Monday, February 18, 2019

Book Review: Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green


Purchase HERE

Title: Between Two Shores

Author: Jocelyn Green

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays ... until attempts on Samuel's life convince her he's in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She's risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?

~ MY REVIEW ~
**4 stars**

Between Two Shores was a very unexpected but very beautifully-crafted story. Set during the 1750s, it follows the life of Catherine Duval ... daughter of a Frenchman and Mohawk woman. After losing her mother, Catherine leaves the Mohawk village to join her father in his trading business. And life is anything but easy as she struggles to find her true identity. Though this book had some shocking twists and turns that I'm not sure I was ready for, Jocelyn Green is quickly becoming one of my newest favorite authors!

I love the historical depth and authenticity of Jocelyn Green's books. Exploring 1700s Montreal, the French and Indian War, and native American tribes was fascinating, if not heartbreaking. There was lots of adventure and emotion. Catherine and all the other characters were wonderful. Untangling the lives and emotions of Catherine Stands-Apart, her brother and sister - Joseph and Bright Star, Samuel, Thankful, and all the others was a worthwhile journey. Oh, how dear many of them became to me!

The unexpected twist ... still not exactly sure how I feel about how that played out. But I appreciate Jocelyn Green spotlighting themes of singleness, healing from heartbreak, godly friendship, and finding one's identity in Christ! Truly powerful.
To fall in love, and have your heart denied, is a very damaging thing. My heart aches for certain characters. But thank the Lord, there is healing even from tragic events. And this book showed that. Even though some of the characters could have possibly made different - better - choices, there was healing, hope, honor, and forgiveness. Which is quite beautiful.

So yes. Different, but good. There were at least two powerful scenes that squeezed my heart and brought out all the emotion. I applaud Jocelyn Green for penning a tale that isn't what we expected (or perhaps initially hoped). *bittersweet smile*

I received a copy of Between Two Shores from Bethany House Publishers, and this is my honest opinion.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Most Popular Posts on Lady Grace

Hello, friends! I'm sorry my posting has been a little sporadic again. I have some new life updates, and hope to do a blog post about that very soon! *smiles*

For now, I wanted to share about a few posts from my Lady Grace blog that are generating the most interest.

If you read follow Lady Grace (or even if you don't), feel free to comment below and let me know what topics you'd like me to write about!





















Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Review: Unbreakable by Sara Ella


Purchase HERE

Title: Unbreakable

Author: Sara Ella

Series: Unblemished #3

Genre: Fairy Tale/Contemporary

Audience: Young Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Eliyana Ember is stranded in a foreign country in the Third Reflection with no passport, the inability to mirrorwalk, and zero clue where the nearest Thresholds back into the Fourth or Second might lie. Her mind is a haze, her memories vague. She knows a wormhole from the Fourth sent her here. She remembers her mom and baby brother Evan. Makai and Stormy and Joshua ...

Deep down El realizes she must end the Void once and for all. Is there a way to trap the darkness within its current vessel, kill it off completely? To do so would mean sacrificing another soul—the soul of a man Joshua claims is a traitor. But he’s lied to her before, and even El senses Joshua can’t be fully trusted, but one thing is certain ...

The Void must be annihilated. And only the Verity—the light which birthed the darkness—can put an end to that which seeks to kill and destroy.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**unrated**

I finally finished this book! Unfortunately, this third and final book in the UNBLEMISHED series by Sara Ella was not a worthwhile read for me. Unbreakable was confusing, unsatisfying, and just seemed to drag on with nothing important happening.

The first two books, Unblemished and Unraveling, were very intriguing and caught my attention for sure. They are a mix of fairy tale and fantasy, with a lot of original content. I did have a few issues with them ... namely the love triangle and a scene or two that I deemed inappropriate. And the whole Void vs. Verity aspect, which I wasn't sure where it was headed.

