Posted in animals, Books, God's Lessons, Random babblings

Upa-Data

Update. That’s what the title means. XD I can just be weird, because I can.

So… hi.

Me in front of audience trying to greet my friend

(gif from Pinterest. No, we don’t watch Frozen, but it was the only gif I could find of someone waving. ^.^ Plus, I do like Anna. And Kristoff. Definitely Kristoff.)

It’s been a while, my poor neglected blog. But sometimes I just run out of inspiration/energy to post…so I do apologize. I’m not sure I really have anything interesting to say, so this may be exceedingly random.

I have posts I need to get done – a review book *still* (I keep forgetting about it!!), a tag or two, and probably something else I am forgetting. But here I am doing a random post. A Life post. Because that’s what this is. Life.

So, what have I been up to, ay? Ummm….it’s summer, it’s hot, there’s always something do to, and when there isn’t, I’m chilling. Reading some, but mostly trying to rest. Okay, so I don’t always do so good at it, but I am trying.

“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”...yes, God has given me that verse recently.

I hope and want to chose that which is needful – Jesus. Sitting at His feet. Giving Him my worry and stress.

 

 

I’ve been trying to keep up a constant journal, but have recently been slacking. And that’s okay. I don’t need to keep on top of everything all of the time.

Yes, I’ve been reading, but not as fast. I’ve tried a couple new books, but the past few haven’t been as satisfying. Right now I’m simply reading a Dear America, because I wanted something that wasn’t severely emotionally-draining.

I did recently try “A Time to Die” by Nadine Brandes finally. Shortly put, it wasn’t for me. And if you’re a soft/sensitive-spirit kind of person, I’d say it’s not for you either.

 

Really, there hasn’t been a great deal of time to read – or rather, God has been showing me that it’s not as important. He hit me with the hard question of “Why do you read?” Umm…I wanted to say “Because I enjoy it”, but that’s only half true. Eeek, hard to admit, but the truth is, reading can be an addiction. I pass it off, because “it’s fun! People read, it’s a good thing”, and to an extent, it is. Reading is amazing! But priorities matter. Addiction matters. Because it puts it above God. It becomes an idol, and I don’t want that. I don’t want reading to become who I am. To become more important than my Savior. So if I sit on the couch and just breathe, that’s alright. In fact, that’s great. God-time is so much more important than reading. Than getting things done. And I’m not saying I do this all the time now. I wish I did. But if you know me, you know that doing absolutely nothing is hard for me –  I often have to force myself to really be still. I want to be doing, not be sitting still.  God’s working on me though! And hallelujah for that. He’s working in all of us. We need only let Him.

 

Chores consume a great deal of our time….we have plenty of outside animals to keep us occupied. And recently, we’ve had to deal with the reoccurring skunk problem. One was in the barn the other evening – of course Dad had to dispatch it, but it still stinks out there, and we know there’s got to be more causing the horrible smell because the skunk we dealt with was several days ago, and it still smells like it just happened…ick!

 

And as random and jumbled as this post may be, I’m leaving it off here. Time for bed!

What’s new in your life, dear reader? Thank you for reading this post. I appreciate you!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: “Kate’s Capitol” by Sarah Holman

Kate's Capitol (Kate's Case Files Book 2) by [Holman, Sarah]

 

 

“Kate’s Capitol” by Sarah Holman

Book 2 in the Kate Files Series

Source: The author

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Do the small compromises we make daily really hurt anyone or matter to God?
Kate’s first case as an FBI agent is nothing like she expected. Posing as an intern at the Texas Capitol, she finds herself spending more time behind the computer than she does figuring out the case. Is Representative Jason Ashbury guilty of a third degree felony or is one of his staff to blame? And how is she supposed to handle the effect Patrick has on her?
Patrick was looking forward to guiding Kate through her first case, instead he was assigned to Ashbruy’s home office in Tyler. He cannot figure out either the case or his relationship to Kate. Are Ashbury’s dedicated employees covering for him, or the instigators? Will Kate ever let him be her friend, or will she continue to push him away?

