Posted in Books, Random babblings, reading, Reviews, update

March wrap-up: Aquarium, life, books

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Hello! And surprise – this post is actually being posted while it’s still March!! I must say, I’m rather impressed with myself. ;) Just kidding.

 

So, March. We had the lovely opportunity of visiting the Aquarium this month, and met up with some friends there too, which was very nice.  We all enjoyed ourselves, and it was a very good time. :)  I’m still sad the Aquarium no longer allows visitors to pet the stingrays as they have in years past, but what can you do?

 

In our spare time, my Mum, younger sister, and I have been watching Season Six of Little House on the Prairie. If you’re familiar with that show, you’ll already know that’s when Almanzo enters the scene. ;) I love watching Laura Ingalls try to prove she’s not a little girl anymore, and fail horribly at doing so… ^.^ Though I will admit there are a couple episodes I am not fond of because of the unrealisticness of them…the writers just want drama (and no, not the original book author, Laura herself. The tv show writers).  But anywho!

 

 

I read quite a bit this month, which was nice:

 

 

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #1)  Across the Blue  Milligan Mayhem  Blank 111x148  Ghost Quest (A Milligan College Mystery Book 2) A Light on the Hill (Cities of Refuge, #1)  The Miracle Maker and the Misfits: Two Supernatural Kingdoms and the Clashing of Swords

Clicking on their covers will lead you to my review of the book. (The one without a cover is “Pop Tops and Smiley Faces” by Ann Naedele”). All of them have been reviewed, except for “A Light on the Hill”, which will be posted soon! :)

 

My favourite of the month? It’d be a close tie between “The Sea Before Us” and “A Light on the Hill”. Both so good and highly recommended!!

 

 

I got a few books this month. Unfortunately our camera also decided to stop working this month, so I couldn’t take pictures. But here are the books I got:

 

  • “To The Farthest Shore” by Elizabeth Camden//Thriftstore find (only 50Cents!)
  • “Refiners Fire” by Sylvia Bambola//Goodwill find
  • “Always On My Mind” by Susan May Warren//Giveaway win from author Valerie Howard
  • “An Elegant Facade” by Kristi Ann Hunter// BetterWorldBooks
  • “It Had to Be You” by Susan May Warren//BetterWorldBooks
  • “The Wonder of You” by Susan May Warren//BetterWorldBooks
  • “The Reluctant Duchess” by Roseanna M. White//BetterWorldBooks
  • “Chasing Jupitar” by Rachel Coker//BetterWorldBooks
  • “Troubled Waters” by Susan May Warren//Bought of a facebook group
  • “My Heart Belongs in Superstition Mountains” by Susan Page Davis//FB group buy
  • “All the Tea in China” by Jane Orcutt//FB group Book Swap with a gal.
  • “Stealing Home” by Allison Pittman//FB group Book Swap with the same gal.
  • “Where the Fire Falls” by Karen Barnett//Blogging for Books review copy.

 

 

I requested my last review copy from Blogging for Books (the Karen Barnett book). I’m so sad that BfB is closing its doors. That was one of my top favourite review-programs, and my first – good ol’ Blogging for Books is what started me into my reviewing journey! <3

 

So yes, quite a few…needless to say, I don’t have much book-spending money at the moment. ;) But it was all worth it. BetterWorldBooks has fair prices and free shipping which is amazing. The condition of the books are often a bit rough, but still readable!

Have you read any of these books?

 

 

I also was super pleased to review a Booksleeve this month, and you’ll see it in future pictures too, because it’s just so cute!

 

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As for other blog posts…

 

March 5th//Author Interview with MacKenzie Morganthal

March 12th//Character Introduction – Haley Hampton

March 19th// “Yet” devotional post

March 26th//Booksleeve post

 

 

And there were also some book-reviews posted between the Mondays. :)

 

 

Be on the lookout for a new Author Interview Post this Monday!! It’s a great one too :D

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How was your March, friends? Happy Passover/Resurrection Day :)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, BookCrash

“The Miracle Maker and the Misfits” by Dixie Koch ~ Book Review

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The Miracle Maker and the Misfits: Two Supernatural Kingdoms and the Clashing of Swords  by Dixie Koch

 

Review copy from publishers through BookCrash review program

My rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

“Abby.” She felt his hand gently touching her shoulder. “Mom was murdered.”

“Charley!” Abby screamed, shooting off her chair. “Charley, what are you saying?” Her lips were spread thin in panic.

“Abby, I can tell you no more now, except that my father is a very dangerous man. For now we could all be in danger.”

