Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blue Sky Tag

Hi, all! I was tagged by Grace @ True and Pure for the Blue Sky Tag! I really enjoy doing these ... so thank you, Grace! ^_^


The Rules:

Thank the person who tagged you
Answer the 11 questions
Tag 11 people
Give them 11 questions


1. What would you say is the hardest season that God has brought you through so far? Looking back, what did He teach you through that season?

I would say I had a pretty tough season of anxiety/fear and even depression. (I still struggle with anxiety, but I believe it's gotten better.) You can read about my personal journey HERE on Lady Grace.

Looking back, it's overwhelming to see that the moments I thought I was so very alone and that I either wasn't truly a Christian/or God didn't care about me, He was actually right there by my side.
On one of the worst, most fearful nights of my life, at 4 AM Pacific time I was certain I was abandoned. But at the same time, 6 AM Central time, in another state, my mom couldn't sleep and was awake praying for me.

When my mom told me that the next morning over the phone, I could have cried. I was shocked. And in that moment, I knew that I belonged to God - I was His child. Because He was looking out for me, even when I couldn't feel anything.
It reminds me of the poem, "Footprints in the Sand". Those times when we are so weak, and literally can't do anything, and think we're utterly alone ... our Heavenly Father is carrying us. *tears* What a beautiful, beautiful thing.

2. If you could only have three books with you on a desert island for the rest of your life, what would they be?

The Word of God first off, because I need His wisdom and to read of His love, holiness, and faithfulness! And heaven! ^_^ Then, perhaps, Waking Rose by Regina Doman, because it's such a lovely tome of fairy tale-ness, delight, suspense, and love. And, maybe Deliver by Tricia Mingerink, because it reminds me to be brave, trust God, and always hope! Also, it's a beautiful conclusion to a beloved series.

3. Do you prefer tea or coffee? And what kind (black or with cream and sugar, herbal tea, lattes, etc.)?

Tea. I drink some herbal teas, mostly for health purposes. But I do enjoy natural fruity teas, and, on occasion, lemon iced tea or unsweetened tea mixed with lemonade (from, say, Chick-fil-A!).
(from Pixabay.com)

4. What is one sermon/talk that you think every Christian should listen to?

The "To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain" series by Matt Chandler! Very inspiring. Both encouraging and challenging! Start a fire in my soul, Lord!

Understanding Grace by Joseph Solomon is also really good! A six/seven minute video filled with wisdom, humor, and depth. Makes you think.

5. What is one book that you think every Christian should read?

Besides the Bible, which is (should be!!) mandatory for every Christian to read, well ... hmm.
There aren't any that I think every Christian absolutely must read, but some I recommend for women are Girl Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird and Answering the Guy Questions by Leslie Ludy.
Men and women: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a really good one.

6. What is your favorite way to rest and de-stress?

Take a leisure walk outside (if it's warm). Snuggle up with a book and a snack. Talk, talk, talk - talk out all my emotions, and problems, and thoughts! Haha! Put on some worship music, read Psalms, watch short, inspiring videos from Christian speakers.
(from Pixabay.com)

7. Was there a time in your life that God answered a prayer in a really amazing way (share the story!)?

Yes! The story above (from the first question) is an example of an unspoken (or maybe even spoken, I don't remember) prayer.

I've also had times where God has brought me smoothly through situations that my anxious, un-trusting, controlling self thought I couldn't possibly get through okay.

Another special example is when I'd been praying for someone I cared about - that they would come to know the Lord/have a deeper relationship with Him. When I got the news that the person's life had suddenly taken a turn and they were seeking God, tears came to my eyes! For one, I had the assurance that this person was now forever my family and I would see them in heaven! And also, it's just a reassuring, beautiful moment when you realize God answered your prayer.

These are the moments to remember and cherish in hard times!

8. What is one childhood hobby that you wish you’d kept pursuing?

Ballet! I love dance. Especially ballet, because it's so graceful, elegant, and emotional - it can even be worshipful! I've watched women do ballet in worship of God, and it is a stunning and moving experience.

Dance speaks. ^_^

I did three years of ballet when I was younger.
(from Pixabay.com)

9. What is one childhood hobby that you’re really glad you stopped pursuing?

Um ... I don't really know?? Haha. Can't think of something specific.

10. What is your favorite hymn?

Blessed Assurance. Be Thou My Vision.

11. What books do you really want to read this summer?

Waking Rose by Regina Doman (re-read). Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson (re-read). Fearless by Cheri Fuller. Wonderland by Emory R. Frie. Fallen Star by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Unraveling by Sara Ella. Sandy Toes by Robin Jones Gunn. Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin.


