Saturday, May 12, 2018

What If Your Healing Comes Through Tears?

May 9th, 2017. I will forever remember that day. Being up at 7 in the morning, waiting for my 2 year old cousin to be dropped off for the weekend. Hearing my mom's phone ringing, thinking that it was my aunt saying she was on her way. I'll never forget the way my mom answered the phone. She started bawling. It only took my mind a few seconds to somehow know exactly what was being said by the person on the other end of the phone.

My great-grandpa had been in the hospital a few days before. We were going to drive the hour to the hospital but decided not to. Everyone, including the doctor, said that he didn't have too much longer to live but we had plenty of time to visit him at home. Grandpa was very unhappy about being at the hospital and the room would be very crowded with all of the other family already there and our crew of six. It would be better for everyone, including us, if we waited till he got home. The morning after he was released and went home was the day my mom got the phone call. Grandpa Bobby had died in the middle of the night.

While my mom cried and talked to her dad on the phone, I tried to call my dad at work. I couldn't even talk. I had to tell the man my dad's name over and over. It took him a while to find him, he probably still didn't know exactly who he was looking for. My mom took the phone. She couldn't even stand up straight as she cried and told him that he needed to come home.

I went and woke up all of my siblings. I didn't want mom to have to tell them. I told them they needed to wake up fast, that grandpa had died in the middle of the night, and we had to stay calm and strong for Mom. This was going to be even harder for her than it was for us.

May 9th, 2017, was the worst day of my entire life.

The funeral prep is all a blur for me. Finding clothes, going through old pictures for a slideshow, and crying. All the time. Being okay, then just unable to contain it anymore. I specifically remember going through a basket, looking for socks, and just losing it. A memory would flash across my mind and I would break.

One of the days before the funeral I turned my Christian Contemporary Pandora on while getting showered and ready to go buy for clothes for the calling hours. A song played that soothed my soul. Blessings from Laura Story. The words calmed me. I memorized the words to the song in just a few minutes. I wrote them down and carried them with me. Every time I felt like I was going to cry or break down I whispered the words to myself and touched the paper. I didn't always open and read it. I just held it close.

During the calling hours, sitting and watching people come and go, staring at his casket... I did not want to have a breakdown there. Not then, not there. Then everyone else would cry even more and I'd cry more. Everyone would try to talk and tell me it's okay to cry. It would just make it worse. I don't do well with people paying attention to me or being the center of attention. I knew I would be if I let myself cry at all because it wouldn't stop with a single tear... it would be an all out breakdown. I held it all in. I played the words to Blessings over and over in my head. I didn't break down. I felt peace.

Obviously, I still cried. When my cousin gave the most accurate and gripping sermon at the funeral, during the ceremonial military shooting and handing over of the flag to my grandma, and every time we visit my grandma and see Grandpa's empty den. I honestly believe, though, that God used that song. He used the words to calm my soul... to ease my broken heart.

Below is the part I most often quoted to myself...

"What if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise"
~ Blessings - Laura Story

While the death of a grandparent is horrible and extremely difficult, there are people going through much worse. Death of old age happens. It's a part of life. It is difficult but expected. I also have the knowledge that my grandpa is in Heaven, no longer in the pain he suffered daily. I personally know people who've dealt with much worse things.

I hope that if you're feeling any type of fear, sadness, confusion, stress, or any negative emotion (no matter what severity), that you will read through this song and hold onto it's words. They are true. There is a reason for everything. Not a thing happens in this world that won't work out to follow God's ultimate plan. Things happen in this world that we don't understand. It seems like we've been abandoned, left to try and survive on our own. It hurts. It hurts a lot. We blame God. We turn our backs to Him and His goodness.

God never leaves us, though. He doesn't bring bad things upon us. He isn't a cruel God. He does, however, turn evil into good. He turns our pain into joy. He does not forget our tears. He will hold us in His arms if we will let Him.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" - Ecclesiastes 3:1.

