Redemption

Karen Kingsbury is hands down my absolute, all time, favorite author. Her books are so enjoyable. She has a HUGE series on the fictional family, the Baxters! A friend in college lent me one of her books and I was HOOKED!!

Redemption is the 1st book in the series and I highly recommend it. It will suck you in from the beginning. I have read the series over and over for as long as I have had them and Karen gets better and better with each book!

She’s super nice as well, 🙂 I was in college in Nashville when she had a book signing at LifeWay Christian Bookstore and I got her autograph and a picture.

“The message of Christ’s love is found in Isaiah, chapter sixty-one,” the man was saying. “God himself will restore the crumbling foundations of your life. He will give you beauty for ashes. He’ll provide redemption, no matter who you are, where you are. . . .”

― Karen Kingsbury, Redemption

I dare you to check her books out! You will not be disappointed. And if you are? Well….that’s why we’re all different, right? LOL

Now excuse me as I go start the series over again. 🙂

Do I Really Have What It Takes?

I struggled with whether or not I should even post this. It’s pretty depressing. But here goes…..

I’m doubting my ability to write this book. I have no confidence in my writing. I know nothing about writing a book. Nothing at all. All I have are different pages open in Word with a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Nothing that is worth anything.

I’ve been reading books on writing a book and while there are great tips, I just can’t make it materialize into anything. It’s so frustrating. I have compiled a bunch of research on my topic.

I get so distracted….I can’t focus…arrrghh. I’m so frustrated with myself. I’ve tried the whole setting a timer and writing without stopping.

I’ve got nothing.

I don’t know what else to do anymore. I thought I was a writer.

And yes, I’m having a pity party. I know I am. I just…ughhh…I don’t like this feeling.

I thought I had given these negative thoughts to the Lord but I must be holding onto a small thread somewhere without realizing it.

I’m going about all this the wrong way.

I need prayers, y’all. I need to get out of this funk. I need to stop wallowing in self pity.

Research and Anxiety and Mental Health, Oh My!

I’m loaded down with tons and tons of notes and print outs and books related to my project. And yet I don’t feel like I am anywhere near ready to start the actual writing.

Sure, I’ve got some things written out and some things typed up but it’s frustrating because I can’t seem to tie it together.

As I told you, I’m having to delve into my past which I’m not really sure I want to but it has to be done. I know this.

Prayers would be appreciated as I continue to venture into the unknown world that is writing a book. (Yes, I’m saying book now, LOL)

(I remember now how much I hated researching in school, LOL)

Something Needs to Change

I started reading David Platt’s “Something Needs to Change” the other day and while I haven’t gotten very far into it, I can tell it’s going to be something worth reading.

Synopsis:

While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it “changed the trajectory of my life.” Meeting a man who’d lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, “Where is God in the middle of suffering?” “What makes my religion any better than someone else’s religion?” and “What do I believe about eternal suffering?” Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel–to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.


For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Romans 10:13-15

Everybody Always

So a friend from church loaned me a book called “Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People.” by Bob Goff. I’m really excited to read this because woo boy do I have difficult people in my life, as I’m sure we all do.

I haven’t started it yet but will be either tonight or tomorrow.

What happens when we give away love like we’re made of it?

In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.

Have any of y’all read it? What did you think?

I need prayers lifted for my 15 year old nephew. He is so addicted to his Xbox and this stupid game called Fortnite. He gets so worked up when something goes wrong in the game and will slam his controller down and rant and rave. He sits in front of the screen for hours at a time. Guys, please pray for his spiritual life. He got saved 2 years ago at camp but is definitely not living the life he should be. He lets this game get to him and misses church because he was up too late playing. He didn’t go to bed until 4:30 this morning because he was playing the stupid game.

Pray for ME that I don’t lose my mind trying not let this get to ME! I have a really bad habit of letting things get under my skin.

Sounds like I need to get off here and start reading this book! LOL.

A Fan or a Follower?

Kyle Idleman, pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has written several books that I absolutely love. The very first book I ever purchased of his is “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.” In this book, Idleman discusses the difference between being a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. Here’s the synopsis

Are you a fan or a follower? The dictionary defines a fan as “an enthusiastic admirer.” Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish on their bumpers. But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants? Jesus was never interested in having admirers. It’s not fans he is looking for. Not a Fan challenges you to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian. With a direct frankness that you’re not likely to hear in Sunday school class, Kyle invites you to take an honest look at your relationship with Jesus. His call to follow may seem radical to us, but Jesus desires it for every believer.

