really *could* have just referenced the dads or father figures in each of those stories, from the “mom” list, but I decided to change it up and go with different books this holiday. Secondly, I’ve put together a few favorite book quotes from or about dads. Some of these match the 10 memorable dads in my list, too. Dads can offer that bit of wisdom you need to hear, the funny inside joke to brighten a moment, or the insight to looking at life in a new way. My dad was like that — ready to share his thoughts on the subject, if you sought out his opinion. And sometimes when you weren’t exactly looking for advice :).

10 Memorable Dads in Literature

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg1. & 2. Case and Logan Walker in the “Walker Family” series by Melissa Tagg

3. Ben King (and his father Chet) in Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

4. Reese Mitchell in A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham

5. Charlie Lionheart (nontraditional dad) in The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

271385786. Devin Bressard in the “Told You” series by Kristen Heitzmann

7. Morgan Spencer in The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

8. Mr. D’Alisa in the “Two Blue Doors” series by Hillary Manton Lodge

To Win Her Favor9. Gilbert Linden in To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

10. Mr. Woodhouse in Emma by Jane Austen

And….. #BookDadQuotes

“I am nothing without God,” he said. “And I don’t ever want to try to be.”

– Charlie Lionheart in The Lady and the Lionheart

“Sometimes in life, when what we want most is just beyond our reach… and the ground beneath us gives way, we must grab hold of the nearest branch.” He closed his eyes briefly, “And hang on.”

– Gilbert Linden in To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

Over and above their love as father and daughter, they now had a common bond, a kinship that had nothing to do with blood. They were newspeople who loved the smell of ink and the demand of a deadline.

– from A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

“…having faith is the bravest thing we can do. It’s the unwavering confidence that God loves us. That although we can’t see the road ahead, we can see God.”

– Chet King in Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

There were no wracking sobs today, not like that day at the depot when he’d finally set free so many years of furrowed hurt. Let his dad encircle him with all the strength and comfort he’d pushed away since the day he’d left town. It has been an unshackling. A letting go.
Today was a holding on. To courage in the midst of fear. To faith in the midst of uncertainty.
To a father’s love he knew had never once wavered.

– from Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Memorable Moms in Literature

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official topic is ~ Mother’s Day related Freebie: favorite moms in literature, books about motherhood, best mother/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst moms in literature, etc. etc.

First off, shout-out to the best mom in the world! She inspired my love of books by reading me countless children’s books until I was old enough to read them to her. And the rest is history.

This topic was so open-ended I wanted to go in 3 different directions at once. I settled on highlighting 10 memorable moms in literature, whether noted for their sage advice or annoying presence. A few of these are non-traditional “moms”, being mother figures (sometimes reluctantly) to motherless or orphaned children for a large part of the story. Like in real life, these women who choose to love are just as important to recognize as key leaders in these little ones’ lives.

10 Memorable Moms in Literature

1. Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

She was the first notable mother that came to mind, mostly because of her obsessive and nervous tendencies. On the surface, she just wants to marry off all of her children ASAP. But, I think beneath her actions is a mother’s heart that wants to see her girls cared for in the long term.

A Flight of Arrows2. Good Voice (Two Hawks’ mom) in The Pathfinders series (The Wood’s Edge and A Flight of Arrowsby Lori Benton

Good Voice is of exceptional character. Through her eyes, especially as book 2 progresses, readers see the sacrifice she had to make as a mother and the continued sacrifices she was willing to make in order for her adult children to be at peace.

3. Mrs. Hale in North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Obviously, Mrs. Hale is memorable for her annoyance and frailty. At least that’s how I remember her. She did not have the strongest of mindsets through the ups and downs her family faced, but she was loved and cared for by Margaret just the same.

Evergreen4. Ingrid Christiansen in the Christiansen Family series by Susan May Warren

She’s an encourager, always showing her adult kids grace in a different way. Her heart is really revealed at the beginning of each book in the series, where readers are treated to a letter from her perspective, told like a journal entry to her children.

