Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews, Chuck Black

Blogging for Books review: “Light of the Last” by Chuck Black

“Light of the Last” by Chuck Black

Book #3 in The Wars of the Realm Series (I believe it is also the final book?)

Review source: Blogging for Books

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

To Fight What Others Can’t You Must See What Others Don’t

After an accident left him temporarily blind, Drew Carter didn’t just regain his sight. He now sees what others can’t imagine–an entire spiritual realm of mighty beings at war.
 
Forget the gift, Drew just wants his life back. Part of that involves Sydney Carlyle, a woman he is inexplicably drawn to. When he’s offered the chance to become a CIA agent, it seems the way to redeem his past. The only problem–his visions of the supernatural realm are increasing in frequency.
 
It’s up to the warrior angel Validus and his hand-picked team of heavenly agents to protect the unbelieving Drew. Validus now knows that the young man is at the epicenter of a global spiritual war, and the angels must use a millennia of battle experience keep Drew alive, for the Fallen want him dead.
 
Surrounded by spiritual warriors and targeted by demons, Drew’s faced with an impossible decision that will forever alter the destiny of America…and his own soul.

 

My Thoughts:

Oh wow! How do I even begin to review this amazing book?! I loved it. So much so. Truly fantastic. I am a HUGE fan of Chuck Black and have been eagerly awaiting this third (and I believe, final?) book in The Wars of the Realm series – it’s finally here!! And SO worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, and the plot was so extensive and amazingly crafted. That is some serious God-given talent Mr.Black has!
Okay yeah, can I say what an extensive plot-line this book has, and the series as a whole? I was so impressed. Just about every story-thread was brought to completion and wrapped up so nicely. There was ONE story line I so badly want to continue though….I won’t say which for fear of spoiling it for you readers. But yes, another book series for two specific characters would be pretty…epic.
I really liked how it entwined both character-point-of-views of Drew Carter, and Validus. Both were engaging and equally exciting and enthralling.
And I just love how it’s about Spiritual Warfare. So amazing, and such a great, necessary reminder. Wow.
The technology shown in this book was incredible too. :) Amazing all the way around.
This book was just SO big! And I don’t mean in size. It just blows me away.
Usually I am fairly adept at writing helpful reviews, but when it comes to Chuck Black’s books….I love them too much to form a coherent sentence! I just want to shout at everyone “Read these books!!!!” :)
I appreciate how Mr.Black states in the beginning that “this is speculative fiction and it’s not intended to confuse or diminish the truth of God’s holy and inspired Word.” He does an excellent job depicting what the Bible does tell us and how he interprets what the Bible is silent on.
The one and only thing I had a different thought on was that sometimes the angels seemed more ‘angry’ than fierce as the Bible says they are, and that it sometimes portrayed that there aren’t enough angels to do spiritual battle for us, and I believe that God does provide enough. However, this wasn’t negative, nor did it affect my love for these books. Just a personal thought. And of course, as Chuck Black says himself: only God knows the whole story!! :)
The characters were so great, and I loved returning to them. Sydney is an amazing young woman and I hope I can be as much of a prayer warrior as she is (even though she’s fiction! :D).
So yes, absolutely amazing and I loved it soooo very much!!! I cannot wait to read this whole series over again.
~~~~~
I received a complimentary copy from the publishers and Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post: “Good Bad Guys” by Aiden

     Today I have the pleasure of bringing you a guest po-

 

————-(:///New-command:insert-my-opinion:/override-Rae/Alpha:)————-

Hey sorry to cut you off Rae but I thought it would be nice to take over your blog for a minute. Hello everyone! You can call me Aiden, I am from Jaye’s Forum. But today I decide to take over Rae’s blog.

So what do I have to talk about? Well I am glad you asked that (you really didn’t ask, I told you that but acted like you asked, I know I am breaking the fourth wall or something like that but whatever) I will be talking to you about the… Demoralization of the youth due to the acceptance of the criminal… or in other words the image the ‘new bad guy’ is setting. So what is the new bad guy? Well they commonly looks like this

 

  

     

 

 

