Monday, February 26, 2018

The Liebster Award x 2

Hi, readers! Today I'm going to be doing The Liebster Award! I'll be answering two sets of questions, since I was tagged by both Natasha @ Simple Things and LaKaysha @ Calico and Lace. Thank you, my dears! ^_^

So, onto The Liebster Award post!


  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions they gave you
  • Name 11 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 bloggers to do this tag, and let them know
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

Questions From Natasha:

1. What's a song you like to listen to when you're in a melancholy mood?

Okay, I'll be honest, this question totally stumped me. What do I listen to when I'm feeling melancholy?? If I'm feeling really down, I might listen to something with a harder beat or really raw & emotional such as Paralyzed by NF.

Melancholy mood ... let's go with Broken Prayers by Riley Clemmons.

2. What is the best movie you've watched so far this year?

Hmm, I don't believe I've really watched any movies this year except for Beverly Lewis's The Reckoning and an episode of Victoria, neither of which stood out very much to me. So I'll just mention Desert Dancer {2015}, which I watched awhile ago and found to be really intriguing and emotional. I LOVE DANCE. <333

(scene from Desert Dancer)

3. Morning or night person?

Night owl, for sure. I usually come alive at night. Though, if I'm the first one up in the morning and can have some quiet time to myself, I enjoy mornings.

4. Favorite insect?

Um ... Butterflies. Fireflies. One of those! *winks*

(found on

5. What is one of your dreams?

To be involved in youth/young adult ministries. To be a wife & mother. To publish more books. (You didn't say just one, did you? *winks*)

6. How many cousins do you have? {yes, I copied this question ;P}

Fifty-eight first cousins, I believe! *heart warms at the thought of all of them*

7. Favorite type of shoes?

Heels! I love classy pumps and fashionable heels. And vintage-style.

8. Five singers you love?

I don't exactly love singers/bands. The only one I can think of is Lauren Daigle. But I love songs! Ones from Micah Tyler. Tenth Avenue North. Hollyn. Ryan Stevenson.

9. What did you do right before writing this blog post?

Ate lunch. Wrote a book review.

10. What is your favorite type of meat?

Beef, probably. I like a good old-fashioned hamburger!

11. If you could do anything for a day, what would you do?

Hang out with a group of close friends! -Going to the beach, or walking through the forest, or going to a big, old library, or eating at some cool restaurant.

Questions From LaKaysha:

1. What is one thing you wish you could have done in the past?

Pursued dance!

2. Favorite drink?

Half-lemonade, half-sweet tea. Or Kombucha.

3. What is your nightly ritual/what do you do to unwind before bed?

I don't always do a very good job unwinding ... oops. But lately I've been reading before bed, which is great. I usually finish up stuff on my computer and shut it off. Then maybe have a snack and chat with some of the fam for a bit. Brush & floss my teeth and settle down with a book. I'm currently reading Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren and Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst.

4. Do you workout?

Erm. I started working out this past summer ... I've been doing better than I ever have! Definitely gained some muscle. *grins* But haven't been keeping on top of my work out routine lately. Last few days I've just been doing kettlebell swings.

5. Have you ever been to an ancient historic site?

I've been to some historic sites. I've been to Civil War forts and battle grounds. Some places having to do with the Revolutionary War. Historic Charleston and the like.

6. Name five movies you love

(Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice")

7. What song do you listen to when you're in a good mood?

Perhaps Start a Fire by Unspoken.

8. Your favorite classic novel?

Either Little Women by Louisa May Alcott or Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

9. Your favorite classic movie?

I haven't watched a whole lot of classic movies. I love The Sound of Music!

10. What is one daily chore you don't enjoy?

I guess I don't always particularly enjoy doing dishes.

11. Who is your favorite fictional hero? (as in a male)

Oh my ... how can I pick just one? I'm going to with Lt. Wyatt Paxton from The Sea Before Us. *heart eyes* He is wonderful, godly, gentle, and truly a hero. Read my review of Sarah Sundin's latest WWII-era novel HERE!

