Posted in Uncategorized

November is Over

So it is. And now December is upon on. Already Winter seems to be coming fast and going quickly…not sure I’m okay with that. :D I am glad Winter stays several months before Spring comes again. I know I’m one of the few, but that’s alright.

November was a fairly good month, I doth believe. We had warm weather till about the middle of the month, which was strange. First snowfall was late, if you ask me, but it’s just as well since we weren’t quite prepared for it. We were getting out all the animal heated-water-bowls as it was snowing. ^.^ We’re just about buttoned up though – need to get some more hay for the Winter before closing the barn up more, but then we should be good.

Throughout November I dealt with some health-issues – gallbladder to be precise. It was extremely unpleasant and caused a great amount of pain. It took a couple doctor/chiropractor visits to figure out what it was for sure, but once we knew, we started to work at healing it naturally. Because I don’t want my gallbladder taken out – nor any of my other organs. God put ’em there, so I think they should stay. :D And just so others know: it IS possible to heal it naturally.

I dealt with the pain from both sides – physically and spiritually, praying heavily through it all, getting to the root of the problem and getting healing from God spiritually first. I know that was really the key.  Went on a gallbladder/liver cleanse which was not fun, but it did help, and now I’m taking some specific enzymes every meal to keep up with it.

Bookwise…. I collected several books, some of which were:

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“Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers – Tyndale Rewards

“Flame of Resistance” by Tracy Groot – Tyndale Rewards

“Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert – Review copy

“Worth it All” by Isabella D. Morganthal – Giveaway Win

“The Silent Songbird” by Melanie Dickerson – Review copy

 

Let me just note quick that the Tyndale Rewards program is really lovely! I don’t really remember how I first came upon it (it was some time ago!) but I just recently have begun to discover how nice it really is – for doing various things (not hard things either), I was able to earn enough points to get two books – print copies – for free! Isn’t that nice? If you haven’t joined already, I definitely recommend it – and if you join using my link, I’ll also get 10 points which is kinda nice. :) If interested, join here.

 

Anyway, back to the regular schedule. ;)

I read a few books during November, too. Those being:

“The Hope of Shridula” by Kay Marshall Strom,

“Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert,

“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias,

“The Silent Songbird” by Melanie Dickerson

and “Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin.

 

One of those was even non-fiction – can you believe it?! ;) “I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” was truly amazing, and I highly, highly recommend it!!

Favourite book of the month was probably…”Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert for fiction, and Ravi Zacharias’ book for nonfiction. :)

 

Musicwise…umm…I have been listening to one group pretty much exclusively for a couple months. And that group would be The Monkees. My sister and I have greatly enjoyed watching – and rewatching – the two seasons of shows, and avidly listening to their music. I love their music. I do have a favourite Monkee, and that would be Michael Nesmith. His songs are my favourite, though they’re all so good. :)

 

Mike Nesmith.jpg

 

So yes, that’s November for ye. How was yours? Did you all have a good Thanksgiving?

Posted in Heather Day Gilbert

Book Review: “Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert

I’m so excited to share about this book. Why? Because I adored it. But I’ll get to that in my review…

 

Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga, #2)

 

Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert

Book Two in The Vikings of the New World Saga

 

About the Book:

Viking warrior. Dauntless leader. Protective mother.

Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate “forest child” of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland.

But nothing can prepare her for the horrors she must confront in Vinland…and nothing can stand in her way when her family is threatened.

In her race to outrun the truths that might destroy her, Freydis ultimately collides with the only enemy she cannot silence—her own heart.

Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. This immersive tale is Book Two in the bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.

