Hello, it’s me.

Hello. It's Me.

Hello. It’s me. I’ve been gone for a long while, I know.

Earlier this year, I posted about some big life changes – my father was divorcing my mom.

It’s been a long, rough road since then.

PageTurners fell to the wayside as a non-essential.  I have had so much on my plate – both in the emotional and physical realms – that I had nothing more to give. Neither words nor the desire to write them. I had run out, felt empty and hollowed out inside.

Everything in my life was so intense that I couldn’t even engage with this writing world – a world that makes me feel truly alive. I COULDN’T EVEN READ BOOKS! I had no mental or emotional energy. Everything felt hard and dark, like everything was just wading through the fear, hurt, sadness, anger, and pain. It’s felt like that to some extent or another for a VERY long time.

A part of me – a beautiful, wonderful, glorious part of me – has been asleep, not gone, but in a deep hibernation.

But I’m tired of it. I’m waking up. And I am soso, SO glad!

I am ready to live again – and truly, live in way I’ve never lived before.

I’m ready to live…..

JOYFULLY.

CONFIDENTLY.

PURPOSEFULLY.

COURAGEOUSLY.

PEACEFULLY.

HOPEFULLY.

HAPPILY.

I’m ready to live touching lives around me, to have my God’s purpose and plan be mine. To grow in every way in my life, to bloom into who I was created to be. And PageTurners is part of that.

Yes, I know there are going to be further trials in my life, I’m not thinking that I’ve overcome it all, or that I’ve gotten this figured out, ’cause I haven’t. There’s gonna be awfully hard times ahead, I know that, because that’s how live is.

But that is okay, because, I have hope for my future. I have a wonderful, beautiful, amazing family. An incredible new church. And a brilliant future in both writing and life ahead of me.

So…..

Hello. It’s me.

I’ve been gone for a long while. But I’m back again, and by God’s beautiful grace, even better than before.

My life isn’t perfect, but it’s mine. It’sthe life that God gave me, one that was almost stolen from me before I was even born. It often feels like a big mess, yet the truth is, my life is a beautiful masterpiece. I’m just having parts of the picture revealed little by little.

I’m glad to be back, and to be me, the me I have always been destined to be.

Life is beautiful gift, one I don’t want to waste. God has beautiful things ahead for me and for you. It’s time to take up everything He has to offer and live the abundant, beautiful life He has for us.

Blessings,

Gabriellyn

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New Chapters in my Life

Last Saturday my dad told my mom that he was filing for divorce. They have been separated for almost a year now, and things have not been easy. He decide it’s time for it to end, that he can’t be how or be what he wants to unless he’s no longer attached to my mom. […]

via The Beginning — liveinthehope

Hi, guys. My last post spoke of my desires for the new year. The big important one was to live more hopefully than ever before. I’m really gonna need it this year.

My dad is divorcing my mom. We’ve seen that it could go like this for quite a while now, but to know that it is actually gonna happen is a weird mixture of emotions. Relief at finally knowing what’s gonna happen, sadness, hurt, anger, bitterness, and anxiety are all things I’m struggling with right now.

I have decided to begin another blog that’s more set up for chronicling some of my thoughts and feelings through this process. I hope to connect with other kids who are going through the same things as me. The post above is beginning of my blogging journey.

If anyone knows others who have been affected by divorce and think that my new blog may bless them, please share it with them. My hope and prayer is that the Lord will use my pain and suffering in a way that only helps and heals others (an my own) hearts. 

God bless, Gabriellyn.

2017: A New Years Message

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A year ago to this day I posted a New Years message. It was a message that I myself had just recently learned. I spoke of the strength of who Jesus is. How HE is big enough for all the pain that has ever and ever will be.

I posted it and a very close friend of mine spoke of how much it had meant to her, how the things I had spoken of had blessed her due to the hard year she had had. I was so happy and excited for her.

I was so glad that the post had helped even one person, especially my best friend. I thought contentedly that the post had done the Lord’s purpose, helped my friend.

And, in my human nearsightedness, I thought it had completed it’s mission and that the things I had spoken of had served their complete purpose.

But little did I know that the words I had written would become incredibly poignant to me over the next year.

In February my parents separated. We didn’t see it coming. It was unexpected. And it was hard in ways that you wouldn’t expect.

This year felt like death so many times. And, in truth, I think that it was in a way.  We died as we were. And it hurt like hell. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of pain and sadness and anger. Battles with hate and bitterness, fear, depression, and anxiety for the future. It has been so bitterly hard. 

But the Lord was with us the whole way. AND HE WAS ENOUGH. Jesus WAS and IS enough for the pain, the fear, the hurt. 

This past year often times victory was simply believing that God loved me. And that was the best I could do. It was hard to have faith, it was hard to believe, it was hard to hope. 

But, Jesus brought me through it all. Stronger, and in some unbelievable way, more peaceful and content than before. 

