Friday, December 15, 2017

The Christmas Note // Movie Review

About the Movie:
Having just moved back to her hometown with her young son but without her serviceman husband, Gretchen Daniels finds her life in disarray as Christmas approaches. She discovers new purpose when she helps to deliver a message to her neighbor, Melissa, which makes her an ally in a quest to find the neighbor’s sibling she never knew she had. The women become bonded not only by the search, but by the understanding that being there for each other means they’re no longer alone. This friendship becomes the greatest Christmas gift of their lives.

The Christmas Note is a really great, sweet movie. It isn’t your typical Hallmark movie where two people meet and fall in love. I do enjoy those types of stories a lot, but it was fun to see something else too. The Christmas Note has a unique story-line and it is just really good!

I give this movie 8 R's out of 10

Thursday, December 14, 2017

It's That Time of Year! ~12 Days of Christmas and a Book Review

It's that time of year again!!

Time for the 12 Days of Christmas blog party hosted by Faith over at Stories by Firefly. This is the third year that she is doing it and also the third year that I am participating in it. I’ll be doing a fun Christmas post each day from now until Christmas. Faith will be too. You should definitely check out her blog to see all of her fun posts, plus she has a list of all the other bloggers participating in the party with their posts. 
There are only 12 days left until Christmas!!! Can you believe it? 
Okay, today for my first post I will be doing a book review.


From the Back Cover:
Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. At Christmas, the final decoration Marge Reed hangs on the family’s tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering. 

Yet a message delivered by one of Robert’s fellow soldiers and a mystery letter found in a Bible put a father’s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known.

The Christmas Star is a really great book. I wasn’t too sure what to expect starting this book, but I ended up really enjoying it. I don’t think that the back cover really gives that great of an idea of what the book is about. So even if you don’t think it sounds the most fun, you should still give it a try! The Christmas Star definitely kept me on the edge of my seat several times. I was really wondering a couple times if the book could actually end well or not. 
I can’t say much without giving the story away, except for you should really read this book! :)

I give this book 9 R's out of 10 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dylan's Story // Book Review

From the Back Cover:
Terrified of telling too much, ten-year-old Dylan Sedano wishes his little sister, Fern, would stop talking. But when army reserve officer, Scott Wood, and his wife, Autumn, tell Dylan that God is ready to help him, Dylan isn't buying. If God did care for them, why hadn't He been there months ago when the trouble started and his dad disappeared?

This book sounded really good when I first read the synopsis and I knew that it was a book that I’d  like to read. Well, I wasn’t disappointed! Dylan’s Story is a great book. It was pretty intriguing and I was never quite sure what would happen next. It also had it’s happy, sweet, and sad moments. I really enjoyed all of the characters. They were very well written. This book is really great. I would definitely recommend it and it’s a book that I’ll probably re-read sometime.

I give this book 8 out of 10 R's

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Bibliophile Sweater Tag

Just recently Faith over at Stories by Firefly did the Bibliophile Sweater Tag. She left it open for whoever wanted to do it, so I decided I would. Since I wasn't officially tagged I'm not going to post all of the rules and stuff. I also am not going to tag anyone, so feel free to do this tag if you want to!

Fuzzy Sweater (A book that is the epitome of comfort.)
The A Life of Faith: Millie Keith series. These books are SO good! They are definitely my top favorite series!

Striped Sweater (Book you devoured every line of.)
I could go with Millie again, but I'll choose something else. ;)
A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oke is a book that I could hardly put down.

Ugly Christmas Sweater (Book with a weird cover.)
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski. The cover doesn't actually look weird, but the girl on the front cover who is supposed to be Mary Jemison has brown hair and brown eyes. In the book it says that she has blue eyes and very blond hair, so it's a bit strange that the cover doesn't match the descriptions in the book.

Cashmere Sweater (The most expensive book you bought.)
The two books that I paid the most for would be Millie's Grand Adventure and Millie's Fiery Trail. They had just gone out of print and were a little harder to find, but I loved them so much so I paid quite a bit for them.

Hoodie (Favorite classic book.)
I really haven't read many classics. The A Life of Faith: Elsie Dinsmore series count as classics, right...? Because pretty much everyone has heard of Elsie Dinsmore from either the original books of the A Life of Faith ones.

Cardigan (Book you bought on impulse.)
Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne is a book that I kind of bought on impulse. I had seen the cover of book 2 in a CBD catalog and it was pretty cute. When I found out that it was the second book I decided to get book 1. It was pretty good, not a favorite but not bad either.

Turtleneck Sweater (Book from your childhood.)
I read Elsie's Endless Wait several times when I was younger. I really enjoyed that book along with the second book in the series because Elsie is a young girl in those two, so I liked them better than the other books because she was around my age in those first books. I'm hoping to re-read the A Life of Faith: Elsie Dinsmore series in the coming year!

