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.

 

Advertisements
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 :)

 

 

 

 

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:

 

Picture0316181741_1.jpg

 

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 Book reviews, reading, Reviews, Tessa Afshar, update

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

It’s always weird to move on into the next year, to get used to writing the new number set, rather than the old. And the realization that time is going fast, and the number creeps up each more every year. 2018 seems so… far away, yet here it is. Crazy :)

And while we are in 2018 now, I am here to also wrap up, book-wise, the year of 2017. To give a last look-back and give a list of my favourite books of the year. Which is going to be hard, because I read a great many good ones!

 

 

Img bookstack 96

 

According to Goodreads, I read 20,650 pages spread out over 82 books.

That’s a lot of pages. If you’d like to see the books I read in 2017, you can check out the wrap-up Goodreads gave HERE. I love how Goodreads does that. I keep a Book Notebook throughout the year, but it’s nice not having to type it all up! :)

 

Trying to narrow down my favourite books of the year has been nearly impossible. I read a LOT of good ones, you guys. And I love them all! But by shear force, I made a list of my top TWELVE favourite books. Why twelve instead of 10 or 5? Well first off, 5 is not nearly enough I’ve decided. And Ten is kinda hard to choose too. So I went with twelve because that makes a book a month, and that sounded reasonable to me. :D Sooooo, without further ado, in no particular order, here are my…

 

TOP TWELVE FICTION READS OF 2017:

Clicking on the title/author of the book will bring you to my review of the book :)

 

 

Destiny Defended by J.A. Marx

Destiny Defended by J.A. Marx

 

Image result for heart image

 

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

 

Image result for heart image

 

 

Out of the Dark by MacKenzie Morganthal

Out of the Dark by MacKenzie Morganthal

 

Image result for heart image

 

Everything's Coming Up Josey by Susan May Warren

Everything’s Coming Up Josey! By Susan May Warren

 

Image result for heart image

 

 

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

 

Image result for heart image

 

 

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

 

Image result for heart image

 

Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

 

Image result for heart image

 

 

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

 

Image result for heart image

 

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

 

Image result for heart image

 

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

Image result for heart image

 

The Case of the Clobbered Cad by Debra E. Marvin

The Case of the Clobbered Cad by Debra Marvin

 

Image result for heart image

 

The Genesis Tree by Heather L.L. FitzGerald

The Genesis Tree by Heather FitzGerald

 

 

 

NON FICTON:

 

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis

 

Image result for heart image

 

Infinite Tuesday by Michael Nesmith

Infinite Tuesday by Michael Nesmith

 

Image result for heart image

 

And because I don’t want to leave the list at just these, I put together some…..

 

Honourable Mentions:

 

 

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

October by J. Grace Pennington

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Dreams and Devotion by Sarah Holman

Priceless by brothers, Joel and Luke Smallbone

 

 

Life:

So besides reading, 2017 was a full year as most are.  And I have no idea how to sum that up in a post, or even a paragraph…I live life, so it happens, but to sum it up… I don’t really have skill in that one. ^.^  Stuff happened, good and bad, I learned things, I probably met new people, wrote stuff….and I read. That’s good enough for a life segment wrap up, eh?

 

 

So, there’s that! How was your year? Do you have any particular, big or small, hopes/dreams/plans for this new year?

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

“Vanishing Point” by Lisa Harris ~ Book Review

Review (10).JPG

“Vanishing Point” by Lisa Harris

A Nikki Boyd Files novel

Review copy from Revell Publishing Review Program

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars

 

Image result for free curly scroll image

 

About the Book:

During Garrett Addison’s first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She’s the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common–a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies–number six–Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn’t have what it takes to be an agent. What he’ll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him–or Jordan.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris unveils an unforgettable story of a case that has haunted the public and law enforcement for more than a decade. Fans of the Nikki Boyd Files will thrill to finally discover what actually happened to Nikki’s sister, Sarah. New readers will become instant fans after devouring this chilling tale.

Image result for free curly scroll image

 

My Thoughts:

 

What a conclusion to this riveting series!
“Vanishing Point” was a unique twist from the first three Nikki Boyd series, and easily captivated my attention from the get-go. Instead of it being from the point of view of Nikki Boyd, the novel starts out some years previous to one of the first abductions in the Angel Abductor’s Case, with the point of view coming from two detectives/agents, Garrett, and Jordan.
Initially I was a bit sad to find it wasn’t Nikki Boyd front and center, but it actually worked really well being this way, and it gave a lot more insight into the case itself, stringing over numerous years until we reached present-day.
The mystery held strong to the very end, and tensions were high. Definitely another action-packed novel!
This series has definitely been a favourite, and while I am really glad to see how it ended, I am a bit sad to find that it’s over. The Nikki Boyd Files certainly brought us on quite the epic journey!
The characters in Vanishing Point were well constructed, just like the first three books. And the creepiness level was definitely there in the serial killer aspect.
It was almost hard watching how the relationship of Garrett and Jordan danced along, but it was very realistic, and don’t worry….it came with a happy conclusion!
The faith thread was also well-executed, beautifully and realistically portrayed.
“Vanishing Point” is a very satisfying finish to a fantastic series, and I am very impressed and pleased with Lisa Harris’ writing ability! Definitely will be eagerly waiting for whatever she has next in store. :)
Image result for free curly scroll image

