Daily Prompt: Renewal

Oh, no.

I didn’t finish in time.

This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I have too many at once to finish them all. Then it’s always the same feeling of anxiousness, almost a panic. What happens if I have to give it up? How long will it be before I can finish it then? If I have to wait a long time, I might have to start all over at the beginning!

As I walk in, I vow to myself I will not get more than I can handle next time. One at a time, that’s good enough. I need to pace myself so this doesn’t happen again. Ever.

Now I am being given the best news ever. There are no holds! I can keep it! I get to finish it before I have to bring it back!

Barely able to contain my excitement, I keep my steps slow and steady as I walk away from the counter and breathe a sigh of relief. I look down at my receipt and see what might be the most beautiful word ever.

“Renewal.”

 

via Daily Prompt: Renewal

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The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen (Book Review)

A girl will go to any lengths to help her tutor father, but she might fight more mystery and drama than she had bargained for when they move to a cliff-top home of a baronet and his sons.

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Title: The Tutor’s Daughter
By: Julie Klassen

ISBN: 9780764210693 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781441261090 (E-book)

You can watch a video trailer or read an excerpt.

My Review: Four Stars
After leaving the boarding school and their only family behind for a live-in tutoring position, Emma and her father are dismayed at their less-than-warm welcome in their new cliff-top home. The Westons have their share of secrets and Emma still can’t bring herself to trust the oldest son Henry after his cruel pranks when he attended the boarding school. Still, she is glad to find a friend in Mrs. Weston’s ward, Lizzie. Philip Weston seems to be happy to resume their friendship where it left off when he left the boarding school years ago. But who mysteriously plays the piano and enters Emma’s room at night? Who is responsible for the theft of her journal and threatening picture left in her room? Why are members of the community and some of the Weston family not interested in Henry’s project to make it easier to save lives during shipwrecks? And how is it that Emma finds herself letting her guard down in Henry’s presence?

The Tutor’s Daughter has a distinct traditional gothic novel feel, with mystery and suspense woven through each chapter. It’s easy to empathize with Emma as she copes with the turn her life has taken and learns that God does indeed answer prayers – just not always in the way we might want or expect. Even when her circumstances are frightening and she doesn’t know what will happen, God is still in control and she needs to trust in Him. In the people around her she can see the dire consequences of not following God. While she is learning these important lessons, she is able to find love and happiness along the way in a place she didn’t expect to find it.

Julie Klassen’s stories are written in the spirit of Jane Austen. The issues are real, the characters are believable, and the settings are vividly described. She is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend all her books for anyone who enjoys historical romance and drama.

Visit JulieKlassen.com for more information. The book is available from Bethany House, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Be on the lookout for her new novel releasing July 2015, Lady Maybe.

 

Cover of The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Cover of The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Right and Wrong Doesn’t Come in 50 Shades of Any Color

Many of my Facebook friends are boycotting a certain movie that’s coming out this weekend (and, presumably, the book that inspired it). They are, in turn, encouraging all of their Facebook friends to do the same thing. They don’t want to promote and support sexual assault/abuse, they say, and that is what they claim the story is all about. That’s why they have a problem with it.

I have also been boycotting the same book/movie, and will continue to do so. In fact, I have been boycotting it so much that I wasn’t even going to acknowledge its existence. But the things I’ve been seeing and hearing lately on the subject prompted me to address it.

Just as some of my friends plan not to, I of course will also not be supporting this book/movie. But my perception is slightly different from theirs. I’m not boycotting it because of whatever the story is all about. I’m not even entering that debate. My line of thinking didn’t even go that far when I was presented with the book/movie material. My line of thinking stopped immediately upon the realization that this work of fiction is nothing short of pornography. From what I can tell, the entire story line revolves around the intimate and explicit details of a couple’s physical relations – an unmarried couple, at that.

What a mark of where our society is. A book/movie is built entirely on lewd content and people don’t have a problem with that.

Wait, what? When did this type of material and behavior become okay – even welcomed in polite society?

What we see, hear, think about has an effect on us, one way or another. The more we give in to pornographic material, the more we compromise our character. We lessen the value of (real!) relationships, we entertain sinful thoughts which can lead very easily to sinful actions, we contemplate things that we should never be dwelling on, we accept certain behavior that should not be accepted. It’s disrespectful to ourselves and every human being around us. Why are relationships are in such sad shape and falling apart? Because if this is the kind of trash we consume, then we are not going to appreciate the true worth of something valuable when we are presented with it.

Christians, I’m speaking directly to you now – God has graciously provided instruction on what love is, how relationships should work, how to respect one another, how to bring glory to God. Too much of what we seek and too much of the way we live is exactly the opposite of this, and is harmful to us.