5. Caroline Ingalls (“Ma”) in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

These books hold a special memory for me and my mom. This is the first series I remember us reading together when I was little. I recall Caroline as a resilient and resourceful mother, always working for her children’s happiness. She was always ready to share encouragement or wisdom with them, teaching them important lessons of friendship and faith.

a-portrait-of-emily-price6. Donata Vassallo (Ben’s mom) in A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

Though she has minor page time, she commands what scenes she’s in with an unmistakable passion and demeanor. She loves her children fiercely and serves as an example of changing family dynamics as she adjusts to her new role as Emily’s mother-in-law.

just-the-way-you-are-by-pepper-basham7. Eisley Barret in Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

Eisley is a single mom successfully juggling her career and 3 spunky kids. She’s realistically portrayed as a loving mother in all the chaos and humor of everyday life. She is memorable for her flexibility and selflessness that spills over into other areas of her life.

Non-traditional mother figures:

the-mark-of-the-king-by-jocelyn-green8. Julianne Chevalier in The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Without giving too much away, Julianne finds herself in a new world during this story (French New Orleans). Toward the latter half of the book, she becomes the mother figure to a precious half French, half Mobile Indian little girl, showing her such tender care in an unsettling world.

9. Sophie Menzies in The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

What starts out as a friendship between Sophie and her neighbor’s daughter, Lily Cate, becomes a deeper relationship as the story goes on. Sophie is a natural mother!

727431810. Elle Drake in More Than a Promise by Ruth Logan Herne

This book is a contemporary marriage-of-convenience story, so Elle becomes an instant mother to 3 hilarious and rambunctious boys. It’s been a long-time dream of hers to be a mother, so to see it realized in an unexpected (albeit challenging) way is quite fun.

That’s it for my list. Have you read any of these books? What is a memorable “mom” in book you’ve read?

April Happenings

I can’t believe it’s already time for the April monthly wrap-up!

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on the bookshelf

Two of the MOST EXCITING titles added to my collection this month included an ARC of Sara Ella’s second novel, Unraveling, and the lovely novella collection Right Where We Belong with small-town stories from authors Deborah Raney, Melissa Tagg, and Courtney Walsh. Both of these should be reviewed on the blog this May.

on the blog

Most popular posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Novels with the Most Unique Settings
  2. Top Ten Tuesday: 10 things that will make me instantly want to read a book
  3. How-To: Solar Dyed Yarn Project (With Kool-Aid)

just-the-way-you-are-by-pepper-bashamMost popular book reviews:

  1. Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham (plus author interview)
  2. I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones
  3. Reclaimed by Jennifer Rodewald (plus book snippet)

in the kitchen

20170415_120919-1The most notable “new” recipe I made this month was this version of dairy free Hot Cross Buns for Easter weekend. They turned out great! I used a combination of dried currants and raisins because I like both.

on the screen

The Zookeeper's WifeI had the privilege of seeing The Zookeeper’s Wife on the big screen…. And let me just say it was a fabulous production! It tells the fascinating inspired-by-a-true-account story of a zookeeper’s family sheltering Jews in occupied Poland during WWII. It appropriately portrayed the harshness of life for the Jews and the sacrifices of people who risked everything to help them. The quality of this film is very prominent, with the acting top-notch (especially Jessica Chastain!) and everything from the zoo animals to the furniture/clothing period-appropriate. This is one to see if you’re a fan of historical dramas or WWII.

around the web

Pepper Basham featured one of my favorite book heroes (ahem, book boyfriends) on one of her “Swoony Saturday” posts. It is Dr. DAVID ROSS. Enough said.