 

My Review:

 

I devoured this book. Wow. How does one put coherent words together after reading a Heather Day Gilbert book? I’m blown away each time.
Ever since reading “God’s Daughter” (book one in this series), a year or two ago, I was hooked and anticipating a sequel. And it’s finally here! “Forest Child” was amazing. And raw. And…a little shocking, yes, disturbing, maybe….but still amazing. Mrs. Gilbert captures the Viking life-style in such a real way. It is so beautiful. I love her books so much!
It was so great getting to really know Freydis more through this book, and reading through her point of view. She could be frustrating (she didn’t always listen to my advice. ;)) but I loved her. What a strong character. The lessons she learned too were so good.
When I read both “God’s Daughter” and “Forest Child”, it is very much like watching a person’s life unfold before you. It’s so very real, and you’re swept away in it. Each character is so well-constructed, it isn’t any trouble imagining them as the real life characters they are.
Now, this book is not for the faint of heart. No, it was rather gruesome to be honest. There were several parts that were hard to read. But also key to the story. So yes, they were on the gruesome side, but it gave understanding to the reader. It helped shape and mold the story.
They’re Vikings, after all. And vikings weren’t all cushy, always nice people. Mrs. Gilbert shows their strengths and weaknesses very well.
I loved it though. Absolutely. Reading it felt so good, and I can’t wait to read it again. Describing The Sagas best would be by saying they are real and raw.  And so well written.
So yes, in conclusion, this book met my expectations so very much so. I would highly recommend it be read by a mature audience, probably no younger than 18 or so, because of the unfavorable events shown in this book.
However, those of you who love a good Viking historical series with real depth, these books are for you. :)
Thank you SO much to Heather Day Gilbert for providing a copy of this book! Reading and reviewing it has been my pleasure. :)
Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: “The Sound of Diamonds” by Rachelle Rea Cobb

The Sound of Diamonds (Steadfast Love Book 1) by [Rea, Rachelle]

“The Sound of Diamonds” by Rachelle Rea Cobb

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates. 

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent. 
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her–but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.

 

 

My Review:

I’ve seen lots of friends read this book and recommend it, and I always thought “I want to read that…someday”, but hadn’t had the chance till now. With the birthday-celebration of “The Sound of Silver” I was given the opportunity to read and review “The Sound of Diamonds” which I accepted of course. :)
The time period this book is set in is very richly depicted, and feels very accurate and real. When you read it, you really are in that time, that setting.
Gwyneth and Dirk, the main characters, each had stories of their own that interwove with the other, creating quite the story. I had a little bit of a hard time relating to Gwyn sometimes, but she is still a well-constructed character.
I think my favourite character would have to be Magried. I really liked her from the start, and her side story was so lovely. I often seem to gravitate towards side-characters…I just can’t help it!
This book was one of adventure, danger, honor, and romance. :)
For me personally, it wasn’t a book I absolutely loved, but that is in no way the books fault. As I said, everyone I know who has read it adored it, so I’m sure more readers will feel the same! It was a good book.
Thank you to the author for supplying a complimentary ecopy of this book!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

“A Mighty Fortress” Birthday Bash!

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Who doesn’t like a birthday party? Faith certainly does. November 19th was the third birthday of her debut novel, A Mighty Fortress. To celebrate, she has all sorts of fun going on. First, she’s released a newly revised version of A Mighty Fortress. Second, she has most of her published books on sale. Third, she’s releasing the box set of all five of her novels for a special discounted price. And fourth, but not least, she now has the audiobook of her AMF available! Read on for more party fun, as well as a character spotlight!

 

a-mighty-fortress-frontcoverAbout the Book

“Stay back!” Joshua ordered.  He kept his eyes on the scene below while waving his arm in Ruth’s direction.  “Get deeper into the woods and stay down low to the ground.”

Joshua hazarded a glance behind him.  He could no longer see Ruth and breathed a sigh of relief.  In one swift move, he grabbed his rifle and lay flat to the ground.  Extending the rifle, he aimed at the shorter man whose gun was pointed at Bradshaw.  

Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who’s hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom’s gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss’s right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what’s one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God’s strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town?   Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running–the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

 

Character Spotlight:

Name: Joshua Brookings

Background: Joshua is the second youngest and the second son in his family. He loves all of his family, but especially his little sister. She’s always been there for him, challenged him, and made him protective. Joshua is a confident, tall, lanky young man who loves adventure. He got more than he bargained for on the stage drive West, though. Suddenly needing to fight for his survival, Joshua was thankful that God placed a friend in his life a few years before who taught him how to survive in the wilderness.

a-mighty-fortress_audiobookAudiobook

Faith is excited to announce that she partnered with Michael Stanton to produce an audiobook version of her book. We’re not sure exactly when it will be available, but if you sign up for her New Releases newsletter, you will get an email with the announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

author-picture-2015-2016-bAbout the Author

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana, someday to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.

 

giveaway

Faith is offering three prizes!

Grand Prize:

  • Audiobook of A Mighty Fortress (MP3 download)—Could be a short delay
  • The Solid Rock Notebook

1st Prize:

  • Feather Quill Necklace

2nd Prize:

  • eBook set of Hymns of the West: The Complete Series

Enter HERE -Rafflecopter

 

boxsetHymns of the West, the Complete Series

Faith also just released her first box set, the complete Hymns of the West series. It’s available for a special discounted pre-order price until November 26th and will stay at that price until November 30th.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQJ5V2F

About the Book

Two Families…
The Brookings family move from Illinois to Montana to start a horse ranch. Their journey to Montana has hazards of its own, as does their life in Castle City, affecting each of them in various ways.
The Stuarts have been living a secluded life in Tennessee since the matriarch of the family died. When Jed runs away, they seclude themselves even more until a letter arrives that changes their lives—one at a time—forever.

Two Worldviews…
One family has believes in God with their whole hearts, living out their lives to the glory of God. The other family believes in God in a general sense, but they have no commitment toward Him or His ways.

One Providential God.
A stagecoach robbery instigates their meeting. Two years later, they meet again. Another year and their lives cross paths again. What happens when God’s providence brings two families with two different worldviews together in ways only He could have planned?

Mega-Sale

Every eBook in the Hymns of the West series is on sale. A Mighty Fortress is permafree, and the other eBooks in the series are $0.99. In addition, the spin-off novella series has a book on sale as well.

Links:

A Mighty Fortress

Be Thou My Vision

Amazing Grace

Lily of the Valley

The Solid Rock

Hymns of the West: The Complete Series

Life and Salvation: Hymns of the West Novellas 1-3

Faith also has the paperbacks on sale if you buy them from Createspace with the discount codes.

A Mighty Fortress

$2.00 off (8.99) with code: MBJB3XSY

Be Thou My Vision

$2.00 off (6.99) with code: GQ3KTJYY

Amazing Grace

$1.50 off (9.49) with code:93LQLRJ8

Lily of the Valley

$2.00 off (11.99) with code: TJXAYXD2

The Solid Rock

$1.50 off (10.49) with code: 7626YZAK

Life and Salvation

$2.00 (6.99) with code: V4Y5K46D

Follow the Tour:

November 19

Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction

Author Franky A Brown-Book Spotlight

Rachel Rossano Rambles-Guest Post

November 21

Writing Dreams-Author Interview

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Character Spotlight-Joshua

Zerina Blossom’s Books-Author Interview

November 22

Precious Moments-Giveaway

The Overactive Imagination-Review of Be Thou My Vision

Perpetual Indie Perspective-Book Spotlight

November 23

Frances Hoelsema– Book Spotlight

Thought of Anna S. Brie-Author Interview

November 25

With a Joyful Noise-Guest Post

Bookish Orchestrations-Candid Interview

November 26

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Interview with Ruth

Ladies in Defiance-Guest Post

November 28

Once Upon an Ordinary– Author Interview

Written Rest-Character Spotlight -Anna

November 29

The Overactive Imagination-Review of A Mighty Fortress

Jaye L. Knight– Character Spotlight-Caleb

November 30

Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up and winner

Posted in blog tour, Books

Blog Tour: “Courage and Corruption” by Sarah Holman

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Good morning :)

Today I’m pleased to share about Sarah Holman’s newest release in her Tales of Taelis series, “Courage and Corruption”! I’ve read the first two in this series, and greatly enjoyed them – so I’m sure I will enjoy this one as well when I get the chance to read it! For now, enjoy reading about the book, and take a peak at the excerpt!

