Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Book Review: Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse


Purchase HERE
Title: Flight of the Raven

Author: Morgan L. Busse

Series: The Ravenwood Saga #2

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Exiled and on the run, Selene Ravenwood is in search of the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking but first she must adapt to her marriage with the man she was originally assigned to kill. With war impending and a dark being after her gift, she finds herself at a crossroads but time is running out and soon her choice will be made for her.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

How exciting it is to dive back into the adventures of Selene and Damien! Flight of the Raven was one novel I was highly anticipating, and it did not disappoint! In book two of THE RAVENWOOD SAGA, Morgan L. Busse carries on with this epic story, following a would-be-assassin, her sister, and the young lord who is their target. With action, romance, mystery, and a journey of faith, this tale swept me away.

Truly, I'm always looking for new Christian fantasy novels, and this one has caught my attention. Just as with the first book, I loved the world. It is rich, diverse, and fascinating. We're learning a little more about each house, and with every tidbit of information, I get more excited! It's one of those fantasy lands that you could get lost in.

The Christian allegory is unfolding so wondrously! Selene is hunted by the Dark Lady whom she's sure she doesn't want ... and haunted by the Light that always seems out of reach. It was amazing to watch her wrestle within herself and slowly come to believe and trust this Light. The way the author writes this beautiful, intense allegory reminds me of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD series. (Oh, how I miss reading from that series! It's good to get a taste of that kind of awesome fantasy in Morgan L. Busse's novels!)

It was interesting to get some of the story from Amara's point of view. I loved seeing some more of little Ophelia. Their mother makes me furious! *feeling all kinds of rage* So many great characters! That's what makes this series glorious!

Mark of the Raven definitely built up to the romance we get in Flight of the Raven. I was looking forward to it, and glad to see this couple blossom! *happiness* There were many sweet, tender moments. And some raw, sacrificial moments that made this love story that much more beautiful. Pretty far into the book, there were a few kisses and talk about the marriage and feelings. It was all pretty sweet, though some of the details weren't necessary (in my own opinion). And even though there was nothing explicit, since this book does have a marriage of convenience it felt more "adult" than "young adult".

I smiled, I cried, I was surprised, and my heart sighed within me. Flight of the Raven was an emotional, thrilling journey! I was sad to finish ... realizing I won't be feeling that happy feeling that I get when reading about these characters for awhile. And, whoa, that cliffhanger! (It made me think of the Marvel movies, for some reason. *laughs*) I can hardly wait to see what happens! Next book, please!

I received a complimentary copy of Flight of the Raven from the author and/or Bethany House Publishers. This review is honest and all my own.

Book Review: It's a Love Story by Lincee Ray


Purchase HERE

Title: It's a Love Story: From: Happily To: Ever After

Author: Lincee Ray

Genre: Nonfiction

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Human beings love to be loved. And we love to fall in love. As children we pour our love into our pets and our friends. As teenagers we fall in love with musicians and actors and the boy whose locker is next to ours. As we mature, we long for romantic love that will last a lifetime. Sacrificial love, unexplainable love, familial love, desperate love. Love songs and love stories. Clearly we were created with the longing for love ingrained in our souls.

With lots of wit and a bit of wisdom drawn from a lifetime of falling in love, Lincee Ray invites you to an unabashed celebration of that loving feeling. As she reveals the loves of her life and encourages you to recall your own, you'll discover alongside her that there is only one who can ever truly fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts. And he made us to be part of a divine love story.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**not rated**

This is my first time reading by Lincee Ray, and it was not at all what I expected. From the description, I was thinking that It's a Love Story: From Happily to Ever After would be about our love for romance and longings to be known and cherished, and how that points to our deeper need for God. In reality, this book is more like stories from the author's life. And a lot of said stories didn't seem to have much to do with romance or faith. Some were funny. Some unfortunate. Some sarcastic. Many had to do with how she loves "oldies" music, dancing, and movies such as The Notebook.

It's a Love Story was an interesting read. It told a lot about Lincee Ray, including a little bit about her divorce, which was very sad. But I can't say I really get her sense of humor (sarcasm and such), and some of the content surprised me. Still getting butterflies from remembering her first kiss with some random guy ... All the hot men in favorite movies (most of which contain sexual content, I believe) ... Her love of the film, Dirty Dancing, and the hip shaking and whatever they do ... Screaming crazily at the concert of a "boy band" you used to crush on when you were a teen ... You haven't lived until you've smoked and drank on your last day of a mission trip? She talked some about romance and wanting to be married again, but it mostly had to do with hoping to fall in love with a really hot guy while grocery shopping or something. Hmm. I don't know. I just wasn't feeling a lot of it.

