Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Review: A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

Purchase HERE

Title: A Chance at Forever

Author: Melissa Jagears

Series: Teaville Moral Society #3

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Mercy McClain joined the school board to protect the children of Teaville, Kansas, from the bullying she experienced as a child. When the worst offender from her school days applies for a teaching position, she is dead set against it. Yet Aaron Firebrook claims to be a changed man. Can he earn Mercy's trust - and her support for the challenges to come?

**4.5 stars**

A Chance at Forever is a worthwhile read! Even if it took me awhile to start enjoying the story, I ended up loving this book. I'm definitely a fan of author Melissa Jagears with her wide variety of characters and deeply meaningful messages.

Book Three in the TEAVILLE MORAL SOCIETY series centers on Mercy McClain, who we've meet in previous books. Still hurt by rude remarks made about her missing hand, Mercy is horrified when the boy who bullied her the most returns to Teaville.
But Aaron Firebrook has had to deal with his own wounds and deeply dark injustice done toward him. Now he returns to the town he grew up in hoping to make amends and help children.

As I said, this book took me awhile to get into for some reason or another. I was perhaps on page sixty-six when I decided I just needed to finish it. So I began reading again, rather quickly became wrapped up in the story, started loving it, and finished it the next day! The message / themes of redemption / backstories completely caught my attention and my heart. It was heartrending and beautiful. It was refreshing to see how Melissa Jagears calls out the arrogant, selfish, and "holier-than-thou" people. Her stories of men and women with a passion to help prostitutes, orphans, and the lowly are amazing. When we all want to make it about rules and "are you good enough?" and revenge, the truth is that God sees the heart. He gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud (1 Peter 5:5). I feel Melissa Jagears brings that across wonderfully in her novels.

Also, I came to appreciate the big cast of characters in A Chance at Forever. Mercy, Aaron, Nicholas, Lydia, Caroline, Henri, Jimmy, Owen, Sadie, Charlie, the sweet little babies, etc., etc. Though they might not get a lot of screen time, each character has their purpose. The villains were well-done too, which means they really, really upset me! There were some sweet secondary stories as well ... and A Chance at Forever really wrapped everything up in a satisfying and hopeful way.

I almost cried from the agony. I gasped in anger. I smiled because of the sweetness. I truly love how Mercy and Aaron's story turned out. The TEAVILLE MORAL SOCIETY series is one I'm glad to have read, and recommend to fellow historical fiction fans!

I received a copy of A Chance at Forever from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Purchase HERE

Title: A Light on the Hill

Author: Connilyn Cossette

Series: Cities of Refuge #1

Genre: Historical/Biblical Retelling

Audience: Adult


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.

**4 stars**

A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette is a unique and beautiful read! It is the first book to a new series called CITIES OF REFUGE, but it does connect to the debut series by this author. In fact, we meet the main character of this book, Moriyah, in Wings of the Wind!

Connilyn Cossette does a masterful job with writing fiction set in Biblical times! She brings history to life, and we get a glimpse of heroic historical figures such as Moses, Miriam, and Joshua. Plus, her fictional characters are always so authentic and likable. I was so excited to get to read further about Moriyah! Though she is much older than when I last "saw" her, it was wonderful to see more of her story. It was hard, but worthwhile. And fun, at times. Moriyah has to work through a lot, but she has a sweet and spirited personality. And Darek! Oh, I quite liked him. *smiles* There were a lot of characters I really enjoyed in A Light on the Hill.

For a good portion of this book, I was reading eagerly (sometimes late into the night.) Loving going on this journey with Moriyah. Watching her fall in love. Seeing the manliness, and brute skill and strength of Darek, but also the tenderness and sense of humor. Cannanites, lions, cities of refuge, travel ... excitement, tragedy, danger, mercy. Though sometimes my heart constricted at the seemingly injustice and harshness of the law, A Light on the Hill was ultimately such a beautifully and tenderly redemptive story. It was intriguing learning more about this time in history - particularly concerning the Jews' culture - and I was ultimately satisfied with how things ended.

The end-ish of the book got a little heavy on the romance aspect. I would have rather it didn't focus on that so much, and I didn't approve of/appreciate some of the unmarried couple's actions toward each other, though ultimately Moriyah (view spoiler)

Overall, Connilyn Cossette delivers another fabulous and heartfelt story. I can't wait to read more by her!

