Ponderin' The Past...with Prizefighting

Hello readers! I recently finished To Win Her Heart, which was amazing, and decided it would make a good choice for today's history post.
Levi had a past - he had once been a prizefighter. When I read this, I was like "What on earth is that???", but as I read I learned a bit about it. It's pretty crazy. Here's a bit of info on it.

Prizefighting goes back a long way, but it wasn't until 1743 when a man called Jack Broughton created a list of rules after one of his opponents died. There were then rules about hitting below the belt, hitting when a man was down, and a few other things. Surprisingly, and a bit horrifyingly, punching, scratching, kicking, throwing, stomping, and strangling were all acceptable in the ring, and it wasn't uncommon for a man to die. In fact, in 1787 Birmingham, two out of the days fights ended in death.

Ridiculous amounts of money were poured into bets during prizefighting. It was quite nuts. No gentlemen or middle class men ever fought, but it was not unheard of for women too - something I was appalled to find out!

Prizefighting is known by a different name today...
Yep that's right - prizefighting is what started the common, well known sport of boxing today. Luckily, we now have rules that keep people from killing each other! :o

Well there's a bit about Prizefighting...not much but it was only very popular in the 1700s-1800s and soon became known as boxing. But it was quite crazy to read about!
Hope you enjoyed!
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Book Discussion - Making Waves

Today is my turn to write a discussion post. When trying to think of the book I would talk about and what I would talk about, I decided to change stuff up a bit. So I picked a recent favorite book that I am hoping a lot of y'all of read and am going to talk about one of my favorite parts (without giving away anything big, for those of you who haven't had a chance to read it yet.)

Making Waves: A Novel (Lake Manawa Summers)So! Let's see if I can do it! I picked Making Waves by Lorna Steilstad for my book today. If you've read it, please join in with your favorite part. And if you haven't read it, feel free to comment and let me know if you are looking forward to picking it up.

So let's begin! :-D

Well, one thing I LOVE about Lorna's books is they are SO humorous. If I want a laugh, I just pick up one of her books (Both Making Waves and A Great Catch are so witty and fun!). 

The beginning of this book was laugh-out-loud funny. Amazon.com lets you read the first chapter of the book, so if you haven't read it, go read it now! The dry humor as Marguerite foretold her untimely demise from boredom if she had to listen to Gordon anymore, was hilarious!

But overall, one of the sweetest moments, for me, is when Trip takes Marguerite down on the toboggan. That whole day they spent together was really special. It was, undoubtedly, my favorite scene to read and just go "awwww" over. :-)

So, what about you? What was your favorite scene in Making Waves? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book and have some fun talking about all the funny and sweet parts in Lorna's book!

What I've Been Readin'

Good Saturday morning everyone! I always enjoy telling you all what I've been reading! I'm not sure which post I enjoy doing more on Book Ponderings, but this one is certainly close to the top! :-) So, let's dive right in!

DMZ, The: A Novel 
Well, I had a due date for this review, so since it was soon approaching, I dived into The DMZ, a rather formnible read to some with its 500+ pages. Jeanette Windle was a new author for me...but after finishing this book, I KNOW I want to read more by her!! While it was a little tedious for the first hundred pages, after that, the adventure doesn't stop! Read my full review here. It was a great book and would make an awesome movie, too! ;-) As I mentioned, the review was due and I've already posted it. So if you want to read it, HERE is the review. 

Heart Divided, A: A Novel (Heart of the Rockies) 
Next I picked up A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan. I've seen Kathleen's books around, and currently have one of them in my Kindle App on my phone, waiting to be read. The girl on the cover of this book is BEAUTIFUL, so I was eager to find out what kind of story was between the cover. While I wasn't blown away by this book, it was a good, one-time read. If you are curious as to my thoughts on it, you can read my review HERE.

How Huge the Night: A Novel 
Grabbing How Huge the Night off my bookshelf right before I left on a 6 hour car trip (My family went to Alabama to help friends of ours hit by the tornado), I was able to finish this great, Young Adult fiction by Heather and Lydia Munn before we reached our destination. It was an easy read, the writings of these two ladies easily pulling me into the story of Julien. Reading about Nina's adventures were a bit vague and hard to understand at times, but that was minimal. Read my full review of this new book HERE.

