Monday, June 18, 2018

Super Cover Love!

So I'm really excited about some of these covers! Like, Laura Frantz's latest? Eep!

I may just be in love with every one of them. *all the heart eyes*

Check them out, friends, and let me know what cover design is your favorite. ...And which book you're most excited to read!


Fairest Son by H.S.J. Williams

Expected Publication: August 2018 (Trillium Press)


Flights of Fancy {American Heiresses #1} by Jen Turano

Expected Publication: January 1st, 2019 (Bethany House Publishers)



A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

Expected Publication: January 2019 (Revell Publisher)


The Sky Above Us {Sunrise at Normandy #2} by Sarah Sundin

Expected Publication: February 5th, 2019 (Revell Publisher)


One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac

Expected Publication: February 12th, 2019 (Howard Book)


Verity {The Sugar Baron's Daughters #2} by Lisa T. Bergren

Expected Publication: 2019 (Bethany House Publishers

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hallmark Movie Tag

I was tagged by Victoria @ Victoria's Book Nook for the Hallmark Movie Tag! So that is what we will be doing today. Thanks, Victoria! ^_^


1) What's the best Hallmark Christmas movie you've seen?

Okay, I haven't seen very many Hallmark Christmas movies (or Hallmark movies in general, for that matter), but I remember enjoying A Cookie Cutter Christmas {2014} a couple years ago.


2) What's the best Hallmark movie you've seen?

The Magic of Ordinary Days {2005}! Is that a Hallmark movie? If so, it is truly a Hallmark movie that I can applaud. It was a lovely, romantic story set in the 1940s or 50s.


3) What's your favorite Hallmark Movie Season?

I don't have Hallmark channel, so I don't pay attention to Hallmark Movie Seasons. But I'm guessing I would like summer? I like fun, sweet summery movies. <3

4) The last Hallmark movie you saw?

Probably Love Finds You in Charm {2015}. I think it was actually a fun, entertaining film. Perhaps a sweet message and not quite as cheesy as some. *winks*


5) Have you ever decided to watch a Hallmark movie based off it's title?

I don't think so. I usually watch Hallmark movies because they're based off a book I've read or I know of the author (such as The Shunning {2011} by Beverly Lewis) or I know one of the actors ... like Erin Krakow.


6) Do you like Hallmark murder mysteries? If so, which one?

I don't believe I've every watched any ... and if I had, I'm guessing I wouldn't like them. I don't like murder mysteries! :p

7) Favorite Hallmark movie series?

I would have to say When Calls the Heart (2014- ). A good portion of it has come across as cheesy and inauthentic ... but still, I always have fun watching each new episode with my siblings.

The last couple episodes of this latest season (Season Five) were quite great, though. I cried. Tears streaming from my eyes. The acting was awesome; a step up from the rest of the series. Well done, Erin Krakow! I look forward to seeing what the next season brings.


WAIT. Is the Love Comes Softly movie series a Hallmark movie series? If so, that's my favorite! <333333 So beautiful and well-done. My only complaint is that the more movies that came out for the series, the more the strayed from the story line of the books. They killed off some dear characters. *is mad* But other than that, these movies are lovely.



8) A Hallmark movie that had you dying of laughter?

Um ... I have no idea, haha.

9) Is there a Hallmark movie out that you haven't seen yet, but want to?

I would like to watch Finding Father Christmas {2016} and Engaging Father Christmas {2017}, and Marrying Father Christmas {2018} because they're based off books by Robin Jones Gunn (love her!). And Erin Krakow plays in them, and it's fun to see her in different movies.

Okay, "Marrying Father Christmas" isn't out yet, but it just seemed best to include it in this bunch.




Also, since I've read a bit by Karen Kingsbury, it might be interesting to watch the two movies based on her book, The Bridge.



10) What is your most anticipated Hallmark movie?

I'm looking forward to Season Six of When Calls the Heart! There's some potential for this new season ... hopefully they do well with it!


