Throne of Glass...A Sneak Peek

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

Throne of Glass

Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Goodreads Summary:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Sneak Peek:

"She became all too aware of the three long scars down her back. Even if she won her freedom...event if she lived in peace in the countryside... those scars would always remind her what she'd endured. And that even if she was free, others were not." p 59

Initial Thoughts

I am so late to the game with this series... I am not sure why I held out so long... But I'm jumping for 2017... And to be honest, this story was very interesting.  I was surprised by the twists and turns, and can see that these characters will carry this story through many books!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa @ Reading List

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

You can leave your teaser, author, and title in the comments (click over to the web version if you're on the mobile site). Or write up your own post and join us weekly!  Then you can share your link in the comments, and I will stop over and leave you a comment!!!  YAY!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

Blog hop

Hearts for Home 12/22

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Welcome to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop

I am so glad you are joining us!  When you share your posts with us, your post will be displayed across 12 different sites, isn't that wonderful? 

And each week there will be at least one feature to check out from the previous week.  I hope you come back every week. If this is your first week, take a moment and say to me in the comments.  If you sign up for the community newsletter, you will get reminders of the hop, and some random freebies!  YAY!

Just for the Reading List Community

It's been a while since I've shared a special gift for those of you who are part of our little community. If you are already a member, and have received a newsletter at all in November, you already saw this, but I am still giving out monthly (more like bi-monthly) freebies. 

I enjoy creating printables, I just don't have much time to, which makes me sad. But since I've started keeping a Bullet Journal I am trying to create a few more now. So for the month of December, I am including a free link in the newsletter to print out a book tracker for you all for 2017. It will print up to an 8.5x11 sheet, or as small as you want to fit in your own BuJo or binders. Just sign up to be a member of our community above and wait to receive your first newsletter!

Reading List Community Freebie - Book shelf reading tracker for 2017

Once you print out your book tracker you can fill in the empty spines with the title of the books you want to read in 2017. Then once you read it you get to color it in. Hopefully, by the end of 2017, your bookshelf tracker will be full of color! I left space also for you to doodle if you want to embellish your sheet. 

And don't forget, I will be updating and sharing my Blogging Scheduler for you all soon!  It's my most popular freebie, so you want to make sure you are on the mailing list now. 

Most clicked post from last week

Link up and spread the word, next week it might be you!!!

Now for this week’s Hearts for Home Blog Hop!

Share your posts this week, and then take time to discover some new ideas from all the other fabulous posts in this week’s party! Click on the little blue rectangle below to enter your links.

Please visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love receiving a word or two from our visitors, so please consider leaving a comment when you find something that inspires you!

Other nice things you can do:

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Grab our button and share it on your side bar or link party page.
  • Be sure to visit a few links and share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!

Glad You’ve Joined the Hop!

By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post. We are here every Thursday – be sure to stop by next week to see who’s been featured. By linking up you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs that we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

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book launch

Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

There is a whole new year knocking, do you hear it?

For some the promise of a new year, with new possibilities is exhilarating, but for others, the new year can be filled with fear over what could happen. The unknown is often scary.

Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie

So today, I am incredibly honored to be hosting Kelly Balarie as she shares a bit on fear... And I will be back soon with my own review on her incredible book!

Just yesterday, my friend told me her daughter has lice. 
I hugged that girl yesterday!
Would lice go from her hair to mine? Would I be cleaning the entire house, washing every sheet and stuffed animal, and pulling a thin comb through every inch of hair on my family’s heads from now until eternity? I can't handle this thought. Next time, fist bumps will trump hugs.

Fear is the plumbing of discontentment.
It is the spillage of hesitation and loneliness.
It is the brakes to love.
It is the bulldozer to close relationships.
It is the boundary holding you back from God’s unlimited plan for you.

Fear is the rain cloud that always follows, the homicide to all God has, the breeding ground to insecurities, the shortness of breath that wakes you up at night, the cemetery of faith, and the artery blockage to the Spirit's leading.

Fear is wildfire makes you run so far that you find galaxies of space between you and your great maker. It is the blocked artery to faith. It is the burden that keeps persisting. It is the laryngitis to the voice proclaiming God.

I hate fear. I’ve written all about it in my new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears.

It makes my eyes pulsate. I get angry at it.

But, here’s the thing about getting angry -  the second I do is the second I have a deep gnawing feeling God wants to say something. Somehow, I know, if I don’t listen to it I’ll miss out on - amazing.

So, I search and uncover God’s heart. What I come to is: "Faith, dear child, faith."

Faith says, you can. Fear says, you won't.
Faith ignites passion. Fear depletes it.
Faith brings hope. Fear fire hoses it.
Faith changes lives. Fear wrecks them.
Faith makes Jesus shine. Fear desecrates his name.
Faith charges lives. Fear zaps them.
Faith walks in hope of eternity. Fear cowers down to death.
Faith doesn't have to be huge. Fears always are.
Faith exalts Jesus. Fear bows down to the devil.
Faith speaks humility. Fear listens to pride.
Faith accepts grace. Fear hugs shame.
Faith knows it's not perfect. Fear thinks God leaves the imperfect.
Faith wins every time.
Faith takes I-am-going-over-the-cliff moments and turns them around. Suddenly, you realize you aren’t going over the cliff to die, but to fly.

