Monday, April 30, 2018

Booktube Monday: Love & Romance #lovedefined

Hey, readers! How's Monday going for you? Can you believe this is the last day of April? Time for May and hopefully a swift entrance into summer. ^_^

Some quick updates?

One, I've been writing a lot. And, oh, is it an amazing feeling! I'm working on a fantasy/fairy tale with a contemporary side and it's been super fun. I usually have a couple days of blissful writing. Then I take a break ... have some days of random plotting ... and start writing again!

Some of my sisters keep asking me to read it to them, so I gotta keep writing so that I have more to read to them! *winks and smiles* So thankful to have my siblings as my fans! <333

Two, I'm finally reading Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar. I've been wanting to read this Biblical historical novel for awhile, and it's been amazing so far! I love Tessa's books!

Three, I've been doing things as part of the launch team for Love Defined, and it releases tomorrow! You all really don't want to miss this book! <3

Today is the last day to pre-order it and get special bonuses such as the audiobook narrated by Kristen & Bethany, and an adult coloring book!

My Booktube video for today is talking a little bit about why this book is so needed and amazing.

For some reason I was really nervous doing this video, so please bear with me! Hopefully future videos discussing topics like this will be more put-together! :p

Let me know what you all think! And come back next Monday for my April Wrap-Up booktube video!

Book Review: Breaking the Fear Cycle by Maria Furlough

Purchase HERE

Title: Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart

Author: Maria Furlough

Series: Standalone

Genre: Christian Living/Non-fiction

Audience: Adult


It seems there is more to fear now than ever, but fear and anxiety are nothing new to human beings - or to God. The Bible calls us to not be afraid on many occasions, and of course we all want to live without fear. But just how is that accomplished when every news item seems designed to get us wringing our hands?

Using her own story as a catalyst, Maria Furlough shows readers how to overcome fear for good. She calls readers to make a list of their fears, to choose to bring those fears to God rather than acting on them, and to trust God with the future. She shows how when we give God full control over our lives, choosing his sovereignty over our own ability, we can break the cycle of fear, grow through suffering, and trust God to fulfill his promises of protection and peace.

Anyone who is filled with anxiety over their personal circumstances, the state of the world today, or even their fear-clogged social media feeds will welcome this hands-on journey from fear to freedom.

**5 stars**

I really like Christian Living books. When I saw the beautiful cover and realized the book was addressing fear and anxiety, I knew I had to request Breaking the Fear Cycle to review. I'm so thankful I did! This book is absolutely worth the read.

Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart by Maria Furlough is one of the best - if not the best - books on this topic that I've read. It dug so deep! So authentic, radical, and soul-changing. It met me right where I was in my own journey of struggling with fear and truly touched my heart. I'm in awe of how, I believe, God used Maria's life, fears, and experiences to impact my own life! Breaking the Fear Cycle was a book I needed. It encouraged me to lean hard on God, and stop running and face my fears. It fed the hope that I don't have to live under the tyrannical rule of anxiety. I know many women who would benefit greatly from reading this book. I'm excited to share it with them!

Breaking the Fear Cycle is done in Bible study format, so you can easily buy copies of the book and go through it for your next study!

Maria Furlough gets to the hard and gritty when talking about fear and suffering. She shares her personal story of losing a child. She talks about what thoughts she had and fears she faced. She also shares a lot of Scripture in this book, and is constantly pointing back to Christ and eternity. Though addressing heavy topics, she adds some humor, and her writing style is lovely.

One of the most powerful quotes of this book, to me, was: "If I didn't kill the fear, the fear was going to kill me." (pg. 17) Dear friends, if you're struggling but know you need to kill your fear, Breaking the Fear Cycle is definitely an amazing tool to take with you on the journey.

I look forward to reading this book again someday. And hopefully other books by Maria Furlough!

I received a copy of Breaking the Fear Cycle from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Liebster Award x 2 (here we are again!)

Well, my friends, I was tagged twice for the Liebster Award and I'm quite excited to answer these questions. Thank you, LaKaysha and Felicity, for thinking of and tagging me! ^_^

Shall we get on with the tag, ladies and gentlemen?

