Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas Comes Early ~ Blog Tour // Two Reviews

Today I bring y'all a Christmas blog tour! Have fun reading about the books I'm spotlighting, and be sure to check out the other posts in the tour for more! :D 

Christmas tour 

Christmas time is here! Okay, so not quite yet. It's still over a month away, but that doesn't mean we can't start celebrating early, right? So today, we're celebrating the release of not one, not four, but eight new Christmas books! All written by Rebekah A. Morris. I'll be spotlighting and reviewing two of her books today and you can find out more about the others as you follow the tour.

About the Books

~ Christmas Delays and Other Short Stories ~ 
Three Christmas Stories from WWII

Christmas Delays
doctor, called up for duty in the army, spends one more Christmas with his wife in an unexpected way after God's Christmas delays strand them in a small house with another family.

Peter's Christmas
Very mild weather might not feel like Christmas, but young, orphaned Peter and his older sister find the peace and love of the season with the Hampton family in spite of the sadness of war.

I'll be Home for Christmas
Grandpa recounts the memories of his first Christmas away from home during WWII.

~ Home for Christmas ~ 
Feeling that life is unfair when her father is killed in the front lines of France and she has to live with her relatives on a western farm, twelve-year-old Susanna Stanson runs away to the city. She decides that all will be well when she reaches her old home, but a severe snowstorm interrupts her trip.

About the Author

Rebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, The Unexpected Request, Gift from the Storm, and her bestselling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn't’ writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.


~ Christmas Delays and Other Short Stories ~ 
Christmas Delays was a wonderful story of how God will throw 'delays' into our plans if He has something else in mind. I truly enjoyed reading Dave and Linda's relationship. They weren't 'kissy', but it was obvious that they loved and were devoted to each other. 5 stars! 

Peter's Christmas was so sweet! As soon as I read the first few lines, I recalled reading it last year on Miss Morris' blog. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, and I totally need a follow-up on John and Virginia... *wink* 5 stars! 

I'll be Home for Christmas was another endearing Christmas story, although probably my least favorite of the three. The beginning felt a bit disjointed, but later on... <3 I'll always go for a brothers story. 4 stars! 

~ Home for Christmas ~ 
Aww, so sweet! That was seriously my thoughts when I finished reading "Home for Christmas." A look at WWII through the eyes of a hurting young girl, this was an enjoyable read that made me smile with its message of love. *mild spoilers* I did think the whole scenario of Susanna not recognizing Robert right away, even with knowing his name, was a bit far-fetched, but she is young and struggling with a lot, so...I could overlook that. *end of spoilers* 4 stars! 

Favorite quote: "Are you willing to let the love in?" 

Tour Schedule

November 13
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory Post
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Kaylee's Kind of Writes – Book Spotlight
Resting Life – Review and Excerpt
Perry Elisabeth – Excerpt
Rachel Rossano's Words – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 14
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Odelia's Blog – Author Interview and Book spotlight
Bryce’s Creative Writing Corner – Author Interview, Review, and Excerpt
Counting Your Blessings One by One – Review and Excerpt
Perpetual Indie Perspective – Book Spotlight

November 15
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Whimsical Writings for His Glory – Author, Review, and Excerpt
Maidens for Modesty – Author Interview and Review
The Destiny of One – Book Spotlight
Rebekah Ashleigh – Book Spotlight
Stephany's BLOG Snippets – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 16
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Laurel's Leaves – Author Interview
Stories by Firefly – Review
Claire Banschbach – Author Interview
Kelsey's Notebook – Review and Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 17
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Ruffles and Grace – Book Spotlight
With a Joyful Noise – Book Spotlight
Bookish Orchestrations – Closing Post

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Visit from a Friend, Blog Party, and I WROTE ANOTHER BOOK // OctoberRecap

Hey frens! Look who it is, back with the traditionally-late monthly recap. In my defense, last month I was one time. So there. xD 

What's with the graphic, you asked? I honestly don't know...except that bell peppers are apparently really aesthetic. 

\\ Life. \\ 

>> We dug potatoes. I know, that sounds really boring and weird, but it's kinda a family tradition. Out comes the old hand plow and the not-so-old tractor. It's like a generation clash. ;) 

>> Crazy convos with my fam... 