I’ve read this book several times and get something new from it each time. Some quotes from the book include:

The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits but not so close that it requires anything from them.

Ouch. Idleman doesn’t mind stepping on toes, does he? But hey it’s the truth! There are plenty of so called Christians who want to experience the good things Jesus has to offer and that’s it. Following Jesus? No way. It’s too hard. Too much to ask.

Jesus doesn’t expect followers to be perfect but he does call them to be authentic.

No one is perfect. We live in a fallen world. The second Eve took that bite, perfection was something humans would never achieve. However, Jesus does expect authenticity from us.  We are called to be real, to be legitimate.

It’s much easier to talk about following Jesus when you are making general statements rather than specific commitments.

Easier said than done, right? It’s so much easier to SAY you’ll follow Jesus. Actually committing to Him? A lot harder…but it’s what Jesus expects of us. To commit.

I highly recommend this book. You’ll get your toes stepped on, definitely. But the book really makes you think.

 

The Prayer Jars series by Wanda E Brunstetter

 

The Prayer Jars Series by Wanda E. Brunstetter 

Y’all!!!!! I devoured this series in several days! I absolutely LOVE Amish fiction. And Wanda E. Brunstetter is a very gifted writer!

The last book in the series, The Healing Jar, doesn’t come out until August 1 but I was able to receive an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll leave you with the synopsis of the first book, The Hope Jar.

What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

Have you read this series? Let me know!

 

Check out my 2nd blog, All Things Books!

 

Benefits of Working at B&N

Okay, so most of y’all know I work at Barnes and Noble! Well, twice a year for about two weeks,  we get an extra 10% off making our employee discount 45%!!!

Today was payday so after I got off work I did a little shopping. My birthday was this past Wednesday so I was shopping for ME! The excitement is real, y’all!

I purchased 4 books, some Frixion pens, and highlighters (Frixion pens are the absolute best because they ERASE!!! And the highlighters I bought are also made to erase! How cool!

The four books I bought were:

  • Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • The Epidemic by Suzanne Young
  • The Adjustment by Suzanne Young.

The last two books are part of a series called The Program. Really really good books!

 

Working in a bookstore can be dangerous, you all! I literally could spend my whole paycheck there. Especially during the extra discount!

 

 

 

My First ARC

I just finished Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre. It was my first ARC and I loved it! The storyline kept me guessing until the very end!

Synopsis:

Heartwood Box is a dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found.

When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…


I signed up to receive these ARCs on NetGalley It’s a really cool site that will let you have books that haven’t yet been published in exchange for a review on the book.

Have I died and gone to heaven? Free books?? Loving this!

The next book on my list is The Healing Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

I just noticed that it is part of a series so I’m going to have to find the other books.

Synopsis: 

What if you have waited to find love only to be rejected when it finally comes?
 
Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.
 
Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?


I’m finally getting back into reading! I seem to get into these ruts from time to time where I stop reading. I’ll then end up picking up a new book and it gets me hooked, leaving me thirsty for more!

WWW Wednesday-June 5th

I’ve never done a  WWW Wednesday post before. So here we go!!

To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

~What are you currently reading?
~What did you recently finish reading?
~What do you think you’ll read next?

~What are you currently reading?

I recently signed up with NetGalley which will send you books to read in exchange for a review of the book. I saw this book, Heartwood Box and was instantly intrigued by the synopsis so I requested it.

Heartwood Box:

Heartwood Box is a dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found.

When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…

 

I am also rereading the Hary Potter series. I’m on book 1

“Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!


~What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished reading The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.

Synopsis:

What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

My thoughts: The Flatshare is a book I most likely won’t read again. The storyline is good but there was too much foul language. This book was a recommendation from a coworker who absolutely LOVED it. I liked the premise of the book but can’t get past the foul language.

I also finished reading Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I highly recommend it!

Synopsis:

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best-laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke

My Thoughts: I’m not normally a big reader of historical fiction. However, this book changed my views. I absolutely LOVED this book and intend on buying it to add to my collection. I am going to start giving historical fiction a chance now!
~What do you think you’ll read next?

There are tons of books I want to read. I haven’t decided which to read yet. As you know, I work in a bookstore (Barnes and Noble) and for two weeks twice a year we get an additional 10% on top of our 35% discount. Well, the extra discount started on Monday and once I get paid on Friday I plan on buying some books!!!!