So whatever your raindrops, pain, or tears are... remember that something beautiful will come from it. I pray earnestly for you and your pain. I hope and pray that you can lean on God and remember He is with you. Always and forever.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

~ Blessings - Laura Story

Here is a mini bio on my grandpa... just a few things about him:

Grandpa loved fishing! He hunted too, but fishing was his favorite. Maybe that's where I get it from... I like hunting, but fishing is definitely my favorite.

Grandpa was not a Christian in his younger years (far from it actually), but when my grandma became a Christian his life did a 180°. He even became a pastor!

I think my passion for reading came from Grandpa Bobby. He loved reading. After he had a heart attack he didn't leave the house. He didn't like watching TV so he read. All. The. Time. He would go though 4 or 5 big novels a week. He loved reading everything that I wrote. When/if I finish the book I'm writing, I will dedicate to him.

Grandpa's den always smelled like books, dog treats, and cherry pipe tobacco. When we'd visit (they lived over an hour away) I would just sit and talk to grandpa for a long time. He'd ask about school, my writing, our dogs, and just chit-chat. The last time I saw him he actually told me the past Christmas might be his last. I tried not to believe him. He was just being silly grandpa... the same silly grandpa who would pretend to offer us kids his pipe. But he knew. He was getting tired. It was almost time for him to go Home.

This is me and Grandpa Bobby. He always hugged so tight... like he didn't want to let go.

Look at that second grandpa was a looker! Hehe... I think he could have been one of those "heartthrob actors" when he was in his 20s/30s. Doesn't he look a little bit like Paul Walker?

You Can Visit Laura Below!

Laura's Website
Laura Singing Blessings Video
Blessings Lyric Video

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Book Review ~ Love Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

Book Title: Love Defined

Author: Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Number of Pages: 272

Part in Series: Standalone but Girl Defined kind of flows with it

About the Book:

"In a culture obsessed with love and romance, why is it so hard for us to find satisfying love that lasts? Maybe we've been looking at this thing called love all wrong.

In this insightful, encouraging, and totally candid book, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird share a radically better and refreshingly biblical approach to navigating your love life. Covering topics such as true love, purposeful relationships, sex, boundaries, and singleness, Love Defined will take you on a journey to discovering God's good and original design for romance." - Book Description


Are you single?
Are you dating?
Are you married?
Are you a virgin?
Are you not a virgin?
Do you desire to have a Christ centered approach to relationships?
Have you ever wondered if it's still possible to have a long, lasting marriage?

If you answered yes to any of these questions... Love Defined is for you! And yes... I think every female should read this book!

Love Defined is Kristen and Bethany's second book, you can check out their first book HERE.

Kristen and Bethany give some simple, practical, and very important tips for having Christ centered relationships. Stories of past crushes (what they then thought was love); Kristen's story of falling in love with, and marrying, Zack; Bethany's experience of being a single girl past her 20's; and stories from older, wiser women in their lives.

If you can, it may be a good idea to ask a parent, friend, or older sibling to read this. Sometimes the content may not be something young eyes should read. Plus, you don't want to read something that will give away the end of the story!

Spiritual Content: ★★★★☆

God is talked about A LOT! The book is all about having a good relationship with God and following His plan for love, marriage, and sex.

Talk of God's forgiveness, quotes from the Bible, and Kristen and Bethany's take on how God wants us to pursue romantic relationships.

Talk of breaking up with a guy for not being a Christian.

Sexual Content: ★★★★☆

There is a LOT of sexual content so I'm not going to get too specific... that'll take all day... hehe. It isn't 'bad,' it's just kind of what the book is about. Nothing is detailed or descriptive. For example, it may be said that sex outside of marriage doesn't follow God's plan but sex itself isn't explained or detailed.

Mentions of past heartbreaks. Lots of talk about love, marriage, sex, flirting, dating around, physical boundaries, etc.. Mentions of sex outside of marriage, cheating in a marriage, and being a ladies man. Mentions of adultery, crushes, and dating non-Christians. Talk of kissing and making out just for fun.