Homemade Knitted Sweater (Book that is Indie published.)
Just within the last two years I've read several Indie books. One of my favorites though is Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts.

V-Neck Sweater (A book that did not meet your expectations.)
The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher didn't quite meet my expectations.

Argyle Sweater (Book with a unique format.)
The Christmas Star by Ace Collins had a kind of cool format. At the beginning of the chapter it had the month, day, years, and the time. So it looked like: December 23, 1943 6:15p.m. I thought that it was cool to have the time in there.

Polka-Dot Sweater (A book with well rounded characters.)
The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn has pretty well rounded characters. The author  showed a bunch of different sides of the characters. When they were happy, sad, upset, excited...

That's all of the questions!
The 12 Days of Christmas log party starts in one week so I'll be having lots of fun Christmas posts coming up!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas is Coming!!

Christmas is in 25 days!!!! :) I am so excited! Christmas is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!

This year I am participating in the 12 Days of Christmas blog party hosted by my friend, Faith.
This is the 3rd year that Faith has done this link-up and the 3rd year that I will be participating in it! :) It is a lot of fun. For more information and to sign up to be a part of the party, check out Faith's post about the 12 Days of Christmas!!

Are you as excited for Christmas as me?!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving, Christmas Fun, and Violin ~ My November Highlights

November has ended. It was another good month.

~On November 4th, I started watching Christmas movies! I used to always want to wait for all things Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I decided that once November came I was going to start! :)

~I went to my brothers last football game of the season. It was the all-star game and only one of my brothers played, but the team he was on won!

~Thanksgiving came. My family and I went over to my grandparents house and we had a nice time. The weather was great so we were able to spend a little time outside playing games.

~The book club this month went really well. I put together a scavenger hunt and all the girls had a lot of fun with it!

~I decorated my room for Christmas. I put up my mini tree and hung up lights.

~My younger brothers and I went over to my grandparents house and helped them decorate for Christmas.

~I had a violin recital.

~My brothers and I went to a game day at a friends house and we played human foosball. It was more fun than I thought it would be, but it did end up making me pretty sore for the next few days. ;)

~Some of my family and I got together with a group of friends and had fun visiting and playing games.

~I've been getting ready for a Christmas concert that I am in. I'm in the orchestra and the performances are this weekend!

I read some of my first Christmas books of the season along with some other fun books.
Trouble Brewing by Susan Page Davis
Mandie and the Secret Tunnel by Lois Gladys Leppard
Andi to the Rescue by Susan K. Marlow
The Tea Will Tell by Elizabeth Ludwig 
Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise by Lois Gladys Leppard
The Christmas She Wanted by Rebekah A. Morris
Christmas Smiles by Rebekah A. Morris

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?
Have you started getting ready for Christmas yet?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Author Interview // Faith Potts

I've been wanting to do an author interview with Faith ever since she published her first book in June of this year. I finally got around to coming up with the questions and asking her and she said yes. I hope you enjoy the interview!

Faith Potts is a teenage writer, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the southeastern US. When she's not writing stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading books, or creating pottery, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and – of course – blowing dandelions. Faith blogs over at Stories by Firefly and Chosen Vessels.

1. When did you first become interested in writing?
I first became interested in writing in the late summer/fall of 2014. So yeah, over three years! :D

2. How did you become interested in writing?
Through a short-story contest, centered around my favorite book series. Mrs. Susan Marlow from the Circle C Adventure blog was hosting her second short-story contest and I, a new fan of the books, decided to give it a shot. I wrote two stories for the contest – which led to several other finished and unfinished fanfiction stories. By the winter/spring of 2015, I was coming up with my own characters and plots to write.

3. Is there any specific authors/books that have inspired you?
Well, Mrs. Marlow, obviously! ;) Others would include Sarah Sundin for her amazing WWII fiction and Joanne Bischof for her beautiful writing style.

4. What is the hardest part of writing for you? (character development, story line, etc.)
For me, I think it depends on the story. In historical settings, for example, I want to be sure I get everything right so that it's true to the time period. I'm not sure that would be considered a part of writing, but it does play a factor. Other than that, I think my character development could use some work.

