I Want It All!

Have you ever watched the High School musical movies? Everytime I read the title of this book, I have to sing it!!

So the question is, Do you want it all? --Because God wants you to have "it all" and even more!!

This was an encouraging read. Filled with real-life anecdotes and memorable quotes, there were many things that I took away from this book.  I will give you a little sneak peak and share the first and last sentences that I highlighted in my kindle!  "...the great life He intends for us to live begins and ends with the Word. The Word made flesh: Jesus." And the final one: "Being a woman of impact is not about doing more each day, it's about living to be led by Jesus with the days you are given."

Broken up into easy to read chapters, this would be a nice book to work through as a group.  Each chapter ends with reflection questions to help you on your journey.  Click on the book, if you are interested in purchasing through Amazon!

I Want It All


Pharoah's Daughter

Mesu Andrews is one of my favorite authors.  I was able to do a short interview with her a couple of years ago.  Here is a link, if you want to check that out!

Pharoah's Daughter lived up to the standards I have set for one of her novels!  Mesu Andrews' attention to detail adds depth to the plot, and her dedication to historical and Biblical accuracy make her books the kind that drive you back to The Word. I love reading the Bible stories as I read her fictional depiction of these characters.

Pharoah's Daughter takes us into the story of Moses, from the viewpoint of Anippe...the Pharoah's daughter.  Because it is a perspective that may be unconsidered by most, it makes for a very interesting focus.

I also love her "Author's notes" at the end.  She talks about how God worked while she was writing this book and ends with a prayer for her readers.  What a wonderful ministry she has made from the amazing talent God has given her!


Synced by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus (New Hope, February 2016)
Prayer can become extraordinary when we live connected to the heart of Jesus.
Synced encourages you to emulate the way Jesus lived His life. With real-life stories of people walking closely with Jesus, finding themselves in the right place at the right time, readers are challenged to examine what staying in step with the Spirit looks like. National best-selling author and known prayer expert, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, uses the familiar passage of the Lord’s Prayer as anchor points to present the way Jesus lived His life in step with the Father through prayer.
Every moment is pregnant with purpose. Every moment is drenched in power. Prayer is no longer the means by which you attempt to get God to perform for you and becomes, instead, the means by which you connect with His heart and mind. A praying life is a life of peace and soul-rest. A praying life is lived in sync with the heart of Jesus.

I actually didn't get this book as planned, so I ended up purchasing the kindle edition yesterday.  I have only read the first chapter so I can't write an actual review, but I thought that I'd highlight a couple of my favorite sections of chapter 1.
Here are two paragraphs:
He (Jesus) kept His eyes glued to the Father.  I'm captured by the way Jesus uses the language of seeing to indicate how He knew His Father's will.  he can only do what He sees His Father doing, and the Father shows Him everything he is doing.  To live synced, Jesus never let His gaze wander.  He kept the eyes of His heart locked on the Father.
When my eyes are on the Father, my focus is on His eternal hope and the stress of the world tends to fade, even when details and situations don't change. 
The second paragraph is:
In His all-night prayer in Gethsemane, we see Jesus linking His heart to the Father's.  Let me summarize the content of His recorded prayer in some new words. "Father, download Your will into my heart so that it overwrites any other desire. Download courageous faith that deletes fear. Synchronize My heart's desire to Yours."
This is a prayer that speaks to my heart.  I want to make it my own. I am a follower of Jesus, and I want to be more like Him everyday.    


The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

Memories are a funny thing. Sometimes two different people remember the same incident totally differently.  And sometimes memories change with time.  They can help us learn and grow in new situations, or they can hold us back.  In The Memory Weaver, Eliza Spalding has many memories that she cannot seem to let go.  They continue to shape who she is and what she does, years following the events. She goes on a journey both literally and figuratively, to search out the truth of her memories. In the process, she learns who she is, who God made her to be.
I am on Christmas break for school and I finally have time to read.  I have finished 2 books already and cannot wait to get started on my next one.  I really enjoyed The Memory Weaver.  It took me on a trip to early America, with missionary families reaching out the the Native Americans and struggle and hard work a part of daily living.  Eliza Spalding Warren is a strong character who experiences both the ordinary and the extraordinary, both great joys and great sorrows.  Her family and friends have their own quirks and struggles and they form a outstanding cast of characters.  The historical backdrop is vividly drawn and the perfect setting for this story of truth, forgiveness, and hope.


