Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse, Reviews

Litfuse Book Review: Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma

Title: Daisies are Forever
Author: Liz Tolsma http://www.liztolsma.com.
Related book(s): Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma
Source: Litfuse litfusegroup.com
Number of pages: 345
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Description:

Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.
Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”
Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella’s daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.

My Review:

This was the first book that I’ve read of Liz Tolsma’s (though now I am eager to read her book “Snow on the Tulips”!). Let me say, I was not disappointed in the least! This book was just marvelous, truly!
It captured and drew me in right from the start, and I could barely put it now (I rarely did!).
I don’t even know exactly how to say all the goodness of this book. I really, really loved it.
“Daisies are Forever” took you through so many stages, as the characters fled for safety. As I read it, it was almost like being right there with them. It drew me in so much, I could picture each scene so vividly.
The story is beautifully woven, and the characters are flawed and perfection all at once. I loved Gisela and Mitch immediately. And Xavier.
I cannot imagine just how it would’ve been to be in WWII, but this book definitely gives you glimpses into the immense struggles and hardships they faces, as well as the courage and strength they had to have. And the desperation so many had to feel.
If this bok was a picture, it would’ve been painted brilliantly.
I am very impressed and absolutely loved this book.
The ‘redeemed’ moment for Gisela, and Mitch, was well done, and the story leading up to that point was superb.
“Daisies are Forever” has more than a beautiful cover (which it does – I love the cover!), it has a beautiful story within the pages that you are sure to fall in love with and be swept in to.
I would definitely recommend this book to others, especially fans of WWII historical fiction.

Reading WWII fiction is fascinating and you learn there are so many different aspects of it. I loved getting to see it through different angles in this book as well as the book I previously read, “For Such a Time” by Kate Breslin.
They both give such enlightening and well written perspectives of this majorly difficult time in history, each from different view-points!

But yes, I am so glad I had the chance to read and review “Daisies are Forever”, as it has fast become a favourite and one I would re-read!

Note: I received this book for free from the Litfuse group in return for my honest and unbiased review.

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Posted in Books

New book coming out!

Hello my loverly readers!

Today I am sharing about a book that is coming out on the 20th of June. So keep that date in mind.

Oh, what’s that? I haven’t said what book is coming out on that date?  I wish I could say my own, but alas that is not the case. HOWEVER, the book that IS coming out is a very exciting one! Do you remember when I reviewed the book, “God’s Daughter” by Heather Day Gilbert? (If not, you can go read it here: https://godspeculiartreasurerae.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/gods-daughter-by-heather-day-gilbert-an-excellent-viking-read/) Well, that same splendid author has another book coming out, that is the first book in a new series! Introducing:

 

Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert   …. release date June 20th 2014

Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains, #1)

As you can see, the cover is very intruiging (at least I think so! I like it).  Would you like to read what it’s about? Well, look no further:

 

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. 

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox—a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting—Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself.

Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.

 

So, it promises to be an interesting read! Mrs. Gilbert has kindly sent me an ARC and so I have already begun to read – it has captured my attention immediately! I really love Heather Day Gilbert’s writing style.  As soon as I finish the book, I will post my review on my blog here as well. :)

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out Heather Day Gilbert’s site:

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Posted in Books, lists, Pinterest favourites, Random babblings, Writing

Character Love

My literary crush is

 

I have a list. No, I’m serious. That is what I am posting. :D  I have a tendency to, well, fall in love with good, strong, (and most of the time, gruff,) guys in books.  Not every book, mind you, but when a book has one of those kind of guys, it’s hard not to fall in love. ;) So, without further ado, here is my list. And it’s not in order, because I couldn’t choose who’d be first. :)

  • Mr. Thornton of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Captain Wentworth of Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Loginus of The Thief by Stephanie Landsem
  • Aric of For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
  • Mitch  of Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma
  • Xavier of Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma
  • Jace of Heart of India series by Linda Chaikin
  • Sir Bentley of the Knights of Arrethtrae series (“Sir Bentley and the Holbrook Court”) by Chuck Black
  • Salmone  of Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
  • Snorri Thorbrandsson of  God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert
  • Enosh of The Well by Stephanie Landsem
  • Darius of Harvest of Rubies/Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar
  • Prince Turveydrop of Bleak House by Charles Dickens (No snickering, please).

I think that is about it…though I’m sure I’m missing some ;)

I definitely have favourite female characters too, but haven’t yet created that list. Maybe I’ll work on that soon. :)

Who are your favourite male and female characters, and why?

