Posted in Books, Open Catagory Monday, Questions/answers

The Literary Dinner Party Tag :)

The Literary Dinner Party Tag!.png


Hello and Happy Monday! For today’s “open-catagory” post, I am going to do…
The Literary Dinner Party Tag!
In a round-about-way, I was tagged by Faith of Stories by Firefly ~ see, she tagged anyone who was wearing socks while reading her post, and I was, so here I am :D It looks like a fun tag, and I’m looking forward to sharing the characters I chose for the answers!

1// A Character who can/likes to cook:

I want to say the name of a character in a novel that is not yet published (that’d be because it’s not finished yet…), but I will do my best to name characters in already published works. So… I would say, Rylan of “One Enchanted Eve” by Melissa Tagg – while she primarily ‘bakes’, I think she and Colin could produce a scrumptious feast. :)
One Enchanted Eve (Enchanted Christmas Collection #2)
2// A Character who has the money to fund this party:
King Hezekiah  and Queen Hephzibah of “Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews – they’re King and Queen, so yes, they can afford this. :D
Isaiah's Daughter (Prophets and Kings, #1)
3// A Character that might cause a scene:
Freydis – I can just picture her at a dinner party and it not going so well…!
Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga, #2)
4// A Character who is amusing:
Sarah Hollenbeck – not sure if she’ll mean to be amusing, but it will be hysterical nonetheless!
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
5// A Character who is super popular
Lukas De Wilde  – yep.
A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
6// One Villain:
Alex Martin – okay, he’s not really a villain at all. And he has his good qualities. Buuuut, well, yeah. Just gonna leave it at that. ^.^
Pit of Ambition, Book II in The Caselli Family Series
7// One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic:
I could come up with a thousand…but I will go with: Violet Hawthorne and Vance Everstone. <3
The Cautious Maiden (The Everstone Chronicles, #4)
8// One hero:
Walter <3
A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)
9// One underappreciated character:
Chiara – I adore her, and her tenacity for life!
   Destiny Defied (The Destiny Series #1)  Destiny Delivered (The Destiny Series #2)  Destiny Defended: Rakshasa's Curse (The Destiny Series #3)
10// One character of your own choosing:
Again, I could choose a ton, but I’m going to go with Josey. :) Love her!
Everything's Coming Up Josey (Josey, #1)
And that brings us to the end of this tag!! I tag anyone who loves books and wants to do this ;)
Are you familiar with any of the characters I named?
Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Tessa Afshar

The Big Ol’ Wrap Up

It’s that time of year….where we wrap up this previous year and prepare for the new. On my blog, that mainly means: Books. ^.^
And because I am doing this post, I won’t be doing the Monthly-Wrap up of books like I often do. I did aquire some good books in December, but I didn’t actually read many at all. In fact, all I read was a short story (“Last Wish: a Short story” by Valerie Howard) –  I started “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell at the beginning of the month, and am just finishing it now, so I’ll count it for 2016 but I’m afraid I may finish it on the first. XD. It’s a 600 page book, heavy English. But very good! :)
I read quite a few books during 2016; not quite as many as I was hoping for, but still a good amount, rounding out at a total of 63 books, and a total of 15,048 pages, according to Goodreads.
I won’t list them all, because that’d take time I don’t really have, and some people (most?!) probably won’t care. XD If you *want* to see what all books I’ve read, you can check out my Goodreads page here:
In this post what I *will* be doing, is listing some of my favourites. I read quite a few good ones, so narowing it down is always hard. I’ll try to just list 5.  So, shall we?
Family Lies, Deadly Ties by J.A. Marx. This was a 5 star book for sure. I loved it.
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar – Mrs.Afshar does it again, writing a brilliant, heart-touching, encouraging read!
Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert – This is an easy one for “Best of 2016” for sure. Absolutely magnificent!
The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall – My first Dawn Crandall book and it was amazing. So sweet!
Light of the Last by Chuck Black. – A fantastic ending to a great series!
But I can’t forget these other amazing books that I thoroughly enjoyed:
Like Never Before, Keep Holding On, and One Enchanted Christmas, all by Melissa Tagg – all of these were SO good! So cute.
Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin  – one simply cannot go wrong with a Sarah Sundin book! Her WWII fiction is fantastic.
…and so many more books. ^.^
NonFiction: I only read a few, but two of my favourites were these:
“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias and “I Dare You” by Isabella D. Morganthal.
Honourable Fiction Mentions:
“If He Lives” by Sarah Holman
“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cosette
“Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin
“Miriam” by Mesu Andrews
“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald
Augh, do you know how hard it is to narrow down great books?! I realize a lot of you do. ^.^
So, what do I plan to read in 2017? Um…well…I’d like to get through my TBR bookshelves! XD That’s a lofty goal. But realisitcally, I really would like to check off a couple on my shelf that have long been waiting to be read. I also want to reread the first book and novella in the Ilyon Chronicles, and continue on with that series, and also reread The Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, finally getting to read the third one! I have many other “To Read”s though. We’ll see what get’s done! What is on your 2017 Read List? Did you have a favourite book of 2016?
Here’s to a year of pleasurable reading!
Posted in Books, Human Trafficking, Random babblings, reading

