Posted in Books, Random babblings, update

Can’t help it…MAY I recap?

Yeah, I know. I should’ve resisted it. Too easy, right? But I just couldn’t. Not when it is just asking for it….I mean, it’s MAY. ;)

Which is now over. The beginning of the month was fair, temperature wise, but towards the middle and end it turned scorching hot…I’m dreaming of winter. ;)

This month consisted of reading, a visit to a park with family and extended family (wherein I remembered the joys of swinging. So freeing!), yard and garden work, and some more reading in between. Besides the heat, it was enjoyable. :) Not without its trials, but what life is?

 

The books I read:

 

The Backcountry Brides Collection by Shannon McNear – I read a couple more stories in this collection.

Judah's Wife by Angela Elwell Hunt   The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck   Quest for Leviathan by Amanda Tero    Dance from Deep Within by D.L. Sleiman   Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren   Storm Front by Susan May Warren   Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

 

The first three you can click on to read my review, the next two have reviews that will be posted soon, same for “Enchanting Nicholette”, and the SMW books – my reviews are on Goodreads. :)

 

 

 

Books added to my already-too-big collection:

 

 

Three are review books, one is from Tyndale Rewards (where you can sign up to earn points towards FREE books! <3), a couple were book-swaps, and the rest were garage-sale and library sale finds, besides “Ain’t Misbehavin'” which I purchased on a FB group. :)

 

Yep. What else can I say than that I love books?

 

 

May Post Sum Up:

 

Connilyn Cossette AI  Moriyah CI

038    The God Who Sees Me

4-29-18 (5)   a5193-tag

 

And posted about the GDPR news HERE, and also reviewed “Judah’s Wife” HERE.

And a Cover Reveal HERE.

 

 

And here’s to June, right? May we survive the heat. ;)

 

 

 

How was your May, readers? Any exciting news to share? Books read? Feel free to comment and we can chat!

Posted in Books, cover reveal

Cover Reveal: Kiera by Kate Willis

I’m pleased to be sharing the cover of Kate Willis’ next book, “Kiera”! Isn’t that a lovely title and name too? I really like it. :)

 

 

But let us wait no more…the cover:

 

Kiera final cover.jpg

 

Kiera is looking forward to her eighteenth birthday. The official end of school, a party with her best friend, and chocolate cake. A sudden military draft, no possible exemptions, had never crossed her mind. 

Kiera is terrified! Getting drafted would mean leaving her family, her little friend Jade—life as she knows it. 

A surprising offer from Brennan Stewart just might be the answer to her prayers, but an even worse trial leaves her with one question…

If God truly loves her, why did this tragedy happen?

 

 

Kiera by Kate Willis is a YA dystopian releasing in June 2018. Add the book to Goodreads here.  (Links and author bio can also be found there :) )

 

 

 

 

Lovely!  I look forward to adding it to my reading list :)

Posted in Questions/answers, Random babblings

Eleven Questions

A while ago, Shantelle at Between the Pages of this Bookish Life, tagged me, and I am now finally getting around to posting my answers. ^.^ Thanks, Shantelle!

