Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

I have seen this fun mid-year tag on a few blogs, most recently on my friend Kara’s. Even though the year is more than half over (gasp!), these are fun prompts so I’m weighing in! If you’d like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

Best Book You’ve Read

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim is one of my top reads of the year. It’s fresh and riveting and oh-so-original.

Best Sequel You’ve Read

Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan. I had to pick Hamish and Reggie’s ongoing adventures!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett. SOON, I tell you! I have loved the other two books (and featured national parks).

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2019

The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden, coming September 3. That COVER, y’all! Plus it’s a Camden novel, so I know it will be good!

Biggest Disappointment

I cringe to say any book is a disappointment. I like to think of books I don’t like as much as “object lessons for why Courtney does or does not like _______”. I have to go with Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter. Not my favorite from her, it just was too trope-ish. (The second book in the series, though, is a fav!)

Biggest Surprise

After the Rain by Brandy Bruce. I didn’t think I’d like the heroine of this one because she was the slightly-unliked, nemesis character to the heroine of book 1. But oh my, this story drives home the point that everyone is the hero of his or her own story.

Favorite New to You or Debut Author

Jaime Jo Wright (The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond) I listened to the audio version and I LOVED IT!

Newest Fictional Crush

Captain Arthur Heywood from The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews. An honorable gentleman who knows how to handle just about any situation.

Newest Favorite Character

Maddie from The Printed Letter Bookshop. She’s relatably flawed and trying hard, just like the rest of us.

Book That Made You Cry

Bear No Malice by Clarissa Harwood. Read it and you’ll know why.

Book(s) That Made You Happy

I couldn’t pick just one for this! Wooing Cadie McCaffrey made me happy because of all its pop culture rom-com love. Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano made me happy because BAKING and BOOKS and a #girlpower friendship group.

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation

Hopefully Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I hope to read it before I see the movie!

Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year

My list of book quotes ABOUT books.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Books You Need To Read by the End of the Year

all of them?? My TBR is more like an island now. A few I want to read soon are: Tate by Susan May Warren, A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson, The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews, Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh, The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson, and Bethlehem by Karen Kelly.

“Passport to Pinterest” Tag

Social media has been blessed with a fun platform for images, bookmarks, and inspiration for planning everything from your cat’s sweaters to a dream log cabin. I’m talking about Pinterest! I’ve been tagged to share random images from my favorite Pinterest boards in the “Passport to Pinterest” tag by Rayleigh Gray over at Accelerate the Jesus Movement blog. The tag originally appears on the Livy Lynn blog. (Thanks for the tag, Rayleigh!)


The Rules:

  1. Open your Boards.
  2. Open http://www.random.org (Or any random number generator website or app of your choosing.)
  3. Enter the number of pins on your first board.
  4. Click “Generate.”
  5. Find that number pin on your board.
  6. Share the image of that Pin in your new Blog Post, and a little blurb about why it’s important to you!
  7. Continue the process with ALL or as many of your boards as you like!
  8. Tag another blogger (or two, or three…or ten! The more, the merrier!) and link back to thank the blogger who tagged you.


Without further ado, here are some random favorites from my Pinterest boards!

The board: The Green Mockingbird [my blog]

The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection

The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection

The board: Books, books, and more books!

Curl up with a good book

Curl up with a good book….

The board: “Price of Privilege” Series by Jessica Dotta | Dream Cast + Aesthetic

keys - price of privilege aesthetic

How fitting a ring of keys is the photo for this board….oh, the significance of a certain set of keys in this book series!

The board: Is it tea time yet?


Tea is always a good idea. I wholeheartedly agree.

The board: Classics

leap year

LEAP YEAR. This movie is adorable.

The borad: All Things Austen and English

far from

“Romantic moment of the week” from the Silver Petticoat featuring “Far From the Madding Crowd”….. I ❤ the cinematography of this movie and the hero. The heroine, not so much.

The board: North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell & BBC

north and south ending

North and South ending scene ❤

The board: poetic


Nevertheless, she persisted. Encouragement for you today. 🙂

The board: Random Amusing & Funny Things

random funny

Have a laugh!

The board: Music


More Heart, Less Attack by NEEDTOBREATHE

The board: Cabins, Mountains, Camping, & Woods


Isn’t this peaceful?!


YOUR TURN! If you’d like to join in this fun photo-sharing idea, consider yourself tagged! Or, if you waste time on Pinterest like me, share your Pinterest profile link in the comments!

My Life According to Literature: 2016 (so far) Book Titles

This is a quirky and fun book tag of sorts using book titles. It’s an idea I saw on Kara’s blog way back in March (which she saw on Hamlette’s, etc.) and I just had to join in!

My answers include books I’ve read this year (so far)

img_20160824_165312.jpgDescribe yourself: The Cautious Maiden (Dawn Crandall)

How do you feel today: Like Never Before (Melissa Tagg)

Describe where you currently live: A Haven on Orchard Lane (Lawana Blackwell) (well, not exactly on a lane… but I do have a few fruit trees at my house!)

