BHBR| The Promise of Dawn

Hereeee I am for another Bethany House book review! I have been falling behind in a lot of my internet-y stuff (I’m in for a life update 😉 ) mostly due to my school which I’m trying to do faithfully every day. It’s my last year and I WANT. TO. BE. DONE. FOREVER.

The Promise of Dawn

Under Northern Skies 1.

By Lauraine Snelling

My rating- 4.5 stars

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To start off, I will say that as soon as I started reading this book I realized it was very different from what I normally read. But I liked it a lot! It more focused on a family…not so much a couple’s relationship.

 

What I think about…

~Signe. She’s the main character. A mother of three, once widowed–but now is remarried to a good man. When her husband decides to move to America (from Norway) Signe faces many difficulties especially as she is expecting her fourth child. Throughout the book I love how she steps up and helps out. She’s very patient with Tante Gerd…and that bears fruit. 

~Rune. Rune is Signe’s husband. He makes he decision to leave Norway for many reasons. One of the big reasons was that in America they were promised land of their own. That’s a big deal! I like how he works so hard when he arrives in America despite not being used to the work. One thing I didn’t like towards the beginning is that he didn’t stand up to his ‘boss’ when he’s mean and bullying Rune’s family.

~The plot. I’ll be honest. I had a hard time getting into the story at first because it went a little slow. I felt a little bored at first mostly because I didn’t know what was going on. Things got more interesting when they arrived in America (more specifically at their relatives’ farm).

~Their relatives. I like Tante Gerd later in the story, but at first she’s not very likable. As for Onkel Einar… not a fan. He’s mean, and grumpy, not very moral–and a slave driver. Besides his name I don’t really like him. And I didn’t like him any better in the end.

 

It felt like home.

This is one thing that I loved about the book. Lauraine describes her details very well. I can smell the sourdough bread baking, I can pretend I’m churning the butter. It just feels like home. Even the wood chopping. Not that I do any of these things at my home. It’s more just that she gives you those details and it feels believable and gives me a happy feeling inside as I’m reading it.

In short, this book felt believable because the things that you would expect to happen at a farm—happen. 

 

 

Note: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. As it was an honest review…a positive review wasn’t required. I could’ve said I hated it and not gotten in trouble. 😀

Emmaline Lucille (1)

BHBR| Beloved Hope

Well lookie here! It’s my monthly review for Bethany House. Ever since I read and reviewed Treasured Grace I had hoped I would get to review this book (and I want to review the rest of the series too!).

 Beloved Hope

Heart of the Frontier Book #2.

By Tracie Peterson

My rating- 5 stars

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I love this sequel!

I am absolutely in love with this series so far. I love the prairie setting and the characters. I was happy to see that Tracie also included characters from Treasured Grace (and they were a pretty big part of it, in fact!).

To me this story is filled with journeys.

Hope’s journey, Grace’s continuing journey, Mercy’s journey (I loved how we get a view of her before her story comes out!), Lance’s journey, etc.

When I was done I had a moment of WOW. We went from anger, pain, misery, bitterness–to sweet, loving, trusting in God. This is so amazing. But let’s get a little specific here…

Hope is a lovely character

In the first book we see her as somewhat fickle and flighty. With her string of suitors and her flirtatious mannerisms. But wow! Character development, people.

She’s gone through a lot (read the other book for that) and it shows. I am glad I got to peek into her story as I identified more with her than Grace 😉 .

Re-visitation of old characters

I love when people use their old characters. It’s not so much reusing them as revisiting them. Alex, Grace, Mercy, and other characters return.

Intro to Mercy

Mercy is the sister who seeks education. You have Grace–the healer, Hope the romantic, and now Mercy the learner. I fully expect her to find someone when she goes for school but…for now she’s single. 😉 She’s also very young at the moment. (but prairie days were different)

One thing I like about her is how she doesn’t just go with the flow and marry one of those random proposal guys. (there’s a shortage of woman and plenty of men who need-want wives 😆 .) There are several jerks where they live btw so expect it.

She has dreams of her own, and yet she’s willing to conform her dreams to God’s will. Can’t wait for Cherished Mercy.

And then there’s Lance…

I wasn’t expecting much of a link with the main dude and the first book, so I was surprised when one occurred. This story is told in about the same perspective style as Treasured Grace. It switches from Hope to Lance on a regular basis.

I love the development between Lance and Alex. I am not going to spoil anything that the synopsis wouldn’t spoil so no more details. Just know I liked it. 😉

One part is ermmmmm…

When we get there…there’s a part right after someone gets married where I think it went borderline too close. I didn’t personally feel very comfortable at how close we got to ‘too much’. Basically, it was there to show how someone overcame their difficult past–but I think it could’ve been shown in other less suggestive ways.

