Friday, September 30, 2016

"Befriending the Beast" release day!

Hey y'all! So . . . guess what releases today?! This amazing, wonderful, darling book!! :D


~About the Book~
Belle has returned unannounced to the castle to restore her relationship with the king, her father. Her hopes are dashed with the devastating message: "The king refuses to see you." Convinced that God has led her home, she is unwilling to return to Lord and Lady Kiralyn.

Time is running out for the decision that will change her life. When tragedy strikes, will she and her father be pulled further apart or knit together? Could she stay at the castle even if she will never see her father again?



~My Review~
5 stars
I'm not one for fairy-tale retellings, but this one was absolutely beautiful! No magic and no romance was just ... astounding. I would have told you it was impossible to have a fairy tale without at least one of those components. But this book did just that. 
I adored the fact that the father, not the suitor, was the beast. It was just so unique and so not what I was expecting! And for a short story, you really got to know the characters quite well!
The faith message of the book came through crystal clear, but not preachy in the least, and the family relationships were so beautifully done! So far it's my favorite of Ms. Tero's books!


~About the Author~

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website: http://amandatero.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amandaruthtero/
Blog: www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Top 5-Fall Military non-fiction books

Hey folks! Today I'm back with my top 5 favorite non-fiction military books! Or, on my case, research books. Since I've used everyone of these books mainly for research for writing.

Duel of Eagles by Peter Townsend


Dogfights in the sky, ruthless political maneuvers, legendary heroes of the air like Richthofen (the "Red Baron") and Douglas Bader, this book combines all of these colorful, dramatic, and evocative accounts of the furious air conflicts that saved Britain from German invasion.

From this book came the majority of my research for my WWII novel. SO. Much. Info. It took me a while to get through; I wanted to make notes about every little think!! If you want to learn more about The Battle of Britain, even down to the smallest details (what were the places called where everyone gathered on the airfield?! Where did the pilots sleep?)You'll find it here. Tis awesome, folks!



Hitler's Cross by Erwin Lutzer


Six million Jews...dead. The monstrosity of Adolph Hitler's 'Third Reich' remains a stunning chapter in the pages of history. Although the power by which he hypnotized an entire nation is legendary, one question in particular begs an answer: Where was the church of Christ? Seduced by the Satanic majesty of The Fuhrer, church leaders throughout Germany allowed the Swastika a prominent place alongside the Christian cross in their sanctuaries. Nationalistic pride replaced the call of God to purity, and with few exceptions, the German church looked away while Adolph Hitler implemented his 'Final Solution' to his Jewish problem. How did this happen? In Hitler's Cross, Erwin W. Lutzer examines the lessons that may be learned from studying the deception of the church: the dangers of confusing &quote;church and state,&quote; how the church lost its focus, the role of God in human tragedy, the parameters of Satan's freedom, the truth behind Hitler's hatred of the Jews, the faithfulness of God to His people who suffer for Him, the comparisons between Hitler's rise and the coming reign of the Antichrist, and America's hidden cross-her dangerous trends. Hitler's Cross is the story of a nation whose church forgot its primary call and discovered its failure too late.

One of the things I love about Pastor Lutzer's preaching and his writing is that he does not shy away from the truth. He doesn't mince words or try to make something easier to read, he says it how it is. It was fascinating and horrifying to see yet another side of Hitler and his Third Reich, yet the stories included of those who stood up against the Nazi regemine, as few as they may have been, was inspiring.
The chapters on suffering for Christ were convicting. In this day and age no one likes to talk about that. Yet, as Christians, we are called to "take up our cross and follow Him." The cross is suffering! It's enduring shame for His name. And if we back down, we are not worthy of the name of Christ.
The last chapter, "America's Hidden Cross", was a sobering warning. This book was published in 1995, but it hits on so many things that are going on in our world today. If we become content to simply live our lives and not preach the gospel and be willing to suffer for it, the freedoms we have will be taken away till we have nothing left. The cross of Christ is the only thing that can lead to salvation; to revival. And it is worth suffering for!


One of my favorite quotes was; "Remember, God isn't interested in saving America. He's interested in saving Americans." 


An Album of Memories


History comes alive in Brokaw's bestselling American family album of stories, reflections, memorabilia, and photos. Starting with the Depression and Pearl Harbor on through the war in Europe and the Pacific, this unusual book preserves a people's rich historical heritage and the legacy of a nation's heroism.

