Book Review: Intentional Christian By Daniel Ryan Day

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 Our Christian culture tends to emphasize specific life callings. God does call certain believers to specific short-term tasks or even lifelong careers. But too many of us are waiting for God to hand us a dream job or reveal some big plan for our lives. All we really need to know has already been revealed in Scripture by directives like “love God and love others” and “seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” Daniel Ryan Day defines the difference between “specific callings” and “common callings” so you can become an “intentional Christian,” finding fulfillment by serving God in all things.

I wish I had Intentional Christian years ago. It would have soothed my soul to read about Daniel’s struggle to find a career and a calling, and know that I was not alone. This book is full of the practical wisdom I needed. I loved the common callings, and the concept that you don’t have to be a missionary or pastor to have a “calling ” from God.

A quick read that left me breathing easier about Gods plan for my life. I felt I could start doing the will of God right where I am and I think that’s the point of the book.

Intentional Christian would make a great group read ,especially if you researched in your Bible as you went.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is : “And may we not be overly concerned with discovering a specific call or dream job, but instead with faithfully obeying the many common callings the Bible teaches.”

Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy!

Forever & Always,

Emily

 

 

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Fiercehearted By Holley Gerth

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A fiercehearted woman looks life in the face and says, “You can’t beat me.” She knows love is a risk but reaches out anyway. She chases Jesus with a tender, world-changing wildness. She never gives in, never gives up, and never lets go. Best of all, the potential to be a fiercehearted woman is inside each and every woman on earth.

In her most powerful book yet, beloved bestselling author Holley Gerth inspires her readers to become the stronger, braver, truer women they long to be by sharing personal stories of her own struggles and victories. As readers join Holley on this journey, they’ll discover a freedom they never imagined could be theirs: the freedom to experience life, love, and faith to the fullest because fear can no longer hold them back.

For the woman who is restless or longing for more, Fiercehearted is an invitation to the life God has always meant for her to embrace.

I’ve read quite a few inspirational books recently that have changed my perspective . Of these, I gained the most encouragement from Fiercehearted.

This book is for those who feel they will never be, do , or accomplish enough. Holley comes beside you and says “When you get to the end of these pages. I want you to also be able to say with certainty, “I’m not the only one.” I want all of us to feel less alone and more comfortable in our God-sewn skin and a little surer that we are a force to be reckoned with in this world.”  I can say Holley accomplished this!  That’s exactly how I felt , not just during reading , but as I finished the last page.

Fiercehearted encourages you to replace all the striving for the wrong things and start embracing who God created you to be. Chapter 26 was one of my favorites. The way my anxiety works is very similar and it felt so wonderful to see it expressed in words I often struggle to find.

This book was easily five stars and I recommended it to everyone.

Forever & Always,

Emily

 

 

Book Review: The Watchman By V.B. Tenery

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When Detective Noah Adams meets the abused son of a powerful judge, he knows he must intervene—and fast. The violence is escalating, and even Noah’s special gifts may not prevent the unthinkable from happening. Relentlessly pursuing two cases, Noah receives a chilling message: Cody’s deranged father has taken his son and it’s up to Noah to follow the judge’s twisted trail to find the boy before it’s too late. Corrupt city officials, a missing socialite, an attempted murder, and a rescue in the middle of a blizzard entangle Noah in the most complicated case of his career. A case that will mean his ultimate redemption or will take him back into the dark history that haunts him.
 This was such an enjoyable read! Let me list the reasons :
  • The adventure is set at a steady pace and continues till the very last page.
  • It handled the topic of abuse in a good way,( this topic can be very triggering , so I wouldn’t recommend the book to just anyone)
  • I did not see the plot twist coming, in hindsight I probably should have but I didn’t.
  • All the characters were well written , though my favorites were Noah and Jake.
  • Noah is a wonderful character. His backstory and special abilities are unique and interesting. I loved reading about a gentle man who really cared about the work he was doing . He couldn’t be bought or forced into doing the wrong thing, which was refreshing.
  • It has diversity. One character is mentally challenged, there is multiple ethnicities.
  • While being a Christian read, it doesn’t shy away from the question of why God allows pain.
  • It has humor in it, despite handling such a serious topic.