After years of separation, Julie had found peace and was excited to come home and be reunited with her crazed son, Charley, and her now grown sister, Abby. But Julie never made it home. When the shocking news of Julie’s death forced Abby to her sister’s burial, all of Abby’s dreams laid in that pine box along side of Julie. Their childhood days remained locked up inside of Abby and in the journals Julie had left behind. But Abby doesn’t have much time to grieve, because when the Miracle Maker comes to the rural backwoods of Perjure County, he sets the young Charley free from legions of demons and ushers in a battle between light and darkness. Abby, a writer for the Edge Water Times, is assigned to follow this story, but she has no idea what this story will cost her. Heart-shocking suspense follows Abby as she uncovers the truth of Julie’s death. As a sinister plot develops and controversy explodes, John, an old mysterious hero of yesteryears, steps back into Abby’s life. He and his friends are big believers in the Miracle Maker. But, who is powerful enough to unlock Abby’s heart and help her to believe for a miracle? Who cares enough to rewrite hope into the script of her miserable life? Find out in The Miracle Maker and the Misfits.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This book confused me, to be honest.
There was some truth in this book, but the way it was portrayed seemed…odd to me, almost as un-truth yet that’s not what it was going for, I don’t think.
I get that the author was wanting to show that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and that miracles still happen, but this book, to me, felt shrouded in a mist that made the truth hard to discern.
I do definitely believe in spiritual warfare, demons and angels, and that God still heals today, but how it was all portrayed in this book just didn’t completely sit right to me. Made me a little uncomfortable, and it also made some of the actual truth come across as unbelievable.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Book reviews

Mulligan College Series by Ann Naedele – Review

I will be reviewing the three books/novella’s in one review:

  

 

Mulligan College Series by Ann Naedele
Review copies provided by the author for the purpose of this review.
My rating overall: 3 Stars (1st book:3.5 stars, 2nd book: 2stars, 3rd book: 3 stars)
About Milligan Mayhem: College days in East Tennessee were different during the 1960s, especially at a Christian college like Milligan. Two young roommates are confused when a beloved professor dies suddenly, leaving the entire campus grieving. Outside forces penetrate the quiet school adding more mayhem! The reader will enjoy the practices concerning dating during this time, as well as the descriptive experiences of the author who attended the college for four years. A little mystery, a little romance, a wedding, and a visit from the Letterman round out this short tale. It’s a fast read aimed at youthful readers, but will even satisfy the nostalgic, older reader.
About Ghost Quest: The main character meets up with a ghost in her college dorm. She then sets out to find out why ghosts want to stay on Earth. She calls alumni from as far back as 1911 and finds out interesting details of ghosts of the past. Ann then puts all this information together for the campus newspaper. Join her in her quest for the campus ghosts!
About Pop Tops and Smiley Faces: Do you know a lot about the 1960’s? Some of it you will read about in American history classes, but many of your grandparents and great grandparents lived through that volatile period. This book is the last in a series of three about campus life in the hills of Tennessee during this time. You will enjoy the book’s mystery while learning about real events; even though this is a fictional account, you will learn what was happening through the eyes of a student. The customs were very different from today’s and might even surprise you. Could you have handled these major events in history? …their customs? How did your relatives fare? Did they share any stories with you? Go back in time with Ann as she leads fellow classmates and even some professors toward danger. Will they solve the mystery? This is a fast-paced read for those of you who are pressed with deadlines, jobs, school, and families.
My Thoughts:
 
These books read very much as if the author is sharing her memories only in mostly first-person. Through these books we get a small glimpse into life during the 1960’s, specifically in the landscape of the Christian College of Mulligan. Each novella has a small mystery thread that is easy to follow along with.
Sometimes the storyline is a bit choppy, like when a scene changes, but they are easy and quick reads.
It was fun seeing little things that are familiar, like mention of the Beatles, or the first ‘pop-tab’ drinks, and the start of the popular smiley-face.
Of the three novella’s, I enjoyed the first the most. The second one (Ghost Quest) was not a favourite because of the topic and the trivial manner in how the “ghosts” were refered to as if light and fun, when in reality, ghosts are just demons – not fun at all.
The third book focused on a bit more serious a subject, mentioning the turmoils that were very real in the 60’s.
They each read quickly, and contained interesting and good aspects.
Posted in Books, Product Revews, Reviews

Book Sleeves!

Happy Monday :)

Today I am talking about Book Sleeves.  Have you heard of them? They are fabric “pouches” just for books.  Some people might ask why that is necessary, but I’m sure anyone in the book community can assure those people that they are indeed very necessary. Books should be protected when they travel with you. And that’s where the booksleeve comes in! I am going to share my review of a book sleeve I was sent recently, and the shop from whence it came…

 

This shop is full of all sort of custom designs. But these are what particularly nabbed my attention….

