Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

Revell Book Review: “The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith

“The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith

Book 2 in the Daughters of the Promise Land Series (each can be read alone)

Review copy source: Revell

My rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

Outspoken and fearless, Deborah has faith in God but struggles to see the potential her own life holds. As an Israelite woman, she’ll marry, have a family, and seek to teach her children about Adonai–and those tasks seem to be more than enough to occupy her time. But God has another plan for her. Israel has been under the near constant terror of Canaan’s armies for twenty years, and now God has called Deborah to deliver her people from this oppression. Will her family understand? Will her people even believe God’s calling on her life? And can the menace of Canaan be stopped?

 

My thoughts:

A story about Deborah, the judge, in the Bible sounded intriguing – I’ve never read a fiction adaption of that account before, so I was interested.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t really ‘click’ with the book, and didn’t like the portrayal of Deborah. All throughout this book, there were the “strong females” who were shown as better than the men – they were all headstrong, and disobedient, and it was portrayed as if it was a good thing. It disappointed me greatly.
I know everyone’s perception of Biblical accounts are different, but my personal thoughts are that if God chose Deborah for a judge, it was because He saw Himself in her – yes, she would’ve been human like the rest of us, but she would’ve had a heart after God, and would have been obedient to her husband as that is one of the traits God has desired in us.
There were several parts that had me rather appalled…
 “She fought the urge to awaken Lappidoth and complain profusely to him. Complaining did no good….but she could complain in her prayers,” – she complained to her husband constantly, and was very discontent in all things. And though I know we do it, God instructs us not to complain – He doesn’t encourage it. Yes, we can bring all things to Him in prayer, but He does desire for us to make an effort to “give thanks in all things”. Now, I’m not saying I’ve never complained (I sadly do, too), but the way it was shown in the book…it was more like nagging. And Biblical book characters should be encouraging and uplifting, not frustrating.
“If God were a Canaanite goddess, Deborah would have her answer. Anat the warrior goddess stood behind Sisera’s success. Asherah stood behind Canaan’s fertility. Baal stood behind Canaan’s king.” – This did not sit well with me at all. She was comparing God to the fake goddesses, and making it sound like God was inadequate and not as strong as those goddess’.
“You push too much, Jael.” “It’s a wife’s job to do so, my lord.” – No. This saddened me. The overall theme of this book screamed of headstrong women and their disregard for their heads. Every one of them. We should not encourage this in books.
As the verse says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not soon depart from it” – that verse applies to all of us. In our endeavor to write Christian fiction, it should be our goal to help train others up in the way of God – in every way. Not giving the opposite message.
Therefore I cannot recommend this book. :(
There were also a few historical inaccuracies – one of the things I’ve seen many times in different Biblical fiction is “she forgot her headscarf” – a Hebrew young maiden would certainly not have forgotten this. It was a sign of her purity, her modesty, her respect.
Also, in this book, Deborah quoted a piece of scripture that David wrote in Psalms, and she wouldn’t have had that in her time.
But really, my main concern and dislike for this book was the head-strong-ness and disrespect. It grieved me a great deal.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*
Posted in Book reviews, Books, Human Trafficking

Book Review: “I Dare You” by Isabella Morganthal

This review has been a long time coming! And after you read it, don’t forget about the Writer’s Unite Contest posted about recently!

 

“I Dare You” by Isabella Morganthal

Nonfiction

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

Bullying. Homelessness. Abortion. Human trafficking. It doesn’t take much searching to discover that there are a lot of things wrong in our world today. What could one person possibly do about all these issues? In I Dare You, Isabella Morganthal dares you to step out and make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. She helps you dig deep and discover your passion, while encouraging you to do something about it. This is a dare to give everything you have to Jesus and watch Him do amazing things with your life. This is a dare to make your life count. This is a dare to change your world.

