Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review ~ Unraveling by Sara Ella


Publisher's Description


"A sequel that outshines its already brilliant predecessor." —Nadine Brandes, award-winning author of the Out of Time trilogy
What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?
Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about—like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.
Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something—or someone—is missing?
When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections—and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

O. My. Word.  What a book!  For any of you who don't know, this is the second book in the Unblemished trilogy by Sara Ella.  And boy, oh boy, was it good (I'm still having a book hang over wishing the third book, Unbreakable was out).

It took me a little bit to try to remember who was who with some of the characters.  Cause there are quite a few to remember.  I also wish that there was a family tree or something so that it is easier to make connections with who is related to who.

The characters were great.  Of course, if you read my review for Unblemished, you know how much I loved Ky (And I still do.  So, so, MUCH).  But this time, I loved El as well.  She is unsure of herself and yet is stronger in this book.  I like the change in her.  She was a great character in this book.  And Joshua...well you just have to read the book to find out about him. 

The different worlds are cool.  Nice to see some other reflections.  It was honestly an awesome book.  I love the scenes with Ky and El.  They are just so...ah...I just love them together. <3  I also liked that this one was different from the first book.  In the first one they are trying to stop Crowe and save Eliyana's mom.  But in this one, well, you'll see. ;) 

I was so happy when Ky finally entered the picture.  He is only really in the book the second half.  The first half...well, you'll have to read it to find out (sorry, don't want to spoil anything :)).

I am loving the Unblemished trilogy and I cannot wait for the third and final one.  I can't believe I have to wait till May of 2018!  This book left quite the cliff hanger (well the first one, too, but this one maybe even more).  A bit of a suggestion, don't read this book without reading the first one, you will be VERY confused.

Overall, this book is another dive into the Reflections and visiting other worlds.  It's about friendship, courage, and love.  Well done Sara Ella!

5 out of 5 stars

*I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Review ~ High as the Heavens

Publisher's Description


Page-Turning Intrigue and Romance from an Up-and-Coming Historical Romance Talent
In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
High as the Heavens is set during WWI.  It was an interesting enough read with some twists and turns in it.  Some of it was a bit boring and slow.  I didn't care for at the beginning of the book that the chapters went from present to past to present and so forth.  Simon was sweet, kind, and very patient. Eve was brave, smart, and courageous. Also, Eve went through some very horrible things that may be disturbing for some readers.
However, I cannot say that I was super attached to the characters. I did find it interesting that she worked for the British Secret Service as a spy.  Like I said, there are some twists and turns, but the book for the most part was a bit slow for my taste, but at the same time wasn't dull.  There is a scene towards the end that was more fast paced that I enjoyed.
The book also has quite a bit of kissing and descriptions of feelings, flutters and so forth (though I do understand why).  And quite honestly, I didn't care for the ending.  The war was still going on and things didn't quite "tie up nicely" so to speak.  
Overall, it's a story of love, forgiveness, and mercy. Also, I found it cool that she based Eve after three real life women of WWI. If you enjoy romance set during WWI, you will like this book.
*best for more mature readers
3 out of 5 stars
*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
P.S. HAPPY JULY!!! *fireworks**

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bookcase Tour!!!


YES!  Today is the day I am going to be showing ya'll my bookcase!!!!   I have had my bookcase for about...ten months now?  Before I had my bookcase I stored all of my books on smaller bookcases in my closet.  I couldn't enjoy looking at them in there so I decided that I would like a big bookcase to have out in my room. 

I found my bookcase on Craigslist, me my dad and brother went and got it.  It was black, which doesn't go with my room, AT ALL!  So, my Daddy painted it a nice creamy color for me.  It matches my room perfectly!!!  As the months have rolled by, I have gotten new knick-knacks to display on it (of course, new books, too) and I am so happy with how it looks.  I still can't fit ALL of my books on it, so some still remain in my closet.  ;)  And now the moment you have all been waiting for, I present to you...my bookcase. (I apologize in advance for not great picture quality)


At the top of my bookcase I have some vintage suitcases with vintage hats on top.  Next to them I have three vintage cameras.


The top shelf is the only shelf that I have read ever single book on it.  From book reviews to just...books I read. ;)  For décor, I have two vintage cameras.


My second shelf from the top has books I haven't read and or finished reading. For knick-knacks I have another vintage hat, a metal sewing machine (it's cool and rusted), a crocheted tea pot (that is supposed to be an ornament, but I like it as décor), and a vintage tin container (I LOVE vintage tins!!). 