Talk of pure, beautiful, shame-free, God designed sex. Kristen talks about her and Zack's honeymoon and having sex for the first time. Kristen and Zack were both virgins when they got married.

Talk of letting the man make the first move in a relationship. Comment of love being between one man and one woman. Talk of purity. Talk of being just friends with guys. Talk of childish games, picking out the cutest guys in magazines. Mention of porn, sexual immorality, sleeping around, and polyandry. Talk of setting physical boundaries. Mention of multiple miscarriages and unexplained infertility.
A chapter is dedicated to becoming free from past sexual sin.

Violent Content: ★☆☆☆☆

Mention of drug abuse.

Language: ☆☆☆☆☆


Negative Content: ★☆☆☆☆

Mention of sneaking out with friends and turning off their phones so their parents couldn't contact them. They go cow-tipping.

My Thoughts: ★★★★★

This is only RGBWM's 2nd 5-star rating! This was one of the best books I've read in a long time.

As a single girl I benefited from Kristen's wise words and experience as a woman that underwent a good, Christian relationship process. I especially benefitted from Bethany's point of view, her being a 'then' single girl (she's in a serious relationship now!).

I honestly don't know what else to say, besides the fact that I LOVED this book!

You can visit Girl Defined's website HERE!

You can purchase Love Defined below!

*This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.*

*By recommending this book, I don't necessarily recommend all books by this author.
**I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Review ~ Second Chances by Jenny Lynn

Book Title: Second Chances

Author: Jenny Lynn

Release Date: January 25, 2018

Number of Pages: 171

Part in Series: Book One in An Oaktown Story

About the Book:

"A Christian Young Adult novella. 20 year old Grace is returning to her charming small town where she had a not so charming past. She's ready to make things right and be the young woman she needs to be for her family and for her daughter she left behind. She finds things so much more than forgiveness in this lighthearted and inspiring story of love and redemption." - Book Description

Second Chances is a novella about a young adult woman who has a past. After getting pregnant in high school, Grace leaves her baby, Brooke, with her parents. Grace feels they'll be better off without her. A few years later, Grace returns and wants to fix things. It takes some time, but her family, friends, and the people in her small town come to forgive and forget her past.

If you can, it may be a good idea to ask a parent, friend, or older sibling to read this. Sometimes the content may not be something young eyes should read. Plus, you don't want to read something that will give away the end of the story!

Spiritual Content: ★★★☆☆

Mentions of praying. Grace and her family go to church.

Grace meets an angel in a dream (the angel says it's real... it's never specified whether it's supposed to actually be real or not). She in in a beautiful garden. He talks to her about staying on the right path. She “dreams” about him again and he tells her she needs to ask God for forgiveness, not just people. Grace wakes up and feels the need to pray but she doesn't know if she should go to church or get down on her knees.

Grace talks to a pastor and kneels at the altar to pray. Mention that Jesus probably didn't spread gossip. Kelly is described as a wolf in sheep's clothing, a fake Christian, and a fraud. Mention of God being the only one who can handle Kelly.

Mention of watching a movie about Prayer Warriors (it's said that it is a tool for spiritual warfare) and thinking that would be a good way to tackle the park problem. Grace and many others gather at the park to pray. It is quoted that where two or more are gathered, He is there. Grace's prayers are answered.

Grace feels God telling her to befriend Emily.

Sexual Content: ★★☆☆☆

It's said that Grace got pregnant in high school and the dad left as soon as he found out.

Grace and David have some romantic sparks. Mention of marrying for compatibility, not love. Mention of not being lovable. Emily's mom told her that she wasn't lovable when she was a teenager and a boy told her that when she wouldn't give in to his advances.

