Monday, June 27, 2016

Jilted by Varna Denman



Jilted (David C. Cook, June 2016)
Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago.
Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.
Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

My Thoughts:
Jilted is crafted in such a way that the reader does not need to read the previous two books in the series, but I highly recommend doing so as it leads the readers to having a better appreciation for the characters, especially my favorite Lynda. I found Jilted to be the most emotional of the three books in the series. This book is both realistic and it begs the question will Lynda and Clyde have their happy ending? The only way to know is to read the story. I give this book 4/5 stars and was provided a complimentary copy for review purposes only. 


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading
  • A $50 Kohl’s gift card to make your summertime sweet
The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina’s website.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell

About: In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career--only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village. 
Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it's a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching--and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance? 
Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.

My Thoughts:
Readers, I must confess I am not a huge fan of Historical reads, but occasionally certain authors strike me and forever hold my attention, and Lawana Blackwell is one of those authors. 

What she does with a Haven on Orchard Lane is breathtaking as she brings these characters to life. Rather than read the book, she takes you on an experience into a splendid Victorian world that you won't want to leave. Don't miss this book! It is definitely a 5-star read and worth every penny. Get out and get this book! You won't be sorry.

Thank you to the publishers for providing me a complimentary copy for my honest review. 

NIV, Lifehacks Bible, Hardcover

A “Lifehack” describes any advice, shortcut, tip or skill that will help you get things done more efficiently and effectively.
The NIV Lifehacks Bible uses “lifehacking” methods to give you practical and achievable tools to integrate spiritual habits into your busy, technology-centric, 21st century life. With 365 articles covering 30 life-changing disciplines, not only does this Bible illuminate scriptural wisdom on spiritual practices, it provides practical tips and strategies for applying them every day.
You’ll find these and other articles inside the Bible: • 4 Tips for Making Wise Decisions • 6 Steps for Interpreting the Bible • 7 Questions for Recognizing Intentional Sins • 4 Tips for Finding Time to Pray
Featuring a foreword by author and theologian Kevin DeYoung, the NIV Lifehacks Bible is full of common-sense articles on foundational topics such as: prayer, self-reflection, character formation, and fasting. The Bible then features advice and helpful tips for building habits around these disciplines.

My Thoughts:

This Bible is fantastic for people growing in their faith, asking hard questions or learning how to interpret the Bible. Perfect for the graduate, college student or even high schooler in your life, this Bible gives lots of helpful advice that is practical in developing good habits. It also helps with understand discipline and in my opinion is a sound Bible with great tips for those looking to grow in their faith. I give this Bible 4/5 stars. Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes only. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Giddy up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson

(Because Women Need Each Other)
It’s no secret: Women need each other—especially now. We’re in one of the most puzzling cultural places we’ve ever been: we have young girls looking for security in selfies (clothing optional), older women feeling dismissed and diminished, and a generation of mom-agers in between. But all too often, especially in the church, we limit our relationships to people who are just like us: in the same age- and stage-related circles.
In her delightfully quirky, Southern style that readers have come to know and love, Sophie Hudson has written a rallying cry for women everywhere to open their eyes to the people God has put into our lives—those behind us and those in front of us—that we are meant to share the road with. It was never God’s intention to only be friends with women just like us. Giddy Up, Eunice is an invitation to extend our hands to the generations on either side and to truly love each other, pour into each other, and soak up all the wisdom that we can along the way.
We will all be the better for it.

My Thoughts: 
A must read book for women of all ages, Sophie weaves humor, with Biblical truth from many women of the Bible. This is one of those books that every woman needs, is relevant across all generations and I love how she used women of the Bible. This book reminds me of all the sweet women who have mentored me in my journey with Christ and it isn't one to miss. You will keep this on your shelf and read it over and over again. I give this book 5/5 stars and definitely recommend this book for a book club or Bible Study with women at your church. Thank you to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. I was not compensated for a positive review.  

