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

June ’18 Recap

June '18 Recap.png

 

 

June was an extremely busy month – I felt that I barely had time to breathe sometimes. Summer began in earnest, though there were a few days of cooler weather tucked within the June days. Not as many as I would like, but then I would gladly have a longer Fall and Winter ;)

The heat really has been sweltering lately, and without air-conditioning…I feel like I’m going to melt away. Haha.

We started selling at our local farmer’s market again once a week, which has been going well, but takes up a lot of our time in prep-work. I’ve added to my necklaces – now in addition to the Pixie Dust and ‘Drink Me’ ones,  I have some “Message in a Bottle” necklaces, “Dragon Scales”, and “Wishes”. They look pretty cute if I do so say myself. ;) I need to update the blog site I created for them at some point….

 

June was just filled with life-stuff, as usual. We got butcher chickens, and they are quickly becoming annoying and ugly. XD We got the garden in, and spent a whole day weeding (I got sunburned, of course), re-fenced the horse pasture (still need to add the wire line but so far the tape keeps Pepper and Adora in), and other life stuff happened.

I was happily introduced to the amazing movie, “The Greatest Showman”, and that has been a near-constant high. ;) It really is a remarkable movie, and probably shouldn’t even get me started on it… ;)

 

So! Among the busyness and constant running, I managed to actually read a decent amount this month. My sister and I read before bed each night, which helps immensely with that. ;)

 

A Breath of Hope by Lauraine Snelling  Among the Poppies by J'nell Ciesielski  Trust and Obey by Faith Blum  All for Love by Mary Connealy  The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson  The Hunter and the Valley of Death by Brennan S. McPherson  I Don't Dance by Jesseca Wheaton  Dangerous to Know by Megan Whitson Lee

 

 

If already reviewed, you can click on the covers to go there. :) I will have the remaining reviews posted soon, hopefully!

 

Added to my collection:

 

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Isn’t that cover of “Anne of Avonlea” stunning? And I found it at a Free Little Library! So cute.

Oh and see that little Paris lamp to the right? I found that at a garage sale and was so thrilled because I’ve been wanting an Eiffel Tower figurine thing and this is perfect. :)

 

 

Main Monday Posts from June:

 

LindsayHarrel AI (1)

LindsayH Megan Jacobs CI

 

Devotional Type Post: “It’s Okay”

 

Bucket List

 

Books Reviewed:

Jesus Calling // Quest for Leviathan // Among the Poppies //  Enchanting Nicholette // The Orphan’s Wish // A Breath of Hope // Trust and Obey //

 

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Trust and Obey” by Faith Blum ~ Blog Tour/Review

Trust and Obey Blog Tour

Faith Blum has a new book. And it’s not a Western. It is a fairy tale retelling set during the time of King Saul. Read on to learn more about the book.

About the Book

Trust and Obey_KindleA wicked priestess, a morally corrupt king, and two children stuck in the middle…

Hadassah and Gidal love their parents and will do anything for them. When Priestess Basmat tell Ehud and Jerusha to pay their debt, they cannot and she takes Hadassah and Gidal as her slaves for two years.

The priestess works them hard, but there are two other servants to divide the load with, so they cope as well as they can. Then King Saul comes in disguise requesting the priestess’s other services—as a medium.

Will Hadassah and Gidal trust Adonai to take care of them? What will happen after Priestess Basmat comes face-to-face with the prophet Samuel?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D939ZPL Continue reading ““Trust and Obey” by Faith Blum ~ Blog Tour/Review”

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“Breath of Hope” by Lauraine Snelling ~ Book Review

A Breath of Hope (Under Northern Skies #2)

 

“Breath of Hope” by Lauraine Snelling

Book 2 in the Under Northern Skies series

Review copy through publisher

My rating: 3.5/4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Nilda Carlson has been trying to save enough money to go to America for months, so when a letter arrives, with an offer to pay her passage, she jumps at the chance. Her younger brother Ivar accompanies her, and they are thrilled to join older brother Rune and his family in the northern forests of Minnesota.

