These are the ramblings of a wanna-be writer and enamored reader. They promise to be raw, enthusiastic and probably repetitive and ramble-y. But they are a true representation of my word-filled mind trying desperately to sort out the feelings and thoughts that consume me as I read. Enjoy?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Secretly Smitten

I've been crazy busy moving across town...that's my excuse this time. I'll make up for it in quantity. 

If anyone out there cares.





Okay. Here's the next review for whoever is or isn't reading it. I'm going with the same discussion-question format that I did for the first Smitten book.

Authors: Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter

Pages: 377

Preview:  There's a secret in Grandma Rose's attic - a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutches was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?
The mystery intrigues Rose's three granddaughters - Tess, Clare, and Zoe - and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women? 

1. What heroine did you most relate to: Tess, Zoe, Anna or Clare? Why?
At first, I could totally relate to Tess's insecurity about her looks and being convinced an attractive man couldn't be interested in you. I found Zoe annoying, honestly. In the last Smitten book, she was portrayed as the gossipy type that you had to be careful around. It made it difficult for me to care about her or her story. It wasn't bad, but it was my least favorite. I liked Anna's story, and I thought she was a likable character. However, I found that Clare and I were the closest match. We're both cautious creatures of habit and routine. But on the inside, when someone cares enough to get past the (insert dull/cold/boring adjective here) exterior, they find a caring heart with beautiful dreams. 

2. We women can be so insecure. We wish we were thinner, blonder and prettier. Instead of focusing on what you don't like about yourself, what do you like?
It speaks to that insecurity that this question makes me uncomfortable. Hmm. Physically, I'll be honest and say there's not much I love. I wish that were different, but it's not. It won't fix itself overnight either. Working on the inner and outer process of loving me. Anyway, if I had to choose, I would say my eyes. People are always complimenting my long, dark lashes and I must say I don't mind them. ;) 

Inwardly is easier. I'm a compassionate, empathetic person. I root for the underdog and I truly want to take care of people at their lowest. I also love my love for books and words. <3 font="">

3. Tess mothered her sisters and everyone else but left little time for herself. Wt one thing can you start doing for yourself today? 
I could totally relate to Tess on that level. Being the oldest sister, I tend to mother/smother my younger sisters. I have also been told that I leave little room for myself sometimes, because I think of other people. From my perspective, I still see plenty of selfishness, and I feel like I do so much for only myself at home, the least I can do is focus on others when I'm with them. Anyway, that's not the point. What can I do for me? I can...forget perfection. Easier said that done.

4. Have you ever had anyone in your life who was a manipulator like Ryan's sister-in-law? How did you handle that person? 
I had to distance myself. 

5. Zoe didn't want to go to college, though everyone else wanted it for her. Have you ever gone against the grain because you knew something wasn't right for you? Was it the right decision? 
I am fortunate to have a family that is supportive either way, but for a long time I balked at the idea of college because it was what society expected. However, it wasn't because I was trying to be my own person and make my own path. It was because I was scared of failing. It was the easier route. Thankfully, God started to lead me toward college and showed me where to go and what to do, and now I couldn't be more excited for the challenge. 

6. William carried a sea turtle with him to remind him that home is where you make it. Have you ever carried something special to remind you of something? Do you think William really wanted a place to call home and not just a reminder of it? 
I used to wear a purity ring to remind me to love my future husband in my choices and my life and heart though I still haven't met him. Unfortunately, the ring broke, but it's just a ring, not the promise. I think William definitely wanted the real thing rather than the reminder. I want the real husband more than I want a replacement ring. But it's a good concept to have visual reminders that God's timing is better than your own, and you can make the best of what you've been given right now. 

7. William is a born worrier. Zoe takes life as it comes. Do you have a friend in your life who complements your weakness? How so? 
Absolutely! My best friend is my complete and total opposite. We have virtually nothing in common, to the point that it doesn't really make sense that we are even friends. I'm thankful that we met at a time in our lives when they wouldn't matter. I am the worrier. She is the free spirit. Sometimes she completely stresses me out, but other times she teaches me to laugh and live. I teach her to chill. At least I try. ;) We help each other change and grow by being ourselves and loving the other where they are. She's the best.

8. Betrayal in Anna Thomas's life created a fear in her of trusting others. She finally had to let that go and trust God, the only One who never fails. Have you ever struggled with that? If so, what did you do about it? 
I think every person ever had struggled with that. People are fallible, and that's all we can see, so it's all too easy to doubt that God will come through on his promises. At least for me. What I can't see is unpredictable and scary. I find it hard to trust. I question too much. I worry. I freak out. I need to be reminded that God won't fail me. I'm thankful He doesn't tire of showing me that He loves me and nothing I can do will change that. He's not going anywhere.

9. Michael let his life get out of balance with his job eating up much of his family time. That created relationship problems between him and his son. What are some ways we can keep life in balance? 
I don't know, honestly. I don't have a lot to balance at the moment and things are still out of balance. I spend too much time on meaningless things. Maybe it takes a strong reminder. Maybe it takes just choosing and changing. 

10. Anne didn't like confrontation for any reason. Sometimes in life, however, there is no avoiding it. When you're being confronted or you're the one doing the confronting, how do you handle it? 
Oh my gosh, that is so me. I hate rocking the boat. I hate even the possibility of hurting feelings. However, I am learning that being a Christian and a nice person doesn't mean you're a doormat. It's not a fun lesson and I'm not sure how well I'm handling it yet. Eek. 

11. When Ethan confronted Clare about her fear of change, she rejected the truth and became defensive, making a decision she soon regretted. Share a time when you've found yourself in a similar situation.
I, like Clare, am not a fan of change. I'm not impulsive either, so when someone has said that to me, I probably just pouted. I may have said things I regretted. That's about all the choice I have in my actions at this point - my words. It's a big choice though, and can have the biggest effect, because it can tear down relationships. 

12. Clare discovered that dreams without a plan of action get you nowhere. Is there a dream you've had on the back burner for too long? Is it time for you to make a plan of action? 
I actually kind of have the opposite problem. I have dreams and plans, and I feel stuck while I'm trying to pursue them. Circumstances pop up and block my path. It's frustrating, and I need to trust God in the down time. It's so hard. 

13. After losing Ethan, Clare realized that "sometimes taking no risk is the biggest risk of all." Have you discovered this to be true in your own life? Share a time when you avoided a risk only to realize it was a mistake? 
That would be a big, fat yes. I have found that I feel most like I am truly living when I take a risk. It's not worth it if there's nothing to lose. That's too easy. I wish I would remember that when I'm afraid to jump. 

Random fun facts: I'm pretty sure a few of the writers in these Smitten novellas are fans of the show LOST. There was a Sawyer marrying a Kate in the first book (Ew. Being a diehard Jack/Kate shipper, that was kind of annoying to read. Haha.), and an Ethan and a Clare in this one. Not that I can blame them...my family and I are finishing the 3rd season tonight 

There was a typo in this one. It said "finace" instead of "fiance". 

I love when books become real to me. I love it when authors interact closely with their readers. I get a bunch of both loves with the Smitten novellas. They're so real that the authors have created a website for this fictional piece of paradise. Sawyer Smitten even has his hit song for you to hear. How cool is all that? Enjoy: 


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