I Tag:

Deborah O'Carroll @ The Page Dreamer
Rebekah @ Rebekah Ashleigh

Questions (I'm going to use most of Grace's questions):

1. What would you say is the hardest season that God has brought you through so far? Looking back, what did He teach you through that season?

2. What's one book/verse from the Bible that has inspired you lately?

3. Do you prefer tea or coffee? And what kind (black or with cream and sugar, herbal tea, lattes, etc.)?

4. What is one sermon/talk that you think every Christian should listen to?

5. What is one (or more) book that you think every Christian should read?

6. What is your favorite way to relax and de-stress?

7. Was there a time in your life that God answered a prayer in a really amazing way (share the story!)?

8. What is one childhood hobby that you wish you’d kept pursuing?

9. What do you dislike most - spiders or snakes?

10. What is your favorite hymn?

11. What books do you really want to read this summer?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Top Ten Most Exquisite Titles of Coming Releases

Do you all think book titles are important? I certainly do! Some are fun, some are beautiful, some are chilling, some are mysterious. Some make your heart soar! Here are ten novels coming in 2017/2018 whose exquisite titles I simply adore! ^_^


The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

On the eve of her wedding, Lady Elisabeth Lawson's world is shattered, as surely as the fine glass windows of her colonial Williamsburg home. In a town seething with Patriots ready for rebellion, her protection comes from an unlikely source - now if she could only protect her heart.

Series: Standalone

Publication Date: January 2nd, 2018 (Revell)


White Dawn by Sara Baysinger

This is the beginning of a new era.

The slate is clean.
A white dawning has emerged and I'm ready to face the day.

AURORA WHITCOMB has taken the place as Chief of Ky, but the ghosts of her past continue to haunt her future.
RAIN TURNER has lost the the embers that kept his hope burning, and all he’s left with is a raging desire to avenge the love of his life.

With an insatiable hatred toward each other, Aurora and Rain must learn to work together to bring the country back to its feet. In order to do so, they must be invincible. But being invincible isn’t only about conquering the battles in the physical world. When their journey to rescue Ky takes a violent turn for the worst, Aurora and Rain must learn the true meaning of forgiveness, not only for each other, but for those who haunt their pasts.

Series: Black Tiger #3

Publication Date: July 6th 2017 (StarFinder Press)


Amber Eyes by S.D. Grimm

Series: Children of the Blood Moon #2

Publication Date: Unknown (Enclave Publishing)


The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

As D-Day approaches, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton is teamed up with Dorothy Fairfax, a British officer. Once they piece together family and reconnaissance photos to map Normandy, will Wyatt's bombardment plans destroy what Dorothy loves most?

Series: Sunrise at Normandy #1

Publication Date: February 6th 2018 (Revell)


Keturah by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Series: The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1

Publication Date: January 6th 2018 (Bethany House)


Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

When settler Clare Inglesby is widowed on a mountain crossing and her young son, Jacob, captured by Shawnees, she'll do everything in her power to get him back, including cross the Ohio River and march straight into the presence of her enemies deep in Indian country. Frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, Jeremiah Ring, promises to guide Clare through the wilderness and help her recover Jacob.

Once they reach the Shawnees and discover Jeremiah's own Shawnee sister, Rain Crow, has taken custody of Jacob - renaming him Many Sparrows - keeping his promise becomes far more complicated, the consequences more wrenching, than Jeremiah could have foreseen.

Series: Standalone

Publication Date: September 19th 2017 (Waterbrook Press)


The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

French romance. A storybook castle hidden away in the heart of the Loire Valley's vast wine country. A road for walking ... a castle's secrets for uncovering ... and a past (the French Revolution + WWII) for exploring! [taken from the author's post HERE]

Series: The Lost Castle #1

Publication Date: 2018 (Publisher unknown?)


Unbreakable by Sara Ella

Series: Unblemished #3

Publication Date: Unknown (Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins)


A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

After being branded during the battle of Jericho, Moriyah has had no prospects for marriage - until now. She hopes to please the man, but things go horribly wrong and she is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the Levitical cities of refuge, she is unprepared for the dangers she faces, and the enemies - and allies - she encounters on her way.

Series: Cities of Refuge #1

Publication Date: January 6th 2018 (Bethany House)


The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

Series: Tales from Ivy Hill #3

Publication Date: December 2018 (Bethany House)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Third Blogiversary!

My lovely readers, do you know that yesterday, (May 23rd), it was the third blogiversary of Between the Pages of This Bookish Life (formally A Writer's Heart)?