This past year has truly taught me the lesson I wrote of last year. And I am sure every year comes during my life will continue to teach me this lesson. 

In 2017 I have, to and extent, learned to rest in Jesus and realize that He is enough for everything awful. In 2018 I want to learn to hope. Hope with more strength, joy, and belief than ever before.

Hope is something of miracle in and of itself. Hope, even if the dream you are hoping towards doesn’t occur when you want or ever at all, still gives you a gift. And I want it. I want every blessing the Lord wants to give me. And hope is one of those blessings. Sothis 2018 I am making no resolutions. I am merely hoping to hope.

2017 has been so hard, but good. So painful, but necessary. So awful, but so, so much of a blessing. I thank the Lord for it. For us, 2017 was the death of the people we were, the wrong beliefs we held, and the painful monotony of our lives. 

But 2018 will be a year of discovering the people we are and will be, for learning to truths to believe in, and for finding the rhythm of a healthy, God blessed life.

For 2018 I am choosing to hope. I will live with hope and belief that this year is going to be a year of beautiful, bursting life. Hope that God has never and will never abandon us. Hope that tomorrow will be even better than today.

” ‘Hope‘ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.”
–Emily Dickinson
So, to 2017, I say goodbye. Thank you for the blessings you’ve held, even if they sometimes hurt. To 2018, I say hello. I can’t wait to see the fulfillment of my hopes in you. 

Christmas Hymn Spotlight

Greetings, everyone! I hope you are having a lovely Sunday, I am! So this year for Christmas, my mom is having each of us kids study a classic Christmas hymn. Mine is It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. I decided I would share a few of my thoughts on it with you all as it is that time of the year. 🙂 

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Graphic

Lyrics:
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

O’ ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Most people, including me, know the first stanza pretty well. But, I have never really focused on the words of the following stanzas, I didn’t grow up singing hymns at church so it wasn’t a large part of my life. I love many Christmas hymns, carols, and songs, but It Came Upon a Midnight Clear wasn’t one of those. In fact, for quite a while, I was mildly annoyed by it for some unnamed reason.

However, when I started going over the second through fourth stanzas I was a bit blown away. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear had so much more to it than I thought. I would imagine that if I were to look into more of the classic hymns I would find that to be a common theme.

One thing my mom also wanted us to do was specifically pick out the names of Jesus in our hymns. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear doesn’t have anywhere near as many names of Jesus as some other carols and hymns do, but it does have one instance of Prince of Peace (one of my favorites of Jesus’s names) and two uses of King.

I love that it speaks of two promises, covenants, prophesies-whatever you want to call them. The first promise is in the first three stanzas. This part speaks of Jesus’s birth. This is the fulfillment of many prophecies, hopes, years. I mean, think about it, the Jewish people have been waiting for HUNDREDS of years. This beautiful, precious baby is what their hope and faith has been resting on. How amazing is that? 

Then, after the first three stanzas comes the fourth-cause it would be weird if the fifth came next, right? 😛 This one speaks of Jesus’s second coming, the new heaven and earth, and an eternity of peace and joy. I like this stanza best. Not because Jesus’s birth isn’t important or beautiful, but because an eternity of joy is ahead of me and I cannot wait! What a promise, am I right?  

I am so glad I took the time to look over this song fully and with new eyes. It has beautiful meaning. Hopeful meaning. Meaning that matters! 

What about y’all? What’s your favorite Christmas carol or hymn? Tell me all about it! I love to chat! 🙂 

 

Blog Tour! Review of Bound and Author Interview

Hi guys! Today I am very blessed to get to be apart of the blog tour for Miss Victoria Lynn’s beautiful new novel, Bound. Today I will be reviewing Bound and interviewing the lovely author herself! There is also an awesome giveaway that I will be sharing! So stay tuned for a rollicking time!
bound blog tour banner

Author Bio:

headshot for book and website - CopyVictoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at http://www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.


You can find Victoria on her: Blog, Website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Author Interview

Welcome, Victoria! I am so excited to have you with me today. Now, what inspired Bound? Was it a movie, a book, personal life experience?
It was a picture prompt that I wrote for my blog. While there are a lot of my life experiences intertwined in the book and the stories of the characters, I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are what inspired the book itself. Between that original picture prompt and Gods inspiration, that is what created this book.

How many years have you been writing?

Since I was very small. I have a notebook from when I was nine. I have always enjoyed creating my own worlds. . . probably because I have an extremely active imagination!

What’s your favorite genre to write in?

To be honest, I don’t really have a favorite. Which is the reason that I write under the very broad umbrella of Christian Fiction. I love trying my hand at pretty much everything, except gruesome horror stuff of course. I enjoy fantasy, modern fic, historical fiction of course and many different branches of those.

Have you ever had a story take a turn you weren’t expecting in the least?