My Book Order Arrived!

That'll keep me busy for at least a week...

(Via Pinterest)


Ahaha, I wish I got a book order that big! Wouldn’t want to pay for it though…ouch! XD

However, on a serious note: my 2 books I recently ordered online finally came yesterday!!! So happy! They are:

“Destiny Defended” and “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” both by  the wonderful J.A.Marx!!! I am so happy to complete my collection of The Destiny Series, and own a print copy of FLDT because it’s amazing. <3 And of course I had to take a couple pictures of my J.A. Marx book collection….




Aren’t they so pretty?! So happy! And here’s a pic of them on my shelf, because…obviously it’s needed:


It’s not the best picture, I know, but I blame it on our not-so-good camera. Anyway. I’ve placed them on my  ‘favourites’ shelf. :)


So, there we go. Just wanted to share my excitement!! Have you ordered any books recently? (Next on my list is “Samara’s Peril” by Jaye L. Knight!)

Posted in Book reviews, Books, lists, Pinterest, reading, Tessa Afshar, update

April Book Recap

Happy May First!

And first, I’d like to wish my dearest friend, Kenzie, a very Happy Birthday!!! Love you, Ken!! <3


FREE printable book wall art - or use it for filling in the titles of books you read(pic via Pinterest)


I’ve been keeping track of what books I receive in the mail and what books I read through the month, so I thought it might be fun to share! If I have already written and posted the review for each book, I will link to it in the title. :)


During the month of April, this was my Book News:

Finished “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg (LOVED it) Contemporary Romance


“A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund – but I didn’t finish, only skimmed because I was disappointed in it. Medieval/fantasy fiction


“The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith – I skimmed this one too towards the end because of the content. Biblical Fiction


“Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A.Marx – I adored this book, and am so very excited about it! It releases on May 13th. Can’t wait to share more about it!! Contemporary/Human-trafficking fiction


“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cossette – Very good! I will be posting my review soon. :) Biblical Fiction


“The Beautiful Pretender” by Melanie Dickerson – Really enjoyed this one! Will also post my review of it soon. :) Medieval/Historical Fiction


And I started “Anchor in the Storm” by Sarah Sundin, which I am enjoying! WII Fiction


Favourite Book of April: Hard to choose between the few excellent ones…but I’d have to say “Family Lies, Deadly Ties” by J.A. Marx. So good. :)


This month, I plan to read “Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar (which releases TODAY!!! <3), “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd, and we’ll see what else! :)

I’ve also got a couple blog posts coming soon…a Tag and some book reviews. :)

Do you keep track of the books you read each month?


Posted in Author Interview, Books, Questions/answers, Writing

Author Interview with J.A. Marx!!

Hello, and welcome to this blog’s first author-interview! As I said in a recent post, I am very excited about this! So, shall we begin?


J.A. Marx

Displaying Marx smile.JPG


J.A. Marx, author of suspense that mends souls


Welcome Mrs. Marx! I’m so happy to have you here. Would you like to introduce yourself and perhaps share a bit about you?

Thanks for inviting me into your virtual world, Raechel. I’m grateful to be here.

As a happy empty nester, I write from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. However, I grew up in Colorado (my heart’s home), and then lived in Nashville and Cleveland before moving to Texas. I’ve got two grown children, one grandson, and a granddaughter soon to arrive. I’m still married to my college sweatheart.

What a blessing that you’re still married to you college sweetheart! 

What first spurred you on to write these particular kind of books? They are so beautifully unique and healing.

The way you state this question brings a tear to my eye because my heart’s desire is to mend souls through stories. I’ve experienced healing, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally—and that’s contagious. Something so divinely and genuinely life changing begs to be passed on to others. As far as the genre itself, author Frank Peretti was my inspiration.

I completely agree – it really is contagious! God’s healing is so powerful and so thrilling – and humbling – to experience.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your books?

