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Tomorrow’s the Day! Tomorrow’s the Day!

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I apologize to all of my lovely readers for not informing you of this sooner, but I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this April and I am beside myself with excitement! Tomorrow I will be so engrossed in A Queen is Knighted that I will probably introduce myself as Kodie ;-)

My original goal for this month was to write 60,000 words, but because I have work 2 days a week (3 including some Saturdays), and school the other 3, I decided that 60,000 words was a pretty ridiculous goal for such a busy schedule. So I cut it pretty much in half, making my new goal 35,000 words. I feel pretty confident about achieving this and really hope that this amount of words is enough to finish A Queen is Knighted, but I have my doubts. Oh well, come what may come, I look forward to an awesome month!

Speaking of monthly writing, while I am on the subject, I will go ahead and give y’all my monthly writing review for March, which is pretty terrible. I only wrote 14 days this month which totaled 9351 words. Not a very good start to an event that I aim to write 3 times that amount in the coming month, but April has an advantage. I have 11 (awesome!) accountability partners who are also attacking huge writing goals along with me! I pray that this month will be productive for all of us and that my being placed into this particular group of people is so that I can be a blessing and witness for Christ for an entire month, in addition to myself accomplishing a lifelong goal!

Please, my faithful followers, keep all of the NaNoers in your prayers, as this exciting month has the potential to turn into a very stressful one for some people. Pray that God will give every writer the words to write and the wisdom needed to choose their story. Pray also that no one will be put into a troublesome situation with cyber stalking or anything of that nature, this website is a very safe website and has a lot of security, but we still need to pray against any possibilities of that security getting hacked. And finally, just pray that we will have a blast this April, because that is what NaNoWriMo is about, having fun while writing!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Maximus by Richard L. Black

Maximus

The Synopsis:

Maximus has never known peace. In command of one of Rome’s finest legions, he and his closest friend, Androcles, have fought side by side to uphold the glory of the empire.

But at the end of a long and bloody campaign, Maximus begins to question his purpose, his past, and the gods he has been taught to believe in.

When word reaches Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judaea, Maximus and Androcles are sent, disguised as Jews, to ascertain the truth of the situation: Is this Jesus merely a radical preacher, or is he instigating a revolution against Rome?

As Maximus immerses himself in Jewish culture, he must confront questions that could change his life: Is it possible this carpenter from Nazareth is the Son of God? Is it possible for a man of war to live a life of peace?

My Review:

Maximus is a neat story that demonstrates the heart of it’s author. In reading Maximus you can definitely see the author’s desire to spread the Gospel in his own special way, and that is exactly what he did! The story was well researched and I was pleased with how well the characters were made and how each one had his/her special part in the story.

However, in reading this book, I could definitely tell that this was Black’s first book. The writing was kind of choppy and he switched in between POVs far too often making the characters seem to open. In books like this it would have been better to keep the story in only 2 or 3 different characters’ POVs so that the book would not have been so predictable. There were also several glitches in the grammar of the ebook version that I read.

But overall, I loved the story as well as the mission that the author gave it so I do recommend it to all of my friends and give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I also look forward to reading the next book that Richard Black comes out with which I believe will be World War II fiction (my favorite!)!

“I received this book via NetGalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.”

Author Bio: 

Richard earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from California State University Long Beach. His diverse professional background has spanned from the 104th floor of the original World Trade Towers in New York as an Institutional Stock Trader to a major software corporation working closely with the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

Maximus is his first novel. He defines it as a ten-year research project that became a labor of love. Richard is currently working on his next project entitled Starfish, the saga of a young Danish woman who immigrates to the timber country of Humboldt County in Northern California during World War ll.

Richard grew up in San Diego, California. He and his wife of 39 years, the former Marian Anne Johnsen, from Santa Rosa, California, have called Utah their home since 1993. Richard and Marian are the parents of eight children and grandparents of two beautiful granddaughters and a handsome grandson. Richard enjoys traveling, swimming in the ocean, playing the guitar and working on cars with his four sons.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale

Clash of Eagles

My Review:

Oh, this book grabbed my attention from page one and refused to let it go! Such a unique story with the best characters that I’ve ever read about. Alan’s writing style is just perfect, not overruling with details but clear enough that you could even smell everything that happened. And can I just say how awesome the cover is?! Wow, just fabulous!

However, there were many (many) issues that contradicted my morals and actually caused me to stop reading in the height of action, much to my utter dismay. From the very beginning of Clash of Eagles, the smaller cuss words were present (da*m, h*ll etc..) and not very frequent, however quickly escalating as the book went on. The gore and action is decently high, containing vivid scenes of maiming as well as killing in the war scenes. However, the reason for my actually putting the book down and refusing to read on belongs to the unnecessary sex scene and the using of the “f bomb”. Those two things pretty much “crossed the line” and I could not bring myself to finish the book, despite its obvious potential.

