Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Place Called Lonesome by Jesseca Wheaton {Book Review}

** This post has been scheduled ahead of time. I'm leaving today for a trip, and I'll be back next week. :D ** 

~ Description 

All seems lost for a wounded soldier left behind on Utah beach after the Normandy invasion. As he gives up all hope for a rescue and resigns himself to never making it off the sand, a touch on his shoulder startles him.
Is it possible that help can come from a man who is his enemy? And just where are the hardest battles of the war fought?

A short story, about 3,000 words.

~ My Rating 
5 stars 

~ My Review 

Ahh, what a beautiful short story! <3 A Place Called Lonesome is a tale of a man who's been left behind. The one you would be least likely to expect comes to his aid and shows him mercy. It's sweet and sad, heartbreaking and beautiful. 

The ending was probably my favorite, coming in close behind the chat between the guys. How good can shine through the darkness, and broken hearts be mended... *hugs the story and all the charries* 

Amazing! <3 Definitely recommended! 

Favorite quotes... 

"We're not all heartless animals, you know. Some of us do have a soul...and a conscience." 

A promise that even when all seems to be lost, God steps in, and makes a mess into His beautiful masterpiece. 

**I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.** 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis {Book Review}

~ Description 

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter's nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her. 

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he's learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she's never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish. 

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie's realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township? 

~ My Rating 
5 stars 

~ My Review 

This book was utterly delightful. Uplifting and beautiful and soul-touching. I don't even know where to begin this review. 

How about we start with what you see first? The cover. The beachy, summery, oceany, amazing cover. (And no, I did not just make half of those words up.) It is sooo beautiful!! If you know me, you know that I have a love of book covers. But this one is exceptionally lovely. 

The plot was quite wonderful, not the typical Amish story, and I really liked it. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it that much at first, but I ended up adoring the Autumn and all of the Logan family. 

The characters were sooo great, realistic, and well-rounded. Sallie was sweet and charming. ('Cute' too, as Kevin so dearly pointed out. <3) Autumn was spunky and lovable. Kevin was just...a wonderful guy and I liked him (and *cough* totally didn't ship them *cough*) from the start. And Sallie's dad! Aww, he was just a dear! I totally soaked up his and Sallie's heart-to-hearts. <3 

Autumn and Sallie had me chuckling several times, and then smiling over their sweet chats about life and mostly baby Connor. I really enjoyed reading about their relationship. :D 

Before reading this book, I'd never really considered that I may enjoy marine biology and oceanography. But learning about different fish and ocean life through Sallie and Kevin's talks and explorations was quite fun! 

The theme of waiting on God really struck home with me. I nearly cried reading about Sallie's journey. It definitely touched my heart and gave me encouragement in areas where I needed it. The way our God can use fictional stories to touch hearts is absolutely incredible. <3 

All the way around, this was a beautiful, lovely story. Definitely a favorite of mine, and one I would recommend. 5 stars, all the way!! :) 

**I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.** 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sisters in Christ ~ Karyssa N. ~ June 2017

Well, we kind of took an intentional break from the Sisters in Christ series last month, but... it's back today. :D 

This month's special guest is Karyssa from No Coffee, No Can Do. (She has a super cool blog, and you should totally go check it out...after you finish this post, that is. :P) 

Welcome to the blog, girl! Go ahead and introduce yourself to the readers. :D 

Hey, everyone! I'm Karyssa, a nineteen year old Christian girl striving to be more like Jesus each and every day. I'm a homeschool graduate, and when I'm not working, I can be found writing, reading, walking, running, or spending time with my family and friends. I absolutely love the outdoors. I really like to go/see new places (as long as I don't get lost). And, last but not least, I'm a lover of smiles and laughter.

Alright, let's start with blogging. What inspired you to start a blog?
Well, I love to write and blogging is another way I can practice my writing. I also wanted to connect with other writers because I believe that every writer needs encouragement. And this way, I can give and receive that encouragement, along with help, tips, and advice.

Did you read other blogs before starting your own, or was starting a blog what thrust you into this amazing world we call The Blogospere?
I actually read blogs before starting my own. I started reading blogs in March last year (2016). It only took me a couple of weeks to begin thinking about starting my own blog, but I wasn't sure. I thought it would be fun, but I didn't know anything about the blogging world and didn't think I'd be able to do it. Finally, at the end of October, I decided that I was going to start one of my own. So I set it up and posted my first blog post this past January. :)

How did you find my blog(s)?
Oh, goodness. Let's see if I can think back that far (far meaning five months ago :P). Well, it all started on Goodreads. A lot of my friends were liking your updates, so they kept showing up. I thought, "Faith seems like a really nice girl". So, I checked out your profile to find that you had a blog! That one was Stories by Firefly, and from there, I found Chosen Vessels. :)

Haha, cool! I remember becoming friends on GR, and then getting to know you through the NaNo makeup chat. ;) 

Next up, let's talk about our shared faith. What is your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why?
My favorite Bible verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 I like this one because it's really hard to gain my trust, and this reminds me that I can trust God. And He will never let me down.
Favorite chapter: I actually never thought about it until now. But I guess it might be John 19, because, if you remember, it tells about Jesus dying on the cross.
Favorite book: Is probably Proverbs. It's not a really long one, but it has so. much. wisdom in it. And I just find that I learn a lot when I read that book.