I have to share a couple of my favorite quotes from this book. I rarely laugh out loud at books, but The Watchman accomplished just that.

The day we met must have been my lucky day Adams. I can’t imagine what I did to God to deserve you.” Jake really loved me. He just liked to complain.”

You never cease to amaze me with your perceptive grasp of the obvious.”

I like what you’ve done with the place. Is boring your style of choice or is this an accident?”

The Watchman by V.B. Tenery was a refreshing and unique read , I enjoyed every page. Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy!

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat! Have you read any books recently that handled a hard subject well? Do you like books with continually action? Do you like good, bad, or morally gray Main Characters?

 

Book Review: Dangerous Territory By Amy Peterson

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Amy Peterson grew up in church, where she loved the adventurous stories of missionaries in foreign countries who won people to the Lord. After college, she was ready to “do big things for God” on the mission field herself. Dangerous Territory is a captivating memoir that tells Amy’s personal journey from wide-eyed adventurer to questioning believer to simply a beloved child of God. Her story will challenge your notion of “mission work,” showing how you can have a vital relationship with God that naturally spills over to affect others.

 

Dangerous Territory was a refreshing read. I don’t know about others but when I read a memoir (especially a missionary / Christian one)  instead of finding inspiration and encouragement, I come away feeling a little drained .

Amy Peterson did such an amazing job with this book. There are chapter interludes every so often where you learn some history and interesting facts about missionaries. In Dangerous Territory I really felt like I knew Amy, she wrote the book being very honest, unfiltered and raw about her feelings and experiences. She doesn’t try to sugar coat her struggles or glorify herself, you get a real sense of who Amy is.

I loved that she is simultaneously telling you about her mission opportunities and all the other things happening in her life! I enjoyed reading about her adventures and all the interesting food she ate. However Amy is not afraid to tackle some harder subjects such as conservative Christians, why God lets things happen, and having blessings while so many suffer.

This book was an enjoyable read and has a wonderful way of looking at things differently.

Thank you to Netgalley for a review copy 🙂

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s Chat! Have you read any memoirs that changed your way of thinking? Any Christian books you would recommend?

Most Likely To Character Tag

So this prompt has been floating around the #bookstagram world for a bit but one of my favorite bloggers Cait @PaperFury  expanded on the original idea. Click the link to check out her version.

Anyone reading more than one blog post of mine knows, I don’t usually follow the rules for …..well anything (or I push them to the boundary). So I am only using 8 most likely to for the gents and ladies. Why you ask? Because I am Loki Emily and I do as I please on this here blog . Without further ado.

Most Likely To – The Gentlemen:

  1. Be Overprotective : Teo (The Chiveis Trilogy), I swear all three books all he does is save Ana’s life. It’s the sweetest thing and you can always count on Teo.
  2. Good With Kids: Jorgen ( The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest). Though I never read about him with kids, he just seems like the fun Uncle who teaches you to sword fight and lets you win.
  3. Picks Flowers For You: Nestor (Road to Briarwood). Nestor is a gardener and creates his own flower hybrids, so I think its safe to assume he would pick flowers for you.
  4. Lends You Their Clothes: Tobias (Divergent), but probably only after you about died.
  5. Talks With You For Hours: Chris (Once Upon a Marigold). Chris sent carrier pigeons to ask what book Marigold was reading, so I think long conversations are his style.
  6. Takes Time Looking At Your Eyes: Mac ( Eagles Flying High). Because then he can determine if your sincere.
  7. Say’s Your Beautiful: Thane (Roses for Mama). I mean it will probably be quiet and accompanied by a side grin, but he shall call you beautiful none the less.
  8. Get Into A Fight: Jaron ( The Ascendance Trilogy). Jaron is a sarcastic little cupcake who starts fights whether he can finish them or not.