So, in Unbreakable, the romance(s) and some relationships that were central in the previous two books were nearly non-existent. Eliyana was separated from her true love for nearly the entire book ... and considering all they have gone through from the first, the conclusion of this series was not at all satisfactory when it came to the romance.

The characters and plot seemed to wander around for the entirety of the book. The ending had some exciting scenes. But overall, I felt disconnected. Like I wasn't in the story anymore. It feel flat. It took me maybe a month to finish this book - I had to put it down at one point, and then finally just picked it up again and half-skimmed the rest of the book.

Even if it had been more interesting, I feel like the conclusion of this series confirmed that it's not something I, personally, like to read. I thought there was a bit of a Christian allegory with the Verity vs. Void (light vs. darkness) theme ... but it ended up being so confusing and twisted that by the end of Unbreakable that I was more confused than ever about who and what was good and who and what was bad.

The theme really seemed to be about self-love and how if a really bad person is loved, they might magically become good. And about us choosing to be good of our own strength and will. But the truth is, human love can't fix things. It can help, but ultimately, it is the sacrificial, immortal love of Christ that truly changes. We cannot choose goodness and light apart from Him.

So, maybe that's not how the author wanted her message to come across. But, if I'm understanding correctly that she's a Christian, the themes of her books just rubbed me a little wrong. That is my personally, honest opinion. Someone else might feel differently!

This series has a lot of promise, but it didn't end up being for me. I'm sorry to write a negative review.

I received a copy of Unbreakable from BookLook Bloggers Review Program in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Love of Covers



Published: September 12th, 2017 (Thomas Nelson)


Dagger's Sleep {Beyond the Tales #1} by Tricia Mingerink

Published (new cover): May 25th, 2018 (Sword & Cross Publishing)



Published: July 24th, 2018 (Multnomah Books)



Published: September 3rd, 2018 (B&H Books)


A Dream of Ebony and White: A Retelling of Snow White {Beyond the Four Kingdoms #4} by Melanie Cellier

Published: October 17th, 2018 (Luminant Publications)


Maelstrom {Broken Tides #3} by Catherine Jones Payne

Published: December 4th, 2018 (Fathom Ink Press)


Decree {Blades of Acktar #5} by Tricia Mingerink

Published: December 18th, 2018 (Sword & Cross Publishing)


Retrieve {The Stormers Trilogy # 1} by Sarah Addison-Fox

Published: December 26th, 2018 (Double Edged Sword Publishing)



Expected publication: February 19th, 2019 (Smitten Historical Romance)


War-Torn Heart by Allison Wells

Expected publication: March 20th, 2019 (Ambassador International)


Shadow Among the Sheaves by Naomi Stephens

Expected publication: April 1st, 2019 (Shiloh Run Press)


A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Expected publication: April 2nd, 2019 (Waterbrook Press)



Expected publication: April 30th, 2019 (Baker Books)


Flight of the Raven {Ravenwood Chronicles #2} by Morgan L. Busse


Expected publication: April 30th, 2019 (Bethany House Publishers)



The Story Raider {The Weaver Trilogy #2} by Lindsay A. Franklin

Expected publication: April 30th, 2019 (Enclave Publishing)


The Conqueror {Christian Empire Trilogy #1} by Bryan M. Litfin

Expected publication: May 31st, 2019 (Crossway Books)


The King's Mercy by Lori Benton

Expected publication: June 4th, 2019 (WaterBrook)


More Than Words Can Say {Patchwork Family #2} by Karen Witemeyer

Expected publication: June 4th, 2019 (Bethany House Publishers)


Reluctant Belle {Daughtry House #2} by Beth White

Expected publication: June 4th 2019 (Fleming H. Revell Company)


No Ocean Too Wide {McAllister Family #1} by Carrie Turansky

Expected publication: June 25th, 2019 (Multnomah Books)


Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Expected publication: July 2nd, 2019 (Fleming H. Revell Company)


Underestimating Miss Cecilia {Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley #2} by Carolyn Miller

Expected publication: July 23rd, 2019 (Kregel Publications)


Coral by Sara Ella

Expected publication: September 10th, 2019 (Thomas Nelson)


Misleading Miss Verity {Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley #3} by Carolyn Miller

Expected publication: November 19th, 2019 (Kregel Publications)


No Chance Meeting {No Chance Romance #1} by Jaye Elliot

Expected Publication: 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My Reading Plan for 2019 (+ a look at C.R.O.S.S.19 conference!)

