June Monthly Recap

June Monthly Recap

 

Hey, friends!

 

Normally, because it’s a Tuesday in the summer, we’d be doing a Bible study on one chapter in the book of Hebrews. However, because I need to get around to doing it, it’s time for a June monthly recap instead. And anyway, breaks are good!

 

Wow. I can’t believe that the year is half-over already. Can you? June’s gone and here we are in July. Let’s get onto the recap!

Continue reading “June Monthly Recap”

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Purposeful Pages Link-Up Launch!

Purposeful Pages Link-Up Launch

Friends, I am beyond excited for what Hannah Rodriguez and I have for you all today.

 

Welcome to the launch of Purposeful Pages!

 

We’ve been preparing for this for almost two months now, and dreaming about it for longer.

 

I am absolutely thrilled to see this take off and watch where it goes.

 

Hannah and I announced the start of our Purposeful Pages link-up last month, and you can see my post about that here.

 

So without further adieu, we give you: PURPOSEFUL PAGES!

Continue reading “Purposeful Pages Link-Up Launch!”

How to Effectively Deal With Burnout

How to Effectively Deal With Burnout.png

 

Want to know a fact of life? We all deal with burnout from time to time.

 

I know. Not a very nice way to begin a blog post. BUT FEAR NOT, MY FRIENDS. I have some very good tips that I hope will help you as much as they’ve helped me.

Continue reading “How to Effectively Deal With Burnout”

On Living With Purpose (+ really exciting announcement)

Purposeful Pages Meme

 

Today’s the day! The day that the fabulous Hannah and I reveal a surprise that we’ve been working on.

 

And…the news is…

Continue reading “On Living With Purpose (+ really exciting announcement)”

May Monthly Recap

May Monthly Recap

 

Happy Saturday, friends!

 

Today’s the last blog post of the month. Which means, it’s time for a May recap!

 

Wow, this month went by fast. Guess they all do. Regardless, it’s the end now. And a lot’s happened this month!

Continue reading “May Monthly Recap”

When Fiction Seems Cooler Than Jesus

When Fiction Seems Cooler Than Jesus

Let’s face it: sometimes, fictional worlds just seem better than reality. Books, movies, TV shows – they’re usually crafted from stories created by writers.

 

I love all kinds of fiction, whether I’m absorbing an action-drama TV show or a riveting fantasy novel. In all honesty, they’re pretty great. We all love the well-developed characters – those people we can’t imagine not being real – the witty dialogue – the relationships between our “screen friends” – the realness of it all – the fact that we relate to it – the mood and setting – the music and filmography – the expressions – it’s the magic of everything working together that captivates us.

 

Maybe we like fiction because it’s an escape from reality. But at the same time, we want it to be realistic.

 

How on earth could this make any sense?

 

I believe we want reality in a neat little box. We want decisions to be simple, pain to be controlled, good to always win, and to be involved in something incredible. We want heroism. We want victory. We want to experience something powerful and bigger than ourselves.

 

But in our lives, neatness is not usually the case. Decisions are rarely black and white, with one choice as good and another evil. Morality isn’t always clear.

 

Pain happens. Hearts break. Happy endings don’t always come together. And for crying out loud, folks, our lives often seem so boring. We’re not chasing bad guys or riding dragons or being heroes or going on adventures through space and time.

 

So we read about it, and we entertain ourselves with fantasies of what’s not quite possible for us in this world.

 

And honestly, fiction is FANTASTIC. We can be intimately involved in the lives of our favorite characters and live vicariously through them. I love that aspect of it so much.

 

What I don’t like is that when I’m so involved in a world of writing, acting, and fangirly feels, my longing for the Bible tends to decrease. But why is this? As a girl who desperately wants to wholeheartedly desire the Word of God, I find myself frustrated when I feel like the Bible has become a chore.

 

I want to make sure it’s clear that I’m not trying to preach at anyone here, or demean fiction, or make it sound like I’m super-spiritual or something. I deal with the same things you do. I sometimes struggle to find motivation to read the Bible, as opposed to the novel beside my bed. I’m not perfect whatsoever, and I’m pulled between reading a devotion and watching my favorite show.

 

I don’t judge those who struggle to desire to read the Bible, because I think we’ll all encounter that sometime in our lives.

 

But what about when fictional realities seem more attractive than real life?

 

What do we enjoy about fantasy that makes us want to stay there, and what is it about the Bible that we treat it like work or obligation?

 

When did we forget that the Bible, salvation, and our very faith affects the whole universe, and those things are significantly larger than ourselves? When did we let our views of God’s amazing love and grace become dulled?

 

I’m addressing questions just like this in the book I’m writing right now. I don’t have every answer, but I’m really enjoying sharing my heart on such issues and further solidifying what I believe. I finished up Camp NaNoWriMo with 17,131 words, and while I’m still technically on the third (very very long) chapter, I’m getting so far.