I'm now obsessed with getting these sort of books for research. Real-life correspondence accounts are amazing! So many of the small details included in the letters from men who were overseas are just astounding! Also, they cover many other things non-fiction books about the war seem to overlook, and it's a first-hand account. You can't get much better than that! Oh, and if you're wondering, in WWII one pound note was worth $4. ;) I'D LOOKED EVERYWHERE FOR THAT!

A Higher Call by Adam Makos


Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.

I love this book.  I adore this book. What else is there to say? ;) 
It's a true life account, and it's amazing! It follows two different story lines. That of Franz, the German pilot, and that of Charlie, the American.  Reading this, I felt it was written like histoprical fction. Biographies can be hard for me to read because of how "boring" they seem, but this one was astounding! I wanted to keep reading!
There were a few curse words scattered throughout the book, but I don't remember more than a couple.  I was surprised at how few it had, considering it is a secular book.
It's amazing. Read it. NOW! ;) 


Timelife books---WWII


The full history of WWII in 39 volumes - brilliantly illustrated comprising Prelude to War, Blitzkrieg, The Battle of Britain, The Rising sun, The Battle of the Atlantic, Russia Besieged, The War in theDesert, The Home Front:USA, China-Burma-India, Island Fighting, The Italian Campaign, Partisans and Guerrillas, The Second Front, Liberation, Return to the Phillipines, The Air War in Europe, The Resistance, The Battle of the Bulge, The Road to Tokyo, Red Army Resurgent, The Nazis, Across the Rhine, War under the Pacific, War in the Outposts, The Soviet Juggernaut, Japan at War, The Mediterranean, Battles for Scandinavia, The Secret War, Prisoners of War, The Commandos, The Home Front:Germany, Italy at War, Bombers over Japan, The Neutrals, Victory in Europe, Bombers over Japan, Aftermath: Europe, Aftermath: Asia.

Okay, so I do not have all 39 books, but I got, like, 15 or so of them when our library was selling them for $0.50 a piece. (I adore our library, guys. Come visit me and you'll get BOOKSSS! ;))
These are my-go to for research. If I don't need specific details but I'm looking for just an overview of a certain event, this is where I go to look. (The Battle of Britain and the French Resistance have become my most-used ones.) 
A slight caution, these have real-life photographs in it. Because of this my sister and I took a sharpie marker and made the books I own  "G rated", so that anyone in our family can look through them. (I'll just say some of the modesty levels on the pictures weren't quite up to our family standards.) 
But yes. Amazing research books! I'd highly recommend them as the first place to look when researching a certain event of WWII. 


So have a seat and tell me. *sits down and pats seat next to me* Have you read any of these? What's your favorite go-to research book? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top 5-Favorite Fall Military Fiction Books

Hey everyone!! How are you doing this lovely fall day? The weather has gotten somewhat cooler here, and I'm loving it!!
Sooo, Rebekah Morris is hosting a wonderful blog party along with Blessings Counter, Amanda, Sarah, Kate, and Kellyn. (You totally need to go check out all their blogs and join the party, and then go and enter the amazing giveaway on Rebekah's blog!)
They had an open invitation to join in and post about your 5 favorite books on any genre, so I decided to go ahead and do it!
And the genre I'm posting about is . . . Military fiction! ('Cause you all know I pretty much adore it. xD) And just so y'all know, most of these also fall into the historical fiction category. (Because yeah, I adore that, too.)


Military/War Fiction:

Remembrance by Theresa Breslin 


In Flanders Field the Poppies grow . . . 

It was the largest conflict the world had ever known. It covered three continents and lasted five years. Millions of soldiers returned wounded, millions more never returned at all. In the summer of 1915, in a small village in Scotland, the Great War has already begun to irrevocably alter the course of five young lives.

Eighteen-year-old John Malcolm enlists in the army, eager to fight for his country. His sweetheart, fifteen-year-old Charlotte, stays behind to earn her nursing certificate, along with John Malcolm’s twin sister, Maggie, who recognizes the opportunity to create a new life for herself. Charlotte’s brother, Francis, sees only tragedy in the war, but feels the pressure to join up. And Alex, below the recruiting age, is determined to reach the front lines somehow.
 

I adored this book. I picked it up at our library sale just because It sounded interesting and it was only $0.50.  It was amazing. There are 5 POV's, and you see so many different aspects of the war.  The conscientious objector, the everyday soldiers, and the red cross nurses. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. The writing reminded me a lot of the Anne of Green Gables books, and just...ahhh! Yes, it's beautiful. But prepare to cry, because you will. 