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you 

Answer the 11 questions they gave you

Name 11 facts about you 

Nominate 11 bloggers to do this tag, and let them know

Give them 11 questions to answer 


LaKaysha's Questions:

1. If you had a day that you could re-live, what would you do with it?

Well, there are plenty of days I wish I could go back and re-live to make a different choice or take better action. But we won't go there today.

Let's say I re-live one of the days of a family reunion I was at the summer before last. I would intentionally savor every moment! ^_^ Ah, those were good days. That particular summer reunion reminded me of the childhood days when I lived on the West Coast with all my family and friends. Small and carefree. *winks*

2. Do you prefer dogs or horses as companions?

I'm not a big animal lover. I'd probably prefer a cat to either! (Even though I really like riding horses.) If there was the option of a small, docile dog, I'd probably choose a dog as a companion.

3. What is your biggest fault, according to you?

Oh dear, I have a lot of big faults, I think. I'd say being a "people-pleaser" and also being quick to get defensive (overly insecure and sensitive) are two major faults of mine.

4. If you could talk to a past President, who would you choose?

George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. From what I've learned about them, both men come across as courageous, admirable, and wise to me. I'd like to ask them about their lives, why they made the decisions they did, etc.

5. If you could witness an historical event, what would it be?

The even that comes to mind immediately is the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That would be a profound moment, indeed, to witness.

6. You find a hidden staircase in your Grandpa's house, and when you enter, you discover something amazing. What is it?

Hopefully some historic items from my ancestors and detailed diaries of their lives! *grins* I would LOVE to know all the names of my ancestors - how their lives looked, progressed, and what they thought about. Who knows? Maybe one of them was an introverted book-lover like me. ^_^

7. If you live one day as a fictional character, who would you be?

I was presented this question recently, and I decided on Cora Kensington from THE GRAND TOUR series by Lisa T. Bergren. She went on a grand tour of Europe (as the wealthy folks in those days were wont to take their offspring on) and the delight of that just swept me away.

Hear my full answer in my Q&A Booktube videos, Part One and Part Two.

8. What is something that makes your family unique and special?

Hmm, I don't know. Being a homeschooling family of ten is unique in some settings. *winks*

9. Which flower: Lavender or lilac?


10. Salty or Sweet?

I usually go for salty. (But maybe that's because I determined that I feel better not eating sugar.) I love chips! *laughs* Salt & Pepper, Sweet Potato, Salt & Vinegar, or Baked Potato chips. Or just plain tortilla chips and salsa. SO good. I don't eat (white) potato chips much anymore due to food sensitivities, but that doesn't mean I don't love them!

11. What music genre do you listen to the most?

Christian contemporary? That's probably it. Unspoken is my favorite band. <3


Felicity's Questions:

1. What was the name of your first pet and what kind of animal were they?

I believe the first pet that was my very own was a cat named Mittens. She was quite cute.

2. Where is your dream vacation?

Somewhere exotic, summery, and near the sea! I loved vacationing in Florida last year. Sandy beaches and beautiful ocean waves are my favorite.

3. What are you wearing right now?

Dark jeans, black shirt, dark blue sweater, and black socks with pink writing on them! *grins* And my hair is in a weird, messy bun.

4. What is your favorite meal?

Let's go with taco salad. This is how it looks for me:

Lettuce layered on a plate
Hamburger with taco spice
Crunched tortilla chips to finish it off

Or, like, chicken fajitas with guacamole, fresh salsa, chips, and the like. So yummy.

5. Do you prefer dark or white chocolate?

Dark! I've definitely acquired a taste for dark chocolate, so milk chocolate and white chocolate usually taste too sweet now.

6. Raspberries or Strawberries?

Ooh ... strawberries, perhaps? Fresh strawberries are the best!! *dreams of picking strawberries*

7. What is your biggest fear?

I'm a pretty fearful person - though I am actively learning about and practicing trusting God and bringing my cares and worries to Him.

One of my biggest fears is, in a nutshell, the unknown.

