Monday, May 25, 2020

Never Say Goodbye by Sarah Grace Grzy {book review + giveaway}

Graphic Credit: Victoria Lynn Designs

Y’all, let me catch my breath!

Sniffle, sniffle, dry my eyes.

All right.

Ahem. This review may be a hot mess. Why? you wonder. I’ll tell you.

This book wrecked me.

Oh, it’s in a great way, believe me, but I’m still wrecked! You see, this book sort of sneaked up on me. It was gallivanting along in a lighthearted, contemporary romance kind of way… and then BOOM! All these emotional things started happening, and they all made sense in the plot and everything, but they blindsided me. Completely blindsided me.

They shouldn’t have. I should have seen them coming. I’m a writer too, for goodness’ sake! But I did not see a certain couple of plot twists coming at all, and they waylaid me. Hard!

Even as it was happening and tears were gushing out of my eyeballs, I was happy about it. Truly, I was. Even as I was fretting for the beloved characters who’d crept into my heart when I wasn’t looking, I was grateful that a talented author had dug in deep and delivered the tough but very good stuff.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Pockets of Time {Focus on Jesus + Life Update}

My next verse to learn for our Focus on Jesus Scripture Memory event is a long one, so it may take me a few weeks to really get it remembered.

We'll still be adding another verse to the mix in a couple of weeks, so I suppose I better find some extra pockets of time for studying between jobs.

Speaking of which, it's time for a bit of a life update.

I know I'm due (overdue, really) to deliver to you another short story. As much as I've tried to pen a few, my mind hasn't been cooperating for such things lately. I'm hoping to be able to get one written in the next few weeks.

You see, I've been working hard on a full-length story for Camp NaNo last month, and the story isn't finished yet, so I'm still plugging away at it. The research has been random, the plot pretty fun to play with, and the characters surprising at times. It's a blast hanging out with this crazy cast of folks, and I can hardly wait until you get to meet them too. Of course, I've got to straighten them out a bit first. First drafts can be pretty rough.

Monday, May 11, 2020

On a Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher {book review}

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads. These are my honest thoughts.

This was one of my most-anticipated books of 2020, and most of the story was really good.

It was fun to revisit Cam’s and Seth’s romance. I like that their story wasn’t an automatic happily-ever-after but was more realistic in that they were still figuring out their issues and learning to communicate well even after they became engaged in the previous book.

The family dynamics were wonderfully complex again in this book. That was something I really enjoyed about book one in the Three Sisters Island series, and I was glad to see it return in book two. At the halfway point, I was really looking forward to book three, which would appear to feature my favorite of the sisters, Blaine. I wanted so much to see her find her own happy ending.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Hold Out for Hope {Focus on Jesus}

Over the last week, I've been listening to the audio version of a memoir about a girl who was kidnapped at age eleven and was sexually, mentally, and emotionally abused for nearly two decades. It's a tough, tough read, and it broke my heart from the first chapter. I've got less than half the book to go, and I'm sure it will continue to be an emotional read for me.

The thing about stories like hers is that they are often robbed of hope.

When a person has been kidnapped and/or abused for years and years on end, it's incredibly difficult to keep holding out for hope. Everything seems dark, lonely, and painful.

Even if you've never been abused in such a brutal, destructive way, I'm sure we can all relate to feelings of loneliness or hopelessness or despair. Life doesn't always go the way we want it to, and sometimes it seems downright cruel to us. In those moments, hope is extremely hard to find and even harder to hold on to.

That's where Bible study comes into play, at least for me.