Also, can I just mention Edmund Pevensie from "The Chronicles of Narnia" movies? Love him! <33

11 Facts About Myself:

  1. I have a high sensitivity/allergy to gluten. (Recently learned this!)
  2. I prefer to read the NKJV Bible.
  3. I love salt & pepper chips, vinegar chips, pickles, chips & salsa, chips & guacamole ... (I crave salt and vinegar a lot?)
  4. I recently started a Bible study for high-school students/young adults.
  5. I'm very relational.
  6. I started another blog (awhile ago) called Lady Grace: A Quiet & Gentle Spirit because I wanted to start regularly posting inspirational posts and what God's been teaching me/putting on my heart.
  7. I love earrings.
  8. I had surgery on my hand when I was eight-years-old.
  9. I wear a purity ring - it's a promise to stay pure as well as to wait for the man God has for me.
  10. My middle name comes from my mom, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, my great-great-grandmother ...
  11. My ethnicity is mostly Scandinavian, though I have little bits of all kinds of other things.

I Tag:

Rebekah @ Rebekah Ashleigh

Paige @ Paige's Pages

Questions For People I Tagged:

1. What's your favorite historical era?
2. Last song you listened to?
3. Four of your favorite blogs?
4. Do you have any food allergies?
5. One thing on your "bucket list"?
6. One of your favorite Bible verses/passages?
7. Who's someone who inspires you?
8. Best book you've read so far this year?
9. Best Christian living or non-fiction book you've read?
10. Something you're passionate about?
11. Favorite household chore? 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Book Review: Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful by Katie Davis Majors

Purchase HERE
Title: Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful

Author: Katie Davis Majors

Series: Standalone

Genre: Non-fiction/Memoir

Audience: Adult


How do you hold on to hope
when you don't get the ending
you asked for?

When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible - the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn't come. It's about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It's about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God's goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You'll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you'll hear God's whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.

**5 stars**

This book reached deep and touched my soul. I'm telling you, it was powerful. The concept of finding God's goodness in the broken and beautiful is a very raw and heartrending and hopeful and absolutely amazing thing to explore and see in the life of Katie Davis (Majors).

I loved reading of Katie's life again, after reading Kisses From Katie years ago. I feel she's grown and matured so much. And her sharing bits of her heart and soul, her relationship with Jesus Christ, and life and lessons she's learned is the most awesome thing. I cried. I smiled. I hoped with her. Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful infused my soul with hope, courage, and new life! It filled my heart with renewed passion and trust! God is so good! Oh, what a beautiful thing to surrender our lives and hopes and our loved ones into His hand and just follow Him with all that we are.

The pictures in this book are beautiful. The stories even more so. It was delightful hearing more about Katie's children, and how she met and married her husband! It was even more amazing to glimpse her real and deep relationship with God.

This woman and her stories, thoughts, and experiences continue to inspire me. I hope she keeps writing books! Daring to Hope seriously is one of the most powerful true stories I've had the privilege of reading!

I very highly recommend this book to all!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Book Review: The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

Purchase HERE

Title: The Sea Before Us

Author: Sarah Sundin

Series: Sunrise at Normandy #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a "Wren" in the Women's Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France - including those of her own family's summer home - in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin's practiced pen with this powerful new series.

**5 stars**

Oh my heart! This was breathtaking, fun, and beautiful! I don't know why I worried I might not like this book. For one, almost everything I've read by Sarah Sundin has been phenomenal! From the new series, SUNRISE AT NORMANDY, The Sea Before Us may just be my new favorite from this author. Seriously, people ... this book! It reminded me why I love reading. Why I love Sarah Sundin's work. And why I love this era.

The Sea Before Us is set in the 1940s, in England during World War II. D-Day is approaching and preparations are being made. English native, Dorothy Fairfax and American, Wyatt Paxon both work with the Royal Navy. During this tumultuous time, and each with personal family issues, they form a beautiful friendship. But for various reasons, things began to crumble as their feelings deepen ...