So forgive me, but I will not boycott this book-about-to-be-released-as-a-movie because of whatever assault or abuse you think is contained in it.

I will boycott it because it flies in the face of everything I should stand for as a Christian, because of the rank pornography and sinful lifestyle it promotes, because THAT is the real issue here, not my opinion of one fictional character’s intentions toward another fictional character.

Visit Carnelia with Cheryl Koevoet (Book Review)

A young woman is swept right into the middle of political turmoil in another dimension.

Title: The Carnelian Legacy
By: Cheryl Koevoet
ISBN: 978-1-4497-8089-0 (sc)
ISBN: 978-1-4497-8090-6 (hc)
ISBN: 978-1-4497-8088-3 (e)

My review: Four Stars

Marisa is still reeling from her father’s death when she is sucked into another dimension and flung into the political turmoil of the land. Her new friends are trying to preserve an ancient law commanding that whoever holds the crown be of a pure bloodline, and in doing so prevent the kingdom from descending into war. The young man who is challenging them and attempting to claim the throne takes a fancy to Marisa as soon as he meets her. His interest complicates the situation, and soon it is up to Marisa to decide the fate of the kingdom. She wants to do what’s best for everyone…but can she do that and still be happy? More importantly, can she learn to trust in the Creator to guide her?

The Carnelian Legacy contains monsters, swordfights, flowers, beautiful landscapes, a ring, good guys, bad guys, a handsome prince, and tough decisions. The excitement doesn’t stop. The reader feels the struggle along with Marisa as she tries to find her place in this new world and cast her cares on the Author of the universe. Geared toward young adults, this book will appeal to anyone who has ever wondered what another dimension might be like. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Visit TheCarnelianLegacy.com for more information and to buy the book. Also available from WestBow Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

The Carnelian Legacy

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Disclosure of Material: I can, and do, think for myself, therefore all opinions here are my own. The <a href=”http://booklookbloggers.com/” target=”_new”>Book Look Bloggers</a> book review bloggers program was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book to review. Because the government thinks it has to control everything, I am disclosing this in accordance with the <a href=”http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html” target=”_new”>Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”</a>

Glimpse into Civil War soldiers lives with Beth Harlow (Book Review)

Title: The Journal
Author: Beth Harlow
Publisher: Crosslink Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-936746-34-7

My rating: 3 stars

A Confederate soldier’s wife gives him a journal. He doesn’t expect to have any time to write in it while he’s off fighting Yankees, but he does have the opportunity to make some entries. Throughout the course of the war, several others also find themselves with the soldier’s journal and the opportunity to write in it. The journal travels many miles, crossing lines between North and South and giving each new writer a peak into the lives of the writers before. The events portrayed in the book are real, and the story will appeal to anyone who wants to see history as if they are living it themselves.

This book is built on an intriguing idea, that of a journal passing through multiple hands through the War Between the States. It gives an idea what people might have been thinking and wrestling with in the midst of the battles, not least of all their thoughts concerning faith and religion. The story brings to light the fact that the soldiers fighting in the war were individuals, with unique wants, fears, thoughts, and prayers – but also shows how closely linked they were.

As someone who enjoys journaling, I was interested in the idea of a journal capturing the thoughts of multiple men during the Civil War. I would have liked to get into their heads more and get to know them more. Some of the entries seemed to be there simply to inform the reader and did not delve as deeply into the characters’ minds as I would have liked. The characters could have been greatly expanded. Still, I enjoyed the read and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to better understand what might have been going through the soldiers’ minds during the Civil War.

Available on Amazon: The Journal

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Disclosure of Material Connection:

I can, and do, think for myself, therefore all opinions here are my own. the BookCrash.com book review bloggers program was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book to review. Because the government thinks it has to control everything, I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

New Year

Hello, 2014!

I took a hiatus over the holidays because I just had so much going on. Some of you might already know this but on top of working full time and writing, I also crochet. For Christmas, a lot of the gifts people received fr were crocheted items. People also had me making scarves for them to give as Christmas gifts. That took up a lot of time – not that I minded because I enjoy crocheting.

Here we are now, in a new year with new adventures awaiting us! At the beginning of 2013, I decided that it was going to be “The Year of Adventures.” And it was. I had a lot of adventures big and small last year, many of them with friends and family. I enjoyed it so much that I decided this year will be a year of adventures, too. I’ve already got some ideas and plans I’m working on, but I’m always looking for more.

One adventure so far is that my mom’s book has been published and is now available to buy! Look forA Promise Made by Norma Downi g on Barnes and Noble and Amazon! Technically this happened at the end of last year, but the adventure has carried over into this year. Check it out, write a review, let her hear from you. We writers, especially the published ones, thrive on feedback.

Stay tuned for more… I’ve got book reviews coming up and crochet projects to share and pictures to show you Continue reading