True Devotion by Dee Henderson


Kelly Jacobs has already paid the ultimate price of loving a warrior; she has the folded flag and the grateful thanks of a nation to prove it. Navy SEAL Joe “Bear” Baker can't ask her to accept that risk again—even though he loves her. But the man responsible for her husband's death is back; closer than either of them realize. Kelly is in danger, and Joe may not get there in time. 

Uncommon Heroes: Welcome to a world where friendships go deep, loyalties stand strong, and uncommon heroes perform the toughest jobs in the world. Dee Henderson's military romance series provides a detailed passage into the world of the military and homeland heroes, and those they love.

Now, first off let me say there was a bit more romance in this than I normally prefer. However, everything else was just so thrilling to read about! I so enjoyed the story and all the mystery. I never could quite decide how it would turn out until I got the the end. ;) And learning about the SEAL's was really interesting! 



Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh 


Nurse Annie Rawlings has seen the atrocities of war and believes, as do most Americans, in the inhumane depravity of the enemy--the Germans. But when a rogue rescue mission ends in tragedy, Annie finds herself behind enemy lines, captured and alone with a wounded German soldier. Through shared danger, faith, and a love of music, the two forge a bond that will be tested by prejudice and the separations of time and continents. When Karl is sent to a prisoner-of-war camp, their fragile relationship seems at an end. Annie searches for Karl, but friends--and a new suitor--urge her to get on with her life.Will she ever see her Dear Enemy again?

Despite the description, this doesn't have too much romance. Most of the story is on the German front, and it's just so raw and real. The author didn't try to sugarcoat any of the harsh realities of war. For that reason I'd say this is probably best for ages 16 and up.  And I promise that if you read it you'll scream at that ending. ;) 


Resist by Emily Ann Putzke


Munich, Germany 1942—Hans Scholl never intended to get his younger sister involved in an underground resistance. When Sophie Scholl finds out, she insists on joining Hans and his close friends in writing and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets entitled, The White Rose. The young university students call out to the German people, begging them to not allow their consciences to become dormant, but to resist their tyrannical leader and corrupt government. Hans knows the consequences for their actions—execution for committing high treason—but firm in his convictions, he’s prepared to lose his life for a righteous cause. Based on a true story, Hans, Sophie and all the members of The White Rose resistance group will forever inspire and challenge us to do what is right in the midst of overwhelming evil.


Whoa. I don't have words to describe what this book did to me.
Up until the last 1/3 of the book or so, I was planning on giving it a 4 star rating, simply because there was some language. Not a lot (and I had been warned before hand), but I also just couldn't seem to connect with the characters. I also knew how this book would end from the research I have done about this time in history, so I might have been unintentionally trying my best not to connect with them.
And than I hit the ending. And realized I had connected with the characters in a way I hadn't realized. Not many books evoke emotion in me, far less will make me actually cry. This was an exception.
In a lot of books when they ending is not what I would have wanted, I tend to tell myself "Oh, they're just fictional characters. It didn't really happen like this." The problem with this book was that it did!

The Lamb and the Fuher


Destruction and Evil Meet Life and Peace 
Adolf Hitler spilled the blood of millions for his own sake. Jesus Christ shed his own blood for the sake of millions. Hitler set himself up as a god and the masses succumbed. Jesus Christ was God in the form of lowly man. Hitler created a living hell for the masses. Jesus endured hell to save the masses. Hitler’s name is synonymous with power, evil, and genocide. Jesus’ name with love, peace, and life. Put the two in a room together and you won’t believe your ears. The third compelling book in Ravi Zacharias’ Great Conversations series addresses fundamental issues of life and death, the evil of violence in light of the value of human life, and other tough issues in modern society. 
Adolf Hitler 
Evil. Hatred. Pride. Destruction. 
Jesus Christ 
Peace. Love. Humility. Life. 
What could they possibly have to talk about? 
In this compelling dialogue, two men of contrasting values meet face-to-face. They address fundamental issues of life and death, the evil of violence in light of the value of human life, and the timeless search for unity in diversity. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor Hitler ordered hanged, joins in and the heat intensifies when the three begin to weigh the value of relationships, love, and forgiveness. 