In a way, yes. When writing Bound, as the story was still forming in my mind, I was at an event and a plot twist hit my head and I literally gasped out loud and dove across the table for a notebook and pen to record the thought before it could escape. I got a few strange looks that day. LOL! 
Out of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is most like you.
Mmm. . . That is a tough one. After going through them all, I would probably say Dudley from London in the Dark. His personality is most like mine. I am very empathetic, and try to make things better and fix problems. I would have to say so far that he is the most like me, though his story is a little too underdeveloped (since he isn’t a main character) to tell yet.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing or reading?

I love to design things. Sewing would probably be my highest thing I find enjoyment in aside from those two things you mentioned. I got to design and create a wedding dress this year and that was an experience to remember!

If you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would it be?

Dang. . .These questions are so hard!!!! Victor Hugo or E.D.E.N. Southworth.

Favorite book of all time?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables, and Three People by Isabella Alden. I could survive on those three.

Biggest book crush? I mean, let’s be honest, we all have one!

Gilbert Blythe. *blushes* All the way. I would marry him in a heartbeat. 

Now, for the most important question of all. Milk chocolate or dark? 😛

I like them both, it depends on my mood. But generally dark chocolate.
Thanks so much for having me, Gabriellyn!
You bet, Victoria! It was great to get to pick your brain! 

Bound Review

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Two souls don’t find each other by simple accident. ~Jorge Luis Borges~ 

Levi thought he was making this journey alone. But when he meets an eight-year-old girl at the train station, that plan is turned on its head. 

Casey is running away and finds out that Levi is too. They decide to journey together and their lives are suddenly bound together in a journey they will not soon forget. 

Both children come from abusive situations and are running from the dangers of their previous life. Levi is confident he can handle this on his own, but when Casey is injured on the journey, he must seek help from the first person that comes into his path, or rather people. Mr. and Mrs. Bellworth are simple farm folk with a heart for kids and a passion for serving God. When their unconditional love and gentle care surrounds Levi and Casey, the troubles of their previous lives melt away and they start to flourish. But when Casey is dragged back into the abusive world she came from, the emotional trauma, pain and distrust resurfaces. Will they be forever bound by their past? Or will God answer their prayers? 


 

Overall Impression

Bound was heartwarming. It tells the story of two sweet kiddos who are lost in more ways than one. I was involved from the first chapter and rooting for the characters all the way. The honest truth is, I wasn’t expecting a story this good. I  read Victoria Lynn’s London in the Dark, and had didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. So, when I read Bound, I was rather awestruck.
Bound, in my opinion is so special because of the level of heart behind it. Not only does it surpass London in the Dark, but it surpasses the level of heart you’ll find in many well-known authors. Bound means something. It is STRONG. It is TRUE. It is God’s HEART. 
Another thing I especially appreciated was that the story wasn’t whitewashed. Something that really annoys me in Christian fiction is when authors whitewash evil. Victoria didn’t do that with Bound. But, at the same time, she found a graceful balance in the amount of evil she showed. Victoria was able to expose the complete total depravity and hellish conditions many children are sadly living in without over doing it. She kept the truth that the world needs to hear without making it unnecessarily dark.
I would recommend Bound to single readers 12 and up and some families. For a few content reasons (more later), I would recommend parents skimming through before handing to very young children. 

Characters:

Levi was a sweetheart. I loved how even though he had been so horribly mistreated and had the people he loved the most horribly treated, he was full of life in his wishes to protect Casey. 
What could have made Levi focused on protecting himself only and trying to gain security for himself above all else, instead nurtured a desire to protect someone who was in the same situation as he was. It was beautiful. 
Casey. Awww! Poor little thing! I loved Casey so much and felt so bad for her. No child should have to go through
 what she did. And, while I understand that Casey isn’t a real child who actually has gone through these awful things, her character is powerful because she puts a face on the thousands of children who have and are living in hell around this country. ‘
Casey was quite a well-balanced character. She had so many God awful things done to and around. She was ‘mature’ in a way that no child should ever be. But, at the same time, her true, un-violated childlike spirit would peek out occasionally. And, by the end of the book, it showed with a true force. Casey was superb.
Mr. and Mrs. Bellworth, (HOW SWEET WERE THEY! ❤ ❤ ❤ ) Mikayla, Jason and the other more minor characters were also done quite well. 

Plot:

From the first chapter, I was drawn completely in. I NEEDED to know how Casey and Levi’s journey would end. From the moment at the train station, all the places between, and our lovely ending, I loved it. 
Victoria did a wonderful job on the character and story arcs. The POV’s made sense, the reactions to new things happening were on point, it all was very cohesive. 
Also, those plot twists with Jason, did NOT see them coming! 
The plot and progression was solid and engrossing all the way.

Bravo, Miss Lynn! 

 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: None
Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: Some light descriptions of injuries. Mentions of blood. Children are hit by their parents. Multiple instances of physical abuse-never any sexual abuse. Several intense parts/memories. I would advise for ages 12+. 
Sex/Nudity: None
Other: Some of the plot has to do with drugs and drug dealing-it is looked upon as evil. 