What?! But they are not all bad guys! (Yes I know I am pretending to be you again, just roll with it) but on the contraire comrade they aren’t.  We will now be taking a look at each one of these ‘good villains’

Magneto

When Magneto first appeared in The X-Men #1 Sept. 1963 he was a mage maniac who wanted nothing more than to wipe out humanity to make way for mutant kind with him as their King. Yes that Jewish guy from the X-Men movies who can control metal in recent years has become the not so bad ‘bad guy’. Eric Magnus has changed from the ‘evil mutant who is bent on human extinction’ to now not really being a bad guy. He is just trying to make the world safe for mutants by killing one human at a time yea… Thanks to newer X-man movies this villain is now viewed as just a guy trying to save people. You hear people say “He is not really bad, look at what he went through,” and one of my favorites “He is just misguided!’.

Loki

Since his first appearance in Venus #6 1949 and Journey into Mystery #85 1962, Loki’s one desire was to kill his adopted father Odin, and to leave his brother Thor in freakish misery (holler if ya get that reference). The only thing he use to plan was the destruction of his family.  He would go to great lengths to plan everything out, He knew how to manipulate things to work towards the end he wanted. And that end would be the death of Odin and Thor. Since Thor hit the movies back in 2011 this god of mischief somehow became just a tortured soul who wants the approval of his father. They do a really good job at making us feel bad for Loki, though he still is trying to kill his father and Thor but we somehow don’t see him as that bad.

Mystique

Since Mystique first came on the scene in Ms. Marvel #16 1978, she has been a bad girl who wanted to kill the X-men to please Magneto. She was the commander of the Brotherhood of evil Mutants and often got into fights with the X-men and her two children Rogue and Kurt and wouldn’t mind killing them if they got in her way. But since the X-Men First Class movie she has taken on a totally different role, from being an evil mother bent on world domination she has become an insecure heroine who is just going about it saving ‘mutant kind’ wrong.

Gru

Oh the ever cute Despicable Me movies, such a cute cartoon about a villain who adopts three little girls to help him steal something. What could be wrong with that? But he turned good in the end! Well I know that but it wasn’t such a big thing, we never actually see him struggle with being bad he just wants to have his girls back. They don’t portray being bad as a bad thing. Though an argument can be made of number 2 it still has a very little view of good and bad, heck it almost shows like you could be both.

Hotel Transylvania

Oh another cute cartoon about the occult just wanting to be left in peace from the evil humans outside. You know these monsters also need a break from terrorizing people. After all they are normal people just like us, never mind the fact that the main character is a vampire that has to feed off people. As do most of the other evil things in the cartoon. Instead of being evil as they used to be these demonic things have been ‘fun’-a-fide, so that little kids wouldn’t find them ‘scary’ but find them ‘nice and funny’.

Fast and the Furious

So if you don’t know what this movie is about (don’t give me that look, everyone makes mistakes plus it’s a good thing that you don’t know what it is)  it is about a cop who is sent to infiltrate a drag racing gang that have been stealing major things in transit. While ‘becoming’ one of them this cop has a change of heart. Seeing that they weren’t really that bad (plus he liked the sister. Go figure) so he decides to become one of them for real and help them evade the cops and steal stuff. Basically all the movies revolve around something needing to be stolen, someone needing their teeth knocked in. Add to that all the very nasty dressed girls. And through it all they just keep stealing and getting deeper and deeper into crime but hey the only thing that really matters is that they are a ‘Family’ right? That’s what makes them not so bad of crimes right? Oh yea and the really bad guys are the cops trying to catch them.
