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

It’s that time of the year //2018//

123118

 

Another year has somehow sped behind us! As I’m quite sure everyone with agree with and say themselves, it feels like we just welcomed 2018, but here we are at the close of it, 2019 on its heals.

As every year, 2018 has been full, with highs and lows, adventures and troubles, blessings and trials. And it has all grown us.  I praise God for all He’s taught me this year, even though it meant a lot of rough patches.

Life preceded over blogging this year…I had some good several months there where I did author interviews and character spotlights each month which was really loads of fun and I enjoyed it so much. But as the rest of the year continued, time slipped away and I wasn’t able to organize blog posts as well. Computer problems never help with blogging either, and we had our fair share of that this past year too.

 

Of the author interviews, there were 7 total:

 

Author Interview_.png Copy of Author Interview_.png Sarah Sundin interview.png Connilyn Cossette AI.png

LindsayHarrel AI (1).png Copy of Connilyn Cossette AI.png

AI AM Heath

 

 

 

And 8 character introduction posts:

Willa Forsythe Haley HamptonWyatt Paxton Moriyah CILindsayH Megan Jacobs CI CI LettieLibby S CI CI Liz Cooke

 

 

 

 

Img bookstack 96

 

 

 

 

Books! What would a yearly wrap-up be without books? At least coming from me ;) At the beginning of 2018 I had hoped I’d be able to read 80 books, but knew that was probably a bit unrealistic, so I lowered it to 75. Then half the year went by and I realized I might not be able to make that goal either, so down to 70 it went. I didn’t want the goal to become a stresser, because reading is a very pleasurable thing, not a drag. I made that goal, and ended up making my previous goal too. I read a total of 77 books in 2018, equaling 20,293 pages, approximately. Goodreads kept track of it all for me, in addition to my book-notebook that I keep. If you wanted a more in-depth look at the books I read, you can check my goodreads wrap up here. :)

And as I always attempt to do, I have selected some of my favorite reads of 2018! That was a mighty hard task though, let me tell you. I love all de books. <3

And as last year, I have chosen my Top Twelve instead of ten or less, because that is just not realistic for me. ;) So without further ado…. My Top Twelve.

 

IMG_0195

 

Twelve beautiful books – And yes, I realize that there are only eleven in the picture. That would be because the 12th is an ebook :)  You can click on the titles below and they will lead you to my reviews of each one.

 

“The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar

“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White

“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette

“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin

“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano

“Storm Front” by Susan May Warren

“The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel

“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews

“The Hunter and the Valley of Death” by Brennan McPhearson

“If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath

“Through a Glass Darkly” by Jack Lewis Baillot

 

 

Annnnd because I am who I am, I have made an Honorable Mentions List. AND a very short list for my favorite short stories of the year :)

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson

“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White

“A Promise to Break” by Kathlyn Spurgeon

“Picking Daisy” by Valerie Howard

“Escape and Endurance” by Sarah Holman

“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette

“The Writing Desk” by Rachel Hauck

“The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond” by Jaime Jo Wright

 

 

Novella’s:

 

“Finding The Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

“Shot at Love” by Sarah Loudin Thomas

“A Heart So Tender” by Debra E. Marvin

 

 

*

*

*

And that wraps up the year! Well, it wraps up this blog post. ;)  Happy New Year, readers!! And THANK YOU for being a follower of my blog. It really does bless my heart, and even though I’m rather bad at posting frequently, I do appreciate each and every one of you! <3

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Pictures, reading, Up North, update, Writing

July ’18 Recap

Ah, a rather boring title, but logical. ;)

 

 

I find it both crazy and a tad bit thrilling to see July pass by. It actually went quite fast, which brings us one more step closer to fall! ;) And the latter half of this month has actually been manageable weather-wise. The first half was ridiculously hot and humid and yeah. But lately we’ve had some cooler days, which is surprising for July, but I’m not complaining! In fact, one day last week was 65 degrees. Sweatshirt weather. The mornings have been chilly as well. I know August is still to come, and with that more hot hot hot weather, but I’m enjoying this respite for now. ;)

 

 

In life updates….

