Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, Books, Reviews, Spiritual beliefs

“Not by Sight” by Kate Breslin

(click image above to go directly to Amazon to see this book)

“Not by Sight” by Kate Breslin

WWI Fiction

Review copy source: Author and publishers

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.

Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country’s cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she’ll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them–or the faith they’ll need to maintain hope.

My Thoughts:

I really, really loved Kate Breslin’s first book, “For Such a Time” – it was so excellent – so I was excited by this new release of hers and absolutely delighted when I was chosen to be part of her influencer team – it’s been immensely enjoyable!!

The book cover is gorgeous – it really is an eye-grabber (hehe, that sounds slightly on the creepy side; how about ‘attention-grabber’?) and I love all the colours blending together. It represents the novel beautifully.

While “For Such a Time” will remain my favourite between Mrs. Breslin’s two books, I must say I did enjoy “Not By Sight”. The tale was gripping, and the characters delightfully flawed, each with their own secrets, as one character, Lucy, said in the book. It’s true – we all have some kind of pain in our lives. But God can take our brokenness and create a master piece!

It took me a little while to really relate with main character Grace Mabry. Especially since it started out by her handing out the white feathers of cowardness…but as the book got going, and we got to really know her more, I did begin to really enjoy her character. And Jack’s I liked nearly right away. :) I think the romance between the two was really sweet, and I loved the banter between them. I think the romance was nicely done in this book, though one concern I had about it was the fact that between the two of them, especially for Grace, there wasn’t a problem or even wariness that Jack himself was not a strong believer in Christ. And I think that should be very important to believers – we are not to be unequally yoked together, so it is very important that we don’t simply give into the lust of the flesh and cast aside the care of faith. This is not to say the characters were completely casting aside their faith – Grace showed some faith and did genuinely desire for Jack to be saved too, but it wasn’t in the deciding factor of their relationship, which saddened me. I don’t want girls out there to think that matter isn’t important. :)

On the topic of a faith strand, there was one present, which was nice. For me, personally, I would have liked it to be stronger and imperatively evident. I didn’t necessarily see that. Sometimes it seems like it was added as a side thought, but there were deeper aspects to it, and the characters grew through out the book which is always excellent!

My favourite part was definitely the relationship between Grace and Jack! I loved it and enjoyed it. Kind of like a ‘beauty and the beast’ story, which is always lovely!!

Mrs. Breslin writes exceptionally well, and the history she entwines throughout the story is marvelous! Very real, and helpfully depicted.

My sincere thanks, Mrs. Breslin, and Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this splendid book.

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Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, reading, Reviews

Blog Tour Book Review: “Half-Blood” by Jaye L. Knight & Giveaway

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“Half-Blood” by Jaye L. Knight

prequel to the Ilyon Chronicles

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Available on Amazon!

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Discover Ilyon in Resistance and The King’s Scrolls.

IlyonChronicles

My Review:

Yes, I have recently jumped on the band-wagon of The Ilyon Chronicles and they’re fantasticness. Truly. It took me long enough, didn’t it? :) But yes, I am supposed to be reviewing “Half-Blood” here, not rambling about my love of this series, which I haven’t even finished reading yet…

This novella was…oh, how to I even begin? This is a hard one to review, because it’s SAD! It is the background story of the beloved main character of the series, Jace. Now, for those of you who have not read “Resistance” or any of the other books in the Ilyon Chronicles, let me inform you that Jace had a sad, sad, sad life and is broken. But he is SO love-able. Truly. When I read “Resistance”, I absolutely fell in love with him. And am so glad I was able to read “Half-Blood” to learn more of his life story and how his pain came to be.

“Half-Blood” gets five stars because it is magnificently written, and full of heart. It is a marvelous story, just heart-wrenchingly sad, mainly because of the subject. But it helps us understand Jace so much more, which is so lovely.

The pain and the heart-break is so evident in this book – you just hurt along with Jace. I don’t want to give the story away, so I can’t say much, but trust me that, even though it is sad, it is good. You will want to read this book. Jace is such a grand character – so soft-hearted even though the world has told him lie after lie and made him believe otherwise. The story ends in Hope too, which I really appreciated! I was worried it was going to end on a downer, but it was good. Of course. :) Jaye has a fantastic writing talent, and I am so glad she uses it for God’s glory!!

Thank you, Jaye, for writing this series and sharing your heart through writing with us! It is a treasure!

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

More Fun and Info:

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Giveaway

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Since I, Raechel, cannot get the rafflecoptor to show up, please click on THIS to go directly to the rafflecoptor giveaway!