Where do you need faith? How can you create a second of space, before rapidly responding in fear?

I’ve found if I can just halt my response for a second, I have a second to choose God. And, when push comes to shove, even if we make the wrong choice, God knows, we always have next time. He is full of grace. He is rooting for us. There is freedom for those in Christ Jesus.  

Interested in fighting fear? Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge!

Fear Fighting by Kelly BalarieAbout the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:

Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day.

About Kelly Balarie:
Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie
Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.  

Amazing right?  

Faith ignites passion. Fear depletes it. #FearFighting @kellybalarie @Reading_List1

I am only just getting into this book, and I am loving it.  I cannot wait to share more with you all!  If you have questions, let me hear them.  And if I don't talk to you before, Merry Christmas!! 

Marissa Writes on Reading List

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Book review

A Love Transformed {A Book Review}

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Love Transformed

Tracie Peterson

My first real chapter book that I read on my own was Secret Garden. After that, I jumped straight into Little Women. By the time I came across Anne of Green Gables I knew I would forever be a fan of the genre.  And then I realized that today's literature was quite different.  While I have found many books in different genres that I love, I still search for a more historical feel work of fiction that grabs me like these others.  And to be honest, a part of me wants to find it in a clean romance, Christian writer.

I think that is why I keep picking up such books, even after an entire year of feeling disappointed by this particular genre that so many simply adore. So please bare with me as I give you my own humble thoughts on yet another one.

A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson a Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Clara Vesper's husband is killed suddenly just as the story opens. While she is surprised and shocked, she is not devastated because she never loved her husband.  While he is the father of her twins, whom she loves dearly, her marriage was more of a business agreement and less of a love affair. Clara's heart resides with another man, one she has not spoken to in fourteen years. 

After her brother-in-law steps into to help Clara continue to live the comfortable life she is used to - the Vesper Jewelry business is quite lucrative- she decides she needs to get away from the high life in New York and return to her aunt & uncle in Montana. Her aunt and uncle run a sheep ranch, which is where she would spend her summers before her mother decided she was of age to be married. And now that Clara is widowed, it is the perfect place to return to. 

Curtis Billingham has been in love with Clara for years and years, but when she was taken from him fourteen years before he started down a vicious spiral and became a man he is now ashamed of. While he has turned his life around, he knows he will never be worthy of Clara, and is trying to focus on a new path in life, maybe even signing up for the army now that it is inevitable that the US will join the war against Germany. 

Personal Likes

I enjoyed the added twist with war and espionage that is going on in the background of the story. Without such a tension filled subplot this story would have been very stale.

I also really enjoyed Paul & Madeline Sersland, Clara's uncle and aunt. While some of their scenes are bit over the top, they are the fun and loving family that every clean romance needs. They truly care for those in their family and see family as a unit that is supposed to care for each other, whatever the costs.  They bring most of the warm and fuzzies one expects from the genre.

Personal Dislikes

Overall, this story felt rushed, like the author had to meet a deadline over producing a wonderfully crafted work. And as Ms Peterson puts out so many books, that might just have been the case.  There were wonderful hints at what could have been, but they often fell flat after just a few pages. The end effect was a story that needed to be embellished and flushed out more.

In the Christian love story genre, we all know the guy is going to somehow get the girl, so it's no surprise how quickly we meet Clara and Curtis and know the story is about them getting together. And yet, not once, did I worry they might not.  There was no real tension they had to overcome, just some minor hops that one-page talks fixed. It just wasn't there.

I really wish this would have been a bit more evolved in the details.

Reading List Rating

a four heart rating on Reading List

I am going to give this a four heart rating because the faults are obvious to me because I am a little wary of the genre, but for fans, it will be a bit hit - fans of Peterson and of the clean Christian romance that is. 

My Suggested Audience

I would suggest this book to any audience who is looking for a clean historical romance. This is certainly a Christian book, so if that is not your style, you most likely will not enjoy this one - this is clearly a book about Christian characters and how their Christianity is part of their daily lives. As far as ages, really this is completely clean and appropriate for any age (granted I am talking young teens, as kids just wouldn't be into the story).

As far as historical fiction fans, this might not be the right choice either.  While the beginning of WWI is certainly a major part of the story, and there are details about it, the war is not the focal point really. 

Wondering Questions to Consider

This kind of story certainly displays how even after a person decides to follow Jesus, and commits their lives to daily obedience to Christ, life on this earth will still come with disasters and challenges. Do you enjoy stories that show how broken the world is, even for believers? Is it encouraging to read stories that show how, with the support of other godly people, the characters are able to move forward on the path God has placed them on?

...the devil had a much louder voice. #ALoveTransformed @Reading_List1

What was your first ever real chapter book that you just loved? How old were you?  Do you still love it?

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, BethanyHouse. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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