My thoughts:

First I would like to say that I feel badly for not getting this review written sooner! This book was amazing, and impacted me a lot more than I expected.  It took me a bit of time to read through, but that is ONLY because I don’t read nonfiction nearly as quickly as fiction (I don’t know why. It’s just a ‘me’ thing…), and doesn’t reflect my thoughts on the book at all, because I really did love it and enjoy it.
And I can guarantee that because I finished it. :D (I confess I leave a lot of nonfiction unfinished unless I super like it).
I’ll start off by saying that I know the author, Isabella Morganthal, and she is an amazing, Godly person – so passionate in her beliefs and convictions.  I knew her passion would come through in her writing and indeed it has.
So yes, the book!
“I Dare You” is an inspiring, uplifting, and challenging book. One daring us to change our world by living on fire for Christ. Amen!  It’s full of godly insight, tips for Bible memorization (and I know that she is the queen of Scripture memorization!! :)), and SO much more. The short stories she includes are very touching as well and equaling challenging. This book will really make you think!
The author, has a passion that burns bright, and it vividly shows through this book. I applaud her passion and her Dare to her readers. She writes with such care, and I know you will take something away with you from this book. I highly encourage you to read it!
Posted in Books, lists, Questions/answers, reading

The Liebster Award

Hello! I was tagged for this award by the lovely Faith at Stories by Firefly! Thank you, Faith!
(Note: For some strange – and frustrating – reason, every time I post, my blog doesn’t show the spaces between each section, and so I apologize for it all running together. If anyone knows why my blog isn’t allowing spaces, I’d love some insight on how to fix it!)

The rules for the Liebster Award:
Link back to the person who tagged you.
Answer their 11 questions.
Tag 11 bloggers.
Ask them 11 questions.
Let them know you’ve tagged them.
~The Questions~ 
1. What is your personality type? I haven’t taken one of those tests before to find out, but since Faith so kindly left a link to one – 16 Personalities – I took it and my results were INFJ-T (Introvert, intuitive, feeling, judging).
2. What part of writing a blog post takes the longest for you? Oh, getting all the links together and making it look ‘presentable’. And adding the categories and tags…if it were just a matter of writing my thoughts, it might not take me as long to post. ^.^
3. Would you rather smell fresh-cut grass or campfire smoke?  Fresh-cut grass. :)
4. What’s the last song you listened to? (And did you like it?) Forget and Not Slow Down by Relient  K.  And yes, I liked it quite a bit. I looked it up because one of the characters in the last book I read mentioned it and I agree with him that it fits him perfectly. (Yes, I’m talking as if he’s a real person. I just wish he really was!)
5. What’s the last movie you watched? (And did you like it?) It’s been a little while since I’ve watched a full movie…we’ve been watching tv shows on dvd more often…but the last movie I saw I think was “Cars”, but I only watched some of it, because I was reading. :D
6. What’s the last book you finished? (And did you like it?) “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A. Marx. It’s not due to be released till May, but I was blessed to be an early reader. And I LOVED it. It was amazing, absolutely amazing.
7. Do you have a reading goal for this year? I do indeed. My GoodReads goal is 70 books, but I’m more so hoping for 100…we’ll see if that happens though!
8. Would you rather use a pen or a pencil? If you chose pen, what color of ink? Depends on what I’m writing – for letters, I prefer pen and I love colourful ink (pink, purple, whatever’s available!), and for stories I prefer pencil. :)
9. What’s your favorite historical time period? That’s a toughie…a tie between Viking/Medieval and 1940’s. :)
10. Describe yourself in one sentence. (It’s almost a question.) Umm… Quiet, quirky, bookdragon, eclectic, dragonite (aka HTTYD fan), and uniquely Rae. XD How’s that? I’m not too good at this…
11. Do you enjoy tags? (Or are you only filling this out because you feel obligated? B-)) Hehe, I do enjoy them indeed! ^.^
As for who I tag…everyone! *throws confetti and glitter* But really, anyone who wants to do this tag, consider yourself tagged by me, and shoot me a link so I can read your answers! :)
(Annnd, also, before I sign off – don’t forget about the Writer’s Unite Contest going on! We want your entries!)
Posted in Books, Writing

Today’s the Day! Writer’s Unite Contest!

