Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Review: Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

Purchase HERE

Title: Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back?: Facing Life with Courage, not Comforters

Author: Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

Series: Standalone

Genre: Christian Living

Audience: Adult


Depression, fear, a sense of unworthiness, and unfulfilled dreams can make women retreat to their beds - figuratively and literally - and refuse to face life. Yet most of the time, hiding in bed makes matters worse. Who needs emotional bedsores? Authors Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield gently show women how to climb out from under their emotional bedcovers, face their fears and doubts, and step into the lives God has planned for them.

Can I Just Hide in Bed 'til Jesus Comes Back? faces down the fear, depression, and unfulfilled dreams that cripple many women to the point of wanting to crawl in bed - for the rest of their lives. Compiled as a collection of short, mostly humorous and warmhearted stories, it offers readers practical, concrete steps to help them move forward when they are ready. Essays are interspersed with special humor features such as "Top Ten" lists, while "Whenever You're Ready" sections offer Scriptures, journaling questions, and practical suggestions for "putting your feet on the floor" and "taking a few steps forward." The book addresses four themes:
Facing feelings of fear, anxiety, discouragement, and depression
Facing people and relationship issues
Facing the pain of grief and loss
Facing life - and getting yours back

**4.5 stars**

This was a great Christian Living read! Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back? by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield speaks to real struggles with frankness, applicable ideas, hope, and a generous dash of humor. These ladies know how I feel! *smiles* After just finishing Fearless by Cheri Fuller, this book felt like the perfect companion read. It addressed fear and anxiety - talked about facing life with courage and prayer - like Fearless, but was a bit of a lighter read and had me almost laughing out loud many a time!

Basically, Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back? helps you to be upfront with yourself, face your fears, and ask yourself if you're going to keep hiding, or live the abundant life God has called you too. Honestly, people like myself, who struggle with fear, anxiety, depression, or listlessness, need books like this! I very much recommend. It'll get you laughing while taking a look at your heart.

What did I learn? Run to God as soon as the fear/hopelessness hits! Pray continuously. Live life! Laugh! Walk by the Spirit. Sometimes I think we just take ourselves too seriously. God didn't mean for us to live in bondage (whatever that may be), but to be FREE, walking by His Spirit. Trusting Him. With all that we are.

Easy to read, humorous, real, and heartfelt, Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back?: Facing Life with Courage, Not Comforters has the potential to help a lot of women realize they don't have to hide anymore. God has it all under control. They're alive and breathing, and He has a plan! I thoroughly enjoyed.

I received a copy of Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back? from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Book Lover's Tag

What now? Why, another book tag, of course! *winks* Thanks to Rebekah for tagging me for The Book Lover's Tag! Sounds like just my thing.

~The Rules~

1. Answer the questions 

2. Have fun!
3. Tag some book loving bloggers

1. If you could rewrite the end of a book, which one would it be?

Um ... let's go with Beyond the Summerland by L.B. Graham. I would definitely make so a certain someone doesn't die. #epicfantasynovelproblems

2. Which fictional character are you most like?

I would say I share a lot of similarities with Azalea from Entwined by Heather Dixon. Big sister. Prim and proper. Scared to be vulnerable. Feminine and ladylike. Tenderhearted and protective.
I just love this book. <333

3. Do you have any signed books?

Yes! Three of my books from Tricia Mingerink are signed, as well as my copies of A Time to Die and A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. And I know I have a bunch more, though they might not all have been signed specifically for me.

4. What's the best book that you've read this year so far?

Okay, that is a hard question. Do I have to choose?? How 'bout I give you a list of "favorites thus far"? ;P

The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue

~ Adventurous fairy tale ... twelve dancing princesses! *heart eyes* ~

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

~ All the sweetness and heartache and beautiful-ness ~

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

~ Fascinating, superbly-written ... and midwives! ~

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

~ The epitome of what a charming and heartfelt tale is ~

Deliver by Tricia Mingerink

~ All the love for these friends (beloved characters)! Perfect conclusion. ~

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

~ Unique, applicable. So much growth and love and community. Made me cry. ^_^ ~

5. Do you have any bookish pet peeves?

I'm generally not a fan of love triangles or prideful, stubborn, kick-butt heroines that YA novels seem to favor.

6. Out of the books you've read so far this year, what has had your favorite cover?

I simply adore the cover for Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge. *smiles*

7. Is there a book that releases this year that you cannot wait to read?

Absolutely!! A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White and An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter to name a couple.