5. What’s the easiest part?
Coming up with the story idea. Hashing out the characters relations (families, siblings, etc.). Planning the (usually) happy ending. If I'm really 'into the story', then the writing part is pretty easy too. :)

6. Do you have a favorite time period that you like your stories to be set in?
Ooo, that's tough! This time last year I would have easily said WWII/the 1940s. But I've written two books in contemporary settings since then, so...maybe it's a tie between those too. ;)

7. Are you currently working on a book? If so, when do you hope it will be done?
I'm going to give a kind of 'yes and no' answer here because, when I think of working on a book, the actual writing is what comes to mind. In that regard, no, I'm not currently working on anything. But if we're talking about anything pertaining to the bettering of a book, then yes! I'm currently editing my WWII historical fiction novel. I'm hoping to release it next summer/fall if all goes according to plan. :)

8. What was your favorite scene to write in Dandelion Dust?
I like this question. *wink* But I'm honestly not capable of picking one scene. The part where Drew and Charity pray in the hospital room (end of chapter 6) is right there at the top though. It almost sounds silly given how many times I've read it, but it gives me feels. <3 The haircut scene is another favorite. I really enjoyed bringing out the characters' joking and snarky sides during that. ;)

You should definitely check out Faith's books, Dandelion Dust. It is very good and definitely a book I'd recommend!
You can go here to purchase it.

About the Book:
Like a speck of dandelion dust riding the tides of a prairie wind, life is fleeting. Though I never realized just how fragile it was until that day . . .

Charity always had a dream. It was simple, really. Find a guy, fall in love, and get married.
The day she met Ryder, Charity knew he was the man God had chosen for her. But she never expected their relationship to be tested and tried through the fires of a freak accident. Suddenly, her world is thrown into chaos, and the bleak, white walls and sterile smells of a city hospital fill every spare minute. And then there comes the dreaded news. It was likely Ryder would never make it out of the hospital bed.
As her carefully laid plans for the future come crashing down around her and the sun seems to set on her dreams, can Charity still find hope in the dark of night?

Like a dandelion, life is beautiful. But treasure every moment. . . for one day, the flower will be gone.

Thanks so much for doing this, Faith! :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Comes Early Blog Tour

Are you excited for Christmas? I sure am!! One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is to read Christmas stories! Rebekah A. Morris just came out with 8 new Christmas books! I'm really excited to read all of them. Today I'll be spotlighting two of her new books.

The Christmas She Wanted
Christmas had lost its charm and wonder. Mrs. Rush hated the feeling but was powerless to fix things. Traveling to visit relatives for the holidays, the Rush children pass the time with their eyes glued to the screens of their devices. That is, until the flashing lights of a State Highway Patrol car bring their trip to a sudden and unplanned-for stop.

Christmas Smiles
This was Lana’s second Christmas without her parents, who had died in an accident, and she was sure it would bring nothing but tears, because she and her aunt couldn’t seem to get along. When a frightening experience occurs, Lana, her cousin, and her aunt and uncle find unexpected cause for smiles.

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.

Blog 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
Once Upon an Ordinary – Review
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
Ordinary Girl Extraordinary Father – Review
Bookish Orchestrations – Closing Post

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Vintage Jane Austin Blog Tour and Author Interview

Hi everyone! Today I am participating in the Vintage Jane Austin Blog Event. There are several books that are Jane Austin re-tellings. The books are written by various authors and today I am doing an author interview with Sarah Holman, the author of Emmeline.

1. When did you first become interested in writing?
When I was eleven, I was fascinated with the Middle Ages, and I was frustrated by the lack of books I wanted to read. Couple that with an active imagination and a mom who encouraged me to write down a story idea, I got hooked on writing early. I wrote my own version of Robin Hood (which many years later was re-written as Brothers and Betrayal).

 2. Is there a specific authors/books that have inspired you?
As I read a lot growing up, authors were naturally inspiring for me. Grace Livingston Hill was an early inspiration. She wrote over one-hundred books, and they were among some of my early favorites. Her books were mainly about girls overcoming significant challenges and drawing closer to God. There was usually a romance, but it was sweet often not even the main point of the story.
Christy by Catherine Marshall made a huge impact on me in my early teens. It is a gritty book at times, but a beautiful story of a young girl whose faith is challenged when she comes up against things that don’t have an easy answer.
In recent years, books by Elizabeth George (a Christian non-fiction writer) and Sarah Sundin (World War II novelist) have impacted me a lot.

 3. What was the first book that you published, and how long did it take you to write it?
The Destiny of One was my first published book. I started in in 2007 and published it in 2011. However, it only took me about four months to write it.

4. Do you have a favorite time period that you like your stories to be set in?
The Middle Ages are still my favorite time. Knights, princesses, and the like still capture my imagination like nothing else, which is probably why the Tales of Taelis series among my favorite projects.

5. What was your favorite book to write?
That is a really tough question. I guess, if forced to pick, I had the most fun writing Brothers and Betrayal. I had so much fun with the characters, creating fun settings, and revisiting some of my oldest ideas.

Visit these blogs during this week to find interviews, book reviews, and much more!

