Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A post that has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANYTHING!!!

Here we go, folks. Just a little post to say that Duolingo is one of my favorite apps ever! I use it to help me review my French for French class. {I'm very excited to start MLF 201 this fall!} I'm using it to teach myself Russian. {Alas! BJU does not offer a course in Russian!} I'm using Duolingo to learn Norwegian because Lauraine Snelling's books always make me want to speak Norwegian. {Of course, for now, Norwegian is just a little side language. I'm already serious about two other languages... Three might short-circuit my poor little old brain!}

Seriously, if you've ever thought about picking up a new language, use Duolingo! It's free and they are all the time adding new languages!

{P.S. Don't laugh! I know I'm 3000% nerd...}

Monday, May 28, 2018

Review: At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers that she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to but the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.

Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count- but no mysterious painting- Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

I opened this book with high hopes, remembering Holding the Fort, which I read a few months ago. It was the first ever book by Regina that I had read and I was so looking forward to another such adventure. The story opens in Boston, and I quickly loved the heroine who would give her fancy hor d'oevres to grimy paper boys and beat off attackers with a silver platter. I fell in love with how much she loved her Grandfather, and how close she is to him. And just as quickly, I wanted to throw Cousin Cornelius out of the closest window. Phrenologist indeed! As if anyone could tell a personality but the shape of their head! Poppycock! And then Miranda lands herself, inadvertently, in quite a kettle of fish. I joined her heartbreak as Grandfather became more and more deranged the further they were from Boston. And then she and Wyatt decided to become one of the cutest, most argumentative, couples ever, and I just melted. Of course, that couldn't last forever, and Regina Jennings just took my chain and jerked it around, until I was cringing so much that I could barely continue reading. And then... well, then didn't I have a laugh. Small SPOILER AHEAD but my favorite thing ever just might be the fact that Miranda slammed her skull into Cornelius's nose 😂😂😂😂 It's just too good! Anywho, that's what I thought about this incredible, couldn't-put-it-down, can't-wait-to-read-the-next-one, one-of-a-kind, just-the-right-balance-of-mystery-and-romace book with a cow on the cover! {In case you weren't aware... I'm obsessed with cows... Proof below!} I'm giving this book 4.5 stars.

                                                      {P.S. The cow is on the back cover ;)}

                                     {That's one of my senior pictures! #LoveThemCows}

Saturday, May 26, 2018

CelebrateLit Tour: Journibles

About these Books


Title: Journible: The 17:18 Series  
Author: Robert Wynalda (a local businessman) and Dr. Joel R. Beeke (President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)  
Genre: Non-fiction, Bible study tool  
Release Date: Series released in 2009

Why the 17:18 series? In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the scroll publishing house, but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are discovering that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also. From such understanding came the conception of this series of books.
How to Use These Books Each book is organized so that you can write out your very own copy of Scripture. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.
Click here to purchase your copy!


About the Author

Dr. Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited seventy books (most recently, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Living Zealously, Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Getting Back Into the Race: The Cure for Backsliding, Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, Living for the Glory of God: An Introduction to Calvinism, Meet the Puritans, Contagious Christian Living, Calvin for Today, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, and Taking Hold of God), and contributed 2,000 articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He is frequently called upon to lecture at seminaries and to speak at Reformed conferences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.

The 17:18 Series

I love this so much! I absolutely would recommend this to everyone. I enjoy writing in my Journible. I have the Romans one. It is absolutely great, and there is plenty of space. I use the extra space to write down prayers. It really is wonderful, and there isn't much that I can say beyond that, except that I hope you will try it. It would be a brilliant gift! If I were in the habit of giving stars to nonfiction...which I'm not.... this would receive five stars. ;)

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, May 17
Book by Book, May 21
Genesis 5020, May 23
amandainpa, May 24
Bigreadersite, May 24
{You are here} Live. Love. Read., May 26
Multifarious, May 27


To celebrate the tour, Reformation Heritage Books is giving away a grand prize of the entire set of New Testament Journibles!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review: A Breath of Hope by Lauraine Snelling

