Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“All for Love” Collection ~ Book Review

 

 

 

“All for Love” 3-Novella collection by Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Jen Turano

 Three of Christian historical fiction’s beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. New and loyal fans alike will enjoy these novellas previously released only as ebooks. Connealy’s “The Boden Birthright” journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden’s determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer’s pretty daughter. Hunter’s “A Lady of Esteem” follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Turano’s “At Your Request” tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected.

 

Review copy: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

 

 

My Review:

 

 

 

“The Boden Birthright” by Mary Connealy// 3 stars

I’m not generally a huge fan of the “old west” type of fiction, but I had read one of Mary Connealy’s stories before and enjoyed it, so I started this one with little trepidation. And while it was a fine story, I felt that it was heavy on the descriptions instead of the characters and their lives, and it was very much an insta-love situation. Which, I know, kind of has to be the case for a novella, but it was like a switch had gone off with their romance, since Chance had been mourning his wife only a couple pages previously.

It just was a bit rushed, and not my favourite story. But that’s not saying it won’t be your favourite. :)

“A Lady of Esteem” by Kristi Ann Hunter//  4.5 Stars

This is the story for which I received the review copy. :) I absolutely loved Kristi Ann Hunter’s book, “An Inconvenient Beauty” and have been eager to go back and start this series from the very start. So receiving this novella collection with The Hawthorne House’s prequel in print – I was quite pleased. ^.^

And it was a joy to read “A Lady of Esteem”! I loved main character, Amelia – she had just a sweet and caring heart, and she was oh-so patient throughout each trial she faced. And all the servants – I loved them too, and their love and devotion to Amelia; even if they didn’t work under her themselves. And hero, Anthony was a great character of a changed man. The two main characters complimented each other so well!

The faith message was definitely present, which I of course appreciated.

The whole story was brought together very nicely, and a fantastic prequel to the series!

 

 

 “At Your Request” by Jen Turano// 4.5 stars

 

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I would think of this novella. I hadn’t previously read anything by Jen Turano, and since I was almost done with this collection, I admit I was a bit hesitant about the last one, concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as the one before. But goodness, I shouldn’t have worried! This story was darling, and pleasantly surprised me at more than one turn. Every time I thought I knew what would happen or what one of the characters would say, assuming it would be the typical in most romance fiction, it would be the opposite – which delighted me because that is what I wanted to find but rarely do in stories.

I also loved that Wilhelmina wasn’t your typical ‘perfect stunning trim’ character. One scene had me giggling out loud, and I was just very impressed with this story. I would definitely like to read more by this author. :)

I do wish there would have been a faith message; that was sadly not present.

 

 

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars// Very lovely collection with enjoyable reads!

Posted in Books, Random babblings, update

Can’t help it…MAY I recap?

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

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

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

 

The books I read:

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Books added to my already-too-big collection:

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

May Post Sum Up:

 

Connilyn Cossette AI  Moriyah CI

038    The God Who Sees Me

4-29-18 (5)   a5193-tag

 

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

And a Cover Reveal HERE.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

Posted in Books, Random babblings, update

New Changes…

Changes...

 

Hello!

As you might have noticed, this blog has a new header image! It’s bigger, yes, but it is also more ‘me’. Toothless the love-able dragon has always been a favourite (and why he’s still center-stage!), but I also wanted this blog to show what else it represents. Mainly, book. Words. Books. And the record-player image? That is me too.

This year it is my hope to put more into this blog, to develop it more, to post more. Will I fulfill every goal I have planned for this blog? Probably not. But I’d like to try. I’d like for this to become something more than just a review blog with an occasional “Rae-oddity” post. However, I’m not holding myself to a strict plan, because I also want God’s touch  throughout this blog. My main goal is to glorify Him – be His Peculiar Treasure. And so if He leads me in a new direction, then I will follow.

 

So what does all this mean, you ask? Well, it is my hope to have more bookish posts that are fun, and varied, but also “inspirational”.