And people - are they going to be okay? How can I take care of them all and make sure they're well physically and emotionally? (Goodness, Shantelle, I didn't realize that enormous job was given to you. Oh, newsflash: It wasn't!!)

*ahem* Aside from that, I have a rather big fear of spiders. Just the sight of their creepy-crawly legs sets my hair standing on end.

8. If you were about to have a baby, what would you name them?
Boy and Girl.

For some reason I'm really drawn to the name Isaiah for a boy. For a girl, I like Brielle. Or Elizabeth, if I was going more traditional.

9. Who is the last person you spoke to?

My six-year-old sister.

10. Name one person in American History you admire.

Harriet Tubman. I read a book about her when I was younger and was impressed by this story of strength, courage, pain, and freedom. I marvel at all the different things about her life, and believe that God created her to be a strong woman so that one day she could rise up and lead hundreds of people to freedom.

11. Disneyland or SeaWorld? 

Well, I'm not even sure what all Disneyland entails. Amusement rides and people dressed up like Disney princesses? It might be fun.

But I do enjoy seeing animals I might not usually see - and deep sea life probably enthralls me as much as it terrifies me. I imagine I'd choose to go to SeaWorld, but I'd have to research both places more, haha!

11 Facts About Me:

  • I appreciate feminine clothing, shoes, and things.
  • I can be a bit of a clean freak.
  • I'm secretly dreaming of a day where I can dress up in fashions from eras gone by and go to a party!
  • I enjoy being outside once I get out there - if it's a summery day.
  • I really enjoy attending bridal showers, baby showers, and weddings!
  • I currently cannot eat gluten, dairy, eggs, beans, white potatoes, almonds, peanuts, flax seed, or coconut (among other things).
  • My favorite colors are blue and pink.
  • Beaches and bookstores are my happy places.
  • I love pizza. (I found gluten & dairy free pizza ... only to get diagnosed with a bunch of other food sensitivities and realize that my special pizza has things like coconut, flax seed, and probably potato starch in it.) 
  • I usually have to eat something before bed, or I don't sleep well.
  • I love to laugh, make others laugh, watch others interact teasingly.

I Tag:

Victoria G. @ Victoria's Book Nook
Skye @ Ink Castles
Laura A. Grace @ Unicorn Quester
Annie @ Just Commonly

Questions to Answer:

1. What did you eat for your last meal?
2. What's the best part of your average week?
3. Where is the most amazing place you've been?
4. One question you'd ask your favorite author?
5. What's your favorite thing to do in the summer?
6. Last new author you tried out? (Did you like the book?)
7. What's the craziest thing you've done?
8. What's a character trait you admire in others?
9. What's your favorite genre (to read)? What draws you to it?
10. What's one book that you wish more people knew about?
11. Do you like to cook/bake?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Booktube Monday: Q&A Video!

Hey, readers! I'm quite excited to be bringing you my Q&A Booktube video today!

I decided to do a Q&A on my Youtube channel in celebration of reaching 100 subscribers! I now have 111 subscribers, and it's pretty fun to see the number growing. *smiles*

So what did you all do over the weekend? I made soap, went disc-golfing with my younger siblings + friends, and I had a cleaning job.

I also finished reading the amazing Love Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird and wrote up my review. Can't wait to share it with you all on May 1st here on the blog! You don't want to miss this book. Pre-order

Well, without further ado, here is my Q&A video - divided into two parts. I hope you all enjoy! Let me know what you think. ^_^

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Goodwill Haul of April

Good day, friends! Hope you all are well this Thursday morning. I've recently been shopping at Goodwill and other thrifts stores and found some great deals and articles of clothing to add to my wardrobe.

So I thought I'd do a "Goodwill Haul" post, since you all seemed to enjoy those. *smiles*

Other doings?

  • I've been slowly getting over my cold/flu.
  • Reading some great books - novels and nonfiction.
  • Applying for jobs.
  • Writing.
  • Praying a lot about the future, work options, and publishing another book!
  • Trying out new churches (I'm searching for fellowship and a faith-filled community to be a part of.)
  • Greatly anticipating summer.
  • Looking into making soap and selling it (I'm determined to make a batch today!).
Anyway, onto the haul ...