But America is not everything Nilda imagined. A terrifying experience in a lumber camp shakes Nilda’s confidence and trust in men, but a job helping a young widow raise her children and run her farm gives her a chance to build her own life. When she meets Fritz, the children’s schoolteacher, she is initially unimpressed and uninterested. His kindness and passion for learning begin to win her over, but how can she sacrifice her dreams for the future for a man she’s still not sure of?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Book Two in the “Under Northern Skies” series, “A Breath of Hope” continues Signe and Rune’s story in America as well as Rune’s siblings, Nilda and Ivar, joining them from Norway.
I was expecting this book to be more of Nilda’s story than anyone else’ but I was still quite pelased to find that we got to see more from Signe and Rune, and experience the story through their POV’s too.
What I like about this series is that it portrays life as it was in that time period, and the trials and experiences they went through with a realistic view.
And the names are always fantastic – I love the Norwegian background. It was fun that in this one, we get to see a little more of Norway in the beginning as Nilda and Ivar are saving to make their trip to America.
This book was a little…lacking in a main plot line. It’s more of a continuation of every-day life from the first book, with not much climax. So, it could be a bit of a slow read, but I still enjoyed it. The characters were well-built up just like the first one, and the setting/descriptions were strong.
There were a couple of “inconsistencies” where they would skip over something just mentioned, or didn’t revisit a “plot line” I thought they would. There was also a fair build up to something happening, but when it was revealed at the very end it wasn’t very monumental, if that makes sense.
But all in all, I still enjoyed reading it, and am curious to see what the next book will hold. I don’t feel like we really got to hear much of Nilda’s story, so I would like to see hers especially continue. :)
 
*This doesn’t really pertain to the review or the book’s contents at all, but I must admit I was a little bummed when the review copy came and it was hardcopy, because the first was paperback, and I want a series to match. Am I the only one? XD
Quote:
“Never is a long time. Somehow we will find a way.”
*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 Books, lists, Random babblings

Bucket List

Bucket List.png

 

 

On this fine Monday, I thought I would take a page from “The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel, and share my own sort of Bucket List. I’ve never actually really made one before, but I thought it might make a rather fun blog post. ^.^ So, enjoy reading some things I would like to do one day! In no particular order. :) And if you feel so inspired, please do share your own bucket list either in the comments or in your own blog post and share the link with me – I’d love to read it!

 

 

 

Raechel’s Bucket List

 

 

Publish a Book

Meet my best friend for the first time

Get married/raise children

Visit India and experience life there (and buy a sari :) )

Have my own personal library

Visit Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Scotland, just because these are all amazing places

Attend an old-fashioned ball

Ride on a train

Explore a castle in Ireland

 

Own and ride a dragon ;)

 

 

 

 

So, obviously that is only a small list, but given more time I’m certain I could name a few more things I want to do.  In on odd way, I’m not a huge future-planner. I like day-to-day plans, but for the future…it’s not something I think of much. I figure that what will happen, will happen. It’s in God’s hands. :) But it is fun to dream isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

(In case you missed it, I interviewed Lindsay Harrel at the beginning of this month, and shared a character introduction for one of her characters, as well as reviewed the book. You can check those out here: Interview   Character Introduction   Review  )

 

 

 

Thanks for reading! Are any of my items on your own bucket list? :)

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

“The Orphan’s Wish” by Melanie Dickerson ~ Book Review

 

 

 

“The Orphan’s Wish” by Melanie Dickerson

Book #8 in the Hagenheim Series of Fairy-tale retellings

Review copy from the publishers through BookLook Bloggers.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Orphaned and alone, Aladdin travels from the streets of his Arab homeland to a strange, faraway place. Growing up in an orphanage, he meets young Lady Kirstyn, whose father is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion, and their childhood friendship grows into a bond that time and opposition cannot break.

Even as a child, Aladdin works hard, learning all he can from his teachers. Through his integrity, intelligence, and sheer tenacity, he earns a position serving as the duke’s steward. But that isn’t enough to erase the shame of being forced to steal as a small child—or the fact that he’s an orphan with no status. If he ever wants to feel equal to his beautiful and generous friend Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim and seek his fortune.

Yet once Aladdin departs, Lady Kirstyn becomes a pawn in a terrible plot. Now, Aladdin and Kirstyn must rely on their bond to save her from unexpected danger. But will saving Kirstyn cost Aladdin his newfound status and everything he’s worked so hard to obtain?

An enchanting new version of the well-known tale, The Orphan’s Wish tells a story of courage and loyalty, friendship and love, and reminds us what “family” really means.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I think this cover has to be one my favourites of Melanie Dickerson’s. :) The colors are very attractive and it’s just a very lovely cover. ^.^
The story itself is a light, sweet read. While normally I don’t so much mind or notice when reading YA if it is below my age level, I admit that I found this one to be a bit simple for me. This isn’t really a bad thing, it just wasn’t as engaging as I was hoping. There were a lot of predictable and common troupes that I found a little over-done, but I think that partially had to do with the mood I was in while reading.
The characters themselves were pretty well built-up. I personally couldn’t really connect, and sometimes felt that Aladdin had a bit of a ‘poor me’ spirit about him, when I wanted to see more of an overcomer sort of character.
Besides the fact that the main character is named Aladdin and he has a little friend named Abu, and he was a street rat, there weren’t a whole lot of other related facts to it being an Aladdin retelling. Which was okay, just something I thought I would state. I really didn’t mind that it wasn’t much related to the original. And I must say, I do really like and appreciate that the author writes fairy-tale retellings without the magic.
The faith strand was pretty good – it was present, but light. I wanted a bit more emphases to be made that God is the One we go to to be fulfilled instead of turning towards people, but that wasn’t really shown all that much.
It was a clean book, which is always appreciated. There were a couple kisses in the end, but nothing too strong. I enjoyed the story, but it wasn’t my favourite of this author. And as always, that doesn’t mean others won’t adore it, because I do think that it could be a favourite for someone else!   I think this would be a very good read for the ages that it is geared towards.  :)
Quotes:
“Aladdin pointed to the place where its slender trunk was shattered but still holding together. ‘Strange that it can be so broken but still so alive.’ Just like him.”
“But that’s not my job, is it, God? You’re the only One who can heal a soul wound.”