My prayer is that readers will experience healing and/or insight along with the characters.

Fantastic prayer and goal.

How many years have you been writing?

I started writing in October 2001

Would you mind sharing your background – where you learned the deep spiritual healing that is revealed in your Destiny Series?

I was saved at 18. Long story short, I later had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit at a Vineyard Church in Colorado and realized the Third Person of the Trinity was the missing link in my life—the gasoline for my tank, if you will. Through pastoring and mentoring, I was healed, equipped, and empowered to pass on what I received.

Nothing satisfies me more than when I’m with someone and pray, “More of You, Lord,” and then sit back and witness God do a miracle in the person. Even though He uses willing vessels, it is all Him!

 Amen to that. And beautifully spoken.

Of your Three Destiny books, do you have a favorite – one that is particularly special in your heart? (I know, not such a nice questions!)

I like them all . . . but after I finish the bountiful amount of final edits on any book, I’m totally sick of that one and ready to move on.

Haha, I can imagine that. Editing can be tedious work.

What is your writing routine like – do you outline at all, plot it, or just write as you go?

I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer (aka pantser). But after the first 5-6 chapters, I have to stop and establish personalities, setting, a theme, and a moral premise. Then I revert to pantser mentality, and let the characters take over.

Which came first – characters or the idea for the story?

Always the character. For The Destiny Series, my mind’s eye saw a woman washed up on a beach, unconscious. I had to do something with her. Who wouldn’t?

Of each of your characters, was there one you related to most?

Ha! That’s a tough one. Probably, Dr. David Young, introduced in book 2, Destiny Delivered.

How long did it take you to write each book?

I wrote all 6 in the series within two years, but they were horribly written. I head-hopped, floundered with passive writing, and I had an addiction to adjectives. It took me almost a decade to learn and perfect the craft.

That’s pretty good, even if you did have to go over it a bit.

Do you have any favorite books you’d like to recommend to my readers?

One of my current favorites is Demon: A Memoir, by Tosca Lee. I believe every Christian would benefit from reading this profound work of biblical-fiction. You’ll come away with a deeper impression of God’s amazing love.

For non-fiction, I’d suggest my current read, How to Stop the Pain, by Dr. James Richards. Another phenomenal read. Could be life changing.

I’ve heard good things about all of Tosca Lee’s books, though I haven’t read them yet, nor the other one you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

What are your writing plans for the future? Any more books featuring Chiara and the group?

I’m editing book 4, but who knows.

What was fact and was fiction? Was any of it based on real life experiences, or purely imagination?

A few minor scenarios came from real life, but it’s essentially all my imagination. There are, however, many news articles, and such, that endorse the relevancy of the storyline. In fact, the devious and ugly situation in book three came straight from a newspaper.  

I heard about that fact in the third book – I can’t wait to read it.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Yikes! My genre is not super popular with editors/agents. So I’ll sum my experience with a true story. I pitched The Destiny Series (for the zillionth time) at a writer’s conference in 2014. The acquisition editor read Destiny Defied (book 1) then had a couple of people above her read it because she liked it. She sent me an email saying, “We love your story, and your writing is amazing. But we can’t sell this genre of book.”

I said, thank you for the feedback. Oh, and by the way, if you’re interested, I also have a romantic suspense—  And within two minutes of sending that email, she replied, “Send it!” Within a couple of days, she offered a contract after reading only the first 5 chapters. That book comes out later 2015 (or 2016). I’m not a romance writer, so go figure! So I self-pubbed the first 3 books of The Destiny Series.

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would have changed?

Ten years ago? Yes. Otherwise, not really. A decade of re-writing/editing/rewriting was enough to drive me insane. LOL



Now just for some fun questions:

Are you an animal person? If so, what is your favorite animal?

Penguins rock! My love for them is well known among family and friends, and my writer’s critique group often teases me: “What would Mr. Penguin say about that?” So I surprised them one night and showed up with a penguin puppet.

Haha, good to know! And I love that you brought a penguin puppet one night! That’s great.

Do you prefer hand-written letters or emails?

Depends on the sender. I love when my children give me homemade, hand-written cards & letters.

That’s sweet. :) handwritten cards and letters from those you love is so special!

What are your hobbies/what you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy painting. I turn on worship music, find a picture I like, and attempt to put it on canvas. My other hobbies are nutrition and fitness; I work out 6 days a week.

Above all else, I seek to start and end every day in the word and in prayer. That’s not a hobby, of course, but some might consider the amount of time I spend in the word hobby-esque.