I received this book free from the author for promotional purposes. No reviews, positive or otherwise, were required. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

 

Giveaway!

Bound Giveaway

OFFICIAL GIVEAWAY POST!

(This includes all the info on what you will actually be winning!) 

GIVEAWAY LINK!

 


Well, that’s about it for our Bound festivities! Thanks for hanging with me today, guys! I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂

 

Writing: Story Sprints #2

Story Sprint


LOVED

Autumn sunlight held Aubrey in it’s arms and staved off the chill of the brisk air. Small, golden leaves blew down from the white birch in front of the house and onto  the porch swing where Aubrey sat.

Aubrey breathed in a deep, drawing breath as she picked up one of the leaves that had fallen on her blanketed lap. The action tired her weak arms out more than it should have. How long would it be before the cancer took all the strength that she had left?

Aubrey turned to look at the beautiful hills below her home. The greens of summer had changed to the splendid ochers of fall. The world was so beautiful that it seemed to pain her soul. The golden sunlight, crisp air, and the dancing leaves seemed almost to taunt her with their beauty. Mocking her. Mocking what she would soon lose.

Aubrey squeezed her eyes shut and two large tears streaked down her face and dripped onto her lap. Would she miss it? This beauty. Would she remember it ever even existed? Would she…

“Aubrey.” A whispered Voice broke through her thoughts and a warm Presence encased her.

Aubrey’s eyelids popped open and she looked around, surprised when she saw no one. Had she merely imagined it? Aubrey swept her eyes about her property and the surrounding hills one last time before shutting her eyes again.

“Aubrey.” The Voice spoke again. Aubrey opened her eyes, searching. Still, no one appeared. Aubrey rubbed her eyes and squeezed them shut. Perhaps she was just tired. Maybe it was just…

“Aubrey!” This time, the Voice called her with such a strong certainty that she couldn’t deny that It was real.

Aubrey opened her eyes. Sitting on the porch swing next to her was a tall Man.

His presence was all encompassing, awing her with His mightiness. From head to toe, He exuded light. His entire countenance glowed in a beautiful, unearthly way.

Suddenly, Aubrey felt exposed. It was as if every sin she had ever committed was written on her forehead. Her ugly body seemed to scream of her unworthiness before this beauty.

Aubrey yelped and fell off of the swing and onto her knees. Pain jarred her bones and though her weak body protested,  she managed to scramble several feet away from the swing.

The Man had stood the moment she had fallen. He had reached out as if to catch her, but drawn His hand back seeing that she didn’t want to be near Him. Now, He crouched near where she cowered on the porch.

“Aubrey.” His eyes were gentle. “Do not fear. I won’t hurt you.”

“How…how do you know my name?” Aubrey gasped out scratchily, holding a hand up to her eyes to shield herself from the glowing Presence. He was so beautiful that her weak, damaged body felt like some alien deformity in that holy, glowing Presence.  

“I have known you since before you were born, beloved, should I not know your name? Be at peace, I am here to help you.”

Aubrey scooted back a few inches further from the glorious figure before her, a small glimmer of sadness seemed to gleam deep in His eyes. Was He sad she was pulling away from Him?

“Why? Why do you want to help me?” Her voice held disbelief, fear, and some other indistinguishable sentiment.

How she had even dared to speak in His Presence, she didn’t know. Every new second she sat near Him, she felt more and more like something so mean and unworthy that she didn’t even belong in the same place as this Man.

“Because I love you, Aubrey.” The Man’s voice was earnest, passionate, loving.

Through her shame and fear of this glorious Man, a glimmer of longing pulled in Aubrey’s heart. The love in His voice was strong, caressing her name when He spoke it.

“I…I am not worthy of your love. I have been selfish my whole life…I’m getting my reward now.” Aubrey looked down at her weak body, shame filling her and smothering the faint longing in her heart.

“You are right. You are not worthy on your own.”

Aubrey looked up suddenly. She had known this, but His confirmation stabbed deep at her heart. She dropped her eyes from His again, tears beginning to well up.

“But,” the Man spoke suddenly. The hope filling His voice drew her eyes to His almost against her will. “That doesn’t matter, Aubrey. My love overcomes all. Nothing you have done or ever will do can be larger than my love for you.”

A sob rose in Aubrey’s throat. How she wished that was true. How she wished she could reach out and take the love, how she wished…

“You can, Aubrey! You can have it!”

Aubrey gasped as the Man answered the very thoughts she was thinking.

“How…how can I have it?” Hope tinged her voice.

“Accept it. That’s all you have to do.” The Man’s rich, brown eyes pulled her in, glimmering with love. Love she could have.

A wave of doubt filled her. She was unworthy! She was dirty and…

“Please, Aubrey, let me love you!”

The Man’s voice broke through the doubt she was drowning in and offered her a safe escape.