 

image

You might’ve heard me mention this Writer’s Unite contest before, and now today is finally the day! So, let’s get to the details first, and then I shall give you my writing prompt! You may use mine or any of the other’s that they post on their blogs, or combine them too. It’s up to you. But please do use one of the prompts to include in your story. Thank you! Also, at the bottom of this post, one of the judges put together  ‘bio questions’ so you can know about the each of us, if you care to read that. :) Then you must pick up your pen (or your laptop…) and write! We look forward to your entries!!

 

image (1)

 

 

 

Writes Unite Writing Contest

~*~

Dates: April 15th – May 16th
Winners announced: May 30th
Maximum word count: 7,000

Prizes: The Calling by Rachelle Dekker, Space Kitties -a collection of short stories, and 3 songs:

1)What Are You Going to Do Now You Are Not Saving the World? (From Superman: Man of Steel)
2)Superman – Man of Steel
3) Legend-The Celtic Collection

Even though not everyone will win, we did want to include the links for 2 free ebooks for everyone:
Daughter of Light by Morgan L Busse
and  Failstate by John Otte

Please submit your stories to: writersunite2016(at)gmail(dot)com

*NOTE: Please, no inappropriate scenes or language. Preferably no magic, though powers are okay.*
MY (RAECHEL) WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU:
"Those who give much without sacrifice are reckoned as having given little." ~ Erwin Lutzer
“Greater Love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”

 

 

 

Bios:

1) Introduce yourself

2) What is your favorite genre of book to read?

3) What is your favorite genre to write about?

4) When not reading/writing what are some things you enjoy doing?

5) What is you favorite kind of music to listen to?

6) Whose side are you on for Captain America? Civil War team Cap or team Iron man? Whose said are you on for Batman vs. Superman? Superman or Batman?

 

 

 

 

R. J. Steele – 

And my rep:

1) My name is R. J. Steele

2) My favorite genre is probably fantasy, but dystopien follows closely.

3) I write fantasy with some futuristic.

4) I like to hang out with my friends and cousins in my free time.

5) …Um, I listen to a lot of different kinds of music….not just one

6) I am Team Cap for the Captain America Civil War.

 

 

 

SMB – 

My rep.

1) I’m SMB

2) I love to read Biblical and historical fiction, as well as fantasy

3) Everything! I have a ton of different stuff I am working on right now, or have plans for: fantasy, futuristic, historical fiction, and a few other things as well. :)

4) When I’m not reading and writing I’m usually either dreaming up stories, traveling and doing outdoor adventures, or on Pinterest.  :)

5) I like to listen to a lot of different music. I have a playlist for when I’m writing, but for everyday life I like to listen to stuff like Jamie Grace, Moriah Peters, For King and Country, and similar artists/songs.

6) Up to this point I’ve been team Captain America for the Civil War.

 

 

 

Raechel– 

This is my representation pic.:

1) Raechel

2) Oh that’s a tough one…I love many genres, but two of my top favourites are Christian fantasy and Biblical fiction.

3) Christian fantasy with no magic, and a sort of ‘medieval’ ish feel to it.

4) Well…I’m almost always reading or writing, but I also love throwing my tomahawk/knives at my log target, and just being with my family.

5)I don’t have a specific favourite kind of music really…is TobyMac a genre? XD I like upbeat, exciting Christian music.

6) None? I’m not into Marvel stuff.

 

 

 

Sierra– 

My rep pic (sorry it's so late)

1) My name is Sierra, though I also go by Sparrow a lot online

2) It depends on my mood, I read a lot of different genres. If I had to pick one, I’d probably say fantasy.

3) Again, I write all different genres. Probably fantasy is my “favorite”.

4) I like drawng and… uh… wow I sound like a boring person. I don’t do all that much besides read and write and draw. I love photography though.

5) Also depends on my mood… *hides* I’m not a consistent person. I just have a bunch of spotify playlists with groups of artists and bands together. Right now I’m listening to the TobyMac and Capital Kings one, but last week it was BarlowGirl, ZOEgirl, Addison Road, and Superchic(K)

6) Team Cap!

