Posted in book reviews, books, fantasy, christian fiction, favorite books,

Lizzy & Jane-Halee’s Bookshelf

Lizzy and Jane never saw eye to eye. But when illness brings them together, they discover they may be more like Austen’s famous sisters after all.

Lizzy was only a teenager when her mother died of cancer. Shortly after, Lizzy fled from her home, her family, and her cherished nickname. After working tirelessly to hone her gift of creating magic in the kitchen, Elizabeth has climbed the culinary ladder to become the head chef of her own New York restaurant, Feast. But as her magic begins to elude her, Paul, Feast’s financial backer, brings in someone to share her responsibilities and her kitchen. So Elizabeth flees again.

In a desperate attempt to reconnect with her gift, Elizabeth returns home. But her plans are derailed when she learns that her estranged sister, Jane, is battling cancer. Elizabeth surprises everyone—including herself—when she decides to stay in Seattle and work to prepare healthy, sustaining meals for Jane as she undergoes chemotherapy. She also meets Nick and his winsome son, Matt, who, like Elizabeth, are trying to heal from the wounds of the past.

As she tends to Jane’s needs, Elizabeth’s powers begin to return to her, along with the family she left behind so long ago. Then Paul tries to entice her back to New York, and she is faced with a hard decision: stay and become Lizzy to her sister’s Jane, or return to New York and the life she worked so hard to create?


Whoaaaaa. What a packed book.
This story deals with some major issues: family dysfunction, depression, cancer, death, being a single parent, etc. So it was a pretty dense plot. Even the dialogue was dense.

But what an oh-so-beautiful story of family redemption and love.

Katherine blends Lizzy & Jane together like a warm and chocolately mocha, with romance as whipped cream and caramel as the delicious food descriptions. I mean , come on, I’m HUNGRY.

Yes, this is an adult book, so I say if you are an older teen this book would be perfectly fine.

It was entertaining, beautifully written, full of amazing and heart wrenching quotes, a total tear-jerker, and one of the most poetically written books in the Christian fiction industry!

 

~By His Grace,

Halee

 

You’re creating more than a meal; you’re creating sustenance and meeting needs that are way beyond nutritional.
–Cecilia ~ Lizzy & Jane, 139

Posted in book reviews, books, books, fantasy, christian fiction, favorite books,, relationships, writing, youth

Regal Hearts Blog Tour-Halee’s Bookshelf

“Here we go again. Exhibit A of how the shallow waters of Hollywood works, as you get attacked by the media sharks. First, they compliment you, allow you to put your guard down, and then SNAP! The mousetrap slams down on the innocent cheese taker.”

Watch out people, because the evil of this world is using our media! Whether we like to admit it or not, books (among other things) are strongly influenced by the culture, and these negative and ungodly things are being mindlessly fed to our young people through popular series. They may grab your attention, keep you on the edge of your seat, and may capture you with its romance and fantasy, but it’s not wise material to be putting time into.

Thank God though, because as this generation of young people comes in, so do Godly young writers who are eager to share their writing talent to hungry readers around the world! ^_^ 

I introduce to you, Livy Jarmusch, founder of Crown Of Beauty Magazine!! Livy is an amazing world changer in this generation, touching countless young girls for the glory of God, and she’s also producing TONS of clean and positive media that establishes a firm foundation of biblical content. She has written several books: Secrets Of RoyaltyWhen Life Feels Like A Taylor Swift Song, and a magazine article bind up called Beauty, Boys, and Ballgowns.

Now, with her new “episode-style” story coming up, you’ll be in love with the vivid, relatable characters, the powerful plot, and the need-to-read messages presented.


I’ve read the first two chapters, and let me tell you, I can’t wait to read more!! It’s such an exciting series with so many twists and turns.

Written especially for girls, Livy hits impacting issues straight on, in an amazing way…..

“No more crying. Listen to me. You are a brave, strong-willed woman. You have been asked to do something against your will, something that will require all the courage and faith that you possess. But God will help you! We will pray, and pray, and pray again, and He will see you through every test and trial that presents itself to you. You must begin to gather your head about this, child.” 

I have to say, my favorite character so far is Emma, with her spunky personality and bookworm/wallflower personality, I can’t help but relate! But I am really enjoying diving into the other creative storylines woven into the big picture…(aka, the whole series.)

I hope you’ll pre-order Livy’s first “episode” in the Regal Hearts series! It’s on Amazon right now: click here.

~By His Grace,

Halee Westbrook

(P.S. Want to read the other blog posts in this blog tour? Check out this following links below, and don’t forget to peruse Livy’s website, Crown Of Beauty!)

 

The synopsis: 

Following the dramatic birth of her royal daughters, the Queen of Bella-Adar is murdered by the merciless sword of an evil usurper. The helpless princesses are placed in the care of the URIA, an undercover organization who safely extracts and protects the girls from a tragic fate. Sixteen years later, Lena Bodner encounters a stranger who uncovers secrets from her past…

Embark on these regal adventures, as Episode 1 launches an exciting, riveting mini-series of 25 pages released in a periodical, episode format. Reading Regal Hearts is like watching a TV show unfold in your mind, so you’ll have to be patient for the release of each new episode!