 

 

Otherwise, I loved it! You should read it. Just read Treasured Grace first (book one). 😀

Emmaline Lucille (1)

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions here expressed are my own. 

 

 

BHBR| The Chapel Car Bride

Howdy! (next time I’ll say ‘salutations’ 🙂 )

Here’s the newest one from Bethany House, and also my book review for April. Basically, if I’m quick at the draw…I’ll have one book from them a month. If I don’t want to review any of the options they have (which I’ve done before)…then I don’t 😀 .

Continue reading “BHBR| The Chapel Car Bride”

Writer’s Block// How to Escape the Scrape

A new writing post has emerged!

The last one that was similar to this was 5 Reasons You Should Keep Writing. 

Today we’ll be talking about writer’s block.

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Your inspiration is non-existent. You don’t feel like writing…or maybe you do and can’t think of anything to put on that blank page (or screen 😀 ). Congratulations!

You have writer’s block.

Now that I’ve diagnosed your writing problem (which you most likely have already diagnosed 😉 ) and also given you a deceptive blog post title…we may proceed!

What??! You gave us a deceptive blog post title?

Well, yes I did. You see…there’s no one way to fix this problem. I can’t just give you tips and say “This one will totally work for you!”. Because…every person is different and what works for me may not work for you. Yay, aren’t I encouraging?

While that may sound like bad news…guess what? It can also be very good news! Putting it positively- your solution may be right around the corner waiting to be discovered. So see, it’s not hopeless!

Ideas to destroy this beast…

  1. Remove anything and everything that’s distracting you from your presence. We have so many things in life that could potentially distract us from the one thing we want to do right now. I know for me personally- I go from writing a school assignment to just- not. Whether that means I’m checking my email or doing somethin’ else- It’s distracting me from writing. So. GET. RID. OF. THOSE. PESKY. DISTRACTIONS. ONE. BY. ONE. !
  2. Find a book to read that will get the imagination flowing. If you’re trying to write something in the fantasy genre, maybe read something in that genre. For instance, my current project is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I keep on reading the original story to get the creative juices flowing. 
  3. Find a new angle. Were you telling the story first person? Try this out: tell the story in second person. Or you can take another character vital to the story and tell it in his/her perspective. If you’re struggling to put those first words on the paper…think about a way to make the story opening something totally different than what you’d intended. Was Willemina a princess once? Why not turn her into an ugly young woman afraid she’s never going to be realized for the princess she is? Now–true, this may just ruin the story. But there really are limitless possibilities. And it’s always possible you assigned the character the wrong role. 😀
  4. Make a pinterest storyboard. This may not be for everyone. But I can attest to loving this. Sometimes images inspire the mind when nothing else can. They visually transport you into the realm you’re writing about. They help you envision what you were trying to write. If you want an example of one you can check out mine for my dystopian story Watchful here. I love doing this, and it’s especially helpful to look back on when I’m stuck or uninspired. 
  5. Story Prompts. I’m not sure when this became a ‘thing’. But I just started getting into it. One thing I used to worry about was the possibility of plagiarism. Not anymore though. Because, I have discovered that different minds think differently. And while, yes, we sometimes tend to think similarly—you’d be surprised at what I come up with VS what others come up with. So don’t worry! Story prompts are an amazing way to help you step it up. Why not try angling what you have of your story into a prompt to enhance the plot? Or start your story with a prompt!
  6. Write. There is a way that may make you upset. It’s called writing. 😀 You’re not going to beat this writer’s block without doing some writing. Most of the things I’ve suggested up until now–have been ways to get the writing juices flowing. Because I don’t want you to think that the solution is NOT to write. True, you may need a little break. You may need to go outside where the air is clean to think about it. But the solution isn’t to quit writing indefinitely until you’re inspired. That’s a sure way to either never write, or when you do–to go back off it just as soon. 
  7. Try listening to epic music. I wouldn’t recommend pop or anything where the beat is louder than the words. If you’re writing a romance novel…imagine the scene while you’re playing some soft, sweet music. Try instrumental. If bigfoot is about to stomp on littlefoot…then play something tense. Will littlefoot be trod underfoot? 🙂 I personally love listening to movie soundtracks for epic fight scenes and the like. But you may need something smooth and calming. I do too, sometimes. 
  8. Make a writer’s schedule. This is one that I’m awful at, but really need to try. If you pace yourself so that you’re writing at a certain time for a certain amount of time- it may help. Put it in a place in that busy schedule where it’s not so likely to be loud. Make it fit at a ‘smooth’ part of the day where your work load isn’t there to bother you. 

 

I hope this was helpful to you! Keep writing!

Have you tried any of these?

Name a way not listed that’s helped you in the comments!

A you a writer, or more of a reader?

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A Few of my Favorite Things

Hello!