About Sophie Hudson:
Sophie Hudson loves to laugh more than just about anything. She began writing her blog,, in November 2005, and much to her surprise, she’s stuck with it. Sophie hopes that through her stories, women find encouragement and hope in the everyday, joy-filled moments of life. In addition to her blog, Sophie is a contributor to the Pioneer Woman’s blog and serves as co-emcee for LifeWay’s dotMOM event.
A graduate of Mississippi State University, Sophie loves cheering like crazy at college football games and watching entire seasons of TV shows in record time.
Sophie lives with her husband and son in Birmingham, Alabama, where she serves as the women’s advisor at a local Christian high school.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In Plain Sight by Marlayn Giron

It started with the crop circles followed by the disappearance of cattle. Then he appeared. He was obviously Old Order Amish. He did and said everything right but no one knew what family or farm he belonged to. He worked in the fields and barn raising's like everyone else and was in every respect just like one of them except for his silver eyes. Despite his quiet and respectful demeanor the community of Bird-in-Hand was leery of him. Every-one avoided him; except for Rebecca Esh...two star-crossed lovers whose romance not only endangers the Amish family who takes him in but puts the world he and his brother come from in great peril

My Thoughts:
Marlayne Giron has a way of writing books that you can't quite put your finger on. If you haven't read "The Victor" by her, I highly recommend it, but "In Plain Sight is also another book that you think is going to be one thing and leaves you with a whole different taste. Saying that, I don't mean to say it in a bad light, it is actually good, it just is unexpected. The whole premise of the book is around the Amish community, but the author takes this book to a new level of romance with almost this paranormal that I haven't ever read before. It wasn't weird or creepy, it was done quite well. Overall, I was shocked at how emotionally attached I began to the characters involved in this story. I think if you are looking to read an Amish story that is very unique, not like anything else you have ever read, I highly recommend reading " In Plain Sight." I give this 5/5 stars. Thank you to the author for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes only. I was not compensated for a positive review.

About the Author: 

Marlayne GironMarlayne Giron is a wife and mother living in Orange County, California. She currently works as a part-time career secretary and enjoys cooking for her family every night, scrapbooking, making high teas, and entertaining.

At the age of 22 (In 1982) Marlayne was inspired to write The Victor by a line in an Amy Grant song called: "Fairytale" (from her Father's Eyes album). The particular verse in the song which inspired the idea was: "two princes wage the battle for eternity but the victor has been known from the start". The verse made her imagine an evil "Baron" in black armor and knight in shining armor crossing swords over "maiden in distress". She wrote the story in her free time at work on an IBM Selectric typewriter and at home on a Smith Corona Portable. 

Marlayne rewrote the story over the course of almost 30 years and made many attempts to get it published for several years but after a 4-year bout with ulcerative colitis that resulted in major surgery, then infertility then the adoption of her daughter and the demands of having to work full-time to pay the bills, she gave up on her dream of The Victor ever being published until April of 2008 when Tate Publishing called to offer her a contract. 

The Victor was released on April 14th of 2009 and many doors have opened up for her to get the word out on her book. One of which being that as a direct result of her former employment with John Styll at CCM Magazine 28 years ago (who is now currently President of the Gospel Music Association), both he and Amy Grant now have copies of The Victor and Marlayne's personal copy has been autographed by Amy Grant herself.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Amish FireFighter by Laura V. Hilton

28512131Laura Hilton has a way of writing a book that is so unexpected and that is exactly what you get in her latest book "The Amish FireFighter." This is a book that grabs your attention immediately from the beginning and doesn't let go as you read the story of a young girl, Abigail for reasons she isn't even aware of.  
Abigail finds herself in an awful situation where she starts to smell fire. Not sure of how to proceed, she begins looking for water like any natural instinct. Of course, she falls and is picked up by a set of "strong arms." Abigails life takes on a series of unfortunate events as she is being blamed for the intentional fire. 

Eventually, she meets the handsome and brave fireman, Sammy, who starts to feel something for her, but wants justice for Abigail.  This is well written from the very beginning to the ending. Ms. Hilton does a great job teaching life lessons through both characters about faith,  forgiveness, love, trusting people and community.