 

Most Likely To  – The Ladies :

  1. Be Overprotective: Imogen (The Ascendance Trilogy). Looking out for Jaron is a full time job with minimal wage pay, He is a handful but she does it anyway.
  2. Go To War To Save You: Silvie (The Lost Books). Silvie is a warrior and doesn’t shy away from a hard task. Pffttt she could probably save you with her eyes closed, if she doesn’t turn Scab first.
  3. Laugh At A Bad Time: Prudence (Deadly). While Prudence is a serious girl who chases her dreams, she strikes me as the type to laugh at all the wrong moments.
  4. Talks With You For Hours: Agnes (Trevorode The Defender). Agnes is an intellect and a writer, so all my fellow writers know that she can talk for hours.
  5. Dress To Kill: Macy (The Gallagher Girl series). Macy may be a spy but she knows how to dress and is a well of information when it comes to boys.
  6. Stay With OTP After Book : Ana (The Chivies Trilogy). I mean this girl waited forever to actually admit that she loved person B (Like 2 years in the books). I think they built their relationship on trust and respect and long after the final book they will be just fine.
  7. Get Arrested: Ekaterina (from the book with her name as the title). She actually did get arrested so this is legitimate .
  8. Share Their Food With You: Odette (The Huntress Of Thornbeck Forest). As a Female version of Robin Hood it’s safe to say Odette would share her food with you.

So those are my opinions of Most Likely to Character tag.

Tell me what y’all think? Any characters you agree or disagree with? Who do you think would stay with their OTP after the book? And who do you think would leave their OTP after the book?

 

Review: Mask Of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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A post on Sunday, what is this craziness?? I shall explain….no there is to much I will sum up*. I already have a post planned for Tuesday and I also wanted to get this review up before September 5, which is the release date for Mask of Shadows.

I had so much hope for this book…….and I am left wondering what I spent two days  reading. Mask of Shadows had promise but it just didn’t work for me, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for someone else. But lets break it down.

What I liked:

  • Sal is sarcastic with a unique sense of  humor (pretty sure they laughed at all death threats).
  • The witty banter of fellow Competitors, Sal, and the Left Hand was entertaining and lightened up the general dark theme.
  • Secondary characters had distinguishing traits, though I admit I sometimes got the numbers confused.

What just didn’t work for me :

  • Sal is apparently gender fluid which I didn’t know before starting the book and quite frankly I just spent the whole book a confused grape. Seriously though one minute they will punch you for referring to them as a Her ,but in the next they are wearing a dress and will slit your throat if you suggest they are a He. I mean if your gonna be gender fluid than don’t be mad at the other characters for trying to keep up……just *annoyed sighing* no.
  • The info dumping was a little bit excessive. So much history jammed into a paragraph right before you move back into an action scene.
  • The Romance was a no…….like bro you have known each other 5 minutes and bam, wow, meant to be.
  • It was a bit to dark for me. This is probably not something that would bother most people, especially since it had the description level that I would equal to an average action movie; but it was just a bit much for me.
  • I never once thought it would end differently than it did. I would say that though technically the “stakes were high”, it just didn’t come across that way.

So while it wasn’t a book for me, that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t enjoy it. What I found to be drawbacks might just be what others are looking for.

Let’s chat! Have you read a book recently that just wasn’t your cup of tea? If you have read Mask of Shadows let me know your thoughts. Who was your favorite of the Left Hand?

*Comment if you caught that movie reference.

Review of The Magnolia Arms Chronicles (book 1-3) By Holly Bebernitz

I was blessed enough to receive all three books as a gift from Mrs. Holly Bebernitz.

I love this series so much!! I often find that I can read books and love them but still point out all the flaws (ex. The Divergent Series). I can honestly tell you there are no flaws in these books. The plot, the characters, the descriptions; it’s all wonderful!

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Trevorode The Defender is the first book in The Magnolia Arms Chronicles. In this book we meet Agnes Quinn. The first three chapters are about Agnes’ time in college. In these few short chapters we learn about Agnes dream to publish the book she has been writing. Once she has a “wake-up call”, Agnes decides to put her dreams of publishing her book on hold and become a college professor. This begins her adventures at Brighton Park, where she meets an assortment of endearing and quirky characters.