 

 

We had to clean the tubs of the butcher chickens and transfer a few over to a new, less crowded one. And let me tell you, the smell was nasty. Like, horrible. Sometimes I think  still can smell it…And then another week later they were all transferred again to the larger pen, which is more spacious and nicer, and easier to feed them in. Whenever you step in there though, your feet are swarmed and pecked at because that’s how they are. XD I used to wear jean shorts to do chores in the hot weather, but now it’s long jeans only because eww. XD
And we also added 8 new layer chickens to our flock (except one disappeared and became some predator’s dinner, very sadly).
I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my favourite mail carrier might just be done delivering our mail and I need to adjust to our new one. Yes, mail is a bit of a big deal to me. Our old MC was very orderly and always placed the mail in a nice stack, with any letters that might be addressed to me sitting on top. Packages arrived in a careful manner. ‘Twas nice.
But now…So sad. I do actually quite like our current mail carrier; she’s very nice. But maybe not as OCD me when it comes to mail ;)
In July our town has a bit of a celebration thing with various events. We went to the kiddie parade (for my nephews of course ^.^), the book sale, and the regular parade. It was all quite a bit of fun!
Also in July, we made a day trip up north and it was fabulous. an almost 4 hour car ride both ways, but so good to get up there and see my grandparents if only for a few hours.

IMG_0929

 

 

I’m sure other stuff happened this month (in fact I know it did), but I’m moving onto the book section of things because I like books. ;)

 

 

These are the ones I read this month:

 

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers  Midnight Comes by S.J. Blasko  Picking Daisy by Valerie   Howard  Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan  The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright  A Search for Refuge by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

By clicking on their covers you will be brought to my reviews of the books. :)

 

 

And these are the books I acquired:

 

july books (4)

 

 

And let us not forget my new book cozy!

 

DSCF2090

 

 

 

 

Other posts of this month include….

 

 

35846526_925809414257834_6631829091601350656_nCI Lettie53b0f-bookchFrom Now OnBook Review

 

 

 

 

How was your  July? Have you read any of the books I read or received this month? Any recommendations? :)

Posted in Books, Product Revews, reading, Reviews

My very first booksleeve from The Cozy Life ~ Review

DSCF1990.JPG

(So, somehow, in the pictures I took, I managed to put the cozy backwards each time, failing to showcase “The Cozy Life” fabric tag….oops! I’m still learning on picture-taking. ;))

 

My Book Cozy! My first from The Cozy Life. I have seen the cozies from this etsy shop all over, was very familiar with the name, and drooled over the cozies in the shop frequently.

And then I got to receive one for the purpose of this review. And I couldn’t be more excited about it!!

The owner is so kind, and super quick in mailing the cozy out – I received it right away. And when I took it out of the package, I found it wrapped so perfectly.

 

 

 

Perfect little package tied up in string – so cute and special!

Now, for the quality…Um, it’s beautiful. Need I say more? I mean, that word encompasses the whole thing! It’s durable, and thick, and soft, and sturdy, and I adore it. I was surprised by its thickness and softness upon receiving it – it’s almost like a pillow! You can tell it is extremely well made, and I love knowing it protects my books so well. Because if you know me, you know that I do my best to keep my books in like-new condition, but I still have to have my current read accompany me wherever I go, so this book cozy is perfect for that.

It’s just the right size for my paperbacks, and they fit snugly inside.

 

 

 

 

If you couldn’t tell already, let me tell you that I am utterly thrilled with my cozy from The Cozy Life, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her shop!

 

 

 

Posted in Books, lists, Questions/answers, reading, Uncategorized

The First Book You’ve Ever Read Challenge

Hello readers! Marrok McIntyre created a tag-like challenge about the first book you’ve ever read that also inspired you to become a writer. In his words, “I thought it would be a pretty cool idea if we writers would share what originally inspired us to pursue this path of artist expression.”

 

Quite a fun idea, so lets get started!

 

 

 

The rules are simple
  • Challenge at least 1 person
  • Share what was the first book you’ve ever read
  • Why you read it in the first place
  • How did it inspire you to become a writer

 

 

 

Okay, so the first book I ever read.