All Sarah Sundin's novels are set during WWII, but she manages to make each unique and fantastic! Perhaps because of the research and authenticity she puts into her work! I'll admit, at the beginning of The Sea Before Us I was having a hard time getting into the story. But that quickly changed and I started flying through the pages as I became fully absorbed and invested in Wyatt and Dolly's lives.

I love them, these characters! Wyatt Paxton. *swoons* Okay, he's not as swoon-y as he is godly, gentle, protective, tender, mature, humorous, and just completely adorable! (That makes him swoon-y to me, hehe!) What a man. He had his struggles, for sure, but he pressed into the Lord through them and grew such strong character because of it. A Texan cowboy with a dark past but a sweet, sincere smile. His prayers. His tender pursuit of Dolly. He passion for God and His love. Eep! (Must stop fangirling now ... *grins unashamedly*)
Dorothy is a different story, but, oh, I grew to adore her as well. Her painful childhood and struggles with insecurity and feeling unloved tugged at my heart. Ah. I just want to spill out the whole book in my excitement and love of it ... but alas, I must not spoil it! Go read it, fellow historical-fiction lovers! *winks*

I simply can't wait to read more from this series. Meet more delightful characters. Find myself immersed in an era gone by. Experience pivotal historical happenings. Go on the sweetest and most soul-touching journeys of faith. Fall in love ... (for real, these two make the most adorable, marvelous couple.)

Ah yes. Sarah Sundin is a favorite author of mine. She writes with authenticity, beauty, humor, and grace. The situations and struggles she writes about are so believable! Her characters are so believable! ^_^ Her latest novels, including this one, have had an exciting bit of mystery. Her faith themes are raw and real and speak so much to me! I love an author who glorifies God and speaks the love of Jesus Christ in her fictional books.

I quite recommend!

I received a copy of The Sea Before Us from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Highlights from My First Vacation of 2018

Hi, readers! Today is just going to be a quick post talking about highlights from my recent trip!

(picture found on

Beautiful weather, family, laughter, and good food! ^_^

~ Spending time with my dear older brother! Us three oldest kids had some great, lovely times together this trip. Driving around, finding scenic views. Going out to eat. Listening to songs from our childhood. Talking about life and hopes and passions. Laughing. Watching movies. Shopping for food for our little Superbowl party. Checking out some sweet Corvettes (and sitting in them, just for fun. *winks*)

(Siblings are so special. I have so much love in my heart for each of mine!)

~ Being involved with & attending a sweet friend's wedding. She'd shared with me, in the past, some about her heart's desire to get married ... so I almost came to tears watching her readying herself as a bride! <3 It was a beautiful and God-honoring wedding and I enjoyed spending time with the bride and her family!

~ Adventures outside. Crisp, fresh, cool air. Beautiful trees and mountains. Sun. God's wondrous creation embracing me. I come alive.

~ Going out to lunch with LaKaysha. One of the few people who understands me on a soul-deep level, I think! (Perhaps she's an INFJ like myself?) She is such a precious soul and I was blessed with the chance to fellowship with her!

~ Quiet time with God and writing letters to my future husband. Quiet time! Praying and spending time in the Word. Rejoicing in the Lord.
And then writing letters to my nameless man. (hehe) I enjoy writing and, if I marry someday, my hope is that these letters will make my husband feel loved!

~ Hanging out with friends, playing games, and laughing. Fellowship, connection, and community! Ah! I loved hanging out with groups of younger people, but it was also super delightful to get to hang out with people more my own age/in the same stage of life as me.

~ Meeting new peopleAlways a great thing—especially if you connect on a deep level. Kindred spirits! *winks*

~ Having fun with cousins, aunt & uncle, and grandpa, whom I treasure in my heart. (Missed my grandma! But perhaps I'll see her later this year!)

~ Eating pizza for the first time in forever! Gluten-free and dairy-free pizza, guys. It's the best. =D


So there are a couple highlights. *smiles*

What did your January look like? What did you do? What did you learn? Highlights? What are you up to now? Comment below and let me know how life is!