“I accept!” The cry broke from Aubrey’s lips.

The split second she spoke, everything changed.

The fear, doubt, and shame was blasted away with such an overcoming wave of peace and love that Aubrey shut her eyes in it’s surging strength. A groan came from somewhere deep within Aubrey, pain and sorrow seeping out with it.

Aubrey felt the Man’s arms about her. He lifted her to her feet. Aubrey gasped as she opened her eyes, it was as if a lense had been taken away from her eyes.

She thought the Man magnificent before, but now, the true depth of His love, power, and beauty was unveiled before her and it took her breath away. Awe filled Aubrey’s heart. She couldn’t even begin to comprehend the love before her.

Tears spilled over Aubrey’s cheeks and she was unable to speak. The Man pulled her into a deep embrace. The warmth of His touch healed long broken places in her heart. Aubrey sobbed as the pain of her life was washed away.

Aubrey’s vision began to darken and the Man grew further away, but she was not frightened. A soft voice, the Man’s, whispered in her ear.

“You are loved…”

Time stilled and all grew dark.

Aubrey opened her eyes, feeling as though she had been asleep a long time. She sat on the porch swing, her blanket still tucked comfortably about her legs. The leaves still blew softly, the sun shone goldenly, and the air blew crisply as it had before. Nothing appeared to have changed.

But, Aubrey was not as she had been before.

Aubrey glanced to the side of the porch swing where the Man had first appeared. A large, leather book sat on the swing, it’s gilded pages glowing in the autumnal sunlight.  

Aubrey picked the book up and leafed through it’s pages. It was enormous and seemed to have many books in one. Closer to the end, Aubrey paused as something caught her eye. A small cross was marked next to two passages. The cross flickered for a moment, then disappeared.

Aubrey’s eyes crossed over the passages that had been marked by the cross.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The word soaked into Aubrey’s soul and testified their truth.

A small smile flickered along Aubrey’s lips as she continued to read, feeling stronger than she had in years.

She was loved.


 

I hope you all enjoyed this latest story! Comment below and tell me what you think! Would you like to see more story sprints from me? What was your favorite aspect of LOVED?

Book Review: Kristian’s War

Kris Anders, a dirt-poor farmer, lives in a land where evil forces take the form of men. The sins of his past weigh heavily on his mind. When a stranger directs him to take a new path, Kris begins the journey of a lifetime towards a distant King who is rumored to solve all problems. But then a ruthless soldier is dispatched by the ruler of the dark land to capture or kill Kris. Everything leads to one final fight, where Kris must defeat the demons of his past or die.

Marine Corps veteran Peter Wisan delivers a gripping, tactical take on the spiritual journey in a blend of heart-stopping action and heart-rending loss. Order a copy now…if you have what it takes to join, KRISTIAN’S WAR.

 


 

Overall Impression

Kristian’s War is, I believe, a modern retelling of Pilgrims Progress. And, just as a disclaimer, I have never fully read Pilgrims Progress, but as a child I used to look through an illustrated version often so I remember many aspects of the original story.

This was powerful. The power of this story isn’t in the characters or writing, it’s in magnificent truth of the story. The allegorical content is excellent and the story reflects the mighty truths of our God’s lovingkindness, grace, and strength. It’s excellent!

I would recommend to families  (With some caution, see ‘Warnings’) and single readers 14+.

 

Characters:

The characters in Kristian’s War have the same essence as the characters in Pilgrim’s ProgressIn many ways, the style of writing left me feeling distanced from the characters. However, I understand this to be greatly due to the fact that with the way the story and characters are SUPPOSED to be written, you do end up feeling a bit more disconnected. 

Kristian was a good lead. Most of us would prefer to think of ourselves as more like Jack Consistence, who seems so steadfast in the faith. But, the truth is, many of us are Kristian. Kristian who fears, doubts, grows despondent and lax in his efforts. He struggles with lust, self-condemnation, and fear. He is HUMAN. 

Evan, or Evangelist, serves the mentor purpose quite well. He is a great picture of an ardent Christian with their heart set towards the Lord. 

Jack Consistence was my favorite. Just so steady. Lol, I suppose the name gives that away, though, doesn’t it! 

Christi is a great picture of self-wallowing hate, hurt, and sorrow! I look forward to seeing what Peter does with her character. 

Shame, Condemnation, Influence, Past and all the others were good allegorical baddies. They were so evil. It was portrayed quite well! 

 

Plot:

The plot of this story is pretty much just Pilgrim’s Progress (from what I remember, that is!) but with many more details, motivations, and truths fleshed out. 

Kristian’s War is a long journey, constantly going from hardship and victory to hardship and victory. Such is the way of life! 

There are many places where Mr. Wisan’s writing could be improved, but it didn’t stop the power of the story. He conveyed it so well!

Also, I loved all the technical terms Mr. Wisan included in this book. I will never forget what a ‘mike’ is or a ‘bc’. They greatly enhanced the story without making it unintelligible to the typical non-military/marine person! 