Quotes:

 
 
“I’m realizing that sometimes you can’t fix people or relationships. Sometimes all you can fix is yourself. You have to forgive them, love them, and then move on. It’s wha I’m going to have to do.” 
“Over the past decade, Garrett had come to realize more and more that his faith couldn’t rely on what was happening around him, or whether or not he understood how God worked. His faith had to rely on God Himself – who never changed – even when he didn’t understand what God was doing.” 
Posted in Book reviews, Reviews

“Jesus Always: A Devotional” by Sarah Young

 

“Jesus Always” by Sarah Young

A Devotional

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

With scripture and new personal reflections “Jesus Always” brings Jesus’ message of joy—for today and every day. Experience true joy—now and always.
Life today is full of difficulties—loss, sadness, fear. In the midst of these challenges, joy often feels impossible or out of reach. But Jesus has more for His followers than a life of striving, pain, and discontent. He offers life abundant, life to the fullest, life brimming with joy! Jesus Always, the new 365-day devotional from bestselling author Sarah Young, was written as part of Sarah Young’s exploration of the promises of joy in scripture. Written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader, Jesus Always invites you into a new way of living—a life of joy. 

This deluxe comfort print edition includes easy-to-read large type and the full scriptures printed out.

Reaching out with joy-filled reminders from the Word of God, these devotions will intimately and gently connect you with Jesus—the One who meets you where you are. Draw near to Him in Jesus Always.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

I love these “Jesus…” devotionals. They’re so beautiful, and full of Biblical truth, spoken from Jesus. I can be kind of picky when it comes to daily devotional books, but these have been a blessing to me, each day feeling like it came right from Yahweh just for me. The Lord definitely uses them in my life, and I find great encouragement in them.
“Jesus Always” has a beautiful cover, leather-like binding, and lovely script. This book is larger in size than my other devos, and is easy to read.
I definitely recommend “Jesus Always”, as well as the other devotionals compiled by Sarah Young. They’re full of truths and comfort.
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

Book Review: “The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” by Bethany Turner

34020274

 

“The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” by Bethany Turner

Releases October 3rd, 2017 (today!!)

Review copy from the author/publishers; launch team copy.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life

 

My Thoughts:

 

This book was adorable. The writing style was truly so great, and I was just drawn right in by the first chapter. It was so…readable. :) The style felt so unique and yet still so familiar to my own. And the story – oh my goodness, I had so many giggles throughout it. This was a book where I literally laughed out loud. Which then caused my family to question my sanity a tiny bit, but more so they wanted to know what I was laughing at. So yes, I had to read some parts out loud, and they giggled right alongside me! Sarah was hysterical in so many ways. From her crazy “What if??” scenarios, to her panicked reaction to things. And very relatable in those instances. Her character really was a gem to read.
Piper! Oh Piper, I loved her so much. Will she get her own story, Bethany? Please? She was like *the best* friend. So grounded, so joyful, and so loyal. Yep, loved her.
Ben. Um, yeah he was kinda perfect. Not like unrealistically perfect. But Bible-Nerd cute perfect. You can see why she fell for him right away.
The characters were all so well-written, and like-able (except Patrick…and one or two others that are supposed to be unlikeable. :D). This book was just a lot of fun to read.
So, the only “downside” to this book for me, what made this a 4.5 instead of 5 for me was Sarah’s obsession with sex. Yes, I expected a bit of that, seeing the plot of the story. And for the most part, it was handled really well and tastefully (going from a “steamy romance” novelist to a Christian…tricky transition that would be! But like I said, it was handled well!). And there wasn’t the “shame” that often comes when Christians have to deal with anything sex-related. However, that seemed to be Sarah’s driving point – when could she be together sexually with Ben? It couldn’t be soon enough for her, and sometimes that seemed like the only reason she wanted to be with him. No, I know that’s not true – she was in love with him for more reasons than that, but that was definitely a focal point that got stronger towards the end. There was nothing really inappropriate, but it was…edgy? That’s why I would recommend only for mature readers, because well, there’s a fair amount of sex talk. And for me personally, I don’t think it was all totally necessary. No, sex is not a shameful thing, and like I said, I was impressed that the author didn’t make it so, but I also don’t think it needs to be the focal point of a book, if that makes sense. And I know everyone’s preference on this one is different. I’m just stating this for others who feel as I do. :)
But that aside, it was a really adorable book, and I dearly loved it, enjoying it so very much. Author Bethany Turner writes with such wit, you can’t help but smile and laugh along, and it still deals with tougher aspects of life.
Oh, and the cover…!!! I can’t end my review without saying something about that. The cover for “The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck” is superb. Spot on. Brilliant. Amazing. Basically, I’m in love with it. As soon as I received my copy, held it in my hands, I was practically drooling over it. So beautiful! <3

 

(I created the first two – flower pot, and pink background – and the other graphic is from the author herself. :))