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

Wings Of The Wind-Halee’s Bookshelf

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Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.
Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.
Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage—for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?


There’s a special thing about books that truly sets them apart from other forms of entertainment. They pull you in so effortlessly, cause you to grow a bond with the characters. You rejoice with them when they are successful and feel for them when they fall. But there’s a certain talent that Connilyn Cossette has that I cannot explain other than talent from God.

A good book takes you on a journey, and this one was stunning…Wings Of The Wind was like a beautiful painting, a creatively scripted song, and a perfectly plotted play all at once. Absolutely breathtaking!

Continue reading “Wings Of The Wind-Halee’s Bookshelf”

Posted in book reviews, books

Different by Sally and Nathan Clarkson-Halee’s Bookshelf

Nathan was different and Sally knew it.
From his early childhood, Nathan was bursting with creativity and uncontainable energy, struggling not only with learning issues but also with anxiety and OCD. He saw the world through his own unique lens–one that often caused him to be labeled as -bad, – -troubled, – or someone in need of -fixing.-

Bravely choosing to listen to her motherly intuition rather than the loud voices of the world, Sally dared to believe that Nathan’s differences could be part of an intentional design from a loving Creator with a plan for his life. She trusted that the things that made him different were the very things that could make him great.

Join Sally and Nathan as they share their stories from a personal perspective as mother and son. If you are in need of help and hope in your own journey with an outside-the-box child, or if you’re an adult trying to make sense of your differences, you’ll find deep insight, resonance, and encouragement in the pages of this book. Dare to love and nurture the -different- one in your life.

I feel REALLY bad posting my honest opinion for this book….Because for me it was, well, just not good.

I also feel like I’m not qualified to even review this at all, seeing as how this deals with OCD, ADHD, ADD and other mental disorders that I haven’t experienced. And the feel of this book was directed towards parents of “outside-the-box” kids and I obviously couldn’t relate to that.

I didn’t enjoy this book. It was really hard for me to finish it, so I didn’t….I only read about 150 pages out of 220. I couldn’t. It was depressing, un-relatable (for me, personally), and fell flat of an interesting story.

I don’t really want to go any further for this review, for fear that I might say something rude….Because in the end I know that these authors spend a lot of time and effort and heart on writing and publishing a book, but I just didn’t care for it. :(

****Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for providing me with a free copy in exchange for me honest opinion. :-)****

~By His Grace,

Halee

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 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

 

Posted in book reviews

Culture by A.W. Tozer

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We have done nothing until we have left the world and set our faces toward the city of God in hard, practical reality.” —A. W. Tozer

Readers love Tozer the way we love friends who tell the hard truth. The truth is often bitter, but if we are wise we will drink it down, and we’ll be thankful we did. In Culture, A. W. Tozer tells it how it is: to follow Christ toward heaven is to invite trouble in this world.

Within these pages are reflections on the true nature of the church, the cost of following Jesus, and the blessed hope of the heaven-bound.

Read Culture to be made sober, determined, and bold in a world that would rather you quietly blend in.


 

This is my first A.W. Tozer book to read, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I knew he was considered a “classic” Christian author, but I had no idea how difficult and mature his writing style was!

I started this book very, VERY excited, and ended…Well, relieved. Hahah! It was good, but hurt my head to read his proper style.

Tozer discusses those culturally controversial topics that most people avoid, and while he’s very bold about his convictions, he’s Christ-like about it and doesn’t shove it in your face.

I enjoyed reading his perspective of the modern-day culture, and was constantly wondering how he’d react to 2016! After all, he died in the 60’s; MUCH different from now.

If you want a challenging, convicting book for 2017, one that will make you reconsider your habits and highly motivates you, check this book out!

*This book was sent to me for free by Moody Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*

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~By His Grace,

     Halee