If you could go anywhere, you would go to: The Inn at Ocean’s Edge (Colleen Coble) (AKA just travel, though coastal Maine would be nice!

Your favorite form of transportation: No Way Up (Mary Connealy)

Your best friend is: The Curiosity Keeper (Sarah E. Ladd)

You and your friends are: Together At The Table (Hillary Manton Lodge)

What’s the weather like: The Breath of Dawn (Kristen Heitzmann)

You fear: A Flight of Arrows (Lori Benton) (wouldn’t it be awful to be shot with an arrow! Ha!)

What’s the best advice you have to give: You Don’t Have to be A Star (Susan May Warren)

Thought for the day: Told You Twice (Kristen Heitzmann) 

How would you like to die: Cold Shot (Dani Pettrey) (Ok, maybe not this way, but the book title just fit here!)

Your soul’s present condition: A Twist of Faith (Pepper Basham)

Your turn!!! Feel free to take the questions and fill in with book titles you’ve read at some point. Have fun with it, and let me know if you continue the tag!

Sweater Weather is here!!! (A Tag)

Let’s venture off-topic a little and talk about sweater weather today, AKA autumn. Amber over at Seasons of Humility has tagged me in The Sweater Weather Tag, so let’s talk about fall!

the sweater weather tag

Favorite candle scent

I’m going with a Christmas scent here: peppermint. Specifically, Yankee Candle’s North Pole scent. It just smells festive!

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

If you’re forcing me to pick one, tea. I love it all: hot tea, iced tea (SWEET iced tea. This is the south.), lukewarm tea….I’ll take it any way I can.

What’s the best fall memory you have?

This one is tough! I’m going to go with one of my many favorites: hiking with my family a few years ago to Hawksbill Crag (AKA Whitaker Point) as the leaves were just past their peak. It was beautiful! Something I will never forget.

A photo of Hawksbill Crag from said hike.

A photo of Hawksbill Crag from said hike.

Best fragrance for fall

Cinnamon. I love cinnamon in anything (oatmeal, tea, ice cream, apple pie, pumpkin pie, etc.). It just smells like the season!

Favorite Thanksgiving food

Pumpkin pie!!! And, it has to have REAL whipped cream. If you’re at my Mamaw’s at Thanksgiving, you have to make your dessert plate early just to make sure my cousins don’t get all the whipped cream (you know who you are) 🙂

Most worn sweater

Hmm. Maybe my comfy brown zippered one? I tend to wear it around home all winter.

Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

Leaf piles! That’s another fall memory with family — playing in the leaves. And climbing the trees.

Skinny jeans or leggings?

Skinny jeans

Combat boots or Uggs?

Hiking/hunting boots, for sure!

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

Yes, but only if you REALLY like pumpkin. One or two pumpkin spices lattes a season, and I’m good. But I do love the opportunity to try and make all things pumpkin this time of year. Pumpkin pancakes, anyone?

Favorite fall TV show

This year, I’m going to have to say fall Hallmark movies.

What do you want to be for Halloween?

No idea!!! This year I’m pretty last minute with deciding because I’ll be working.

Hats or scarves?

Both!!!! Especially if they match 🙂

What’s your #1 favorite thing about fall?

Trees. Seeing them reveal their true colors is almost magical. Almost a metaphor: when your character is revealed, will you display something vibrant underneath?

That was fun!!! I’m tagging Beckie and anyone else who wants to join!

What are your favorite things about fall???? Please share in the comments.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award: Q&A post

It’s always fun to see these “bloggers award” posts floating around the internet. They are a fun opportunity to learn about bloggers and to have great discussions over all things bookish, in my case. Many thanks to the lovely Amber Stokes over at Seasons of Humility who nominated me to participate! (And thanks for coming up with such cool questions to answer!)Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate ten blogs.

The Questions

1. Dream vacation this summer, if you could go anywhere?

Anywhere? Other than to see my family, I think I would pick somewhere with mountains. Or a train that goes through mountains, like the Canadian Rockies. After watching the IMAX film “Rocky Mountain Express”, I really want to visit that region!

2. Classic (book) you’re most interested in revisiting sometime?

I’m going to cheat and list a few different ones: the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (you guessed that one would be on my list, right?).

3. Latest fictional crush?

Latest would have to be Cullen McGrath from To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander. He’s considerate, faithful, and sweetly loved Maggie. AND he’s Irish, so there’s the accent…

4. Favorite period drama?

This is the hardest question ever! There are so many beautiful period dramas, but my all-time favorite is the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyn. It has such gorgeous cinematography, dialogue, casting, and music. (our recent Twitter convo confirms this!) Plus I love the on-screen chemistry between all of the characters. The Bennets feel like a real family, and Lizzy and Darcy are just <3.