I ’m not planning a wedding ANY time in the near future. You kinda have to plan a groom first. But, if I were, I’d be all over this wedding entertainment option recently in the news: ALPACAS and LLAMAS!!!! This little animal therapy place in the OR/WA area offers options to book llamas and/or alpacas to be a part of a ceremony or to entertain guests. I’m thinking it needs to be extended to any social or family event. Wouldn’t it be fun to show up to a family reunion or birthday part to find alpacas to play with?! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 things that will make me instantly want to read a book

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official prompt is Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book. I decided to spin this to apply to particular books instead of “making-me-want-to-read” situations, like rainy days on the porch or cozy days by the fire. Because I read mainly inspirational or Christian fiction, my instantly-want-to-read books would be within those parameters. This list is a little bit thrown together, so I’m not going into as much detail as I could about it. For instance, I could talk about # 1, 3, 5, and 9 for a looooong time.

Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

  1. good reviews from blogger friends – the books I keep hearing about, high praise from #bookbesties, etc. You know who you are.
  2. endorsements or recommendations from favorite authors. These DO matter!
  3. favorite authors… new books are #mustreads! This must-read-author list keeps growing every year. *happy sigh*
  4. indie books from fav authors. A bold move like self-publishing deserves a chance… and often promises a pleasantly different type story. Favorites that come to mind are Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann, The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof, and Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham.
  5.  a unique premise or setting – or a premise related to cooking. Let’s just face it: I’m a food-aholic.
  6. gorgeous covers – because sometimes it’s all about that instant cover appeal
  7. books from favorite publishers
  8. almost anything infused with classic literature. Katherine Reay, I’m talking about YOU!
  9. similar to number 8, story retellings: like P&P, Beauty and the Beast, My Fair Lady, etc.
  10. an era I love – favorites including any time around the Revolutionary War in America, WWII, or post-Civil War American west.

That’s it for my list! What things make YOU instantly want to read a book? Do share your TTT posts or thoughts!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Novels with the Most Unique Settings

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official prompt is: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read or a variation on “unique books”. This one was a little harder to decide on because what think is unique might not be to you. So, I’ve settled on unique settings because that’s a pretty concrete story element we might agree on.

Some of these are highly unique because of their geographical setting and some are more so because of the combination of setting + era. In no particular order……

Top Ten Tuesday 10 book cover graphic for unique settings.jpg

10 Novels with the Most Unique Settings


1. The Lady and the Lionheart
by Joanne Bischof

Setting: a circus in Victorian-era Virginia. Lions (and their amazing trainer) and elephants all traveling by wagon, oh my! (No surprise it’s on another TTT list. I could talk about this book all day.)


2. The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

Setting: A little bed-and-breakfast inn in modern Prince Edward Island, Canada. The first of two contemporary stories on my list this week, the setting is charming and picturesque while it makes its way into the heart of the heroine.


3. The Thorn Healer
by Pepper Basham

Setting: Hot Springs, NC that hosts a post-WWI German refugee camp. It’s a cultural wake-up call for the heroine as she learns to overcome prejudices in her little Appalachian community.


4. The Brontë Plot
by Katherine Reay

Setting: a good part comprises a literary tour of England, complete with London and a visit to the Brontës’ hometown, Haworth. This is the second contemporary story on the list!


5. The Measure of a Lady
by Deeanne Gist

Setting: Gold Rush San Francisco, CA (mid 1800s) with all its roughness and rugged coastal beauty — this is a place the heroine does not want to be, but the people there inexplicably draw her in…


6. The Captive Imposter
by Dawn Crandall

Setting: a wealthy family’s hotel in the mountains of Maine during the Gilded Age (early 1900s).


7. The Sentinels of Andersonville
by Tracy Groot

Setting: Andersonville prison in Andersonville, GA during the Civil War. This prison held Yankees, including one of the main characters.


8. Duchess
by Susan May Warren

Setting: the “Golden Age” of Hollywood, CA, in the 1930s then Europe during crucial parts of political unrest just before WWII.


9. Saving Amelie
by Cathy Gohlke

Setting: a little village in hostile Germany during WWII.


10. A Moonbow Night
by Laura Frantz

Setting: a family lodge and way station of sorts in the wilderness of the Kentucky frontier in the mid-1700s. Think Daniel Boone!

What is one of the most unique settings you’ve read about? Did you participate in TTT this week? Share your thoughts in the comments!