A middle aged waitress flirts with David and says if she were younger she'd be all over him. Grace asks if their dinner is a date and David says it can be if she wants it to be. He wanted it to be but didn't want it to be awkward. Seeing David and Grace holding hands, the waitress glares at Grace and winks at David. David has loved Grace since they were kids but stayed away when she was with Brooke's dad. He wants Grace and Brooke to be his family.

Grace thought marriage was something that couldn't happen to her... who would want used merchandise with extra baggage. Emily runs her mouth to Grace. She says that David should be with someone like her who isn't “damaged goods.”

David kisses the top of Graces head. They go to kiss but her dad comes out on the porch. Two kisses (mildly detailed). A kiss on an ear (not detailed). David proposes to Grace.

At church Grace has to remind herself to focus on the pastor, not David. David says he can move to a different row if he's too distracting. Grace asks how he knew she was thinking that and he says because the same thing happens to him.

Violent Content: ★☆☆☆☆

After hearing rumors that Kelly spread about her, Grace has the thought of wanting to find her and tear her to pieces.

Language: ★☆☆☆☆

A “dummy” and “you suck.” Mention of cussing.

Other Negative Content: ★☆☆☆☆

Grace and her mom used to be close until Grace got pregnant. Grace's mom doesn't seem to trust her. Grace left Brooke and her parents because she thought they'd be better off without her. Grace's mom had lied to everyone in the town about where Grace was.

Mention of drinking too much. Mention of feeling like a hangover (no alcohol is involved, just crying). Grace's roommate was sketchy and would let anyone in at night.

Kelly and Emily are extremely rude, even in church: gossiping, judging people, and spreading rumors.

My Thoughts: ★★★☆☆

Second Chances was a very cute book. It had romance, friendship, and faith. The romance wasn't dirty, just a little cheesy. The book felt a little bit like I was reading a Hallmark movie, which is great for people who love Hallmark! I may have enjoyed this book more in December. Around Christmas is the only time I can watch Hallmark and not being annoyed by it's predictable, cheesy plot. I guess Christmas has a way of drawing you into Hallmark type books/movies. I may re-read this come Christmas time.

I love the healed and new friendships in this book. It's inspiring to me.

I liked all of the characters in this book, especially Brooke, David, and Grace.

One thing I thought was that the book ended too soon. It ends with a massive cliffhanger... in the middle of a sentence. It worked... I want to know what happens (although I have an idea) but I feel like it could have been done better. There were a few spelling errors, but this was a self-published book so that can be expected.

You can purchase Second Chances in paperback or e-book form!

*This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.*

*By recommending this book, I don't necessarily recommend all books by this author.
**I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

25 Things To Do Before I Turn 25!

Happy Saturday! I can't believe April is already halfway over! Time flies by so fast. I don't like it.... and I sound like my grandma when I say that. It really does though. I want to savor every moment and take advantage of the time I'm given here on earth. I want to live life to it's fullest. And hey, a bucket list is the perfect way to make sure you do some fun stuff, right?!

This is my bucket list for 2018-2025! Yikes.... 2025. That. Sounds. Weird. It feels like we'll be living in some crazy, technological, we're all robots contolled by some wacky braniac and we're trying to get back the free, beautiful, green world we read about in books and only old people remember, kind of world. AmIRight? Maybe my bookish brain is being a little dramatic but how weird will it be to say it's 2076....

So anyways... here are 25 things I hope to do before I turn 25...

1. Buy a truck - Namely, a Ford f-150. I want one so bad and I've got about 1/3 of the money I need! I'm so excited to start working more in the summer and get my truck by August (hopefully!)

2. Have my own German Shepherd - We have a family German Shepherd but I'm hoping by 25 I'll have my own. I'm torn between naming him Koba, Ace, or Wesson.

