Friday, February 27, 2015

Free ebook for you.

Get my short story, Waltz into the Waves, for free on Kindle!
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Advernture Between the Pages: Sabotaged

Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage Book #5)

Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 16 and up for some violence and romance
Best for Ages: 18 and up

Description: Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now paired together on Yancey's search-and-rescue canine unit, they begin to put aside old arguments as they come to see each other in a different light. Then a call comes in from the Iditarod that will push them to their limits. Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing. Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. In order to save her, the man must use his knowledge as a mechanical engineer to do the kidnapper's bidding or she will die. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life, but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

After finishing three of these books in a matter of a week, I was eagerly looking forward to the last installment of this series. By the time I finished, it was sad to say goodbye. I have really come to love the McKenna family and wish there were more adventures to come. However, the series wrapped up everything nicely in the end.

One of the things I have come to really love about Pettrey’s stories is that she tackles some really hard issues without going into so much detail as to horrify the reader, but also doesn’t gloss it over. That is a hard balance, especially with the topic in this book, but she manages. It is always hard to read about someone else’s pain.

Neither Reef or Kirra were my favorite characters, nor did I feel especially close to them. Yet, their story drew me in. I think that Pettrey’s strength is that she draws the reader into the story, no matter how they feel about the characters. My favorite part of the whole story has to be Jack trying to propose to his girl, but he keeps being interrupted.

Out of all the series, this had to be the strongest mystery. Some of the others had some holes, but this one was pretty tight, and felt more suspenseful. It kept me flipping pages and made the ending highly satisfying.

The romance was not my favorite of the McKenna’s, and I thought one of the romantic scenes at the beginning was a bit dumb, but it quickly got better. Pettrey did a great job of showing her characters as being committed to purity, without preaching about it.

The faith element in this story also seemed stronger than it had in any of the other stories. Understanding why God allows bad things to happen, how He helps us to heal, and trusting again were all covered in a very strong and powerful way.

I highly recommend this book to those who liked any of the other books in the Alaskan Courage series, those who like mysteries, and anyone who enjoys romance.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Other reviews you might enjoy
Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life without TV and other good things

My sisters and I decided that we needed a month without watching movies. It is something that we used to do at least once a year, but haven't done it at least two. It isn't that we have a problem with watching movies, but taking a month off makes us realize how much time we are spending in front of the TV, and helps to reestablish good habits. Like I realized how often I watched a movie instead of read a book.

Even though I have been struggling with Ceder fever (a horrible allergy to have right now), I have been working almost daily on my writing in some form or fashion. I have completed two more short stories (One will be coming out next month) and am now knee deep into the final edits for Brothers and Betrayal. Thanks to my awesome editing team, they have been a breeze so far.

What else have I been doing? I have been going through my old blog posts, adding pinnable images, and deleting a few that really had no real meaning. It has been fun to see how far I have come, as some of the early posts were rather funny. However, I am also remembering how much fun those early blog posts were. I wasn't trying to impress anyone or build a following that hung on my every word. I was just sharing my life and thoughts with people. I want to get back to that.

So, this is the first of (I hope) many blog posts to come that just share my normal life with you.

Monday, February 23, 2015

What we Have Lost

We talk about justice, we forget mercy.
We ask for fairness, and ignore the verses about forgiveness
We shout about our rights, and mock gentle answers
We instantly judge, not even bothering to think about the other side of the story.
We have lost our kindness
We have lost our gentleness
We have lost or compassion

The past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot of how we as a Christian community have come to react to things. I watched as a friend on Facebook cheered the death of a criminal, ugly comments being made about our president, a dear friend of mine found her family receiving hate mail as a result of a news story.

It got me to thinking about how I respond to things, and how we as Christians respond. We (this includes me) to often fall into the trap of the Pharisees. Instead of mourning a wasted life, surrounding a criminal with prayer and love, we cast the first stone. Instead of being the first to offer the respect our leaders, no matter who they are, we are the first to hurl insults. We rush to judgment and forget to have compassion on the people behind the story.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

But they don’t know us by our love. They know us by our political stances, and our fiery sermons meant to scare people. We are the first to judge our fellow Christians, and often abandon the ones who are hurting.

We have lost our love.

I for one plan to reclaim it: To love the sinners without condoning the sin, to stop shouting about my rights and start speaking with kindness, to give our leaders the respect they deserve, and to be slow to make a judgment. Will you join me?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Book Review of The King's Scrolls

When I was asked to be part of the advanced reader team for this book, I jumped at the chance, but I was a little worried when I opened up the document. After all, Resistance had been so good, what if King’s Scrolls couldn’t measure up? I shouldn’t have worried. This book exceeded my expectations by far.