Happy new year, my friends! Praise the Lord for a brand new year - what an incredible blessing! A fresh start. A new beginning. If we let it be.*smiles*

I want to share with my reading plan for 2019.

And then give you a glimpse into my time at an awesome conference called C.R.O.S.S.19.

***

Well, who is exciting about reading books this year? I certainly am!! So many new worlds to discover and deep wisdom to uncover. Here is my main plan for reading:

1) Continue to read my Bible everyday, and finish reading through the entire thing. (I started October of last year and am currently reading in "Deuteronomy" and "Mark".)

2) Pick a Christian Living type book every other book I read. So ...
novel
Christian Living
novel
Christian Living
novel
Christian Living

We'll see how #2 goes, but it's my goal. I just have to get my hands on enough Christian nonfiction books!!

Here are a few books that I'm hoping to read this year. Do let me know if you're planning on reading any of the same ones! ^_^

***


The Art of Turning: From Sin to Christ for a Joyfully Clean Conscience by Kevin DeYoung


A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz


To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler


Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green


One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land by Priscilla Shirer


Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse


The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters by Sinclair B. Ferguson


The King's Mercy by Lori Benton


Risk is Right: Better to Lose Your Life Than Waste It by John Piper


Who Brings Forth the Wind by Lori Wick


Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper


Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery


Pray for the World: A New Prayer Resource for Operation World by Patrick Johnstone


An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter


The Holiness of God by RC Sproul


Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky


Engaging Islam by Georges Houssney


Decree by Tricia Mingerink


Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating by Marshall Segal


Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof


The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption by Matt Chandler


The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin


Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God's Surprising Vision for Womanhood by Julie Roys


Heirs of Tirragyl by Joan Campbell


She's Got the Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle by Deepak Reju


The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz


Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan


When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin


Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality by Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal


Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette


Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good? by Gary Thomas


How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim


Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves


Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue by Chuck Black


Compassion Without Compromise: How the Gospel Frees Us to Love Our Gay Friends Without Losing the Truth by Adam T. Barr and Ron Citlau


Amber Eyes by S.D. Grimm


Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality by Nancy R. Pearcey


Conqueror by Mandy Fender


Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Carolyn McCulley


Daican's Heir by Jaye L. Knight


Will Medicine Stop the Pain?: Finding God's Healing For Depression, Anxiety, and Other Troubling Emotions by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Laura Hendrickson


The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson


Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ by Matt Papa

***


Happy new year, my dear readers! I pray that January 2019 began full of hope for you. And that you continue in the strength and joy of the Lord each day!
I have the absolute honor and joy of telling you about what God has been doing in my life & heart already this brand new year. Friends, He is so good. I’m nearly in tears just thinking about this past week and my faithful Father.
The year of 2018 had some tough points for me. So good things, too. But it seemed that amidst all the little blessings in December, I did a lot of wrestling and just struggling against anxiety and depression.
Like, what did I even do to make a difference this year? Am I any different? What is my life? I can’t do this, Lord. I don’t know what it’s all for. I don’t know why I’m even here.
I have a family. But I don’t feel like I belong in my home.
I have a church. But I don’t feel like I’m intimately a part of them.
I have people. But I don’t feel like they see me. Really.
I have ministries and opportunities. But I don’t think I’m using them to their full potential.
I have Christ. But I feel like I’m drowning and keep losing sight of Him. [Read more ...]