Passion from the Heart 
Before I had left the house, I packed Passion from the Heart by Deborah Lynne in my backpack for the ride home. Being a rather thin book, I was easily able to finish it not long after we stopped for lunch. My full review can be read HERE. While I am not a big fan of a lot of romance in my book, I am pretty sure other people who are romance fans will really enjoy this fun adventure with Erika and Nate.

Killer Among Us, A: A Novel (Women of Justice)

I began A Killer Among Us (which I had also stashed in my backpack when preparing for the weekend trip) shortly after finishing the last book and was able to get well into the book before the night was out. Oh. My. Word. This book was AWESOME!!!! I posted a review for it on my blog, so feel free to go HERE and read me rant and rave over this new suspense/thriller book by Lynette Eason. I loved ever minute I spent with Kit and Noah and when I finally finished the book, I was SO sad to leave them. What an awesome adventure! I want to read the rest in the series, now!

UndercurrentThe Kindle App on my phone is awesome, and since I won a Kindle book of Michelle Griep's new book, Undercurrent, on Amber's blog, I was excited to put it to use, since I haven't read a book on the app in a while. The story plot was intriguing -- a 21st century woman get's sucked into some time-travel vortex and landed during the viking age. Staying up until the VERY wee hours of morning, I finished this book in one day. Wow! What an adventure. I would only recommend this to mature readers because of the very sensual scenes that are in this book, but if you don't mind that, I am sure you would enjoy this book. You can read my mini-review of it HERE.

Lilies in Moonlight: A Novel
After that I read Lilie's in Moonlight by Allison Pittman. That was a few days ago and I still haven't sat down to write the review. I'm not sure as to my thoughts on it. I think I'm split. Pittman's writing is wonderful and engaging, but I didn't care for the whole, general plot. Maybe it's because I love adventure and suspense, and this book just contained a book story of the two character's growth. It was a good story, just not my type. I hope to write a review of it soon on my blog. :-)

Great Catch, A: A Novel (Lake Manawa Summers)
The other day I finished reading Lorna Steilstad's new book, A Great Catch. I so enjoy Lorna's books because I find myself continually laughing and having SO much fun while reading her books. Clumsy Emily was constantly a laugh as she blubbered one thing and then another thing. And Lorna just makes you grow to appreciate and love Carter. What a guy! I will be writing my review of A Great Catch on my other blog later next week, if any of you stop by and care to read it. :-)

Book Beginnings - Cascade

It's Friday, so here is my Book Beginnings on Friday! Katy, over at A Few More Pages, hosts this every week and we thought it'd be fun to have Book Ponderings join! If you are interested in doing this for your blog, check out Katy's blog for details on what to include in the post!

Cascade: A Novel (River of Time Series)

Mom freaked out when she saw us, of course.I couldn’t blame her, with Lia in her medieval gown. And melooking like I’d been mauled by a bear. Especially when two meaty guards were hauling us into Dr. Manero’s tent. “It’s all right, Mom,”I said, hands out, as she rushed toward us. Her face was white.
she shouted in irritation— 
let them go 
—brushing the guards’ hands off our arms, staring at the blood on me. “Girls, what in the—”

“She’s all right, Mom,” Lia began. “It’s not as bad as it looks.”
“It’s okay,” I said, pushing her hands away as she touched my underdress—a gown made hundreds of years before—and tried to figure out what kind of wound had made me look like I’d been doused in ketchup. “I’m fine, Mom. Really.”

    This book picks up right where Waterfall left off - immediately making you wonder what's going on and what's to happen - especially after the ending of Waterfall! While Waterfall takes a chapter or two to really get into, Cascade obviously grabs you from the get go - pulling you right back into the story where you left off. The story that follows will not disappoint - Katy and I enjoyed it more than the first, even! Make sure to snatch this one when it releases next month!!

We'd love to hear what's the first line - or paragraph - of your current read. Feel free to share it with us in the comments! Are you liking the book so far? Was the first few lines enough to grip your attention? We're looking forward to hearing from you! :-)

Book Review - Darkness Follows

Sam Travis lives in a Civil War era farmhouse in Gettysburg, PA, where he awakens one morning to find an old journal with an entry by a Union soldier, Lt. Whiting…written in Sam’s own handwriting. 
When this happens several more times, both at night and during waking “trances,” Sam begins to question his own sanity while becoming obsessed with Lt. Whiting and his bone-chilling journal entries. As the entries begin to mimic Sam’s own life, he is drawn into an evil plot that could cost many lives, including his own. 
Can the unconditional love of Sam’s daughter, Eva, break through his hardened heart before a killer on the loose catches up with them and Sam’s past spurs him to do the unthinkable?