I want this book on my shelf. 
If this hadn't been a library book, it would have been almost totally highlighted. Ravi Zacharias's writings never ceases to cause me to stop and think. I'm literally not even sure what to say about this. If you want to see and better understand the huge difference between the religion taught in Nazi Germany and the Gospel of Christ, then you need to read this. 
I'm not sure what else to say. It's amazing. Read it!


Well, there are my five top favorite military fiction books! Have you read any of them? Want to guess what my favorite time period is? ;) What is your favorite military fiction book? 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book review + Author interview—Fitting In

Hi all! How has your week been? Mine has been crazy. Editing, reading, formatting, and also spending a large chunk of time at the hospital with my grandpa. And family came and then my brother got sick. So yeah. It's been crazy busy. I was so happy to have a post already set up for today!
Also, FALL IS HERE! *screams* Can you believe summer is over?!?! Kansas didn't seem to get the memo, though. Our high for today is 91* with a projected 80% humidity. Apparently we're loath to give up summer. And I'm just sitting here like . . . I WANT SWEATERS!!!

Okay, anyway,  today I have a book review and author interview for you! :)


~Review~
4 stars
I really enjoyed this short-story by Rebekah Morris! While it's not my favorite of her works, it was still a fun, quick read! The characters were amazing, as always, and I loved the husband/wife relationship. It was sweet and natural, but not overly romantic, which was such a refreshing change!
The message about standing up for what you believe in was also wonderfully done--something we all need to do! :) 

* I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for my honest review*



~Author Interview~

What is your favorite of the books you have written? 
I must say I think this is the most common question an author gets asked. And the simple answer is, can a parent pick a favorite child? ;) That said, I'd probably say that my top favorites were Home FiresGift from the StormThrough the Tunnel, and Stephen. Yeah, I know that's more than one book, but . . . I just can't decide on one. What is your favorite?

Hmm, my favorite of the ones you've written would have to be Gift from the Storm!  I love it sooo much! ^_^ Home Fires of the Great War either ties for first or gets a close second. ;) 
What is your favorite time period to read/write about? 
I love american history especially the times after the Civil War. If you take a look at my books, that's what I've written. A few modern ones have crept in, but most of my stories will fall into the late 19th Century through modern times, with the 20th Century being the most prominent.

Ahh, yes! American history is fascinating!  
Why do you write historical fiction? 
The short answer is because I love to read historical fiction, and it's so much easier to write something that you love to read. :) I also know that there is a need for good, Christian historical fiction books. Ones that aren't "politically correct" or "modernized." I try to make my characters real, yet not sound or act like they are living in the 21st Century as so many historical fiction books do today.

I agree with the need for clean Christian historical fiction! It can be so hard to find.
Any tips for writing historical fiction? 
Sure! One is to read what was written and published during the time you are writing about. I think so often we tend to want to read the stories written today about yesterday, but if we use that as our model, you may be copying historical inaccuracies without even knowing. Sure, you can use modern stories, but you must be careful. And, to really get the flavor and feel of history, read what was written then.
Another tip would be to read what was in the papers during the time you are writing. Of course if you are writing middle ages, that would be a bit difficult. :) But you can find headlines for newspapers from a really long time ago. It's amazing what tidbits you can gather from them! (I had so much fun with this when writing Home Fires of the Great War.)

Ohh, I've never thought of finding old newspaper headlines. I will need to try this! I bet our Library has some I could use. :) 
And lastly, In what way does your relationship with Jesus Christ affect your writing?  
As a child of the King of kings, my goal is to share Christ with those I'm around. It might be by the words I speak, the things I do, or the stories I write. I will not write anything that I would be ashamed to have Jesus Christ read. If I feel the need to try and justify something, I should probably not even write it. When I write I try to keep in mind the verse that says to think on whatsoever things are true, right, pure, lovely, of good report . . . And everything I write, I write to the best of my ability because, if it's worth doing at all, it's worth doing well.

Thanks for having me over, Jesseca!