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Posted in book reviews

Redeeming Grace-Halee’s Bookshelf

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Redeeming Grace (Daughters Of The Promised Land series #3)

When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.

Combining meticulous research with her endless imagination, Jill Eileen Smith gorgeously renders one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture. Readers will adore this third installment of the inspiring Daughters of the Promised Land series.


Soooooo, this book. It seems to me like Biblical fiction is one of those genres that takes a few chapters to get into, then the story picks up and you’re swept away into the plot…..Except this book just never seemed to get better. I’m in no way trying to be ugly towards the HARD work the author put into this (or any book to get published) but I just didn’t get it. I thought it was somewhat interesting…But to be completely honest it just did not catch my attention and I had to force myself to read it in time for this review.

Now, this is not to say that all her books are boring, I personally did not care for it.

I was really wanting to spend my little reading time on a different book.

As for the biblical and historical aspect of the story, I think it was lined up well. It seemed well researched to me.

The last thing I want to touch on is the romance…..I didn’t care for it either. It felt strange to me. I can’t put my finger on it, but I thought it was forced and real at the same time….Not to mention the wedding night scene….Too much. :/

Overall this book was 2 stars-it was just okay. Would I recommend it…Eh, probably not….Would I discourage you from reading it? No, it was neutral.

*Thanks to Revell Publishing for providing a free copy in exchange for my honest review.*

~By His Grace,

Halee

 

Check out Jill Smith’s other two books in the series:

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Jill Eileen Smith’s website:

http://www.jilleileensmith.com/books/redeeming-grace-ruths-story/

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Moving Target-Halee’s Bookshelf

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Moving Target (Elite Guardians #3) by Lynette Eason

When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe come up missing, things get interesting. The search for the two missing detectives continues while far away they are in the clutches 0f a madman’s twisted idea of a game. Now, Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, because if they don’t win this game…They die.


In a story like this fast-paced suspense novel, you never know what to expect. You’re constantly shocked and you always think you know the plot, but the twists and turns are too much to keep up with! Coming from a person like me who loves watching shows like Criminal Minds, this book was a pleasant surprise that entertained me. I stopped watching CM years ago though, due to too many dark and inappropriate cases. BUT it was so cool to me to be able to get into the killer’s thought processes and ponder through the story’s clues and hints without being exposed to bad scenes and language.

 

I was also highly pleased with the amount of spiritual content as well! The two main characters and their families experience hard things, they fail a lot, and they don’t trust God enough during the trials. But they all slowly but surely found redemption and I loved reading that.

 

I highly recommend this romantic suspense book to anyone who enjoys a thrilling crime story! Moving Target will not disappoint.

~Halee

Feel free to check out Lynette’s website here:

http://www.lynetteeason.com/

And here’s Lynette’s first two books in the Elite Guardians Series:

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Posted in tags, writing

Blogger Tag (from Peculiar On Purpose)

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Hey everyone! I saw this tag from Kimberly @ Peculiar On Purpose and I really wanted to do it. P.S. I WILL be tagging bloggers and friends at the end of this post so stick around!


1. Are you named after anyone?

Nope! My parents weren’t cool.

2. When was the last time you cried?

Um, last week. *Blushes*

3. Do you have kids?

Hahaahah! No. But I hope to one day!

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

I’ve thought of this before, and honestly I think I would. But there’s certainly parts of me I would be puzzled about! LOL.

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

NEVER.

6. Will you ever bungee-jump?

Would be super cool, but realistically, probably no.

7. What’s your favorite cereal?

Well, we’re healthy folks so I normally don’t eat cereal…But if we’re talking junk….CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Glasses…? Dressed sloppy….? Smiling…..?

9. What is your eye colour?

Brown.

10. Scary movie or happy endings?

HAPPY ENDINGS! Please. Scary movies are for people with fictional backbone. (In which I have none of.)

11. Favorite smells?

Eucalyptus. Cinnamon. Meadows. Lemon. Walking into a house with an essential oils diffuser. *laughs*

12. Summer or winter?

SUMMER. SWIMMING. SWIMMING CANNOT BE DONE IN WINTER.

13. Computer or television?

Computer. I really don’t like TV. PLUS I’ve got PureFlix, NetFlix and Amazon Video so I’ve got plenty of films to watch. :-)

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

Colorado! Which I totally recommend as a trip, BTW. I do hope to go to New Orleans on a mission trip one day though.

15. Do you have any special talents?

Hmm….What exactly do you mean by “special”? I love to write, read, craft, color, draw, talk, advise, pray, bake, cook, wash dishes, do laundry, driving, blogging, connecting with people, etc…..But the question is are any of them talents? Eh. IDK.