 

Wrap Up:

In conclusion, this was powerful story. Poignant messages, strong truths, and magnificent allegories. While I do believe Mr. Wisan has room to grow in his writing skills, he has written an amazing book that reflects the Lord quite well.

I greatly look forward to seeing what becomes of the other characters in The Searchers Series!

 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: There are quite a few fire fights in this book and quite a bit of violence. Someone has their eyes gouged out, you hear about executions and beheadings, people are shot point-blank in the skull. I was fine with it all, but I would advise caution with parents of children under 14

Sex/Nudity: A married main character is seduced by several females who represent, lust, porn, and cheating. (The aforementioned is not just sensational there is a very good purpose for it. And it’s non-graphic.) There is mention of reproductive system in a non-gross, non-sensational way. 

Other: A character has an abortion. It is considered a bad thing. 

While I would not advise handing this book over to a kid who hasn’t had the facts of life presented to them yet, or is very uncomfortable with violence, nothing in this is unnecessary or majorly graphic. It all serves a purpose. 

 

“I received this book free from the author for promotional purposes. No reviews, positive or otherwise, were required. All opinions expressed are purely my own.”

Blog Tour! Interview and Review-Exiles

Greetings y’all! Today, I am so blessed to get to be a part of Jaye L. Knight’s blog tour for her epic new book, Exiles. So join me for an interview with the author, a review of for the book, and possibly best of all…a giveaway! Let’s begin!

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Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Exiles, has been released! Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Read about it below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Okay, can I just say, this cover is amazing!!! Like, seriously, my favorite cover of all the books she has EVER written! It’s epic! 😛


About the Book

Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

 

Available now on Amazon!

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Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? The first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th – 14th!
You can find them on Amazon.
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About the Author

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. 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, Twitter, and Etsy.
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Time for the author interview! Let’s get to the questions! 

ME:  So, I am a big fan of pretty much all your books, and throughout different series I have noticed some consistencies. For example, in the Makilien Trilogy the king of Eldor is named Darand and the prince is Darian. In the Ilyon Chronicles the king is Daican and the prince Daniel. In the Makilien Trilogy there is a character named Laena, in the Ilyon Chronicles there is Lenae. In the Makilien Trilogy God is represented by Elohim and in Ilyon He is represented by Elom. So, I have to ask, what’s the deal all the ‘D’ names in royalty and the “L” names for motherly women and the “E” names for God? Did you even realize you were doing it? 😀

Jaye: Haha! Actually, I didn’t realize I was doing it except for the names for God. Elohim is a name for God in the Bible, so I chose to use it in Makilien. Then, in Ilyon, I wanted something similar, so that’s why I chose Elôm. I like using real names for God or creatively tweaked versions. Otherwise, yeah, I didn’t realize the similarity in the others.

 

ME: Who are you LEAST like of all your main cast of characters?

Jaye: Probably Trask or Talas. They are very outgoing and extroverted. That is definitely not me. I’m a quiet introvert. I’m quite happy in the background. 🙂

 

ME: Where did the idea of the ryriks kinship with animals come from, and if you could choose any of the giant animals from Dorland to own, what would it be?

Jaye: After working on this series for six years now, I honestly can’t remember, sadly. I think it was probably because of Tyra. Jace cared about her so much, that it then grew toward other animals and eventually became part of the ryrik race. As for Dorland animals, I’d probably want a giant Dorland horse. 😀 I’m actually kind of scared of big horses, but it would still be cool.

 

ME: Did you ever anticipate what a success this series would become?

Jaye: I’m sure I dreamed of it (all authors do), but I don’t think I ever quite anticipated it.

 

ME: What is your favorite book of the entire series? 

Jaye: That’s hard to say definitively since it depends on my mood. At the moment, I lean toward Exiles. There were so many story lines, such as Daniel’s, that I finally got to explore.

 

ME: Who do you think inspired Kyrin Altair the most?

Jaye: I’m not sure. Kyrin was actually a difficult character to write at first. It took a couple of rewrites of the first chapters of Resistance before I finally felt that I had her figured out. Actually, that didn’t happen until after Kaden became part of the story. He didn’t come into existence until I was quite a ways into the book (shocking, I know). I guess, before that, she was just missing her brother and I had no idea. 🙂 As for her abilities, well, those were inspired by Patrick Jane on The Mentalist and a commercial I saw for a show called Unforgettable where the main character remembers everything.

 

ME: What is your favorite culture in Ilyon?

Jaye: Probably the cretes. Their culture is made up of a lot of things I love. I have a thing for Native American culture, so that was a big influence. And then I have ALWAYS wanted to live in a treehouse like on Swiss Family Robinson, so that’s how they ended up living in the trees.

 

ME: If you had to choose one of time periods/worlds from all of your books to live in, which one would it be? 