So, here we go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rules:
Thank the person who nominated you
Answer the 11 questions they gave you
Name 11 facts about you
Nominate 11 bloggers to do this tag, and let them know
Give them 11 questions to answer
The questions:
1. What did you eat for your last meal? Homemade Pizza, last evening. :) It was delicious, as always!
2. What’s the best part of your average week? Hmm…I always look forward to Saturdays which is our rest-day of the week. :) I also enjoy Monday’s because of the mail ;)
3. Where is the most amazing place you’ve been? I haven’t been to a ton of places, but The Creation Museum is definitely up there, and up north will forever be one of the most amazing places to me. <3
4. One question you’d ask your favorite author? I’m afraid I’d be too much in awe to think of any reasonable question…besides, “How do you write such amazing books?” <3
5. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?  I don’t actually like summer. I know, gasps all around. I am a hardcore Winter and Fall fan. I like Spring well enough, but Summer is the season I dread. I highly dislike hot weather, and MN gets HOT. State of extremes. ;) But let’s see…I do like some things about Summer. Like golf-cart rides, and fresh air, and the green grass.
6. Last new author you tried out? (Did you like the book?I actually read a lot of books by new-to-me authors. :D The latest would be Kristin Billerbeck and her book, “The Theory of Happily Ever After” – and yes, I did like the book :) You can read my review for it here.
7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done? Well, what exactly is the definition of crazy? Because I have a feeling most of my life would seem crazy to other people, but if we’re talking daring, or stupidest thing….let me think. I actually can’t come up with a good enough answer. XD
8. What’s a character trait you admire in others? Genuine kindness and selflessness.
9. What’s your favorite genre (to read)?What draws you to it? Hmm…I waffle between Biblical Fiction and Contemporary Fiction being my favourite. They each draw me in different ways. BF because it adds so much depth to the Bible, and CF because…well, honestly, I love a good (clean!!) romance…!
10. What’s one book that you wish more people knew about? Just one?!!! That’s too hard. I am a hardcore, recommend-everything by Tessa Afshar fan, but also I wish J.A. Marx’s Destiny Series was better known because it is AMAZING.
11. Do you like to cook/bake? No…? Is that an acceptable answer to this? I could lie and say something like “Oh I love it so much!” but…no. I know how to, and I prefer baking over cooking (because, yum. Baking means treats ;)) however, I probably know more cooking-related items…Anyway, it’s not a favourite past time of mine.
Eleven Facts About Me:
1.  I’m terrified of frogs. All kinds. But especially leopard frogs. *Shudders*
2.  I will eat most any vegetable, even if I don’t like it, but green beans are the exception.
3.  I’ve tried to get my nephews to call me the Hebrew name for aunt, which is ‘Doda’, but they only seem to remember to use it when they are being silly. ^.^
4.  I make homemade necklaces and sell them at our local farmer’s market. (You can see the items by clicking ‘Raechel’s Peculiar Treasures’ at the top of this blog)
5.  I have happily, and successfully, gotten my younger sister hooked on one of my favourite book series from when I was around her age. (The Bonnets and Bugles series – so good!)
6.  Snow, Winter, and the cold makes me happy. Very happy.
7.  When I was younger I had to avoid any food containing red-food-dye coloring because it would always cause my sensory-issues to become worse and make meltdowns occur.
8.  I love looking at bookish pictures, but am not so good at taking them myself.
9.  I’ve never been a huge tv-show watcher, but I fell in love with The Middle, and the series finale about made me weep, because what am I going to do now? ;)
10. I don’t like doing puzzles.
11.  I still play polly-pockets with my younger sister (and our games get quite hysterical).
There! I did it. But coming up with the 11 facts was hard. As for the 11 people I tag:
You, that person over there, you, that one person, the other person, you, oh yeah – you, and four other people. XD
Here are the questions:
1. What did you eat for your last meal? 
 2. What’s the best part of your average week?
 3. Where is the most amazing place you’ve been?
4. One question you’d ask your favorite author?
5. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? 
6. Last new author you tried out? (Did you like the book?)
7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done?
8. What’s a character trait you admire in others?
9. What’s your favorite genre (to read)?What draws you to it?
10. What’s one book that you wish more people knew about?
11. Do you like to cook/bake?
Let me know if you do it, because I’d love to read your answers. :)
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Theory of Happily Ever After” by Kristin Billerbeck ~ Review

4-29-18 (5).JPG

 

 

“The Theory of Happily Ever After” by Kristin Billerbeck

Review copy from publishers// 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.