In the end of the book, Lincee Ray did touch on longings and loving to love pointing to our need for a relationship with God, which is the only relationship that can truly fulfill us. But, overall, I didn't feel that the rest of the book backed that up. That's my personal reaction. Maybe you would feel differently. It wasn't at all what I thought I had picked up, and I don't think I will be reading anymore from this author.

I received a copy of It's a Love Story: From Happily to Ever After from Revell Publishers. This review is honest and all my own.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cover Reveal: Midnight's Curse by Tricia Mingerink

Eltz castle in the morning fog

Y'all, I am so beyond excited for this Cinderella retelling from Tricia Mingerink! And today is the day to reveal the cover! *squeals* Midnight's Curse is book two in BEYOND THE TALES, which is a series of fairy tale retellings set in a world of curses and gifts and an Appalachian Mountain-like setting.

Midnight's Curse releases August 6, 2019!

Scroll down to see the cover
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
  Midnight's Curse_Internet Use

Isn't it stunning? The cover was designed by Savannah Jezowski at Dragonpen Designs. You can find more examples of her work here.

About the book:

High King Alexander rules the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia—a divided nation on the brink of yet another war. When an invitation arrives from the king of Pohatomie, Alex knows it must be a trap, but could it also be his opportunity to unite the kingdoms? Daemyn Rand has lived a hundred years, served an arrogant prince, fallen in love with a princess, and lost himself somewhere along the way. He has already died for his loyalty. Will he have to sacrifice his last chance to truly live? Elara Ashen is a lowly, miserable servant. All she wants is to spend one night in a fancy dress, dancing with the high king. When she is offered a pair of glass slippers, it seems all her dreams have come true. But dreams have a price, and gifts can be curses in disguise. What will it cost to stop this curse from tearing Tallahatchia apart yet again? Fairy tales meet the Appalachian Mountains in this adventurous fantasy retelling of the classic Cinderella story.

About the author:

DSC09450-2

Tricia Mingerink is the author of the bestselling The Blades of Acktar series and the Beyond the Tales series. 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 Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram To celebrate the cover reveal, Dagger's Sleep, a Sleeping Beauty retelling and book one in the series, is on sale in Kindle for $.99 this weekend! Click here to purchase on Amazon.

  Dreamy green color forest

Giveaway!

To celebrate even more, there's a giveaway for a paperback copy of Dagger's Sleep and a 2 oz Plot Twist candle by Novelly Yours Candles. To enter, share the above sale graphic for Dagger's Sleep, the cover for Midnight's Curse, or the below Midnight's Curse promo graphic and make sure you use hashtag #MidnightsCurse and tag @triciamingerink on any social media site to enter. The giveaway will end May 22 at midnight. Please note this giveaway is only open in the United States. It is not sponsored by Novelly Yours Candles.

  Glass Slipper

Friday, May 3, 2019

How Life Is Going ...

Hi, friends! How have you all been? I wanted to give you all a little life update. God is good! As always.

Enjoy the photo dump! And just for your information, I will be on a hiatus of sorts for almost a week, starting tomorrow. Going to be housesitting and I probably won't have service and such. Yay! *winks*


Still working through my "read-the-Bible-in-a-year". I'm now in Job and Acts! And, of course, loving those Christian nonfiction books!

Read my review of Freedom! by Jennifer Renee Watson HERE.


A trip to Smoothie King with sister and friend! ^_^



Sick day. Make that days. I was sick for over a week with a flu of sorts. Missed church, Wednesday night Bible study, and two and half days of work. It was terrible.

I've been sick three times in the last month and a half. Cold, flu, allergies ... I don't know. But I've had my fair share of days of feeling miserable. Thankfully, no more missed days of work. And I've been taking some natural supplements to help allergies and I've been feeling much better!!

My doctor thinks my immune system is down and all. But I believe God has kingdom work for me to do, and I'm not going to let being sick all the time prevent me from doing that! I'm praying against sickness. Praying for healing. Trusting God, whatever happens.


Book haul! The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz, Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, and The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson. I was gifted with some money for Valentine's Day. All three of these novels were amazing, by the way! *heart eyes*


Still a little sick. But well enough to make myself some yummy lunch! Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and chicken!


Chiropractor/doctor visit. Tired. A little sick. (Excuse my flyaway hair.)


Earl Grey Tea to help me get through the work day! However, I've found that I can't have caffeine too much. I think it eventually starts to make me feel more tired.


Overnight babysitting job! Reading my Bible in the morning.


Still haven't finished this book, but it has been amazing! I would definitely recommend that you check it out!


Still struggling with feeling poorly. But went with my sisters to snap a few pictures downtown. I wanted a new profile picture. *winks*


Riding with sister to work.
 

Easter Sunday!
 

And a little photo shoot with these awesome books by @GirlDefined! Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal have just released their third book, Sex, Purity, and the Longings of the Girl's Heart. And it's great!!
 