This book took many twists and turns. Some of them were exciting and exhilarating, while others were heart wrenching and brought me to the brink of tears. This book took me on an emotional roller-coaster that took me some time to recover from … in a good way.

I had so loved some of the early works by this author (written under the name Molly Evangeline), because they were so unabashedly Christian. I was worried that as she got older and her writing matured, her message of faith, heart for salvation, and love for the bible would fade. I am so grateful that they haven’t. Yes, her writing has matured as well as how she portrays her faith, but it is still strong and such a blessing.

The characters, both old and new, are wonderful and so real I felt like I have met each one. Kyrin is still my favorite, but Jace is a close second. Kyrin and I have a lot in common, and I just love how strong her faith is even though she goes through some doubt during some of the very, very hard things that happen in this book.

I cannot say enough about this book, so I will simply leave off by saying that I highly recommend it to those who love non-magical fantasy, adventure, and powerful tales of faith.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own

About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

Resistance Kindle Sale
Haven’t begun the adventure into Ilyon? From February 17th - 23rd, get Resistance , the award-winning first book of Ilyon Chronicles for your Kindle on sale for only 99 cents! Check it out on Amazon!

Epic Winter giveaway! Prize pack includes an autographed copy of The King’s Scrolls, a CD by Future World Music (some of Jaye’s favorite writing music), a dragon bookmark, a stone hawk pendant (much like the ones mentioned in the book), and a few packages of Twining’s Winter Spice tea to sip while you read! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Finds of the Week: The Fathers Love


                To Much Knowledge
"It was then that I realized the Apostle Paul could say the following to me!  "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?"  Galations 3:3
My motives were pure, but my methods were attempts in my own strength." ~  Karen

"Yes, I’m going on a date with THAT God. The One and Only, who happens to be my One and Only right now." ~ Natalie

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Adventurer Between the Page: Rising to the Challenge

Buy it Here
Description: New difficulties arise for Sir Kenneth Dale in the exciting final installment in The Comrades of Honor Series. As a favorite of the Earl of Birmingham, his life appears tranquil – until the both beautiful Lady Clarissa and a headstrong orphan named Brion arrive in the castle. It is not long before Sir Kenneth finds himself not only in love, but also the master of the most difficult squire Birmingham has ever harbored. Brion de Lantenac is nothing short of rebellious. Hatred for Sir Kenneth’s strict rules vents itself in constant disobedience, triggering continual clashes between himself and his new lord. But there is a reason behind his self-centered character. The murder of his family has caused heartbreak he may never recover from. Will he ever reveal his true identity to Sir Kenneth? And what about Guthrie, the man who sullied his father’s shire with treacherous hands and now seeks his demise? Caught between a hopeless romance, a rebellious squire, and the enemies on all sides, Sir Kenneth finds himself challenged. Amidst battles, heartache, and dark mystery, he must somehow rise to meet the difficulties of his life with honor. Will he ever win his squire’s heart? Will he and Clarissa be forever separated? Join Sir Kenneth, Brion, and all the comrades of honor in a tale of perseverance, chivalry, and unconditional love. Treachery abounds and evil seems insurmountable. Will rising to the challenge preserve honor and win the day?

Okay, this review is way overdue. Perhaps it is because I wanted to wait until I could do justice to the amazing story this book contained. It was, by far, the strongest of the series, with a message that our generation needs desperately: perseverance.

Too often, even Christians bail out when things get hard. We reach out to those who need the hope only Jesus can give, but when they do not respond or become angry, we give up. A relationship in our lives becomes broken, and instead of fighting to restore it, we walk away. This book exemplified perseverance, even when all hope seems lost. I was touched and moved by the message, and I hope that it will stick with me for many years to come.

The characters were some of the best that Alicia has ever created. Brion, the bitter and hurt young man who is forced into becoming a squire even though he is the heir to his own castle. Sir Kenneth, a knight of honor who is determined to help Brion, but struggles to follow through. Lady Clarissa, the obedient but also strong daughter of a noble father who is determined she will only marry a man of wealth and title. This cast, as well as many other characters, made this book the most interesting of Alicia’s stories.

One of my favorite things about Alicia is that her books are never graphic even if they deal with harder things. I would feel just fine handing this book to a very young person, even though there are sword fights and battles, because nothing is ever described in such a way as to be disturbing.
I highly recommend this book to those who love G.A. Henty, historical fiction, and fiction that is driven by a strong Christian faith.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fighting Anxiety and Depression

I talked a couple of weeks ago about my struggle with depression (insert link here), and I was blessed and overwhelmed by the response. So today, I would like to share with you some things I learned because of my time. Please know that this is not a list of dos and don’ts for a magical cure; this is merely a list of helpful advice

I overused movies and books to escape
While I have no problem with reading books and watching some movies, I found myself spending almost all my time escaping into the fictional worlds when I was struggling with depression. While that would have been fine if I had been doing it in moderation, it only prolonged the duration of the depression.

