Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Second Yes by Terry | Verde | Bridgeman | Havig | Tru book review and giveaway



ABOUT THE BOOK
The Second Yes: Five of today’s Best-selling Christian Authors weave six brand-new, unique, interconnected stories of what happens after the bride says yes to him and yes to the dress.
Something Borrowed, Someone Blue: A borrowed dress, half-completed marriage counseling, and a last-minute theft.
Let’s face it. Weddings equal stress for the families involved. Preachers, however, have it easy. Or so they say.
Ty Jamison’s first parishioner is getting married. Though he’s performed many services at the little chapel in New Cheltenham–grand affairs, all designed to give the illusion of simplicity–all of them were strangers to him.
So when Lara Priest asks him to perform the ceremony at her wedding and to use the chapel, of course, Ty is thrilled. That joy fades as one by one, things go wrong. From a groom who refuses to attend pre-marital counseling to Lara discovering that her dream wedding dress is a no-can-do, what can go wrong seems to.
And like so many weddings that movies are made of, things go from bad to worse to “worser.”
All the while, Ty tries to remind himself that he only has to provide a little premarital counseling, show up, perform the service, and find a way to hide his broken heart through the whole ordeal.
All in a life’s work.
Book: The Second Yes Chautona Havig    Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance    Release date: May 15, 2019

GoodReads: Click Here
Click here to purchase your copy.
MY BOOK REVIEW
"The Second Yes" is a collection of five stories about weddings and second chances. Each author stays true to their own writing style and doesn't try to be like the other authors in the book. 
The first story is "Seasons of Surprises" by Alexa Verde is about a wedding dress being sold by mistake. It is up to the bride's niece and nephew to find the dress. It is all about fixing relationships and giving each other a second chance.  Through this conflict, it brought the bride and groom even closer to each other. 
The second story is "Something Borrowed, Something Blue" by Chautona Havig does a great job of making you smile while reading her story. The premise of the story is about Lara Priest, who believes she has found the perfect groom. Unfortunately, Ty Jamison, her minister, sets out to find out exactly what is going on with the groom when things started becoming fishy. This story gives us an example of two people with different spiritual beliefs come together. She tackles some questions we think about when we are marrying someone with different spiritual beliefs. She reminds me of myself when I knew my heart is telling me the truth but I ignored it. 
The third story is "Black Belt, White Dress" by Hallee Bridgeman is all about tomboy Traci Winston who is marrying Travis Seaver, a Taekwondo Master. She wants to marry while skydiving over the Grand Canyon, but her overbearing mom wants her to have a traditional wedding. Will she do what her moms want or will she marry while skydiving?
The fourth story is "Sewn Together" by Alena Terry. Her story is made me feel so many emotions. This is a beautiful inspirational love story with heartwarming characters.  It's a story about miracles. A family is torn apart by a pregnancy that was expected to not end well. You will have to read the story to see if it ends up well. 
The fifth story is "The Second Yes" by Amanda Tru is the story of a wedding designer, London Hutchins. It contains a nice romance. London is a very fun, charming and at times a trouble maker.  
I believe you will love all of these beautiful stories. The books have a nice level of Christian content without being preachy. I love how each of these authors made their characters really relatable with flaws. People are not perfect and relationships are not perfect. 
You can read these stories in order or out of order. I read them in order. A couple of the stories are about real love and a couple of them are emotional tearjerker stories. Don't expect these stories to be about weddings and love because there are just weren't just about love between a man and women but about a mother, daughter relationship, and sick babies. The authors made each of these stories very realistic I thought they were true stories. I encourage you to read every one of these stories because they will inspire you, make you laugh, and make you cry. 
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

Chautona Havig's Website: Click Here
Twitter: @chautona
Goodreads Page: Click Here

Alexa Verde's Website: Click here
Twitter: @AlexaVerde3
Facebook Page: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click Here
Hallee Bridgeman's Website: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click Here


Alena Terry's Website: Click Here
Facebook Page: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click Here


Amanda Tru's Website: Click Here
Twitter: @TruAmanda
Facebook Page: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click Here