Me: *sitting in my room and trying to write*
Tucker: *in the next room* Dad, how many eyes does it look like I have? 
Tucker: Ya know, if you get really close to a mirror it looks like you only have one. 
Me: *laughing so hard I can't breathe*

Tucker: *starts playing a Trace Adkins song*
Me: Ooooo, I like this one! It's on the Wounded Warrior commercials.
Me: Don't ask how I know that. Or how many I've seen. 
Mom:......don't worry, we won't.

>> The amazing, sweet, beautiful, darling Jesseca from Whimsical Writings for His Glory visited me! Much love for this dear. <3 We read books, plotted books, bought books, hiked up mountains, drink coffee, watched movies, roamed town, and stayed up late every.single.night. 

While she was here, I snuck pictures of her looking majestic basically all the time. Which she despised. And of course there's pics of us together. Plus a hilarious text convo from the day Dad took us fishing. So here we go, photo overload. xD 

>> In the way of books, Dandelion Dust got its first 2-star review. Faith is currently learning humility. (Slightly joking, here.) 

>> Went to a Casting Crowns concert! "All churches are like snickers bars. Sooner or later you're going to run into a nut." --Mark Hall 

\\ Books. \\ 

So much good bookishness this month!! :D 

Angel Unaware by Dale Evans Rogers -- 5 stars
The Key to the Chains by Allison Tebo -- 3.5 stars 
Our Town by Thornton Wilder -- 4 stars 
Too Long a Stranger by Janette Oke -- 4.5 stars 
Love Letters from Cowboy by Lacy Williams -- 4.5 stars 
Sweet Remembrance by Emily Ann Putzke -- 5 stars 
A Beautiful Disaster by Daisy Paquet -- 3.5 stars 
Millie's Grand Adventure by Martha Finley/Kersten Hamilton -- 5 stars 
Exodus -- 5 stars 
Kirsten Saves the Day by Janet Beeler Shaw -- 4 stars 
Changes for Kirsten by Janet Beeler Shaw -- 4 stars 
Veteran's Way by Robin Lee Hatcher -- 4 stars 
Red Like Crimson by Janice A. Thompson -- 5 stars 
Write Well: A Grammar Guide by Rachelle Rea Cobb -- 4 stars 
Millie's Reluctant Sacrifice by Martha Finley/Kersten Hamilton -- 5 stars 
Millie's Fiery Trial by Martha Finley/Kersten Hamilton -- 5 stars 

The epicness of da book haul.... :D (From used bookstores unless otherwise indicated.) I got lots of goodies, including some books to add to/complete series I already have. :) 

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis 
First Date by Krista McGee
When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin 
War Letters complied by Andrew Carroll 

Veteran's Way by Robin Lee Hatcher 
Betsy's Return by Wanda E. Brunstetter 
A Home at Trail's End by Melody Carlson
The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado

I bought Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue by Susan K. Marlow as soon as they were available on the author's site. This is one of the only authors that I always immediately buy new. xD 

\\ Writing. \\ 

Word count: 19,529

People...people... *weird noises of Faith trying not to hyperventilate* GUYS I FINISHED WRITING MY PRECIOUS NOVEL!!!! <3 

Compliments of this child <33 

A Soldier's Freedom (previously known as A Soldier's Story) was finished on October 30th, coming out at about 63,000 words. *squeals* This is the third first draft I've finished this year – also, the third book I've finished ever

I spent a day or two going "um, so, what am I going to write now?!" When 2017 began, I had three novella/novel length stories started. Now I've finished them all. Granted, I have oodles more ideas, but...those...those are my babies!! <3 

So. Yeah. I'm now planning sequels for Dandelion Dust, War Tears, and A Soldier's Freedom. I probably need a life. xD 

\\ Music & Movies. \\ 

Oh my GOODNESS, so much love right here, y'all. Oodles of these were watched while the Most Fabulous Fren was here. xD 

~ finished When Calls the Heart S4
~ finished re-watching The Waltons S9 
~ re-watched most of Signed, Sealed, Delivered 
~ Anchors Aweigh 
~ all three Anne of Green Gables movies 
~ Shenadoah 
~ Old-Fashioned 
~ National Treasure 
~ Journey back to Christmas 
~ Home for Christmas Day 

YES, Christmas movies! And now that it's November I can listen to the music and read the books....right? 

\\ Blogging. \\ 

>> Because I was really lame and didn't write many posts this month, the biggest happening was the Five Fall Favorites party! Click here to read my posts. 