5. One summer book release you’re super excited about?

The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren. I’m excited to see where this next installment in the “Christiansen Family” series will take the characters! Susan always delivers a fantastic story.

6. Music you can’t get enough of at this moment in time?

Photograph by Ed Sheeran, Brother and Rise Again by NEEDTOBREATHE, Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger, Even the Stars Fall 4 U by Keith Urban, and anything on the Hillsong United “Oceans” album.
7. Most exciting discovery this year (book, movie, or music)?

Hmm. I’m going to go with the “Price of Privilege” book series by Jessica Dotta. Man, she can write some drama! I think I can say it’s my favorite book series of all time. (I’ve reviewed book 1 here).

8. Best freebie you’ve found online (ebook, download, subscription)?

I love the fact that so many “classics” are available as free ebook downloads, especially on the Kindle app or on Google Play Books. I’m always browsing the free ebooks list!

Perhaps the BEST freebie I found recently was the piano sheet music to this song (and theme) from the “North and South” miniseries. (You can find the link to download it via the YouTube channel). I could watch the ending listen to the music of that miniseries over and over! 🙂

9. Favorite Jane Austen hero?

Such a tough question! I’ve already declared my love for Mr. Darcy. He is probably my favorite, although Mr. Knightley is quickly moving up the ranks of Austen heroes. His quiet loyalty, understanding, and considerate nature make him the perfect hero and match for Emma. I think he is a bit overshadowed by Darcy sometimes.

10. Most beloved Disney sidekick?

I have to go with Olaf from Frozen here! I know there are so many fabulous sidekicks (shout-out to Maximus the horse from Tangled), but Olaf’s sense of humor and carrot-chasing just make me smile.

I’m nominating a few blogger friends: Beckie (By the Book), Kami (Kami’s Library Thoughts), Cassie (Bookshelves and Windows), Rayleigh Ann (Accelerate the Jesus Movement), and Rosie (Writings of Rosie).

If I’ve nominated you, or you want to join the fun, here are 10 questions for YOU!

1. What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

2. What are you currently reading? (or reading next?)

3. Tea or coffee?

4. If you could travel (or time-travel) to your favorite book’s setting, where would you be?

5. What did you purchase the last time you visited a grocery store?

6. Latest celebrity crush?

7. Do you own multiple copies of the same book? Which one(s)?

8. What is your favorite movie genre?

9. Have you ever been to a drive-in movie?

10. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Inside & Out Book Tag

inside and out book tag

What is a book tag, you ask? Well, it’s a lovely set of bookish questions re-posted from another person or blog with your own answers. It’s like a get-to-know me (and my bookish habits) post!

I first saw this book tag over at Melanie’s blog, Christian Bookshelf Reviews. It was created by MathomBooks on YouTube. I thought this would be a fun post to share because I enjoy seeing other readers’ habits. Here are some of mine:

I ~ Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough (Discuss)

Most book summaries are well-written and provide just the right amount of info for me. I prefer when summaries leave a little mystery to the plot – no spoilers, please!

N ~ New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

I prefer paperback – e-books second. I still love the feel of a freshly-printed book in my hands. And they’re easier to flip back through and find favorite parts or quotes. Ebooks are great for traveling and portability, though. My Nook usually fits better in my purse 🙂

S ~ Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean? (Tell us why)

I admit, I scribble sometimes. Especially if it’s a great nonfiction book, I like to underline and/or highlight favorite quotes. When taking notes (for reviews), I use a notebook or word document. Unless we’re talking about ebooks, then I fully utilize the highlight and notes features.

I ~ In your best voice, read for us your favorite 1st sentence from a book.

This is from my current read by Susan May Warren. Ahem, *clears throat*…
“Eden Christiansen’s career, her love life –even her car battery, for that matter– were frozen stiffer than the late-January cold snap encasing the city of Minneapolis.” It Had To Be You
What a first line, huh?

D ~ Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

I’m curious to know an author’s gender, especially if they write under initial like “L. J.”, but I really don’t care either way.

E ~ Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Never! That would spoil the ending! No, I haven’t ever read the last page before I got there – even if it’s a really tense book.


O ~ Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

A little of both. Some shelves are grouped by author and/or genre, other shelves are packed tight with a variety of books. Except for my Empty Shelf Challenge shelf – that one’s slowly accumulating books.

U ~ Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

Probably yes, though I don’t remember a specific one. Book covers play a large role in the way books appeal to me. I love antique copies of books, and I recently bought a copy of “Last of the Mohicans” because it had a beautiful green cover with gold scrollwork.

T~ Take it outside to read, or stay in?

When the weather is warm enough, definitely outside! My favorite spot is my porch swing, even on rainy days.

Tag, you’re it now!

Do you agree with my Inside & Out answers? What are your bookish habits? Tell me in the comments below!
If you post this book tag, please leave a comment with a link to your blog post. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for visiting my blog! -Courtney