November 5
        Review of Emmeline - Once Upon the Ordinary
  Review of Bellevere House - Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight - A Real Writer’s Life
Interview with Kelsey Bryant - Resting Life 
Series Spotlight - Kelsey’s Notebook

November 6
  Interview with Sarah Holman - J. Grace Pennington
Review of Emmeline - Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Mini-Reviews and interview with Sarah Scheele - Deborah O’Carroll
Interview with Rebekah Jones - Livy Lynn Blog
Review Suit and Suitability - Resting Life 

November 7
  Interview with Kelsey Bryant - J. Grace Pennington
  Review of Perception - Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Review and Interview of Perception - Purely by Faith Reviews
Review of Second Impressions - The Page Dreamer
 Series Spotlight - Finding the True Fairytale

November 8
Interview and Review Suit and Suitability - Once Upon the Ordinary
  Review of Suit and Suitability - Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception - A Brighter Destiny

November 9
  Series Spotlight - God’s Peculiar Treasure
        Review of Second Impressions and Suit and Suitability - Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Father
Interview with Rebekah Jones - Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – Christian Bookshelf Reviews

November 10
  Review of Suit and Suitability - With a Joyful Noise
  Series Spotlight - Liv K. Fisher
Review of Second Impressions- Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception - She Hearts Fiction
Interview with Sarah Holman – Rebekah Ashleigh

November 11
  Series Spotlight - Reveries Reviews
  Review of Suit and Suitability - Faith Blum
Interview with Sarah Holman - Kaylee's Kind Of Writes
Interview with Hannah Scheele - Peculiar on Purpose
Review of Bellevere House - Seasons of Humility

Go here to enter a fun giveaway!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fun Books, Fun Movies, and Fun Times -- My October Highlights

October is officially over.

This is a picture of low lying fog in our valley

~My book club is still going well. This past month we discussed Millie's Unsettled Season. All the girls really liked the book so I was super excited.

~My mom, grandma, and I went to a quilting class.

~I went to the movie theatre with my mom and brothers and we saw Let There Be Light. You can read my review here.

~Chesapeake Shores season 2 ended and it was another great season.

~I celebrated my 2nd year of blogging!

~Football ended for my brothers. Well, actually there is one more all-star game in a couple days. They played well and I enjoyed going to their games.

~The last couple years my brother and I have played our violins in a Christmas concert that our town has. The beginning of October is when the practices started and it's been going well so far.

~Our church had a family festival on the 31st. Some of my family went to that. It was fun, but cold.

I read some really fun books this month. I read:
Too Long a Stranger by Janette Oke
The Proving by Beverly Lewis
Red Like Crimson by Janice Thompson
This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof
SummerHill Secrets volume 2 by Beverly Lewis
Andi Lassos Trouble by Susan K. Marlow

Did you have a nice October?
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in a couple more weeks and Christmas is only about 51 days away?!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Let There Be Light // Movie Review

About the Movie:
For all his far-reaching fame, Sol Harkens, the world's most famous atheist, is a lonely soul and a lousy part-time dad. After a near death experience challenges his simplest assumptions about this world, Sol finds his purpose and re-imagines his life, in a film that will make you laugh and cry and want to stand up and cheer.

You can see a trailer of this movie here.

Let There Be Light is a movie that just came out this last weekend (the 27th) in theaters. It is directed by Kevin Sorbo and written by his wife, Sam Sorbo. They both star in the movie. Their kids are in it as well. Let There Be Light is a great movie. I wasn’t really too sure what to expect with this movie, but I enjoyed it and it is a movie that I’d watch again. 
It is only in select theaters, but if it’s in a theatre near you, then I’d definitely recommend going to see it. 

I give this movie 8 out of 10 R's 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Book Recommendations // More Fall Books

A couple weeks ago I did a book recommendation post of some of my favorite fall books. Today I decided to share a couple more fun fall reads!

Red Like Crimson by Janice Thompson
Sin has caused a rift in their relationship. When Adrianne, a Bible college student, realizes she’s expecting a baby, she faces a monumental decision. Filled with guilt and shame, she makes the impulsive and regrettable choice to run—to leave college, to leave the relationship, and to return home to her parents in Pennsylvania. The fog of shame has altered her thinking. Staying in the relationship will prevent the man she loves from fulfilling his God-appointed call to become a missionary. But, as the days, months and years tick by, Adrianne regrets her decision. After coming to grips with God’s grace, she attempts to find Chris—her daughter’s father, so that she can share the truth of what she’s done. Unfortunately, he is impossible to locate, now that he’s ministering in the jungles of Nicaragua. With all hopes of locating him gone, a reconciliation feels hopeless. Chris-rejected, confused, and heartbroken at the loss of the woman he loves-has finished school and finds himself in Nicaragua, loving life as a missionary. But the void left by Adrianne's unexplained departure remains. When Chris returns to the States for a friend's wedding, is his unexpected meeting with Adrianne a coincidence or a "God incidence?" Can they put aside the past and embrace a future together as a family?

This book has such a fun fall cover! I read this book for the first time a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. You can read my review of it here.