>> I guest-posted on Ashley Nicole's blog! Click here to read the post. 

>> I gained lots of followers this month. I think part of that was due to the party, sooo...thanks, y'all! :D

>> Favorites of the Month

\\ Goals. \\ 

~ October Goals 

>> Read 8 books.          Nailed it. 

>> Finish A Soldier's Story, first draft.        *fistbump*

>> Join Ivie's October Writing Challenge.       Yes, and it was epic!! :D 

>> Stay caught up with emails.         ....I did good for like the first week, okay?! 

>> Take part in the Five Fall Favorites party.       *nods rapidly* 

>> Have an absolute blast when this awesome gal comes to visit!     Soooo amazing!! :D 

~ November Goals 

>> Read 10 books. 

>> Edit pt.1 of War Tears

>> Write a short Christmas story.

>> Catch back up with emails. 

>> Start planning this year's 12 Days of Christmas link-up. (Anyone interested?!) 

How was your October? 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Beautiful Books 2017 // A Soldier's Story

Good day, friends and relations! 

You probably thought I'd abandoned this blog entirely when I failed to post for nearly three weeks. Fortunately for all concerned, that is not the case. I was already planning to take time off from blog during the visit of a dear friend, and then I didn't blog the rest of last week as well... xD  

However, I am back today with a writing-related post. Showcasing my current WIP – which I may or may not be trying to finish this month. *distant screaming* 

Beautiful Books, the November/NaNoWriMo version of Beautiful People, has some awesome questions that I'll be answering. I'll not be doing the actual NaNoWriMo next month, but I'm stealing the questions anyway. :D (Actually, concerning NaNo, I'm hoping to edit 50k of War Tears instead. We'll see.)

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
A YouTube video. No, I'm serious! A ten minute YouTube video along with a prompt from Pinterest initiated what is now a 51k-and-counting novel. 
I've had the idea for over a year, and the first words were typed in July of 2016. 

2. Describe what your novel is about!
*silence* *Faith glances to her right* *then left* 

OKAY SO. If I was one of those awesome writer humans who followed all the rules, I would probably have a blurb/summary/synopsis/whatever-it-is-called for this book by now. But I don't... 

*leaves Blogger* *comes back like 30 minutes later* Feel special, friends! I finally wrote a not-perfect-but-passable blurb for this WIP. :P 

Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. 'Double amputee' doesn't seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out. 

Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients' recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still feels the hurt of hidden scars from a past unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets.

When these two broken ones' paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Would it be wrong to move forward to more than just friendship? 

A soldier, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting on a rooftop bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness? 

3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
*tosses out a few of my favs from the Pinterest board* 

4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

*grins* Okiedoke, this'll be fun. I'm gonna give a few words about each of the top three characters. (Ya know, like a social media bio...except few are really this honest. XD)

James Greene >> USMC Retired. Double amputee. Suicidal. Intrigued by talk of God, coming from Alex, Joe, and Kellon (Alex's brother). Funnier than I think I am. 

Alexandria Lorance >> Physical therapist assistant. Blonde in hair color only. 21st century patriot. Sarcastic. Queen of nicknames. Wanting to be a light in the darkness. 

Uncle Joe >> Vietnam veteran. Married to Gloria. Uncle and top-adviser to Alex. Operating a ministry for returning service members. 

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
This is one book that I do have a semi-decent outline for. I didn't start it until I was 40-50% done with the book, buuutttttt.... ;) Also, chocolate – definitely. And some research. 

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Finishing it!! No, seriously. I'm super excited to write the ending. Hope and redemption and beautifulness and... *clamps mouth shut and hopes that wasn't spoilery* 

7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
Ehh...the setting is definitely something that needs work here. 

1 – City. It might be somewhere on the coast – like New England – but I'm not sure yet. 

2 – Hospitals. I don't think I need to explain this one. 

3 – Sidewalks. Lots of sidewalk scenes. xD 

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
James' goal is to regain as much independence as possible. What stands in his way? Um...well...he kinda lost two limbs, so there's that. 