3. Travel to Louisiana and visit my best friend, Emily - We've been pen-pals for over 5 years and now text/call regularly. We're hoping to meet in person in the next year! *happy dance*

4. Write an entire novel and publish it - I'm not going to be picky about this so even Amazon Self-Publishing will do!

5. Learn to write calligraphy.

6. Go to a Browns game - I know, the Browns aren't exactly the best NFL team out there but when your grandpas were die-hard Browns fans it kind of gets passed down without a choice.... hehe!

7. Visit the ocean - I don't know whether I'd have the guts to actually swim in the water (raises hand when asked if petrified of sharks). It's so pretty though and I don't want to be a wimp so maybe I'll go in.... we'll see.

8. Go on a missions trip - This. I want to do this so bad. The opportunity hasn't come yet for me to go but I'm hoping it will soon!

9. Go to a Keith Urban concert - I love Keith Urban and I want to see him so bad!

10. Fly in a plane - I'm scared of hights but I want to overcome that and once you're taking off there isn't any backing out. Once I'm in it, I have to face it.

11. Run in a charity race.

12. Go on a long road trip - My family and I traveled to Oklahoma but I was kind of young so I want to do it again.

13. Never hold on to anything and forgive everyone for everything.

14. Obtain no debt... whether it be college, vehicles, or credit cards. Dave Ramsey follower here!

15. Learn to line dance (or any barn dance). This girl wants to get her boot stompin' down!

16. Get married - Hey, a girl can dream, right? I'm hoping to meet the man of my dreams (a Christian, country boy who will put up with my random signing of Christmas songs in the summer) and begin our life together. Hopefully this happens because if it doesn't, who knows how many German Shepherds I'll own. It'll probably be a problem...

17. Be able to cook for the above mentioned fella - This chic can't cook. I burn pizza sandwiches. When they say the best way to a mans heart is through his stomach does getting his stomach pumped count? No? Okay, I better go practice.

18. Shoot a buck (really hoping I can get a bigger rack than all the guys in my family...)

19. Taste an exotic food (alligator, snake, etc.) - Okay y'all... this is not me at all. I eat the same few meals very happily. I have a huge "do not like" food list (ranch dressing, mashed potatoes, desserts with fruit... All of these are such weird things to not like!). If I ever did this I'd be stepping out of my comfort zone big time!

20. Go to a barn dance - #15 would come in really handy here!

21. Make prayer a daily habit.

22. Visit a national monument (The Statue of Liberty, White House, etc.)

23. Sponser a child through Compassion International - I'm hoping to do this in the summer once I'm graduated and working more.

24. Have at least 500 reviews on this blog.


Wow... that's a wide variety of things to do! I've got some simple things and complex things. Some inexpensive and expensive things. Some easily achievable and some not so easy. I'm really hoping to do all 25 of them in the next 6 1/2 years so I better get to work!

What are some things you hope to do in the next 2 years? Or 5 years? Or 10 years? Have you done/can you do any of the things on my list? Do I have anything on my list that you want to do?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review ~ Brothers of Baseball by Kristofor Hellmeister

Book Title: Brothers of Baseball

Author: Kristofor Hellmeister

Release Date: December 14, 2017

Number of Pages: 423

Part in Series: N/A

About the Book (my thoughts, summary, etc.): "Ryan hated the move. He hated being uprooted from his home in New York to the rural outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. But, little did he know of what was in store for him as he becomes wrapped up in two worlds, and in two conflicts. After touching a baseball bat found in the attic of his old home, the Belle Meade Plantation, Ryan is transported back in time to the Civil War. It is here that he takes part in a baseball game between Union and Confederate soldiers on the eve of the Battle of Nashville. Entangled in two timelines, his own and the life of a soldier, Ryan tries desperately to solve the mysteries in his life. It would be a summer unlike any other. A summer of baseball. A summer of brotherhood. A summer of becoming the young man he had always wanted to become. A summer of change. A summer of war." - Book Description

Brothers of Baseball was a very good book! Even though it may be geared more towards boys, I really enjoyed it.

A boy angry with change, a baseball team of boys who want a chance to play real ball, a secret, and a bat with seemingly magical powers are all wrapped into one wonderful book. It really portrays what real friendship is.

