A Fool and His Monet


Sketchy politics and a palette of lies can’t stop Serena Jones from exposing the mastermind behind the daring theft of a priceless work of art

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art–one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer–like get married–Serena’s determined to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Serena leaps into action–and a whole heap of trouble.

I just loved Sandra Orchard’s light, airy writing style in this book.  I loved the characters, especially Aunt Martha.  Get ready for Aunt Martha… she’ll take you for a wild ride.  I loved the narration… and I don’t normally like it when a book is narrated by one of the characters.  I prefer 3rd person narration where the narrator is a bit more disconnected from the story, but ‘hearing’ Serena’s inner dialogue, especially when it came to Tanner and Nate, just took the story from good to great.

A Fool and His Monet will have you guessing right until the very end.  Trust me, I had no idea who the thief was.  It was a great read, with laugh out loud moments as well as sitting on the edge of your seat and not being able to put the book down moments.

If you ever watched the show “White Collar,” I think you’ll love this book.  It reminded me a bit of that — between the FBI and the art crimes, and all that.  That show was epic… if you haven’t checked it out, I know for sure it’s on Canadian Netflix but can’t speak for the rest of the Netflixes.

I’m really excited for Orchard’s next book in the Serena Jones in the series, which comes out in October.

I was also really thrilled with Sandra Orchard’s website — where you can vote on details for upcoming books, engage in discussions with Orchard herself, and peruse past and upcoming titles.  Check it out at www.sandraorchard.com/

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

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Annabel Lee


Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden.
The secret’s name is Annabel Lee.

She doesn’t know why her enigmatic uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He’s left her with a few German words, a barely controlled guard dog, and a single command: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

Miles away in Atlanta, private investigator Trudi Coffey is visited by a mysterious older man calling himself Dr. Smith. He’s been trailing a man for a decade–a man she met through her ex-partner Samuel Hill–and the trail has led him to her office. The last thing Trudi wants to do is to contact Samuel. But it will take both of them to unravel this mystery–before it’s too late.

In a suspenseful novel with an interesting plot, you’ll want to find out what happens to the characters as you read.  This will keep you reading.  It’s a quick read, but you’ll need to pay attention.  The narration flips back and forth between Annabel, Trudy, and The Mute… so make sure you’re clear on who’s narrating which chapter — it’ll be really helpful when you’re going through the book.

It wouldn’t be an honest review if I didn’t say that sometimes the swap in narrators, combined with the slip in and out of poor grammar hadn’t caused some confusion while reading this book.  There were times when it was necessary to flip back and double check to make sure everything was clear and making sense.

All in all though, even through the spots of rough grammar (which I do understand because it made sense with the plot), and the flipping of narrators, the book was well worth the follow-through to the end because the end was interesting.  I obviously won’t reveal any more than that, but make sure you follow through.  It’ll wrap up.  It’ll all make sense, and all the details will tie together — like they should in any good mystery😉

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Interesting fun fact:  I don’t do poetry, so the name of this book didn’t stand out to me until I had to Google it at some point.  So the Edgar Allan Poe reference was lost on me initially.  But for those of you who are fans of Poe’s work, there are references throughout this book to look out for.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

My Thoughts on Batman VS Superman


My promise:  No spoilers.  And I will not approve any comments with spoilers.

My thoughts:

I’ve been a superhero fan for a long time, but I need to put a disclaimer on that and admit that I have never read the comic books.  I guess I’ve been a superhero MOVIE fan for a long time.

They fascinate me — this disconnect between regular human beings and those people, whether aliens, meta humans, mutants, or just really strong dudes (Batman) who feel a burden to protect the rest of us is intriguing and it draws me in.

Plus, visual effects galore, stuff blows up, and they tend to pick really good looking actors to play all the superheroes (I’m sure the women are good looking, too…. but I am so easily distracted by Chris Evans that… well…. I got distracted again).

I mean….

I digress.  I was here to talk about Batman vs. Superman.