I received a copy of A Light on the Hill from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Presenting: The Schedule

Hello, dear readers! As I've been mentioning here and there on my blogs, I have taken on some new projects. So. I decided it's time for me to make myself a schedule. I'm excited, actually. I think this is going to help me out.

Because, let's be honest, I'm a very organized person at heart, and without a schedule, I find myself getting overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks ...

Brain: "It's been two days and you still haven't replied to that comment on your blog. That comment encouraged you tremendously. Why have't you replied yet? It's irresponsible and rude. Seriously, go reply. It's just one comment."

Heart: "What if your friends are hurt by your lack of response? What if they think you're ignoring them? What if you're making them think their comments really don't mean much when they actually do??!!"

Me: *gasps* *sighs* *frets* *feels overwhelmed* *feels burned out on writing* *freaks out* "That's it!" *slams laptop shut* *bolts from the room* "I can't do this! It's too much! It's just ... TOO MUCH!"

*ahem* Yep. That's hardly an exaggeration. I have, like, a million things on my mind all crying for my attention. They all don't need to be done in one day, but I feel I must give them all attention because ... what if I'm unable to tomorrow? So I worry about the millions of things and end up getting like none of them done that day.

Me: *accomplished none of my goals* "I'm just overwhelmed. Totally beat. I need to just breathe. Relax my brain or something. I can't deal with writing right now."

Maybe you're getting the picture? I overthink. I stress easily. I don't do well without order and schedules, apparently.

Thus, the schedule.

Take a look.

The Schedule (for my follower's knowledge):

  • Monday: New video on my Youtube/Booktube channel
  • Tuesday: New post on Lady Grace
  • Thursday: New post on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life
  • Saturday: New post on Lady Grace

Shantelle's Writing/Blogging/Youtube Schedule (more in depth):

Monday: Post scheduled video on Youtube + share about it on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life // Write post for Lady Grace

Tuesday: Scheduled post goes live on Lady Grace (reply to comments in the evening)

Wednesday: Write post for Between the Pages of This Bookish Life

Thursday: Scheduled post goes live on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life (reply to comments in the evening) // Write post for Lady Grace

Friday: Film video for Youtube/Booktube

Saturday: Scheduled post goes live on Lady Grace (reply to comments in evening) // Novel writing

Sunday: Novel writing

Now, the novel writing will really just happen when inspiration strikes. But my goal is to write once a week, and I figured quiet Sundays (the weeks where there's no family Bible study) might be the best. The weeks that there is Bible study, I'll perhaps write on Saturday.

Also, filming videos. That'll just happen whenever the house is quiet!! But I'm planning to post every Monday. (P.S. NEW VIDEO TODAY!) I hesitate to schedule much on Friday, because that is when I have young people over for Bible study.


Facebook Page: I generally just share my posts on here, and sometimes posts from other bloggers, giveaways, etc. Occasionally I post random little life stuff.

Twitter: I'm not really present on Twitter. Mostly I just quickly tweet the link to my blog posts/Youtube videos.

Goodreads: I adore this place! *all the heart eyes* I usually keep my friends on there up-to-date on what I'm reading and all that.

Pinterest: I go on here occasionally and save a quality-looking Christian movie to my Interested in Watching board, look up a recipe, or add a medieval-esque picture to my storyboards. Or share a link.

I used to go on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook much more often, but I'm doing my best to cut out any and all mindless scrolling on social media (because I'm bored, lonely, or anxious ...). I have better things to do! I believe God is calling me to a life of purpose! *smiles*


Anyway, so that's that! Hopefully I can stick to it and it'll work well and relatively stress-free even amid work, Bible studies, Bible study reading & homework throughout the week, book launches, "review books", family/friend time, and reading (of course!).
I'm thinking I need to cut back on the amount of books I agree to read in exchange for a review because I might just not have time/mental energy for that.

Do you all have schedules? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

(pictures found on

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Cleaning Writer Tag Challenge

Hello, bookish friends! Today I'm coming to you with the Spring Cleaning Writer Tag Challenge! And I'm super excited about it. ^_^ (*whispers*: I've been wanting to give an update on my writing and this made for the perfect chance.)