 I loved this book and thought you will too! If you love Amish books or have never read one in your life, PICK up this book!  Trust me; you will enjoy the story from beginning to end. You will read this book in one sitting and probably love it so much that you'll be recommending it to you friends on their summer reads lists.

Thank you Whitaker House for providing me a complimentary copy for my honest opinion. I give this book 5/5 stars. To purchase your copy, head here. 

About Laura Hilton

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor's wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.
Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press' Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter, planned for April 2016.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. Vogt + Giveaway


Fans of Beth Vogt, you will absolutely love her latest book "Almost like being in Love." Perfect to throw in the beach bag, you'll spend way to many hours curled up in this romantic, fun, humorous, yet serious book.  The book isn't just your average romance, but the characters face real life challenges, which all readers can appreciate from job issues, to broken hearts and everything in between, Ms. Vogt takes her readers on an adventure. 

Have you ever wondered if a destination wedding would be your thing? Well, meet Carson, Alex and Kade. It's going to be some drama. Carson won an all expense paid for destination wedding. Can you just imagine? But of course, there are lots of curve balls and will she and Alex go through with a wedding if they aren't engaged? There is bound to be a little bit of trouble when with these three, but if you want to know more, I suggest pre-ordering your copy today! 

Almost Like Being in Love is the second book in The Wedding Destination series and has some character references from the first, but can be read as a stand alone. This is the perfect book for a summer getaway or to curl up in bed. I love how Ms. Vogt gave the readers a run for their money with lots of turns and the book kept me on my toes, yet it was romantic, funny and serious when needed. It was fabulous!  Thank you to Wynn-Wynn Media for providing me a complimentary copy for my honest review. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

I am giving a copy away too! Leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing. I will choose a winner by June 24, 2016.

If you won a destination wedding where would you choose as your destination wedding spot? 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Worry Free Living by Joyce Meyer

27170142In this compact adaptation of Be Anxious for Nothing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer shows readers how to rid themselves of worry and fear by drawing on the peace of God.

Difficult times are part of living in this world. However, God has provided a way for us to enjoy peace as part daily life. We can choose either to allow ourselves to be burdened with worry and anxiety or to live in the peace and joy that God wants for our lives. Joyce Meyer shows how to rely on God's strength during difficult circumstances by revealing the nature of God's peace as found in Scripture. She explains how to trade anxiety for joy, develop a childlike attitude of faith, and give our worries to the Lord.

My Thoughts:

In the latest book by Joyce Meyer, "Worry- Free Living", she teaches the reader what it means to cast our cares on God. Worry Free Living is all about trading anxiety for peace, which is based on scripture and the peace that she is talking about is something that only the Lord can provide. This book is very small, something you can throw in your purse, briefcase or stick in your nightstand for those nights where you're unable to sleep. Each chapter is in the format of a devotional format, so it doesn't take the reader a long time to read, but the concepts are very practical and reasonable. Instead of seeking peace and security from worldly things, we should be seeking it from the Lord and Joyce makes the distinguish in this book, which is why this book is perfect for anyone who struggles with anxiety. I love how she just shows the reader how to dismiss their fear and anxiety with the word of God and casting their cares on him. I enjoyed reading this book as a devotional and also I stuck it in my nightstand for the nights when thoughts were running rampid through my mind because I could not sleep. 

Thank you to Faith Words, a division of the Hachette Book Group for providing me a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. This book has lots of golden nuggets of wisdom that is easy for anyone to follow and is a great way to learn how to manage anxiety, worry or fear. I give this book 5/5 stars because of it's Biblical content, ease of use and how great of a resource it is. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

27066871About: Three-Time RITA Winner Invites Readers Back to the Captivating Coastal Town of Hope Harbor 
After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who's invaded the house with her motley crew.
As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?
Three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon takes readers back to Hope Harbor for a new season of charm, romance, and second chances.