This movie has taken a bit of a hit in the media in the weeks coming up to its release.  Rotten Tomatoes is not nice to this interpretation of the classic DC Characters at all.  Mind you… is Rotten Tomatoes ever nice?  I don’t even know.  I typically avoid reading reviews for anything until after I’ve formed my own opinion.  (That is, for watching or reading anything — if it’s something I can use that might be a crappy product, I certainly read reviews a-plenty before I buy.)  I’ve been reviewing books for a little over a year now, and I won’t read a review of a book before I’ve both read it and written my own review.  I like to form my own thoughts and not be influenced by what might be cool or uncool.  I feel the same way about movies.

My first thought is:  There was a lot of concern, outrage, whatever you want to call it… over the decision to cast Ben Affleck as Batman.  Too many chick flicks under his belt some said.  Well, perhaps it was all that experience (though he’s completely experienced in other genres as well — I have always been an Affleck fan) that let him bring a level of emotion to Batman that I haven’t seen in a while.  Christian Bale was great and all, I mean… “I’m Batman” will always sound like Christian Bale to me.

Fun fact:  Did you know Christian Bale is British?  I heard an interview with him once and it blew my mind.

Anyway….

As much as I loved The Dark Knight trilogy, and I liked Bale’s Batman, Ben Affleck brought this element of emotion and tortured anguish to the role that we have all always known should be there, but as long as I’ve been watching Batman movies (full disclosure:  haven’t seen all of them) I haven’t seen one where the tortured anguish was played out as well as in the eyes and on the face of Ben Affleck.  I can’t say too much without spoiling it, but I hope it’s not just my love for Affleck getting in the way here — I thought he was a fantastic choice… but then, I did from the beginning.  I thought Henry Cavill also did well with his portrayal of emotion, but I haven’t seen him in anything else, so I didn’t have a barometer to compare him to.

Watching the two heroes internally battle their compasses and where their needles sat on the right vs wrong, good vs evil spectrum was fascinating.  Both had equal disdain for each other, and had to navigate what that looked like, while also fighting their own personal emotional demons.  Both thought the other was going too far in their quest for justice, but of course it’s much deeper than that… and I’ll leave it at that.

Also… can we talk about Lex Luthor for a second?  What a psychopath… and I mean, good villains usually are… but I’m on Jesse Eisenberg’s side here, too… since watching the film last night I’ve read a few reviews not pleased with his performance either, but I thought he nailed it.

This is not a happy-go-lucky film, but then, I’m always surprised when someone says they went to see a Batman movie and they leave going “it was so serious!” ….. Do you know who Batman is?  If your measuring stick for what a superhero movie should look like is a Marvel/Disney collaboration, I encourage you to check that at the door of the theatre.  Don’t get me wrong — I am a Marvel movie fan!  For sure!  But they’re not the same.

I thought it was refreshing though, unlike Christian Bale’s Batman, to not see a philandering, money-dropping, party-going Bruce Wayne in this movie, but instead a driven, passionate, focused, tortured Wayne… where we got a glimpse into what life in the head of Bruce Wayne must be like.

At the same time, it was nice to see a Clark Kent that could do wrong.  Perry White was on his case at many times throughout the movie, and that’s not usually a side of the Superman narrative I’ve seen.  It was also nice to see a Superman who wasn’t always making the right choice, and always doing everything perfectly — it humanized Superman… which, I understand, is ironic… because he’s not even human.  But I liked it.

My final three thoughts are this:

  1. Don’t go to the drive-in to see this movie.  That was my plan yesterday — my best friend and I were going to go to the drive-in and celebrate its having re-opened after the winter last weekend.  But I think, being such a literally dark movie (it was also figuratively dark, but I’m talking dark scenes, not a ton of light, no splashy colours… dreary…) it would be a challenge to see really well at the drive-in.  Maybe I’m wrong… but I really enjoyed it in 3D anyway.
  2. Don’t read reviews before you go.  Or at least, if you have/are (you’re reading this after all…), take them with a grain of salt and don’t let them sink in and formulate an opinion for you.
  3. Don’t stay to the end of the credits.  There’s nothing there.  I know we’re all used to Marvel/Disney giving us teasers for the sequel, or a bit of a teaser trailer for whatever their next installment is…. but the only teasers you’ll get here are embedded within the movie itself — so pay attention, and save yourself the 3.76 hours of credits that follow the film😉

I leave you on a much funnier note….  Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck.  Did you see this video?