Civil War Meets Romance in Andrea Boeshaar’s New Book (Plus a Kindle Giveaway)

The search for her runaway sister goes awry when Carrie finds herself arrested during the Civil War for impersonating an officer in Andrea Boeshaar's A Thousand Shall Fall. Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel who arrested her. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Andrea is celebrating the release of A Thousand Shall Fall with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

400 - a thousand shall fall 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Thousand Shall Fall
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 10th. The winner will be announced December 11th on Andrea's blog.

This book came at the perfect time for me because I had the week off for Thanksgiving, and I actually had the chance to sit, read, and enjoy it!  And I did enjoy it.  The history included is interesting and adds to the storyline. The characters are well-rounded. The romance is sweet. This was a quick, easy, and fun read and a good way to spend some of my holiday break! If you are looking for a sweet, historical fiction, this would be a good one to try!

a thousand shall fall-enterbanner


War for the Waking World

Would you be willing to fight for your dreams?
Fifteen-year-old Archer Keaton has the ability to enter and explore his dreams. He is a Dreamtreader, one of three selected from each generation. Their mission: to protect the waking world from the Nightmare Lord who dwells beyond the Slumber Gate. But as Archer’s dreams become more dangerous and threatening, so too does his waking life.
In this fast-paced conclusion to the exciting fantasy trilogy, the dream world and the waking world bleed into each other when a rift is formed between the two. People in the real world suddenly find their waking lives resemble their wildest dreams. Now it’s up to Archer and his fellow Dreamtreaders to race to reverse the rift before too much damage is done and to battle Archer’s ex-best friend, Kara, who sits on the throne of the Nightmare Lord. Kara is building an army of her own. Will Archer be strong enough to stand against her?
War for the Waking World in the third book in the Dreamtreader series. Having two young readers in my house, I am always looking for new books for them. They are really interested in fantasy, so this author is perfect for them!
This is an action-packed series! It is engaging, easy-to-read, and fast paced: a great series for fantasy loving kids, teens, and adults! Here is a picture of  my 10-year old reading Dreamtreader on our laptop...I have a feeling I may be purchasing some of Batson's other series for Christmas presents!!  


Fairytale Romance Collection by Melanie Dickerson

Romance, intrigue, and danger abound in this bind-up of five of Melanie Dickerson's fairy-tale retellings presented in realistic historical settings. Includes The Healer's Apprentice, The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and The Princess Spy. 
Here is a brief description of each:

The Healer's Apprentice: Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, and when Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, Rose tends to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to fall in love, and wonders if he feels the same. But Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
I read this one years ago, when it was first released!  I remember really enjoying the book, so I jumped at the chance to read the rest of this set!
The Merchant's Daughter: Annabel is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. She soon finds he is not beastly after all, and becomes involved in a situation that could place Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, in her hands.
The Merchant's Daughter is a "Beauty and the Beast" tale in which the beautiful servant, Annabel, sees the true heart of Lord Ranulf, while he remains misunderstood to the rest of the village.  I love when someone looks past public opinion and outside appearances and finds truth, and I enjoyed this story very much.  
The Fairest Beauty: Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and receives her chance when Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and that he has come to rescue her. Though romance is impossible--she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else--the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven to find help. Before long both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them, they must also protect their hearts.
The Fairest Beauty stems from "Snow White," and I found it fun and entertaining.  I enjoyed the variations from it's parent story, especially the Cottage of the Seven. 
The Captive Maiden: When Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
The Captive Maiden is the "Cinderella" story of the set.  This is Cinderella with a little extra suspense and intrigue in the mix, and again, it was very fun to read.  
The Princess Spy: Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha--one of the few who speaks his language--understands the wild story. It is up to her to save her father, Colin, and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

 The Princess Spy finishes up the set with Margaretha's story, who was introduced in The Captive Maiden.  I read this one in a day!  It is a fun, fast read. 

This series is great for quick summer reads.  I would also recommend it for teen readers.   Each story is light and easy to read, with a Christian viewpoint.  While they do not require deep thought, or inspire a lot of life application-they are super fun to read.  I would recommend them!