Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren–Book Review

Back Cover Copy

Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure–and his injuries–has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones’s elite rescue team, but he also can’t shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun’s yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she’ll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes–the man she nearly killed.

Her skills and his experience are exactly what’s needed to prevent another tragedy–but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They’ll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?

Leap into action with this high-octane, breakneck new series from bestselling author Susan May Warren.

My Review

Action-packed and full of suspense, this book will leave you wanting to jump right into the next book! I absolutely loved each of the characters, and felt like I was climbing Denali with them. Each character had their own unique back story, and they were all just as easy to love as the rest of them. I found myself gasping and wondering if they were ever going to get off that mountain. Would they be able to rescue their friends in time? Would they ever trust each other again? Would their pasts hinder them from the feelings Orion and Jenny both clearly had for each other, but were denying? As a first book in a series, I’m so glad I can follow the story into the next book when it comes out!! I loved this book, and definitely recommend it! The only thing I think I should warn about is there are a couple points where I thought the romance was getting a bit…shall we say steamier than I would like in a book….nothing ever happens, but it definitely is implied that had something not interrupted it would have happened.

**I received this book from Revell Reads for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you heard about ThredUP?

ThredUP is an online consignment shop where you can shop or sell gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories. They have a variety of brands and sizes, and they even have kids clothing. So if you like to get a bargain, you might want to check it out! Plus use my referral link, http://www.thredup.com/r/2U1QNH, and you’ll get $10 off your first order!!

So ThredUP isn’t exactly new to me. I bought a bunch of maternity clothes from them a few years ago, but then I kind of forgot about them until a few weeks ago when I realized after 3 kids and 10 years of marriage, I still had basically the same wardrobe I had when I was in college, with a few new pieces, but a lot of my clothes had started to show signs of age….or let’s face it they don’t fit right after my third child. So when my mom offered to get me some clothes for my birthday, I started checking out the thrift stores and our local Goodwill like normal trying to find the best bang for my buck, then I remembered that amazing online consignment shop…you guessed it, ThredUP! It turns out I had 30% off and I started adding things to my cart until I could decide exactly what I wanted. Let me show you what I ended up with!

Obviously, the inventory is always changing so you will have to check back frequently to see what goodies they have in stock. I have personally found that I like to search with the filter set to find “Like New” and “New With Tags,” but that’s just my personal preference. Here’s the final prices of what I got after the 30% discount code I had at the time.

  • Lularoe Amelia Dress (New With Tags) – $14.95
  • Ann Taylor LOFT Dress – $3.90
  • Nina Leonard Dress – $14.30
  • Old Navy Black Skirt (New With Tags) – $4.52
  • The Limited Jeans – $5.85

All told after $5.99 shipping the total came to around $52! That’s less than the Lularoe dress would have been by itself if I would have bought it from a boutique!

Now to the ins and outs of ThredUP. They do accept returns, however, be aware that FINAL SALE items are not eligible for returns (I had 2 of these items in my order, but they were perfect so no worries there). I have had nothing but good experiences with ThredUP and highly recommend this site! They have a variety of brands and sizes, and I even noticed they have started a Goody Box program similar to Stitch Fix, that you can try for $10. (I personally haven’t tried this new feature so I can’t give my opinions on that one) Shipping is free for orders over $79, and taxes apply depending on your state. I have been thinking about ordering a clean out kit to sell some of the clothes between me and my kids that I’ve cleaned out, I just haven’t gotten around to it. They frequently run sales so that makes the savings even better! Check it out and remember if you use my link, you’ll get $10 off your first order! http://www.thredup.com/r/2U1QNH

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason–Book Review

Back Cover Copy

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others–but her days of helping military personnel are over. She’s got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she’s not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way–terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn’t there–but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can’t take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he’s not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack–and that her secrets go even deeper than his own–Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

My Review

Another great book by Lynette Eason. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. I absolutely loved the characters. They were very relatable. Whenever I read Eason’s books I frequently have a hard time putting them down after a few chapters, and this was no different. I am so happy that this is just the first book in this series, because I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book!

**I received this book for review from Revell Reads a division of Baker Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

On Bended Knee by Crickett Keeth

Back Cover Copy

Want More From Your Prayer Life?

