Posted in blog tour, Books, Give-aways

Book Spotlight: “Lily of the Valley” by Faith Blum

LotV Release Banner

Happy Cyber Monday! In honor of the biggest internet shopping day of the year, or at least one of them, Faith Blum decided to do a blog tour release of her newest novel, Lily of the Valley. There are two giveaway opportunities and lots of fun interviews and excerpts.

About the Book

Howdy, Teacher! You don’t know me, but my kids talk bout you a lot. I been lookin fer a wife and mother fer a few years and was wonderin iffen we cood meet and get to no each other a bit. I’ll come after skool to git yer answer. Grover Miller

Lily of the Valley FrontUnruly schoolchildren, three suitors, and too many things to do. When Ruth Brookings rejects one of the suitors, he refuses to accept no for an answer.

To make matters worse, when she prays for guidance, she’s answered with a challenge instead: To encourage her friend to find a wife—whether he wants one or not.

Will she lose her friend just when she needs a friend the most? Will she be able to weather the storms she’s about to face?

Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016VAJ7EW

About the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 b

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’s 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, writing, 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.

Free Book

BTMV Free Promo 11

Today is the last day to get Be Thou My Vision (Hymns of the West #2) free! Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NF3QV52

Giveaway

Faith has a Goodreads giveaway going on through November 30th! Be sure to check it out and enter to win one of two signed paperback copies of Lily of the Valley.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lily of the Valley by Faith Blum

Lily of the Valley

by Faith Blum

Giveaway ends November 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/161619 In addition to the Goodreads giveaway, Faith is also giving away all four of her paperback novels to one lucky winner!

Giveaway

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Bloggers involved

 

November 29:
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Tour introduction
Shanna Hatfield-Book Spotlight

November 30:
Musings of Inspiration-Author Interview/Book Spotlight
C.K.Rich-Book Spotlight
Singing Librarian Books-Book Review/Author Interview
Writing Dreams-Author Interview/Character Interview/Book Spotlight
Tara Ellis – Wife. Mother, Indie Author and Photographer-Book Spotlight
Christa Reads & Writes-Book Spotlight
Rebekah Lyn Books-Book Spotlight
The Overactive Imagination-Author Interview
Wildflower Acres-Book Review/Spotlight
Jaye L. Knight-Book Spotlight
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Book Review/Spotlight
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight
Tamie Dearen’s Blog-Book Review/Spotlight

Clean Indie Reads

 

And I’m pleased to share this EXCERPT with you fantastic readers! Enjoy!!

A group of horses bearing riders came into view. Annabelle grabbed Ruth’s arm. “Here he comes! And we’re all alone.”
Ruth shook her head and shrugged Annabelle’s hand off her arm. “You’ll be fine. Remember what we learned this week in Bible study?”
Annabelle took a deep breath and let it out. “‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6-7.”
“Exactly!” Ruth exclaimed. “I’m proud of you for getting that memorized. Now you just have to put it into practice.”
Annabelle groaned. “I know. That’s where I have the most trouble—remembering the things I learn.”
“What’s two plus two?” Ruth asked.
“Four,” Annabelle responded, her face scrunched up in confusion.
“Who was the fourth president?”
“James Madison. What are you doing, Ruth?”
“What do they call the study of rocks?”
“Geology,” Annabelle responded. “What purpose does this quiz serve?”
Ruth smiled. “One more question. What is Genesis 1:1?”
“‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’”
Ruth nodded. “Repetition is the key. You remember things better than you think, you just need to keep repeating them until it becomes natural.”

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Posted in Etsy, Give-aways, Random babblings

Etsy coupon

Hello :)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and if you participated in Black Friday, then I hope it was good too! We went out in the early morning to get a couple things, and came back home as quick as we could. ^.^ I am now a proud owner of a Bear Grylls survival knife with paracord. I love it :D

But anyway, let me move on to the subject of this post. I have (“I have some fifteen thousand pounds just sitting in the bank earning little to no interest…” North and South. <3 “You don’t need Henry to explain” – if you are a N&S fan that quote should make you squeal inside! ;) ) a coupon to a specific Etsy shop that I am not going to use. The shop contains some headbands, scrunchies, and cosmetic cases decorated in Dr.Who, Star Wars, and Marvel designs. The coupon is for $10 off an $11 minimum purchase. It expires December 31st, 2015.

