Sometimes You Gotta Refocus…

Rethink.

Refocus.

Move Forward.

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So I have some more guest posts coming in the next week or two but I thought I should pop in and share some thoughts with you as well as a verse of encouragment. As I’ve mentioned a little bit here and there, this year I really focused on upgrading some high school courses so I could attend college this fall and I have arrived! But with that, I want to talk about focus and priorities.

Reaching your goals takes a lot of doing what you don’t feel like doing and also hard times. And when that happens, sometimes you’ve gotta refocus. I really learned that over the last year as I had to buckle down and do work I didn’t want to do and meet deadlines that feel almost impossible to meet. As I sit here at college having survived the first week of classes I’m realizing that it’s all the same as before. Slightly harder work and lots of it but still the same. And in those moments of stress and frustration when I feel like I’m drowning in all I have to do I’ve had to learn to stop, take a minute or two to just breathe and then reflect about why I’m doing this all and what it’s for. – What the point is behind all this paperwork and daily readings for classes the next day.

Refocus on my goals then move forward knowing that this is not pointless. That there is a plan and final goal in mind.

A long-term plan.

So just remember that if you feel exhausted, or swamped with homework, studies, work or even just life to stop and take a minute to breathe and reflect on what will come from what you are doing right now.

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

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Loving People Like Jesus

Hello there!

I’m so sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. My priorities have been to focus on my upgrades for college and now that those are done it’s a waiting process to get my marks back. Since that’s done I’m hoping to be able to put a bit more of a priority on my blogging and novel writing. But today I’m gonna work on writing up some posts and finishing up ones I started so today my friend Cori has written another guest post so I’ll let her share what she’s written.

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Growing up I learned that people are not always the easiest to love all the time. I was taught that you have to love everyone, even if you don’t like them.

One of the most important commandments is to love your neighbors as yourself. God said that himself. Treat others the way you would want to be treated is something my youth pastor would say often. Although not always the easiest route, it is the way that Jesus lived himself.

Jesus hung out with people that you wouldn’t really expect. He made friends with the liars and cheats. The outcasts. The people nobody wanted to be. I think He did this to set an example for us today. He didn’t have to love on those people. But he chose to show them the love and respect every person needs.

Now that doesn’t mean that Jesus took crap from people either. He would correct them when they were wrong, in a very polite yet clever way most of the time.

Don’t think I’m telling you to hang around a murderer and be best friends with them. But I am telling you to love that person no matter the sins they struggle with because, in the end, his sin is the same as mine. Even if mine seems minuscule in comparison God sees all sin as the same.

When I was in grade school the teachers would always pair the new kids or the weird kids with me because In my house you treated everybody the way you would want to be treated, therefor I was always the nice one in class, even when I didn’t want to be I was paired with them. Now I was a very shy kid. It was pretty hard for me to do this. But I felt the call that God put on my life to follow him at a young age and I knew it was the right thing to do.

There was this one kid who nobody got along with. I’m not gonna share her name but she was a nice kid. Just a bit strange. Once one of my friends asked me why I hung out with her so much. I simply told them that she deserved to have friends too. At the end of the school year, we went our separate ways but her mom came up to me and thanked me for being so nice to this girl. She was a bit hyper and talked A LOT but I did enjoy her company and learned to love her very much.

I wish more kids would give each other a chance rather than judging a book by its cover. It’s so hard for me to see all the bullying and abuse that goes on In schools these days. It’s sad.

I learned pretty young that it’s honestly so rewarding and worth getting to know a person no matter how much they annoy you.

Now I know we aren’t all in grade school here. That was just one example. I have another. Take homeless people for example. I have worked and served homeless people for as long as I can remember. But some people won’t even look in their direction. Some Christians don’t even see them as people.

I’ll never forget the day that I went up to a homeless man and gave him some food and he looked at me with tears in his eyes. He said nobody would even look at him that day. He searches in his bag for a ring he had made and he gave it to me saying that he wishes there were more people like me in this world.

I’ve given people on the streets Christmas presents that haven’t gotten anything for 25 years and they’ve broken down and asked me to watch them open it. It wasn’t much just some essentials and little things and a book but he was so thankful for his gift. He said that maybe there really is a God that loved him all because I treated him like a normal person for a few minutes.

I love these experiences. Ones with people who think they don’t even deserve it anymore. Broken people. I see them as a beautiful creation of God and it’s almost magical seeing these moments.

If people could just open their eyes and see them as people in a bad circumstance the world would be a much more beautiful place. But let’s move on to another example.

Now we’ve all had that one neighbor that everybody hates right? I have anyways. Those people are one of the hardest to love. Just the meanest most annoying people you’ve ever met right? Well God calls us to love even them. I know crazy right?! Well, I know for a fact that Jesus would have gone up to that guy and said: “I love you no matter what the sin you are struggling with.” So we are called to do the same. That’s not always the easy thing to do but sometimes the hard choice is the best choice.