 

My Thoughts:

 

I enjoyed getting the chance to read this next book in the Kate Files series. It was great following up with the characters and getting to know them more.
Though I’ve never been much into political things, I found this book’s plot interesting and engaging.
Though I think that the ‘who-dunnit’ was a little…underdeveloped/obvious. When it came to figuring out who the “bad guy” was, there was a big deal made about who it should be that I was expecting that it just had to be someone else, because who it was just seemed too obvious and pointed out.
But otherwise, it was a good story. :)
Like I said, getting to know Kate more was great, and same with the other characters. I think I still enjoyed Logan the most. :)
The message was good too, and seeing Kate’s journey of faith continuing is great.
Looking forward to more books in the series!
There were quite a lot of spelling/grammatical errors and a double-chapter, but I was reading a pre-copy so I know the final version will be clearer. :)
*I received a complimentary ecopy from the author in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in Uncategorized

Tyndale Book Review: “Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar

 

“Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Fiction

Source: Tyndale Review Program

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

 

My Thoughts:

I love Tessa Afshar’s books. They are always so amazing and profound. Truly, nobody writes Biblical Fiction as she does.
This one was…oh wow. The beginning half tore me up (so emotional!) but the ending really put me back together again. It was utterly beautiful.  This is the background story of Elianna, the woman with the blood issue in the Bible. Tessa Afshar wrote it so spectacularily and so real, and it was just so heart-rending. Oh I just loved it so much!
Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. That is how I would describe this book. And so sad!!! But good. So good.
And the truths in this book are amazing!! Tessa Afshar’s books always touch my heart, and this was no exception. You should see all the marks in my copy. :)
And her portrayal of Jesus was handled with such care and delicacy, and lovingly. Though He didn’t appear in this book till more towards the end, it was impacting, and it really showed His loving character, full of compassion. Truly the Jesus of the Bible.
I don’t even know where I’d start in sharing the quotes I marked down. There were so many.
But here are just a couple:
{The context is a character asking why she can’t serve/worship both God and the Roman’s gods} “Why have you forsaken all other men in order to be with Titus? Because he is your husband, and your heart and your body belong to him. You need no other man. He loves you, and he alone fulfills your needs. It is the same with the Lord, only more so, for He is a thousand times more loving, more protective, more glorious,, more powerful than our wonderful husband. He would not put up with you chasing after other gods any more than Titus would accept you taking lovers.”
“Sometimes the evidence of our senses and the testimony of the world’s wisdom are plain wrong. Sometimes the Lord is busy forging victory when the mind expects only defeat.”
“You are weary, my children. You are languishing. I want you to understand that the Lord’s heart rises up to you in a special way, for His intention is to satisfy you. He may yet restore to you the years the locusts have eaten. Do not give in to despair, but trust the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding.”
“God’s Spirit can ride a puny breeze as well as a hurricane. My prayer was feeble and fearful. But I offered it with an honest desire to please God. I prayed out of obedience rather than mighty faith or conviction. He seemed not to care about my insufficiency, for in spite of my weakness, He showed me great mercy that day.”
I loved this book, just as I have loved each book by Tessa Afshar. She never disappoints and that is by her God-given talent. :) His glory is definitely shown in her writing!
Recommended age group: 16+
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd

“Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Two in The Treasures of Surrey Series

Source: Litfuse

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

 

My Thoughts:

I was expecting to love this book. I’ve read two of Miss Ladd’s previous books (the first two books of the Whispers on the Moors Series), and enjoyed them both, so I figured it would be likewise with this one. And while I didn’t hate this book, I didn’t fully enjoy it either, unfortunately.
The setting was good, and the writing well-done, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and it was very predictable.
But what disappointed me the most was the lack of faith in this book. I remember reading Ladd’s first book and the faith-strand was great; the second book had it too though not as strongly, but this book was almost completely void of it. There were many, many places where it could have been accomplished in a beautiful manner, but there was only one or two mentions of God. That really saddened me. This story really could’ve used God’s hope and truth. It kind of just fell flat for me without it.
The love-triangle was a bit much too…I don’t really care for those types of things. It was the typical “I don’t know which man to choose”, yet it’s overly obvious to the reader who is the “hero” of the book. It was just frustrating to me.
But yes, I liked the England setting, and I enjoyed the character Lizzie quite well, and Colin on occasion. But sometimes the characters did things that just didn’t make sense.
They put a pretty heavy point on physical appearance too, as well as not wanting to have to rely on anyone else – that we are sufficient by our own strength. I don’t agree with this – we should be sufficient by God’s power alone. It was just really lacking in God’s glory and that really reflects in a book, I think.
It wasn’t a terrible book (it was clean, and I have no doubt that many will enjoy it – I myself enjoyed aspects of it, just not all), but it  wasn’t really a hit for me.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Litfuse/the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

Posted in Books

Bookish Book Lover Tag

Hello!

‘Tis time for another tag! And this one is so very bookish – making it so very delightful! Shantelle at A Writer’s Heart tagged me for this, and since I love books as much as I do, I gladly agreed! :) So, let’s get on with the bookish!

 

Rules

Use the Banner
Answer the Questions
Use Lots of Book Covers :)
Tag Your Bookish Friends!
1) What Book Are You Currently Reading?  “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd. I’m finding it alright. Not super-loving it, but I don’t hate it either. It’s one of my last review-books so I’ll have that ready at some point. :)

Dawn at Emberwilde (Treasures of Surrey, #2)

2) What’s The Last Book You Finished? I think it was “Kate’s Capitol” by Sarah Holman. That’s a review to come too.

Kate's Capitol (Kate's Case Files #2)

3) Favorite Book You Read This Year?  Oh dear… I’ve had several! This is the link to the books I’ve read so far: GoodReads2016  And then SOME favourites would be: “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A. Marx, “Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar,  “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg, and “Light of the Last” by Chuck Black, to name a few. :)

Family Lies Deadly Ties  Land of Silence  Like Never Before (Walker Family, #2)  Light of the Last (Wars of the Realm, #3)

4) What Genre Have You Read Most This Year? Hmm…Probably a tie between Contemporary (rare for me!) and Historical Fiction.

5) What Genre Have You Read Least This Year? Nonfiction coming in at a whopping 1. ^.^

6) What Genre Do You Want To Read More Of? Medieval/Magicless Fantasy!

7) How Many Books Have You Read This Year, And What’s Your Goal? 28 and my goal is 60. We’ll see. :)

8) What’s The Last Book You Bought? Off-line: “Destiny Defended” and “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” both by J.A.Marx, and from a booksale: “Written on the Wind” by  Judith Pella

 Destiny Defended  Family Lies Deadly Ties  Written on the Wind (Daughters of Fortune, #1)

9) What Book Are You Saving Up To Buy Next? “Samara’s Peril” by Jaye L. Knight, the next book of Alicia Ruggieri’s, and more. Always more. :D

10) How Many Books Did You Check Out Last Library Visit? Maybe a bit unbelievable but I haven’t checked any books out from the library recently. BUT I just ordered “A Time to Die” by Nadine Brandes, so yay!

A Time to Die (Out of Time,...

11) What’s A Book You Can’t Wait To Read? “The King’s Scrolls” and “Samara’s Peril” by Jaye L. Knight (hence the reason I’m also saving up for it!).  Also “A Spy’s Devotion” by Melanie Dickerson and “The Silent Songbird” also by Dickerson.

The King's Scrolls (Ilyon Chronicles, #2)A Spy's Devotion

12) What’s A Series You’d Recommend to Everyone? The  Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. KKnight. So maybe I haven’t finished them yet myself, but I still adore them and would recommend them! Also would recommend highly The Knight’s of Arrethtrae series by Chuck Black. They are AMAZING.