Thanks so much for being here, Rebekah! :) 



~About the Author~


Rebekah A. Morris has lived her entire life (as of now) in Missouri. Being home educated during her school years was great, except for writing. That was the worst subject (along with math) that she had to do. It wasn't until after she graduated that she discovered the joys and wonder of writing. Now she can't write enough. After spending six years in research and writing, she completed her first book, "Home Fires of the Great War," a 500+ page, historical fiction about home life in the United States and Canada during the First World War. Since then, she has been an avid writer and always has more than one story going on at once because only one story at a time got tiring and dull.
You can visit Rebekah's website here. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Book Review: Home

~Description~


Heaven Is the Home You've Been Waiting For
In this world of fear, trials, and loneliness we often feel adrift--like we're still searching for a place where we can truly make ourselves at home. There's a longing for something more, something that makes us feel like we belong, something that resonates perfectly with who we were made to be. This longing is no small thing to be brushed off and forgotten--it's a guidepost letting us know we were made for another world. Earth is not our home. But it's close.
What we long for is the new earth, the place God has been preparing for our eternity with him. In "Home," Elyse Fitzpatrick explores heaven and the afterlife, demonstrating that our final destination is not some dull, featureless space in the clouds, but rather a perfected earth. It's a real, physical place that we'll explore with real bodies. A place of beauty and wonder and free of all death and decay.
No need to chase a bucket list. On the new earth there will be no end of glorious sites and amazing activities, and we'll never run out of time to do them all. Includes questions for group discussion.


~My Review~
3 out of 5 stars

  This book was a hard one for me to rate. During the first few chapters, I was fairly certain of the fact that the author and I did not see eye-to-eye on quite a few things. I know that not everyone believes the same way about Bible prophecies, so I kinda expected that.
However, I felt like, in a way, the author was saying it was okay to not be content with our lives here, because heaven is ahead.
While I agree to a certain point that God has put in our hearts a longing for heaven, doesn't He also want us to be content with living for Him here on earth?
Paul says in Philippines 4:11 that he has learned it whatsoever state he is in, there to be content. Yes, there is also a place where he says he longs to be present with the Lord, but even than, Paul realized that God's timing was perfect, and God had him on this earth, where he was, for a reason.
God has given us a longing to be with Him, yet at the same time, we are not to be okay with simply being discontent.
I think my biggest fault with the book was that I felt that this was thrown out of proportion.

All that to say, I did really enjoy the last few chapters. Heaven is our perfect home, where there will be no sickness, and no pain! Can you imagine how wonderful that will be?! The last few chapters were filled with hope, and that was so refreshing. After our time on this earth is done, a perfect, eternal, everlasting home awaits up with our Heavenly Father. And there, in Christ's presence, for the first time, we will be whole. Perfect. We will be His.

So yes. While I didn't agree with it all, I did enjoy the book. 3 stars!

~I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review~

Book Review: When Love Arrives

~Description~

  
An Unlikely Couple Struggles to Reconcile the Burdens of Their Past
Dani Prescott came to the children's hospital to spy on Brett Somers--so how did she end up on a date with him? Weeks earlier she'd seen an interview in which he blamed her mother for the plane crash that had killed his parents. But the crash had killed her mother as well, so Dani can't believe the story Brett's trying to sell to the media.
Vowing to find a way to discredit the privileged--and maddeningly handsome--Brett, Dani has been following him and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use against him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself offering up a fake name and agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Will Dani and Brett look beyond their own heartaches to discover a love that could heal their deepest pain?
Fresh, flirty, and fast-paced, "When Love Arrives" is an engaging story that will have readers falling in love with the characters as they navigate the tricky waters between romance and revenge.

~My Review~
4 out of 5 stars

  Ahh, after reading a few not so good books, I needed this! Such a sweet light read, but with deeper truths and meanings woven throughout the story.
I loved the characters. They were intriguing and in one way or another, you could relate to them. And the fact that one of the main characters wrote a WWII short story, loves old WWII-era movies and quoted "Fiddler on the Roof" was just awesome. It made me want to just sit and be able to talk with Dani for a day. ;)

It would have been a 5-star, but there were a few things that lowered my rating. First, the physical aspect. PEOPLE CAN I HAVE A MODERN STORY WHERE THEY SAVE THEIR FIRST KISS FOR MARRIAGE?!
The whole physical thing didn't sit well with me. I'm really getting tired of reading books where that's all guys (and girls) notice, and the couple doesn't even consider the spiritual side of the relationship.
Also, Brett's past life is in shambles. Because of the things it mentioned he did, I wouldn't recommend the book for anyone under 16.

Yet, there was a beautiful glorious moment. That moment when the Gospel light shone through, and instead of continuing to try and be in control, the character turned his life over to Christ. The gospel was presented beautifully, and it was so amazing to see God's power work in even the darkest life.

So yes. I enjoyed it and there are many, many good things about it. However, I would caution anyone who reads it just because of the physical attraction and the before-commitment kiss.