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Tyndale House

Tyndale Review: 30 Days to a More Beautiful You – a devo for girls by Kylie Bisutti

Title: 30 Days to a More Beautiful You – a devotional for girls.
Author: Kylie Bisutti
Type: Non-fiction, inner beauty, devotional
Source: Tyndale http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/
Number of Pages: 63
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Description:

Despite what the world leads us to believe, true beauty has nothing to do with outward appearances. The more we focus on what we look like on the outside, the more insecure we become.
Fortunately, God doesn’t measure our worth by how we look. We have value simply because we are His children. The more we focus on getting our hearts right with the Lord and honoring Him, the more secure and confident we will become—and the more we will exude true beauty.
In 30 Days to a More Beautiful You, former Victoria’s Secret Runway Angel Kylie Bisutti gives a complete inner-beauty makeover with succinct devotional readings designed to transform your heart, body, mind, and soul and put you on the path to becoming a happier, healthier, more beautiful you.
The perfect gift for every young woman, this devotional will forever change the way you define the word beautiful.

My Review:

I quite enjoy devotionals, so I was looking forward to trying this one. Some devotionals can be in-depth and good, and others can be lacking. This one, however, was very well-written, and you can tell Kylie Bisuttu shares from the heart. It is all sincere, and past-experience for her. I really appreciate that. This devotional, though very short, has depth to it, and plenty of wisdom.
I haven’t read her whole story, but what I have gleaned from this devotional, I am encouraged by Kylie Bisutte’s testimony, and would be interested in reading her book, “I’m No Angel”.
I think this devotional would be a great influence on young teen girls especially, as they try to find their way in the world. But it is a good devo for all ages, truly.
It’s beautifully crafted, and encourages us that inner beauty from the Lord is more important than outward beauty.

Note: I received this book free from Tyndale for the purpose of this review.

Posted in Questions/answers, Uncategorized

SunFlower Award

Hello readers!
I’ve been so kindly awarded by Chantelle on her lovely blog, here: http://a-mad-life.blogspot.com/2014/05/thank-you-miss-h-for-awarding-me-rules.html

 

Rules are:
First, state 11 facts about yourself. Answer questions that have been given to you. Then nominate 6 or 11 people for this award and let them know they’re nominated and if they are nominated they will answer the My Questions given at the end.

11 facts about myself:

  1. I have been reading quite a few books on WWII lately. “Coincidentally”.
  2. I dyed my hair with Blue Kool-aid Wednesday, and enjoyed the results the following day(s).
  3. I just checked out a couple books on sword-fighting from the library.
  4. I love William from Downton Abbey
  5. Finding facts about yourself is hard, especially 11 of them
  6. Fish oil does not taste good, even when flavoured with strawberry. But it’s excellent for you, and your teeth, so I still take it (just in swallow-quick style).
  7. The above fact was more of a random fact, than a fact about me. Oopps.
  8. I purposefully destroyed a book the other day. And am using the papers responsibly. :D
  9. I’m quite short.
  10. I am an expert grass-picker (for my guinea pigs and mule).
  11. I still like to watch the kid show “Arthur”.

Given Questions:

1. What country do you live in? USofA
2. Dream country? Greenland/Iceland.
3. How many animals do you have? A lot…mule, ducks, chickens, turkeys, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses.
4. Favourite book? Besides the Bible…that’s hard! Top three are: “Pearl in the Sand” by Tessa Afshar, The Knights of Arrethtrae series by Chuck Black, and “Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley. But then there’s also “The Theif” by Stephanie Landsem. I LOVE that book… I can’t pick a favourite. XD
5. Favourite hobby? Probably reading. Writing is a close second, and followed by tomahawk/knife throwing.
6. Favourite food? Does chocolate count? ;)  Favourite food…Cheese-burgers – good ones.
7. Favourite singer? Toby Mac
8. How many languages do you speak? Unfortunately, only one. But I can say a few things in Russian and German, and am trying to learn Russian fluently.
9. What is your ethnic background? Well, quite a mix…on Mum’s side there’s Scottish, Irish and English, and on Dad’s there’s mostly Polish and a bit of Irish.
10. Favourite place to read your Bible? Lots of places. But I probably open up to Psalms and John the most.
11. Could these questions have been any lamer? lol! They could’ve been, yes! :D I thought these were good questions. :)

 

And now for “My Questions”:

  1. Favourite season?
  2. If you could visit any state in the US, which would you visit?
  3. What time period is your favourite?
  4. Do you prefer to live in the city or country?
  5. Write or read?
  6. Pens or pencils?

Okay, so these aren’t the greatest questions, but I couldn’t think of any, and I also know that there is only 6 there…that’s all I could think of. XD And I tag…oh goodness, I am so terrible at this. I tag whomever wishes to have it :D And you needn’t have a blog to answer the questions – if you want, you can just answer them in comment-form. Whatever floats your boat! :)

 

Thank you again, Chantelle, for awarding me!