This is as funny as it will get.  By far.

One Dress. One Year. For Freedom.


When I was in high school, and most specifically, when I was 16 years old… not only was I completely unaware that human trafficking and slavery were still an issue, but I doubt I could say that I’d have gone to the lengths that Bethany Winz did on her journey to raise awareness and money toward justice for human trafficking victims.  Even as much as I now abhor the idea that slavery still exists, and that humans can take such an evil stance against other humans, I don’t know that I’d do something as bold as to wear the same dress for an entire year.

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This book was beautiful — it’s fresh, as it’s written by a teenager (a talented one at that) as she walks through what this passion for fighting injustice looks like for her.  She shares her experiences, her emotions (some of them heartbreaking), statistics, shocking facts, and updates on her funding as she goes through her year-long journey wearing one black dress.  She hopes to get people to ask her questions about what she’s doing.  She explains that victims of trafficking don’t get many choices, so she has done what she can to limit some of hers so she can experience even a fraction of what they go through.  Ultimately, she’d like to live in a world where humans are not sold for any reason.

You’ll smile.  You’ll chuckle.  You’ll want to cry (and if you’re not as averse to crying as I am, you just might).  You’ll get angry.  I find I can’t be faced with the reality of human trafficking and slavery and not be furious.  I’ve written about it in this blog in the past, partnered with an organization called Exodus Road.  Check out my categories and look under “Human Trafficking” to find anything I’ve done there.

“When I’m exposed to evil, I want to …. pretend I never saw it in the first place.  The problem is that I did see it.  I know it’s there.  That makes me responsible.  If I don’t face it, then who will?”

It’s easy to assume that someone else will take up the call to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves — but what if no one else does?  Then what?

I loved following along with Bethany on her journey, and I’m glad to read that she had such a supportive network behind her as she embarked on what was likely a difficult year.  It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but especially for a teenager battling peer pressure, hormones, social pressure, and the like — I’m sure it was very challenging.  High school was hard enough without intentionally trying to make myself stand out.  I can’t imagine.

I think Bob Goff — founder of Restore International, an organization that Bethany worked closely with — was absolutely right when he said:  “You are going to do magnificent things with your life!  It will be fun for all of us to watch!”  I remember thinking not even all through the first chapter that Bethany Winz was going to be a name to watch out for in the fight against human trafficking.  It’s great to know that I’m not the only one who thinks so, and I’ll definitely have my eye on her.

If you can’t stand the injustice in this world, and want to read a real, authentic, and uplifting account of a girl who can’t stand it either, I highly recommend this book.  It’s a quick, easy read, but it will impact your heart at the same time, just like it did Bethany’s.

“The dress is inviting me to change.  It’s inviting me to let Jesus transform me into the person he created me to be.”

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Always Watching


Do you ever feel like someone’s watching you?  Lurking, hiding, waiting just around the corner?  Wade Savage, a charming radio psychologist, knows what that feels like, and that’s precisely why his father hired Olivia Edwards, owner of The Elite Guardians bodyguard agency, to keep him safe…. without him knowing.

Drama, suspense, intrigue, and romance unfold quickly in this fast-paced romantic thriller.  You have to be patient to get to know the root of the emotions in the characters, but Lynette Eason has done a beautiful job of spreading tidbits of info to keep you craving more throughout the book.  You’ll just keep reading — well into the night, and at every available moment — to find out what happens next, and to learn more about the beloved characters.

Always watching will be released this coming May, with book # 2 in the series following in July.  I’ve added book 2 to my Amazon wish list already, as I can’t wait to follow along some more with the Elite Guardians agency.

One of the things I loved very much about this book is that it features, in a twist like I haven’t seen very often, a group of strong female leads who, instead of needing to be protected, are the ones taking care of others and doing the protecting.  Eason also showed us the vulnerable sides of their hearts, but they were no-nonsense, they knew what they were doing, and they did it well.  I love reading a book with a strong female lead.

Here’s the Press Material for the book:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son. But when Wade’s bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap.

Olivia’s skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade’s stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him–including Olivia. But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

Check it out once it’s released, and don’t forget to pop back over here and let me know what you think!

