Category: Reading

Russia Folklore Retelling – The Bear and the Nightingale {Review}

Posted March 8, 2017 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Russia Folklore Retelling – The Bear and the Nightingale {Review}The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Series: The Bear and the Nightingale #1
Publisher: Del Rey (2017)
eARC (322 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Retelling Challenge, 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

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1980s Paranormal Traveling Carnival – Freeks {Review}

Posted March 6, 2017 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

1980s Paranormal Traveling Carnival – Freeks {Review}Freeks by Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (2017)
eARC (400 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible?
Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future.
She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.

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A Historical Fiction Set in Pre-Reformation England – The Silent Songbird {Review}

Posted January 30, 2017 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

A Historical Fiction Set in Pre-Reformation England – The Silent Songbird {Review}The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim #7
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2016)
eARC (296 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost.
Evangeline is the ward and cousin of King Richard II, and yet she dreams of a life outside of Berkhamsted Castle, where she might be free to marry for love and not politics. But the young king betroths her to his closest advisor, Lord Shiveley, a man twice as old as Evangeline. Desperate to escape a life married to a man she finds revolting, Evangeline runs away from the king and joins a small band of servants on their way back to their home village.
To keep her identity a secret, Evangeline pretends to be mute. Evangeline soon regrets the charade as she gets to know Wesley, the handsome young leader of the servants, whom she later discovers is the son of a wealthy lord. But she cannot reveal her true identity for fear she will be forced to return to King Richard and her arranged marriage.
Wesley le Wyse is intrigued by the beautiful new servant girl. When he learns that she lost her voice from a beating by a cruel former master, he is outraged. But his anger is soon redirected when he learns she has been lying to him. Not only is she not mute, but she isn't even a servant.
Weighed down by remorse for deceiving Wesley, Evangeline fears no one will ever love her. But her future is not the only thing at stake, as she finds herself embroiled in a tangled web that threatens England's monarchy. Should she give herself up to save the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

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A Biblical Journey Through the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection – Walk in Her Sandals {Review}

Posted January 29, 2017 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

A Biblical Journey Through the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection – Walk in Her Sandals {Review}Walk in Her Sandals by Kelly Wahlquist
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2016)
eARC (160 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

Pray in a new and creative way this Lent by joining the women of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization on a journey through Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. What if you could have been a witness to the events of the last days of Jesus life walking with him as he entered Jerusalem, observing his crucifixion, and embracing him on Easter?
Walk in Her Sandals, edited by popular Catholic author and speaker Kelly M. Wahlquist, takes you deeper into your relationship with Jesus by helping you relate to him in a profoundly intimate way. Looking at six universal gifts of women through the eyes of women in the gospels, the book guides you on a prayerful and creative journey through the days of Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.
As you imagine the experience of the women who met Jesus, you will discover how each of them expressed one of six, distinctive, feminine gifts identified in the writings of St. John Paul II. Through the eyes of an imagined woman who watched Jesus entry into Jerusalem, you will understand how she conveyed the gift of receptivity. Through the hands of Veronica, who reached out to wipe the face of Jesus, you will discover how sensitivity is present and can grow in your own life. These gifts, along with generosity, prayer, maternity, and the Holy Spirit, come to life through the vivid portrayal of women who walked with Jesus. Their imagined stories are complemented by the real accounts of contemporary women who share their own stories of receiving and cultivating these gifts.
Walk in Her Sandalsis a collaborative effort, edited by Wahlquist with contributions from twelve leading Catholic women writers, all of whom are associated with the organization she founded WINE: Women In the New Evangelization. The contributors will help you break open the scripture, reflect upon it and apply it to your own life, and share those insights in a small-group setting through the use of questions and challenges. Each chapter unfolds in eight movements:
A Moment to Ponder Wahlquist sets the stage for the theme of that chapter.
Entering the Scripture Sarah Christmyer, codeveloper of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study, reveals the riches of the scripture that corresponds with the day, both in the biblical narrative and in the liturgical year.
Walk in Her Sandals Stephanie Landsem, author of the biblical fiction series The Living Water, draws you into the story and allows you to experience what it may have been like for women who lived and walked with Jesus.
Unwrapping the Gift Catholic author, speaker, and faith-formation leader Pat Gohn shows how each woman demonstrates a particular feminine gift and invites you to nurture that gift in yourself and understand anew the beauty of your dignity and vocation.
Reflect on the Meaning Writers including CatholicMom.com founder Lisa M. Hendey and popular media personality Teresa Tomeo offer insight, encouragement, and inspiration for your own journey through their personal stories.
Lectio and Meditatio A prayerful reading of the scripture and a guided meditation to draw you more deeply into an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Questions for Group Discussion Carol Younger, senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, offers a helpful tool to share your experience with other women.
Walking in the New Evangelization Wahlquist offers two ways to contribute to the New Evangelization first by growing in your contemplative spiritual life and then by giving you practical suggestions to enhance your active spiritual life.
Walk in Her Sandals will allow you to enter more fully into life in Christ by praying over his passion, death, and resurrection. It will help you experience a conversion of heart and recognize your own giftedness.

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Every Decision Creates Infinite Realities – The Infinity of You and Me {Review}

Posted January 28, 2017 in Reading, Review / 1 Comment

Every Decision Creates Infinite Realities – The Infinity of You and Me {Review}The Infinity of You & Me by J Q Coyle
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (2016)
Hardcover (256 pages)
Via: Publisher
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

What if every life-altering choice you made could split your world into infinite worlds?
Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds—strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is while trying to save the people and worlds she loves. J.Q. Coyle’s The Infinity of You & Me is a wild ride through unruly hearts and vivid worlds guaranteed to captivate.

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