8. What is your favorite nonfiction book?

Good question. If we're talking "Christian Living", two of my favorites are Girl Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird and When Dreams Come True: A Love Story Only Could Write by Eric & Leslie Ludy

9. Do you have a favorite location and/or time period to have a book set in?

Revolutionary War, Regency, 1920s, World War II, and medieval times are some of my favorites. Or, just put it in a fantasy or fairy tale realm, and I'm perfectly content! <333

10. Is there a book that reminds you of something else? (Movies, life, etc...)

I can't really think of any. Well, besides Jane of Austin reminds me of the 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility. Considering it's a retelling of that particular tale, no wonder! *winks*


I Tag

Natasha @ A Camera and a Dreamer // Deborah O'Carroll @ The Page Dreamer // Sam @ Books and Arrows // Hannah @ My Bookcase and I //

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

Purchase HERE

Title: Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility

Author: Hillary Manton Lodge

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary

Audience: Adult


“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”―Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.

**4 stars**

Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge was a charming read. Fans of Jane Austen-esque novels, look no further! A retelling of Sense and Sensibility, this book was fun, sweet, bitter, and beautiful.

It's a contemporary, retelling a Regency tale of romance, heartache, and finding true love. I liked the sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margot. And it was fun getting it from Jane's (a.k.a. Marianne's) point of view. Truly, this was such a charming retelling of the beloved, classic tale, I didn't mind that it was set in modern days. It was neat to explore Texas. *smiles* The descriptions were lovely and the book, all around, had an old-fashioned feel. The aspect of teas and tea-making, baking and tea shops? I loved it! So, so fun and unique.

The characters were all great. But Callum was my favorite. I just really, really liked him. A war hero. A gentleman. A good man. Plus, his dog was just the best. This may be the only time I've so loved a dog in a book! ^_^ *hugs Dash*

A couple complaints. Well, it is contemporary ... and that probably means the romance isn't quite to my liking. Yes. Too much kissing, too fast. Way too much "dating without any intentions of marriage anytime soon". There was more intention and marriage-mindedness with Callum, but still the "making out" came way too soon. Save it for marriage, alright, folks?
Also, I thought this book was Christian fiction. There was no talk of faith except for one character's decision to go to seminary school. All in all, it was clean and old-fashioned, (like the Jane Austen movies) even with good morals and lessons, for the most part. So, of course I would have rather had a faith theme, but Jane of Austin was still a lovely read ... like watching a Jane Austen movie!

It was easy to read, interesting, different yet similar to the original Sense and Sensibility, and overall an enjoyable read.

I received a copy of Jane of Austin from BloggingforBooks in exchange for my honest review.

The Latest from Lady Grace

I've gotten more on top of my blogging there, and am striving to post every Tuesday and Saturday. I've been transferring my inspirational posts from this blog to Lady Grace, and also writing new posts about things God has been laying on my heart/doing in my life. *smiles*

Feel free to check them out and comment! ^_^

Friday, June 9, 2017

My Doings

Hey, my lovely friends! How are you doing? I hope your day is blessed and that you are filled with the joy of the Lord so that you can bless others too! ^_^

I myself am a bit tired today, among other things, so I'm finding myself being irritable. Eek! Trying to speak with a happy tone and calm heart to my five-year-old sister and two-year-old brother. They're home with me right now as the rest of the family is out working on our new house.

Speaking of the new house ... it's coming along! We're doing a lot of renovations, so it'll be awhile yet before we move in, but it's exciting to see all the work that's been done so far!

We ripped out all the carpets the first day we went there. Then we had to take a break while my mom ordered an asbestos test and got all that done. No asbestos in the ceiling paint! We were able to go work again!

Yesterday, we spent the better part of the day working there. I vacuumed most of the house, which was covered in dust, dried paint, etc. from sanding down the ceilings. Then I spent most of the rest of the time dusting & priming trim and walls for painting. We had two of our cousins helping out that day, and it was fun to work and eat lunch/snacks together. The more the merrier! ^_^

By the end of our work day there, I was sitting on the kitchen floor, surrounded by painting supplies, sanding tools, and bags of lunch food, holding my two-year-old brother as he drifted off to sleep. It was a good day. I drove home with half the kids, and my mom with the other half.

Last Saturday I was cleaning houses with my family. That was a very busy day as well. (One highlight was I got to go to Chick-fil-A. *grins*)

And ... overall, it's just been busier than normal. Besides spec house cleaning and working on our house, we have been trying to sort through all of our possessions before the move - getting rid of things and figuring out what we need.
I now have Bible study on Sunday nights and a few Christian Living books I've been working through.
And continuing to form friendships! *smiles*

Plus, I'm trying to set my priorities straight. More time spent in God's Word and in prayer ... perhaps cut back on some other things.

It's been good to just reevaluate. Breathe. Organize. Toss out the junk. Put aside things I don't really need to be doing. Focus on what's important. Growing closer to my Lord. People.

  • Writing.