Well, this may be hard to believe, but I actually hated reading at first. I know. But I did. I resisted it for quite a while. I didn’t want to learn, I didn’t like it, and I didn’t want to. I’ve always been a little envious of others who could say they loved reading from the get-go. Especially since reading is now one of my biggest hobbies. But, alas, it was not so for me. I remember how hard my Mum tried to get me to read. My older sister was one who loved reading right away. But not me. I liked The Bob Books that helped teach us to read, but only a little. I liked them in the way that they were entertaining, but the struggle to learn the words was aggravating.
So what switched me on reading? Well, again, I wish I could say that it was some amazing book. But it was…
Image result for spongebob older books
Yep. SpongeBob. I now realize it wasn’t even the first book in the series. I just remember sitting down at my sister’s bookshelf, wondering why she liked reading so much. I picked this one out (wish I could remember my motivation for this choice particularly!) and realized, “Hm, this is actually…enjoyable. The story isn’t boring,” and that was it, so to speak. Now, I don’t think I took off reading like a mad-man at that point, but it was my start. I realized that books took you on great adventures. Even silly ones. ^.^
However, I don’t think I really began wanting to write until I read this book:
I don’t remember much about the book, other than the thought of “I want to write a story too”. So I did, and it was basically a carbon copy of this book, with different characters. XD I don’t believe I finished it either.
But once I started writing, I found that I liked. For a while most of my writing energy was poured into journals (I had discovered “Amelia’s Notebook” series, and the Dear America series coincidentally) as I processed life. Then I eventually came upon another book that boosted my desire to write, and since then I haven’t looked back. Well, I mean, I’m looking back right now, but I think you know what I mean. ;)
The book that made me want to write more was:
Image result for bella at midnight
That was at about 12/13, and I reread it several times. It’s been several years since I read it, but I hold it in fond remembrance for being the book that I loved to read the most and what made me want to write more. And as for the motivation of why it made me want to write in ernest…well, it was creative, and captivating, and I loved how it transported me to a new world, to new things. I wanted to be able to do that too.
So, there you have it! A too-long posts about books from a now-book-lover who was once a book-hater! Sometimes I forget that I didn’t always love to read and I wonder how anyone couldn’t like it, but all I have to do is remember. And know that everyone is different. My younger sister has never been a fan, and that’s okay. She’s started to enjoy it a bit more now, but as more of a side-hobby.
So I’m more understanding now that I might’ve been before.
And I do really love books now. Really, really love books. ;)
Now, I hearby challenge, should they accept:
And I’d love to also challenge my bestie, author MacKenzie Morganthal, but she does not have a blog. However, I would like to know your answer, Ken… :D ;)
And that is that. Hope you all enjoyed reading, and if you were not challenged and would like to be, consider yourself challenged and please let me know when you post, because I’d love to read it!
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:

 

DSCF1720.JPG

 

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 Bethany House, Book reviews, Books, reading, Reviews

“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette ~ Book Review

018 (2).JPG

 

“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette

Book One in the Cities of Refuge Series

Review copy from the publishers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

Image result for curly q

 

About the Book:

 

Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.

 

 

Image result for curly q

 

My Thoughts:

 

What a delightful treat to be able to read Moriyah’s story, whom we were introduced to in “Wings of the Wind” (part of the Out of Egypt Series, while this book is book one of the Cities of Refuge Series)!
I loved this book; it was excellent. I love how the author weaves a story that is at once so captivating and so meaningful and ripe with the Lord’s beauty.
And I loved the characters – of course, Moriyah, but also Ora, and Eitan (SO adorable!!), and the hero Derek – all such excellent characters, well-constructed and portrayed.
I was impressed that most of the book was one of the characters being on the move – they weren’t in one location for very long, and that made the setting very unique! And adventurous. Though the reason behind it was a sad one, the descriptions of the sights they saw were a pleasure to read.
Moriyah’s heart-journey was even more enjoyable, seeing her struggles from page one and how she found healing from Yahweh. Her finding her worth was beautiful. <3
She was so kind to those around her, and so strong even when she felt herself weak. I also loved how she could hear Yahweh’s Voice – so precious. Moriyah was such an easy character to bond with. I felt like I shared in her sorrows and also her joys. I wanted to see her triumph, but most of all I loved how she committed – and surrendered – her life to Yahweh. Such a humbling and good reminder, one I love to read about in fiction.
I was a little surprised by the amount of kissing involved…I am not a Biblical/Historical expert at all, but I wouldn’t think that a Hebrew maiden would give away so many kisses before commitment, let alone before marriage. And if it was a matter of getting caught up in the moment (understandable; the flesh is weak), I think because of their upbringing, she would have felt a bit of remorse afterwards, if that makes sense.
But otherwise, I very much adored this book.
Each piece of this book was well-written and engaging, and I can hardly wait for the next one (yay for getting to see an older Eitan in the next one!!)!!
Image result for curly q

Quotes:

 

Moriyah

Moriyah 2

Moriyah 3

Moriyah 4

Moriyah 5.png

 

 

“Hear, O Israel. The Lord your God, the Lord is One. And you should love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength…these words which I command you today shall be on your heart.” If I loved Yahweh, I would obey, no matter the cost.

 

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

March wrap-up: Aquarium, life, books

March Wrap-Up_ Aquarium, Life, Books..png

 

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!

 

Picture0320180940_1

 

 

 

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

Copy of Author Interview_ (1)

 

 

 

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