Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Review // Bread of Angels

Publisher's Description

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.
When I saw that I was able to get another book from Tessa Afshar, I was all over it.  Since I adored her book, Land of Silence, I had somewhat of high expectations for this book.
I really liked Lydia.  She wasn't one of those "annoying" gals I often end up with.  She struggles with fear, which I thought was very interesting to read about.  How she transforms into the person God intended her to be was well done. 
I loved Rebekah.  She is Lydia's best friend who is Jewish.  She is sweet, kind, and loves Lydia like her own sister (Lydia feels the same toward her).  She shares her faith in her God with Lydia and is very knowledgeable.  The friendship between these two young women is lovely.  They both have things in their pasts that they both had to deal with.  Even though they have God, they feel they are missing something.
Paul, Silas, Luke and the gang are also great to read about.  Paul shares Jesus with them, the One who they are missing.  Paul is like a spiritual father to them.  There is also Marcus, I liked him as well.  His quite, protective demeanor is attractive.  I also loved that Tessa gave cameos to some of the characters from Land of Silence.
And of course, there are always bad guys.  And of course, they are nasty to the core.  That's all I'm going to say about them.
For me, the story was a semi slow pace.  I mean, there were always things going wrong, but it just wasn't the upbeat tempo that's my favorite.  The story itself was good.  In a nutshell, it's about giving all your hurt and fear to God. To trust Him each day for your needs.  He guides you in everything, nothing is by mistake.  He can take the bad and turn it good.
It was good book.  It wasn't as good as Land of Silence, but it was still well done.  One other note, I loved the relationship of Lydia and her father.  I thought it was really sweet.  Again, really nicely done.  I enjoyed it.
4 out of 5 stars
*I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review // Wings of the Wind

Publisher's Description

Cossette Consistently Brings the Old Testament to Life in an Engrossing, Fresh New Way

Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can't ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.

Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage--for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she's found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah's fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she's come to love?
The last installment of the 'Out from Egypt' series, by Connilyn Cossette.  You may or may not know, but I read the first two books in this series as well. My favorite was the first one, Counted Among the Stars, but the other two are good as well.
This book is set forty years after the second book.  Which is kind of sad since the other characters were older and not in it much.  I didn't care for Alanah very much at first.  She is headstrong and as it says in the description, has a fierce heart.  I understand why, but characters like that aren't my personal favorite.  She does (thankfully) get better as the book goes on.  She became really good from about middle to end, I think.  I enjoyed reading about her at that time.
Tobiah is a fine character.  I didn't mind him.  He was kind and compassionate.  One of my favorite characters was Moriah.  She was a great, kind-hearted, sweet character.  Even though the book was forty years later after the second one, it was neat to read about The Battle of Jericho.  And I really liked that Connilyn added in a certain person from the Bible.
What I really loved about this series was that it shows how God loves people.  His chosen people and people from Egypt to Canaan.  He loves, cares and has a plan for all of us, if we are willing to follow Him. 
Overall, this is a really great series.  From Egypt to Jericho. Stories of courage, faith, and love. 
Content: This book is best for more mature readers. 
4 out of 5 stars
*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's The Little Things...

Sometimes it's the little things in life that you just got to stop and admire.

Last Tuesday night we were at the airport waiting for our new puppy to come home (more on that sometime).  While we were sitting there waiting, I was bored so I was on my mom's phone.  She told me to look up and it was the sweetest thing that was before me.  A soldier had just come home and his sweetheart was in a black dress with her pink purse.  My mom said she saw her just bursting with excitement as he came down the escalator.  She ran to him and he swept her up into his arms.  People started to clap. I did, too.  It was beautiful.  They just kept embracing, kissing, and holding on to each other for all they were worth.  As you all know, I love to read Christian Romance books, but this, this was the real deal.  It was SO sweet.  My eyes even filled with tears.  It such a lovely thing to witness. I am grateful I was able to behold that lovely moment.

My brother finished his dance class that he was doing.  So, on his last day we got to go see him dance.  He did a great job!  And his teacher loved the way I was dressed.  She said she used to dress vintage, too.  But once she started having children she stopped. She said she has clothes from the 20s to the 60s.  It was really nice to talk with someone who loves vintage clothing like I do.

I wasn't feeling well over a week ago.  My stomach hurt and I just wasn't doing well.  I was laying on the couch and my dog, Pepper, came over and laid by me.  I think she knew I wasn't feeling good and she just wanted to be near me.  Sweet baby. <3

This last month, we watched the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  I really love Captain Barbossa.  He is the pirate of pirates.  Shoot, I think he is more of a pirate than Captain Jack Sparrow!  Anyways, I heard that they were thinking of giving him, Barbossa, a daughter in the new film coming out.  For whatever reason they decided not to.  I thought if they eventually did give him a daughter, it would be a lot of fun to play her.  I told my family this and they thought it would be cool, too.  Then my sweet brother told me, "you're too pretty to play his daughter." What a nice compliment I wasn't expecting.  Thanks, Zach. <3

They say to take time to stop and "smell the roses," but I think it also goes for to stop and "enjoy each little moment."  Time doesn't stop or slow for anyone.  I wish it did, but it doesn't.  Sometimes it's nice to take a moment and appreciate the little things that make life special.  Well, I hope you enjoyed this little post.  Happy May and thanks for reading! Many blessings to you and your family! ~Morgan