16. Where were you born?

In a little section of a big state in the USA on the Earth in the Milky Way in the whole Universe. :-)

17. What are your hobbies?

READING. WORDS. PEOPLE. JESUS.

18. Do you have any pets?

Yep! My Yorkie, Chewy. ^_^

19. Favorite movie?

*deep sigh* One cannot pick a favorite, so why do we keep asking these questions????I’ll say my current favorite: Princess Cut…But you can check out THIS movie list from a few months back and you can check out several of my favs.

20. Do you have any siblings?

Yes! Samuel, 6. Abigail, 4. And Benjamin, 2. :-)

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A fervent Christian women with a servant’s heart and the fire of a modern day Paul igniting her every decision!!

 

That’s it! I therefore tag:

Abbie and Caitlyn

~By His Grace,

Halee

 

Posted in relationships

“The List”…….?

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So, the title of this blog post either got you excited or struck fear into your soul…..If the latter, you’re probably a guy, and if the former, you’re more than likely a girl. BUT, this post is for EVERYONE. And I’m about to debunk the LIST. 

In a Christian arena full of hormonal teenagers, what is one of the most buzzed about topics of this generation? “The List”. I’m not sure when this started, or really, why it started in the first place, but what I want to know so badly, is why  it caught on so quickly…And why in the world did it get so….So… Necessary?

Not familiar with the list? It goes something like this:

  1. Patient
  2. Kind
  3. Wise with money
  4. Great with kids
  5. Still a virgin
  6. Loyal
  7. Content
  8. Loves God
  9. Forgiving
  10. Sense of humor
  11. Wise
  12. Bold

And the list goes on and on and 0n…..

Now, I know what you are probably thinking…These “lists” are very key to praying and preparing for your future spouse, to plan out what you really need and have an answer when someone is interested in you. I get it! It’s totally legitimate. BUT, are the run-on lines needed to craft a Christ-centered marriage? If we don’t have a list, are we clueless as to how or what we’re looking for a mate? No. And here’s why:

I’ve come to the realization (after much pondering and thinking), that almost every single quality on these lists, can be made a whole lot more simple.

Pray that your future husband/wife will be Godly. That’s it. If someone is totally committed to the Kingdom, lives for nobody but God, and truly strives to be more and more like Jesus every day, I’m pretty sure that covers all the bases.

Now, like I said, making these lists and praying for certain character qualities is NOT  bad thing, as a matter of fact, I have a list…And I strive to grow in each of the things I’m praying my husband will have.

But I honestly think it boils down to this: Don’t get obsessed with lists, but pray daily that your future spouse will become more and more like Christ.

That’s it! Pray for patience and kindness, but remember, it’s all about being Christ-LIKE, NOT perfect.

~Halee

Keep the conversation going! What do you think about “The List”? Do you think it’s a bit overrated? Let me know what you think in the comments, I’d love to chat with you! 

Posted in book reviews

Christy & Todd:The Married Years-Halee’s Bookshelf

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Now that they have been married for almost two years, Christy and Todd are facing challenges neither of them expected. Everything that felt familiar in their relationship is being shaken. All they had hoped for in their future together is about to change.

When Christy shares her life-altering news with Todd, she doesn’t receive the joyful response she was expecting. Aunt Marti inserts a few strong opinions about how the young couple should navigate this difficult season and when Todd’s dad asks for help renovating his Newport Beach home it’s clear that nothing will ever be the same for them again.

As Christy and Todd’s relationship is radically altered will they continue to drift apart? Or will they come through the major shifts with a deeper love each for other and the One who brought them together in the first place?


This book is the continuing story after Christy and Todd:The College Years, which I actually didn’t read. BUT, I didn’t feel like I was missing something so this can be read without the college years.

Okay, now on to the review. :-)

If you are sensitive to a bit of romance or are a little younger, this book would probably be just a bit too much for you……It is the married years, after all…BUT, if you are good with it, the romantic moments are appropriately written so it’s nothing without innocence.

As for the other parts, it was so great! I zoomed through this book, and was actually pretty surprised with how this was plotted. There was a lot going on here, with several great plot twists.

Christy has several God-moments in this story….. Moments when her heart is softened, her mind is changed or God shows her something amazing….

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the “forever friend reunion” that we kind of got, plus, the last few chapters of the book were the greatest and sweetest thing ever!

Lastly, the thing that seperates Christy and Todd from a lot of fictional newlyweds, is the fact that their life isn’t always romantic and lovely and perfect…And Robin Gunn doesn’t try to portray it isas perfect either! God puts the couple in some major trials at the first couple years of their marriage, and the Spencer’s came out of it the better.

Overall, this book wasn’t fluffy and perfect and romantic, there was a LOT of rough scenes with financial and housing issues, but I could see God in Christy & Todd’s relationship…And that was the most beautiful thing.

~Until next time,

Halee