The Knights of Arrethtrae Series by Chuck Black --- one of the best series ever!
13) Who’s An Author You’re Hoping Writes More? Tessa Afshar most definitely. She’s got five books out so far, but I always want more!! And Alicia Ruggieri, Chuck Black, and J.A.Marx. I can never get enough of their books. <3

14) A Few Books Your Heart Adores? “Pearl in the Sand” by Tessa Afshar, “A Distant Melody” by Sarah Sundin, “Resistance” by Jaye L. Knight, and The A Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, and “Not Abandoned” by MacKenzie Morganthal to name just a few.

Pearl in the Sand  A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)  Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles, #1) The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, #1)  All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, #2) Not Abandoned

15) What Series’s Coming Conclusion Makes You Sad? Hmm…the “A Time of Grace” series by Alicia Ruggieri because it has been so fantastic and heart-touching. I’ve grown so attached to these characters! <3

16) What Books Are On Your Wish-List? Deardedear…I have so many but I doubt I’ll remember even half of them! But SOME are: “The Legend of the FireFish” by George Bryan Polivka (I have the other 2 books in the series, but not the first! And that’s the only one I’ve read. XD), “Samara’s Peril” and “Exiles” by Jaye L. Knight, “Courageous” by Dina L. Sleiman, The Blades of Acktar series by Tricia Mingerink, “A Spy’s Devotion” and “The Silent Songbird” by Melanie Dickerson, “Missing” by Lisa Harris, “Austen in Austin” by various authors, “The Butterfly and the Violin” and “A Sparrow in Terezin” both by Kristy Cambron, The Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes.

The Legend of the Firefish (Trophy Chase Series)  Samara's Peril (Ilyon Chronicles #3) Exiles (Ilyon Chronicles, #4)  Courageous (Valiant Hearts, #3)  Dare (The Blades of Acktar #1)  Deny (The Blades of Acktar #2)  Defy (The Blades of Acktar #3) A Spy's Devotion (The Regency Spies of London #1)  The Silent Songbird (Hagenheim #7)   Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2)  Austen in Austin, Volume 1: Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen's Novels  The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, #1)  A Sparrow in Terezin (Hidden Masterpiece #2)     A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1)  A Time to Speak (Out of Time, #2)  A Time to Rise (Out of Time, #3)
Yeah, I’ve got a lot of books I want! :D
This post was fun, yes? I thought so! And I know I repeated several books/series, but it’s because I love them :D And again, I know I’ve forgotten many, many books, but I love so many! :)
As for who I tag:
Whomever doth desire it! But please, please do let me know so I can see your bookish loves!!
Posted in Uncategorized

Faith Blum’s Novella Scavenger Hunt

Novellas2 Cover Reveal Who doesn’t like a scavenger hunt? I suppose it depends on the kind of scavenger hunt, but Faith Blum is with us today to reveal the covers for her three upcoming novellas.Amazon  Gift  CardEach novella will be published this summer. One on June 26th, one on July 26th, and the last one on August 26th. To reveal the covers, I have a scavenger hunt set up. I have a few clues for you and then once you find the covers, you can fill out the form below to enter a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Each cover you find will get you four extra entries. Entries will be closed on June 10th and the winner announced on June 11th. First, here are the descriptions of each book:

Just a Closer Walk

Katie and Joanna meet on a train headed to Cheyenne, Wyoming. They start talking and find out they are both headed there to become mail order brides. They quickly become good friends. When they get on a stagecoach with three other young women, Katie becomes suspicious. What is going to happen to them? Or is it really possible that nothing untoward is happening?

Just As I Am

Eve and Evangeline Collins are adventurous twins who decide to take a risk and head west as mail order brides. Their parents are less than pleased, but do nothing to stop them. Eve and Eva don’t realize their danger until they stop just outside Cheyenne. Will they ever see their family again?

Blessed Assurance

Adelaide lost her parents a year before and now a rich man in town is making unwanted advances toward her. Desperate, she writes to two men and quickly accepts the one from Cheyenne, Wyoming. On the final leg of her journey, in a stagecoach with four other mail order brides, her suspicions are confirmed. Will she ever find a man she can truly trust?