I Tag:

Natasha @ Simple Things

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dress Up 1950s

Hey, you all! I hope you are having a nice Monday ... hopefully I am too. (This post is scheduled, haha.)

Anyway, I recently went yard saling with my family and found some things. *winks* Two bottles of natural shampoo for $3 each (the place I found them from wasn't exactly a yard sale, but they had some discounted prices), lipstick for $1, and a dress that was probably from the 1950s for $1! I really enjoy the fashion of that era. ^_^

So here's a few pictures of us dressing up and having fun. *grins*







Pretty fun, don't you think? We thought it was fabulous. Any tips for us? We weren't sure what kind of sweaters/cardigans to wear or what to do with our hair.

What is your favorite era when it comes to fashion?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Review: The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life by Erica & Jonathan Catherman


Purchase HERE

Title: The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life

Author: Erica & Jonathan Catherman

Series: Standalone

Genre: Self-Help/Non-fiction

Audience: Young Teen/Young Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

There's a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to

- introduce yourself
- change a flat tire
- respectfully break up with a guy
- leave a tip
- apply for a job
- ask for a promotion
- behave during a police stop
- create a personal budget
- calculate square footage
- wash your face
- clear a clogged drain
- iron a shirt
- wear a scarf
- shoot a basketball
- sharpen kitchen knives
- and much more

In fact, if it's in here, it's an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**2.5 stars**

I picked up The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life because I was curious. I wondered if it might have some helpful information and be something I could recommend to my younger sisters and other girls. Well, it did have some neat tips, but on a whole, I was disappointed.

How this book is laid out is kind of nice. From page to page, it has a new subject and how-to steps. So it makes for a pretty easy read. And would probably be easy to reference back to.

I'm not sure what age group it's geared toward ... ? The beginning felt really juvenile. Like young teens? Other parts felt like they were for older teens or even college-age girls. Some of the information was really, really basic while others were things I wouldn't think a teenage girl really needs to know. So it didn't feel as structured as I perhaps expected.

There were some great skills discussed. Cooking skills? Yes, ma'am. My mom cooks and bakes, and taught me from a young age, but a whole lot of girls haven't the slightest idea how to make a nice, homemade meal. So for the girls who's parents can't/don't teach them these things, this book would be pretty helpful!

The car maintenance was also cool. My parents maybe forgot that I didn't automatically know everything about cars and how to take care of them, so I rather struggled as a new drive! I got some helpful tidbits from this book, actually - such as, you should check the oil when the car is cooled as to get an accurate reading.

The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life's dating guide? I wasn't impressed. It felt like it was talking to young teens (um, why do they need to know dating tips?), and, worst, it basically bashed masculinity and femininity and God's natural design for the man to lead ... calling chivalry and such "outdated" or "ancient".

I was just getting too many vibes of feminism and "girl power" from this book. It had some good tips, but it also had ones that you don't actually really need to thrive.

And though it's from a Christian publisher, it talked about all surface-y stuff. There was nothing about having quiet time with God, guarding your heart, seeking wisdom, getting involved in your church, choosing your friends wisely, giving some serious thought to who you date/how you date, living gracefully and joyfully with your parents & siblings ... none of these things that would make up a great book about conquering life!

So it had some nice tips. And I might keep it just the find those if ever I need. But overall it wasn't the book for me.

I received a copy of The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, June 1, 2018

May Wrap Up and Such

Hey, readers! How's the brand new month of June treating you so far? Can you believe we're into the summer months? *happiness* I love summer.

So, I'm going to do a quick May Wrap Up and let you all know what's going on in my life.

What happened in May of 2018?


I got sick. Yeah. I came down with something on the 9th or so of May, and I have not gotten better yet. I'm forced to believe that it might be allergies and I might just have to deal with congestion, sniffles, sinus infections, terrible headaches, and achy-ness ... forever. Ha!