The River by Beverly Lewis
Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.
Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

The River isn't my most favorite book by Beverly Lewis, but I did still enjoy it.

The Sunroom by Beverly Lewis 
When I was twelve, I made a naïve, yet desperate pact with God to keep my ailing mother alive. It was the first time I'd ventured something so brazen--making a contract with the Almighty...
So begins the story of Becky Owens, a talented and passionate young pianist on the verge of adolescence when she learns the devastating news of her mother's critical illness. As the daughter of a country preacher in Lancaster County, Becky knows well the significance of sacrifice, and in her bargain with God, she vows to exchange her most cherished possession for her mother's life. Hospital rules only add to Becky's sorrow--twelve-year-olds aren't allowed to visit, so Becky and her mother must share tearful smiles through Lancaster General's sunroom window. But a realization of the power of music and a lesson in unconditional love compel Becky to rethink her "deal" with God, and the sunroom becomes a place where miracles happen...

This a short, sweet book. It's a bit sad though. I'm not positive that this book takes place in the fall, but it kind of feels like a fall book to me. You can read my review of it here.

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. Those plans started to crumble when her father moved the family to Stoney Ridge, then completely collapsed when John decided to marry someone else. Katrina is devastated. How could she have felt so loved, yet been so deceived?
As she struggles to face a future without him, a widow asks for her help to start a new business and Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose. What she doesn't need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand who arrives at the widow's farm just when help is most needed--and who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy
for real, or too good to be true? Deceived once before, Katrina is determined to keep her feelings in check. 
When a cascade of events is set in motion by some surprising information, the little Amish church is turned upside down. Soon, everyone has a stake in the outcome, and the community struggles to find the best response to an imposter in their midst. Can they forgive even the most deceitful deeds?

The Imposter is the first book in the series The Bishop's Family. It took me a little while to get into the story, but after some time I did start enjoying the book. I did like book two better, but this one was good.

Dana's Valley by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan 
Erin Walsh thinks her family is as close to perfect as a family can be. But when one grim diagnosis is all it takes to shake them to the core, she wonders if things can ever go back to the way they were. Erin’s attempts to go about life as usual feel empty, and as each member of her family seems to struggle alone, she is about ready to give up on God. However, Erin has yet to learn that God will never give up on her.

This is a sad book, but it was also good. Dana's Valley covers a few years, so this book doesn't all take place in the fall, but to me it feels like a fall/winter book.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Red Like Crimson // Book Review

From the Back Cover:
Sin has caused a rift in their relationship. When Adrianne, a Bible college student, realizes she’s expecting a baby, she faces a monumental decision. Filled with guilt and shame, she makes the impulsive and regrettable choice to run—to leave college, to leave the relationship, and to return home to her parents in Pennsylvania. The fog of shame has altered her thinking. Staying in the relationship will prevent the man she loves from fulfilling his God-appointed call to become a missionary. But, as the days, months and years tick by, Adrianne regrets her decision. After coming to grips with God’s grace, she attempts to find Chris—her daughter’s father, so that she can share the truth of what she’s done. Unfortunately, he is impossible to locate, now that he’s ministering in the jungles of Nicaragua. With all hopes of locating him gone, a reconciliation feels hopeless. Chris-rejected, confused, and heartbroken at the loss of the woman he loves-has finished school and finds himself in Nicaragua, loving life as a missionary. But the void left by Adrianne's unexplained departure remains. When Chris returns to the States for a friend's wedding, is his unexpected meeting with Adrianne a coincidence or a "God incidence?" Can they put aside the past and embrace a future together as a family?

Red Like Crimson
is a really good book. This is only the second book I've read by this author, but I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of her books soon.
Even though this book has some harder issues like wedlock, it's a super clean book. There's no descriptive talk about it or any going back to "re-live" the scene which was really nice.
The only thing that I didn't really like, and it didn't draw away from the story or anything, but a couple times it was hard tell which character was talking. I think it might've been the formatting of the book. It only happened like two times, so it wasn't a big deal, just a bit confusing. ;)

I give this book 9 out of 10 R's

Friday, October 20, 2017

Two Years of Blogging

Yesterday marked the day that I have been blogging for 2 years. I still remember when I was planning to start this blog and how excited I was! I started this blog with doing book reviews in mind. I have done several of those throughout the last two years. I personally felt that I’ve gotten better at writing them. I also have done some movie reviews as well. I used to do them just at Christmas time, but now I’m doing them more often. My favorite types of posts to do are anything book related like, book recommendations or book tags. I also love participating in the 12 Days of Christmas blog party hosted by Faith.
My favorite blogging memory from this year was co-hosting the When Calls the Heat blog party with Faith.