Overall Opinion:


This story jerks you into this fast-paced suspense thriller from the very first pages and does not let up. I was completely wrapped up in this book. From the get-go, when Sam awakes in the middle of the night to the sounds of a battle somewhere nearby and hearing his long-departed brother calling his name. Believing he is going insane, Sam is at the end of his rope as he tries to reassure his wife and daughter. What a compelling beginning—I can’t imagine what I would think if I thought I was losing my mind. Scary!

All of the characters in Darkness Follows are extremely well developed and believable. From the mysterious Symon to the desperate Sam, these people leave you with a great impression. Sam’s daughter, Eva, was very endearing and I instantly liked her undying and unconditional love that she showered on her father, no matter if he acknowledged her or not. Sam’s wife, Molly, was also easy to sympathize with as she tries to keep the family together and help her husband. My favorite would have to be the emotionless Symon. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him as he blindly commits his crimes, all the while wondering who he is. Each character in this book is wonderful and their feelings vivid and deep.

This is the first book I have read by Mike Dellosso, so I wasn’t sure what kind of thriller writer he was going to be. Well, it was awesome. The writing was superb, the characters realistic (as I’ve already said), and the plot unique and intricate. I felt as if I was literally “IN” this adventure, the writing just grabbed my attention and put me there with Sam, Symon, Molly, or Eva. What else can you ask for, right?!

So, in short, I really enjoyed this awesome suspense. I am a new fan of Mike Dellosso and will keep my eye out for his books in the future! If you enjoy a good suspense novel that will keep you on the edge of your sear, I would highly recommend Darkness Follows. He reminded me of a Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti. And since those two are my all-time top-favorite suspense writers, that’s saying a lot. :-)

WWW Wednesday

Hey everyone! Today we are having our weekly WWW Wednesday posts. If you are interested in reading more about these posts, check out MizB's blog, Should Be Reading for more info!

To play along, we must answer three questions...  
- What are you currently reading?
- What did you recently finish reading?
- What do you think you'll read next?  

So! Below are my answers for this time around! :-)

Unbridled Hope (Lone Star Legends V3)
What are you currently reading? Right now I am reading Unbridled Hope by Loree Lough. I have barely started this one, but it looks promising and I am eager to dive into this story! The tour is due on Friday so you can be sure it will be featured in my next What I've Been Reading with my thoughts on it! :)

Return to Alastair: A Novel
What did you recently finish reading? Just this morning I finished Return To Alastair - the second book in the Tahn series by L.A Kelly. I enjoyed this one as much as the first and cannot wait to dive into the third! If y'all have read my reviews, you know how hard it is for books to receive much praise from my lips - I am very picky! ;) -  but these books are incredible and I highly recommend them! 

Bathsheba: A Novel (The Wives of King David)
What do you think you'll read next? As soon as I finish Unbridled Hope, I 'spect I'll pick up Bathsheba - a book Katy let me borrow last time I was in town. I have heard so much praise for this book, I can't wait to dive in!

Thanks for looking into my stacks of books with me! Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what your WWW is for this week! :-D

Monthly Interview & Giveaway

Hey all! I realize that I am a bit late in posting this interview and giveaway (I had originally planned for the 20th), but my family ended up going up to Alabama to help a family hit by the tornado a few weeks back and my Internet and cell service was horrible there. But! I am here now!

After a lot of discussion, around the time we changed up the template and blog posts on this blog, Kait and I also decided to change up our interviews and giveaways. From now on, we will be interviewing a certain character from a book. Sound like fun? Ya, we thought so too!

So, please help me welcome Emily Graham, the main character for Lorna Steilstad's new book, A Great Catch. (Which I have currently sitting on the top of my TBR pile, just teasing me to dive into it! :-)

Hey Emily! Welcome to Book Ponderings. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! This is going to be fun. J Would you like to introduce yourself to the readers of this blog? 