 

  

 

The description from the listing: “These hand made Book Sleeves are made to protect your books while dressing them up at the same time. They are custom made with your favorite book phrases, and in a variety of color appliqué finishes. They make great gifts for all book lovers.
This pouch measures around 10.5 by 7.5 inches, perfect to fit small and medium size books, as well as large paperbacks. ( Please note since these pouches are hand made, they could be 1/2 inch off some times)

Customized to order, you can pick your phrase and text color before checkout.

100 % cotton cloth with a soft flannel interior to make your books feel very cozy :) . Customized with a HTV Vinyl application.”

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

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Oh I love this sleeve! I’ve been wanting a booksleeve for a while because I hate the danger of traveling with a book (they might get dirty or bent!), but I of course can’t stand to NOT have a book, so a booksleeve seemed like the perfect option. :) Not to mention, booksleeves are just plain adorable.
Selecting which saying I wanted on this particular booksleeve was a toughie, because this gal’s shop features several adorable ones! I love each one. But in the end, I went with this Frank Zappa quote because, well, how true is that?! So many books, so little time indeed. Perfect for my book-reading habits. ^.^
This booksleeve is very well made, and is nice and room-y – I love how it protects the book, of any size. And the inside fabric is super soft, extra gentle on covers, which I appreciate. :)
The lettering is bright and cheerful – definitely eye-catching and easy to read.
The quality is superb, and overall I am just thrilled with this sleeve and would definitely recommend this shop’s booksleeves!! The owner has been delightful, and I’m so thankful!

 

(Sorry for the fuzzy pictures – our camera of course had to die a couple days before I received my booksleeve, so I was stuck with using the camera on my mom’s slide-phone which does not take good pictures, obviously. But I will be featuring this booksleeve more in the future, and hopefully with a better camera!!)

 

 

 

So, readers – do you have a booksleeve? If not, is it something you would use or not really?

Posted in blog tour, Books, cover reveal

Cover Reveal: Timeless Love Collection

Good morning readers :)

I’m popping in here to share about the Timeless Love Collection that is now available for pre-order!

 

Seven  authors have joined together to release a collection of love stories. They each sound like fabulous stories and I’m eager to read them!

The authors of this collection are as follows (clicking on their name will bring you to their websites):

Andrea BoeshaarMisty M. BellerStephenia H. MCGeeDawn Crandall,
Kari TrumboPepper D. BashamSarah Monzon

 

This collection is 7 stories through the ages. It is available for pre-order for only .99cfrom March 21st to June 19th when the ebook releases. All proceeds go to the Live Strong Foundation

 

Here’s the line-up for the Timeless Love Romance Collection:

Regency Era
Give Me Thine Heart
by Andrea Boeshaar
1812: England 

Early Victorian Era
The Freedom Journey
by Misty Beller 
1833: Colorado

Civil War Era
The Heart of Home
by Stephenia H. McGee
A companion novel to In His Eyes
1865: Mississippi

The Gilded Age
Enchanting Nicholette 
by Dawn Crandall
An Everstone Chronicles Novella
1893: Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

Western
Teach Me to Love
by Kari Trumbo
A Brothers of Belle Fourche Novella
1899: Belle Fourche, South Dakota

WWII Era
Facade
by Pepper Basham
1942: England

Contemporary 
Bookishly Ever After
by Sarah Monzon
Current Day: Seattle, Washington

 

 

And now are you ready for the cover-reveals?

 

 

TimelessCollection

 

 

Aren’t they lovely? I can’t wait to read their stories!

 

 

TimelessLoveCollection

 

 

 

 

Pre-Order HERE!!

 

 

 

 

 

Please Note: This ebook-only novella collection will only be available until the first week of July, and then it will be “unpublished” from sell sites. *The ebook edition of the collection will remain on the buyer’s device after the ebook is disbanded.

And then all of the novellas and short stories in the collection will be published separately from their respective publishers in PRINT and ebook!

Posted in Devotional, God's Lessons, Videos

Yet

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“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

 

 

“Yet”

 
That word stands out to me in those verses above.
So many things were going wrong in this passage, disaster after disaster. They had every right to complain, to be down casted, according to the world’s standards. And yet…there’s that word. Yet. Yet I will praise You, O God of my salvation. I don’t know how he managed to utter those words when everything around him seemed hopeless. But maybe that’s just it – Habbaukkuk rose above his circumstances, through God’s strength. He looked at everything that was wrong around him, but he didn’t blame God or be broken down by despair. In fact, he didn’t even let himself stay where he was, neutral or nonfeeling, like could have. In the circumstances he described, it would have been easy enough to just shut down, or go into denial. To lose all hope.
But he didn’t. He decided to pick himself out of that mud and rise above it – to let God bring him to walk upon his high places, and say to the Lord that he trusts Him. No matter what. No matter how terrible things are, he will trust his Savior and praise Him through it all.