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Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

 

Cold Shot


I loved this book.  From page one to the very end, I was guessing and sharply taking in breath…. “who did it?  Will they be ok?”

If you like a book that will keep you up half the night, promising yourself “just one more chapter,” wondering if the beloved characters will make it out alive, then I promise you, you’ll like Cold Shot, the first of the Chesapeake Valor series by Dani Pettrey.

There was also just enough history in the book — uncovering what they thought would be Civil War remains, until it turned out they weren’t…. to keep this history nerd happy.  What was nice though, is that the historical details didn’t overwhelm the plot of the book, which wasn’t historical.  I’ve visited that area of the States, purely for its history, so it was fun to relive it through someone else’s eyes as I read this novel.

Here’s the synopsis:

Four Best Friends.
And Then One Went Missing . . .

In college, Griffin McCray and his three best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore Police Department, Declan Grey would head to the FBI, and Parker Mitchell would study to become a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world–and friendships–crumbled.

Now years later, Griffin has left the police and his friendships behind. Still trying to forget a case that went bad when he was a SWAT team sniper, he’s living a quiet life as a park ranger at Gettysburg. Quiet until skeletal remains are uncovered near Little Round Top–and they aren’t Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Grey steps in to take over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he’ll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he–and those he cares about–are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

Side note:  Can I tell you how much I love the name Declan?  I always have…. and the fact that I now have a character as a namesake who’s a little tamer than an IRA sniper (The Jackal, 1997 — with Richard Gere and Bruce Willis) makes my heart happy.

I digress.  The only real fault I found with this book was that I found the female characters were constantly being protected.  To an extent, that’s nice.  It’s romantic and all, but nearing the end of the book I was feeling exasperated for them, and particularly for the main female character, Finley, because Griffin was very protective of her, as if there were no indication that a leading forensic anthropologist could take care of herself.  It reminded me a bit of the TV show Bones…. and perhaps that’s why I found the female lead a bit too helpless for my liking.  If you’ve seen the show, you’ll understand what I mean.

If you like TV shows like Bones, though, this book will be a great read for you.  And if you swoon when men are protective of the women they care about, then my mild fault finding mission won’t even matter!

Have you read it?  What did you think?

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Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Live Loved ~ A Colouring Book


I must admit, I was skeptical about a “Christian adult colouring book.”  Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the adult colouring book craze, and I have several of them — when they go out of popularity, I’ll still have plenty to last me through my desire to colour but not have to colour Disney Princesses.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Disney Princesses…. I just wanted a challenge.

Anyway, so when I got the opportunity to review a colouring book, I cautiously jumped on it.  I love the idea of a colouring book devotional, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to pan out practically for me.

I can tell you though, after colouring in it for just a bit, there are many things about this devotional colouring book that I love.

I love the font that the designers chose to scrawl the scriptures onto the pages.  It’s beautiful, and as I’m a big fan of fancy cursive fonts, I love this feature.  I also love that I get to colour in all the words.

At first I was disappointed that the pictures aren’t as detailed as some of the other colouring books I own, but as I got colouring I realized that while the pictures don’t span the entire page, it gives a beautiful combination of powerful scripture words and white space, combined with splashes of all kinds of colour potential.

I also love that the pages are good, thick paper.  I have several colouring books, it’s true — but I can’t use marker in most of them, and that’s disappointing.  The marker bleeds right through the pages, but not in this one!  The pages are thick and heavy, so you can use any medium you’d like (though I’m not sure I’d recommend paint or Sharpies….).  I used Crayola fine tip markers in the image I’ll show you below.

I like the space opposite the colouring page to journal your thoughts about the verse.  One thing I didn’t expect was how much time my brain spent mulling over the verse while I was colouring — especially how much time I spent focusing on the words while I coloured the words.  I find it’s a great way to meditate on scripture, and I’ll look forward to doing more pages.  I’m obviously not done the whole book ~ I’m not even done the whole page I started that I wanted to show you.  My hand was starting to cramp and get shaky, and I didn’t want to make a mess.  It’s ok though, because I’ll certainly go back to it later.