Bought this pretty top for $3. I love how feminine and comfortable it is! And the sleeves are such fun ... a little like the style of sleeves on gowns of the late 1700s.


This one I found for $3 as well. I really like the color (I need to add more color to my wardrobe - I have a lot of classy grays and blacks) and the cut is nice and simple.


This skirt my mom and sister found for me at Goodwill. It's so flowy, and fun to wear with heels and walk about watching it ripple around my feet. *grins* And I love the color.


I was so excited to find this dress! (Goodwill - $6) I've always wanted a dress overlaid with lace. It's so feminine and such a lovely, vibrant shade of blue. And I really like that the skirt's hem falls just past my knees and the sleeves come to my elbows - it's very comfortable for me that way. I might wear this dress to a wedding I'm attending this summer. ^_^

Fun pairing it with this necklace, too, giving it perhaps a vintage-y look?


Oh, and these chips I found at a grocery store while in town doing my clothing shopping. Who else loves sweet potato chips?? I simply adore them ... they're like the only chips I can have these days (besides tortilla chips). I love salty things, most especially chips. So it's fun to get sweet potato chips for a special snack every now and then.


Well, that's all I have for my Thursday post. Come back Monday to watch my fun Q&A video from my Youtube channel! (I already filmed this two-part video, and am excited about sharing it. *grins*)

So where do you shop?

What's your style? Do you like any of the outfits above?

Are you more into salty things or sweet things? Do you like sweet potato chips?

Tell me about life!

Monday, April 16, 2018

"My Name Book Tag": Monday Booktube Video

Hello, readers! So my Monday post is up a little late this morning. #oops
I do have an excuse, being that I was up until the wee hours of morning. Some family from out-of-state came to visit last night, which was absolutely wonderful. I really, really enjoyed myself and am very thankful for that sweet time of fellowship. (I'd missed them so much!) After they left, quite late, my sisters and I stayed up for another couple hours talking. Sometimes you just gotta talk, peoples. I couldn't sleep even after that - probably because of a mix of things ... being exhausted, didn't have enough protein that day, fretting about life and stuff. And I felt really cold for some reason, even though I was bundled in blankets. *rolls eyes* It was somewhere around four in the morning by the time I went to sleep.

Wow. Sometimes. I just don't know what I'm trying to do to myself.

Anyway, today I've been cleaning, doing some things for the launch team I'm a part of, and uploading my Youtube video + sharing around social media.

Guys. *rabbit trail on the horizon* I'm "currently-reading" five books. Eek! (Or six, if I'm counting Silver Rose, but I haven't picked that up in awhile.) This Kindle Unlimited it bad - there are so many delightful-looking books that I've been wanting to read at my fingertips and I'm tempted to read them all at once! *laughs*

So on my currently-reading list are:

Love Defined: Embracing God's Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird ~ I received a free copy for being on the launch team and signing up to review.

The Tower Princess by Shonna Slayton ~ This is from Kindle Unlimited. I'm 75% through and quite enjoying it, but haven't picked it up in a couple days because ... other books & distraction.

Discovering Hope by Chautona Havig ~ This book is also from Kindle Unlimited and has been fun! I'm 27% through, and then got distracted by ...

A Viscount's Proposal by Melanie Dickerson ~ I've been wanting to read this book for awhile and heard such great things about it! It has been really good - probably Melanie's most well-done work so far. I'm 35% through and have been switching up reading it and listening to it on audible (this from Kindle Unlimited as well.) While audible is convenient when you're busy and definitely brings the story to life, I don't really like how the narrator does some of the character's voices, such as Lord Withinghall's.

And lastly, Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst ~ This book I'm reading as part of a Bible study which is every other week. So it's slow progress. I believe I'm on page 74 or thereabouts.

So many books and so little time! Haha.

Anyway, onto my Monday Booktube Video! I filmed this video, the "My Name Book Tag", on Thursday and I was still struggling with my cold. I'm feeling much better than I did then! But still, unfortunately, sneezing and sniffling and all that. Nevertheless, hope you all enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Youtube Channels You Should Check Out

Hello, readers! For this Thursday's post, I want to share some Youtube channels that I follow.