 

Posted in Book reviews

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall ~ Review

Hullo! Yesterday was the release day of the “Timeless Love” collection, of which “Enchanting Nicholette is apart!  Did you pre-ordered Timeless Love? If so, you now have the pre-Whitaker House edition of Enchanting Nicholette in your hands to read and enjoy which is quite fun. :) And if you don’t, there’s still time to order your copy to your kindle right now! It’s only 99cents and all royalties go to the Livestrong Foundation.
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Love-Romantic-Stories-th…/…/

 

And now I shall share my review of the dear story, “Enchanting Nicholette”…

 

 

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall

A novella apart of The Everstone Chronicles

 

Review ecopy from the author

My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars

 

 

About the book:

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

 

My Thoughts:

A sweet, enchanting (see what I did there? ;)) novella! Admittedly it took be a tiny bit to really get into the story, but I think that is mostly because I wasn’t entirely familiar with the characters; I’ve only read one book of Dawn Crandall’s (which I loved!), and that was quite a while ago. However, once I kept reading, it all worked itself out and it can be read as a stand alone since it is Nichollete’s story.
And Cal’s, of course. I loved Cal so much. He made such an excellent hero, and I fell in love with him immediately. I very much liked Nicholette but I didn’t really bond with her as much; not quite sure why. I certainly didn’t dislike her – that is far from it. She was a good character, and I felt for it, just didn’t deeply connect. I loved their relationship, though, and how it was all accomplished in a short amount of time. Of course,  I would’ve loved a full-size novel from this story, but I just love full-sized novels. XD “Enchanting Nicholette” was written very well and didn’t feel like it was lacking anything at all.
The kissing scenes got very heated though, which did make me a little uncomfortable, especially when they weren’t married… I don’t mind reading about a kiss here or there in fiction, because frankly there are few books that don’t contain kissing, but these scenes were a bit much in my  opinion.
But I know that is a personal-preference thing.
Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this novella and look forward to reading more of her books!!
*You can find this novella in the Timeless Love Collection for a short while longer, otherwise EN will be available on its own in both ebook and paperback this October. :)
I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Devotional

It’s okay

Today, I am supposed to share a devotional. And yet…I have nothing planned or prewritten out. I’m the kind of person that likes order and routine and schedules, and being prepared, so in general I try to have blog posts typed up at least several days in advance, but this month’s devotional has evaded me. Every time I tried to sit down and write it, nothing would come.
Life has been extremely busy lately, with lots of running and time away from home. I feel like I haven’t learned anything monumental that I could share. And that disappoints me. It feels like I’ve failed. I know that it’s not true. When I first prayed about starting this blogging schedule, my concern was on missing a post, and the Lord has to remind me – would that be the end of the world? In the grand scheme of things, a missed post is not much of a problem at all. I just knew that I would feel badly, even if they were never read anyways – because I am a routine person, and if I say I’m going to do something, I want to follow through with that. Without making mistakes. But that is just not possible sometimes. We will make mistakes, we will miss things that we said we’d do. Not out of malicious intent, but because it happens. I’m still learning to give myself more grace especially in this area.
I think – no, I know – that it is one of the reasons I am hesitant to talk about my writing publicly. Because I feel that if I start talking about it, or even talking about a possible release date in the far future, I will absolutely have to follow through with that, and I know that I can’t right now. And in some ways it is good to not promise what we know we can’t follow through with, but sometimes we do need to give ourselves room to dream, speculate, and grow. To hope. And leave the results in God’s hands.
I’m kind of going off on a bunny-trail now. ^.^
But yes, sometimes –  a lot of times – life will not go how we plan it, and it’s during those times especially that we have to hold on to the One who has everything in His hand. We have to follow His leading even when it brings us to places we didn’t think we’d go. We learn so many little things on these journeys. Maybe they don’t seem monumental at the time of learning them, but when we look back, we realize the little things He’s been growing us in all along.
So no, I don’t have a proper devotional to post today. All I have are these few meager words. And that’s okay. Because…grace. His grace is sufficient for me.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18