So it hurts me to give Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale 1.5 (2 for sites that don’t except halves) out of 5 stars because of all of the unnecessary content, and I warn all of my followers to beware of this author in the future.

“I received this book via NetGalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: A Heart’s Disguise by Colleen Coble

A-Hearts-Disguise-1

The Synopsis:

The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery’s marriage before it’s even begun.

After Sarah receives word that her fiancé, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner—despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive—and that Ben Croftner knew it—she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.

But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly—and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancé, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife.

But could Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?

My Review:

A Heart’s Disguise was an enjoyable read for all of the 30 minutes it took me to start and finish it;-) This novella has only 96 pages, but they are 96 pages well used! The story was engaging and the characters were very well displayed given the short amount of time we were able to meet them. The only issue I really had with A Heart’s Disguise was that the synopsis is slightly misleading and reveals too much of the story. If the synopsis had been written much shorter and didn’t reveal so much about the story, there would have been that small element of surprise. However, the end was still slightly shocking and this book is a fabulous set-up to the rest of the Journeys of the Heart series, I can’t wait to finish them! 5 out of 5 stars!

“I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”

Author Bio: 

Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. “Seagrass Pier,” the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble’s addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Link for Purchase: 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Esther by Angela Hunt

Esther

The Synopsis:

An ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews in ancient Persia, so an inexperienced beautiful young queen must take a stand for her people.

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.

Esther marks bestselling author Angela Hunt’s return to biblical fiction. In each novel she explores an example of a Hebrew Old Testament tob woman: a woman whose physical beauty influences those around her–and can change the course of history

My Review:

I’m sure that we all know the story of Esther and her heroic move to save the Jews from Persian destruction, in fact it is possibly one of the most popular Old Testament stories told and told again. But every author who writes about Esther seems to get a different message from her story, and it was very interesting to read Angela’s take on Queen Esther. Though Angela has a gorgeous writing style and her characters were engaging and entertaining, I did find it difficult to actually get into the story. The way Angela wrote the story is in a two-person point of view, so it goes back and forth between two characters, Hadassah and Harbonah, both of which are recorded in first person, and I love this! You can feel with each character and relate back and forth between the two sides of the story, but because it was in first person, the author had a tendency to tell the story rather than showing it. This was the main reason that I had trouble engaging with the book; I already know the story of Esther and how it ends, so in reading this book I wanted to watch it pan out with enticing scenes and maybe a slight new twist here and there, but that is not what I got.

I still loved this book and will willingly give it 4 out of 5 stars, but I’m afraid that the author could have done a better job at showing the story instead of just retelling it. She could have done so much to make it unique and stand out (of course the cover alone does that! It’s gorgeous!)! However, if you do not know the story of Esther, or are only slightly familiar with it, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of Esther by Angela Hunt, it is very informative and enjoyable to read!

“I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.”

Author Bio: 

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Link for Purchase: 

Amazon 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Youngster Review: The Disappearing Dolphins by Jennifer Kelman

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The Synopsis:

Kevin and his twin sister Jackie always enjoy going to the beach with their mommy, but Kevin can tell that today will be extra-special. As he and Jackie start building a sandcastle, Kevin sees a fantastic sight: a dolphin, jumping and playing in the ocean. Kevin is known for his vivid imagination, and when he tells Jackie about the dolphin, she doesn’t believe him. As he watches the joyful antics of the dolphin in the sparkling sea, Kevin is convinced that the dolphin is real—even he couldn’t make up something this fantastic! Determined to share the magic of the dolphin, Kevin sets out on an adventure of discovery that will create lifelong memories for him and for Jackie. With warm, comforting language and beautiful illustrations, The Disappearing Dolphins is sure to become a favorite with anyone who cherishes the wonder of the natural world as seen through children’s eyes.

My Review:

This is a cute little book that encourages kids to use their imagination and build strong bonds with your family members. The author has a unique writing style that is sure to engage the younger audience and the kids will be able to relate well to the children’s actions. I wasn’t totally impressed with the illustrations present in this book, but you can still see clearly what each picture is and I am sure that young children will still enjoy them. The heart of the author is present in this book and gives the book a lightness of attitude that is desirable in children’s books. So all in all I rate The Disappearing Dolphins 5 out of 5 stars and encourage anyone with youngsters to pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed with it!

“I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”

About the Author:

Jennifer Kelman is a licensed clinical social worker, life coach, author and entrepreneur. The Disappearing Dolphins is her third children’s book. Her first two are part of the Mrs. Pinkelmeyer book series. Mrs. Pinkelmeyer and her lovable dog, Moopus McGlinden, created by Jennifer, are award-winning children’s characters that inspire self-esteem in children through their love, warmth and silliness. Jennifer took a departure from that series to write this lovely tale of the disappearing dolphins. Jennifer is an avid cyclist and tennis player and credits all of her creativity to her young twins.