I feel like God has been giving me a vision of leading a Bible study for teen to adult women for years. So recently, I stepped out in faith and decided to start a book study on Girl Defined. It's starting next Saturday! I'm excited and nervous! Please pray for me and for God to work mightily in all these young women's lives! <3


Doing one of my favorite things! Thrift shopping!! Who else loves thrift shopping?



Baby clothes!! I couldn't help but buy a few while shopping. 100% cotton, of course! *winks* My little brother is coming sometime this month! I'm so excited to hold him close and get to know him! Babies are so precious. I can't get enough of them! <333

Thankfully, I get to hold sweet little ones at my job!


My Father is preparing a place for me! What a precious truth! I'm not perfect, but He wants me! He welcomes me! In His house, there's a place for me. Praise Jesus Christ! <3




A Chick-fil-A treat on a hot day! Half unsweetened tea, half lemonade, of course! I'm so happy that summer is coming. It was 81 degrees, or so. I am so done with winter. I was so done with winter in January, probably. I'm a summer girl. ^_^


Do I look tired? Because I was feeling exhausted!!! Work for four hours. Work-out for 20 minutes. Feeling ready to collapse. But happy about my new, thrift-shopping dress.


Surprise baby shower to celebrate my mom and baby boy! What a sweet time.



Taking pictures and sharing as part of the launch team for Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart!


Chick-fil-A for supper! With three sisters, brother, and some cousins! It was a special event at our Chick-fil-A, so it seemed like the perfect time to splurge on some yummy-ness!

***

Other news:

* One of my dearest friends is engaged and asked me to stand as a bridesmaid! So excited for a summer wedding and vacation! ^_^

* I decided I'm done with PBS series. They all seem to be pushing a leftist political agenda instead of giving us quality entertainment. And I'm so done. Call the Midwife has gone so downhill, and I can't ignore it anymore. Their latest thing is pushing the abortion and transgender stuff. Abortion is cruel and heartbreaking and I don't feel like I should keep watching. (The first three seasons of Call the Midwife are pretty great, though! It was after the woman whose life the show is based on died that it really started becoming about gay people, abortion, sexual promiscuity, and transgender.)

* I love Swiss Dark Chocolate. *grins*


* I'm getting more into politics and social issues than ever before. It's time to be part of the resistance! Stand for truth, justice, and freedom. I'm an American and I intend to fight for the things my country was founded on. Faith and liberty.

Check out the Youtube channels on such things that I follow. Listed on the side of this blog.



* I'm part of the launch team for Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse (amazing so far!!!) and The King's Mercy by Lori Benton (which I haven't received yet.)



* I'm hoping to look into volunteering at my local crisis pregnancy center. Ask me about it later. Hopefully that'll give me the push to just go there and ask about volunteering!

* So thankful for my family in Christ. I don't know what I would do without them. <333

TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE!!  

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Book Review: Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart by Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal


Purchase HERE

Title: Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality

Author: Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal

Genre: Christian Living/Nonfiction

Audience: Teen/Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

For the modern Christian woman living in today's sexually charged society, embracing God's design for sex and purity can often feel like an impossible pursuit. As the culture seeks to normalize things such as pornography, erotica, and casual sex, both single and married women of all ages feel immense pressure to conform. With alluring temptations constantly inviting them to join in, they might even begin to question whether God's design is truly good. They wrestle with questions like

- What is the purpose of my sexuality?
- What does it mean to pursue purity?
- Are my sexual longings good or bad?

In this encouraging book, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal share honestly about their own struggles and victories, and invite women on a personal journey to discover and reclaim a biblical vision for their sexuality. Kristen and Bethany help women understand why God's design for sexuality is good, relevant, and leads to true hope and lasting freedom.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

Another phenomenal read and awesome resource from sisters, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal! I had the privilege of being on the launch team for Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart, and let me tell you, it is not a book that you want to miss! I was stunned and blessed. This is a message I'm so excited for! It is simply, beautifully another tool in helping us women discover the freedom of living out our sexuality God's way.


I think one of the reasons I was so excited to read Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart is because we as the Church don't talk much about lust being a girl's problem ... or about our sexuality in general! And as a result, I believe Satan has a foothold in many a woman's life. Our idea of sex is twisted and we struggle with fear, shame, and secret sexual sin.


Kristen and Bethany don't shy away from the raw, tough questions and shameful topics. They dive right in. They share their own stories of sexual sin and of finding forgiveness and freedom. They share hope. They get to the heart of the issue, and give practical tips to avoid temptation.
Reading this book could seriously be life-changing for some girl. I read a book that tackled the topic of sexual sin (Every Young Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge) when I was a young teen, and it changed the course of my life. And I believe Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart is an even more precious book on this topic because it is so centered on Christ, and it is so personal, honest, hopeful, and empathetic.