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
*legit had to google 'protagonist' to make sure it means what I thought it means which it does* 

Uhhh....I feel like answering this question would be giving away the ending? I'll just say that God can do something awesome in an individual's life when you invite Him in...and I'll leave it at that for now. :) 

10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Hope. Redemption. Brokenness. I want readers to feel inspired, encouraged, and hopeful. <3 

Sound interesting? Did I intrigue you? Would anyone like to see a post of music that I relate to this story? Thanks for reading! <3 


**A Soldier's Story is a working title that will change someday...when I make a definite decision. xD 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Five Fall Favorites {Indie-Published + Bushels}

Welcome to the last day of FFF on Stories by Firefly, readers! :D (Okay, so...technically tomorrow is the last day of the party, but I won't be posting then. Explanation at the end of the post. *wink*) Today's genre is 'indie-published' which I'm super excited for, being an indie author myself. (Wow, I just kinda realized that. O.O)

Look at all those lovely apples! Who else loves apple deserts this time of year? Hope y'all brought some ideas for what to do with all of them, because I'm pretty sure we're going to need the emptied bushel baskets for y'all to carry all these books home in. :)


To Get to You by Joanne Bischof // Wild Air, book #1 

To get to the girl he loves, Riley Kane must head off on a road trip with the father he never knew. Then pray for a miracle.

Most teens would love to have a pro surfer for a dad. Just not Riley. Abandoned as a kid, he hates the sound of the ocean and the man who gave himself to it.

When the eighteen-year-old learns that his best friend is stranded at a New Mexico hospital as her father fights for his life, Riley hits the highway to head east. But when his Jeep breaks down before he even leaves California, he must rely on the one man he despises to get to the girl who needs him the most. And when it comes to the surfer with the Volkswagen van and dog-eared map, a thousand miles may–or may not–be enough to heal the past.

A story of new beginnings and second chances. 

Oh my goodness, what a darling book! I've never read anything that shows hope and grace and redemption as beautifully as To Get to You. The second chances theme was so amazing!! For those of you who may not like romance in books, this one isn't nearly as romance-y as it sounds. Riley and Becca are super adorable, but that's not the main focus on the book. Doesn't that cover just make you want to read it?! Don't even get me started on the lovely interior formatting! <3 

Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton 

Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.

Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.

But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.

As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?

Eeps, a Christmas WWII Cinderella retelling! All three of these are things that I love in a story, so how could I not adore this one? Miss Wheaton does a great job of bringing Austria during WWII to life in this sweet novella! The salvation story is inspiring, the romance is sweet, and the brother-sister relationship is darling! 

The Pirate Daughter's Promise by Molly Evangeline // Pirates and Faith, book #1 

Skylar McHenry knew the love of her parents and a doting grandfather until her sixth year was marked by the tragic loss of her mother. When her father's secret past as a pirate came to light, father and daughter fled to a life at sea. Although Daniel McHenry's life had changed and he now robbed pirates to return the stolen goods to their rightful owners, his ship was captured by authorities, and he was hung for piracy.

Skye grew up in an orphanage, little more than a servant and shunned by everyone around her. Now a young woman, each day Skye faces is marked by some new struggle. Her only hope has been to rely on her heavenly Father's care and comfort, and the solace of her best friend Will, who has become more than dear to her.

Just when an unexpected encounter with her grandfather gives Skye a small glimmer of hope that things might change in her favor, her world is shattered. She is awakened in the night by cannon blasts. Pirates storm the orphanage, drag her away into the night, and force her aboard their ship. The cruel captain's intentions are clear. He will extract from her, through any means necessary, the location of the hidden treasure rewarded to Daniel by those whose belongings he had returned. For Skye to divulge the location would mean breaking the last promise she made to her father. She's certain she never will, but what happens when the lives of those dearest to her are at stake?

The Pirate Daughter's Promise is full of daring high seas adventure; sweet, wholesome romance; surprising discoveries; unlikely new friends; and the rewards of trusting in God even when life seems impossible.

Full of danger and intrigue, this would be a great adventure story for girls of any age! It's been awhile since I read this book, but I remember really enjoying it and staying up late one night to finish it. Skylar's story was really interesting and the guy she was friends with (why can't I remember his name?!) was great too! I look forward to reading more by this author (also published under Jaye L. Knight.) 

A Dream Not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu 

A Maid, a Prince, and a Duke. A Gardener, a Stepmother, and a secret...

Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants—too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after.

But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream...of the same prince.

In the end, are dreams even all they're made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.