 

Instead of trying to answer all the questions a lot of us have, I’m just going to ask us to think:

 

What’s so cool about fiction that it often seems cooler than Jesus?

Why does faith sometimes take the back burner when it comes to entertainment?

What can we do to grow in our hearts the desire of knowing Jesus better?

 

I’ll leave you with that for the night, because it’s extremely late and I’m losing coherence. For more posts on Bible reading, see these:

 

// The Bible Is Not A Burden: 3 Truths About God’s Word

 

// How to Read the Bible {effectively spending time with our Heavenly Father}

 

// Why Should I Read the Bible?

 

*aj

Cover Reveal: Espionage by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke

Espionage Blog Tour

 

Happy Monday, everyone!

 

Today I have a cover reveal for a dear friend of mine’s newest book. Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a splendid author and a fantastic friend, and I’m thrilled to share the cover of Espionage with you all. Let’s start with what the book is about.

 

About the Book

“Sir Roland has invited us to visit for the Autumn Feast.”

 

“Do we have to go, Papa? I couldn’t feast with the most crooked politician in all of Briznom.”

 

As the daughter of a Briznomian vassal lord, Vannie Cumberland has spent her childhood immersed in the world of politics. Relations between Briznom and the neighboring country of Calhortz are strained due to the tyrannical rule of the strytes. A proposed alliance could calm relations between the two countries, but would come at the cost of Briznom’s freedom.

 

When her father’s political archenemy invites them to the Autumn Feast, Vannie uncovers an evil scheme endangering the life of someone close to her. Personal enmity comes to a dangerous head as Vannie struggles to expose the corruption and stop the alliance. Time is running out.

 

Events are becoming too big for her to handle. Will Sir Roland’s son help or will things finally spiral out of control?

 

Add to Goodreads

 

I was one of the lucky people who got to beta read and edit Espionage, and it’s my favorite of her books so far. I can’t wait for the release!

 

Release Date

Espionage, A Companion to Time Captives, will be released on May 16th, 2016. Stay tuned on Morgan’s blog and Facebook page for more information and sneak peeks.

Preorder on Kindle now!

 

Now,  let’s read a bit about Miss Huneke herself.

 About the Author

Morgan Huneke Profile Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

 

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Ready for the cover, y’all?

 

Espionage Cover

 

Yay! Be sure to buy the book and support Morgan when it comes out. It’s a great book, and while it is a companion to the Time Captives trilogy, it could be read as a standalone book too (with a little background information). I hope you all enjoy it!

See other participating blogs here.

*aj

Brothers-in-Arms Cover Reveal!

So…today is Wednesday, people, and I know I made up this whole thing about how I post bookish things on Thursdays, hence the name “Book Thursdays,” but apparently, all authors do not cater to my blogging schedule. Ah, well. Wednesdays are great too, therefore, I declare today Book Wednesday. 🙂

 

I have a cover reveal for an author today, Miss Jack Lewis Baillot. I have not read any of her books yet, due to them being currently edited and on their ways to be republished and me not having the time to review this new book just yet, but I hope to soon.

 

This is her new book, Brothers-in-Arms. It looks mighty intriguing, I’ll say, and with that, I’ll leave you with the synopsis.

 

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?

Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high.

With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.

With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

I’m really excited to read it. Ever since I read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, World War II Germany has really interested me. Everything that went on was so horrific, what with the Hitler and the Nazis and the brutality of persecution and concentration camps among other things. I can’t enjoy reading about the pain, but books set in that time period, whether fictional or true accounts, are so eye-opening and bring me back to that place in history.

 

Now I’m sure that you all would like to read about who Jack is before picking up her newest book. And ha, you’re all in luck, because I have a bio and picture right here.

JLB Author Picture Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.

When Jack isn’t writing, which doesn’t happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.

She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn’t quite equal to Prince Adam’s but will be given enough time and a secret doorway.

Now, if you’d like to contact her, she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and also has a blog. Click on the links below to find her in those online places. Her blog is lovely and amusing, and she taunts all of us with the fact that 99.9% of us don’t know her real name (because Jack is a pen name) or have seen a picture of her face. Quite clever, actually.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JackLBaillot

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackLBaillot

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5862775.Jack_Lewis_Baillot

Blog – http://www.jacklewisbaillot.com/

 

Hmm, am I forgetting something? Oh, right! The cover!

 

Brothers-in-Arms

 

Ta-da! Here it is. The long-awaited piece of artwork to represent a deep story. Interesting, isn’t it? It seems to tell two stories while still presenting just one. I’m looking forward to reading it. Keep your eyes peeled for the release of this book, coming soon!

 

How about you? Does this seem like a book you’d like to read? Let me know in the comments!

 

*aj