If anyone is interested, please let me know – I would be glad to see it put to good use! This is the shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FictionalNWhimsical

Have a lovely weekend!

Posted in blog tour, Books, For-Sale, lists, reading

Great Black Friday Book Deals!

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Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for. I’ll have a complete list of books I’ve read and favourites from the year towards the end of December, but for now, here’s just a few that I’m thankful for:

  1. “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest”, by Melanie Dickerson: This provided a delightful and fun fairy-tale feeling without being magicful.
  2. “The Tomb”, by Stephanie Landsem: Her Biblical Fiction always give me food for thought and touch me deeply!
  3. “The Fragrance of Geraniums” and “All Our Empty Places”, by Alicia Ruggieri: These books really ministered to me, especially in my own brokenness!
  4. “Not Abandoned”, by MacKenzie Morganthal: This book is a great credit to making Human-Trafficking awareness known. It is written so beautifully, and so gracefully. Definitely one of my favourites!
  5. “Better than Peanut Butter Icecream”, by Kristen Krueger: This was such a delightful book, and made me feel very happy right when I needed it!

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out! You surely won’t want to miss this sale – especially if you  love books even half as much as I do!! I’m so excited to be able to participate in promoting this fun sale! Enjoy :)

Book Quiz

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.
Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse, reading, Reviews

Litfuse Book Review: “The Golden Braid” by Melanie Dickerson

“The Golden Braid” by Melanie Dickerson
Part of the Fairy Tale Romance Series
Review copy source: Litfuse
My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

My Thoughts:
Such a lovely book!! It was a great retelling of the fairy tale, Rapunzel. I really really love how Mrs. Dickerson doesn’t have any magic or anything in her books.
This book was excellent, and I loved every page of it. It was exciting, and fun, and the scenery was delightful! It’s related closely to “The Princess Spy”, and sometimes that got a little confusing for me, because I hadn’t read that one in quite a while – but even so, it didn’t cause problems with this book. You can easily read “The Golden Braid” as a stand-alone. There are just ties to “The Princess Spy” – characters, setting, and such. I like when authors do that; it adds some fun!
Rapunzel was a fantastic character, and the whole story was just portrayed perfectly! Gothel was really well written. And I loved Sir Gerek. Who couldn’t? :)
The faith strand was pretty good, too. I really loved that Sir Gerek received instruction from the Lord. It gave me goosebumps. :)
Oh and I really adored what Lady Rose said about how only God can truly fulfil our every desire – not a man. And yet she said it with the conviction of still needing a man – yeah, it was really good!
Even though I know the story of Rapunzel, scenes in this book came as a delightful surprise! I really loved it. And her being able to knife-throw was quite nice. :D It wasn’t as prominent to the story as I thought it might be, but it was still good.
All in all, I loved “The Golden Braid” and am looking forward to reading more from the author!!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
Posted in God's Lessons, My Abba Father, Pinterest

Following After Jesus Christ Only

As Christians, it is our desire to follow hard after Jesus Christ, isn’t it? That’s our main desire; to be more like Jesus. To be Holy as He is Holy. And that desire should reflect into every part of our lives. We should want that when people look at us, or hear us, or hear about us, they see Jesus. They see our love for Him and Him alone.

But what is pulling us away? What is causing our eyes not to see? Is it a book genre that isn’t as clean as it should be? Is it a TV show we don’t want to give up? Is it a person that intrigues us, but we know isn’t God-honouring? Is it a band we’re following after that is less than modest and Christ-like?Let us examine our hearts and find what’s truly being reflected. Myself included.

Today I want to focus on modesty, and  some bands that have my heart grieved. I won’t name names, but they are there. I see them, and I don’t see Christ. I see them leading so many astray – causing so many young people to want to become just like them, in how they act, in how they play their music, and how they dress. It is easy to be blinded by the glitter and glam. We all do it – we all fall prey to some deceiving situation. But we must be on our guard, and we must bring everything, no matter how much we live it and love it and don’t even think of it as being wrong, to the foot of the Cross.