First off, I am a big fan of "booktube" and love seeing month wrap-ups, book hauls, bookshelf tours, book tags, etc.!

Sadly, most of the Booktube channels out there tend to focus on mainstream, secular YA fiction which I don't read a lot of, so I don't find myself enjoying these videos much.

However, I have found quite a few Christian booktubers who read a lot - or at least some - of the same books as me. *happiness* So without further ado, let's take a look at their channels.

As the channel name suggests, Melanie features a lot of YA books! She is also an author. Melanie probably reads a lot more contemporary fiction than I do, but we still read by quite a few of the same authors and I enjoy hearing her thoughts on those. Here is one of her videos:

I always enjoy watching Angela's new videos. I usually recognize most of the books she reads, and I really appreciate how she talks about content and such. Here's one of her latest videos:

Elizabeth has a lot of creative and unique content! She swerves from the norm by doing videos like Two Types of Readers (And My Highlighting System), Bookish Workouts - Based on The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and Book Series with Assassins. They're always fun. *grins* Here's one of her latest videos:

Her videos can get a little long for me, personally. But I've enjoyed some of them and she has so many books that I've read or that I recognize, which is always so cool. Here's one of her videos where she did a booktube tag that I made up *grins*: 

Ivy Rose is a writer, reader, and booktuber! I just recently discovered her channel and was thrilled to see that she has and loves a whole bunch of the same books as I do! Here's one of her videos that I adore:

Lindsey's videos are always done so neat and tidily. She's a big reader of Christian fiction and I enjoy seeing what she's reading and whatnot, though we may not actually read a whole lot of the same thing. I think one of her favorite genres is contemporary fiction and least favorites is fantasy (and it's totally the opposite for me). Anyway, here's a video from her:

I just recently realized Laura has a Youtube channel, so I haven't seen a lot of her content yet. But I got to know her through her blog and blog tours a few years ago, and love that she's passionate about supporting indie authors! The few videos I watched were fun - she's such a fangirl! *grins* Here's one of her latest videos:

I really enjoy Oceana's videos - there's something very pleasant about them. She does read quite a bit of mainstream YA fiction, and some books that I personally probably wouldn't read. But she also reads Christian fiction and Christian Living, and seems very comfortable talking about her beliefs and faith. So I really like that! Here's a fun book tag from her:

Rissi and I don't read a ton of the same books, but she does feature Christian fiction and I enjoy hearing what books she's been liking! I usually see at least a few recognizable books on her channel. Here's one of her latest videos:

And that is all I have for Booktube channels! Please let me know in the comments below if you know of anymore Youtube channels featuring lots of Christian fiction (particularly fantasy and fairy tale *winks*).


Also, I wanted to share some Youtube Channels about Christian living, conservative viewpoints, etc. that I really appreciate.

Sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird talk about all things love, romance, womanhood, faith, and life! I've come across many a video that was meaningful to me, and I love their book, Girl Defined. (Their second book, Love Defined, is releasing soon!) Here's one of their latest videos:

Joe's videos have been very inspirational, challenging, and encouraging to me over the years. It seems like he's deviated a little from his previous theme of videos, but I've still enjoyed his content. Here's one of his videos that I love (his very first video, actually, I believe):

I've found quite a few of Sadie's videos to be inspiring, so I kinda recently started following her. She seems passionate and a dreamer and serious about her relationship with God. And I'm really wanting to read her latest book, Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose, because I think I could relate to her journey and benefit from it! *smiles* Here's one of her latest videos:

I absolutely love finding young, conservative women who use their public platforms with such boldness and passion. Liz is Catholic, and I believe she's also a born-again Christian, as in she trusts Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. I'm inspired by her wisdom, facts, and level-headedness when dealing with the hot topics of the day. Here are a few videos from her that I love:


So there you have it! Let me know what you think below. What are some Youtube channels you like? Do you watch any of the same ones as me?

If you love Christian fiction (fantasy, fairy tale, historical, dystopian, contemporary, etc.) and Christian Living, do check out my Booktube channel too! ^_^