Ahh, what a precious story! I've read this one twice and I love it oh, so much. The not-your-typical Cinderella story is absolutely lovely, and the writing is very good for a debut as well. Miss Hannu did a beautiful job of writing a love story that unfolds the way God intended for it to. And that plot twist, oh my! 

Ain't We Got Fun by Emily Chapman & Emily Ann Putzke 

It was never much of an issue for Bess: living contentedly on her family's farm, despite the Depression which loomed around them. But when her older sister Georgiana takes off to New York City to make a fortune and help Papa out, feelings of adventure and wanderlust strike Bess at home. Through their lively letter correspondence, the sisters recount to one another their adventures, surprises, and heartaches, leaving little room for depression. For in a world of such wonder, ain't we got fun?

Told through the letters of two sisters during the Great Depression, Ain't We Got Fun is a wonderful epistolary novel. Bess and Georgiana were such fun dears to read about! I think the fact that the girls' letters were written by the different authoresses made it even more unique. I haven't read many epistolary works, but this is definitely a favorite! :) 

At last check (late last night) we were only 4 entrants away from hitting the 100 needed to have a 3rd place in the grand prize giveaway! C'mon, friends, have everyone enter to win! We're so close and today is the last day to enter. :D (Enter by clicking here or visiting Rebekah's blog by clicking the above image.) 

I won't be posting tomorrow, but I will be around to reply to late comments...until I leave for the airport... *wink* Several of the bloggers will still be posting though, and be sure to check out Rebekah's blog for the giveaway winners! :D 

Favorite indie-book? Favorite indie-author? Need an explanation of what indie means? ;D 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Five Fall Favorites {Missionary + Bonfires}

Welcome to day four! Goodness, it seems like this party just started, and now it's nearly over. Today's genre is missionary, and I've got two fictions and three biographies for y'all. :D Make sure you read all the way to the end too, because I have a giveaway update for y'all! 

Doesn't that look inviting? There's just something special about a bonfire in the fall of the year. It's a bit chilly today, so grab a stack of books and settle in for some warm reading! 


Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World by Deb Brammer 

Deb Brammer’s Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World is a Christian fiction missionary story set in Taiwan. When Amy’s family moves to Taiwan to begin missionary work, she is determined to be a good missionary. But the neighborhood girls laugh at her, and Sunday services at the Chinese church become an ordeal. It seems that the only place she feels comfortable is at the English-speaking school with her peanut butter friends. In this middle-grade book Amy struggles to trust God as she learns how to live with new people and understand a different language. 

This book was part of my homeschool curriculum in 3rd grade (I think), and I've read it several times since then. It's a really great story of one girl's struggles to figure out where she belongs when her family leaves the US behind to become missionaries in Taiwan. The Chinese setting was pretty cool, and reading about Amy's difficulties in fitting in at school and making friends was pretty great. :D

The Other Side of Infamy by Jim Downing 

War is uncomfortable for Christians, and worldwide war is unfamiliar for today’s generations. Jim Downing reflects on his illustrious military career, including his experience during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to show how we can be people of faith during troubled times.

The natural human impulse is to run from attack. Jim Downing—along with countless other soldiers and sailors at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941—ran toward it, fighting to rescue his fellow navy men, to protect loved ones and civilians on the island, and to find the redemptive path forward from a devastating war. We are protected from war these days, but there was a time when war was very present in our lives, and in The Other Side of Infamy we learn from a veteran of Pearl Harbor and World War II what it means to follow Jesus into and through every danger, toil, and snare.

I signed up to review this book through Tyndale Publishers because, I mean, he was at Pearl Harbor y'all. (Need I say more?!) I was expecting an okay-but-not-amazing account of Pearl Harbor and WWII through one man's eyes. What I was not expecting – and what I got – was an amazingly-told story of one's man life, both physical and spiritual. Jim Downing, co-founder of the Navigators (a ministry organization reaching out to service members), is a grounded man of God and a light of hope to those around him. At the publication of this book (2016), he still travels to speak and spread God's word, though now over 100 years of age. 

Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer by Janet & Geoff Benge 

Flying soon captured Nate's heart. His air service ministry to isolated missionaries put him on a path of destiny that would ultimately end with a final airplane flight with 4 missionary friends to the "Palm Beach" landing strip in the jungles of Ecuador.
The men's lives given that day not only opened a door to the gospel for the unreached "Acucas"; it has been said that possibly no single event of the twentieth century awakened more hearts to God's call to serve in missions. 