Links for purchase: 

Amazon 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Sometimes, We Need to HAVE a Flashlight

Have you ever been in the woods on a dark night, alone? With the trees so thick that the moon overhead is blocked out? The stars nothing but a faint memory? Its pitch black, you can’t see your hand in front of you nor can you see anything around you. You walk on with the constant fear of tripping over something invisible in your way and maybe you’re even scared of the possibility that something will jump out at you at any moment. Your heart beats at all of the unknown noises, you’re lost and afraid of your circumstance. But then, you see a spark in the distance, its light! You don’t care what kind of light, just as long as you get to it, so you run towards it, tripping over everything in your path. Why? Why do we crave light? Why do so many people hate being in the dark? The answer is simple, its because light reveals your surroundings and chases away fear of the unknown. Light makes us feel safe. Light gives us hope. Light makes us not feel so utterly alone.

We all know the memory verse, “You are the light of the world…..” (Matthew  5:14) and I’m sure we’ve all heard numerous sermons about this particular passage sounding something like, “You must stand out! Draw in unbelievers like bugs to a lantern!” and that is all good and well, and very much true, but sometimes, we need to have a light. We, as Christians, need to find a flashlight to get us through the dark circumstance that we are trapped in. We have to have time to refuel and rekindle that spark that was lit when we first met Jesus.

My favorite song, possibly out of every other song I’ve ever heard and out of every genre, is called Flashlight by Hunter Hayes. And I know that most of you probably just rolled your eyes thinking something like “Of course its Hunter Hayes! Why should we be surprised?!” Well, before I go on further I am going to inform you that the first time I heard this song, I was so mesmerized by the lyrics that I didn’t even know that it was Hunter singing (and I can typically pick his songs out by how the guitar is played!)! Shows you how great these lyrics are!

Flashlight is not one of Hunter’s popular songs,I don’t even think that it plays on the radio (yet) and can be found on his newest album called Storyline.The lyrics to this song show how much we depend on God and how He works through other people to shine His light. It tells us how easy it is to get off track, how undeserving we are of His mercy and grace, but He continues to shine on us. The very first line in the song is,

“I get lost sometimes, like everybody else,”

It’s okay to get lost! Christians can get depressed! We hurt, we mess up, sometimes we even just totally blow it! But that goes to show that we are just people, human beings who live on the same earth as everyone else and breath the same air. And Christians who deny messing up, thinking that they are perfect, that just tells you that they messed up so badly that they don’t want to share it with you, you don’t need to come down on them, just pray for them, because they need it. Christians need flashlights just as much as atheists do, and every other person on this planet, we all need light.

The chorus of Flashlight goes on to reveal how God shows His light to us.

“It’s a sunrise from a lonely night
Like a smile in a strangers eyes
It’s the moments that save my life,
nobody knows about like flashlights
there’s just enough hope when it shines,
to go one scared step at a time
When the world’s too dark I find, Your flashlight, yeah”

The sentence that touches me the most is that when God shines His light, when we are lost in the dark woods and find His flashlight “there’s just enough hope when it shines, to go one scared step at a time.” It’s okay to be scared, even when you have the light, just don’t let that fear freeze you up and keep you from moving. Keep taking one step at a time because that’s the whole point of having the flashlight, to reveal your surrounding so that you can go on.

So where do we find our flashlights? Well, Psalms 27:1 is clear on answering that question, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life! Of whom shall I be afraid?!”

Think about it this way, if you need to buy a flashlight, where do you go? The store right? Well then look at the Bible as a store, a survival store, one that is up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere specifically for the purpose of being there for campers who run out of supplies. In that kind of store, you will find medical supplies, repairs for your temporary home, food that will sustain you, water to quench your thirst, and what kind of survival store wouldn’t carry flashlights? The Bible is where you will find your flashlight. And everything else I just mentioned is all in the Bible too, if you need something to repair your temporary home, go shopping in the Bible, I promise that it is in there, you’ll just have to look around until you find it, or ask someone else who is familiar with the area. But you wanna hear the best part of all? Everything is free!

Everything is free! To some of us we get excited and dig into the Word, pulling out as much wisdom as our small minds can handle! But others, we tend to ask “Why? Why do I have this privilege? I don’t deserve it.” Well, that’s the Good News, nobody does! God just shines on us because He wants to shine on us!

The bridge of Flashlight covers that timid spirit in some of us:

“Oh, who am I?
Dust and water,
Touched by the Divine

Tell me who, who am I?
That you keep shining on me,”

 Dust and water touched by the Divine! Wow I just love that, it gives me chill bumps!

So, despite your failures, despite your timidity, despite your fear, despite whatever comes to your mind as you read this, God, our Lord, chooses to shine on you! He chooses to! So dig into His Survival Store and stock up on flashlights because this world is in the midst of a massive power outage!

Just a side-note, I did NOT make the above video! There are a few misspellings and grammar errors but I liked this video better than the other ones I saw!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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