 
That is hard. But it is a choice.

 
Just the other week, I was faced with that choice too. My family and I were about to set off for a fun day. We had food, our ‘herd’ were in their stalls, grapes were on the vines (metaphorically); we had lots to be thankful for. But I was having horrendous sensory issues that morning. The tears were uncontrollable, I couldn’t stand what I had on, and I was stressed over ruining the fun we had planned. We had to leave in less than half an hour, and I was still sobbing.
My dear mother encouraged me to go up to my room and seek Jesus. Even just for the 10-15 mins before we had to leave.
As I sat in my room, I cried and poured out my heart to God, expressing myself to Him that I didn’t want to be uncomfortable, I wanted to have fun today. I wanted my clothing to feel fine so I could enjoy the day.
I opened my “Jesus Today” to the “randomly” picked devotional, and one of the verses shared was:

 
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

 
The devotional went on to say how we are so strongly inclined to lean on our own understanding and that mindset dies hard. But the truth is, we can’t understand His ways with us. He is infinite. Thankfully we can rest assured that He has our best interests at heart.
I continued to pray and listen, and was just utterly hit with the reminder that Satan is a thief. He was doing his utmost best to keep me thinking on my clothing, keep me focused on the worry that I wouldn’t have a good day unless I was comfortable. He was trying to steal my joy. And I was letting him. Until I said NO. He’s an expert thief who comes in unannounced, but oh so present. I read the verses I had on my wall, each pouring into me the strength of Jesus, of His Word, and His promises. I verbally told Satan, “No” through tears. I had to repeat it over and over, “You will not steal my joy today. You will not ruin my day just because I hate my clothes. No.”

 
We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)

 
I hated my clothing. But because of Jesus, I could rise above that. I could employ the ‘yet factor’.
These clothing pieces may feel awful and they may needle me, but YET I will trust in God. I will give this day back into HIS hands, because isn’t that where it starts?

 
“Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mat 6:33

 
I was so focused on my clothing and my comfort because I wanted to have a good day. But a good day is not dependent on whether or not I am comfortable. A good day is not dependent on the circumstances around us. A day is good because it’s from Him and has been submitted into His hands, for His glory.
So as we left the house that morning, I continued to repeat the verse “We are more than conquerors” and I did end up having a very good day. Because I took my focus off the thief and his pursuits, and put them on my Savior.

 
Yet I will praise You.

 

This song is a beautiful one with lyrics that correlate with this post.

 

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin ~ Book Review

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“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin

Book One in Sunrise at Normandy series

Review copy through Revell Publishers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars <3

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About the Book:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

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My Thoughts:

 

What a marvelous book. *Happy sigh*. A new book by Sarah Sundin is always highly anticipated, and this one did not let me down in the least. It was so excellent!
Wyatt Paxton and Dorothy Fairfax were amazing characters – so real, and they both had such depth. Each of the characters did.
The plot-line was superb, and drew you in from the beginning. There’s a ton of history in these books and still they read so smoothly.
Sometimes I think books you adore are harder to review. There was just so much about this book that I loved, that it is hard to find adequate words to describe it.
Wyatt was the perfect hero. Oh goodness – he had me from page one, truly. He is such an admirable man, with quiet strength and such a sense of what’s right and godly. And yet, so real – his struggles were hard, and he was so rough on himself. But wow – his whole journey was remarkable.
The same goes for Dorothy. I really liked her as well, and felt sad for her trials too. She felt like no one had ever really loved the real her – can you say heartbreaking? And while it was frustrating, her liking a certain other man who was not worthy of her, it was understandable – she yearned for something, anything.
I am just in awe at how Sarah Sundin can create a story that explores so much, endures so much, and yet comes out finished and completed at the end. No loose ends, everything ties up, and so emotionally investing!
And the plot-twist I wasn’t expecting – ufda. It just ties you in even more to the characters, all. Their struggle, their pains, and their resolution and healing. So beautiful!
WWII fiction at its finest indeed!!
And again, loooooved Wyatt. Can’t say that enough! New favourite hero…. ;)
Definitely recommend this book!!!!! Loved it so much <3
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Quotes:

I marked down several other quotes, but haven’t had the chance to turn them into quote graphics yet – but still hope to! Check back in April when I have a fun post planned relating to “The Sea Before Us”! :)