These two years of blogging have been fun, although not always as I imagined it would be. ;) Sometimes, I do have a tough time thinking up posts, but it’s been a fun journey. I’ve realized that I don’t need to be a popular blogger or have tons of followers to make me happy. I just need to be honoring and pleasing to God and write what I enjoy.
I’m looking forward to what this coming year of blogging will be like!

I’m going to leave you with a short list of some of my favorite posts from just this past year. 
When Calls the Heart blog party — All 6 of my posts and Faith’s!
Book Recommendations // Summer Books —Doing book recommendations is always a blast and thinking of books that definitely feel like summer was especially fun.
Dandelion Dust Blog Tour Faith published her first book and I was able to participate in her blog tour!
The Book Lovers Tag —This is a tag that I created.
The Return of the Exotic Bird —My follow-up story to a humorous real-life story.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Proving // Book Review

From the Back Cover:
Amanda Dienner hasn't seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What's more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.
Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she's determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess! 
The inn isn't Mandy's sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn't ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters. 
Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

The Proving was such a delightful book! I just really enjoyed it. A good part of the story took place in Gordonville, Pennsylvania, at an Amish Bed and Breakfast. I’ve actually been to Gordonville and have stayed in an Amish bed and breakfast, so this book was especially fun. There were even mentions of places that I have been to before, in Lancaster County, so that was fun.
I was expecting this book to be good, since I really like Beverly Lewis’ books, and it did not disappoint! The story was very well done and enjoyable, and I loved all the characters. It’s definitely a great book that I’d recommend and that I’ll be re-reading sometime. :)

I give this book 9.5 out of 10 R's

Monday, October 9, 2017

Growing the Big One // Movie Review

About the Movie:
Radio DJ Emma Silver leads a chic city life in Seattle until she finds out her beloved grandfather has died. Traveling to his farm in quaint Valleyville, Washington to take care of the details, she is stunned to learn her grandfather has left her his farm, along with a sizable amount of debt. To keep the bank from foreclosing, Emma must find a way to raise the money, or face seeing her grandfather’s precious land end up as a parking lot. Following her grandfather’s famed legacy, Emma decides to enter Valleyville’s annual pumpkin growing contest with his prized seeds and grow the world-record biggest gourd. If she can win the grand prize of $50,000, she can save the farm.
With the help of her neighbor, Seth, Emma takes on the challenge, but the two end up cultivating something much more evergreen.

Growing the Big One is a sweet, fun, romantic comedy. I really enjoyed it when I first watched it last fall, and I’ve enjoyed it since then. This is definitely a fun movie to watch during the fall since a lot of it has to do with pumpkins and festivals and all. I will admit though, that the giant pumpkins are pretty fake looking, but it is still a really fun movie! :)

I give this movie 8 out of 10 R's

Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Recommendations ~ Fall Reads

Today I am here with some more book recommendations! I will be recommending some fun fall books.
Also, there is a fun blog party going on hosted by Rebekah Morris over at Read Another Page. There's a bunch of different book recommendations and you can even enter to win a prize. So you should definitely head on over there and check out all the fun!

Okay onto the book recommendations! :)

The Wish by Beverly Lewis
Leona Speicher got the "sister" she'd always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County Amish farmland. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be everything a devout Plain family should be, and Leona can't help comparing Gloria's engaging young parents to her own.
Leona's cousin shows a romantic interest in Gloria around the same time as Gloria's older brother expresses his fondness for Leona--it seems likely the two young women will marry into each other's families, remaining close friends for life. Thus, Leona is shocked when the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear after being expelled from the church for reasons no one will discuss. Despite Leona's pleas, Gloria goes with them, leaving more than one broken heart behind.
When Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona after a silence of several years, Leona makes up her mind to persuade her friend to return to Lancaster County and the Amish ways. Leona's fiancé, the deacon's son, is alarmed when Leona decides to go after Gloria. Will Leona's dearest wish lead to her own undoing?

The Wish is such a good book! It is one of my favorite stand alone books by Beverly Lewis. This book just feels like a great fall book.

Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire
Gemma Ebworthy is eighteen, pregnant, and alone. Now that she's been evicted, she finds herself sleeping in a barn, never dreaming that tomorrow could bring kindness of a life-changing magnitude. 
The Martins aren't a typical family—even for rural Kansas. With more kids than can be counted on one hand and a full-time farm, Gemma must make a lot of adjustments to fit in. But despite their many differences, Gemma finds herself drawn to this family and their radical Christian faith. 
When Gemma's past collides with her yet again, she must begin revealing her colorful history. With every detail Gemma concedes, she fears she will lose the Martins' trust and the stable environment she desires for herself and her unborn child. Just how far can the Martins' love and God's forgiveness go?

I read Martin Hospitality a couple months ago and really enjoyed it. The whole book isn't set during the fall, but a good portion of the beginning is! Definitely an autumn read!