If you’re dissatisfied in your prayer life, wanting to be more consistent in prayer, or looking to deepen your intimacy with God, then this Bible study was written for you. It examines the prayers of eight biblical characters and teaches you how to pray like the prayer warriors who went before you. You’ll study:

  • Jesus: A Model Prayer
  • Paul: A Prayer of Intercession
  • Job: A Prayer of Despair
  • Hannah: A Prayer of Longing
  • David: A Prayer of Lament
  • Asa: A Prayer of Seeking God
  • Jehoshaphat: A Prayer of Dependence
  • Nehemiah: A Prayer of Boldness

Follow in the footsteps of these spiritual giants and discover anew what our loving God does with a little faith and a whole lot of prayer. You’ll love studying these scriptural prayers, like the prayer of Asa:

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” (2 Chron. 14:11)

My Review

This Bible study taught me so much about prayer! I loved every minute of this study! One aspect I love about this study was that it is a workbook. I love that the study and the workbook are all in one. It makes it so much easier than have 2-3 books/notebooks to keep track of. If you want to boost your prayer life and become a better prayer warrior, I definitely recommend this study. You will study the prayers of 8 prominent people in the Bible and learn how we can pray just as they did!

**I received this book for review from Moody Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

New Year, New Decade!

Last year I started doing a word of the year, and my word was prayer. This year I’ve decided to do the same thing, and I finally decided that my word will be intentional. I want to strive to be more intentional in every aspect of my life this year, in my Bible study, with my kids, with my time, and life in general. I’ve also decided to read through the Bible in a year again as well as strive to memorize more Scripture. I pray that I’m able to keep up with these goals and as the year moves forward become more intentional in all I do. I pray that you accomplish your goals and aspirations this year.

I don’t know if you set a reading goal for yourself or not, but if not, maybe you should consider doing so. I didn’t until I discovered the yearly reading challenge through Goodreads. Last year I lowered my goal since the year before I totally missed the unrealistic goal I had set for myself. So I set the bar at 30 books, and exceeded my goal by 6 books. This year I upped it a bit to 40 books. I love to use the Goodreads challenge because it shows me my progress as I mark books as read throughout the year. I’m not going to lie so far, I have about 4 books to read by mid-February and I find myself too tired from the holidays and cleaning up from them that I haven’t gotten back into the swing of reading. Hopefully now that most of my decorations are down and the clutter is slowly getting under control I’ll be back into it more and I’ll be able to post some more awesome reviews! Here’s a peek into what’s currently in the TBR pile for the beginning of the year!

God's Hostage by Andrew Brunson–Book Review

Back Cover Copy

In 1993, Andrew Brunson was asked to travel to Turkey, the largest unevangelized country in the world, to serve as a missionary. Though hesitant because of the daunting and dangerous task that lay ahead, Andrew and his wife, Norine, believed this was God’s plan for them.

What followed was a string of threats and attacks, but also successes in starting new churches in a place where many people had never met a Christian. As their work with refugees from Syria, including Kurds, gained attention and suspicion, Andrew and Norine acknowledged the threat but accepted the risk, determining to stay unless God told them to leave.

In 2016, they were arrested. Though the State eventually released Norine, who remained in Turkey, Andrew was imprisoned. Accused of being a spy and being among the plotters of the attempted coup, he became a political pawn whose story soon became known around the world.

God’s Hostage is the incredible true story of his imprisonment, his brokenness, and his eventual freedom. Anyone with a heart for missions, especially to the Muslim world, will love this tension-laden and faith-laced book.

My Review

Maybe you remember hearing about him in the news. Maybe you prayed diligently for him and his release. Maybe you have never heard about him until now, but I promise you, you need to read this book about Andrew Brunson. This book will open your eyes to what he went through and how he survived even when his faith was shaken and he wanted to give up. It will open your eyes to what some Christians in other countries go through simply for their faith in Jesus, something we as Americans tend to take for granted. I highly recommend for every Christian to read this true account of Andrew Brunson.