This post will be answering a few ‘about me’ questions. Most of it is just in regards to a few things I like or use. If y’all would like, answer the questions for yourselves in the comments! That would be fun…

Question #1. What is your favorite flower?

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Answer: Hydrangeas. 

 

Question #2. What is currently your favorite kind of tea (substitute for beverage if you don’t like tea)?

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Answer: Hibuscus Ginger Organic tea, by Tao of Life. 

Question #3. A favorite beauty product?

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Answer: Maybelline New York, The Colossal Volum Express mascara. 

 

Question #4. Apples or oranges?

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Answer: I love apples! Especially sweet, crunchy, organic ones 😀 . 

 

Question #5. One book you read recently that you would highly recommend?

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Answer: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen. This book kept me on my toes. And frustrated! 😉

 

Question #6. What is something you baked recently that turned out?

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Answer: Gluten-free biscuits. Laugh all you like, people. I am gluten-free and thoroughly enjoy finding new things to try. They may not be those lovely fluffy southern thingys y’all are used to…but they still taste good!

 

Question #7. One book you read as a younger kid and still love?

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Answer: Keeping Holiday, by Starr Meade. I love this book so much! It’s a great read, and we read it when I as younger as an ‘out-loud’ family book. It’s clean, religious, and is a somewhat ‘allegory’ novel. 

 

Question #8. What are your favorite therapeutic products?

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Answer: Essential oils! I love Edens gardens for our diffuser, and Doterra for putting in mint chip ice cream 😀 . 

 

 

Question #9. Show one photo you recently took that you like?

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Dogwoods!

Little announcement~My next post will be a writing post, on…WRITER’S BLOCK! Because I haven’t done a post on writing in a little while. Also, my writing blog is going to be doing a fun little post. I will use two writing prompts to begin a fun little story. It’s not up yet, but when it is–you can check it out here: http://midnightwriter2000.blogspot.com/

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Kindle Paperwhite + 5 free books

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Hey guys!

I have been…not on this blog. If my stats bar serves me right…it’s been about four days?

Today I am going to share a product-ish review that has really impacted my reading life. It’s called…the Kindle Paperwhite!

You can get many different kindles off places (primarily Amazon). The main difference between this one and say, the kindle fire- is the intended usage. The paperwhite is intended almost exclusively for reading, whereas the fire- is mostly for internet, games, etc. Yes, you can read on it…but I think it’s much more painful on the eyes.

LoVeLy FeAtUrEs

*Changeable resolution (screen brightness adjustable). What’s really neat about this feature is that it was created to keep the eyes from having to adjust no matter where you’re reading at. 

*Many books can be carried and read on-the-go. I used to lug books around and devour them. Now, I can bring my kindle paperwhite along with me, stuffed with books and get away with it! It’s great. I also love how little it weighs compared to my stack of books 😀 . 

*Access to the kindle lending library. Library? What? You can borrow one book a month for free out of many great titles. The last book I borrowed is ‘Once’, which is a collection of fairy tale retellings by several gifted young ladies. It’s historically themed. My point? There are a lot of great titles out there that you may borrow. Only one a month though, so make it good 😉 . Some other great titles I’ve previously borrowed:

  • The Spinner and the Slipper- by Camryn Lockhart
  • A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold- By Anne Elisabeth Stengl

And there are a bunch of other nice books that you’d probably enjoy.

*Access to a bunch of classics. In the kindle store, there are so many amazing old classics. You can get the entire Oz series FREE. Literally anything in the public domain is free. 

5 fReE bOoKs

  1. Jane Eyre. This is a public domain book and is amazing. I know some people may not like it, but I love it. It is an amazing book. It’s a roller coaster of happy and sad all intermixed. It’s classic, and is by Charlotte Bronte. 
  2. Wives and Daughters. By Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. It’s also public domain, and a classic. Interesting fact, the writer died before completing the book. The BBC series is really good, although they did have to guess the ending 😉 . 
  3. The Scarlet Pimpernel Books. I don’t know if any of y’all are familiar with the Scarlet Pimpernel or not. They’re a series of books set around the french revolution- and are about a daring Englishman and his brave comrades stealing french (destined-to-be-guillotined) victim’s from the clutches of the french tyrannous ‘government’. While not all of the books can be gotten free, you’d be well on your way to discovering a lovely British series. The books are written by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (that name, tho 😀 .). 
  4. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I was in love with Grimm’s, especially when I was younger. They were my favorite when I was twelve or thirteen. Whether you want to read the original german-ish Ascenputtel (Cinderella), or you are dying to hear about Snow White…this book is for you. And it’s public domain. AND it’s by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. 
  5. Books by many different Biblical authors. In the public domain, you can find books by Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, Charles Spurgeoun, and many others. 

 

To sum up…this product is very worth it!

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