 

About the Book:

ccfrontcoverCatherine is going with her mother and younger siblings to the mountains to hide from the coming war. While she fears what might happen she is looking forward to some time away from her twin brother, with whom she often fights. One foolish act changes all their plans, and one story caused not only confusion, but more fighting.

Christopher does not believe his father’s story that they are descended from royalty. He is sure the story his father tells cannot be true. However, he is forced to go to the mountain castle of Coraway along with his mother and siblings. Will his father ever see him as a man? Will he and his twin ever be able to stop fighting?

Little do Catherine and Christopher realize that they hold the key to Taelis’ future in their hands. While they discover the truth before it is too late?

Find it on Goodreads

 

Excerpt:

His mother looked up at the glistening castle and shook her head. “It still looks the same.”

“It makes me feel sad,” Jacob said, his eyes focusing on the highest point of the castle.

Christopher laughed. “Why would it do that? It is lovely, and mother had a happy time here in her younger years.”

Catherine looked back up at the castle, trying to see what Jacob saw.

“I do not know,” Jacob said shaking his head. “There is joy here, but also great sadness.”

“I think the lad can sense the stories that lay embedded in the stone walls,” a booming voice said.

All of them turned. A man with greying temples, with the build of someone used to hard labor, and wearing the simple clothes of a shepherd, stood behind them. Catherine thought he appeared kind, his smile wide and welcoming. She could not help but smile back.

“The story in the walls?” Jacob repeated, his gaze now locked with the stranger’s.

“Aye,” the man said with a broad, friendly smile. “Coraway Castle holds many stories for those who wish to know them. Many of them are happy stories, but a few are sad.” He pointed to Jacob. “I think this lad is sensing the one dark time in its past, but that is a story for another day.”

Christopher’s mother smiled and shook her head. “You have not changed much at all, Cousin Edwin. You were always a storyteller at heart.”

“Bethany, you look even better than the last time I saw you. It would seem God has blessed you with an abundance of children.” The man looked at each child.

“Indeed He has,” their mother said, letting go of her son’s arm. She moved forward and embraced her cousin before introducing her children. “You have met the twins when they were still in their toddling years, Christopher and Catherine. That is Jacob, and he is much like you I think. There is Lily, my youngest child.”

The smile on the man’s face widened, if that were possible. “Welcome, dear children. As you may have guessed, I am the Earl of Coraway, but while you are here, you may call me Uncle Edwin if you wish. But come, you must be tired from your journey. We only have a little farther to the gate, and then you will be able to rest.”

All of them eagerly followed the Earl and their mother as they struck up a conversation discussing people they both knew.

Catherine fell into step beside Christopher. When she glanced over at him, she saw him press his hand against the ring that lay under his shirt.

“If Uncle Edwin is a storyteller, perhaps he knows the story of the prince. Maybe he can help you decide what to do about the ring,” Catherine whispered.

About the Author:

111 Author - closer.JPGSarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of many published books and short stories. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

You can find her at her website: www.thedestinyofone.com


Follow the Tour:

November 15

Faith Blum

Lakeside Publication

Claire Banschbach

November 16

Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Father

November 17

Learning Resource Directory

Into the Bookcase

November 19

Gods Peculiar Treasure

A Pinch of Faith

 

Posted in Books, update

October-Ness

Hello!

Yes, this October “wrap-up” post is late. Really late. But the beginning of November has been a whirlwind. :)

Soooo, we’ll revisit October now!

I love October. I believe I’ve mentioned that though. ;)

I don’t know why that, when I go to write this post, I can’t think of any major highlights to report from the previous month….The zoo was one highlight…that was lots of fun. And my birthday of course…I’m an official adult now. :D I don’t really feel much different though. ;)  How about I do what I do best, and talk books? I feel so much more comfortable talking about that. XD

 

 

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This picture shows the books I acquired during the month of October. I didn’t actually think I’d have much to show as the month started out, but it’s a lovely stack!