My Thoughts:
Sea Rose Lane is the perfect summer read. I actually am going to curl up with this book again because I enjoyed it so much. I am going to re-read it on vacation in July. The characters are lovely and will make you laugh, cry and oh, you will just love them, especially BJ.  And, the romance in this story is also very great too! This is a perfect beach or vacation read as you will find yourself lost in the characters! Don't miss this series, especially this book! Thank you to the publishers for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes only. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson


My Father’s House (March 2016)
Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant – her father’s love.
But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.
When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

My Thoughts:
First Fiction novel by Rose Chandler Johnson is a wowzer! First, she is definitely a risk taker and takes a topic of marriage that many authors don't take and deals with it in a fiction way. Second, this is a self-published book, which gives me even more respect for her writing because it was well edited in my opinion. This book is very engaging, it leaves the reader with asking a question about what they would do if they found themselves in this position and it also is a very unique read like any other. I highly recommend this read and give this 5/5 stars! 


Rose Chandler JohnsonRose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional “God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments.” “My Father’s House” is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.
Find out more about Rose Chandler at

Monday, June 13, 2016

Faith in the Eye of a Storm

Faith is the thing in the middle of a storm. Whether you've ever been in the eye of a hurricane or been through a season of life where you knew that it was going to take every ounce of battling you had in you, faith somehow is this messy thing in the middle that gets you from the starting line to the finish.

I think it's easy to talk about faith as the Hebrews writer says in 11:1 
"Now Faith is the substance of the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," but living out faith is much harder. 
When the storm hits, we have the opportunity to exercise our faith muscle and run the race with endurance set before us. The beginning of any race doesn't take a lot of faith, and the ending of a race has great relief, but the middle is where our faith muscle begins to pull at us, tear at us and question why we began the race altogether. 

The storms in the scriptures amaze, especially in Matthew when the disciples started freaking out because of a storm that came over the boat as Jesus was asleep. The disciples woke him because they were afraid. The waves were coming in, and they feared for their lives.  He said, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" And then the scriptures said he calmed the winds & the sea. 

Isn't easy to be in the middle of the storm and flip a lid? It's so easy to be just like the disciples and question the storms, the waves of this life, especially when you're in it. In the good seasons, I can admit, I haven't had to exercise much of my faith muscle because I relied on my own strength. In the good times it's easy to talk about faith, it's easy to say that I have it, but in the hard times when something pushes at me, that's a whole different story.

I know what it's like to question just as the disciples did. I feel like we've been sitting on a storm for a while that has waves that hit, some days the waves crash over the boat, other days I panic and some days the waves are calm. And yet, like the disciples, I beg the same questions, "save me, I feel like I am perishing, did you forget me?" And He reminds me everywhere in His word, "He calms the storm so that its waves are still." Psalm 107:29 He hasn't forgotten me, and He hasn't forgotten you. His promises are true. I need to stop talking about faith and start exercising it. I don't need to be afraid of the things in front of me; I don't need to question why things haven't happened or why things are the way they are, I just need to live in today and trust him in the eye. 

Whether you're in the eye of a storm, pulling out of a storm or just entering one, He is the one that calms the storms of this life. He has us in the palm of his hand.

Journey to Heal & Naming Our Abuse


Journey to Heal: Seven Essential Steps of Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (Kregel, April 2016)
A path of hope and healing for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
A woman who was sexually abused as a child is confronted with many internal questions: Am I worthless? Will I get past the pain? Do I matter to God? These and similar questions can carve a deep hole in an already wounded soul. Too often, the lies of worthlessness are believed, the pain becomes too much to handle, and survivors find themselves making choices that lead to more heartbreak. With over 42 million survivors (both male and female) in the United States alone, the need for a clear path to healing is great.
Crystal Sutherland—herself a survivor of CSA—knows that while the recovery process is complex, healing is possible with God’s help. For women who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly, Journey to Heal guides readers through seven essential steps to recovery found in Scripture. Candid and open about her personal journey of healing, Crystal comes alongside her reader as a friend who understands. Infused with biblical truths, stories of hope from other survivors, and practical wisdom, this book leads women to discover the life of wholeness God has for them.
My Thoughts:
This book was such a personal journey that is powerful. I found that this book would be healing to anyone who has suffered such horrible abuse as Crystal utilizes scripture to take people from a place of shame and brokenness to help them discover that God loves them. She is practical, but insightful and knows the journey as she has gone through childhood sexual abuse. I appreciate her willingness to be vulnerable and share with others. I give this book 4 stars. Thank you to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review. I was not compensated for a positive review. 
Crystal Sutherland