Favorite Character: By far, my favorite character was Derek!

                                       *THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE "CONTENT"*
Maybe ask someone (a parent, older sibling, friend, etc.) to read it for you so you don't read any spoilers

Spiritual Content: ★★☆☆☆

Ryan reads his Bible. Ryan's dad says faith is big in the South. Ryan prays. Ryan and his family go to Church. Mention of Bible verses and hymns. Ryan talks to one of the boys on his team about Jesus.

This part seemed kind of strange to me... Ryan is transported to the Civil War through a bat. It's like he lives in another persons body. He is a man named Robert. It turns out the real Robert died in the Civil War but couldn't rest easy knowing he killed people. Ryan relives it for him and doesn't kill anyone. By him not killing anyone it's like Robert didn't. He can then rest easy.

Sexual Content: ★☆☆☆☆

Ryan is asked if he thinks Farrah Fawcett is hot... he says yes. Susan flirts with Derek. Some boys whistle at her. Ryan has a thought that a girl at church is cute. Mention of Ryan maybe having a girlfriend. Peter asks for a trashy magazine.

Violent Content: ★★★☆☆

The book starts with a war scene. Men and horses are shot. There is blood. Not very detailed in a gruesome way, more emotional.

Peter is a rich, spoiled, bully. He tears down Ryan and his family. They almost get into a fight. Peter harasses a librarian and Ryan stands up to him. He and Peter have a verbal argument, trashing each others family. Peter starts punching Ryan and pulls out a knife, threatening him. There are several fights with Peter. When he loses the baseball game he wants someone to take the punishment for it. He beats up on Spunk. Derek and Ryan get into the fight too. Peter pulls out a knife and Derek runs into him. The knife goes into his stomach. Derek dies. Ryan, in a fury, wants to kill Peter. He doesn't.

When Ryan is transferred to the "other world" he passes out in the real world. It is sometimes painful. In the "other world" Ryan is in the Civil War. The men around him are scared, hungry, and carry guns. They want the war to be over, they don't want to kill anymore, and they make jokes about missing on purpose. Guns are fired, men fall to the ground, blood soaks the ground. Roy gets shot and blood spews out of his mouth. Ryan blacks out and in horrible pain. He wakes up surrounded by dead and wounded soldiers. In a stressful escape, Ryan is almost trapped in the "other world."

Derek's tells Ryan something nobody else knows... his little brother got into some trouble with him and Peter (trying to vandalize a house) and got caught. He was nearly beaten to death. It's mentioned that he can't take care of himself anymore and has fits.

A man gets punched. A boy gets a kick to the groin.

Language: Some name calling (usually joking between Ryan's team): loser, dork, jerk, idiot. Ryan calls his sister a "hussy" for flirting with Derek. Two "Oh God's." Susan calls Ryan a "spaz." A "shut-up." A "hell." A "retarded." 

It's mentioned quite a few times that people curse but the actual words are never said.

Other Negative Content: Ryan is very disrespectful to his parents. He gripes, whines, and thinks about putting up a horror poster even though his parents wouldn't like it. He plans on doing something even if his parents say no. Ryan and his parents get into arguments. He uses curse words to describe his dad (no actual words are said). Ryan yells at his dad and says "Hell..." He slams doors.

Mention of Ryan's new house being a slave plantation in its glory days. Ryan is not confident, he doesn't stand up for himself. Ryan lies a lot. Some men want alcohol.

One of the boys on Ryan's team was left by his parents and lives in an orphanage. Peter makes cruel comments to him about this. Another boy is blind in one eye because he father beat him so badly. A boy's parents are divorced.

A crude joke about where a bat belongs, along with a gesture. A boy burps loudly, followed by laughter.