The only real complaint that I have about this book is that I wish the pages were removable (easily) or that the spine would allow them to lay a bit flatter.  The edges of the colouring pages go right to the spine of the book, but you can’t get your colouring implement into the tight spaces very well.  When you’re looking right at the page, close up, when you’re colouring — you can tell that you haven’t coloured everything.  Otherwise though, once you’re not right ‘in the face’ of the colouring page, you wouldn’t even notice.  I just think it’d be nice to be able to tear some of the pictures out and hang them up if they’ve been coloured beautifully to match your home’s decor — I guess I could use scissors😉

That’s all I’ve really got to say — I’ll leave you with this:  If you love to colour, and you’re looking for a neat way to meditate on the words of scripture, I highly recommend that you check this out.  It’s very cool!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Where She Belongs


This was a beautiful book.  It had me hooked right from the beginning.  I got invested in the characters — especially in Shelby, whose struggle to move past the death of her husband tugged at my heart.

Check out the synopsis from Baker Publishing Group:

Can love redeem a broken past?

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby’s family homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he’s let it fall into ruin. AJ’s more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman. But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can’t get her off his mind.

With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home–and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

I did not see the ending of this book coming, as Johnnie Alexander did a beautiful job of crafting a love story and a mystery weaving together throughout the entire book.  I’ll be looking for others from Johnnie Alexander in the future, as I really liked her style and character development.  The next book in the series is reported to be coming out sometime in 2016, focusing on a story line involving one of this book’s secondary characters, which I just might have to check out!

I highly recommend this book if you like a romance novel that isn’t entirely romance, and gives you something else to ponder and focus on while you read.  It was very well done.

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Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

The Force has Awakened…. in me


Don’t worry.  No spoilers.

Well, unless you’ve never seen the original trilogy or the trilogy of prequels that followed/preceded.  But no “force awakens” spoilers.  I promise.  Though I desperately need to process that with someone, lol.

Anyway.  Here we go.

The house I grew up in may have been different from yours as a child.  At my house, we didn’t own the original Star Wars trilogy.  My Mom had seen them in the 70s, and I’m not sure about my Dad.  I know my Mom had liked them.  But they certainly weren’t what we’d call fans.  My brother and I didn’t play with sticks and pretend they were light sabres in the backyard.  Some would say we were robbed of an experience that shouldn’t have been taken from us.

When I was in high school, I very very briefly dated a guy.  That’s not the important part of this story, though.  What is important here is that he found out I had never seen Star Wars… and he kind of freaked out a little.  He loaned me “A New Hope” and told me my job was to watch it, and call him as soon as I was done so we could talk about how much I loved it.  It actually, thinking back on it, kind of reminds me of the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Stella admits that she’d never seen Star Wars, so naturally because Marshall and Ted are obsessed, she has to.  Long story short, I fell asleep on the couch because I found it boring.  Also I wasn’t really into sci-fi… or… kind of secretly was, but didn’t want to be, because I didn’t think it was cool.  And also — my limited exposure had been to things like Star Trek – Deep Space Nine… which was lame.  Voyager was kinda ok… my Mom and brother are Trekkies.  I figured if sci-fi was those things, no thank you.  Then Stargate happened…. that was a whole other world.  Anyway.  I’m getting off track.  This happens when I write late.

I had to call my boyfriend and tell him that I fell asleep, and couldn’t get into it.  From that point forward, I just kind of figured Star Wars wasn’t my jam.

A couple years ago, some friends from church wanted to have a Star Wars night and watch the original trilogy.  I said I wasn’t into Star Wars and couldn’t stay awake.  They countered that I was a teenager, I was naive about the world, and that… most importantly… I was alone, with no one to keep me into it.  I agreed to give it another shot.  We started with A New Hope.

I fell asleep again.  On the couch, sitting up, surrounded by like 10 other people.

I woke up a few times throughout.  Just in time for “these are not the droids you’re looking for” and the trash compactor scene.

I had to run out after A New Hope, and my plan had been to come back after my appointment, but since I’d fallen asleep, I decided to just bail and not watch The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi.

Fast forward several years and I’m now attempting to date a completely different guy.  He goes on and on about how excited he was to see the new Star Wars (the Force Awakens) and “what did you think?  Surely you’ve seen it by now.” We were talking just before Christmas at this point.