I was tagged by the lovely Deborah O'Carroll, who is the creator of this tag. (Awesome job, by the way, Deborah!) Thank you, my dear! <3

Alright. Without further ado, let's get onto the tag!

The Rules:

  • Link back to the person who tagged you
  • Share the picture
  • Answer the questions (naturally…) or even pick and choose which ones you answer
  • Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky)

The Questions:

1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

Writing update! Yay! *cheers* *ahem* So ... *cheering fades away* I have not been a good little author. Or even a good little writer. As an "author", I have not used the best marketing tip, which is to publish another book. As a writer, I have not been writing every day. Eek. Not even close. Almost all of last year was just a bad writing year for me.

However, I did make some writing goals this year, at least pertaining to blogging. I'm going to post at least once a week on this blog and every Tuesday and Saturday on Lady Grace. I've been doing well with that.

Not so much with novel-writing. *sad face* But at least I've been writing something. And I'm learning sometimes writers just have to take breaks and put their WIP aside for awhile (maybe even months upon months).

That all being said, I want to rise up to the challenge and make goals pertaining to novel writing, as this tag asks. I've been feeling my storytelling-self awakening at long last, so I want to get back into writing.

The good news, I wrote some on a story last week! *all the happiness* It was a lovely feeling.

The bad news, I've been taking on perhaps a little more than I can handle when it comes to writing/reading/studying/bookish stuff. I'm part of two Bible studies, which I really want to be invested in. I have two blogs to maintain. I have review books and book launches. Booktube. And I don't even know what all else. Just a lot of writing stuff. So ... *feels a tad overwhelmed when thinking of adding writing epic fantasy worlds to the list*

Perhaps I shall write up a schedule. (I think I actually thrive on those, even though I cringe at the thought of them.) Schedule in working on novels! For now I'm going to try to work on my story at least once every week. #newwritinggoal Perhaps the Sundays when I don't have Bible study. Which would be this coming Sunday ... keep me accountable, fellow writers! *winks*

(Okay. I think I over-answered that question. Oops. Onto the next!)

2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet … just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

Alrighty. I believe I would be somewhere between A. and B. Well, mostly B. – writing! But also a little bit of A.—planning the story—because I don't exactly have everything figured out. I'm currently working on Diamond's Quest, the sequel to Silver Rose. I started writing it a few years ago and got about 50 pages in on Microsoft Word before I realized it just wasn't working. I ended up changing the main character and basically starting all over. Then I tweaked it again. And again. So I think I finally have it to where I can really start writing, but I have notes and scenes all over the place that I need to get into order ...

I'm also a little bit at C.—editing—because Silver Rose is *still* in the editing stage! I'm looking into getting a professional opinion. And I have been reading through it here and there, doing some more of my own editing. I really, really hope that I can start the publishing process this year. Get it published, at last, late this year or next year!

I could also say D. – inklings of a story. For I have been vaguely plotting out and dreaming up scenes from book three in my fantasy series. (Which happens to be about Ivory, for those of you who've read Silver Rose.)

So basically, all of the above? hehe #writerproblems 

3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

So the first two snippets are from a random story I started awhile ago. I just unearthed it today and felt a yearning within to continue writing it! (Wait, Shantelle, I thought you were working on your Silver Rose trilogy?? *facepalm*)

The third snippet is from the recent work I've done on Diamond's Quest.

I'm not sure if this is good writing, folks, but it makes me happy. Being with my characters. Feeling their feelings. Going on their adventures. <3

3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (and share a picture!)

I'm an organized person. I love organizing when I start it. I thrive on organization. *laughs* Plus I dislike having a lot of stuff and/or clutter. So I generally keep my writing space and bookish documents on my laptop pretty neat. Every few months I probably go through stuff and clean and organize and rearrange and get rid of things and all that. *grins*

My writing space ... well ... I don't exactly have one. Sometimes I write at the dining room table, on my laptop. Or a notebook. Most times I'm probably in my bedroom. Here's a picture ...

I Tag:

LaKaysha @ Calico and Lace


So there's that! Once again, thank you so much for tagging me, Deborah! It was good to get the push to dust off the novelist deep down inside. ^_^

Comment and let me know what you all think!