Crystal M. Sutherland is a writer, speaker, ministry leader, and mentor for survivors of sexual abuse. She has fifteen years of experience in ministry, including women’s ministry, youth ministry, worship, and Bible teaching. She has also written and led a women’s Bible study for female survivors of sexual abuse. Her work can also be seen on her active blog.
Find out more about Crystal at


Naming Our Abuse: God’s Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors(Kregel, April 2016)
A stunningly vulnerable look at the horrific realities of sexual abuse and how to overcome them.
Male sexual abuse is increasingly in the news, from scandals in the Catholic Church to exploitations at Penn State. Yet books and programs about healing are still overwhelmingly oriented toward the female survivor of abuse. As men who experienced childhood abuse, the authors of this book are uniquely qualified to address the healing process of male survivors.
Using the metaphor of a car accident, Naming Our Abuse leads the survivor from the Wreck to the Accident Report to Rehabilitation to Driving Again. This four-step model illustrates that healing is a process to be nurtured rather than something that can be healed in a single telling. Following the authors’ examples, readers are invited to find solidarity with other male survivors and develop an understanding of their own wounding through journaling exercises.
My Thoughts:
This book was very interesting and completely vulnerable as we get three stories of sexual abuse from David, Andrew and Daniel. It was told from a male perspective, which we are not hearing a lot from the male population and I was glad to hear them step forward. As a social worker, this book made me sad for the world our children are growing up and it also made me sad for our churches. Through my own grief in reading these books, I was able to find that these men are so courageous and their story is one of healing that I think can be helpful to anyone; male or female. I was in tears. This book is 5/5 stars for me. Thank you to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review. I was not compensated for a positive review. 


Schmutzer, Gorski & CarlsonAndrew Schmutzer is a professor of biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) and a graduate of Dallas Seminary (ThM) and Trinity (PhD). He writes about integrative issues surrounding abuse, trauma, lament, and spiritual formation and speaks regularly on issues of sexual abuse. **||** Daniel Gorski is a thirty-year veteran software engineer, having worked for AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia. He earned a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State University, specializing in expert systems and software automation. **||** David Carlson is a special education teacher, working in the suburbs of Chicago for the majority of his adult life. He takes great pride in being an advocate for his students and their families, helping them to navigate whatever challenges life may present. He is committed to encouraging and supporting male survivors through the various stages of their healing.
Find out more about Schmutzer, Gorski at

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Young & Beardless

John Luke Robertson may be young and beardless, but he has a lot to say about growing up and discovering your purpose.
John Luke Robertson, the oldest son of Willie and Korie Robertson and brother of Dancing with the Stars sensation Sadie Robertson, shares his story of what it’s like to grow up as a Robertson and all the fun and craziness that entails, as well as what he has learned as he has stepped out into his own unique experiences. He also shares what it’s like to navigate the walk from boyhood to becoming a man. Topics in this book include friendship, kindness, dreaming big, embracing your God-given uniqueness, taking chances, and choosing mentors.
John Luke speaks frequently on dreams (how to build a dream for your life), schemes (how to plan for your dream to come true), and building teams (choosing the people around you who will become a team that helps make your dream come true through their support, honesty, and care). He will incorporate these important guidelines into the book, ultimately helping young people learn how to find and pursue a clear-cut purpose in their lives.
Teens and young adults will enjoy reading his story, and they will benefit by reading Robertson’s wisdom and perspective on how to grow up and live out your purpose. And, with the Robertsons, this book is sure to be fun!