Book reviews are great, don’t get me wrong. And this blog will see many more of them because…well, that’s just how it is. I am a Book Reviewer.

I haven’t sorted out a complete schedule yet, but I’ve written down blog post ideas that sound rather fun, so I’m hoping to start up with those soon! So keep your eyes out for that. :)

 

Do you have any recommendations for blog posts you’d like to see here? Any topics or anything? I’m open to more suggestions! What are your favourite things to read on blogs? And if you’re a blogger too, what’s your favourite thing to blog about?

 

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews, update, Writing

MAY I do my Recap

Okay, so the title of this post is a little cheesy. (I would very much like some cheese pizza, please). But I get tired of doing the same “(Month) Recap/Wrapup” and since I just got done writing in my snarky story, I can’t help it.

 (via Pinterest)

 

So yeah, May. ‘Twas full of busy-ness, doings, happenings, and whatnots. When it comes to life-recaps, my mind suddenly goes pretty blank. All I know is that we were busy. I finished my journal (started a new one). Had some kittens. Found a couple of cats a new indoor home. Read what felt like a lot. These are the books I read:

 

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson Shadow of Suspicion by Christy Barritt Admirable by Sarah Holman Befriended by Sarah Holman The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson (Review here), Shadow of Suspicion by Christy Barritt, Admirable by Sarah Holman (review here), Befriended by Sarah Holman (review here), The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman (review here), and Wings of the Wind by Conniln Cossette (review to come).

I received/bought several books this month as well, and some of those are:

 

 

Okay, before I dive into the first picture of books, you see the second one? I won that prize pack! I was so surprised when I got the email, because I’ve never expected to win one of those big prize packs that I so often enter – I mean, there’s always SO many entries. What are the chances?(Totally random, I get it.). But yeah, so that was utterly thrilling!

As for the books on the left. See what they’re sitting on? A record player! Yay! Been wanting one, and my sister and I found this one at a garage sale for extremely cheap and it all works! <3

Anywho, enough random rambling (what am I saying?! This whole post is basically that). In the book picture, the left hand stack are books I purchased. The bottom four were from a CBD sale! And then the next top four I bought through my darling friend in another state, and the top was one I got from the book group I’m apart of for selling/swapping. That book in the middle of the stacks – yeah, that was a surprise from said darling friend!! She got that book for me just because! So sweet! <3

The righthand stack: Bottom three were swapped books from the group, the next four are review books, and the top two (including the audio book) were give-away wins. So, lots and lots of fun. I love books. *Huggles them*. The book by Joanie Bruce I actually won from a short story contest. Dat was fun.

 

And now, a “Pretty Bookish Picture”:

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As for writing, I haven’t been doing a TON of that, but I’m now back to working at it some. Little by little.

 

Music. Listening to some records, and the soundtrack to Tarzan (because it’s pretty much perfection), and of course, The Monkees. They’re amazing, but everyone who knows me knows I think that. ;)

 

Sooooape. I guees that’s it. (“And that’s all!” – quote from a person from a video from the 60’s…*cough*)

June will be full of more book reading/reviews, God-willing. I’ve got a lot of books to review. But I love reading, so it shouldn’t be a problem. We’ve got some of the garden in, so that’s good.

What’s up with yous peoples? Read anything good lately? Have any books you hope to read this month? Do you having any records you enjoy?

 

 

Posted in Bethany House, Blogging For Books, Book reviews, BookCrash, Booklook Review, Books, God's Lessons, Litfuse, Moody Book Review, NetGalley Book Review, reading, Revell Reads, Reviews, update

An announcement of sorts

Good day to you, my much appreciated blog-followers! :)

As the title states, I do have an announcement to share with you all. And it’s rather large, in the sense that I didn’t think that I’d do this. But I’m content with this decision, because I know it is directed by God and He has shown Himself SO awe-some in every sense of the word. So my news is this:

 

I will no longer be reviewing books at the rapid pace that I have been – that I’ve been known for. In fact, I’ve gotten off several of the Book Review Programs. I’m taking a Sabbatical. (such a fun word, is it not?). The reason for this, in short, is that it is what the Lord has guided me to recently. It’s definitely time for a break. See, when I read and review books I am analyzing the book so I can justly review it, but by doing this constantly, I have formed a habit of being analytical in everything – and that is leaning on my own understanding, not God’s. It’s thinking through every little thing when I should have faith instead.  And I want to lean wholly on the Lord’s understanding instead of my own, and so I am obeying Him in this step back from reviewing.