With her younger  brother Ivar in tow, Nilda Carlson is on her way to America to join her older brother Rune and his family in the northern forests of Minnesota. While she sees this as a golden opportunity, she has enough experience in life to know it won't be easy. The transatlantic voyage itself proves to be an adventure, and she hopes she will feel safe in her new home. Rune and Signe Carlson are thrilled that Nilda and Ivar are coming to Minnesota, but Uncle Einar Strand, obsessed with his own ambitions, refuses to help. What's more, he forbids anyone from the community to step foot on his land, leaving Rune to toil on his own. When a tragedy lays bare the truth behind Einar's anger and isolation, the Carlsons and Strands will have to come together like never before to become a true family.

I'm giving this book 5 stars. One of my absolute favorite parts of this series is that the conflict for the story doesn't come from a romantic storyline. Instead, the conflict comes from Einar. I just find it really refreshing not to have me romantic notions crushed for 300 pages. Of course, there's still some romance, Rune and Signe are married. Nilda seems to be attracting her share of honeybees. But really, the main love in this story is familial love. It's precious. I can't believe the change in Gerd from the beginning of book one to this book. It's astounding. And Knute and Leif are super cute. And Kirstin is too sweet for words. Basically, yes, you will want to punch Einar at least a dozen and half times while reading this, but it's a really great change in pace to read a family oriented story instead of the typical romance. Not that I'm knocking romance. You guys know me. I'm all about those, but this is a great story and series. I love Lauraine's books and I love that this is (distantly) related to her Blessing series. I hope to one day see these two series cross in an even bigger way. I'm thinking that's up to Ivar. I hope I get to read more books about Ingeborg. Long story short... read the book. {With a cup of tea. It's much better with tea.}

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All these opinions are {pretty obviously ;) } mine.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Review: The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Here is the "back of the book" blurb, cause I'm way tooo emotionally riled up to do this. I may not even be able to get through the review. My mom says I'm being a little too dramatic today, but phooey on that!  (I apologize in advance!) 

The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman's daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. 
Unsure why he survived but vowing to make amends, Jean-Luc has buried his pasty life so deep that no one will find it - until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear. 
Twelve years after Maribel was pulled from the sea and deposited in an orphanage, hazy memories and vaguely recollected stories all collide in the presence of a man she never really forgot. 
But falling in love with Maribel could cost Jean-Luc everything.

Okey dokey..... Here goes.... First off, I can't resist giving this book 5 stars. That being said... WHAT THE WORLD!!!!! Okay, so basically this happens to me anytime I read a book where one of the characters has lost their memory, or portions of it. And boy oh boy! My mom kept giving me these crazy looks cause I was screaming and almost crying and so frustrated when the author would give a soft tug on a thread that I really wished she would just jerk! But I think I'm going to try and do this methodically. Start at the very beginning.... (Yes, I sang that in my head...) I loved the fact that she spent half of the book on Maribel as a child. I love love LOVE getting to see my favorite characters as kids. That's one thing that I dislike about a bunch of books is that we get like three paragraphs of them as a kid and then boom! 15 years later! But anywho... I digress. I don't read about pirates privateers... like ever! And this story was so perfect that I want to add a lot of nautical tales to my shelves. The storyline was great. I loved the characters. They were perfect! Maribel, Jean-Luc, Israel, Rao, Will Spencer, Evan Connor, Mother Superior, and Abigail... My goodness! They wove together to make a brilliant story that I was downright mad to have end. I feel like there were enough loose ends to tie up that we could have been graced with at least two more chapters. It felt a little rushed there at the end, but nevertheless, I enjoyed this story immensely. And I haven't been this vocal/loud while reading since In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer (which review I have yet to publish because the rant on there was pretty bad... I still get mad sometimes just to look at the book.... It's ridiculous really! But again I digress!!!) Anyway... The point of all this hoo-hah and nonsense is basically that you need to go buy this book and read it... basically right now. Just ignore the fact that you're cooking dinner or picking up your kids from their soccer game, and go buy the book. Also, if you haven't read its companion The Mayflower Bride by Kim Woodhouse then you ought to grab that one as well. I can't wait to continue reading this series. [Daughters of the Mayflower... Barbour Publishing. The next book is The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep.] 