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Road to Briarwood was my favorite (though all three are wonderful). In book two we find Agnes trying to balance her life. She is going to and from the Magnolia Arms, trying to focus on her second year of teaching, all while making new friends and adversaries. This book takes a deeper look into Agnes’ family and friends lives.

One (of many) things I love about these books is you could read any of them as a stand alone and still be immersed in Agnes’ world. In book 2 and 3 , Ms. Bebernitz does a fantastic job of weaving backstories into current situations. No info dumping or repetivness here.

Road to Briarwood has different characters finding love (I won’t spoil anything but my OTP got together and I’m a happy Turnip), as well as further character development.

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Book three’s focus shifts from Agnes (though she is still a main part) to a new character we get introduced to named Pinetta. In Tea At Kimball Pines new things are taking place in Dennisonville. We meet new characters, while still getting updates on old ones. Description in this book is even more noticeable and it helps distinguish the large cast even further.

 

 

The pacing was perfect and I never got bored while reading these three amazing books. It was so refreshing to pick up an adult book and it be wholesome.These characters are all realistic and flawed but their is no crude humor, foul language, or sexual content. I appreciated this aspect the most!! You will come away from reading these books wishing you lived in a town like Dennisonville, in a house just like the Magnolia Arms. I recommend these books to everyone! You can’t go wrong with well rounded characters, small town life (including realistic situations), a unique plot and appreciation for the arts!

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat! Do you think you would like the Magnolia Arms Chronicles?  Have you read anything recently that you just loved to pieces?

 

Beautiful People- Author Writing Process

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So Beautiful People is a monthly meme that is usually about authors characters but for July it was about US. You can check out more HERE.

As with just about everything in my life I thought why not wait and do this on the last day of the month. Haha just kidding…..sorta….I had a busy schedule and just didn’t get to it till now. Without further delay the questions.

  1. How do you decide which project to work on? I usually think on an idea for awhile and brain storm plot. If the idea gets a pinterest board then it is more likely that I will actually attempt writing it one day. Recently I chose two projects for two different reasons. The first project was because I have been thinking of the story forever. The other was one I daydreamed about writing but never thought I actually would, and I decided to give it a go. It depends on my mood and what I want to write or my goals.
  2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project? I have never finished a book idea, but for shorter stories it usually takes me a couple of days to make it how I want it (this includes editing and rewrites).
  3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood? I like writing short stories and reading books with the same background as my idea. Then when I actually sit down to write I put on soundtracks for background noise (and to cancel out the noise from the rest of the house).
  4. What time of day do you write best? I only ever write in the evening / night. My mornings are always busy, so I have never tried writing then. However I might give it a try this weekend and see if I’m happier with my writing.
  5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to? ahahaha probably not…..I think I would have to finish my books before I could really answer that.
  6. Why did you start writing? And why do you keep writing? I was homeschooled and one of the things my Mama made us do was “daily journaling” which wasn’t a journal it was just an assignment to write something everyday. I remember writing a 2 (or maybe 3) part story and really loving the feeling of deciding how everything was going to work out. I think that was probably the first time in my life I actually considered writing seriously (I was probably around 12). I keep writing now because I feel everyone has a different voice and a unique outlook on life, and those shine through my writing. Plus it’s something I can do to express myself and fictional worlds are better because hello I’m in charge lol just kidding.
  7. What’s the hardest thing you’ve written? Probably a book( about 4 siblings living on a farm) that has been on my brain for years and I just play it like a movie when I’m bored…..so now it’s harder to write it down in a cohesive order of events.
  8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet? Yes! I have this extensive book plot with all the characters and a rough outline sitting in a drawer. It’s a spy/ action book; I just love the idea so much that I want to do it right. I feel like I would be more prepared for this idea if I wrote and rewrote a different book first.
  9. What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going? In January I wanted to finish a book by March and edit it in July. Let’s all take a moment of silence for a goal not accomplished……moving on. I am currently working on two books and my new goal is to finish at least one by December (hopefully both) and start editing.
  10. Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif! Three words : quiet, determined, and slow (or at least slower than I would like).