About the Author:

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Etsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.

JayeAuthor2015

Blog Tour Schedule:  

Tuesday, July 14

Wednesday, July 15

Thursday, July 16

Friday, July 17

Saturday, July 18

Sunday, July 19

Monday, July 20

Tuesday, July 21

Wednesday, July 22

Posted in Pinterest, Pinterest favourites

Pinterest Favourites Friday Week 19

Hello! I am finally back with a Pinterest Friday. It feels like it’s been a while. :) So shall we see the pins? =D

 

Mug ... how to train your dragon, dragon, toothless, night fury, mug I NEED this!!!

I seriously need this cup. I mean, how amazing is that?!?! I love it :D

 

Disney's Tarzan and Jane.. such a good movie!

Because I love Tarzan and Jane, and my sister and I recently watched “Tarzan”. :)

I don’t often pin Gif’s (“But when I do…” Yes I’ve been on Pinterest too long!) but it’s HTTYD and it’s funny. Plus I’ve seen this episode of the show. (Yes again – there are HTTYD shows, not just movies!)

 

Funniest Minion Quotes Of The Week

Hehe. XD

 

Verity Poldark  from Poldark, actress Ruby Bentall - she is so sweet!

Because Verity from Poldark is such a sweet character. I really am hoping she gets a happy ending!!! <3

 

mission

Very true.

 

What I’m reading:

I just recently finished beta-reading a friend’s book, and have now begun this book:

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

Beautiful cover, beautiful story. I love the main character, Mary, especially. Even though I’m only a couple chapters in. :)

 

So, what are you reading/pinning?

 

 

Posted in lists, Questions/answers, Random babblings

Favorite Screen Characters Tag

Hello!

There have been several tags going around, haven’t there? I think they’re quite fun, so I rarely balk at them! =) I’ve been tagged by Faith Blum for the Favourite Screen Characters Tag. From what I gather, the rules are listing your top ten favourite television/movie characters – should be fun! So here are mine:

 

1. Toothless

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This should be obvious. :D I know he’s a dragon, and not a human-character, but he’s my favourite!

 

2. Molly Gibson from Wives and Daughters (And Roger of course!)

Awwwwww. "Yes, yes I will." Hehehe.  "Wives and daughters"

She’s just adorable. So sweet!

 

 

3.  John Thornton from North and South.

It’s Richard Armitage, playing Mr. Thornton…need anything else be said?!

 

 

4. Jane and Tarzan from Disney’s Tarzan

probably one of my favorite parts <3....tarzan's face haha

Yes, I am aware that these are technically two characters, but they go together, so…

 

5.  Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth from Persuasion (1995)

Persuasion

I know – I just keep breaking the rules! Oh well…These two are soo…*happy sigh* I love this movie!!

 

6. Esther Summerson from Bleak House

Esther Summerson {Bleak House}

She’s a very sweet character. :)

 

 

7. Lucy Pevensie

We can’t forget her :)

 

 

8. Verity Poldark from Poldark

Verity Poldark (Ross' cousin/Francis' sister) (Ruby Bentall) http://www.farfarawaysite.com/section/poldark/gallery.htm

I just love her character. She is one of the best, (if not the best?!) of the show. Anyone else watching Poldark on TV right now?

 

 

9.  Georgianna Darcy from Death Comes to Pemberly (and also her love, Henry)

Death Comes to Pemberley: Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgiana Darcy - she is SO beautiful!

Georgiana and Henry - Death Comes To Pemberley

-Such a cute couple!! Georgianna seems so refined, and genteel. And very sweet. :)(Kinda hard to believe that the same actress plays Demelza in Poldark!! – Still cute and sweet though!)

 

10. Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility (and sweet Edward, too! :))

Sense and Sensibility (2008) -- Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars >>>

I love these two, as well. I often relate to Elinor. They’re great characters!

 

So that’s ten. I know I am forgetting some, but it’s hard to think of every movie you’ve ever seen on the spot. :) And also, I should say – these aren’t in exact order. That would be way too hard! These are just ten of my favourites – although, Toothless is definitely #1 :)

And as for who I tag, I tag YOU! If you choose to do this, leave a link so I can read it! :)

Posted in Questions/answers, Random babblings, Uncategorized

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award/Tag

Good day! I was awarded/tagged by the lovely Miss Shantelle over at A Writer’s Heart. Thanks Shantelle! =) The questions look like fun. And since it’s Friday, I thought I’d just go ahead and post this instead of a Pinterest Favourites post. I think I’ll just go ahead and dive right in!