~I received this book from Revell publishes in exchange for my honest review~

Book Review: This Road We Traveled

~Description~
 Drama, Adventure, and Family Struggles Abound as Three Generations Head West on the Oregon Trail
When Tabitha Brown's son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son's concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.
The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha's faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family's survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn't know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life--and the greater part she had to play in history.

~My Review~
2 out of 5 stars

 It took me a long while to finish this book. I couldn't seem to get into it, and the characters, for lack of a better word, annoyed me. And thought the author may not have meant it, two of the three main characters came across as very feminist. It didn't seem to fit the era at all, and that just really bugged me. So maybe you can do it as good as the guys! You don't need to hold it over them. :P And yes, it IS okay to accept help!
The family relationships were also very strained and distant, which really bothered me. Especially when they all seemed to be okay with it.
The premise was interesting. The Oregon Trail is not a time period I read a lot about, so that was fun to be able to learn more about.
I loved all the history tidbits! And using the map at the front while reading was so much fun! It made it almost as if you were traveling with the characters.

If you enjoy books around about the Oregon trail, this might be one for you. I think just because it's not one of my favorite time periods, I couldn't connect with the characters, and the unfamiliar writing style was what made it a 2 star for me.

~I received this book from Revell publishers in exchange for my honest review~

Friday, September 16, 2016

"I was the troublesome one; you were my consience."

Helloooo!!!  Happy Friday!

Guess what happened yesterday? My mom pulled up in front of the KS DMV office.
Before we got there I talked to Dad, and he assured me that I was on our insurance.
My sisters and I had already talked it over, and we figured the worst thing that could have happened is I total the car and end up without a license.
The latter wouldn't have been too much of a loss. I mean, I already didn't have a license. But that car being totaled...yeah. I used Dad's van. Now THAT would have been a problem. Especially since he's had it less then a year.
So...yeah. *chuckles nervously* We were hoping that wouldn't happen. 

And ... guess what? It didn't!!! I ended up having to take the written test twice, but I passed it, and I passed the driving test on the first try. So ... I'm now a licensed driver in the state of Kansas. *shrieks*  It seems so strange. ;P
Mom took me to Starbucks afterwards, and it was awesome. Although the caffeine didn't go over too well since I hadn't eaten for a few hours because I was so nervous about it all. ;P

Okay. Enough about that. Thankfully I didn't end up in the hospital. I was prepared to either pass the test or wake up to monitors beeping. I'm pretty sure my mom is relieved it wasn't the latter. (Literally, the driving part was what scared me the worst. I blame a certain movie.)

Well, because of the fact that this week my mind was employed in a different place (like the driver's seat of my dad's van) I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about a post. Soooo, I just decided to post an excerpt from A Question of Honor for you all. And the quote in the title is from A Question of Honor. But it's from a different part. ;)

Also, but real quick I want to say thank you to everyone who has signed up to beta-read! You all are so awesome, and I can't wait to work with you guys! ^_^


Picture from google images. And so sorry you can't read it very well! I loved the picture, but the font wasn't cooperating. ;P
 