A comment that secrets are the root of evil. A boy says his mom is the devil (joking). A comment that the umpire is fat and ugly. They are angry because he is on Peter's side and doesn't play fair.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

I really enjoyed Brothers of Baseball. The plot was creative. The characters were quite good (I may have cried during a certain scene). I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes books about faith, courage, and brotherhood!

You can purchase Brothers of Baseball here!

*By recommending this book, that doesn't mean I recommend all books by this author.
**I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

10 Things You May Not Know About Me!

I absolutely adore reading but... well... life happens and I can't commit to a book review more than once a month. That's not nearly enough fun, exciting blogging though right!? I've decided to post my book reviews on the fourth Saturday of the month and more of a lifestyle post on the second Saturday. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

So here goes.... my first lifestyle type post on this blog: Ten Things You May Not Know About Me!

1. I am a total country girl! I fish, hunt, play backyard football, and wear my muck books and pj's while doing outside chores.
2. I wear cowboy boots every single day.
3. I detest coffee and tea.... not very bookish... I know.
4. I live in a little town in Ohio.
5. My favorite store is Rural King.
6. My hair is naturally curly.
7. I bite my nails.
8. I started reading when I was 4.
9. I am slightly obsessed with Scotty McCreery since I saw him in concert Feb. 9, 2018. No, it's not a problem.... yet. Hehe!
10. I detest Algebra but love Trig.... like what, how is that possible?

So there you go! Any other random things you'd like to know about me? Let me know in the comments and I'll answer!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Book Review ~ The Coronation by Olivia Jarmusch

Book Title: The Coronation

Author: Livy Jarmusch

Release Date: June, 20 2017

Number of Pages: 460

Part in Series: Book #1 in the Tales of Tarsurella series

About the Book (my thoughts, summary, etc.): "Prince Addison is only several weeks away from inheriting the Kingdom of Tarsurella. The entire Palace is ablaze with excitement, as the Royal Family prepares for the event of a lifetime. Despite the exciting event which is near at hand, Addison and his younger siblings (all 7 of them!) must carry on with their daily activities..." - Book Description

If you love a modern fairytale story then this book is perfect for you! Livy blends a dreamy fairytale with modern life. It has the perfect mix of reality and fantasy, laughter and worry, and excitement and nervousness. I've tried reading modern fairy tales before and they often contain my famous word.... content. Livy keeps her book very clean, which I will go into more detail below. 

(This is something new I've decided to add to my review when applicable) My favorite character in The Coronation was definitely Addison. I'm gonna be honest here... he has the qualities I hope to find in a husband some day (which I think is what Livy wanted :)); charming, kind, caring, hardworking, and saving his heart and time for the perfect girl. Lets all sigh as we think about how perfect that sounds..... *sigh*

Okay, awkward moment over... lets get to the content...

                                       *THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE "CONTENT"*

Spiritual Content: ★★★✰✰-  The Coronation is centered around God.

The Royals are Christians. They pray often, talk about God, quote Bible verses, and read the Bible. Liam talks about becoming a Christian and how it changed him.

The terrorists are followers of Allah. They kill for Allah. They want everyone to worship Allah.

Sexual Content: ★★☆☆☆ - There was a lot to list for the sexual content, but the actual content was very light-hearted.

Bridget feels like she'll never fall in love again after a traumatic relationship. A young Austrailian heart-throb stole her heart and broke it. He tried to force her to kiss him and was feeding information to a teen magazine. He hid a camera in her bedroom hoping to catch them together so he could give it to the magazine. Bridget gets phone calls from young men that say they are "enchanted" with her. Bridget isn't interested. Bridget's friends ask her about the cute guys she meets. Bridget notices Liam's handsome features, but has no intention of letting him into her heart.

Addison is pressured to find a wife to help him rule. He scrolls through some pictures of possible girls but he isn't interested. Girls adore and flirt with Addison. Addison has to meet with several young women in hopes of his hitting it off with one of them. Some girls want to marry Addison for his bank account. Addison falls for Vanessa. He dances with her at the Ball. Vanessa starts to fall for him too. Addison wants to pursue her as a possible wife.