 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious science, as serious as Maggie takes herself. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies–for instance, why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, Kristin Billerbeck’s The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile–because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

 

My Thoughts:

 

I love the simplicity and coloring of the cover! It’s cute, and gives you a glimpse at the story’s theme too. 
And the story was a fun one. It was a perfect light read that I needed – and humorous! I laughed out loud a couple of times. :D 
Dr. Maggie Maguire is a happiness-doctor, studying and sharing the science of happiness. But to tell you the truth, she is pretty miserable. Disaster seems to surround her at every turn and the reader definitely does feel sorry for her. And yet there were definitely times where I wanted to yell at her and tell her what to do! But there were also reasons behind what she did, which made her actions – good and bad – more understandable. Even if they were sometimes frustrating. ;)
I felt for her in her quest for a Happily Ever After. Most girls do dream of a fairy-tale romance. Also relatable: her watching so many romances and eating gelato. XD
Her friends meant the best for her in their actions. I liked Kathleen and her way of speaking it like it was. I liked Haley at first. *SPOILER* but as the story went on, oh how I wanted to slap her around a bit. I’m sorry, but I did. She was a tantruming child who didn’t get her way, and she was accusing Maggie of being a bad friend when really, she was being the bad friend. Yeah, she bugged me to say the least. ^.^ *END OF SPOILER*
I liked Sam. I liked how he was drawn to Maggie at once, even if he could be rude. He was still quite hero-ish through the whole thing.
Though I know it’s considered normal in the “real world”, to me it was odd how there were many intimate moments yet so much confusion and running apart/away afterwards…and I felt bad for Maggie and her view, I guess you would call it, on kissing. That someone needs to be kissed first to know someone’s true commitment. And again, I know that is kind of normal – supposedly kisses mean nothing, but in my opinion, they are significant and shouldn’t be thrown around willy-nilly.
That is not to say this was not a clean book though – the kisses were not ridiculous or super detailed at all, and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable, which I appreciated.
Another thing I appreciated in this book was how she came to the realization that she couldn’t be everything to everyone. Amen. It’s so easy to slip into the people-pleasing role that we lose sight of what really matters. That being said, there could have been more focus on us needing to please God first and foremost. There were mentions of God sprinkled throughout the book, and Bible verses mentioned, however, I wouldn’t really say it was a deeply Christian book. It was Christian in its essence, but not really in its portrayal. The characters did not bear the fruits of being a Christian, and while no one is perfect (obviously!), there wasn’t even much shown for trying. I guess, to me, the whole idea of happiness being a science we can achieve is a bit…dare I say, silly. Because true happiness – true joy – comes from Jesus Christ. Every other way of happiness is fleeting and not as fulfilling.
For it being a ‘light read’ I do realize I analyzed it a bit – definitely something Maggie and I have in common! ;)
I would like to restate that I did definitely enjoy this book. It was a fun read, and I would even read it again. I just can’t shut my brain off totally when it comes to reviewing. :D
Quotes:
“That’s why, Dr. Maguire, you need to count your blessings. Sometimes, getting your heart broken is the best thing that can happen to you.”
“That’s the thing about resilience. You have to know pain to feel the incredible high of coming back from the darkness.”
Posted in Uncategorized

You’ve probably (most likely) heard this before…

Yeah, the GDPR rules. I’m guessing you’ve heard about them. I’ve received well over 2 dozen author newsletters/blog posts stating I needed to update my subscriptions to comply with the GDPR rules.

 

However, that doesn’t mean I’m sure if I should be doing something for my blog personally…! So I thought I’d better be safe than sorry.

Just wanted to assure everyone that any information you’ve submitted to this blog, whether in the form of subscribing to posts by email, or commenting, contacting me, etc. is safe and I don’t have any ulterior motives there – chances are, I’m not even sure where this information is kept, so. XD

Any information provided really is just used for sending out blog posts (which I believe WP does on its own),  and/or contacting you if there’s a giveaway going on and you’re the lucky winner.

 

So, I’m hoping that about covers it! :D Carry on peoples.

Posted in Devotional, God's Lessons, Spiritual beliefs

The God Who Sees Me

The God Who Sees Me

 

We want to be seen. Seen for who we are, not necessarily for what we may (or may not) do. We yearn for someone to see past our scars, and to see the real us inside.

 

Have you felt this way too?

 

A fiction book I read semi-recently was relating to this topic. The main character, Moriyah (you’re probably familiar with her name now since the last two Monday posts have been related to her ;)) had a visible scar as well as invisible scars. She had a hard time believing anyone would ever look past them and see the real her.