Jaye: Oh, probably Ilyon. I would like to live with the cretes. 😀

 

ME:  What is your favorite name in Ilyon? (I like Ilvaran quite a lot!)

Jaye: I like Ilvaran too. 😀 It’s really kind of hard to pick. I think I have to say Jace. I just really like that name. (I think most Ilyon fan girls can probably agree on that one!) 

 

ME: If you could get a Crete tattoo, what would it be of? 

Jaye: A blue jay. 😀


That wraps up our author interview, I loved getting to hear Jaye’s thoughts on my questions! So fun!

And, last but not least, book review time! 

(Some spoilers, enter at your risk!)

 

Overall Impression

Anyone who knows me even a little bit is aware that Ilyon is my favorite modern (as in written recently) fantasy series. I love the world, the characters, and the story! It’s an amazing adventure that I would recommend to almost all readers.

That said, Exiles, though very good, fell a bit short for me. I don’t know that this was really Jaye’s fault, more of my own personal preferences and the fact that the story had to be divided over so many POV’s. (Although there were some things that I think could have used adjustment. Those, I will explain in Plot and Characters.)

I would recommend this book to mid to older teens, adults, and some families. Parent discretion advised for younger children due to several bits of mature/suggestive content. (see content guide at bottom) I didn’t feel that any of this was merely for the sensationalism and was handled well, but I would suggest parents skimming through certain parts before handing to any kid under 13, especially those who haven’t had the facts of life presented to them yet. 

 

Characters

So, to be honest, it was a bit hard to judge character progression in this book for the very fact that Exiles was laid out way different from the previous three. The rise and fall of this book wasn’t my favorite and the large amount of time spent with Anne’s POV was really annoying to me. 

I don’t hate Anne, I just don’t like her. In my opinion she is pretty much the flattest character of the whole series. She never really changes. In Exiles a lot of things change around her, but not a whole lot in her. And really, this has been how it is the entire series. Anne never changes. Mostly,  Anne enters the scene, says something about how Goler is annoying but dangerous, flirts with Trask, and then steps out of the scene. I have never enjoyed Anne  so to have such great amounts of the book focused on her when I felt that much of her screen-time would have been put to better use with Jace, Kyrin, or Daniel was pretty frustrating. It really bogged the book down for me. (Note, to achieve the plot goals there were some necessary times to focus on Anne, so those parts aren’t what I’m talking about.)

Daniel was a delight! I was so excited to read his POV. I have been anxiously awaiting hearing more about him since Resistance, so to finally get his part of the story was awesome! I think having him already established in his faith was a good move. Had Jaye taken the time to show us his journey to accepting Elom and Elon it would have elongated the timeline of the story. So to have him a firm believer was a good place to start with. I really enjoyed all the parts with Daniel except for one thing. How in the world did he not see Davira’s plot?!?!?!?! I mean, come on! Dude, get your head out of the clouds. I don’t think it was completely in sync with Daniel’s character to have him just expect that no one was going to resist his plans, he’s waaaay to smart for that. But, other than that, Daniel’s arc was done well in this book. I really enjoyed his character and hope to see more of him. 

Jace’s POV was, well, Jace. It was pretty consistent throughout the book, a few places in his heart had grown by the end of the book but there wasn’t the emotional struggle that we have been used to. That was good, but at the same time his POV felt a little off to me, perhaps it was just because the layout of the plot was so different, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual. Still, well written. 

Kyrin, was pretty much the same as Jace. Except I think that there was even less changing in her. She didn’t evolve or change much through the book. Which is understandable considering how many other directions this book was going. There was a lot that needed to happen, (will talk more about in Plot) and unfortunately, in my opinion, some of our main characters didn’t get the screen-time/POV ratios that I would have like. I would have preferred to have 2/3’s of Anne’s time spent on Jace and Kyrin, because they are really who I care about most.

Also, two thumbs up on Leetra’s development! I was so glad to see a softer side of her! 

So, the character development in this book wasn’t my favorite. There was a lot I liked, but some I didn’t like as well. Over all well-written, though.

 

Plot

I anticipate the numerous cultures in, Exiles, being something that fans adore. I know that I loved getting to so the crete’s home, it was so magical. It sounded like a much more impressive Lothlorien. SO gorgeous! The giants were interesting, (Although their sizing and the sizing of things around them was hard to picture, it felt rather inconsistent.) but a bit frustrating to me in their stubbornness! 🙂 One of the most unexpected things for me was seeing the ryriks culture. It was awesome! 

The flow of Exiles was far different from any of the other books. It began and ended with a wedding, (who’s I won’t say! ;P) and it was more of a ‘travelling’ book. As in, it jumped from place to place. There wasn’t as much of a single, focused goal, which wasn’t bad for what was happening in the story, but it wasn’t as enjoyable of a story for me. I prefer more focused story-lines to travelling ones. 