How we present ourselves on the outside often shows what is inside. It is often a good indicator of where hearts are at.  Modesty is a big debate out there, and everyone’s perception of it is vastly different. But it can all be summed up in a few things:

Does is draw attention to us or does it point to Jesus?

Are we dressing to please ourselves and fellow man, or Jesus?

Does it cover ourselves, or reveal?

We ultimately should dress to impress Jesus alone. To glorify Him in our body. Maybe that doesn’t mean wearing skirts for you, but it should mean covering yourself appropriately. If our dress causes others, especially men, to gawk at us (and not in a good way), perhaps we should change. I have heard of quite a few young men that find modest apparel more eye-drawing, in a good way, than they do with the immodest low-cuts and short skirts/tight pants. It’s a statement, modesty is. And if you’re going to wear the tight, short, revealing clothing, you’re making a statement – even if you think it’s harmless and you’re just doing it for fun. That’s not how it comes across to the world. Again, I say, you’re making a statement, and if it’s not pointing to Jesus, it’s not a good one.

And it’s hard, because the Christian bands we look up to are not representing this in their clothing. They are dressing to look ‘cool’ to the crowd. But that’s not our goal. It is not our goal to be like the world. But to be like Him who created the world.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

Let the world see LESS of us, and MORE of Him. In every aspect of our lives. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17

 

Another topic that has my heart greatly saddened is how so often, we turn a blind eye to darkness and call it good. We watch things, and follow things, and read things, that aren’t of the light, but we make excuses. Why? Because we want what pleases us. I am including myself in this. For me, the stumbling block, the gray line, is books. I love books. I love reading. And sometimes the books I like contain things that aren’t really godly – they aren’t usually blatantly bad, but they sometimes slip the radar. And sometimes I don’t want to face it, because I like the books. For others, it may be TV shows and movies. For instance, the huge thing today is zombies, vampires, all the movies and shows that condone killing one another, etc. As much as we don’t want to admit it, there is nothing godly about that. They are fully evil. Not of God, but of Satan to pull us away from Him. My parents always say “garbage in, garbage out”, and the truth of it is that the Bible says not to set anything evil before our eyes. Not just some things, but all things. And we try to justify by saying it’s not that bad, or everyone else is watching it, but we are not to be like everyone else. We are to be set apart.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2

One thing that defines us as a Christian is not always what we are willing to do for Christ, but what we are willing to give up for Him. To lay down our life and will, to please and honour our Lord. Because He’s worth it all. Right? If we have a hard time deciding what is right and wrong to watch, read, follow, let’s try to think of it this way: Would you honestly sit down with Jesus and watch this particular show, or read this particular book, or follow this particular person with Jesus watching right beside us?

He gives us grace (praise God!), but He also gives us discernment. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” – Romans 6:15  

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” Romans 6:1-2

 

So let us bring everything that we love, and live, and bring it to the light of Jesus – let His light penetrate all and give us a clear picture of His glory so that we may honour Him.

 

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

Blog Tour for: “Kate’s Innocence” by Sarah Holman – book review and giveaway!

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“Kate’s Innocence” by Sarah Holman

#1 in The Kate’s Case Files Series

Review copy source: The author

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

What would you do if you were accused of a crime you didn’t commit?

Kate watched as her campus was torn apart by bombs and now is being accused of perpetrating the crime. As the evidence quickly stacks up against her, she begins to lose hope that the truth will come to light. Even though the handsome FBI Agent, Patrick, has taken up her cause, will they be able to prove her innocence? Will God, who she neglected for so long, listen to her prayers for help?

Patrick is an agent with a very special team of agents. He wants to help Kate prove she is innocent, but as each new piece of evidence is revealed, that goal seems harder. He wonders why he feels so compelled to help her and so sure she is innocent despite the evidence. Will he be willing to put his job on the line to help her? Can he trust in God to make sure the truth will come out in the end?

 

KRaechel

This was a very intriguing FBI read to be sure! I enjoyed it.  I try to stay open to various genres, but I don’t deny that I am usually not interested in contemporary fiction; however, “Kate’s Innocence” proved to be very exciting, and didn’t feel like it dragged at all, which is what I often find in some contemporary fiction pieces.