May 9th or 10th, my laptop, which I've had since May 2014, officially crashed and died. I've tried to turn it on a couple times since, but can't get it up and running.

At first, a few weeks or so before, when my laptop initially started having problems, I was freaked out at the idea of it dying. But by the time it suddenly died I was fine. I still check my social media on my Kindle Fire, and occasionally have the opportunity to write a blog post on the family computer!

So yes. My blogging/Booktube schedule will be fairly uncertain this summer ... and until I get a new laptop. I do hope to film some more Youtube videos soon!!

I went thrift shopping! (And yard saling.) One of my favorite things to do. <3 Here are some of the gems I found:



Found this at a yard sale. It was $1, I believe. ^_^ And I love it! First off, the color ... I love pinks of all kinds. And it's just elegant and flowy and a nice cut for me.


This pretty shirt was $3 or so at Goodwill. I like lace, and the pale pink.


This was $1 or $2 ... also at Goodwill. It's a little big, but I love the blue color! It's a good color for me, I think. And it's just nice to wear with jeans for a more casual but nice look.


This was from Goodwill. I bought it for about $5. It fit me so perfectly and I don't have a formal, black dress like this, so I couldn't pass it up. ^_^


Also from Goodwill! This one was on sale for $2.50 or so. I love it! It's so fun and such a lovely fit.


These cute wedge heels are from a yard sale! They're like brand-new and I got them for $3!

I also found a few books, and I will hopefully feature those in an upcoming book haul Youtube video! *smiles*

*** 

One of my sisters, the one directly under me in age, graduated this month! Her ceremony/graduation party were really lovely and I'm happy for her! ^_^

I was hired for a job and started working May 14th. I work Monday-Friday, and so far I've felt less than 100% every day. It wears me down emotionally (and physically, not to mention), but I'm learning to cope with it and see the bright side! Today was my first pay day, and it's nice to know I have steady income!

I usually get up around 6:30, and leave work anytime from 3:00 to 5:00. Mostly I get off work around 4:50 p.m.

I'm enjoying working with children (for the most part, haha!), and it's great getting to know my co-workers!

Started going to a ladies' Bible study at my new church. We're going through a book called The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. I'm really liking it so far - especially the video sessions. Priscilla is a powerful speaker and has a warm personality.

I'm also loving Sunday morning worship and Sunday school class. Getting to know new people! ^_^



I won a prize from Tricia Mingerink! I attended a Facebook festival with authors Tricia Mingerink, Sarah Addison-Fox, and Serena Chase. It was such fun! And I won a special book-themed candle.

It's so cool! Natural, smells good, and just so fun. This candle is called "Song of the Mountain", and it was made for Dagger's Sleep by Tricia Mingerink. I can't wait to use it! ^_^



I learned that Kombucha helps clear my head and gives me energy! I love the stuff and buy it fairly often. Gingerberry is the flavor I get the most. I'd like to take one to work everyday, but it's quite expensive! $3 a bottle.

Larabars are my favorite! Have you tried them? They have just a few ingredients - the main ones being nuts and dates. Blueberry Muffin is my favorite. I also love Cashew Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Lemon Bar.



On the last day of May, I drove home during a terrible storm. It was raining so hard I could hardly see. 'Twas quite a thunderstorm, and there were also other warnings and watches. Thankfully, I made it home and safely inside!!


***

And now ... the first day of June ... I happened to get off work early and hoping to go to Chick-fil-A tonight! *grins*

Currently reading: King's War by Jill Williamson.

Currently watching: Counting On: Season Five (haven't watched an episode in a little while, actually.)

Currently looking forward to: getting "review books" in the mail, summer event at church, and helping with VBS!

And that's all I have for now. I'm tired. Maybe I'll drink some lemon, ginger tea before going out tonight.


HOW ARE THINGS GOING FOR YOU??

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

By the Book Tag

Hi, friends! Hope you all had a refreshing weekend. Today I'm doing the By the Book Tag. Thanks to Felicity @ A Grand Adventure, who tagged me! ^_^ I always love doing tags!