Well surely I had not.  “Actually, I’ve never seen Star Wars.  It’s just not my thing.”

Stunned silence.  It was just emails… but I could hear the stunned silence, lol.  “You’ve…. never seen… Star Wars?” Came back the reply.  Clearly rethinking his choice in women at this point.  That’s right.  I’m Stella.  And just like Stella wasn’t right for Ted, I wasn’t right for this guy.  And not because I hadn’t seen Star Wars.

I’m off track again.  Back to The Force.

I had grown tired of being one of the only people in the Western World, or at least in North America… who hadn’t seen these movies.  And I was getting tired of exactly that reaction. “you… haven’t seen… Star Wars?” as if I’ve been living under a rock these past 31 years.  For the longest time it’s been on principle.  If I’ve made it this long, surely I could have made it the rest of my life.  Surely.  Well, I blew that.

I gave in.

My best friend and I gathered all six movies, and we settled in to watch all 6 in succession (release date order, which was the condition of the friend who loaned them to me).  We finished all 6 in just under 15 hours, and that is how a Star Wars fan is born.  I can no longer go back to being the girl who’d never seen Star Wars.  That version of me has died.  It’s been replaced by a Jedi Master.

I live tweeted throughout all 6 movies.  That’s right, I kept my phone close through 13.5 hours of film and tweeted reactions.  Then, I compiled the best of those tweets into a Storified Story for you over here, if you’d like to see what it’s like to watch all 6 in a row.

Tonight, I went to see The Force Awakens.  In 3D.  At first, I thought it was kind of a betrayal to the originals, because they were able to accomplish so much with so few special effects at their disposal in 1977.

But…. I changed my mind.

And now there’s a void in my soul where watching Star Wars used to be.

You know that void you feel when a show on Netflix ends after you’ve binged on it, and you have to wait a devastatingly long time for the next season?

I feel like that with Star Wars.

Guys, I know I’ve only been a fan for 72 hours, but I’m gonna need Episode 8 now.  Like… right now.

I felt kind of like this when I got to the Netflix end of White Collar…. but that was a little different, because there was another season still, and I didn’t fancy waiting, so I bought it on iTunes.

I also felt a bit like this at the end of Chuck.  Like there was a big, gaping hole in my life, haha.  But that was also different, because I knew Chuck wasn’t coming back.

Side note:  if you’ve never seen Chuck or White Collar, get on it.  They’re epic.

But alas, even though I can’t actually discuss The Force Awakens anywhere on Social Media because I would hate to spoil that movie for you, I have to say….. Go see it.

And if you’ve never seen Star Wars, you need to.

As the friend who loaned me the movies said:  “They’re iconic.  They defined a genre of film and heavily influenced an entire generation.”  (I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist.)

Lastly, if you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet… go.  Now.  Do it.  Then talk to me so I can process.

PS while I have willfully ignored the impulse to talk about the plot of the new movie in this post, I can’t guarantee others in the comments will be so kind.  Please read any comments on this post at your own risk.

Worship Changes Everything


Darlene Zschech is one of the big names in the Hillsong music group, and if you’re like me and you went through high school youth group singing every single song that Hillsong United has ever put out, you likely already know who I’m talking about.

I’m part of the worship team at my church, and I’ve been involved in music ministry in various capacities since I was about 12.  Or at least, that’s as far back as I remember it.  I may even have been younger.  SO when I saw a book about worship by Darlene Zschech, I was excited.

This book is filled with scripture references about worship — and not just about singing — but about just ascribing to God the worth that He is due.  Why worship?  Because He is worthy.  I expected the references to David, but I didn’t see some of the discussions about Saul or Hosea coming as readily, and it’s been nice to have my eye drawn to places it isn’t normally on this topic.  Zschech takes readers through the most practical way to worship I’ve heard — listen for God.  Lean into God.  Be aware of and in tune with His presence.  After all, that’s what He wants from us, is our worship and our communion with Him.

I’ve enjoyed this book, as it’s a fresh and honest look at what worship looks like when it’s lived out through every moment of every day.  I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

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I received this book through Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.  My opinions are my own, and I did enjoy this book.