Thank you so much, Mrs. Marx, for visiting and sharing your time! I really enjoyed it.

And readers, thank you for reading too! Be sure to check out J.A.Marx’s books. She has these two out currently:











Destiny Defied and Destiny Delievered

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Chuck Black, Litfuse, Pictures, Reviews, update

Book I read during 2014

Another year is coming to a close. Seems so soon, doesn’t it?

This past year I’ve been able to read quite a few lovely books! In fact, I’ve read over 50 this year, which is a new record for me. :) I thought I would share what books I read this year, and which ones absolutely touched me and remain on my ‘favourite’ list!


The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2) Shadowed by Grace (Story of Monuments Men #1) God's Daughter (Vikings of the New World Saga, #1) Solomon's Song The Quilted Heart Omnibus (Quilted Hearts #1-3) The Thief (The Living Water Series, #2) The Well (The Living Water Series, #1) October Baby The Queen's Handmaid Visible Threat (Critical Pursuit, #2) Mary Magdalene A Sensible Arrangement (Lone Star Brides, #1) Grace Unplugged Pearl in the Sand For Such a Time Abraham And Sarah: The Long Journey 30 Days to a More Beautiful You: A Devotional for Girls Daisies Are Forever The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains, #1) Raptor 6 (Quiet Professionals #1) The House of Mercy A Broken Kind of Beautiful The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking Rebekah's Treasure In the Field of Grace A Heart for Milton: A Tale from North and South A Bride for Keeps (Unexpected Brides, #1) A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1) Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless (Secrets, #1) A Bride in Store (Unexpected Brides #2) Kingdom's Dawn (Kingdom, #1) A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory, #2) Kingdom's Hope (Kingdom, #2) Kingdom's Edge (Kingdom, #3) Thief of Glory Citizen: Your Role in the Alternative Kingdom Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II Love Amid The Ashes (Treasure Of His Love) Sew, It's a Quest (The Bookania Quests #1) The Crown of Anavrea Finally and Forever (Katie Weldon, #4) The Silver Bowl (Silver Bowl, #1) Destiny Defied The Princess Spy Destiny Delivered And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity Shades of Mercy (Maine Chronicle, #1) How to Be a Pirate (How to Train Your Dragon, #2) Swept Away (Quilts of Love)  Bella at Midnight Dash and Cinder  Ransomed At Home in Last Chance (A Place to Call Home, #3)  (If you click on the image of each book, they will lead to my review of it, if applicable. The last one “At Home in Last Chance” will be reviewed in January).


So that is it – or at least most of them. These are the ones I added on Goodreads (and the images are from that site as well); there were a couple others that I read, but forgot to add to GR…

As some of you may remember, a good percent of these were review books. I liked more than half of the books I read, which is always a good thing! As for my favourites, it is really hard to choose, and the list might be too long, so I will try to keep it short and list one the ones that I super loved (in no order):

“God’s Daughter” by Heather Day Gilbert

“The Well” and “The Thief” by Stephanie Landsem

“Visible Threat” by Janice Cantor

“Pearl in the Sand” (though I’ve read it numerous times before), and “In the Field of Grace” by Tessa Afshar

“For Such a Time” by Kate Breslin

“Daisies are Forever” by Liz Tolsma

“The Cross Centered Life” by C.J. Mahaney (oh my word was this amazing!! Everyone should read this)

“The House of Mercy” by Alicia R. Ruggieri

“A Broken Kind of Beautiful” by Katie Ganshert

“A Distant Melody” and “A Memory Between Us” by Sarah Sundin

“Kingdom’s Dawn”, “Kingdom’s Hope”, and “Kingdom’s Edge” by Chuck Black

“Love  Amid the Ashes” by Mesu Andrews

“The Crown of Anavrea” by Rachel Rossano

“Destiny Defied” and “Destiny Delivered” by J.A. Marx

“Ransomed” By Elizabeth Ender

Like I said, there were many!! I truly adored each of these books and they made huge impacts on my life. :)

So, what books did you read this past year, and which made it to your favourites? I’d love to hear!

Posted in Book reviews, Books, God's Lessons

Book Review: “Destiny Delivered” by J.A. Marx #2 in Destiny Series

“Destiny Delivered” book Two in the Destiny Series by J.A. Marx

Review copy source from author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

“Just don’t send me back to Hell Island…”
Chiara escaped nineteen years captivity and is now rebuilding her life from scratch. Everything would be fine if there were no men around for her to hate.
Isaac goes overboard in trying to get the mysterious Chiara, a former sex slave, accepted into his community. Few are willing to look beyond her social bumbling to find her hidden worth.
Just when things couldn’t get worse, the FBI tracks Chiara down and coerces her into helping them catch a murder/trafficker. Isaac’s wish to understand her unimaginable past comes true. He not only experiences her old world firsthand, he encounters the man who wants Chiara dead.