And honestly, I’ve felt something similar. With all my quirks, and my issues, I sometimes fear I won’t find someone who can not only deal with said quirks and issues, but also will see past them and see me.

As I spoke about this to God one morning, He brought to mind a quote from the book where Moriyah’s father says to her that he believes that Yahweh will bring her a man who sees past her scar for who she is.

And with that God affirmed the same to me – He will bring me someone, someday, who will see me. Not just my oddities and struggles, but me.

 

Moriyah.png

 

But even greater knowledge is that He sees me.

He knows me even better than I know myself. That means He sees the absolute WORST of me, but…He still sees me, the me He created in His image. This truth touched me even deeper.

During this last Passover a while ago, my family and I gathered at our table and refreshed our minds about this holiday, and as we prepared our hearts to partake in His communion, I sat there with tears in my eyes because…I’m not good enough. I’ve got scars. Lots of them. I’m not nearly as healed as I yearn to be. But right then, as I was about to take the piece of matza bread, Jesus gave me the picture of Him holding out His wrists to me, showing me His scars. For me. He revealed to me that yes, He sees all my scars, and He offers Himself for me anyway. Freely.

 

 

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28

 

 

Jesus sees me, accepts me, cleanses me, and loves me.

The very same truth is the truth for each and every one of His children. He sees you.  He is El Roi.

He doesn’t just see what you try to hide, or what you feel makes you broken, He sees the real you, the beautiful you. Fashioned by Him. And He loves how He sees you.

Regardless if any human person on earth sees you, sees me, we can rest absolutely assured that He sees us, and calls us His beloved.

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt ~ Book review

 

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt

Biblical Fiction

Review copy through Bethany House Publishers

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

Seeking peace and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she can rest easily. But the land is ruled by Antiochus IV, descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and when he issues a decree that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws upon pain of death, devout Jews risk everything to follow the law of Moses.

Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands his son to pick up his sword and continue the fight–or bear responsibility for the obliteration of the land of Judah. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband’s decision–what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long? 

The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah’s wife, who learns that love requires courage . . . and sacrifice. 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I was actually hesitant to read this book at first because the other books I’ve read by this author were not favourites. But since this one was about the Maccabees, I was very intrigued and willing to give it a chance. Happily, I didn’t find it to be like the other books I’d read previously, which was good. It was pretty clean, as a whole, though since it is largely a battle-book, there are definitely some graphic scenes, but the graphic-descriptions never lasted too long.
Being someone who celebrates The Feast of Dedication with my family, I was particularly interested in that aspect of this novel, but honestly, that specific account was told in a matter of 2 or so pages without much depth.
A lot of the book seemed mostly factual instead of story-sounding, and I realize facts are good, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  I prefer a Biblical based book to explain things more in a story-telling way – where you relate to it at a deeper level because it is incorporating characters and storylines along with the information.  I couldn’t really connect with the main characters because, well, there wasn’t much about them. The first half of the book showed them well enough, and I was able to connect a bit there and the book’s title made sense, but at the middle-mark, when the battles all started to happen, it lost the character-relation and was really more of a battle play-by-play and less about Leah and much more about Judah. Which is fine for many, just not what the title suggests at all, or what I was hoping for.
Things that I thought they would spend time on were glossed over within a paragraph, or mentioned as just a passing thought, which I thought was a little odd.
It was nice to see each battle-victory be given to the glory of Adoni, though.
I appreciate the author’s intent, writing a novel about the Maccabees, because it is fascinating, I just personally could not connect with this book.

Quote:

“And we are to teach our children that no king can ever take the place of HaShem in our hearts. The Hellenes may abolish our Temple service, they may forbid us to circumcise our children or observe the Sabbath, and they may encourage us to eat unclean animals. But they can never unseat HaShem from His throne. He still owns heaven and earth, and He still controls the fate of kings and priests.” 
** I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher.  All opinions expressed are mine alone.