   First of all, Katy, thank you so much for inviting me to Book Ponderings. You have such a lovely place here. My name is Emily Graham and I’m the main character in A Great Catch. I’m twenty-two years old, and to my aunts’ despair, I’m still not married. I’m the president of the Council Bluffs Equal Suffrage Club, and I’m spending the summer at Lake Manawa in Iowa. 
   My strengths are being a determined, hard worker for the cause, and my weakness is that I’m a bit clumsy. Actually, if you drew a chalk line on the sidewalk, I’d trip over it. 

Trip over a chalk line, eh? Love your humor, Emily! So on the cover of your book, A Great Catch, you are holding a baseball. Are you fond of the sport? 

   I wasn’t fond of baseball, but I was fond of a certain baseball player. As a leader in the suffrage movement, I wanted to do something that would show men that women could do whatever they could. I came up with the idea of having a Bloomer Girls Baseball team come to the lake. I needed a team for them to play. Carter agreed to let his team do it—if I played for his team. I agreed, but it was hard to learn since I am so clumsy.

Ah, I see. Well, I'm not a big fan at playing it either - have a problem with hitting the darn ball - so don't feel too bad! ;-) What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

   Free time? What’s that? I spend all my extra time writing suffrage articles, practicing speeches, and writing congressmen. Actually, the little free time I used to spend with my friends, Marguerite and Lilly. We’d go swimming or roller skating. But once I met Carter, well, he had a way of taking up most of my time. 

Ohh, are you friends with Marguerite Westing in Making Waves? I loved reading her adventures! If you used one word to describe your personality, what would that be? 


Strong word! Why would you use that word? Can you elaborate on your personality a little bit more now? 

   Women have not been granted the right to vote in 1901 and it is a horrible thing. How can women ever be treated with equality if we are not even allowed to choose who represents us in government?  I’ve dedicated my life to righting that wrong. If you’d like to sit down and talk about taxation without representation, I’m your girl. 

Looks like you have a great purpose in life. By the way, you’re wearing a beautiful outfit on the front cover. Where does your family stand in society? 

   Why thank you! My grandfather made his fortune in silver, and my father owns an implement company. We are considered well-to-do, but my family isn’t an uppity family. My grandmother would never have allowed us to put on airs of any kind. She’s much too down-to-earth for that.

Ah, okay. So, back on track (sorry, I love a pretty dress!). What is your goal in life? 

   I would love to work on the National suffrage scene beside Carrie Chapman Catt, and I want men to see how capable women are. Deep down, I have to admit I hope that by committing to this cause, others will see me as valuable.
Not to give away anything in the book, but do you realize your goal or does God show you a different path for you to take? 

   Hmmm. No, women don’t get the right to vote in 1901, but God’s had special plans for me and Carter.
Hmm, can't wait to read A Great Catch and find out what those plans are! What is your favorite memory at Lake Manawa?
Oh, that’s going to be hard. I’ll never forget my two aunts. They were so determined to see me married off, they’d bring all sorts of fellows around. Can you imagine courting an undertaker?

But I think my favorite memory will always be the first time Carter kissed me. Any man that will kiss you after you’ve fallen in the mud has to win you heart. 

Wow! Kissed after falling in the mud? I have to agree with you. So, after going through all the adventures in A Great Catch, what is one lesson that you really learned from your experiences? 

   I believe I learned that I was pouring so much into the suffrage fight in order to validate myself. I think we women do that a lot. We have to be the best wives, mothers, soccer moms, Christians—somehow believing that our hard work makes us worth of the respect and love of others. I learned that I’ve always mattered to the Lord.

How very true. Well thank you SO MUCH for coming out here today, Emily, and participating in this interview. I cannot wait to read A Great Catch


Great Catch, A: A Novel (Lake Manawa Summers)Emily spoke to Lorna Steilstad on your behalf, dear followers, and she has agreed to give A Great Catch to one of Book Ponderings followers! Awesome, right?!  Ya! In the comment section, feel free to leave any comments/questions for Emily or Lorna. I can't promise she will have time to read and reply to them all (that totally depends on her!) but I know she would love to see the support! :-)

Giveaway Rules: You must be/become a follower of Book Ponderings AND include your email address with your initial comment.USA only, please. This giveaway begins today and ends Friday, the 3rd of June. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the 30th. This winner will be notified by the email address they leave in their comment. If the winner doesn't respond within 5 days, we will randomly pick another winner. Have fun! 
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Photo credit: Lori Warman