 

I got “Arabian Nights” and a Norwegian-English handbook at our library book sale, my Mum and sister found me “She Walks in Beauty” at a thrift store, I found “Neela” and “Cecile” at a thrift store as well ~ I was really happy about finding “Neela” because it’s India, and I used to own this book and loved it. I received “Keep Holding On” by Melissa Tagg from my lovely family for my birthday, and I bought “The Hope of Shridula”, “On Distant Shores”, and “A Bride for Keeps” from CBD when they were having a super good sale that I couldn’t miss out on. “Missing” came from Ashley with whom I did a book swap (can’t wait to read it!), and “Shadow of the Storm” was a gift from Soleil! Thank you ladies very very much! And last but not least is “Far Afield” and that’s a review book from Blogging for Books. :)

As for what I read… “God’s Daughter” by Heather Day Gilbert, “One Enchanted Christmas” by Melissa Tagg, “Three Little Words” by Melissa Tagg, “Keep Holding On” by Melissa Tagg, “The Merchant and the Thief” by Ravi Zacharias (a kid’s book technically :D), and “The Sound of Diamonds” by Rachelle Rea Cobb.

Primarily Melissa Tagg books, it looks like, huh?! XD

In October, I consumed a great amount of tea, plenty of hot cocoa, and added another blanket to my bed for the coooold nights. I love it! :D I’m sure all of these things will continue throughout the rest of the Winter. ^.^

Sooooo….that’s about it. I acquired a new “obsession” in October, but I’m not going to go into that. ;)

 

Did you read some good books during October? Have any books you want to read before 2017? :)

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald

The Flaming Sword: An Inspirational Fantasy for Everyone (The Tethered World Chronicles Book 2) by [FitzGerald, Heather L. L.]

“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald  Book Two in The Tethered World Series. Just released! 

Sadie Larcen and her family are slowly recovering from their life-altering trek to the Tethered World. That is until their aunt arrives clutching a mysterious letter and sporting a black eye. The letter that Aunt Jules shares with the family writhes with sinister implications. A new and menacing enemy has slunk from the shadows and is conspiring to seize the most powerful piece of weaponry in the land: The Flaming Sword of Cherubythe. The sword must—at all costs—be kept from the enemies who lust for its power.

The threat extends to Sadie’s autistic brother Brock. As High King in training, he now resides in the Tethered World, within close proximity to the sword. It’s apparent that drastic measures will be required by all in order to protect what’s most important. Can Sadie once again confront her disabling fear, stare evil in the face, and walk away whole—let alone alive? How can one teenage girl and her family save a sword with the potential to start a world war? Will lines be crossed even as Sadie’s faith is tested? Sadie knows it’s going to take a lot more than strength, grit, and courage to survive.

 

My Review:

Heather FitzGerald writes such good adventure fantasy! You will be truly captured and brought into The Tethered world when you read this series.
Like the first book, this was filled with great action, great plot, and the same beloved characters. Including Xander, one of my personal favourites. ;)
I really do think that this series tops that of Lord of the Rings, and is right there beside The Chronicles of Narnia. They have a very similar feel to them, and they’re easy to follow, while still being utterly captivating.
I touched on this in my review of the first book (here), but for me, magic is something I generally stay away from. But there are no spells or really even use of magic in these books, it’s more like ‘this is their world’ and it’s fantasy.
The faith aspect was good, and I loved this quote in particular:
“M’dear, if it wasn’t for the bad things…good things like meetin’ each other never would’ve happened. The good Lord has a way of turnin’ all the bad stuff on its head and redeeming it in some way.” – Joanie from chapter 11 page 78/79
And how true is that? God really does redeem us and every bad thing.
I know I mentioned this but “The Flaming Sword” really was FULL of action. Indeed, it was an action-packed book, and so very hard to put down without wondering what was going to happen next! Be ready for a great ride!