Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NOT ALWAYS HAPPENSTANCE by Rachael Anderson — book review

Not Always HappenstanceNot Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson. I loved this story. Not only is it set in Hawaii, somewhere I've always wanted to go, but it gave me the feeling I'd love to have when I get to go somewhere. Lani reminded me of the way life should be lived, just one day at a time, enjoying every moment. I loved being a part of her world and witnessing her choices along the way. And yes, things in life are not always happenstance. This is a wonderful, clean read that I can recommend to any and everyone.

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Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment. But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar. As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her. ***This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series that features one recurring character—the match maker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Blog Tour $50 Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/29/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Not Always (1)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

MY FAIR GENTLEMAN by Nancy Campbell Allen — review

MY FAIR GENTLEMAN by Nancy Campbell Allen. What a fun story. After the first chapter I was hooked. The characters are fun and easy to love. The storyline is fantastic as it's a twist on My Fair Lady. I admit I was skeptical at first but Nancy pulled it off. There were twisted I didn't see coming this time around. I couldn't put the book down. It's fun to watch the growth of Jack and Ivy. It's a wonderful, clean story that I would recommend to any and everyone with love for a good romance.

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In this Regency twist of My Fair Lady, Jack would rather be at sea than fixing the mistakes of his grandfather, the late Earl of Stansworth. Instead, he finds that inheriting his grandfather's wealth and title—and securing the welfare of his sister and mother—means joining the ranks of high society and living with the aristocracy. Luckily, Ivy Carlisle, the granddaughter of a dear friend of Jack's late grandmother, is willing to teach him etiquette and properly introduce him into society. Jack soon learns that his challenge isn't surviving his new lifestyle but surviving the conspiracies against him—as well as keeping himself from falling madly in love with his new tutor.

*A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

JUST LET GO — review

JUST LET GO by Excel Entertainment. This was a fascinating movie, although I had a hard time with some of it. I knew about the heartbreaking story and the basic details, but to see it on screen made it more real and that much more powerful. It is a life-changing story for anyone to witness, let alone live through. However, in the beginning I had a difficult time with all the switching back and forth between flashbacks and reality. Sometimes it took me awhile to figure out which time frame I was in. Then, with the movie being based on a true story, I found myself wondering through the entire movie if that was what really happened or was it artistic liberties being taken. If anything it made me want to read the book LET IT GO by Chris Williams himself. I thought the movie was very tastefully done and is an incredible example of forgiveness and letting things go that can and probably would potentially ruin us. I would recommend it to almost anyone. There are graphic images and discussions on the details of the crash that younger viewers should watch with parental guidance.

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In the face of tragedy, Chris Williams made the most important decision of his life. On a cold night in 2007, a devoted father of four and a seventeen-year-old drunk driver both received life sentences. In one violent, devastating instant, each face a drastically different future. But as Chris Williams sat in a demolished vehicle, realizing that his wife, unborn baby, nine-year-old daughter, and eleven-year-old son had just been killed, he committed to do something extraordinary: he would forgive. Chris Williams' story is the cinematic tale of how someone can forgive despite the desire for revenge that surfaces within the dark corners of the human heart—showing the world that hope, love and forgiveness can overcome all when you just let go.
    Bonus Features
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Forgiveness Challenge
  • "Rise and Fall" music video from Ryan Innes (NBC's The Voice)
  • Just Let Go—A forgiveness discussion with Delilah
Region: All regions
Running Time: 106 min.
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese
Format: Widescreen
I would invite those who need to forgive others, or to forgive themselves, to "just let go" of that which can't be controlled, and focus instead on what can be; our decision to have faith in Jesus Christ, assured that we will obtain his peace. No offense can ever take that choice from us. 
Many have wondered why I would agree to have something so personally painful recreated in a movie. Part of the Saviors healing in my life has blessed me with a different perspective on that scene. My experience with the Savior and the Spirit while still seated in the car after the impact and while laying on my back in the emergency room is now as sacred to me as if I had been standing on mount Sinai or in a holy sanctuary. 
The confirmation that my wife and children are safe in paradise, combined with the personal instruction I received that night have changed my perspective forever. It helps me to weekly remember the healing and hope of Christ’s atonement even though that involved recounting the cruelty of the cross and the admonition to endure our own.
When I contemplate the warnings against pride, contention and revenge from Book of Mormon prophets to us in our day, I feel that forgiveness, hope and healing can keep us from the societal self-destruction that claimed two civilizations they wrote about. 
This movie is an inspiring and hopeful depiction that faith in Christ, hope for a better day, and charity motivated by His enduring love for the one can keep us anchored when the storms of life rage around us.
The enabling power of grace can give us with strength to forgive while experiencing His miraculous ability to heal. Trusting that ultimately no one can escape consequence, there is freedom in forgiveness that propels us through the powerful emotions that come when we are offended, without having them stop our healing.
As I reflect back on the years since the crash, I am consistently reminded that, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I am nothing, and He is everything.
Just let go, move forward, and be healed. 
—Chris Williams