Clues

Each cover is hidden in a blog post on Faith’s blog. Here are some clues to help you find the posts: Clue #1: Agencies, mysteries, and westerns. Where might this cover be? Clue #2: The ides of March. A holiday, a bird, or perhaps a plane. Can the cover be there? Clue #3: A light or six and you may find the third and final cover. In case the form below doesn’t show up for some reason, please use this link to enter the giveaway.

Tour Schedule

June 6 Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections Perpetual Gardener, Writer, and Mormon Stories By Firefly
June 7 Wildflower Acres Rachel Rossano’s Words Kelsey’s NotebookJune 8 Frances Hoelsema Jaye L. Knight June 9 Singing Librarian Books The Overactive Imagination Thoughts of Anna S. Brie June 10 With a Joyful Noise God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae Bookish Orchestrations June 11 Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Giveaway announcement

Posted in blog tour, Books

Book Spotlight: “Red Rain” by Aubrey Hansen

Red Rain Tour Banner Good morning, Ladies and Gents! Welcome aboard Flight 74 heading for the Red Planet, Mars. Please strap on your seat belts because this promises to be one wild ride. We’ve got free books galore, three fun giveaways, author interviews, and more. Let’s get this adventure started!

About the Book

Red Rain front cover - revised 17-year-old Philadelphia has been imprisoned most of her life because of her Christian beliefs. When her father is sent to Mars against his will to work on a mysterious science project and a benevolent official allows her to accompany him, Philadelphia knows she must keep her head down or be sent back to prison on Earth. But when she stumbles into the wrong hallway and accidentally learns too much, Philadelphia is faced with a question she doesn’t want to answer: the choice between returning to Earth—or destroying it.

Free Offers

redrain-freepromo-banner-800x267 Aubrey is such a generous gal. She’s not only offering Red Rain for free this week, but if you sign up for her newsletter, you can also get the prequel short story for free! What are you waiting for?

About the Author

Author Picture Aubrey Hansen is a pink-haired, caffeine-fueled twenty-something. She’s a writer (obviously), barista, dog trainer, and the co-founder of Penoaks Publishing. She shares her house in Kansas City with three cats, a pit bull, a snake, a ferret, and a husband.

What Reviewers are Saying

“ One day while I was busy mindlessly entering data into the computer at work, I put on my head phones and started listening to the book. I was hooked from the first few sentences. In fact, I stayed up late when I got home (even though I had to get up early the next morning) to finish the book.” -Amazon Reviewer “ With solid craft and poignant world building, Aubrey Hansen has outlined a future both horrifying and realistic. I appreciated Hansen’s character building skills.” -Amazon Reviewer “ I loved this book! I didn’t realize it was a short novella, and I wished it would have been longer.” -Goodreads Reviewer “ The story was fascinating. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but everything came together in the end and it made sense.” -Goodreads Reviewer

Giveaway

Red  Rain  Giveaways

Aubrey is offering three paperback copies of her book, Red Rain. This book will have the new cover on it. And the grand prize offering will also have the paperback of
Faith Blum’s book, Heaven’s Jubilee, a Christian futuristic collection of short stories. To enter the giveaway, please fill out this Google form (you do not need a Google account to enter). The only required entries are your name and email address, but the more you do, the more chances you have to win.

Excerpt

RedRain-Slider-junepromo  

Tour Schedule

June 2 Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction and Excerpt Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview Frances Hoelsema-Excerpt Aubrey Hansen, Author and Screenwriter-Excerpt Perpetual Gardener, Writer, and Mormon-Book Spotlight The Overactive imagination-Book Spotlight   June 3 Grace Pennington-Excerpt Gabriellyn-Excerpt and Author Interview Joyful Peacock-Author Interview   June 4 Letters from Annie Douglass Lima-Excerpt Another OtherWorld-Character Interview with Philadelphia Jaye L. Knight-Excerpt   June 5 Mary’s Writing World-Book Spotlight God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight Rachel Rossano’s Words-Excerpt and Author Interview   June 6 Tale Weaver-Author Interview Lisa Swinton Queen of Random-Book Spotlight Irly Scribblings of David J Hartung-Excerpt   June 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up and Giveaway Announcement