What Bible verse(s) have really helped you through some rough times?
Oh that's a good question. I'd have to say these two:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"
 Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk?
I don't know that it's necessarily an event, I think it's more the people in my life. In my nineteen years, I've had a lot of people come into my life, and a lot who've left. Actually, it's more like people will come into my life, stay for x amount of time, and then leave. But that's life. People are going to come, and some are going to go. I learn a lot from each person and I feel like I'm closer to God afterwards. :)

Any Bible reading tips?
Don't be afraid to mark your Bible. Underline and/or highlight things. Use bookmarks. It's been almost a year since my dad gave me a Bible that he marked from Genesis all the way to Revelations. There are six colors, and each one is for something different. Personally, I think that marking your Bible is all part of the Bible study process, but I understand that not everyone agrees with me there. And that's okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that. :)

And... Reading and writing. On a scale of 1-10, how much of a reader would you consider yourself? What about a writer?
Oh, let's see... I'd give reading a 2 and writing a 1. Just kidding! I love reading and writing way to much for it to be that low. I guess I'd probably say an 8 for both of them. Maybe a 9? I don't know, someone answer for me!

Where's your favorite place to read and/or write?
My favorite place to read is probably my room. I almost never read anywhere else. But, more than likely, that will change once it gets warmer, because then I'll be outside more. As for writing, my favorite place is the living room. I have a little space, out of the way, where I can spread my things out. Both places are on the floor though. For some reason, I prefer to sit on the floor.

I like sitting on the floor at times too...or otherwise sitting in weird positions. :P 

What's your favorite author(s)? Favorite books by them?
Oh, favorite authors! I can do this one! :) C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia is my favorite by him. "Mere Christianity" is another good one by Lewis. Karen Whitemeyer and her book "Short-Straw Bride." And lastly, Tricia Mingerink. She is one of my new favorite authors and I absolutely love her series the "Blades of Acktar." 

What are some books that really impacted your young life?
No, this question is not allowed! I'm not even sure I can remember back that far ... Fine, hold on. *goes to look at book shelves* Okay, I'm going to say the Danny Orlis series by Bernard Palmer and the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. I haven't read all the books in these series but I've read a lot. Danny Orlis is a pretty old series so I don't expect you to be familiar with it. You may have heard of Nancy Drew though. I looved Nancy Drew when I was younger, and I have like, two shelves of those books.

The random questions to close us out... If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Okay, this is by far, the hardest question so far. I hate being asked this question because I have yet to find one word that describes me. But at the same time, I like it because it makes you think about yourself. And I don't mean that in a bad way. What I mean is that it makes you think about how you come across to others. What are others seeing in you?
So I asked my sister to answer this question for me, and she said that if she were to describe me to someone who didn't know me, she would say sporty/outdoorsy/bookworm. That's actually pretty accurate. :P Now, when I think about myself, the first word that comes to mind is "crazy". There are quite a few words that people would use to describe me, but I have yet to find that one word. If someone thinks of it, please tell me!

Any pet peeves?
Haha, where to start? No, there really isn't that many. So, my pet peeves. I do not. like. loud. chewing. It's really annoying. If I know it's not going to be rude or anything, I'll put my earbuds in and listen to music to block it out. I don't like inconsistencies in book series and books that are made into movies. I'll be the first person to say, "That's not how it was in the book!" or "His eyes are supposed to be green! Not blue! Get rid of that actor, he's not qualified!" And, oh my word, you may think this is weird, but it bothers me when people put the toilet paper on the holder thingy... backwards! It only takes like, three additional seconds to put it on correctly.

Favorite songs?
Oh my goodness, I have soo many! I absolutely love music! Personally, I think that if you really do love music, you won't have just one favorite song, you're going to have many. And, one thing about me is, my taste in music is kinda weird. What I mean by that is, I like everything, except the songs I don't like. I can like one or two songs by a band, but then hate all the others by them. I know, I don't understand it either. :P So here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
"Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" by Danny Gokey
"Stars" by Skillet
"Sold Out" and "Faithful" by Hawk Nelson
"Sparrows" by Jason Gray
"Soul on Fire" by Third Day
"As the Deer" (I think this one is an older hymn)
Obviously, these are just a few of them. I could go on and on, but then we'd be here all day. ;)

Thank you so much for having me, Faith! These questions were great and I had a really fun time answering them. :)

Thank you for coming over, Karyssa! :D I so enjoyed it! 


Thanks for reading everyone! Be a dear and leave us a comment. ;) 


*All images, excluding post graphic, were borrowed from Pinterest. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero {Book Review + Blog Tour}

Welcome all! I do believe this is my first blog tour post on this blog, so that's cause for celebration in itself, right? And if you need another reason... How about the release of Amanda Tero's latest fairytale retelling novella? :D 

About the Book
Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?

Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?

As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn't even know is searching for her?

My Review

4/4.5 stars 

What a sweet retelling story! <3 The characters were amazing and feel-able, the setting lovely, and the plot sucked me in. 

Lia was such a sweet dear and a character that made me just want to grab her and hug her. (And save her from Bioti!) 
Raoul was amazing too. His inner struggles and search for his daughter was just... <3 <3 I especially liked the relationship between Raoul and Jolin. Raoul was ready to run off into any situation, and Jolin was there to hold him back. I'm pretty sure Raoul would've ended up in trouble without Jolin around to keep him sane. ;) 
Dumphey and Noel were so sweet too, always looking out for Lia! <3 

The antagonist storyline was very well done. Bioti and her decisions never felt 'forced' or unrealistic. 
The medieval-fantasy setting! Don't even get me started. Ahh, the people and town names were all sooo pretty. <3 
Ordinarily speaking, I wouldn't have minded a closer connection to the original Cinderella story. But for this? It was perfect as it was. ^.^ 

If you enjoy fairytale retellings, particularly subtle ones with unique twists, then the Tales of Faith series is for you! 

**I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.** 

About the Author
Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Connect with Amanda

Favorite Quotes