Posted in Book reviews, Books, Give-aways, Writing

Book Review & Giveaway “A Dream Not Imagined” by Shantelle Mary Hannu

A Dream Not  Imagined blog tour

“A Dream Not Imagined” by Shantelle Mary Hannu

A Cinderella retelling

A Dream Not  Imagined

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

A MAID, a PRINCE, and a DUKE. A GARDENER, a STEPMOTHER, and a secret…

Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants—too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after.

But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream…of the same prince.

In the end, are dreams even all they’re made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.

My Thoughts:

Oh my, another darling Cinderella retelling!! This one was so so sweet, and I absolutely loved the message in it of God writing our love – and life – story! It was fantastic, truly. The whole story was put together so nicely, and so beautifully, creating an absolutely lovely little novella.

For it being a novella, it was so nicely done, and well-constructed, and not missing a single beat – a full story in a matter of five chapters. I am impressed. :)

The characters are – may I say again – darling. Ellie is everything a Cinderella character should be, and represents it so well, so gentle and so sweet. But really what I was most blown away by was the godly message! That was just so lovely! I know I keep using these words, but they truly describe this sweet story, so I will continue to repeat myself. ;)

I would highly recommend this story to all – I would love to have my future daughters read this! It is innocent, guiding, and remarkable.

Thank you so much, Shantelle, for sending me the complimentary ecopy of your debut book! Congratulations on a spectacular release, and I am so glad to be apart of your blog tour. :)

About the Author:

A Dream Not Imagined Shantelle Hannu

Shantelle Mary Hannu was born in the mountainous west, spending her golden childhood years there. Since then, she has relocated time and again with her parents and seven siblings, making cherished memories in both the South and Central United States.
A Christian homeschool graduate, Shantelle has a passion for writing and all things books. From a young age she’s been penning tales with a hope of sharing with the world adventurous and soul-stirring stories that bring glory to God.
A Dream Not Imagined, a fairytale novella, is her first published book. She’s currently preparing a full-length fantasy novel for publication as well, and working on its sequel.
Shantelle blogs at A Writer’s Heart: http://shantellemaryh.blogspot.com/ about her stories, favorite books and movies (with reviews), healthy wheat-free recipes, and hosts fellow authors, among other things. One of her joys is connecting with fellow writers and readers! You can also find her on:

Facebook: Shantelle Mary Hannu, Author (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shantelle-Mary-Hannu/1622068488014168?ref=aymt_homepage_panel)

Twitter: @shantellemary (https://twitter.com/shantellemary)

Goodreads: Shantelle Mary Hannu (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13804303.Shantelle_Mary_Hannu)

Google+: Shantelle H. (https://plus.google.com/101772131563789927466/posts)

Pinterest: Shantelle H. (https://www.pinterest.com/h0160/)

 

Purchase the book HERE!

 

Giveaway!

Enter the rafflecopter form for a chance to win a Kindle copy of A Dream Not Imagined and a $5 Amazon giftcard!
One winner will be chosen May 31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Blog Tour

 

Thursday, May 28th

Shantelle Hannu at A Writer’s Heart (http://shantellemaryh.blogspot.com/) – It’s published!!!

Cookielover at The Story Forest (http://lulu-renee-writes.tumblr.com/) – Author Interview

Laura Pol at Crafty Booksheeps (http://craftybooksheeps.blogspot.com/) – Character Introduction

Amanda Beguerie at Scattered Journal Pages (http://scatteredjournalpages.com/) – Book Review

Kendra Ardnek at Knitted by God’s Plan (http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/) – Author Interview

Natasha at Through My Lens (http://tashahphotography.blogspot.com/) – Character Interview with Cinderella

Kaycee Browning at The Pink Cave (http://thepinkcave.blogspot.com/) – Author Interview

 

Friday, May 29th

Deborah O’Carroll at The Road of a Writer (https://deborahocarroll.wordpress.com/) – Author ‘Cinderella-themed’ Interview

Claire Banschbach at The Overactive Imagination (https://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com/) – Book Review

Ghost Ryter at Anything, Everything (http://ghostryter.blogspot.com/) –  Author Interview

Skye Hoffert at Ink Castles (http://skyehoffert.blogspot.ca/) – Character Interview with The Stepsisters

Natacha at Mi Baile Perfecto (https://mibaileperfecto.wordpress.com/) – Author Interview

 

Saturday, May 30th

Hannah Williams at The Writer’s Window (http://williamshsj.blogspot.com/) – Author Interview

Raechel at God’s Peculiar Treasure (https://godspeculiartreasurerae.wordpress.com/) – Book Review