MORE FROM CHAUTONA
The tiny bridal shop held dozens of dresses. Frothy princess dresses, twenties dropped-waist dresses, straight, short, silky, shiny satin, lace, beaded appliques… I looked at them all and found ivory jacquard, tea length, dress by Jessica McClintock. It was a hundred dollars. To a girl making $4.25 an hour and too broke to buy food, it might as well have been a thousand. Still, it was also cheaper than any other dress in the store and just my style.
I pulled out the twenty-dollars I’d saved by doing extra work around my apartment for the landlord and said I’d put it on layaway.
My maid of honor protested.
The dress wasn’t fancy enough. It didn’t reach the floor. It wasn’t white. I didn’t look good in ivory (she was right on that one, anyway), and the veil I’d fallen in love with—you know the $120 veil I could never afford—wouldn’t look good with it.
Duh.
Look, I was eighteen (barely), and had parents who would have paid me to elope in Las Vegas in lieu of the wedding. Two months later, we did go… And we still had the wedding, but that’s a story for another day.
I left the store with my choice on layaway. Went home and later told my fiancĂ© about the thing. He said to get the one I wanted. And I had. Still, I got the impression that he thought I actually wanted the other one… and maybe he meant that I should get that one.
That left a conundrum. Did he like the sound of the other one more? Was that why? The traditional white and floor-length thing? I went back to the shop the next day to look again. Seriously, if we’d had cellphones back then, I would have taken a picture and asked him.
That’s when I found out the white one was now on layaway—not the ivory I’d chosen. The decision had been made for me.
AND SO WENT THE REST OF MY WEDDING PLANNING.
I made one decision. It was countermanded as not grand enough, not traditional enough, too cheap, not enough… One decision, I’d made involved flowers. I called to ask about something after I’d ordered them and found they’d been changed to something else. I lost it—informed the florist that if any changes were not made in person with my driver’s license as proof of me making them, then when the wedding day came, if the flowers were wrong, I’d do without flowers. We wouldn’t have any. And I wouldn’t pay for them.
I wish I’d have had the backbone to do more of that.
But come on, I was eighteen. My mother didn’t have anything to do with wedding planning. They’d agreed to show up in whatever clothes we told them to, and that was it.
Back to the dress. I think it’s important to note that I did love that white, floor-length dress. It was beautiful, it looked good on me, and it would make for lovely pictures. It would.
IT JUST WASN’T WHAT I’D CHOSEN.
You see, I’d said “yes” to a dress—just not the one that I had agreed to pay for. Instead, it was the one that was almost four times the cost of the one I already couldn’t afford.
I’d always planned to tell the story—fictionalized, of course—but I figured it would be about Rockland’s wedding planning company, “The Agency.” So, when it came time to do my book for the next Crossroads collection, The Second Yes, I was surprised to discover that elements of my own wedding kept cropping up in different ways.
The motivation is different in Something Borrowed, Someone Blue, but the result is the same—a girl who, no matter what happens, can’t seem to have the wedding she envisions.
The question is… is that a good thing?
GIVEAWAY
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize that includes a Spa Basket designed to soothe any bride’s nerves (or to make any reader feel as though she is part of the bridal party and getting pampered before the big day) and also includes a $25 gift certificate to Amazon (Image not reflective of actual contents)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. 

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, June 19
Cultivating Us, June 22
Carpe Diem, June 23
Power of Words, June 26 (spotlight)







Thursday, June 27, 2019

Get Pay for your Miles



A couple of days ago,  I ran into an app called SMILES. This app supposedly pays you 3 cent per mile you drive. You can only make $3.30 a day.  I have been using it for two days and have already made $6.00. It is a free app and no advertisement.

Information on their app site:

Earn more while you drive, up to $100 extra per month for doing what you’re already doing. We’re collecting data on driving behavior / styles to help make roads safer. We pay to watch you drive. It’s a fitbit for your car. Everything is anonymous, we just track speeding, accelerator, turns, g force


All you do is install the app on your phone. Sign In and hit "Start Trip". Then when you have arrived at your destintation hit "Stop Trip". It will then tell you how much you made.

If I am writing with my parents or a friend I turn the app on and still make money. I didn't find it taking alot of data or battery life of the phone. It is also a nice app to track how much miles you drive. It may not be 100% accruent but it can give you an estimate of how many miles you drive. Once you hit $25 you can have them send it to PayPal or send you a Amazon Gift Card.




I highly recommend trying this app out. This isn't a product placement. I randomly found this app and is is my honest opinion.









Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Elton John's Rocketman Movie Review





Rocketman takes us into the life of Elton John from when he was a little boy to when he started cleaning himself up from drugs and alcohol.  It opens with Elton John, played by Taron Egerton, storming into a AA meeting in full regalia, an orange-red sequence devil outfit with huge feather wings.  He narrates the story during his AA meeting. 

Elton John's songs are used to tell throughout the film to help show the significant moments in his life. The film contains many montages: everything from John's hits rising up the charts; the concerts, headlines, fans; shopping sprees; trying on various clothing pieces such as his hats and glasses.  

The real Elton John served as an executive producer and mentor to Taron Egerton on the film. He didn't really want to be on set every day because he didn't know if this would cause him to be triggered so his boyfriend made sure the film does Elton justice.  