Here’s the thing though, while I don’t personally prefer the flow Exiles, I don’t think it was wrong or bad. In fact, it was good, because it was necessary. Exiles is a turning point. This is the book that moves us from skirmishes and resistance to all out warfare. I am very, VERY excited to see what the next two books will bring. Exiles rose the stakes in unexpected ways. 

The climax of the book was very good. Way different from anything in the previous books and very exciting! No matter how many times I read stories with underdog resistances, I love them! 

And, y’all, I could not believe some of what happened in the end of this book. I predicted a few things, but overall, I was very surprised. (which is a good thing for me) Readers will be squealing in surprise, horror, and delight at some of the plot twists in this one! Well done, Miss Knight!

One last thing I would say is that I wished there would have been an extra chapter or two at the end. It felt rather abbreviated to me. 

So, to sum up all I have said thus far in the review, there were many, MANY things I loved in Exiles. But, at the same time, in my opinion it under-delivered. This will be the first of all the Ilyon books that I rate at 4 stars. Very good, but not my favorite. Exiles is sure to enthrall many Ilyon fans, and will doubtless do well! Good story! 

 

Warnings: 

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: There is an arena scene-not overly gory but clearly violent and horrible, MC’s threatened by ryriks multiple times, character is attacked by wolves, a bone is broken, multiple injuries described-not too bad, a bad character tries to drown a main character, multiple battle scenes, a man forcefully kisses a woman. 

Sex/Nudity: There is a clear knowledge that an evil character is having bedroom rendezvous with various men, this is not explored deeply nor is it just sensationalism, it is for the purpose of honestly portraying evil. An evil ryrik wishes to rape a woman, she is saved and it doesn’t happen. Several comments and places are suggestive of sexual interaction. 

I wouldn’t recommend this book for readers under 13. Past that it really depends on maturity and personal convictions of readers. For those 13 or under I would run past a parent before reading. The mature elements do not feel purely sensational, they have purpose.

“I received this book free from the author for promotional purposes. No reviews, positive or otherwise, were required. All opinions expressed are purely my own.”

 

 

 

                                                                                                           

July 4th: Because of the Brave

Home of the Free

Hi guys. I know I haven’t posted in a long time…blogger fail, I know. But, I wanted to post today because, well, it’s important. 241 years ago today, we declared our freedom from Britain. Our thirteen colonies came together to throw back our oppressors, to fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

I believe with every ounce of my being that the United States of America is a nation blessed by God. I believe that the USA is here for a reason, many reasons in fact. But the only reason we are here at all is because of the greatness and wisdom of our Lord and Savior and the bravery and courage of those who have fought for us. 

So, today I say thank you to every person who has fought for this country. The soldiers, marines, politicians, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, federal agents, accountants, janitors, and soccer moms. Thank you to all the fathers’, sons’, mothers’, daughters’…every single American who has every given something up to protect, raise up, or empower our nation.

Thank you to every single person who has been brave enough to stand up and shout the truth and when necessary fight for it. To all those who sacrificed their lives, whether that be dying on a battlefield, pursuing criminals, or giving everything to the children who are our future. 

This is the land of the free because of the brave. So who are the brave? I am the brave, you are the brave, we are the brave. So don’t ever stop fighting for freedom, righteousness, love and hope. Never stop fighting for goodness! Never stop remembering those who made it that way, and always be brave! 

Happy 4th of July

 

 

 

The Importance of Picking Apart Your Books

Everything we see, hear, or read is a tiny seed planted in our hearts and minds. A seed that we have to decide what to do with. Whether to water it and let it thrive, or to starve it! To yank it up from its roots, and burn the toxic ideology that is disagreeable to our beliefs. 

The difficulty is, sometimes you can’t recognize the seeds. Ideas and beliefs can be so easily slipped into books. Woven into the literature so seamlessly you don’t always realize they are there. So, when reading, it is import to digest as you go.

For example: with Fantasy sometimes it’s easy to pass something off as part of the story-world that really isn’t good. Since it’s Fantasy, it’s easy to say, “Hey, it’s how the world works. So maybe in the real world it’s evil to touch that dark, pyramid-shaped object and chant the special words to glean magical powers, but here? Eh, I’ll let it pass. After all, the main girl is using her powers to save the group who represent Christendom.”

So, when reading a book of any genre, it’s important to look closely. If something sounds or feels a bit funny, take a closer look. And hey, if it’s a bit off base, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the book is completely off-limits. But when you are aware of the snake in the grass you can avoid being bitten.

Don’t just accept everything you read, pick it apart. And even beyond identifying the things that don’t match up with your beliefs, picking a book apart can be a great idea. As a writer and reader the more you dissect a story the more you understand the art of literature, the more you understand the way to work your own theology and beliefs into the stories you create. 

The heart is easily swayed and the mind can be quickly fooled, and both impact how you see the world. So don’t accept all you see or hear. Dissect, prod, pick apart, and whatever you find you’ll be glad you did!