 “You been up in the Spit?”
David turned as Gil fell into step beside him. “Yeah, I took a quick flight around the airfield.”
“They’re not too much compared to the fighters back home, are they?”
“No. But from what I’ve heard they’re the best they have here.”
Gil wiped the perspiration from his forehead. “Yeah, and they aren’t terrible. Still, from what I’ve heard the Germans have been building up their air force. Their planes are all going to be new, or at least next to new. The few planes England has and the even fewer pilots. . .” his voice trailed off.
David understood the uncertainty in his voice. He felt it too. England was scrambling to prepare for the imminent attack; it was clear that they had never expected the German forces to make it past the Maginot line.
“Wilson, Sullivan.”
Both David and Gil turned and snapped a quick salute as Captain Foster approached them.
“At  ease, boys. We’re not too formal here. How’d the flights go?”
“It went well, sir. The Spit seems fairly easy to maneuver,” Gil replied.
Captain Foster's eyes switched to David.
“I had pretty much the same impression, Captain.”
Captain Foster nodded. “Excellent. Come inside a moment. While you were up in the air, a telegram came for both of you. They’re on my desk.”
David exchanged a worried glance with Gil. Telegrams never meant anything good.
They followed the Captain into the dispersal hut and stood quietly as he rummaged around on the desk for the telegrams.
Locating them at last, he handed them the thin slips of paper. “That will be all. You’re dismissed.”
Stepping out into the sunshine, Gil looked at David. “You want to open yours first?”
David looked down at the paper. How could one small piece of paper intimidate him? “Yeah, sure.” He broke the seal and scanned the one sentence printed there. A feeling of relief, then worry swept over him.
 Gil sent him a concerned glance. “What is it?”
“Nothing wrong at home. But it seems that I'm no longer a U.S. citizen. I’d be willing to bet that your telegram says the same.”
“Yeah, except for the fact that you’re a Christian and you don’t believe in betting.” Gil broke the seal on his envelope.
“Yeah, except for that. What’s yours say?”
“Hold on, let me get it out.” Gil’s eyes swept over the paper. “Yep, it says the same. Boy, I knew we were risking this, but I guess I never thought it would actually happen. This will complicate things when we try to go back.”
“Yeah. I guess we’re stuck here.”  A sudden longing for home swept over David. “I wonder just how long it will be until we go back.”
Gil offered him his signature grin. “Don’t worry. Thought it take years or even decades, I will be sure you make it back to Elaine. I made a promise, after all. I don’t take my promises lightly.”
David chuckled. “I think I need to write Lily a letter and tell her I’ll be sure you make it back. I don’t want the promises to be one sided here. And let’s hope we both make it back before a decade passes.”
GIl snapped his fingers. “Excellent idea. Not sure why I didn’t think of that.”
“Are all you Americans like that?”
Both David and Gil turned toward the voice. One of the British pilots stood off to the side, leaning casually against the side of the dispersal hut.
“No, not all of us,” David assured him. “Just Gil. He’s rather crazy.”
Gil nodded in agreement. “That’s why I’m here. No one else back in the states except David could put up with me.”
The pilot didn’t seem convinced. “I see.”
From the expression on his face, David was quite sure he didn’t.”
“Well, my name is Edward Warrington. Ed for short.” He put out a hand. “It’s great to have you here.”
David reached out and met his hand in a firm handshake. “It’s great to be here.”
Gil also shook Ed’s hand. “We’re hoping we’ll be more of a help than a hindrance in helping you fight them Germans.”
Something akin to a smile touched Ed’s eyes. “Well, we need all the pilots we can get. If you can fly, you're welcome here.”
David exchanged an amused  glance with Gil.
 “I think we can manage to stay airborne,” Gil assured him.
David grimaced at the challenge Gil’s tone held. Something told him that he’d better watch out, or one day soon he’d find himself getting grounded. . .or at the very least, a scolding. He didn’t exactly know what the code of conduct was in the RAF, but there was a good chance that it was pretty close to the same one the Army Air Force held. And that one didn’t allow for any of the acrobatics Gil was so fond of.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Calling all readers!

Guys. *takes a deep breath*
Okay.
Today I am doing something that I'm actually really nervous about. Excited, but nervous. I mean, it's exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. And now I'm rambling. ;P
Sooo . . . I'll just get right to the point of this post.
I am asking for . . . beta-readers for A Question of Honor. This is the first novel-length project I've completed at around 66,000 words, and it's set in 1940 during WWII.
And here is the blurb, so you all know a little more about it.


A man. A child. A war. 

When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met.

David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.

A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives.

Will he chose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor. 

(Much thanks to Bethany R., one of my alpha readers, for the fabulous blurb! ;)) 

If you would like to beta-read, you can fill out the form below! My goal will be to send the book to you by the 3rd week of September. As you can see on the form, I will need it back by the 5th of November, so that would give you a little over a month to read it. :) 
If you wish to beta-read, you have until the 21st to sign up, and Lord willing I will get it sent to you by Friday the 23rd. 






If you have any other questions, let me know via the "Contact Me" page, or my email if you have it. I can't wait to work with y'all! :D

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen years ago . . . (9/11/2001)

Hey everyone! I hope your Sunday is going well. I just wanted to share a quick memorial post today.
Fifteen years ago, we were attacked on our own soil. Thousands of people lost their lives as the World Trade Center plummeted to the ground in what has been called "the worst attack since Pearl Harbor."

I thought I'd share with you a small poem I wrote to commemorate 9/11.
I pray that we as a nation never forget what happened on this day.

Never forget.

It was a bright September day,
with not a cloud in sight.
Our nation was still waking,
from a long and dreamless night.
Coffee was the order,
food was made to go.
the streets were full and bustling 
with the normal morning crowd.