C.B. Cook at The World of the Writer (https://theworldofthewriter.wordpress.com/) – Character Interview with The Stepmother

Lena K. at Read, Write, Laugh, DANCE (https://readwritelaughdance.wordpress.com/) – Character Spotlight (The Fairy Godmother)

Sierra at Flights from the Aerie (http://flightsfromtheaerie.blogspot.com/) – Author Interview

Sunday, May 31st

 

Shantelle Mary Hannu at A Writer’s Heart (http://shantellemaryh.blogspot.com/) – Tour Wrap Up and Excerpt

 

Posted in Babies, Pinterest, Pinterest favourites, update

Just a Short Update

Hello!

I am aware that it is Friday, and I would normally be posting the ‘Pinterest Favourites’, but I wasn’t able to put together such a post this time. I may change the frequency in which I post Friday-Pinterest posts; perhaps to every-other Friday. With summer here, it isn’t quite as easy to find the time to schedule a ton of posts for me. :)

But I thought I would update quick and say that my newest nephew finally joined us last Sunday!! Well, I didn’t meet him till the following day, but oh my word, is he precious!

And actually, with that piece of news, I shall leave you. =) Tomorrow I have a book review of a lovely tale, so be on the look out for that!

hahaha, laughed out loud for this! XD Plus, if the world goes bad, and there's no food, we'll be the safe ones ;)

(Hahaha, okay, so I couldn’t help leaving with one funny pin…. XD)

Posted in Book reviews, Tyndale House

Tyndale Book Review: “The Choosing” by Rachelle Dekker

 

 

“The Choosing” by Rachelle Dekker

Dystopian fiction

Review copy source:  Tyndale

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for―her Choosing ceremony―to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.

 

My Thoughts:

This was an interesting read. It was my first introduction into dystopian books, and I’m still not exactly sure what I think of this type of fiction. I don’t think it is particularly for me though.

There were things I liked about this book, and some things that I didn’t care for.
The characters were enjoyable; I felt for Carrington a lot, and I really liked Larken – would’ve loved to have her more involved than she was – especially in the end. Larken was a likeable character for me. And I liked Remko too. I think the relationship between him and Carrington was a little…fast/underdeveloped, but sweet nonetheless.

I suspected who the bad guy would be from the beginning, but it grew even creepier as the book went on. I know a lot of people like thrillers, but I’m just not sure I am sold on them – creepiness is not my thing.
The plot was intriguing, though, and it definitely was a fascinating read. I’m just not sure about the whole clarity of the message. From what I understood it was about our worth in God rather than man, but that didn’t actually come across very clearly. It was strange. What was supposed to be represented as ‘good’ bordered on a cult belief, so that confused me. It was like there were two ‘religions’ but neither seemed completely accurate and Elohim-based. Obviously the Law in this book was the ‘bad’ religion, but the alternative that was ‘freeing’ for Carrington was kind of…well, like I said, it reminded me of a cult. It was almost like the 1960’s “free love” feeling of “You’re beautiful, you’re chosen, you’re special”, which is true – we are beautiful, chosen, and special in God, but it’s serious, and in the book it came across to me as almost whispy, flow-y, peace and love, if that makes sense. It was also a little strange that Carrington only met Aaron (the ‘good teacher’) once, yet dreamnt of him and his teachings continually and that’s what ‘saved’ her. Yahweh wasn’t really involved…He was just hinted at in Aaron’s teachings. The only time God was actually mentioned was in the bad religion.
So all of that made me a little uncomfortable.

I have not read Rachelle Dekker’s father’s books – my sister has, and has told me of the suspense and the plots which to me sounded rather creepy. As I said, I’m not a big fan of murder and creepiness in books. I know it’s out there, but I prefer the redemptive angle in books.

On a positive note, I do think that Rachelle has talent in writing, this genre just isn’t for me.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews

Blogging for Books Review: “The Art of Losing Yourself” by Katie Ganshert

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Losing-Yourself-Novel/dp/1601425929

 

“The Art of Losing Yourself” by Katie Ganshert

 

Review copy source: Blogging for Books

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together.  But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.
 
Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

My Thoughts:

Having read and enjoyed Mrs. Ganshert’s book, “A Broken Kind of Beautiful”, I was glad for a chance to also read this newest book of hers. And while I enjoyed ABKOB more, I still found this a pleasant read.

My favourite and most engaging parts of the story to me were those from Gracie’s point of view. I felt for Carmen and her struggle, but it was easier for me to “bond” with Gracie, perhaps because she was closer to my age. And Elias was a remarkable character – I would like to know where Gracie’s and his story goes next.