I should have spent more time in the ‘real’ world
I often hid behind my computer, TV, books, or siblings so I didn’t have to interact with others much. I wish I had pushed myself sooner to spend time with people, even when it hurt. I wish I had gone to some events, or joined in some activates, because I really think it would have helped me.

I wish I had faced my doubt sooner
I was so afraid to ask questions and face my doubt, because I thought I might lose my faith. I didn’t want to do that. I was petrified that I wouldn’t find the answers I desperately felt I needed. When I finally stopped letting my fear rule me and asked the questions, a huge burden lifted. It took a while, and there were some scary times, but in the end, God helped me. Sometimes I found that I didn’t need an answer; I didn’t need to lean on my own understanding; I could trust God.

I learned that God was not angry at my questions or my doubt
Have you read the Psalms? You know, most of them are written by David, the guy after God’s own heart? Have you counted how many times this guy questioned God, doubted he was even there? Yet God loved David. Even Jesus, as he was dying on the cross, asked where God was and why he had abandoned him. That is right, those of us who doubt are in good company.

I need to focus on what was true
After reading Elizabeth George’s amazing book Loving God with all your Mind, I worked very hard on changing my thought patterns. Sometimes, I was allowing myself to sink deep into the pit, because I was allowing untrue thoughts to have rein in my mind.

I needed to rebuke the evil one
Sometimes, we forget that what we are going through can be spiritual warfare. We need to be in prayer, and sometimes we need to rebuke the evil one. We should rebuke him aloud in the name of Jesus. I am not an expert on spiritual warfare, but when I did this, there were times that I would feel immediate relief.

I pray that you find these tips helpful. I also want you to know that you are not alone.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Adventure Between the Pages: Beyond All Dreams

Buy it Here

Description: Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.  Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.  Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress. From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for themselves?

For someone who is a booklover, who enjoyed politics, and has been to DC, this book was a dream come true. Seriously, could the setting have been any more perfect for me? I think not.
I loved Anna from page one to the very end, but then, Camden is the queen of characters as far as I am concerned. Luke is also someone who feels so real and so perfect for Anna. Their strengths, weaknesses, fears, and foes were all so real. They were both flawed yet so wonderful.

Although I loved the story and the characters, I have to admit I felt that the spiritual message was a bit weaker in the book than it was in the others. The whole story was good, be not as strong as Into the Whirlwind or Against the Tide. This did not keep me from enjoying it immensely. There were also a couple of places where some crude/indelicate references were made, but those were made about people who were married.

The setting was by far my favorite part of the book. Having had the privilege of traveling to Washington, DC a couple of years ago, I was able to really see the places she described. I felt as if I was revisiting this historic city. I also agree with Luke, the Library of Congress is gaudy, and less money should have been spent on it.

The political side of things was intriguing to me, as I have worked at my state capitol and find political history very interesting. Although many events were fictional, they felt very authentic. Camden really did great job of capturing the spirit of political life.

I highly recommend this book for those who like flawed heroes, historical fiction, and libraries.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I am complacent

After feeling like I could never measure up to God's standards in my youth, I was so freed when I was reintroduced to the concepts of God's grace and love. Nothing I did or didn't do would make him love me any more or less. His grace not only covered my sin before I was saved, but also after. However, in the last couple of years, I have gotten far to comfortable in my faith. It started just as a much needed time of rest after the upheaval of changed in my thinking, but quickly became a comfortable spot that I would not budge from. If God loved me, what was the point in worrying about my sins?

In the last few months, God has used the Bible and people around me to remind me of a tension. A tension that all Christians must live with, and I think struggle with, until we are in heaven. We do live under grace and nothing we do will change the love the Father has for us. However, as Paul said, we should not keep sinning so that grace may abound.

Each of us has different sins we struggle with. I struggle with the ugly sins of pride, being judgmental, and hardheartedness. These sins may not sound as bad as some of the sins that you normally hear people confessing, but the Church at large deems these acceptable sins. God loves me despite these awful sins, but He does want me to free me from them. Therefore, I need to be on my guard, and when I do sin, I need to being it before God, confess, and ask for his help.

I am finding that most sins are because I don’t trust God with something. I don’t trust Him to deal with a person or work in their lives, so I take it on myself. I don’t trust His timing for my projects, so I try to force my agenda into His plans.

I refuse to be complacent about my sins any longer. I will rest in my Father’s love, while doing battle with the sins that have invaded my life. I will not be complacent any longer.