Monday, February 26, 2018

March Movie Madness

Picture by Andrea Cox
While other folks are hosting college basketball watch parties for March Madness, I'll be hosting a new reading challenge here on Writing to Inspire.

In January, we read books from our ever-growing to-be-read piles.

For February's reading challenge, we read books that were all about love.

This month, I thought we'd have a bit of fun. There will be two phases to this challenge. The second one is optional.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel

As promised last week, today I'm bringing you my review for Lindsay Harrel's second book, The Heart Between Us.

I received an early e-copy from NetGalley, but a positive review was not required.

Heart by the Bucketful

This is Lindsay Harrel's second book, and it's becoming evident to me that her trademark is going to be incredibly deep character journeys. This book, as the title suggests, is full of heart. From beginning to end, the passion for life and figuring out one's faith and laying down one's fears make this journey one worth taking... several times. The fact that communication being key to relationships was featured made me smile and fall in love with this book even more. I've been saying for years that communication is crucial for any relationship to be successful, and it's wonderful when that outlook is emphasized and even featured in a fictional book.

Another fantastic aspect to this story is all the travel. From Rome to Australia to Greece to Peru -- not to mention a couple of stops in the good ol' U.S. of A. -- this book came alive with atmosphere, culture, and adventure. I really should get a passport and save up some money for international traveling, because Ms. Harrel made each location seem like the ideal vacation spot.

Monday, February 12, 2018

If I'm Honest

There’s a song by Francesca Battistelli that speaks of being honest, laying our fears and secrets down at the cross, and finding healing in God’s love. It’s what I’m borrowing the title of this article from, and it’s part of the inspiration for what follows. If you like to listen to music while you read, be sure your volume’s turned up and click the below video before moving on to the next paragraph.

“Not one to wear her heart on her sleeve—at all.”
~ The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel ~

Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve is all about being vulnerable and sharing the deepest part of oneself. I’m not always great at either. Yet, here I am, typing up this gut-deep article. The way I see it, if I can’t be honest with myself and with you, then what’s the point of writing at all?

Oh, trust me: All the rest of my articles prior to this point (and afterward) have been (and will be) honest. But I haven’t always dug very deep. I haven’t always made myself be very vulnerable with you.

It’s hard to put myself out there, to say what’s moving my heart in monumental ways. It’s even tougher to admit what’s holding me back.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

Continuing the WWII reading journey I've been on lately, I'm currently reading Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke. I'm halfway through it and really enjoying it, heartbreaking as it is. Since my review for that one isn't ready for you yet (I have to finish the book first!), I want to share my review of another of Ms. Gohlke's WWII novels. She is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine for gut-wrenching historical fiction stories. I hope you'll give her a try next time you're in the mood for some wonderful WWII fiction.

Compassion in Nazi Germany

"I would rather die for something than live for nothing."
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

Sacrifice. Selflessness. Compassion.

Do you see these things played out in today's society? They are difficult to find, I'll admit, but they are still there.

But were they around in Hitler's Germany?