That's right! Three years ago, in May of 2014, I set up a blog and wrote a review for Jaye L. Knight's Resistance, posting it as my very first blog post!

Can you believe it? Three years have past since I started my first blog, which effectively started my journey of reviewing books, publishing, and just being part of the wonderful blogger/writer/reader/fangirl world. ^_^

I've met so many amazing people! All of you who have followed my blog, commented here, shared my posts, or even followed me on other social media, you guys are the best! I appreciate it! Thanks for welcoming me and helping me become part of the blogger world! Thank you for supporting me. <3

Now, for some statistics. (Which may not be that great, but make me excited, anyway! *grins*)

Total Pageviews: 95,985

Pageviews per Month: 2,500-3,000 (approx.)

Google+ Followers: 87

Blogger Followers: 28

Blog Posts: 431

Book Review Posts: 224

I've gotten pageviews from mostly the United States (73,208), but also Russia, Germany, France, Canada, Ukraine, Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Ireland, Portugal, Uganda, India, etc.


I was going to do a big celebration with a fantastic giveaway and all, but it turns out May came too quickly and I'm rather too busy and money-less to do such a thing! Haha. Maybe next year. *winks*

However, in honor of my blogiversary, I did decide to make the Kindle edition of A DREAM NOT IMAGINED free on Amazon.com for today (25th) until the 29th! Download your copy today! And don't forget to leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads! (Click the cover below to be brought to the site).

Anyway, thanks for following my blog! Especially those of you who endeavored to find it after I took the 'h' out of the blog address, (shantellemary.blogspot.com), confusing everyone! I hope you all have found me again! *smiles*

Share your blogs and Youtube channels and such below, so I can follow YOU!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Spotlight: Unraveling by Sara Ella

My friends, I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Unraveling by Sara Ella! This gorgeous novel is book two in a fairy tale/fantasy/realm-travel series called UNBLEMISHED. Having read, and adored, the first book, I'm quite excited to be spotlighting Unraveling and absolutely cannot wait to read it!

Scroll down for more of this loveliness called Unraveling, an excerpt, and a giveaway!

Pre-Order HERE

Title: Unraveling

Author: Sara Ella

Series: Unblemished #2

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins

Release Date: July 11th, 2017


One kiss changed her future. Can another alter her past?

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After all she’s been through between capturing the Void and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about—like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

But why does she feel like something—or someone—Is missing?

When the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, become threatened, Eliyana discovers her connection with Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. El needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can she find a way to sever her tie with Ky without killing him, and keep herself from truly falling for him in the process?

About the Author

Once upon a time, SARA ELLA dreamed she would marry a prince (just call her Mrs. Charming) and live in a castle (aka The Plaza Hotel). Though her fairy tale didn’t quite turn out as planned, she did work for Disney—that was an enchanted moment of its own. Now she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses and conquering realms of her own imaginings. She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away” for those who put their faith in the King of kings.

Book Excerpt:


   I’m not ready for this.
   My shoulder is going to rip from its socket. My bicep is a torch, igniting my forearm. His fingers are sliding from mine, and I can’t hold on any longer. All I see is the gorge below, the beads of sweat dewing his temples.
   He shouts, “Hold on!”
   But the cliff crumbles with each passing blink. If we remain this way, we’ll both be swallowed by the chasm below.
   I loosen my grip, my clammy palm slipping.
   His eyes plead. Beg. Implore. “Don’t!” His cry echoes.
   The river crashes and curls. Waiting to swallow. Devour. Obliterate anything entering its territory. But it isn’t the river I’m afraid of. It’s the black hole beyond it. The beginning of the end.
   I know if we disconnect he might be lost forever. “I love you” is what I want to say. Instead I ask him, “Find me?”
   His expression corkscrews, a mask of raw emotion. “Always.” His voice is weak, his energy drained. He’s not strong enough. Because of me.
   So my fingers splay.
   I let go.

Required text: Taken from “Unraveling” by Sara Ella Copyright © 2017 by Sara E. Larson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.


(3) Winners will each win a final hard copy of the book. US/Canada addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

5/22 - Melony Teague (Author Interview)

5/23 - 
Thorn & Vine (review) & Between the Pages of This Bookish Life (Spotlight)

5/24 - 
A Baker's Perspective (review), Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight) & YA Book Divas (Spotlight & Excerpt)

5/25 - 
My So Called Chaos (review) & Thinking Thoughts (Spotlight)

5/26 - 
Reading is My SuperPower (review)

5/27 - 
The Green Mockingbird (review)

5/28 - 
Bookworm Mama (Spotlight)

5/29 - 
Just Commonly (review)