Okay now that we have all the introductions out of the way, that was the Intro? Really? (Just let me know when this gets annoying) Yes it was. So why is this bad? Well it is because it is either calling sin ‘good’ or making light of evil things. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this (come on pick it up, it’s right behind you, here I’ll wait……) now turn to Isaiah 5:20, it says “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” and now if you’ll kindly turn to Romans 1:18-23, 32 it reads “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools,  and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things… and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”  So the Bible gives warnings about calling evil things good and good things evil. I know, I know they are not that bad. But they really are, they are desensitizing people to evil and sin with all these ‘good’ bad guys. I know some of you may like these movies/characters but just put your love for them on the side for a minute a take a good look at them, they are evil bad guys, the worse of the worst. They make us feel and see them as not really that bad. That they are just really doing ‘good’ in their own way. Now I am not telling you who you should and shouldn’t like, far be it from me to make you do anything. What I am trying to do is show is how our culture is turning the views on “good and evil” because if we don’t have evil then everything is okay and it’s just another version of ‘good’. And if everything is good then nothing is evil or sinful. Which is affecting everyone, soon (if not already) everything will be okay. Just look at all the people lining up for the Deadpool movie (I won’t be talking too much about that – it would make this way too long) in that movie anything goes, there is nothing too ‘wrong’ or too ‘shameful’ not to do or say. I’ll leave you with this: Be careful who you chose to not only accept but also to like. For those we like we approve, for those we approve we promote, and if we are promoting the wrong then  we are helping in leading others the wrong way.

+++++++

Thanks for stopping by, Aiden, and sharing your thoughts!

 

**I do not claim any ownership of the photos used here.

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Austen in Austin: Volume 1” by Various Authors

 

Volume 1 Full

“Austen in Austin: Volume 1” by  Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Debra E. Marvin, and Gina Welborn.

Review copy source: Author/Publishers

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars (Three out of four novels I’d give somewhere between 3.5/4 stars and the last one I’d give a full 5 :)

 

About the Book:

Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen’s Novels

Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love–Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes:

“If I Loved You Less” by Gina Welborn, based on Emma
A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protégé falls for the wrong suitor.

“Romantic Refinements” by Anita Mae Draper, based on Sense and Sensibility
A misguided academy graduate spends the summer falling in love . . . twice.

“One Word from You” by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice
A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career.

“Alarmingly Charming” by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey
A timid gothic dime-novel enthusiast tries to solve the mystery of a haunted cemetery and, even more shocking, why two equally charming suitors compete for her attentions.

Four more exciting novellas will follow in volume 2!

 

My Thoughts:

This is a pretty fun collection. :) Each novella followed the plot of each of Jane Austen’s books well, and still with their own unique-ness intertwined. “Emma”, “Sense and Sensibility”, “Pride and Prejudice” and “Northanger Abbey” were all a part of this collection.
Each of these authors were new to me, but they all did an excellent job! Each story was beautifully written and had great characters. I don’t think I had any real complaints for any of them.  I enjoyed some over others, but that was solely personal preference. :)
The retelling of “Northanger Abbey” was by far my favourite. That tale was extremely entertaining and I just loved the whole thing! I really ‘bonded’ with Kathryn and fell in love with the hero. :)
The Sense and Sensibility one was my second favourite; though it was only Marrianne’s half of the story, it was very good and had quite a strong strand of faith through out it. And Brandon was a great character! Very easy to picture each of the characters and the story flowed nicely.
“Pride and Prejudice”‘s retelling was quite good as well, and fans of P&P and a very southern feel will definitely love this one. :)
The “Emma” retelling was entertaining and frustrating at the same time. ^.^ I’ve never been a huge fan of “Emma” in general so this wasn’t my favourite of the collection, but it was still well written and enjoyable!
As I said, each of the authors did an excellent job, and wrote captivating tales, each with a bit of depth to them.
A very nice collection and I’m looking forward to Volume two!
I received a complimentary ecopy of this collection from the authors/publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Pictures, Uncategorized

I’ve been readin’, I’ve been writin’, I’ve been singin’.