Sanctuary by David and Beverly Lewis
Melissa James has a picture-perfect existence — or so it seems. In reality, she has been looking over her shoulder her entire life. Just as her secrets are about to catch up with her, she seeks a haven in Pennsylvania Amish Country. Will her stay bring her peace, or will it bring danger to the Plain community?

I really can't remember if Sanctuary takes place in the fall or not, but I think it might. I did read it in the fall though, so that could be why. ;)

Tea and Touchdowns by Erin Keeley Marshall
Autumn’s colorful splendor reaches its pinnacle in Lancaster, Maine, as the high school football team preps for a game with its biggest rival. To promote Tea for Two, Jan Blake and Elaine Cook take their tea and goodies to the town’s annual Fall Fest. But when Jan joins a horseback trail ride, she finds a woman injured on the ground, with her horse standing nearby. Was it an accident? As the clues add up, the cousins soon realize there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Tea and Touchdowns is definitely a great book to read during the fall! I read it a couple weeks ago and it was so fun. It was very fall-ish. It is book 12 in the Tearoom Mysteries series, but it could be read out of order.

October Song by Beverly Lewis
From Newlyweds Katie and Dan living in the shadow of the shunning, to Rachel and Philip embracing parenthood even as he acclimates to Amish life as an outsider… From courtship of Lydia Cottrell and Levi King, her betrothed, to Sarah Cain, now a wife and mother struggling to bridge her own life with that of the People… October Song is overflowing with simpler things of life that makes a Lewis novel an unforgettable journey into the depths of the human heart.

This just looks like a fall book with the title and the cover! October Song would be best to read if you have read The Heritage of Lancaster County series, The Postcard, The Crossroads, and The Redemption of Sarah Cain all by Beverly Lewis, because October Song is different short stories that follow up with the books I just mentioned. 

What are some of your favorite fall books?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Games, Football, and My Birthday! -- My September Highlights

September is over. It's been a great month.

~The weather has definitely been feeling more like fall. The beginning of the month it was super smoky around here and for several days we had a red moon from all of the smoke. Last week it was really rainy, but this week has just been sunny, but not too hot.

~I got a new violin student. It's going well so far.
I also started my students on Christmas songs this week so that they have enough time to work on their songs for a recital in December.

~We hosted a game day at our house. It was really fun. We had friends over and everybody just played different games and visited. A few days later my sister and I went to a game night at our church.

~Two of my brothers are playing flag football. I've been going to the games that I can make and it's been fun.

~I watched a lot of Signed, Sealed, Delivered. It is such a fun show. My mom and I had a Signed, Sealed, Delivered marathon and it was super fun. I have also been watching Chesapeake Shores. There's only 2 episodes left until the season finale.

~Fall finally came! I just love fall and winter! On the first day of fall I went down to a nursing home and passed out "Happy Fall" cards that I made.

~Some friends and I had a girls night. We stayed up late and just had fun talking, watching movies, and playing games.

~I went to a library book sale. I didn't find much, but it was still fun.

~The day before my birthday my mom and I went book shopping and it was a lot of fun. Then later in the day my dad and I went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner.

~My birthday was this month! :D I had a fun day!

Some of the gifts I received

The books I read:
SummerHill Secrets volume 1 by Beverly Lewis
A Question of Courage by Jesseca Wheaton
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Tea and Touchdowns by Erin Keeley Marshall
Steeped in Secrets by Susan Page Davis

How was your September?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome Fall!

Fall is officially here!!! I am so excited! Fall is one my favorite seasons.

I'm going to be sharing some of the things that make it feel like fall to me!

~All of the beautiful trees. The trees around here haven't actually started changing yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

This picture was taken while on my trip to Pennsylvania 

~Fall clothes. This is the time of year wear I like to start wearing long sleeve shirts, fall colors, and boots.

~Decorations. I love decorating for practically all holidays and seasons.

~Apples. Apples really remind me of fall. Since fall is when they are in season some years my family gets a lot to make apple sauce. One year we got 400 pounds of apples and we were busy for awhile making, apple sauce, dried apples, and apple pie filling.

~Candy corn. Candy corn isn't exactly a favorite of mine, but I still always eat it each fall. ;)

~Colder days that are perfect for curling up with a good book.

What are some of your favorite things about fall?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Bookish Tag

My friend Faith over at Chosen Vessels, she also blogs at Stories by Firefly, tagged me for this fun bookish tag. Thanks, Faith, it was lots of fun!

The Bookish Tag Rules:
-You must be honest.
-You must answer every question.
-You must tag at least 4 people.

1 ~ What book has been on your shelf the longest? 
I’d have to say Elsie’s Endless Wait. I had borrowed this book from a friend and really enjoyed it and I was so excited when I found it one time at a used book sale.