I hope that the craziness of that 'paragraph' didn't vex you. I can't say enough about how much I loved this book, even though I was a little skeptic at first, since I hadn't heard of the author. Trust me... it's great but I have to stop now lest I am tempted to spoil the whole thing. 

And look at the cool cover. 

Here is the Amazon link:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

Agatha is happily causing chaos wherever she goes as she travels the wild west searching for great stories for her newspaper. When she stumbles upon the man she once loved, Zayne Beckett, obviously in need of some guidance (AND minus one Helena....) Agatha decides to take him in hand. Her bodyguard Mr. Blackheart and paid companion Drusilla have learned to just go with it. Zayne, however, tries to resist. (As if anyone could win an argument with Agatha Watson!)Unfortunately, the person who wanted to kill Agatha, spurring her westward journey, is still up to his old tricks. Thankfully, Agatha proves to be hard to kill. Now if only she could nip her growing feelings for Zayne....

I'm giving this story 5 stars.

1: I have a ton of stuff to say, but if I wait to talk about Mathilda, I might just burst! Mathilda is my favorite! She's hilarious, she's great at guarding, she's a little touchy, she rarely takes the great advice Agatha gives her, and she's very protective. I thought at first that she would be just a "first two chapters" character. I was so glad when Agatha brought her home. OHHHH...... Did I mention that Mathilda is a P-I-G? A very smart one at that! 😂😂😂😂

2: Okay, back to the rail (I think I might have derailed the train a bit there.... maybe not....) Anywho.... Jen Turano is such a great author. Honestly, if anyone else did this I'd probably think it terribly cheesy. There is a really great balance here. And while some of these situations are unbelievable, I do realize that in some cases... this could be completely plausible. I went from chuckles, to giggles, to brother-staring-at-you-because-you're-so-loud laughter.

3: The characters were amazing. From Agatha, and her ability to make any situation dangerous, to Drusilla, who happens to be able to handle a pistol quite well, From Mr. Blackwell, who won't let anyone know his given name, to Mary, an assassin who is terrible, I mean TERRIBLE!, at her job, every character begs to be loved. Oh, did I mention 8-year-old Piper, who just happens to be the key to straightening out the mess Zayne is making. Honestly.... the characters were everything in this story.

4: As far as bad guys go, well... this one was... hilarious is a given, but I was going to say, devious. I think I had him pegged after the Mathilda affair, but I wasn't sure. Honestly, his reasons for hating Agatha had me wavering between laughing and indignation. Of course, I also consider that awful Helena a bad guy. Her new fiancé though.... he's the best!

5: The epilogue! Yes! I was so excited. It was too perfect! (As if you couldn't tell by the absurd number of exclamation points here!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Review: The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke

With the realm under threat and an ailment sweeping the land, the last remaining hope may come from an unlikely source--a young, orphaned servant with untested and untrained abilities. (That's form Goodreads, but it isn't really that great... there's more. Although, I guess this is the essence of it, really.)

This book is the third in a series and while I started here, I think the enjoyment would have been better if I had started at the very beginning. This book, well, it reminds me of the Lord of the Rings stories, not necessarily in plot so much as in the characters. To be honest, at first it kind of freaked me out a little. I enjoyed the book, but I don't know that it is necessarily the series for me. I oved the characters and the storyline, but there was really too high of a dose of spells and whatnot for me to be completely comfortable. If that's what you like, well, it's a great book. The chapters are short so it's easy to find a stopping place if you want or really easy to play the "one more chapter" game. It goes both ways. For myself, I'd give this book.. 3.5 stars. For others, you may find it to be much higher. One thing that does stick out as weird is there's this one chapter that doesn't flow with the narrative style of the rest of the book very well, and it's right near the beginning. Overall, I enjoyed reading it, but I wouldn't have probably chosen it had I realized all of the content.  

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.