My Thoughts:
John Luke in "Young & Beardless" is very open about his faith, which is awesome. I love how he is intentional about living life in such a way that pleases God. He is an encouragement to young people and those further in the race following God. I love how he is a dreamer, curious and even hilarous in this book, but most of all having a heart set on God. I think this book is perfect for young men, especially in their twenties or even those in their teens. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about John Luke and loved how at the end of each chapter he had questions to "Think About it." Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary copy for review. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Victor by Marlayne Giron

6508077About the Book:
A benevolent King; ...his sword of power; ...a ruthless traitor bent on revenge; ...and the faithful son who stands in his way with the woman destined to share his throne. Who shall emerge as the victor in this epic struggle between good and evil to govern the lives of hapless men?

In the rich tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, The Victor is an action packed adventure novel of love, friendship, betrayal and sacrifice set in medieval times. Females will love the romance of rescued love while males will devour the scenes of jousting, knights and battles. Using ancient literature as the template, The Victor teaches lessons of enduring love, loyalty and reward in an exciting drama laced with unforgettable characters.

My Thoughts:
Not a fan of Medieval Fantasy, I wasn't sure what I would think about "The Victor" and was a bit skeptical at first, but Marlayne has a way of utilizing language, and a gift for story telling that involves the reader into an all adventure of battle. The characters, Llyonesse, and Lucius are vividly told, which encaptures the reader into their adventure. This book has a romantic side, but is perfect for the young adults and even adults in my opinion. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book as much if the Marlayne did not paint such a beautiful picture and invite the reader into the story as I find Medival Fantasy not to be a favorite genre, but she did a fabulous job. I also like how there are many contrasts with this book to the Bible, which makes this book even more unique. If you haven't heard of Marlayne, I would recommend checking this book out, and other books by her. I give this book a 4 start review. Thank you to the author for providing me a complimentary copy for review. 

About the Author:
Marlayne GironMarlayne Giron is a wife and mother living in Orange County, California. She currently works full time and enjoys cooking for her family every night, scrapbooking, making high teas, and entertaining.
At the age of 22 (In 1982) Marlayne was inspired to write The Victor by a line in an Amy Grant song called: “Fairytale” (from her Father's Eyes album). The particular verse in the song which inspired the idea was: “two princes wage the battle for eternity but the victor has been known from the start”. The verse made her imagine an evil “Baron” in black armor and knight in shining armor crossing swords over "maiden in distress". She wrote the story in her free time at work on an IBM Selectric typewriter and at home on a Smith Corona Portable.
Marlayne rewrote the story over the course of almost 30 years and made many attempts to get it published for several years but after a 4-year bout with ulcerative colitis that resulted in major surgery, then infertility then the adoption of her daughter and the demands of having to work full-time to pay the bills, she gave up on her dream of The Victor ever being published until April of 2008 when Tate Publishing called to offer her a contract. 

The Victor was released on April 14th of 2009 and many doors have opened up for her to get the word out on her book. One of which being that as a direct result of her former employment with John Styll at CCM Magazine 28 years ago (who is now currently President of the Gospel Music Association), both he and Amy Grant now have copies of The Victor and Marlayne's personal copy has been autographed by Amy Grant herself.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Life Just Got Real by Sadie Robertson

27274345From Dancing with the Stars runner-up and Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson comes a fun novel about two teenage girls from different backgrounds and opposite lifestyles who discover there is more to friendship than what meets the eye.

Sixteen-year-old A.J. Stewart, born and raised in backwoods Tennessee, loves nothing more than repairing broken cars with her father and hanging out with her brothers and their friends. Not far away in the busy city of Nashville, Kate Kelly is always dressed in the latest fashion, wearing clothes from her mother’s boutique and jetting around the world with her father.

When A.J. starts going to the school Kate attends, they instantly dislike each other. But as the year progresses, Kate’s brother Val is drawn to A.J., and when prom comes around, he asks her to be his date—much to his sister’s displeasure.