 

 

 

Faith

My representation. :):

1) Hey, I’m Faith P.!

2) My favorite genre of books to read is historical fiction. :)

3) My favorite genre to write is historical fiction as well. :)

4) I enjoy pottery, camping, kayaking, and hanging out with my dog. ;)

5) Contemporary Christian :)

6) I’m not familiar with any of those, sorry!

 

 

 

Aiden-

my representation:

1) Aiden

2) Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Superhero (whatever that genera is called)

3) Fantasy-Sci-Fi

4) Cosplay, Marital Art, and Parkour

5) Almost anything

6) Well team Spidey for Captain America Civil War, and Superman for Batman Vs. Superman 

 

And my representation.
1) Hi, my name is Jesseca Dawn. :)
2) My favorite genre to read would have to be historical fiction. It’s awesome. ;)
3)And, my favorite genre to write would be historical fiction as well! I love all the research that goes into it.
4) My favorite kind of music is movie soundtracks! They’re the best! ;) Hymns tie with the soundtracks for a favorite, and contemporary.
~*~
A HUGE thank you to everyone!! Have fun writing, and again, can’t wait to read your stories!!
*Representation pictures, and the picture prompt are from Pinterest

 

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

BookLook Review: “A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund

A Daring Sacrifice (An Uncertain Choice, #2)

“A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund

Book Two in the “Uncertain Choice” series

YA medieval fiction

Source: BookLook Bloggers

My Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

The only thing harder than fighting for what’s right…is fighting their feelings for each other.

For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little dos anyone know, this bandit is in fact Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land and a girl her tyrannical uncle—the current Lord Wessex—believes was killed along with her father.

Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasants her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood—and challenges her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility—as well as win her heart.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Well, I have to be honest and say I did not – could not – finish this one. I made it over halfway through before giving up, though I did read the last chapter and skimmed bits and pieces of the end.
I was nervous to start it because I had concerns from “An Uncertain Choice” but I wanted to carry through with the series and find out more about the other two knights introduced in An Uncertain Choice. Unfortunately, I found it very disappointing and cannot recommend it, especially for the age-group it’s targeted for. I read through over half way of the book before setting it aside, and even then I had numerous marks of spots that were just…terrible and so inappropriate. YA readers should not be reading this kind of books, especially in Christian YA. Truly, I was…am…disgusted with the content of this book. The cover is gorgeous, but the concept is one overly used, and the writing was even a bit choppy. But what was the worst was the highly inappropriate romance, and extremely graphic torture descriptions. Like, nasty. I can give examples if need be, but I won’t include them here for not wanting to disturb my readers.
There were just a LOT of mentions of “rippling muscles” and other gross innuendos that were so not necessary. This book hit me more as one of those embarrassing adult romances rather than what was supposed to be an innocent and adventurous YA Christian fiction.
There was no godly theme, and it just was not a book I could recommend. I can’t really express my sadness and disappointment over this book justly, because it really does grieve my heart. I am not trying to attack the book, and certainly not the author, but we should be providing good, wholesome, and still exciting books for our YA readers. For all readers. We can have exciting without inappropriateness and graphicness of any sort. But this book was unfortunately those as well as other unnecessary things.

(A side note: I had left my copy of the book out, sticky-marked and all, and my cousin was over and he picked up the book, and looked at the marks, then told me “This is a very creepy book”. Made me laugh, but it’s true – by the marked spots, it is … disturbing.)

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

 

Do you agree with my review? Do you want to vote it up on Amazon? You can do so HERE.

Posted in Books, Random babblings

Just a Fact…Tag

I was tagged by Soleil for the “Just a Fact” tag – thanks!! So, to keep in line with the others, I guess I’ll give more than one fact too…

 

tag-wordpress

 

Guidelines:

  • Take the banner and paste it to your post.
  • Tell a single, meaningful fact about who you are.
  • Explain this fact as open, and explanatory as you can.
  • Tag at least one other blogger, and give a reason why you think they should do this.
  • Add a Bible verse to close out this tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Have fun!