**I received this book free for review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole by Auralee Arkinsley

About the Book

Book: Darling Hedgehog Goes Down A Foxhole

Author: Auralee Arkinsly

Genre: Early reader chapter book

Release Date: September 13, 2019

Darling Hedgehog

Darling Hedgehog learns about the animal nature of things in high humor and carefree, cute, and winning episodes. This childhood story reads a bit like Aesop’s Fables or a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, for children 4-8 or preschool and kindergarten, as a read-to-me picture book, and first grade and second grade as a chapter book.
Pictures similar to the Mercy Watson series are characterized and painted in full-color, though the pages are set up like a chapter book.This book helps to train children in natural wisdom, analysis, and discernment. It helps to balance the teachings of acceptance of everyone and friendliness to all. There may be good purposes for everyone to exist under heaven, yet all purposes may not be good for a child. So, beware, be discrete, and flee from crafty foxes especially when they are holding your parents in the pantry.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This was a super cute story about a hedgehog named Darling, who is trying to find her family who has gone missing. She falls down Mrs. Fox’s hole, and begins to form what she thinks is a friendship with her. She strives to find something that Mrs. Fox can be proud of her for doing. As she goes around trying different things, she discovers her parents and several other small animals in cages at Mrs. Fox’s house and realizes she was never her friend to begin with. I love the lesson taught through this book. It teaches kids to be careful who your friends are, and I also felt like it shows that no matter how friendly someone seems that doesn’t mean they’re your true friend.

**I received this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Auralee Arkinsly writes in good humor about serious subjects because kids of all ages can learn a lot from laughing. She is a strong believer in right and wrong but knows that getting onto the right path can mean falling down a slippery slope. She reckons if she can save some from the bumps and bruises, then she has done her job

More from Auralee

I’m so excited to launch my children’s book, Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole with the Celebrate Lit crew!  You are a river of hope for a new author. So, here’s the story behind the story.
 My friend and fellow author, Kathy Joy, left me a small hedgehog in a tutu as a going away gift on her guest bed after she had been visiting. I put it on the windowsill in my bedroom, and every morning, I would see it when I awoke.

Auralee Arkinsly

 I don’t know if you can relate to this experience, but I often wake up from a good night’s sleep with the gift of a problem being solved.  Sometimes, I wake up with a creative idea.  Well, one day, I awoke to find that I had the beginnings of a child’s story about where the hedgehog found her tutu.
 Initially, it was a simple story about Darling Hedgehog finding a foxy friend who helps Darling find her calling.I wrote out the story and then asked a talented neighborhood girl if she would like to draw the pictures for the tall tale. Having seen a lot of Julia’s sketches as she grew up, I thought that she might like to know what it felt like to earn money from her talents and at the same time, learn about the process of creating a book with an author to propose to a publishing company. She agreed. Julia was in ninth grade. She was at the age where she was beginning to think about high school jobs and even to make plans for college and a career.The same day we wrote out our contract, Julia sent me her first image of what she imagined Darling to look like. It clearly was not a mistake to hire this young artist!When I awoke another morning, I believed God had given me another bit of advice. I needed to do better research on the nature of hedgehogs and foxes, their habitats and characteristics. The outcome caused the story to take a turn towards intrigue.  It became a fable. It became an action-adventure animal story. It became better.
 A librarian encouraged us to continue with it no longer as a picture book for very small children but as an early reader chapter book for second graders learning about similes.
I hope that we can teach children to notice facts and objective truth as they are being trained for life. So, I’ve accepted that my child’s fantasy had to grow some legs of gravity and wisdom.  I’ve trusted my editors and beta readers that this is true, but I’m not above being told off.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

A Diva’s Heart, December 11

Girls in White Dresses, December 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 12

For Him and My Family, December 12

Older & Smarter?, December 13

Emily Yager, December 13

For the Love of Literature, December 13

Just the Write Escape, December 14

Blogging With Carol, December 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 15

Bigreadersite, December 15

janicesbookreviews, December 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 16

Blossoms and Blessings, December 17

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 17

A Reader’s Brain, December 17

Aryn The Libraryan  , December 18

Lights in a Dark World, December 18

Remembrancy, December 19

Inklings and notions, December 19

Lighthouse Academy, December 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 20

Live.Love.Read., December 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 22

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, December 22

Maureen’s Musings, December 23

With a Joyful Noise, December 23

Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24


To celebrate her tour, Auralee is giving away the grand prize of a set of Darling Hedgehog greeting cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.