There were some things in this book that I was not “sold” on. One particularly being about a magic eight ball and the brief story behind why Gracie and her friend at the time , couldn’t play with one. The friend’s mom had taken it away because she didn’t want her daughter playing with things that promoted/were associated with fortune-telling/magic. I fully agree with this mom, but in this story, it was told as if she was an angry, overbearing mom who was being mean and unfair – as if she was wrong. And then the magic ball became a “cute thing” in the book – I like when a there is an item that signifies something in a relationship, but not something related to magic and fortune-telling. (And if Elias was the strong Christian he was portrayed to be, I don’t think he would’ve “approved”). I guess most people don’t take it literally that the Bible tells us not to mix light with darkness. And any form of magic, fortune-telling, etc. is dabbling in the occult. I know people don’t like to hear that, but the Bible is very clear on it.

One other thing that sort of confused me is the maturity level of this book. Half the story would suggest it can be read by teens (Gracie’s story) but the other half, the more primary one (Carmen’s) had many intement details between husband and wife that shouldn’t necessarily be read by teens but rather a married person. I personally think that there shouldn’t be any kind of ‘sex-scene’ no matter the detail in any age book – even if I was married, I wouldn’t care to read such things. And while this book didn’t contain graphic details, it was still unnecessary in my opinion. A sweet, godly relationship can be portrayed without mentioning the sacredness between man and wife.  God had showed me recently about the verse “Whatever is pure, whatever is noble…think on these things” and how it pertains to everything in our lives – books, movies, tv. Everything – we are to put only God-honouring, pure, uplifting things before our eyes. Sometimes it’s very easy to forget that – I know I do. But I guess what I am saying, is that a lot of people think that there has to be “sex-scenes” to make the book worth reading, but I don’t think it is necessary. ‘Think on these things…’

I like Katie Ganshert’s writing style – I think it is very good, smooth, and well working, if that makes sense. :)

I find myself still often thinking about Gracie and her side of the story – it was one I enjoyed and with there was more of. :)

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Pinterest, Pinterest favourites

Pinterest Favourites Friday Week 15

Hello!

Another Friday, another post! I thought I was going to have to miss this one, because I have been rather ‘down and out’ recently because of some severe back pain, but praise the Lord it is slowly slowly slowly getting better! At least enough so that I can do this post. :) So I think I’m just going to jump right in:

 

I just really love this. ^.^

 

Hehehe!.

Made Mum and I laugh. Yes, we love nutella!

 

I Just Wanna Have Abs...olutely All The Nutella

One more Nutella pin… :D I just wanna have ABS…olutely all the Nutella.

 

XD ” When I’m out with my mom and see HTTYD merchandise: MOM: What are you doing?  ME: Can I please has?!”

Hehe, love this. And you know, couldn’t have a week without pinning something HTTYD! It’s nearly impossible!

 

Metallic Blue And Black Lace Masquerade Mask    Blue by SOFFITTA

And a masquerade mask! I love these things.

 

I recently finished reading “A Dream Not Imagined” by Shantelle Mary Hannu, which you will all get to hear about again soon when I post my review. :) I am currently reading “Meant to Be Mine” by Becky Wade. :)

What are you pinning and reading this week? :)

Posted in Questions/answers, Random babblings

I was awarded with The Liebster Award

Indeed! I was quite excited to receive an email from Shantelle at A Writer’s Heart  letting me know that she had awarded me. :) So, why not get started?

The Rules:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
 
2. Answer the 11 new questions.
 
3. Nominate other bloggers (however many or few as you’d 
like).
 
4. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominated.
 
5. Notify the new nominees of their award.
************************************************************
Questions Given to me to Answer:

1) What is the driving passion of your life?

My Lord and Savior. Truly, He is for whom I think and breath. It is by Him that I am. You know that verse, “Apart from Me you can do nothing”? I have found that completely and utterly true in my life. Over and over, Jesus has shown me – ever so gently no less – how much I need Him, and how He is always, always, always carying me as His sheep. He is my comfort, my grace, my Redeemer. And He is my driving passion.

2) Can you name a favorite character from a movie you’ve seen recently?

Just one? ;) Characters are my favourite. But let’s see…from a movie I’ve seen recently…We watched “Sense and Sensibility” (2008) and favourite character from that is Elinor Dashwood.

3) What’s one book (or chapter, verse, whatever…) of the Bible that has particularly touched you and why?