 

Sabbatical

 

Truthfully, it is a relief. Yes, I have loved this season of reviewing – it has been a great experience! But I am now ready for a new season. I will still be reading (of course!) but at a more leisurely pace, and I won’t necessarily being posting reviews of every book, as the amount of review books I receive will be just about nonexistent.

However, I will be finishing out with the reviews I have already committed to, so there are a couple yet to come. And I’m not banishing myself from all book reviews, just really stepping back.

 

It’s a big change for me, I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a reviewer. But now, it is: I was a reviewer. My life doesn’t need to hinge on reviewing, and a breather will be nice!

I’ll still do my best to keep up with my blog here, and I’m still apart of some blog tours coming up. I’m just also going to be doing a lot of “de-stressing” which means de-cluttering, etc.

 

So, here’s to a new season! Thank you for understanding. :)

 

 

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

Read:

“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 1940's, Book reviews, Books, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

 

(Click image to go directly to book on Amazon)

 

Through Waters Deep” by Sarah Sundin

#1 in Waves of Freedom Series

WWII Fiction

Review copy source: Litfuse

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to read this book – so excited! :D After reading “A Distant Melody” by Sarah Sundin, I was quite hooked on her writing. And “Through Waters Deep” didn’t disappoint. While it didn’t top “A Distant Melody” for me (not much can! Hehe), it was still very satisfactory.

I loved the main characters, Mary and Jim. I related to Mary in her quiet, calm manner, and felt deeply for her in her struggles. And Jim was a dashing hero. ;) He had his own struggles too, and I appreciate that he and Mary shared their struggles and burdens with each-other, each growing in the Lord as well.

There were some great side characters – I’m really looking forward to the next book involving Arch and Lillian! Yay! Mary and Jim will remain my favourites, but I know they will run a close second. However, I did not care for Quintessa at all. She bugged me and I felt like Mary saw herself too indebted to her – it wasn’t an even-sided friendship, if that makes sense. Though, I am expecting Quintessa to have a more favourable story in the third book of this series. :)

The plot was engaging and the mystery gripping! I must say, I was pleased to find out the one I suspected was the culprit in the end! =D Following mystery stories are fun, and I was relieved that this was a ‘clean’ one, without murders, etc. as many mysteries are.

There were several ‘happy’ parts in this book that just made me melt with happiness. :D So many sweet parts and feelings. That being said, I think there were more ‘turmoil’ parts than necessary…I know many like the riveting, edge-of-your-seat plots, and while this was that in a good way definitely, it also had some frustrating parts that I could’ve done without. ^.^ But at least it all ends happily and how we want!! I do like having that guarantee in stories.

The faith strand was there, and I was glad for that. I loved the theme of Nehemiah to it, and how Jim and Mary relied on God for their strength! Very cool. I loved that they each prayed beforehand about things instead of charging forward. A good reminder for all of us, myself definitely included!

I was impressed with how thorough Sarah Sundin’s research was and how lovely it was displayed in this book. Very authentic and still easy-to-read. I appreciate that! I also appreciate that there weren’t too many ‘battle intensive’ parts – it was handled with great care, and I liked that. I get very emotionally invested in books, and so it’s nice not to get pulled too far down when the scenes get overwhelming; thankfully, as I said, this book wasn’t that way. It was perfect in that aspect.