Chances are, you've heard of the story of Nate Saint. But, sadly, I hadn't until this book was chosen as a read-aloud for the Potts family homeschool. (I knew a little bit of the story from reading about Jim and Elizabeth Elliot here and there for school, but I didn't even know the other men's names or any details.) But oh my goodness, I remember sitting in our basement as Mom read the last chapters of this book aloud, and nearly tearing up. Those men loved God so much, had such a strong faith and such a burden for the Aucas, that they were willing to lay down their lives for the furtherance of the Gospel. They are true heroes in this world. <3 

Left to Die by Ivy Rose 

Lindy Greene’s life is perfect. Too perfect. But living as a missionary nurse, serving in a rural hospital in China, soon brings the disaster she fearfully anticipates. All of her well-thought-out plans for the future disintegrate after pulling a fatally ill, disfigured, abandoned child from a pile of trash. She doesn’t even like babies.

Nathan Thomas can’t find balance. College suited him just fine until his cash ran out, forcing him to the Chinese mission field with his parents. The chaotic atmosphere in China does little to relax his agitated mind, and the pretty blonde nurse at the clinic does nothing to help him focus.

The Chinese mission field isn’t for the faint of heart. Nathan wonders how he can survive his remaining time there, while Lindy struggles to help everyone she can. With different ideals pulling them in separate directions, there is one thing drawing them together: a tiny, sickly, crippled orphan who relies on them to stay alive. 

This was beautiful!! Earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to review Ivy Rose's second published book, a contemporary novella set on the missionary field of China. And I was not disappointed by the story in the least! Precious and heart-rending, I cried and laughed and smiled as I read the story of Lindy, Nathan, and an abandoned baby girl. <3 

Cameron Townsend: The Good News in Every Language by Janet & Geoff Benge 

The Cakchiquel man became indignant when Cam offered him a tract in Spanish. 'Do you have one in Cakchiquel?' he asked. 'There are none, I'm sorry,' replied Cam. 'Well,' retorted the man, 'if your God is so great, why can't he speak my language?'"

In one decisive moment, Cameron Townsend understood that God had called him to translate the Bible into the language of his Guatemalan friends. For Cam, the obstacles were small when compared to the growing reward of helping the diverse people of Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru read God's life-changing Word for themselves.

Quick on his feet and slow to give up, Cam started Wycliffe Bible Translators with the dream of making the Good News available in every language. Since 1942, Wycliffe has translated Scripture into hundreds of languages, spreading God's Word to people all over the world. 

Like with Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer, this book was a read-aloud. I don't remember it quite as well as some of the others, but I do remember really enjoying the missionary's story. We laughed many times over Cameron and his wife's incidents, but of course there was many a serious moment as well. Cam is a pretty cool nickname too, if I do say so myself. ;)

The giveaway update! As of yesterday evening, the grade prize party giveaway reached 75 entrants – meaning a second place prize has been added. The second place winner will receive three ebooks (choices from the basket) and possibly an Amazon gift card (depending on whether the winner is US or international). Click the image below to get your entries in! 

The new goal? To see if we can hit 100 entrants for a third place prize. Spread the word, friends and book lovers! 

Who's enjoying this party as much as I am? :D

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Five Fall Favorites {Series + Boats}

Good morning, friends! :D Welcome to day three! 

Today's post will be a little bit different. Instead of five favorite books, I'll be sharing five favorite series of books. So the linking will be a bit different (unless otherwise indicated, the title-links will lead to the Goodreads book page), but I hope y'all enjoy. :D We've got a good variety, with a fantasy, three historicals (Civil War, WWII, and 1830s) and a contemporary. 

Stories by Firefly is the boat room today! Grab a stack of books, hop in one of the readied boats, and drift off to a nice, quiet spot for some reading. ^_^ 


The Blades of Acktar by Tricia Mingerink // 4 books + 1 novella 

He’s an assassin. She’s his victim. Saving her could cost him everything.