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Book Review: A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

Purchase HERE

Title: A Song Unheard

Author: Roseanna M. White

Series: Shadows over England #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which make her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales. 

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is in meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

**3 stars**

I was looking forward to returning to Roseanna M. White's new series set in early 1900s England by reading A Song Unheard! Though I didn't like it as much as the first book, it still made an intriguing and lovely read.

It was wonderful to get Willa Forsythe's story. Delving into her past was heart-wrenching ... especially seeing how it affected her present and future. Seeing her love for the violin and how God reached her through music was poignant. Her life as a thief and spying job were rather interesting to read about. And her family. ^_^ Are they ever dear. I must admit, I wouldn't mind getting a story about Barcley! I really loved him in this book, though he didn't get much "screen time". And Margot! She was rather delightful to read about! Very much a unique character. There were a lot of characters who caught my interest.

So though the story moved slowly, and wasn't exactly to my taste, the characters kept me reading. The ending was good! And I'm looking forward to reading the last book in this series.

The facts and things having to do with World War I were intriguing to me. Spies. Secret Codes. Music. Redemption.

The faith theme was touching. I felt a couple quotes that especially touched my heart.
The romance wasn't my favorite ... I didn't like Lukas like I liked Peter (from the first book) perhaps? But it was still sweet.

In any case, I'm looking forward to finishing this series!

I received a copy of A Song Unheard from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Just Another Cover Love

Good day, bookish friends! Time for another cover love post. Comment below with your favorite cover and why it's your favorite. ^_^

Looking forward to reading any of these? Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is probably my most anticipated read of this list.

Common {Tales of the Mystics #1} by Laurie Lucking

PublishedFebruary 2018 (Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC)

A Loyal Heart {An Uncertain Choice #4} by Jody Hedlund

Expected publication: March 6th, 2018 (Northern Lights)

Sweet Briar Rose by Lena Goldfinch

Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018 (Six Sundance)

A Search for Refuge {Haven Manor #0.5} by Kristi Ann Hunter

Expected publication: March 2018 (Bethany House)

Amongst the Roses {Keystone Legacy #1} by Meghan M. Gorecki

Expected publication: April 12th 2018 (Northern Belle Publishing)

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

Expected publication: June 1st, 2018 (Tyndale House)

The Road to Magnolia Glen {Natchez Trace #2} by Pam Hillman

Expected publication: June 5th, 2018 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

Five Days in Skye {MacDonald Family Trilogy #1} by Carla Laureano

Expected publication: July 2018 (first published June 10th 2013)

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Expected publication: July 3rd, 2018 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 

Miss Serena's Secret {Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #2}
by Carolyn Miller

Expected Publication: July 24th, 2018 (Kregel Publications)

Expected publication: August 7th, 2018 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

The Worth of a King by Kendra E. Ardnek

Expected Publication: August 27th, 2018

An Hour Unspent {Shadows over England #3} by Roseanna M. White

Expected Publication: September 4th, 2018 (Bethany House)

A Tale of Two Hearts {Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2} by Michelle Griep

Expected Publication: September 2018 (Shiloh Run Press)

Freedom's Light by Colleen Coble

Expected publication: September 11th, 2018 (Thomas Nelson)

Shelter of the Most High {Cities of Refuge #2} by Connilyn Cossette

Expected Publication: October 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House)

The Heirloom: Four Romance Novellas of Love Through the Generations by Karen Witemeyer // Kristi Ann Hunter // Sarah Loudin Thomas // Becky Wade

Expected Publication: October 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House)

A Sparkle of Silver {Georgia Cost Romance} by Liz Johnson

Expected Publication: October 16th, 2018 (Fleming H. Revell Company)

Mark of the Raven {The Ravenwood Saga #1} by Morgan L. Busse

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

The Lieutenant's Bargain {The Fort Reno Series #2} by Regina Jennings

Expected Publication: December 4th, 2018 (Bethany House)

Shivering World by Kathy Tyers

(Reprint: New Cover)

Seaglass {A Short Story} by Kara Swanson