The third shelf contains my vintage/old books.  I love me some old books!!! <3


Ahhh...the fourth shelf.  This shelf contains my beloved Tolkien and Lewis books.  I collect different copies of LOTR and I'm up to five different copies of The Hobbit. :D  As for decorations, I have a neat container that looks like a vintage camera, with a Mickey Mouse pen in it I got from Mexico.  On the opposite side I have another vintage camera (can you tell I like em'?) and the little brown pouch?  Inside of it is a little thingy that I believe is for a camera to help it with the flash, something like that.


The fifth shelf....It's blurry.  I apologize.  Anyways, this shelf is a cross between classical and fairytales (and Melanie Dickerson).  For décor, there is this little boy on a bicycle and on the other end is notepad paper that comes out of a box that looks like a typewriter. 


And the sixth and final shelf contains...a mix of different things.  From more classical to Janette Oke and hiding behind King Raven is Frank Pretti and others.  Really just a miscellaneous shelf.


And the overall view, along with a glimpse into my room. Well I hope you enjoyed getting a peek at some of my books. And I also hope you have a great day!!  Blessings ~ Morgan


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Movie Bombs That Were Great



Hello everyone!  It's been a while since I have done a post.  Well, I am back now with a post on movies that flopped at the box office that I enjoyed.  Just because a movie didn't do well at the theater doesn't mean its a "bad movie".  So off of the list on Wikipedia of "Box Office Bombs", here are my top 15 movie "bombs" that I liked(in no particular order).


1. Jack the Giant Slayer.  I liked this movie very much.  It brings more to the classic fairy tale of Jack and the Bean stock .  I also liked how they ended it leaving it open if they wanted to do a sequel(though they probably won't since it is on the "box office bombs" list *cough*). 


2. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  I have mentioned this movie before in an older post, but it is unfortunately on the "bomb" list.  I loved this movie!  There are some *ahem* inappropriate things that can easily be skipped, but other than that it has a great story line and awesome action!


3. Monster Trucks.  This was a funny movie!  Not what I was expecting at all, but really cute and clean.


4. Pan.  Awesome movie!  I'm sad that it didn't do well at the box office.  I still hope they may make a sequel!  And I also love Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard!  Did you know that Hugh Jackman was originally considered for the role of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean?  The reason they went with Johnny Depp instead was because at the time Jackman wasn't known in the US, only in Australia as an actor.  I think it's great to finally see him as a pirate.  I honestly think he could have pulled of Sparrow, but Johnny Depp is Jack and always will be. 
 

5. Rise of the Guardians.  Ahh such a cute movie!  I love the whole feel of it.  I mean come on, Santa is a Russian with Naughty and Nice tattooed on his arms(see photo)!  Jack Frost is voiced by Chris Pine, who I really like as an actor.  And the Easter bunny has an Australian accent by none other than Hugh Jackman.  Super cute, fun, and overall great movie!   


6. Sahara.  This is a fun movie as well!  Action, adventure, and a funny sidekick that I like better than the main character (again, I love sidekicks<3).


7. Treasure Planet.  LOVE this movie!  Super cute movie based off of Treasure Island.  I have always loved this movie even when I was little.  It's got great story telling, action and adventure.


8. Alice Through the Looking Glass.  Again, really fun movie!  I really liked the first one, Alice in Wonderland and this one was good, too!  Plus, Richard Armitage has a short role, but it was cool to see him as well.


9. Ben-Hur.  Wonderful movie! Bit different from the original, but that's ok!  That chariot scene was amazing(as always)!


10.  Cowboys and Aliens.  Do you see the date?  It came out on my birthday (I didn't even know that till just now)!  Well shoot, of course I like it!  Any who, you'd think the name sounds ridiculous, but it actually works!  Super fun, action and adventure story (can you tell those are my favs?).


11.  Ender's Game.  Feel like I keep repeating myself, but that's ok!  Great movie!  Super fun, outer space adventure.  I read the book after I saw the movie and yah know what?  I liked the movie better.  Sure the book gives WAY more info, but I really liked how they did the movie. 


12.  Hugo.  Uh same kid that played in Ender's Game, Asa Butterfield.  But he is a great actor!  LOVED Hugo!!!  Super sweet movie!


13.  John Carter.  Very creative, fun movie!  I don't know what else to say, except that I liked it!


14.  The BFG.  Loved this movie!  Super sweet!


15. Battleship.  Yup, it's based off the game, Battleship.  And yah know what?  It's really good!  I like how they took the game and incorporated it into the movie.  Very fun movie!

Well, I must say that I am sad that other people didn't go and see these fun movies!  It's a bummer when a really good movie fails at the theaters.  That doesn't mean we still can't enjoy them knowing that they are good even if they didn't "rake in the dough". 

Well, I guess that's it for now.  I hope you all have a great weekend!  Blessings, Morgan

P.S. Happy June!

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.
Characters
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.
Story
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.
Overall
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