Taron Egerton blew me away. Egerton is known for his role in the action-comedy Kingsman movies. He did all his own singing. At times, he sometimes sounded a little like Elton John I thought they lied and he was lip syncing.  I couldn't imagine how much pressure on one him because this role is a huge role especially since Elton John is still alive and will see it. He has a very appealing screen presence. You tell he put so much into this role.  

Director, Dexter Fletcher and writer Lee Hall, did such a great job created a new level of meaning to the lyrics. Dexter and Lee did a great job creating a beautifully flowing film. There may be a couple times I felt like it was a little repetitive but the film flowed at a great pace. I didn't find myself bored like I did with Bohemian Rhapsody.  Rocketman covers a substantial amount of his life. 
It covers many of his major key events such as:

  • His relationship with his parents. Throughout the film, we cut back to John's youth when he was known as Reginald Dwight who has a father, Steven Mackintosh, who disliked his son. He never hugged him, He never told him how talented he was and never showed him love. His mother was a promiscuous mother, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. The only family member who was kind to him was his grandmother. 
  • He discovers himself in song and attends the Royal Academy of Music. 
  • How he met his longtime collaborator and close friend, songwriter Bernie Taupin, played by Jamie Bell. 
  • Connection with Taupin in the late 1960s and the early parts of their enduring collaboration. 
  • The creation of his stage name and trademark style
  • His star-making performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. 
  • John hooking up with manager John Reid, playing by Richard Madden. 


I believe this a very relatable film for people. When I was a child my father never hugged me and told me he loved me. I saw all my friends doing things with their dad and my dad didn't. My dad never put me down like Elton's dad did.  

This film is a flashy, emotional, and inspiring film.  It has so many of Elton John's popular songs. You leave the theatre with them stuck in your head. Rocketman is a lot like Bohemian Rhapsody because they are both about reinventing themselves to escape the truth of their sucky upbringings. 

I found Rocketman to be a pretty clean film for a rock star life. Yes, there are scenes of flirtation, romance, affection between men, sex scene that begins with men kissing each other passionately, brief nudity, language, doing cocaine, drugs, drinking, and suicide. There isn't too much violence. There is domestic abuse. They really tamed down Elton John's life. It contains many big flashy dance numbers and bits of surrealism. I have seen more films with 10xs more of these. I would rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. 


  


    









Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White Book Review and Giveaway



ABOUT THE BOOK
The Toughest Puzzle She’ll Have to Solve
Might be the Wishes of Her Own Heart
Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, she discovers for the first time in her life that numbers aren’t enough.
Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but soon the dangers of the war draw ever closer. Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.
Click here to purchase your copy.
MY BOOK REVIEW:

This is my frist time reading a Roseanna M. White's book. "The Number of Love" is a historical romance fiction set during the WWI. It contain a plot of being a spy and  codebreaking. The book focuses on Room 40. I don't know a whole lot about Room 40, but during the Great War, Room 40, was the intelligence hub of the Admiralty. In the book, White portrays it as an organization of codebreakers and secretaarial staff as a diverse yet tight-knit group of professionals. According to the author's note she drew a number of real life events into her story but she had to alter the timeline a little to fit her storyline.   really happened when it comes to Room 40. 

Margot is extremely intelligent and she knows it. She doesn't want to be a proper lady. She wants to be a career woman. She loves what she does because she can use her smartness and be herself. She is close to her mamma and Lukas. Margot is a very complex character. I love Dot and Margot's friendship and how it kept growing stronger and stronger as the story progresses. 
Drake is a man full of paitence. He doesn't push Margot, or make her rush into things she isn't ready for. This is rare in historical romance novels usually the women characters always get forced into doing things they aren't ready for. He went through some hard life challenges but seemed to bounce back.  All of the characters have uniqueness.  

White does a great job of including historical depth as well as even using authentic British dialogue. The romance in the book isn't over the top. There was some sap and a few kisses. The book also contains gunfights and espionage throughout the book. 

There is some faith content in this book. These characters are Catholic, but you the book doesn't preach. Most of the characters had genuine faith in God but not in the church. 

The found the first two chapters to be on the slower side but it quickly picked up to the point I couldn't put it down. "The Number of Love" is a beautiful book. Its about friendship, love, trust, and happiness while all the life struggles are hitting at you. Each of these characters have a quirkiness to them. White does a great job of getting the readers into the time period and into the life of these characters.  
I am looking forward to reading more of her books and especially from this series. 


FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this novel for promotional purposes from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com

MORE FROM ROSEANNA 

When I told my best friend and critique partner what book I was pitching next to my publisher, her response was something along the lines of, “That sounds awesome. Also, you’re crazy, and I do not envy you writing that one.”
I laughed…and knew exactly what she meant. Because I was setting out to write a heroine who was a mathematician—which I am definitely not. A heroine who was utterly indifferent to love and marriage—which makes for a difficult story when one writes romance. A character who had an unshakeable faith—which has to be shaken at least a bit in order to make for growth throughout the story. And more, a character who has “issues,” let’s call it, that those familiar with such things will recognize…and which those who aren’t will probably think are quirks.
I was setting out to write a story that would be challenging for me, every step of the way. And the result is a book I’m incredibly in love with and so happy to share with the world.
The Number of Love is all about Margot, who thinks and even prays in numbers. Born and raised in Belgium, she and her family fled to England in 1914 when the Germans invaded her homeland. Thanks to her remarkable abilities with numbers and patterns, she’s now employed at Room 40, the Admiralty’s secret codebreaking branch. But as I was contemplating what sort of man could ever win Margot’s heart, I knew he had to be very different… someone active where she’s still. Someone outgoing where she turns inward. Someone who sees in her what she never can, and who believes she can grasp the dreams that society tells her are unbefitting a woman. This is how Drake was born—a field agent employed by Room 40.
I can honestly say this is the only book I’ve ever written that required me to borrow my daughter’s algebra book while I was writing it, LOL. And though every single scene was a challenge, it was one I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you’ll join me on the journey that Margot and Drake are on, which answer the question my husband cheekily asked more than once as I was writing it: what is the number of love?
GIVEAWAY
To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of winner’s choice of TWO signed books, Fruit and Floral Flavors Sugar Shapes, and some Roseanna M. White swag!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 
CLICK HERE TO ENTER

BLOG STOPS

Among the Reads, June 17
Moments, June 17
The Avid Reader, June 18
Stories By Gina, June 18
Worthy2Read, June 19
Multifarious, June 21
Emily Yager, June 21
Bigreadersite, June 22
Simple Harvest Reads, June 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Genesis 5020, June 24
The Becca Files, June 26
Splashes of Joy, June 26















All Things Matter by Susie Finkbeiner Book Review



ABOUT THE BOOK

When Annie Jacobson's brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know. 

In Mike's absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike's safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family's home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.



MY BOOK REVIEW

"All Things Matter" takes you into Annie's family and a lot of life problems they have had to deal with. Her father suffers from trauma from his time in the military and left his family in hardship. Annie, Mike, Joel and their mother had to start a new way of leaving.  Their grandmother helped them as well as Bernie, an argumentive diner owner. 

I found this book to well-written and very much character driven. Each of the characters is relatable and well thought out. By the end of the book, you feel like you are part of their family because there are so many details and is very engaging. I can tell Susie Finkbeiner did her research because her characters, locations, and time period were full of details. The way she wrote this book I could picture this as a movie. There are enough life conflicts that the family had to deal with. Like I said before it has strong relatable characters. This story is an Americana. We read about the tragedies and triumphs, the troubling ebb and flow of relationships. A drama of real life. We see how the dynamics of the family play out.

It is a clean story with no swearing, violence, nudity, addiction, drugs, and racism. The book has a very minor faith thread but isn't at all preachy or the main focus of the book.  It isn't suspenseful or a thriller. It is a story about the beauty and heartbreak of life. The main focus is family, forgiveness, and hope. It touched my heart because of the endearing characters.  Life doesn't have perfect peace or even complete happiness there is always something not going right. 

"I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This review is my honest opinion."


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susie Finkbeiner is a novelist from West Michigan. She is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Pearl Spence Series (Kregel). She is also the author of My Mother’s Chamomile (WhiteFire, 2014) and Paint Chips (WhiteFire, 2013). Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write. Susie Finkbeiner is represented by Tim Beals from Credo Communications.

Susie Finkbeiner's Website: CLICK HERE

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT "ALL THINGS MATTER"
When Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.
In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobson's must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.
Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.

“Some books are meant to be read. All Manner of Things is meant to be lived in. The pages enfolded me into a raw and beautiful family journey that touched me on a soul level. This exquisitely rendered portrait of hope, courage, and love in a time of war is a triumph and a gift. Susie Finkbeiner at her finest.” - Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Between Two Shores 

“Susie Finkbeiner has created characters so real in All Manner of Things, you may want to write them a letter to find out how they are doing once you’ve turned the last page of the book. You’ll cheer them on in the good times, weep with them during the hard times, and be glad you got to live their story with them. Definitely a story and characters you will remember.” - 
Ann H. Gabhart, bestselling author of River to Redemption

Halloween Fun and History

1910s Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images Halloween is fast approaching. When did our traditions of Halloween happen?  Over 2,000 ye...