Blessings, dear readers!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Youtube/Booktube Channel!

Hey, you all! So some of you may know that I started a Youtube channel back in January of 2016. I somewhat joined the Booktube community ... except I wasn't popular enough to really get "in" ... haha. ;p

Anyway, I recently started doing videos again after five or so months of no posting. Thus, I wanted to share my newest videos and ask you a few questions.

Such as:

- Do you enjoy Youtube videos? Booktube or Youtubers who talk about life and faith?

- Have you watched any of my videos? What kind of videos would you like to see from me? More books tags? Book hauls? Book reviews? Talks about my faith, convictions, things on my heart, and what I'm passionate about?

- Who are some of your favorite Christian Youtubers? ^_^

I'm contemplating getting more serious about my Youtube channel, converting some of my blog posts into videos and all that. Because Youtube is pretty popular and that might be the best way to get an audience. People would rather watch a 5-minute video than read some long blog post.

But we'll see. I'm thinking and praying about it. And, for now, I'll do my best to get videos out there about books ... which I love. *smiles*

On that note, would you like to watch my 2018 Bookshelf Tour? =)) If you watch it, comment down below and let me know what you think! Do you have some of the same books as me?

Like, Comment, and Subscribe, my friends! Haha! *winks and grins*

(And please excuse my awkward faces shown below. I'm not sure how to put a professional-looking thumbnail on there, ha.)

Latest Youtube Videos


Some of my favorite videos from my channel ... *smiles*

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cover Reveal for Tricia Mingerink's Coming Release!

Hello, reader friends! I'm simply enthralled to be part of the cover reveal for Tricia Mingerink's coming release today! *smothers happy squeals* It's so thrilling to be getting a new story from Tricia Mingerink ... She is one of my favorite authors. ^_^ So yes. I hope you enjoy this post. Definitely add this new book to your TBR list and check out Tricia's other series!

Scroll down for the reveal!


About the book:

A prince cursed to sleep.

A princess destined to wake him.

A kingdom determined to stop them.

High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.

A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?

One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine.

Release Date: May 28, 2018

About the author:

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on FacebookPinterestGoodreadsTwitterInstagram, and her blog.


To make things even more exciting, Tricia Mingerink is going to be co-hosting a blog tour from May 22 to 28 with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate the release of both of their latest books. Her next book Dissociate releases May 22. More details about blog tour will be coming in April.


So what do you all think? What do you think of that cover? Of the story description? Of the fact that it's the start of a series of fairy tale retellings? Eep! I, myself, am so excited and can't wait to read Dagger's Sleep! Comment below and fangirl with me! *winks and grins*

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I'm an INFJ - Embracing Your Personality

My fellow bloggers, writers, and avid readers, it is time to talk about our quiet, word-loving personality. Or is it just mine? *winks*

But really, I've noticed a lot of writers/bloggers are introverts. I myself am an INFJ according to the tests I've done. The advocate, the defender, or the guardian. Supposedly, people with INFJ personalities are "rare". I don't know if I quite believe it, but I will admit that I do often feel like no one understands me.

I'm different.

No one else is quite like me.

I get lonely.

I feel crazy.

I have the fear, deep down, that I'll never belong anywhere.

I can share a lot, but I never really, really share my heart because I'm afraid no one would understand.

For a girl who longs for deep, intimate connections and community, it's a terrible thing to feel so separate from other people.

I think the loneliness and fear drive me to try to understand myself. Then I feel guilty for researching "myself"—like I'm enamored with me, haha.

But, actually, I've heard that INFJ's just have a hunger to understand their personality and the personalities of others. I want to know why I feel, react, and think certain ways. I want to understand why other people do what they do and say what they say.

And when I read things about the INFJ personality and think, Hey, that's what I do. Maybe that's why I behave this way and feel such-and-such—then I feel more okay with being me.

And you know what? It IS okay that I'm me! It's more than okay. It's perfect. God, in His infinite wisdom, created me just the way I am with exactly the personality I have. He made me introverted, bookish, relational, a dreamer, a deep thinker, and a deep feeler. He created me this way, and therefore He understands me, even when I think nobody does. Even when I can't understand myself.

... Read More on Lady Grace: A Quiet & Gentle Spirit