Thursday, January 29, 2015

YouTube Thursday

In honor of that infamous game that will be played this Sunday, here are the Minions with their Official Superbowl TV Spot:

I will NOT be watching because I couldn't care less about the outcome.  Instead, I hope to get some reading done so I can bring you my latest reviews.

Happy Friday Eve!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy Birthday MOTDU!

Picture taken from the iStock Photo site

Happy 8th Birthday MOTDU!

It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for 8 years.  I first started when one of my former colleagues mentioned that I should blog--"it's fun."  So, I went out to the web and looked into this whole blogging thing and found that I could make a lot of connections by posting about books I've read, or even what's happening in my life at that particular moment.  I've enjoyed posting these last 8 years and hope to post for many more.

So raise your glass, or even your cupcake in honor of MOTDU's birthday!  Here's to many more years of continued typing and sharing of my life!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy 2015!

Photo taken from iStock Photo website

 Happy New Year everyone!  

I know we're almost into the second month of the new year, but I figure it's never too late to celebrate a fresh start.  That's how I feel about this posting--a fresh start.

I must apologize for my absence dear readers.  Life these last few years hit warp speed and all I felt I could do was hang on and pray I didn't get flung too far in the chaos.  

I have learned that life is relentless and that there will never be enough time to do the things that I think need to be done.  That my priorities may not necessarily be the priorities of the others around me, and that's okay.

I've learned that if I don't take the time for myself, and to do things for myself--even when others call me selfish, that I will get lost in the sea of chaos and will never be able to break free to the surface.

I did a lot of thinking in my absence.  A lot of thinking and grieving for the things I've lost.  For the things others have lost, or are losing.  

In the end, I know that I must pray and draw closer to God.  That He is the only one who will hold me close when I feel I'm being swept away by the current.  He will be the one to wipe my tears when I question-"why Me"?  He is the one to pick me up and hold me in his arms of comfort, so that I may have rest.  

After all, in Matthew 11:28-30 He says:

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I have tried to find my rest in the Lord for the past two years.  In fact, it's been my "one word."  However, the more I've been reading in the Bible, the more I'm finding that my time for rest is over.  That it's time for me to start listening for and to His voice, and to obey what He is asking, no, telling me I need to do.  And that's the part I'm most hesitant about doing.  Jumping.

Oh, I've jumped before without looking to see if there was a net, and the Lord provided a way for me to fly.  The problem is, I feel like the bird whose feathers have been clipped and can no longer soar in the breeze.

Does this mean that I don't have faith?  No, it just means that I need to re-learn how to rely on God.  After all, I'm His child, and don't we as parents (whether of the two-legged or four-legged variety) want what's best for our kids?  How is God any different?

And this is what I'm going to be focusing on this year--relying on God to direct my paths.  Will I get it right the first time?  Probably not.  But I do know that God's mercies are new every day.  I just need to remain content in Him.

Well my readers, I've probably told you more than you probably ever wanted to know.  I hope your new year is off to a great start!

I have some book reviews scheduled in the coming months, as well as a milestone challenge that I've accepted.  I also plan on having some weekly posts where you can interact with me.  Stay tuned for more regular postings and thank you for not giving up on me.

Well my readers, I've probably told you more than you probably ever wanted to know.  I hope your new year is off to a great start!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Secret of the Journal: Rope of Sand by C.F. Dunn (book #3)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book for free from the publisher through the Kregel Publications' book  blogger campaign and 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.”

About the Book: (Information taken from the Kregel Publications site)

The third installment of the acclaimed romantic thriller series

This third volume, set in rural Maine’s deep winter, follows the developing relationship between British historian, Emma D’Eresby, and American surgeon, Matthew Lynes. Emma unravels Matthew’s alarming past and begins to comprehend how very different her future might be with a man whose identity must never be revealed.

Emma nervously meets Matthew’s family. She encounters his seventy-year-old son, Henry, and learns how unique the family really is. As Christmas approaches, it is clear that Emma is not welcomed by all: what does Matthew’s great-granddaughter have against her, and what might his sinister psychiatrist granddaughter, Maggie, be prepared to do?