This book was exciting, and you were guessing as to ‘who dunnit’. And you were of course rooting for Kate. :) At first, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of main character Kate Mayfield…she was pretty rude at the beginning when being questioned by the police. But she did grow on me. :) And I really liked Logan, and Brian, and of course, Patrick. I also found Kim to be a good character, and even Thomas became endearing. :D
I think the faith strand was good – it opened up to more possibilities of healing in the future of this series. It could’ve been a tad bit stronger in the end, but I’m hoping that the series will continue it. :)
This is a book I would readily recommend – it’s clean, and thoroughly enjoyable! I’m glad for the chance to have read it and am looking forward to more!
Kgiveaway
<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7203fcc177/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”7203fcc177″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_633lilyt”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
(As usual, my wordpress blog doesn’t desire to show the give-away widget, so you’ll have to click on it to go enter! Thanks!)
*I received a complementary ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in Writing

“A Greater Freedom” by Raechel Lenore – Short Story Link Up

Hello readers!

Today I’m sharing a short story I wrote as part of the “They Have a Story” Link up over at Emily Anne’s blog. She posts a Inspiration Picture every month, and we have the choice to write something on it or not. You should check it out if you like writing. :) This is my first time participating. So without further ado, here’s the photo, and my story!

 

A Greater Freedom by Raechel Lenore

I was afraid again. Not afraid for my own life, but for the precious life of the daughter clinging to me as we awaited our coming judgement. It was always the same. To others, we were never worth more than the tasks we could accomplish. I wanted my daughter to have so much more. But so much had already been ripped away from us. Too much. Sometimes I felt like, “What is one more thing?” but in my soul, I fought against that bleakness. I wanted to believe there was hope, and that it would find us sooner than later.

I watched as the white man came towards, closing the distance between us until finally he stood in front of us. “What have I done?” I whispered in fear, my voice trembling no matter how strong I tried to be for my daughter.
The white man only smiled. But it wasn’t a menacing type of smile that I had grown accustomed to from our life on the big house land. It was a peculiar smile. I waited for the man to speak.
“It’s not what you’ve done. It’s what he’s done,” the white man tossed his head in the opposite direction where another man stood. I hadn’t noticed him before. But what did the white man mean? What had that other man done? She was afraid to voice her question. My daughter then softly pulled away from me, shyly looking up into the face of our “owner”. “Mister, what’s he done?” her little voice asked. I wanted to hug her for the strength she showed. The innocence. And I praised God that she still had some innocence in the rough life we’ve had.
The white man just smiled, “He’s bought your freedom. Good luck to you.”
And with that, he just left. The other man came closer, almost timid-looking. I didn’t know what to say, but once again my daughter spoke up, “Is this for real, mister? Am I free?”
The man bent down to her level, and smiled a smile that was very gentle. He reached for her hand, and said, “Yes. You are free. I have paid the price. You are free.”
“But why?” I heard myself speak, surprising even myself.
A look of sadness and joy mixed together appeared on the man’s face. “Because I am doing it for Someone higher. Someone who loves you very much. Now go, gather your things, and start a new life together. Here is some money to help you get started,” He handed her a sizable pouch.
I still did not truly understand, but I was thankful. Oh was I thankful! My daughter could live a new life. We could be free. “Thank you,” I said to the man. “What will happen to you?” I don’t know why I asked that, but I suddenly had to know.
“I will take your place,” he said.
But…that didn’t seem right. Couldn’t we all be free? Why did something bad have to happen to someone else so that something good could be accomplished in another?
“I do it because I have a Father in Heaven that loves you. I do it willingly. Have no fear – the Lord has delivered you, and someday He will deliver me also. Live in peace,”
Tears suddenly stung my eyes. This man was being uncharacteristically kind, and all because he loved the God whom they both worshiped. “I pray your deliverance comes soon, then,” I said as I bowed my head in thanks.
The man smiled, “Thank you. I am not afraid.”
It was time, then, for my daughter and I to depart….but I would never forget the man’s kindness. He delivered us, so that we might be free. All because of a loving God.

 

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And that’s it. :) Please no stealing, copyright by me, yada, yada, yada. :) Thanks for reading!!