Let’s chat. Do you listen to music as you write? Have you finished writing something that your really proud of? How would you describe your writing process?

 

 

The Mystery Blogger Award

So Jessica did this last week, her blog is awesome so head on over and check it out; she was sweet enough to nominate anyone who wanted to participate.

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The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma as a way to build a friendly blogging community and get to know each others blogs. You can check out Okoto’s blog for the full backstory.

The Rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  5. Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  6. Nominate bloggers.
  7. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  9. Share a link to your best post.

 

Three Things About Me:

  • Action Movies and Books are my favorite. I love the fast pace and all the stunts.
  • I take forever to finish TV series. I am not sure why but I will seriously drag it out way longer than necessary. For instance I started this show on Netflix called Night Shift. I watched the first season in one day. That was about a month or so ago. I love the show and characters so I really should have caught up, but no.
  • Besides being a avid reader, I am also a writer. I have always loved writing stories growing up and now I’m turning that passion into writing novels. I just started uploading one book (of quite a few)  onto Wattpad. You can check it out here if you want.

 

The Questions :

  1. What do you decorate your book shelves with ?

I decorate mine with artificial flowers (which are my props for photos) , my Funko Pops, and different types of banks (like piggy banks , but only one is an actual pig).

2. If you could have any pet, what would you get? I would get a giraffe.

Well I want a pet dragon, but since they technically don’t exist then I would say a Horse. I have dreamt of having my own horse since I was 12.

3. Do you have a favorite sports team?

Yes , college football – Florida Gators!!

4. If you had to wear only one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is so fun and hard because the unpractical part of my brain says opt for pajamas . But I would say my favorite pair of jeans, and a tee shirt with a bait shop logo on it.

5. Do you have a favorite bookish Funko Pop?

Currently the only Funko Pops I have are from the TV series Lost. My favorite is Sawyer 🙂 and he is holding a book so does that count.

 

My 5 questions for anyone who wants to join:

  1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
  2. Pick one book to disappear into.
  3. Would you rather your emotions be expressed by your hair changing color or your eye’s changing color?
  4. What is your favorite way to tell people about books ,example: goodreads, your own personal blog, throwing books at people till they read them. My favorite way is to tell my family /friends all about the book I’m reading so that they don’t have to bother reading it because they know everything already……see how nice I am to save them the trouble lol.
  5. Where is your favorite place to read?

So that’s it, feel free to join and use this on your blog, or answer my questions in the comments:)

Forever & Always,

Emily

 

 

Books That Have Surprised The Socks Off Me So Far In 2017

This is a link up with Broke and Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday. The Prompt for this week is ” Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far “. I’m only doing Five today because there have only been five books so far this year that were really good/ surprised me.

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Once Upon a Marigold By Jean Ferris : I was in a book funk and my sister let me borrow this book. It was so cute and fun. I also kept it after I read it , so I guess you could say I commandeered the book rather than borrowed.

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Deadly By Julie Chibbaro : In my full review of this book, I mentioned how my oldest Nephew got me this book for Christmas…..two years ago. I’m not really sure why I put it off for so long, but it turned out to be a good read.

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I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You By Alley Carter: I started reading this book fully expecting to not finish it. I’ve heard a lot of people say they didn’t like it. I however really enjoyed it. I mean sure it has a few clichés and it’s not perfect but I liked it enough to give the rest of the series a try. (Let me know in the comments if you have read it and what you thought).

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Geekerella By Ashley Poston: I am in love with the retelling trend, however I was never a big Cinderella fan growing up. This book though!!!! It’s such a good representation of fandoms . Ashley Poston did a fantastic job with this retelling.


If We Survive By Andrew Klavan : I’m going to post a full review of this later in the week, but I took a chance on this from the library and it so did not disappoint!! Seriously I’m so pleased with this book, it has action, a good plot, and the characters are AMAZING!!

So those are the five books that surprised my socks off , though that’s probably a good thing with how hot it has been lately. Did you read any books so far this year that surprised you?

Forever & Always,

Emily