My Thoughts:

Wow. I can say that I definitely found a new favourite series and author. I knew I’d like this book after reading the first in the series (you can read my review of that one here: Destiny Defied), but I LOVED this book, and would read both this one and the first over again. I am so glad they sit proudly on my bookshelf where I can revisit them any time. :)

I was even further impressed with the healing knowledge J.A. Marx has and includes in her writing. I was so excited to read how the main character, Chiarra and her councilor went through God’s deep spiritual healing, because it is something my family and I have had the joy of experiencing as well, and it is just amazing!

The end of this book blew me away and I can’t wait to read the last book in this fantastic series. I think I “bonded” even deeper with Chiara in this book – so much so, that I kind of held her opinion of certain other characters…But by the end I appreciated and liked everyone (except for Max of course).

Chiara is such a loveable character, and she definitely is my favourite. I really liked Jase and Sabio a lot, as well as Isaac’s mom, Rachel Young (it was also kind of fun seeing her called Rae because that’s my nickname too.:)

There is so much to this book, that I fear I cannot give it the proper justice it deserves. I loved it so much and was brought through so much by it too. I even cried at the end, as Chiara went through her healing. Eeee, it is all just SO good!!

And I want to thank the author, J.A. Marx so very much for her kind conversation and sending me this book for review! It was and is a true blessing to me. :)

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse, Spiritual beliefs

Litfuse Book Review: “Destiny Defied” by J.A. Marx

Destiny Defied
Book One in The Destiny Series

By J.A. Marx

Review source from Litfuse Group
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

A dramatic shipwreck emancipates Riki Hammad, but the island where she finds refuge is compromised. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to defeat her dark past, she will choose death over returning to captivity. Lord Vétis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim their chosen one. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her four self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life…something she has never known.

My Thoughts:

Wow. Really, that is almost all I can say. This book was just…amazing. I was soo pleasantly surprised by this gem.
The setting is on an island in 1990, yet has a sci-fi tone to it most definitely.
And the spiritual aspect – perfect. This book dealt with spiritual war-fare, which we all need to be made more aware of. It is real – not fiction. And this book, I think, portrayed that well. It also portrayed healing and dealing with out past very well too. This author knows what she is writing about, and I am definitely a new fan of hers!
“Destiny Defied” had so much packed into it. Times where you’re laughing, grinning, tear-y eyed, and tense. And shocked/scared. All wrapped into one book. Amazing book. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true. I really enjoyed this one.
It was so captivating and not once did it get boring or ‘dull’. Getting to know the main character, Hope (though she had various names throughout the book, which was neat), was really cool. And same with all the guys, too – seeing their characters, their strengths and weakness and how they battled that, was good as well.

My only complaint is: Why did it have to end and how long do we have to wait for the sequel?? :D This definitely is a book that requires the sequel – meaning, be prepared to get to the last page and crave for more! I kind of just stared at the last page with my mouth hanging open, and then immediately tried to figure out when the next one would be available. Still working on that. =)

I, personally, would recommend this book to be read, at the youngest 14 or 15, for mature content and very real spiritual war-fare. Yes, we need to be made more aware, but we also need to be prepared to read it. =)

I received a free copy of this book from the author and Litfuse publicity group in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Posted in Books, Litfuse

Litfuse Kindle Giveaway/ J.A. Marx

I read “Destiny Defied” by J.A. Marx and it is aaaammmmaaaazzzziiiinnnnggg, truly!! Be sure not to miss this one! I will have my review of the book posted on December Third. :)

(Oh and please don’t forget to enter my give-away too!! Go HERE to enter!)


And now, info on the Destiny Defied giveaway:




JA Marx Destiny Defied

Welcome to the series launch of J.A. Marx‘s Destiny series. Book one, Destiny Defied, is a chilling tale of freedom from oppression and the Light that overcomes the dark.

J.A. is celebrating the launch of her series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on December 2. 


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Destiny Defied by J.A. Marx.

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 12/2. Winner will be announced at the Destiny Defied Facebook author chat party on December 2nd. RSVP for a chance to connect with J.A. Marx, to chat about the book, as well as to win some great prizes!



RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 2nd!