 

 

Posted in Random babblings, Writing

A little funny :)

I saw this pin on Pinterest that led to a site that generates a character name, background, etc. All you have to do is choose the ethnicity and gender. So I did that, and as I’m reading the description, it was actually like reading someone writing a description of me. So many of the things are similar to myself. Not all (for example one the “Unlikely carriers” is writer, and I am already that. But for the most part, a lot is like me. Just thought I’d share it!

Get your own character name from the character name generator!

My character’s name is: Sameena Menon

She is an Indian female.
Personality: The Defender.
ISFJ: Introvert Sensing Feeling Judging.

Quiet, kind, and conscientious. Often puts the needs of others above their own needs. Observer with rich inner world of observations about people. Very perceptive of other’s feelings. Private and polite.
Timid, socially uncomfortable, modest, not confrontational, easily hurt. Fears drawing attention to self. Easily frightened. Easily offended or hurt. Prone to crying. Lower energy.
Follows the rules, dutiful and responsible. Stable and practical, valuing security and traditions. Well-developed sense of space and function. Interested in serving others. Dislikes competition.
Good at finishing tasks. Clean, organized, a planner. Not spontaneous, does not appreciate strangeness. Intolerant to differences. Prone to confusion. Afraid of many things. Fears doing the wrong thing. Dislikes change.
Apprehensive, guarded, avoidant, anxious, cautious, suspicious. More interested in relationships and family than intellectual pursuits.

Psychological Disorder:
Dependent.

Favored Careers:
homemaker, stay at home parent, office worker, health care worker, personal assistant, school teacher, administrative assistant, child care worker, clerical employee, receptionist, library assistant, dietitian, health educator, librarian.

Unlikely Careers:
rock star, philosophy professor, filmmaker, performer, writer, bar owner, comedian, DJ, entertainer, CEO, psychotherapist, bartender, entrepreneur, lecturer, astronomer.

Get your own character name from the character name generator!

Posted in God's Lessons, Spiritual beliefs

Modesty is More…

Modesty is SO much more than just covering up.  The topic of modesty has come up a lot lately, and I think many people are misled about what all modesty really is.

Many people scoff at modesty. Some associate it with dressing frumpy. Many view it as a bad thing.  And you know, I understand that from how many untrue representations of modesty there are out there.

In truth, modesty is beautiful. It is respectful and honouring. It doesn’t mean dressing in a bag. It means respecting your body as the Lord has commanded.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)

And actually, for a minute, throw off the idea that modesty is about clothing. Because that is not all it is about. I think how we dress is the fruit of modesty, not the tree. Modesty is an attitude. It is really an out-pouring of respect – for God, for ourselves, and for others. It’s how we act, how we speak – what words we choose to use that reflects us, (or more importantly, reflect God), and how we choose to live our daily lives. It sets us apart. Which is what God asks of us – to be set apart, not like the world.

I, personally, don’t think dressing modestly means you have to wear straight jean skirts, or only dresses, or always wearing sleeves. You have to dress to the level of conviction the Holy Spirit has placed on your heart – not what the world says modesty is. Dressing modestly does not have to be dull and terrible.  We need to change our perspective about it, to think of it as a good thing, a way of honouring the Lord with our bodies. I disagree about following some ‘code’ of modesty, that there is only one standard for how modest something is(for example: “modesty is only wearing dresses” “modesty is never wearing jeans” “modesty is only wearing floor-length skirts” etc.). Let the Lord convict your heart. For me, I don’t feel I am over-stepping modesty boundaries when wearing a medium length skirt and a T-shirt. Having said that, I want to also say that we do have our own free-wills, and that means we do have to make a choice to dress respectfully. Though I don’t think there is a set-description for modesty, I do believe that you shouldn’t push the line, in otherwords  choosing not to wear a skirt that is quite a bit above the knees is a good choice to not cause stumbling for others.  Also, tight skirts seem to kind of defeat the purpose of being modest.  Just because it’s a skirt, doesn’t mean you are, without a doubt, dressing modestly.  I’ve seen many people wear very immodest skirts, calling themselves modest.    Yes, we need the Holy Spirit’s conviction. But we also need to make the choice to follow that conviction.

This world is lacking in modesty, even among Christians. I see so many Christian singers/bands/speakers etc. that are not displaying their bodies in a way that would bring glory to God. They are not being set-apart. It’s also very prevalent in Christian music videos. I’ve had quite a few people send me videos of their favourite Christian groups, and I have a hard time watching most of them, because of how the girls/women act. Even if they are sufficiently ‘covered up’, their actions do not speak Christ. Please look for that, please want to be set apart. Modesty is not just about clothing. It’s about us. How we live. I want Christ to shine through me, and that requires a level of modesty as well.

The point is:  Modesty isn’t  simply about us and our clothing – it is about our heart motive – our attitudes towards God.  It’s about pleasing Him, not us.  What I ask is that each individual takes time to pray about what modesty means. That they seek God to give them the standards He desires.  I pray that He will turn modesty into something beautiful for each of us.