The following summer at camp, the two girls continue their dislike of each other, until a surprising moment of openness when A.J. shares her faith with Kate. As their bond grows, they discover that they share an inner resolve to live life as God intended, and to live it in their own individual and original ways.

In Life Just Got Real Sadie Robertson inspires teens to find the value God has placed inside us all and to live with confidence and purpose in a very complicated world.

My Thoughts:
Life Just Got Real is Live Orginal Fiction by Sadie Robertson that has a romantic side; that is light, but deals with stuff that teenagers go through. Sadie isn't afraid to touch things like gossip, jealousy, insecurity, or trying to take a fiction story and write in such a way that the characters have to look to Christ as the main focus. I love that Sadie is brave enough to write a book about the stuff that male and female teenagers face today in a real way through fiction. She also uses this book to show how those who are different from one another can be friends and come together. I think this is a great novel, and I would love to see more from Sadie with these characters. I hope to see more from her in this series. The message is powerful for young tweens and teenagers. I give this book five stars, and I highly recommend it. Thank you, Wynn Wynn Media for provided me a complimentary copy for my honest review. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Weekend Memories

Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend! This past weekend was very busy for me, but filled with lots of great memories.

Friday evening our church has a group for couples married under forty, so we went to a fun event filled with games, food and fun. They were showing the movie War Room, but we ended up leaving before the movie started because I needed to get ready for a bridal shower on Saturday.

Saturday morning I woke up and got ready to head over to Julia's house where Kelsey's bridal shower was going to be. We had fun eating, playing a game, fellow-shipping and opening gifts. It was great to reminisce. I'm really going to miss Kelsey when she moves to Chicago.

Sunday was another busy day. We woke up for church to see my sister's boyfriend get baptized and make profession of faith.

We hurried quickly to grab lunch with him before he had to go to work. We ran home and changed into different clothes before we made an hour drive to Lansing to see our friends and fierce daughter graduate!

When graduation speeches are filled with things like "you'll have to go through difficult things and face adversity, or life won't go the way you planned it;" they haven't met Montana. This girl is fierce. She has gone through something most teenagers have not and survived. She has battled cancer and continues, she is an amputee, amazingly smart and crazy compassionate. She is very gifted and has already done great things. I can't wait to see where life takes this amazing, young woman! 

What did ya'll do this past weekend? 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Where is Running Through The Storms ?

Where in the world is Running Through the Storms? 

It would be easy to say that life has been crazy, but that is an understatement. 

First, I have started and transitioned into a new job, which I think is going to be just lovely. I just finished my third week. It is all new and huge a learning curve, but I think eventually I will find my way, and this will be something beautiful. Adjusting to a whole new schedule, learning names, faces and a new job, is quite exhausting, so I haven't had the energy to get on here much. 

Second, we have been playing catch up with a lot of family members and friends we haven't seen in a long time. Isn't that how life goes sometimes? There are friends we haven't seen in so long, and our schedules have been jammed packed catching up. We also have a lot of graduation open houses this year, and one of my best friends is getting married in a few weeks. I've been working really hard to get back into that dress. Weird how it fit this winter and didn't fit in the spring training. We also had a larceny situation that made me lose some brain cells in the process, but all is well now and moving forward. 

Additionally, I feel very behind in life. The every day of life, dishes, laundry and keeping things clean has gone to the complete wayside, which has driven me nuts. We aren't pigs, but you know the spider webs, the desk that gets piled with the mail and the TBR pile of books is driving me bonkers! Plus I have this story that has been sitting in my head to write, and it's time to get writing. I've decided it's time to either seek out a publisher to pursue how to write this thing or start writing more hardcore and see where it goes.  

Finally, I have two race recaps to give y'all, lots of updating on life, our daily happenings and blog reading to catch up on. I am sorry for my absence. 
I hope to catch up with you over a Carmel Frap or over here.

Have a fabulous Friday! I am going to tackle a huge to do list!

What are you plans this weekend?