(Mmm...not exactly a series synopsis, but it's the best I can find. I suppose I'll just have to ramble a little extra about these....which won't be hard! :P) 
Two years ago, if you had told me that I would be putting an independently-published fantasy series among my favorite series of books I would have laughed. "Me? Love fantasy? Nah."  But this's SO GOOD. I think I probably like these so much because they're what I call 'realistic fantasy'. It's set in a medieval-ish fantasy world, but everything that happens is things that technically could happen. (No talking animals or magic or anything like that.) It's a beautiful story of redemption and grace. There's heartache and pain and brokenness (so much hurt – I love it). Sweet romance (mostly toward the end, y'all, don't start gagging yet), epic brother-brother, brother-sister, and sister-sister relationships, and real, relatable truths. I'd better move on now, because if I even get started on Leith, Shad, Renna, and Lord Alistair, we'll be here all day... ;)

Dare // Goodreads // My Review
Deny // Goodreads // My Review
Defy // Goodreads // My Review
Destroy (3.5) // Goodreads // My Review
Deliver // Goodreads // My Review

A Life of Faith: Millie Keith by Martha Finley // 8 books 

The A Life of Faith: Millie Keith novels follow the exciting life and times of Millie Keith, a girl of strong Christian faith growing up on the Indiana frontier in the mid-1800s. Adapted from Martha Finley's 1876 sequel to the popular Elsie Dinsmore novels, these revised and updated, modern-language books introduce readers to yet another delightful Christian heroine.

Oh goodness, y'all, these books are just so amazing!! I'd received many recommendations for these books, and then when a friend gave me the first two books last summer, I knew I had to read them. And I'm so glad I did! These books bring to life an amazing, Christian family and their frontier life. With all the humorous incidents and amazing string of characters, I know I'll be re-reading these for years to come. :D 

**I'm currently reading book-6 and have not yet read book-7 or book-8, so I cannot 100% recommend those. But I can't imagine they're terrible... ;D 

Wings of the Nightingale by Sarah Sundin // 3 books 

Three World War II flight nurses discover friendship, love, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean.

I read this series with a book-loving friend last year and I loved it!! WWII fiction is a favorite of mine and, ahh, these are so good! My favorite of this series would have to be With Every Letter. Mellie and Tom were amazing apart and adorable together. <3 Historically rich with amazing writing, lovable characters, and beautifully drawn-out faith strands. These were not the first books I'd read by Sarah Sundin, and they will not be the last. :D 

Avery's Battlefield + Avery's Crossroad by Deanne K. Klingel 

Avery and his dog, Gunner, have a good life in Kanawha Valley a loving family, a prosperous farm, and a warm community of friends. But when the long unrest between the North and the South ignites into war, Avery's peaceful world is shattered. His father, brother, and uncle leave home, each drawn away by the war. Soon Avery and Gunner must begin a dangerous journey that will take them across the paths of people on both sides of the struggle. 

Avery's skills as a doctor and his dog Gunner's friendly personality make the pair a welcome sight to the soldiers in the Civil War hospitals. But mending wounds is not the only challenge Avery faces. Dwindling supplies, insufficient medical facilities, and local troublemakers add to the stress of the war. Avery realizes that the real wounds of the war the wounds of the soul will take years to heal. But he finds hope for the future in his deepening friendship with Claire, a girl from back home who shares his passion for helping the wounded. Together they pray for the long war to end. 

I suppose these are technically boy books, but I have read them two (or three?) times. And I'm due a re-read! I really enjoyed reading about the Civil War through teenage-Avery's eyes. The first book is more of an adventure story as he set out on a journey – originally to locate his uncle – and ends up in medical school! As I remember it, the second book shows more of the harshness and cruelties of war. Love these! <3

Summerhill Secrets by Beverly Lewis // 10 books 

Set in rural Pennsylvania's Amish country, SummerHill Secrets follows the true-to-life struggles and heartfelt triumphs of fifteen-year-old Merry Hanson. Teen girls will come to love, laugh, and cry with the impulsive Merry as she encounters intriguing mysteries while also struggling to be the best she can be in God's eyes. 

I just love these books!! Summerhill Secrets were some of the first Amish-related books I read and are still among my favorites. I loved reading about Merry's friends, life, and struggles. I've read these books multiverse times and they've been carried around quite a bit, as you can tell by the beat-up covers in the above picture. I mean, how cool would it be to have a distantly-related Amish family living next door? 

Last time I checked, we were getting super close to the needed number of giveaway entrants (75) to add a second place prize. Be sure to enter (by clicking here) and have your friends and family enter too! :D 

How are y'all enjoying the party so far? Any feedback on the pictures? I wanted something special for the series. :)