2 ~ What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next? 
The last book I read was Tea and Touchdowns by Erin Keeley Marshall (book 12 in the Tearoom Mysteries series).
The book I am currently reading is Steeped in Secrets by Susan Page Davis (book 13 in the Tearoom Mysteries series).
What I plan to read next will be either Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Katie in Waiting by Erynn Mangum, or Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall.

3 ~ What book did everyone like, but you hated?
I really don’t know.

4 ~ What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't? 
I keep meaning to read the American Girl Kaya mystery, The Silent Stranger, but I never have. I own it, but I just never read it even when I was really into the American Girl mysteries. I do want to read it one day though.

5 ~ What book are you saving for retirement?  
I have no idea!

6 ~ Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?
Definitely wait till the end! I used to enjoy looking ahead, but not so much any more. I want to be “surprised and delighted”. ;)

7 ~ Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside? 
I think that the acknowledgments are fun to look through. Especially if you kind of know the author and can recognize some of the people, or if you’re in them, then that’s pretty cool.

8 ~ Which book character would you switch places with? 
I wouldn’t want to switch places with anyone forever, because I like my own life, but for a day or two I’d choose Millie Keith.

9 ~ Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?) 
Well, I read The Atonement by Beverly Lewis a couple months after my trip to Lancaster County, PA. It definitely reminded me of that wonderful trip and the characters in the book actually went to a place that my mom and I went to!

10 ~ Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way. 
Well, it’s not really all that interesting or different, but I wanted to try the Christy Miller books, but volume 1 cost around $12 on Amazon. I didn’t really want to spend the money on it not knowing if I’d like the book. I almost bought it but decided to wait and a couple days later I found volume 1 in great shape at a thrift store for just under $3. I was very happy. :)

11 ~ Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
Yes, I have. I love giving “just because gifts”. It’s so much fun. I’ve done this for my siblings before. I’ll get them a book and then set it up somewhere where they’ll find it.
I also really enjoy giving books I've enjoyed to friends for Christmas and birthday gifts.

12 ~ Which book has been with you most places? 
Not a book, but a series that’s been with me the most places is the A Life of Faith: Millie Keith books. I’ve read the series six times I think. So they’ve been to violin lessons, other peoples houses, the car, lots of different places! :)

13 ~ Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?
Well, in 8th grade I had to read a couple books for history that I really didn’t care for. One of them was In Freedoms Cause by G. A. Henty. I really did not like it. I haven’t read it since, so I don’t know if it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I just didn’t care for it.

14 ~ Used or brand new?
I love new books, but I don’t like the price. ;) I’ve found some used books for great prices before and the book was in great shape.

15 ~ Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

16 ~ Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book? 
Most of the time I like the books better or I like them equally, but I really enjoyed the movie A Dog Named Christmas better than the book.

17 ~ Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included? 
I don’t know if a book has ever really made me hungry while reading, but looking back, the series The Courtship of Nellie Fisher by Beverly Lewis could definitely be one to make you hungry. The main girl owns a bake shop and there’s lots of mention of treats and all.

18 ~ Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take? 
My friend Faith!! We have such similar preferences! :D

19 ~ Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? 
This isn’t a book that was out of my comfort zone, it’s just the type of books I didn’t really think I’d like. The Circle C series by Susan K. Marlow. I saw her books at a homeschool convention several years ago as my mom and I were looking through the vendor hall. We decided to get the first book in the Circle C Adventure series, but I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it since I’m not really a horse person. Well, I read Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home and loved it! The Circle C books are now one of my top favorite series.

I tag:
Shantelle @ Between the Pages of This Bookish Life
Lauren @ Lauren's Amazing World
Rebekah @ Rebekah's Remarks
Blessing Counter @ Counting Your Blessings One by One

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chesapeake Shores Season 1 // Movie Review

My Review // About the Movie
Chesapeake Shores is a Hallmark original series. I started watching season 1 last summer and I did enjoy it, but I re-watched it this summer and I actually enjoyed it a lot more. (Not as much as When Calls the Heart though. ;))
Chesapeake Shores follows the story of Abby O’Brien, a business woman who lives in New York, but grew up in the picturesque town of Chesapeake Shores. Abby left Chesapeake Shores several years ago for the city and when she left her hometown she also left behind her high school sweetheart, Trace Riley.  Abby is divorced and has two young daughters. Through some certain events Abby and her girls come back to Chesapeake Shore temporarily during the summer. While back home Abby stays at her childhood home and all of her siblings end up being back in Chesapeake Shores together for a while. The series follows the lives of Abby, Trace, Abby’s parents and grandmother, and Abby’s four siblings. So there are lots of different story-lines going, but it’s really fun to be able to get to know everyone.
Season 2 is currently airing on TV and it’s been real fun too. :)

I give season 1 8.5 out of 10 R's

So, have you seen Chesapeake Shores before? Do you want to?