 

Okay…

Fact One) I practically breath fiction. Books are amazing and I love them dearly. I am always reading a book, and I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to more books. I only read Christian fiction, and favourite genres in that category are fantasy (magic-less), and Biblical fiction. I wish I could say I’ve always loved reading…but to be honest, I was a slow-to-come reader. I didn’t want to learn to read right away. But once I found a book that interested me, I was hooked! Late to come, maybe, but now I’m a reader to my core. :)

 

Fact Two) I was born with three holes in my heart, and though two closed up on their own, I still had to have surgery to close up the remaining one when I was a baby. Since I was a baby, I don’t remember it (hehe), but I am thankful for a healthy heart now!

 

Fact Three) It is one of my passions to help others see God’s great care and healing for us, and I’ve been blessed to be able to do that in my writing – I can’t wait till I can share my writings with you all.

 

So, there’s three facts. :D And now for one of my favourite verses…

 

“The Lord is my light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1  I love this whole chapter and have memorized it in the past. :)

Now for who I tag… Faith P.  because of course I’d love to see her fact(s). :) And anyone else who wants to do it :)

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, God's Lessons, Reviews

Release day! Book Review: “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg

Today is the release day for the lovely book “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg! And I’m so pleased to be able to share my review with you. Being on Melissa’s launch team has been amazingly fun and a great experience! So, without further ado, here is my review:

 

5 Stars//Review copy from author and publisher//Contemporary Romance fiction//Book 2 in The Walker Family series//One Word: Adorable

“A dying newspaper. An intriguing mystery. And a love they didn’t see coming.

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the small-town paper is in danger of closing. Her one hope: A lead on an intriguing story that just might impress the new publisher…if only she knew who he was.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker now has the chance of a lifetime–a spot on a presidential campaign. But his plans are interrupted when he finds out he’s inherited his hometown newspaper. He travels home intent on selling the paper and spending some much-needed time with his young daughter before making the leap into national politics.

But instead of a quick sale and peaceful break from his hectic career, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. They may butt heads more than expected, but a series of leads on Maple Valley’s quirky unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.”

My Review:
This has been the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading by the lovely Melissa Tagg, but it most certainly will not be my last!
“Like Never Before” is truly one of the most adorable-est books I’ve ever read. And what helps make it so fabulous is Melissa – yes indeed. She is one of the most refreshing and happy people I’ve ever met, and her excitement is contagious!! Being on her “TaggTeam” has been an amazingly fun experience. And truth be told, I was so eager to join her team because of her. Every post I’d read on her facebook and her blog was inspiring, and exciting, and encouraging. She is truly an uplifting person. Okay, I’ll move on from gushing about the author to gushing about the book itself now. :)
So. Like Never Before is written so amazingly well, and captured me right from the start. It begins so cleverly, and the characters are utterly love-able. I really loved Amelia and Logan and little Charlie!! So sweet. Another added thing that guaranteed my love for this book is that Amelia has a love for “The News” – she’s the editor of the town’s newspaper. And some might already know this, but I’ve been in love with the idea of reporter/newspaper since I was little. :) And the Amelia Earhart thread!!! That made me happy instantly. Another one of my childhood obsessions. I always loved AE and chose her for homeschool reports, etc. :)
Logan is a fantastic character, and yes, he’s as love-able as Melissa has been saying he is!
And the plot is oh-so good, and the faith-thread is great. There were definitely parts that really hit me. One of my favourite verses was quoted frequently (“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19) and reading it came at a great time – I very much needed to hear that and  know that it is hope.
“Maybe her wasteland wasn’t a place, and her river wasn’t a job or a person or a plan. But simply a hope.”
Really beautiful. All of this. This book is beautiful. I don’t read a ton of books that are labeled “contemporary romance” but this…yes, I will read this over and over again. The romance was sweet, and cleaner than some romance I’ve read in Biblical fiction even. So very sweet.
It was a refreshing book, and I highly recommend it! You won’t be disappointed!!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.