In the harbor she stood watch,
our lady liberty.
Holding high the torch of freedom,
for all the world to see.

But suddenly a shadow,
seemed to cover up the sun.
And America watched in horror
as an evil thing was done.

From the sky they came,
bent on a deadly course.
As our very own planes were used,
as a terrorist fighting force.

The sky that once was cloudless,
now was filled with smoke.
as more planes made their way,
further harm yet to evoke.

May we never forget
what happened on that day.
What our nation lost
was a price no one could pay.

Buildings can be rebuilt,
 planes added to the skies.
But human life's value
Is sacred and prized.

Lady liberty still stands,
Freedom's torch lifted high.
And it's for that freedom that we must take a stand.
Because we love this land.

Have you forgotten?




*Note: I'm currently at the lake with my family and all posts Fri.-Mon are scheduled. Thus, I'm not able to reply to comments until Tuesday. :)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Blog tour: The Lady of the Vineyard

Hi everyone! Today I'm posting as a part of the blog tour for Kellyn Roth's new book, The Lady of the Vineyard. So without any further ado, let's get right into it, shall we?



Synopsis:
Isn't that such a pretty cover?!
Judy has lived with her egocentric mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. When her father, Troy Kee, shows up at her sixth birthday party and whisks her away to his vineyard in France, Judy is more than happy to go with him. But Adele, Judy’s mother, isn’t quite ready to give up her daughter. Can Judy forgive Adele? More importantly, can Troy?


My Review:
4 stars
I had the privilege of beta-reading this book and I really enjoyed it!! Judy was a very lovable child, Troy was someone you could really understand, and. . . I just have to say that her grandma is awesome! ;) The Vineyard in France was delightful to read about, and all the scenes were described so, so well! Litrally, Kellyn knows how to write descriptions that make you feel as if you're standing there with the characters. Which makes the book all the more enjoyable!
There was one thing that bugged me, though. The book is set in England and France in 1938. I was looking forward to there being a bit more historical detail. I mean, at this time, both countries were knee deep in negotiations with Germany, and neither country was too happy with its leaders. I was expecting this to be a part of the story, at least a little, but it wasn't.
Then again, I'm bit of a history nut, so that may have been something only I missed. ;)
Oh, and I loved Troy telling Judy about the "Biblical" happy endings! (A.k.a Everything works together for good to those that love God and are the called according to His purpose.) That was one of my favorite parts! :D
All in all this is a great novella and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read it!  Kellyn has a way at making you feel a part of the story, and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work! :D
So what are you waiting for?! Go and pick up a copy!


 Author Bio:


Kellyn Roth lives with her parents, two little brothers, incredibly needy cat, and faithful border collie Gidget on a ranch in the country. She's a Christian, country girl, and professional skydiver (yes, we are playing two truths and a lie here). Ever since she could talk, she had a fascination with words, always making up songs and poems. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time (away from the real world) writing novels when she’s not procrastinating or blogging (which is just a higher form of procrastination) at kellynroth.wordpress.com.






Blog tour schedule:


Thursday (the 8th):
Lana (The Music of Words) ~ author and character interview
Faith Potts (Stories by Firefly) ~ review, book spotlight
Aardvark Magazine (Aardvark) ~ author interview, book spotlight


Friday (the 9th):
Jesseca Wheaton (Whimsical Writings) ~ review, book spotlight
April McLauren (April Dreams) ~  author and character interview, book spotlight
Alyssa (Writing Anyone) ~ review


Saturday (the 10th):
Lily (Living By Chapters) ~ review, author and character interview
Grace (The Girl Upstairs) ~ author interview, book spotlight
Selene Silver (Hearth) ~ review, character interview, book spotlight
Katrina (Katrina Creative) ~ author and character interview
Kate (Wandering in Bookland) ~ review, author interview


Sunday (the 11th):
Angela R. Watts (The Peculiar Messenger) ~ review, author interview
J.C. Buchanan (Beyond the Amethyst) ~ review
Daisy Ferrell (Happy Days with Anonymous A) ~ character interview


Monday (the 12th):
Morgan Dusky (Studies in Character) ~ author/character interview
Willowy Whisper (http://willowywhisper.com/) ~ book spotlight
Kate Willis (Once Upon an Ordinary) ~ author interview


So does the book sound like something you'd enjoy? If you end up reading it, let me know what you think!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!
God bless!!



The Tomb is . . . empty.

Matthew 28:1-9 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mar...