And holistic, if that's the right word. We're not just talking about how to avoid sexual sin. We're talking about our design as human beings ... how God created us as sexual beings in the beginning. And how that sexuality is good! How our sexual design can point us to God. Yes, sexual intimacy was created exclusively for marriage, but we are sexual beings whether we're married or not, and so understanding God's design for our sexuality is vital. It is an intricate part of our lives!


Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart talks about the universal sexual brokenness. It talks about same-sex attraction, and the truth that male, female, and marriage were created specifically and purposefully by God. It speaks on being made for intimacy, imperfect purity, battling temptation, and real freedom. Again and again, we are reminded that our sexual longings point to an even deeper need - the need for Jesus Christ. He can truly satisfy our souls.

Something that I enjoyed about this book was how it quoted renowned Christian authors and speakers such as John Piper, Dannah Gresh, Dr. Juli Slattery, Jackie Hill Perry, Joshua Harris, and more. And, of course, the Holy Bible! Scripture is what we must always line up our ideas against and see if they match. Because God's Word is our absolute truth.

I love reading about God's design for marriage and sex. It is truly beautiful! And the way it points to Christ and the Church ... the Creator and our relationship with Him ... is magnificent. When we realize the amazing design and purpose of sex, we dare not tarnish its beauty. It is too good to fool around with!


I hope you all will give this book a chance, even if you don't normally read nonfiction. It flows along well and is easy to read. Kristen and Bethany help us to recognize God's awesome design for sex and intimacy as laid out in the holy Scriptures. They show that the hold that sexual sin has on you can be broken! You can find forgiveness, new beginnings, and glorious beauty as you turn to Him and use your sexuality as God designed!


Our brilliant, loving Creator's plan for sexuality is obviously the very best. It was His design in the first place! We can trust that. We don't have to live in sexual brokenness and depravity. By His strength, we can rise up to beautiful heights of purity, holiness, blissful joy, and freedom.

I'm so glad this book was written! Dear women, read this book. I think it will help you to understand your sexuality and the desires that come with that. It will help you to honor marriage and sexual intimacy. And find your deepest satisfaction and hope in Christ!

This book includes discussion questions at the back of the book for each chapter. I can't wait to go through it with a group of women!

I received a complimentary copy of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart from Baker Books Publishers and the authors. This review is honest and all my own.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review: The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd


Purchase HERE

Title: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Author: Sarah E. Ladd

Series: Cornwall #1

Genre: Regency Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811
Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall ... back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**4 stars**

Lovely! I've read by Sarah E. Ladd before, and just had to pick up her latest novel because of the gorgeous cover! I'm happy to say that the story did not disappoint. Book One in the CORNWALL series, The Governess of Penwythe Hall pulls us into early 1800s, England, and Cordelia Graythorne's life. I love stories set during the Regency era, and this one was well-done. It's centered around a governess with a troubled past and a handful of dear, orphaned children, which I came to love. Plus Jac, who is quite nice, as well. *winks and smiles* It has a good amount of mystery/suspense, a warm faith theme, and sweet romance. This book definitely wasn't heavy on the romance ... and didn't have any steamy romance scenes - which is always a breath of fresh air. I love a good romance, but it has to be done right! Sarah E. Ladd unfolded this love story quite charmingly.

Overall, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is about family, faith, and finding freedom from dark pasts. It was enjoyable to read! For fans of Regency tales, I would certainly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of The Governess of Penwythe Hall from BookLookBloggers program. This review is honest and all my own.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

"Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart" Book Talk & Unboxing!

Good evening, friends! Today I'm here to talk about a soon-to-be-releasing, Christian nonfiction book called Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality, as part of the launch team. It was written by @GirlDefined founders, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal. I believe the books these sisters write are amazing tools in helping us women better understand and navigate God's design for womanhood, femininity, love, marriage, and sexuality!


Kristen and Bethany are passionate about helping women find their identity in Christ, and purpose in His kingdom! Their ministry has definitely impacted my life.

Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart is releasing April 30th! And if you want to receive some super special bonuses - such as an audiobook, adult coloring book, and private Q&A with the authors + their husbands - then pre-order by the 29th!


I recently received my early copy of this book, and I'm loving it! Our sexuality is such a huge part of who we are as women - as human beings - and to dig deeper in the Biblical design is so helpful and amazing.

Listen, dear fellow women, God had beautiful purpose in mind when He created male and female. Masculinity and femininity. Sexuality. Love. Marriage. I hope you know that! I hope you will pick up a copy of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart and be encouraged! <3




Now, if you're interested, watch my latest Youtube video below! It's my very first unboxing video! *grins* #sexpuritylongings