Ehh, not entirely true, but I felt a random title was in order, and that’s what came to mind first. :D I mean, I have been reading, and I have been writing, and I guess I have been singing (This is Not a Test, baby. TMac.), but that is not really the point now, is it? “I’m not quite sure,” you say in a British accent.

Alright, onward and forward!

 

Yes, books! I said I’ve been reading, after all. :) I just finished “Light of the Last” and it was beyond amazing!!!! I will be sharing my review with you very soon, God-willing! I just adored the book :) I will be beginning “Miriam” today, and looking forward to it. And then, as the third picture shows: I have a bit of Biblical fiction to be reading! Besides “Miriam” I have “Risen” by Angela Hunt, and “The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith. I am very interested to see how they are.  Hopefully I’ll get all of them read in a good amount of time!

As for writing, I’ve just been writing in one of my stories :D When I started it a few months ago, it was meant to just be a quick, side-story type thing, but it’s turned into more, which is always fun. :)

Also in news of writing, the Love is in the Heart contest has ended and the two winners were announced on Valentine’s Day. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out my story was second! It really blessed me :) Lesa did a GREAT job hosting this fun writing contest and I’m looking forward to future contests! :)

What are you busy with, readers?

Posted in Chuck Black, God's Lessons, Pinterest

All is Love

Happy Valentine’s Day. :) I don’t really celebrate this holiday or give it much ‘stock’ myself, but it does bring to mind ‘love’ and ‘romance’ doesn’t it?

Pretty much my life as a whole. Unless they want to hear about what book I'm reading.

Haha, I do like to joke about my single-ness, but in truth I am not actually worried about it. Because I want the right man, not just a boyfriend.

Today I want to share something with you, doesn’t matter if you’re female, or male, single, or married, etc. This is for everyone:

You may be wondering why I am sharing The Articles of the Code (which is from Chuck Black’s books “The Knights of Arrethtrae” and “The Kingdom Series”) on Valentine’s Day. What does this have to do with love or romance? Well…quite a bit actually. I have this poster on my wall, and as I was reading it the other day, something hit me – these words are not only applicable to how I want to live my life, but what I want to look for in a future spouse. I want a man who will honor the King (our Lord) with his whole life and serve Him as God only. I want him to hold truth, justice, and honor as important. I want him to have a servants heart, always willing to serve, and ultimately living for the King above all else.  I don’t want him to abandon me – I want us to work side by side in all things. I want him to persevere in all fervency in knowing the Lord and fighting evil, and leading me and our family to do the same.

Every trait on that poster I want my future husband to have, and I also want to possess such admirable traits.

I am putting this to a spouse, but these traits can also be applied to our everyday life, no matter who we are, no matter what our situation is.

And any single young women reading this, I want to say to you: don’t give up. Don’t settle. If God wants you to marry, He will provide a way. Don’t be afraid if it takes longer than you would like – He hasn’t forgotten you, I give you my word! He will bring that right young man into your lives at the right time if that is His will. Be open to Him and He will guide you. He loves you more than any man ever will and will provide for you. If He wants you married, He will bring the right one to you. Trust Him. I know it’s hard. I know it can be scary, but please, wait for His best.

Also remember that no mortal man is perfect. God’s best for us will be perfect for us. That doesn’t mean he will be perfect – neither are we! But that he will be right for us just as we are right for them. :)

 :

May you all feel treasured by our Heavenly Father today and always!! His love is everlasting! <3

 

 

*First and third picture used from Pinterest; I claim no right to them

**The Articles of the Code belongs to Chuck Black, used here with permission. Please visit his website here: www.kingdomseries.com

The photo of The Articles of the Code used with permission came from this page where you may purchase your own copy: www.kingdomseries.com/page20.html

 

 

Posted in Writing

Writing Advice

 

This post may offend, but that’s not my intention.

Writing advice – every writer has it. Everyone is more than willing to pass on their writing-know-how and ‘how-to’ tutorials, whether they be for ‘good characters’ or ‘how to avoid cliche writing plots’. You will find writing advice everywhere you go, if you’re in the writing circle. And I’m not against writing-blogs, I’m not. I’m a writer. So, let me share my writing advice with you:

 