Chasity notices that her security guard is cute but tries not to think about it. Her little sister says he's cute too. When she falls off of her horse Hanson helps her up. She feels warm when he touches her. Her attempts at ignoring his attractive features doesn't go well. Hanson realizes she has a crush on him and calls her out on it. She denies it. Chasity is jealous of one of Hanson's old friends. Chasity and Hanson almost kiss. They both want a relationship but say that it won't work.

David and Hope have feelings for each other. David writes her a love song. They both want to kiss (they don't). They both share their feelings but Hope doesn't want a relationship yet. She wants to save her heart for the right man. She wants to stay friends until they can get to know each other better. 

Mention of a girl wanting to save her first kiss for marriage. The princesses wish they could talk to boys without it becoming national headlines. Comment of heartthrob superstars. Comment of college guys being "blah." A girl makes a comment about being annoyed that immature guys whistle at her. Talk of guarding your heart. Millie says boys are yucky and Jillian says to just wait till she's older and meets boy bands. A guy says that the princesses are hot and if he worked with them they'd be an item real quick.

Zac and Justin want to collect cute girls phone numbers but Hanson stops them. Lily flirts with lots of boys. She kisses Hanson on the cheek twice. She says that Greek boys have nothing on him. Millie asks Addison if he and Vanessa are getting married.

Two "hunky." Mentions of guys being cute. Mentions of dating, wanting to date, willing to date, etc.. The princesses talk about boys a good bit. A little boy runs around in his boxers. A man grabs Chasity and says she "ain't too bad to look at." The lead terrorist wants to marry Hope.

Violent Content: ★★✩✩✩ - There was some violent content but none of it was detailed or gruesome.

Hanson is jumped in an alley. His father chokes him, threatens him, and says he'll tear his mother to pieces if Hanson doesn't do what he says.

The Queen died giving birth to Willie.

A man grabs Chasity and he smells like alcohol. Hanson tackles him.Chasity's horse is spooked by a cougar and a security guard shoots the cougar. Chasity falls and hits her head. 

During the Coronation there are gunshots. Terrorist's invade the palace. Some of the Royal family escapes but some are left inside. The terrorists hold people at gunpoint with machine guns. Hope and Asher are beaten. The terrorist tries to force Hope into a wedding dress. He tears off her sleeve but before he gets any farther Hanson and Clark break into the room. Hanson is shot in the shoulder. When Royal helicopters show up the terrorists shoot as many people as possible before killing themselves. All of the Royals are safe except Asher... he's missing. People say that he could have been kidnapped or killed and hidden somewhere. Asher is found in a prison, severely beaten. On a video game Asher says he sometimes wishes he could shoot Addison.

Liam's step-father beat up his birth mom. Liam says that he took a bat and beat up his step-fathers car. He says he would have hit his step-father in the head if the police hadn't shown up. He ended up in Juvenile Detention. He wanted to kill his step-father if he ever got the chance.

Language: ★☆☆☆☆- Virtually no language.

A "dork" and "moron"

Other Negative Content: ★☆☆☆☆ - Very minor negative content.

Comment that college is mostly partying and drinking. Zac says he has to "tinkle."

Asher is extremely disrespectful. He raises his voice at his dad and Addison. He says he wishes Addison had never been born. The King sends him to his room and Asher then refuses to speak to him. Addison has nightmares about enemies coming into the Ball Room with machine guns.

Through his anger Asher led the terrorists to the Palace. He had become very dark and is sent to a rehabilitation center. 

My Rating: ★★★★✩ I give The Coronation 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed the book. I love modern day fairytales! Livy did a good job at creating realistic, loveable characters. There were a few parts that didn't seem quite realistic, but The Coronation is a well rounded story.

*By recommending this book, that doesn't mean I recommend all books by this author.
**I received this book for free in return for an honest review.
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