There is so much I could say about this book – the setting, the themes, the interactions. But I’m afraid my review would be quite lengthy! :)

All in all, I enjoyed this read for sure! Looking forward to more. :)

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse and the Publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

Sarah Sundin through waters deep image

 

Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: “Side by Side” by Jana Kelley

http://www.amazon.com/Side-Jana-Kelley/dp/1596694300/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1430227207&sr=1-1

 

“Side by Side” by Jana Kelley

Fiction

Review copy source: Litfuse

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About:

About the book:
Side by Side (New Hope Publishers, April 2015)

In the dusty, Islamic country of Sudan, Mia’s life collides with that of another young woman.

A young Christian American mother, Mia finds more than one dark secret on the streets of Khartoum. She finds Halimah, a young, upper-class Arab student with a bright future in her family’s business whose risky and secretive decision has put her life in danger. What happens when the path of young mother intersects with that of a spunky Sudanese student? God transforms them both . . . forever.

Part of New Hope® Publishers’ contemporary missional fiction line, Side by Side opens the reader’s eyes to the life of Muslims in Sudan as well as some of the struggles that Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith as well as pray for the salvation of those who persecute.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1DPUKiO

 

My thoughts:

I was very impressed by this book. I love missionary fiction type books, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one – it was all excellent though! So deep and inspiring, and heart-tugging all at the same time.

Jana Kelley writes beautifully, talentedly, and very realistically. As the cover says: “inspired by real-life events” – Mrs. Kelley shares about the truths of it all. Life, especially as a follower of Christ, is hard in Sudan – in many places really. This book gives a real-life glimpse into such trials. But oh how encouraging it is! Real people really living for the Real Jesus.

I loved all the characters. The struggles Mia (the American) faced were very realistic. Getting to see even a tiny glimpse into the life and customs of those in Sudan was interesting.  And seeing the sacrifices one of the main characters made for Jesus was so inspiring and awing.

To be honest, this book is a hard one to review, but only because it was so good and so full. It’s one of those books. I highly recommend it to others. =)

I really loved “Side by Side”, and it really impacted me. I know it won’t be one I will soon forget!

 

About the author:

Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend college. She and her husband married a month after she graduated and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. Together with her husband and three boys, Jana enjoys travel and overseas living. After thirteen years in Africa and the Middle East, Jana and her family moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.

Find Jana online:website, Facebook, Twitter

I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers through Litfuse in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

Posted in Pictures, Product Revews, Reviews

Product Review: Style J Skirt

Product Review of a skirt from Style J Denim Skirts
http://www.denimskirts.com/

I was so pleased and super excited when Style J Denim Skirts allowed me to do a product review of one of their skirts! They had some lovely choices on the site, but I finally landed on this one:

The Golden Grace Long Denim Skirt
http://www.denimskirts.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/golden-grace-long-denim-skirt

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Doesn’t it look lovely? I know, for me, it is going to make a perfect Fall/Winter skirt!

I knew that I’d probably receive the skirt when we were out of town (which it did of course!), and so I was very excited to arrive home to see it. And I was so thrilled to see it and quickly take it out of the packaging to admire it. I should’ve gotten a picture of it in the wrapping, but I was too excited and forgot. :)
The skirt is of lovely material – it’s denim and still stretchy. And it fits pretty comfortably too. It is a little snug around my hips, but nothing too bad – it is still plenty comfortable to be in!

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I knew it’d be a bit long on me, because I am short – but I don’t mind it and Mum might hem it up a little bit – I’m still undecided on that. I do like long skirts a lot. (I wore high-heels for these pictures so the skirt wouldn’t drag on the ground). :)
I love the pockets. Most skirts I find never have pockets, but I am so delighted that this skirt does!

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The skirt feels very elegant, and yet comfortable enough to wear on an every-day basis. It is pretty easy to match with too, which I appreciated since I am more apt to just throw on a T-shirt. =)

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Overall, I am SUPER pleased with this skirt, and am so looking forward to wearing it more.

A huge, huge, huge Thank You to Style J Denim Skirts for allowing me to do this review and sending me the complimentary skirt – I cannot thank you enough!
I would recommend this company to others, definitely. :)

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