Ezekial 34:11-17 has really rooted itself deeply in my heart. Why? Because it ministers to me where He has me right now. I am His sheep/lamb and He is my Shepherd and He will never forsake me. I cling to that. :)

For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.” – Ez. 34:11-17

4) How tall are you? *smiles*

Haha, um…Five Feet, Two and a half inches.

5) What’s one thing a book needs to have in order to make it a favorite for you?

Faith. Strongly God centered and teaching, yet not in a condemning way. I really, really love and thrive on Godly fiction!

6) How did you start and what’s your favorite thing about blogging?

I started blogging back when I was like…10/11 when I joined HomeschoolBlogger. It was just fun then. I don’t think I had a particular reason! My favourite thing about blogging now is connecting with others, and sharing my love of books. :D

7) What’s something exciting that has happened in your life recently?

Getting closer to my book being published. :)

8) Why do you write (blogs, books, whatever)?

Books: because writing is in me. It’s in me blood, one could say. :D I write because I love it, and because I hope to reach out to others and show God’s healing as He has shown me.

9) Can you describe (or find a picture of) a different-era outfit that you’d love to wear?

Oooh, you don’t want to get me started!! I have two boards on Pinterest devoted to my favourite outfits from other era’s! I will try my best to just keep it down to ONE though. ;)

That is just beautiful.

I love draping sleeves…*sigh* But at the same time, I love this kinda thing:

SCA Garb Norse Viking Medieval Gown 2 Piece by camelots0closet, $62.00

I’d wear both styles all the time if I could!

10) Favorite songs?

“Worn”, “No Man is an Island”, “On and On” and SO many others of Tenth Avenue North’s, and many, many, many songs of TobyMac’s. I’m also enjoying “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson, and “Soul on Fire” by Third Day.

11) Any advice for your fellow Christian bloggers/writers?

Focus on God only. In all you do, but also in your writing, whatever kind that may be. Everything we do is for Him, and He will guide us along His narrow path. Don’t focus on wordcounts, pages, or popularity, just keep your eyes on our Savior! He will do the rest. :)

***************************************************

11 New Questions:

1) What is the driving passion of your life?

2) Do you have a (few) favourite books? If so what are they?

3) Characters. How do you feel about them? Do you write them, or enjoy them from ‘afar’ (reading, movies, etc. Which really isn’t from ‘afar’. One can get really attached to characters…like I do!)?

4) How do you like to spend your free time?

5) What got you blogging in the first place?

6) Are you a tea drinker or a coffee drinker?

7) How many novels/stories have you written (unpublished, or published)?

8) Favourite animal?

9) Do you have a favourite Fairy Tale?

10) How about a favourite book of the Bible?

11) What are some of your hobbies, in addition to writing? :)

***************************************************************

And I award/tag:

Faith Blum

Jack Lewis Baillot

Sarah Holman

Alicia G. Ruggieri

Heather FitzGerald

If any of you have already been awarded, then don’t worry. :) I look forward to reading your answers to the questions, though, if you have time to answer them!

Thank you, Shantelle, for awarding me! I’ve enjoyed it. :)

Posted in Books, Pinterest, Pinterest favourites

Pinterest Favourites Friday Week 14

Good tidings to ye!

Shall we begin right off with the pins?

 

Perfect!!! It's pretty AND it will keep my pretty-much-destroyed fountain feather pen safe from our cat :D

Isn’t this beautiful? I think it is quite fetching, and I would really like it, because it would keep my feather dip pen safe from our cat who likes to destroy it…

 

cute!

I thought this was adorable! I might have to do this in my own home one day. :)

 

I have no idea how this would be done, but it is cool. HTTYD. :)

 

Hiccup Horendous Haddock the Third

And why not another pic of something HTTYD related? Hiccup of course. :)

 

Hiccup, Stoick, and Valka. The Haddock Family *sniff* and *tears*

This makes me sad. If you’ve seen the movie, (How to Train Your Dragon 2) you know why.

 

You are worth it.

And to end on a serious note…How true and amazing is this? Beautiful.

 

I’ve been reading plenty. I finished “The Choosing” by Rachelle Dekker which I will be reviewing on the 27th.

The Choosing - Rachelle Dekker, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23627067-the-choosing?ac=1

 

And now I am reading “Five Glass Slippers” by the various authors.

Five Glass Slippers: A Collection of Cinderella Stories

 

And as a bonus to finish off this post, here is some info on a free book you can get soon:

Do you like free books? "A Mighty Fortress" will be free May 18-22, 2015. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GPDQVC2 Free May 18th-22nd 2015

I reviewed “A Might Fortress” by Faith Blum HERE.

 

And with that, I wish you a good Weekend!