 

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate ten blogs.

 

And here are the questions for me to answer:

  • What genre have you read most of this year?  Oh tough question…I’ve read a fairly wide variety of books so far…The most would probably be Christian fantasy/medieval fantasy, etc.

 

  • Do you enjoy fairytales? Which ones do you like most? I do enjoy them, but it’s hard because I stay away from magic. I’ve rewritten one of them so far without magic and with a Christian theme, and I’d like to do that with more of them. As for which I like most…hmm. I’ve always been rather fond of Snow White, but ever since writing the Beauty and the Beast story, I absolutely fell in love with the redemption story of that one. :)

 

  • Favorite dessert? Too many! I guess I’ll go with cherry cheesecake, because that is absolutely amazing! =) 

 

  • Which Disney princess are you most like and why? Well to be honest, I don’t really relate to any of the Princesses. If I was to be in a movie setting like those, it would be something like How to Train Your Dragon. I asked my Mum for her help with this question (it’s easier for someone else to tell you who you’re most like!) and she said I’m kind of like Valka in HTTYD2 – Hiccups Mom. My Mum said ‘She’s calm, and kind, but can defend herself and is strong, yet still gentle, and is rather like a dragon whisperer, which is what you’d be.” Only I’m not her age…XD But yeah, that’s what I’ll go with. Hope that’s okay! I think I’d be more of a viking than a princess. =) S

httyd 2

 

  • Which Disney prince do you consider the most dashing? So, we don’t watch Frozen, but I love Kristoff. And Tarzan. Technically neither are princes, but they’re close enough, right?! 

free frozen clipart | Frozen: Kristoff Clip Art.  Day 15: Favorite Romantic Moment  Tarzan and Jane

 

  • What was your favorite blog post this year? Of my own or others? I’m gonna go with others…but that’s still hard, because I read SO many blog posts. I was really excited to read THIS post of Alica Ruggieri’s. :)

 

  • A few books you hope to read soon? I’m waiting for two review books that I am SO excited for. They are “Not by Sight” by Kate Breslin and “Through Waters Deep” by Sarah Sundin!

 

  • Favorite book of the year? I’ve already read SO many books this year, and this question is way too hard…The following books will make my absolutely favourites list of the year: “The Tomb” by Stephanie Landsem, “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” by Melanie Dickerson, “Not Abandoned” by MacKenzie Morganthal, “Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot, “The Fragrance of Geraniums” by Alicia Ruggieri and “Resistance” by Jaye L. Knight. Sooo many good ones!!

 

  • Summer or winter? This doesn’t even require a nanosecond of a thought – WINTER!!

Lovely!

  • One goal you have? Hmm..Well, ultimately I want to follow wherever God leads. But one dream/goal I have that I hope will be accomplished soon is being published. :)

Thanks again, Shantelle, for the award! Now, here is where I am supposed to name who I shall pass the award onto, but I cannot think of ten bloggers, let alone those who have not already been awarded! So, if anyone is reading this right now who has not been awarded but would like to, please consider yourself nominated!! And just go ahead and used the same questions – I’d love to see other’s answers to them! If you do answer these questions, leave a link for me to see! =)

 

Posted in Book reviews, Books

Book Review: “A Bride at Last” by Melissa Jagears

 

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears http://smile.amazon.com/dp/0764211706/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_7HRKvb0ZHG3MH

“A Bride at Last” by Melissa Jagears

#3 in The Unexpected Brides Series

Review copy source: Influencer copy from the author and publisher

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony–until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

My Thoughts:

I really love how Melissa Jagears writes – her style flows well and keeps you interested. I don’t often read the mail-order-bride stories, or any sort of westerns in general, but if it’s by Mrs. Jagears I am sure to try it.

I have read her previous books of this series and adored each one (I think my favourite was the novella though!!), so I was really excited to read this next book, “A Bride at Last”. And while I enjoyed the writing style, and the characters, I was let down on some aspects of it. It just wasn’t my favourite. There were a couple of things that disappointed me, and I think I will start with those and then move on to what I did like.

In the beginning, the faith strand seemed strong and that really gladdened me. But as the book got going, it was nearly forgotten, and when the Lord was brought into it, I don’t think it was in a very respectful light. At one point, one of the characters prays for an answer but immediately after the character prays, it says ‘But of course there was no answer’. And it leaves it at that – as if God never answers us today, like it’s normal and expected. But He does speak. It’s not an audible sound, but He speaks to our souls, I firmly believe this and think that is the norm. The Bible says, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) – He answers even before we call. There are many other verses to attest to that, but I will leave it with this one.