So here it is ... answer a few questions and tag friends!


What is on your nightstand right now?


I'm part of the launch team for King's War so I got a free paperback copy and it is gorgeous! So thick and absolutely captivating just to look at. *heart eyes* It's epic fantasy and a lot of information to take in, but I'm loving it so far.


I picked up The Witch of Blackbird Pond from Goodwill and am wondering why I hadn't read it before now! It's been lovely.


The Girl's Guide to Conquering Life is another "review book", this one from Revell Publishers. It sounded unique and I thought I'd give it a try. I'm almost finished it and it has been interesting - with some helpful tidbits such as basic cooking skills, car maintenance, etc. But it also has some unhelpful tips that I don't really care for ... think feminist, girl-power type stuff.


What was the last truly great book you read?

Let's go with Love Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

And The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

Don't miss these beauties! <3

If you could meet any writer - dead or alive - who would it be and what would you want to know?

I would love to meet Laura Frantz, amazing Christian novelist of romance and American history, and just chat about life, writing, and history.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Hmm ... I don't know? Maybe Fashioned by Faith by Rachel Lee Carter, When the Lilacs Bloom by Susan Kirby, and Lady Washington: A Biographical Novel About America's First First Lady by Dorothy Clarke Wilson. Because ... you haven't heard me talk about them. I don't read many biographies, but I hope to finish Lady Washington someday.




How do you organize your personal library?

By genre. And then within each genre, alphabetically by author's last name. So first I have Christian Living, then Fantasy, Fairy Tale, and Dystopian, then Historical, then Contemporary.

Here's my latest Bookshelf Tour, if you're interested!


 

What book have you always meant to read but haven't gotten around to it yet?

I've been meaning to read To Get to You by Joanne Bischof for years (because I want to read everything and anything by her!), but I just haven't been able to find it at libraries or for a discounted price. I can't exactly afford to buy books brand-new very much!


Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

No, not really. I decided some time ago that I will just read what I enjoy reading and not feel pressured to read things that people consider "classics" and "masterpieces" and "essential reads" if they just don't interest me personally.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were suppose to like but didn't?

I really hoped to enjoy The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo, but I guess it just fell flat for me.

Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Probably The Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. There was some swearing and careless, disrespectful uses of God's name. After a few pages of that, it wasn't worth finishing for me.


What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

Beautiful, deep, emotional, redemptive stories. Tales with a fairy tale-ish feel. Stories that display God's love and power and goodness and holiness. Stories I can relate to. Tales with an authentic romance. Stories with rich historical detail.

I can enjoy a lot of different genres ... fantasy, fairy tale, historical, dystopian. I love a good Christian Living. I even can get into contemporary and science-fiction if they have the components mentioned above.

Books I generally steer clear of are really old classics, because they just can't seem to hold my attention. When there are pages and pages describing how the sun glistened off the lake, my attention starts to waver and my focus wander far away from the story in hand.

In the right situation, though, I've enjoyed the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series, Little WomenElsie Dinsmore, and probably others.


I despise fluffy, self-centered romances that are mainly about physical attraction and chemistry. I don't like "Christian" books where faith is mentioned but the characters do whatever they want, "play with fire" often, and generally don't give a single thought to honoring God.

If you could require the president to read on book, what would it be?

Definitely the Bible. I think it was George Washington who said it's impossible to rightly govern a nation with this precious Book.


16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

What do you plan to read next?

Perhaps Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson. I believe I requested it to read and review. It looks beautiful, does it not? I really like the Civil War era.


***

So that's that! I hope you all enjoyed. Please engage in the conversation in the comments below! ^_^ Do you agree or relate, or disagree, with any of my answers?

I Tag:

Deborah O'Carroll @ The Road of a Writer

Natasha @ Simple Things

Sam @ The Light Meets the Dark

Victoria @ Victoria's Book Nook