My "writing progress" has gotten a little pushed into the background. I'm 61% through Silver Rose, and have come to a bit of a standstill. But that's okay. Sometimes we need to just step back from something and breathe a little before going back to work on it. I'm still hoping to publish it fairly soon! Because writing/putting out books is a blessing to me and my desire is that it would glorify God and speak life to the world!

I am blogging though! Here, and getting more efficient with Lady Grace: Embracing Light, True Womanhood, and God's Perfect Path - I'm trying to post there every Tuesday and Saturday.

  • Reading.

Besides Proverbs, Bible study reading, and some Christian Living books, I have two review books on hand. Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge. And The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller. Hopefully I'll get to them this month because they both seem lovely. ^_^

  • Listening To.

I've been listening to a lot of songs, haha! I talked about this on Lady Grace, actually. *smiles* I also just discovered I really like young Christian artist, Hollyn. Some of my favorite songs by her are:





  • Watching.

I've been watching Matt Chandler's series, TO LIVE IS CHRIST, TO DIE IS GAIN. Also, just random videos from Joseph Solomon, Girl Defined, and other Christian Youtubers. One such video I really liked was:

I don't think I need to add anything to that. Perfection. ^_^ Live and love God where you are!

  • Moments.

When I don't fall asleep until 2 or so in the morning, and then am awake at 5:30 AM, unable to sleep. So I pray awhile. Listen to some music. Get up and read my Bible and study books. Wander into the kitchen and do the leftover dishes, put some wash going, fold a batch of clothes ... feeling real efficient. Ha! Peoples, I am not a morning person. I told my mom she better hope I never go back to sleeping normally, so I'll get more work done around the house. XD

That went on for about a week, and I didn't feel exhausted even though some nights I was only getting 3-4 hours of sleep. Now I think it's finally catching up on me. I was feeling pretty tired today, so I decided it would be best to stay home from working at the house and give the little ones a break too.

Anyway, I am sleeping better! But still staying up fairly late with my headphones on, listening to Hollyn - just to relax and dwell on resting in the Lord's love.

I've been doing some other exciting things, (for me, anyway!), such as driving to Cracker Barrel with my sister on Memorial Day to meet the rest of my family for a fun evening. Truthfully, it was only like the second time ever that I've driven on a freeway. :p

  • Looking Forward To.

  • Family Reunion
  • Seeing my brother in a few months (Lord willing)! <3333
  • Going forward with Silver Rose
  • Moving into our new house
  • Just seeing what awesome ways God works in my life and the lives of those around me

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known
    through all generations.

I will declare that Your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established Your faithfulness in heaven itself.

Psalm 89:1-2

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Cover Love Again **UPDATED**

I never get tired of cover love posts. Can you tell? ^_^ Check out these beauties, from contemporary to historical, from fantasy to dystopian, and tell me your favorites!

Secrets of Neverak {A Tale of Light and Shadow #2} by Jacob Gowans

Published: July 7th, 2015 (Shadow Mountain)

Keeping Kinley {Books of Dalthia #5} by Annette K. Larsen

Published: March 2017

Love's Winter Hope {Eagle Harbor #5} by Naomi Rawlings

Published: April 24th, 2017 (Cedar Lake Press)

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre {The Two Princesses of Bamarre #0.5} by Gail Carson Levine

Published: May 2nd, 2017 (HarperCollins)

Love on Pointe by Tiffany Odekirk

Expected Publication: June 1st, 2017 (Covenant Communications)

Warfare {Life After #2} by Julie Hall

Expected Publication: June 13th, 2017

So Pure a Heart {Daughters of His Kingdom #4} by Amber Lynn Perry

Expected Publication: June 20th, 2017 (Liberty Publishing)

Romancing Daphne {The Lancaster Family #3} by Sarah M. Eden

Expected Publication: June 21st, 2017 (Covenant Communications)

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

Expected Publication: June 22nd, 2017 (Bellbird Press)

White Dawn {Black Tiger #3} by Sara Baysinger

Expected Publication: July 6th, 2017 (StarFinder Press)

The Secret of the India Orchid {Proper Romance} by Nancy Campbell Allen

Expected Publication: August 1st, 2017 (Shadow Mountain)

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

Expected Publication: September 19th, 2017 (Waterbrook Press)

Conqueror {Defier #3} by Mandy Fender

Expected Publication: 2017 (Stouthearted Publishing)

A Light on the Hill {Cities of Refuge #1} by Connilyn Cossette

Expected Publication: January 6th, 2018 (Bethany House)

The Sea Before Us {Sunrise at Normandy #1} by Sarah Sundin

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Revell)

The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

Expected Publication: May 2018

The Lost Castle {The Lost Castle #1} by Kristy Cambron

Expected Publication: 2018

Five Poisoned Apples {Fairy Tale Collections #4}

Expected Publication: 2018 (Rooglewood Press)