The other thing that was a disappointment was how it was very much centered around physical-attraction between the two main characters. Almost inappropriately so. There were some parts I wanted to skim over because of how…’gushy’ (only more so. That’s not quite the right word) it was.  It was nearly blush-worthy. And I was sad to see that the characters couldn’t just fall in love because of their hearts – their personalities. I know that they did do that in some respect, but it was really much more of a physical attraction and that is what was greatly portrayed throughout the book. Love is more than physical. It is a choice, a state of the heart, a commitment to God. I read a quote on Pinterest that said “A woman is not written in brail – you don’t have to touch her to know her” and that’s true.

But now for the things I did like. :)  The characters, besides from the physical attraction issue, were well crafted and easily liked. Kate was a strong character, and I liked how much she cared for Anthony (the little boy). Silas was a good character too, though frustrating at times. They both had a hard past (most people do…), but he seemed to have a harder time letting go of her past – almost holding it against her, which seemed like he was forgetting that he had ‘his own past’. I know that was intentional, but I think it could’ve used a little more work.

The plot was good – I enjoyed it. It was an easy read, and captivating. As I said, I really like Melissa Jagears and how she writes. =)

I feel like it seems that I disliked this book a great deal but that’s not the case. I DID like it, I just didn’t like ALL of it. There were parts that made it really difficult for me to fall in love with it, like I did with her other books (which I highly recommend you read!).

Still, I would read more of Mrs. Jagears books, and reread the ones I loved. =)

 

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

 

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You can read my reviews of the previous books in this series below. The first two are very short since I was not required to write a review and I didn’t have time. The third is lengthly though and shows how much I loved that book:

Love by the Letter

A Bride for Keeps

A Bride in Store

 

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review, Spiritual beliefs

BookLook Book Review: “The Good, the Bad and the Grace of God” by Jep and Jessica Robertson

 

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God - Jep Robertson, the youngest son of Duck Commander Phil Robertson, and his wife, Jessica, open up about their personal trials, their early years together, and the challenges that might have destroyed them both had the grace of God not intervened.

 

“The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God” by Jep and Jessica Robertson with Susy Flory

Non-fiction

Review copy Source: BookLook Bloggers

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the book:

A Moving Story of Redemption and Second Chances
 

Jep Robertson, the youngest son of Duck Commander Phil Robertson, and his wife, Jessica, open up about their personal trials, their early years together, and the challenges that might have destroyed them both had the grace of God not intervened. Jep describes being molested as a child and his reluctance to tell anyone until only a few years ago, his downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse, and the eventual intervention of his family. Jessica shares about the difficult failure of her first marriage while still a teenager and the hurt that came along with it, much of it from the church. Her insecurities spun out of control as she wondered whether she would ever be good enough or pretty enough. This book is their love story but, more importantly, their love story for God.

“We are desperate to let people know that no matter what you’ve done; no matter what you’ve lived through, you can come out of it.  You can be washed clean.  You are redeemed.”

 

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book – more than I thought I would, actually. Being that my family and myself are Duck Dynasty fans, I was interested when I saw this book up for review – and knowing that my parents would want to read it as much as I would, I didn’t hesitate to request it.

It was so interesting to get a glimpse into the trials Jep and Jessica faced through out their lives – together and apart. Their faith in God, and their dedication to each other is inspiring.

There are times where we get frustrated with some of the aspects of the show, because whether it is their choosing, or the producers of the show choosing, they don’t always portray what Christians should, but I thought that the book was quite different from the T.V. show and they gave all the glory to God. I personally found it much easier to understand and relate to at least Jep and Jessica knowing what they’ve been through and how they feel about their faith. It’s encouraging for sure.

This is an easy read – I normally don’t choose to read non-fiction/biography type books, but this one I just sailed through with great interest. I would recommend for older teens and up, to read this book because of some of the subject matter.

I must say, I was saying several ‘awws’ when reading about Jep and Jessica’s love story. It truly is a sweet one. :)

It’s inspiring, because they talked a lot about redemption. You can have a horrible past, but when you come to Christ, He redeems you and you are cleansed as white as snow – forever. And, as they talk about, sometimes the church will make judgments, which of course they shouldn’t but Jep and Jessica didn’t accept and take on those judgments as their own – they saw it for what it was: broken people making bad decisions. They knew that God’s opinion mattered more than man’s opinion and I like that.

 

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