Stop taking writing advice

 

That’s it. And hey, you don’t even have to take it. My point is that I want to see more writers writing how they feel best – writing how God has called them to write, not following some script for what makes a good character, or what to avoid….none of that matters in the long run. We need to let God take control and write through us – He doesn’t need any writing advice because He created it.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the writing-advice of “do’s” and “don’t’s” and hold them as top authority. I’m not saying writing advice is bad. I’m saying we need to stop holding it as god. They’re all just our opinions.

This whole post is my opinion. I don’t want you following my opinion – I want you to hold God as god and follow His writing advice. Seek Him and He will be found – He cares about your writing! He’s the One who has given you the gift. :)

 

You will find conflicting writing advice from two or more people you thought had it right. And their advice is right – for them. That is the ‘right’ they have found and it works for them. That’s fantastic! Now, you need to find your ‘right’. If you aren’t writing how “everyone else” is writing, that’s okay. We need more good, diverse books that have their own unique-ness! Because you are unique! So take that way God has shown you as right and write! And if your ‘right’ is in line with that other person’s ‘right’, that’s okay too! It’s great that we can take help from other writers, just be careful not to measure yourself and your writing by that standard.

Embrace the unique way God has made you and has made you to write. :)

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, Uncategorized

Bethany House Book Review: “With This Ring?” by Various Authors

 

“With This Ring?” By Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

A Novella collection of Proposals gone awry.

Review copy source: Bethany House Book Program

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Sometimes Love is Found in the Most Unexpected Places!

Love isn’t always a fairy tale, and it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry!

“The Husband Maneuver”
When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

“Her Dearly Unintended”
Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they’ll save their reputations–but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

“Runaway Bride”
Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he’s promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

“Engaging the Competition”
Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they’ll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison’s glasses–without which he’s nearly blind–she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

My Thoughts:

1st Novella “The Husband Maneuver”:
This was pretty cute and entertaining. It started off with a piece of a dime novel which was endearing to the story, and the whole tale just felt very much like a dime-novel western and was fun. As I said, I think this was a cute story, though there was an awful lot of physical contact – just hugging and kissing, but it got pretty ‘heated’ at times.
There was also no faith-strand, just so you’re aware.  It was entirely a fluffy romance, which isn’t necessarily bad, but if you’re expecting more than that, this novella doesn’t contain it.
2nd Novella “Her Dearly Unintended”:
Another endearing story! I quite liked Josiah and found him a very strong and enjoyable character. Katie Ellen sometimes got on my nerves with her extreme stubborness, but she was still a good character, and their story was a fun one.
The danger and adventure presented in this story was rather exciting too. :)
3rd Novella “Runaway Bride”:
This was probably my favourite thus far. I was truthfully unsure what I’d think about it, having never known much about the author, but it was such a good story! I loved the characters so very much and the entire tale was lovely and exciting and fun. I would’ve enjoyed for it to have been a full-length novel! :)
4th Novella “Engaging the Competition”:
Another favourite! I really like Mrs. Jagears and so I figured I would like this novella and I was most certainly correct! The characters were well-rounded, the dialog realistic, and the plot full and complete.  This one probably had the most depth of each of the four novella’s, which I definitely appreciated.
Harrison was splendid and despite her sometimes stubborness, I liked Charlie (Charlotte) quite a lot – she had a story.
All in all, these tales were very like-able and I’m so glad to have read them! Being romances, there was a great deal of kissing going on in each of them, but they were still sweet, and I enjoyed each story. :)
I received a complimentary copy from the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.