Bound by their faith, Matthew and Emma have accepted that they must wait to be together until his wife dies. Very reluctantly, Emma meets Ellen—an elderly woman with a core of steel—and learns how living with Matthew will mean concealment and lies. How can they have a life together?

Read an Excerpt here!

About the Author: (Information taken from her Goodreads Author Page)
Writing as CF Dunn, I thrive on creating romantic thrillers with a historical twist, drawing on a degree in history and a career in literacy development to write stories that touch on people’s frailty and their unexpected strengths. Everyone has a story to tell, and I explore how the legacy of the past impacts on the present and shapes the future. The question is, can anyone escape their history, and how will it determine the path they choose to take?

My love of Maine and my family's long legacy in the county of Lincolnshire provide a rich heritage and vital elements in the evolving story of The Secret of the Journal series.

Blessed with a historian husband, two creative daughters and a quirky Corgi, I divide my time between running a specialist dyslexia and autism school we founded in Kent, and writing in Cornwall.

Stalk the Author: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook

Dynamic Uno here: I fell in love with The Secret of the Journal series while reading book #1, Mortal Fire.  The characters had so many facets and intricacies woven into their stories that I became engrossed in learning more and more about their lives, and ultimately, worried about their outcomes.  (Can you say addicted?) 

Somehow I missed the release of book #2, Death Be Not Proud, so I was unaware that the lives of Matthew, Emma, and the others were continuing without me.  Thankfully, I ordered it through Amazon: Death Be Not Proud (The Secret of the Journal)  and started reading it right away so that I could find out what happened after the cliffhanger of Mortal Fire.  (It was just as captivating!) 

I immediately dove into book #3, Rope of Sand, when I finished book #2.  The beginning pages of this book were a recap from the ending of Death Be Not Proud, but some of the details were changed a bit so it threw me for a bit of a loop at first.  However briefly distracted, I was immediately sucked back into the story as Emma celebrated Christmas with Matthew and was introduced to his "extended" family members.

While most of Matthew's family accepted Emma into their fold, there were a few family members who resisted the idea that she would eventually become a permanent fixture within their household. The resentment resulted in a bit of mischief that almost caused Emma to die.  Fortunately, Matthew and his son, Henry, are doctors, so they were able to revive Emma before she was lost to them all.  Tests were run, and it was discovered that Emma had her own special gift of helping others (although you'll have to read the book to find out about her talent).

When classes resume on campus, Emma learns that Professor Staahl is accusing her for his damaged reputation when she gets served with the court papers. Realizing that her nightmare has returned in real life, she grows concerned when she realizes that the only people who really know what happened on the night she was attacked were Staahl, Matthew, and herself--inevitably throwing Matthew in the spotlight, a place he has learned to avoid.

Will Matthew's secret be divulged through the trial?  Will Emma be able to produce evidence that she was not complicit in the attack by Staahl, or will his hidden allies manage to set him free?  All these and questions and more will be answered by reading Rope of Sand.

I enjoyed reading this installment of The Secret of the Journal series because we finally met characters we had only been introduced to briefly and were able to see how they interacted with one another.  I felt that this book was a bit heavy and drawn-out with the court case thrown in because it wreaked havoc on everyone's lives, but it did bring more of the "family secrets" to life and caused Emma and Matthew's family to claim "sides."  

I was a bit disappointed because I had hoped we would see a wedding  and get the "happily ever after" ending that I so want to see for Matthew and Emma, but this was not the case at this point in their lives.  Guess I'll have to wait for the penultimate book #4, Realm of Darkness, to be released.  (Yay!  More Matthew and Emma!!)

If you enjoy suspense, mystery, intrigue, and history, you'll love this series--although you MUST start at the beginning or you'll have no idea of what's happening and why certain details and story-lines are so important.  

Purchase the Book here: Kregel Publications 

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!