So many times in the Bible the Pharisees would scold Jesus for hanging out with “that guy” like why would a guy like you hang out with a guy like them? Love, that’s the answer. Unconditional unfailing love.

I know these words aren’t really something easy to read but it’s very important. So next time you just can’t stand someone, pray for them. It not only changes them but it changes your heart towards them. I’m not saying you have to like them, but you must love them.

“Lord help me to love like you do. Help me to love my enemy’s and pray for them. Help me to go up to the weird kid and be their friend. I thank you for your love and grace on us. We don’t deserve it but you made us deserve it by dying on the cross for us. Help me to spread love through out the world and shine your light through me. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen”

Thus Begins A New Chapter

As one chapter comes to an end, another begins.

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I feel like this last week has been me adulting like crazy.

I’ve been meeting with some of my best friends.

I’ve been setting up power and internet stuff.

I’ve been buying furniture and dishes.

I’ve been trying to change my cell phone plan to better fit this next step in life and SO much more.

 

Why?

 

Because I’m moving.

Away from home.

To a new job.

With a new apartment.

 

I will still be around and blogging so don’t worry about that 😉 but yeah. I’m moving. I’ve been living with my giant lovable family for 19 years so this is a weird experience for me as I’m also moving 6 hours away from my family. I’m gonna miss them like crazy but I’m thankful for technology so we can talk frequently and stay connected but I’m also so excited.

I’ll  be moving in with me bookworm, writer and nerdy fangirl bestie so that will make the transition a little easier so thats exciting. (Our tea and book collection combined will be envied by all for sure.) I’ll be moving to a new town and away from the nosy people I’ve had major run ins in town this summer. (#villagelife)

But by moving to a new town it means I’ll (once again saying it) be far from my really good friends, my family, and my church family. I know I will meet new people but I know that even when I do, they won’t ever replace the people I have met here.

The people who have impacted and changed my life.

It’s kinda what I’ve been dwelling on but I know that I’m not leaving forever and so my family and my friends who have become my family will see me again. With that I just want to say this:

No matter where you go, your family and friends will still be with you. Their love goes with you wherever you go. SO if you are called to go across the world then go. Or if you are called to move across town then go. If you are called to another town, city, or village, then GO.

Just do it.

Go.

Have fun. Enjoy life and know that as this new chapter in your life begins that the people you know and love go with you in your heart.

Turning Point Blog Tour

 

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Hello Readers!

So, I nearly forgot about my post for today but then…I didn’t. So it’s all good and I’m excited to share this with you all.

I’m here to tell you about this awesome set of books (7 of them, in fact) perfect for your summer reading. For a limited time, the Turning Point collection is featuring seven full length young adult novels for only 99 cents available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo! 99 cents people! I’ve yet to get my copy…But I think you all know by now not to follow my book buying example, becasue I never have money to afford books…or almost never…..

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Here are the titles in the set!

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Turning Point: 7 Young Adult Inspirational Novels in One Set Making it easy (and super cheap!) for you. All your summer reading is right here in this one set. Get seven full-length novels from some of your favorite authors.

 

By Darkness Hid, Jill Williamson

Given the chance to train as a squire, kitchen servant Achan Cham hopes to pull himself out of his pitiful life and become a Kingsguard Knight. When Achan’s owner learns of his training, he forces Achan to spar with the Crown Prince–more of a death sentence than an honor. Meanwhile, strange voices in Achan’s head cause him to fear he’s going mad. While escorting the prince to a council presentation, their convoy is attacked. Achan is wounded and arrested, but escapes from prison–only to discover a secret about himself he never believed possible.

 

 

Whisper If You Have To, Staci Stallings

Secrets. Alison Prescott has collected a boatload of them in her short lifetime. Moving to a new school in a new town was supposed to fix everything; however, when she meets a new set of friends, keeping those secrets might just ruin everything including her fledgling relationship with the school’s basketball star, Chad Dourozette. How far will Allison go to keep the secrets she can never tell anyone?

 

 

It’s Complicated, Laura L. Smith

There’s a reason Facebook has the Status Update, It’s Complicated. Follow four college roommates, Claire, Palmer, Hannah, and Kat as they maneuver crushes, confusion, and the crisis when pushy boys go too far. Complicated as it is, these four friends will pull through, guided by the strength of their friendship and the power of God’s love.

 

 

Failstate, John W. Otte

A fledgling teenage superhero competes on a reality TV show for a government vigilante license. When one of his competitors is murdered, Failstate sets out on a quest to avenge her death. But will his superpowered lunk of a big brother ruin everything?

 

 

The Wishing Pearl, Nicole O’Dell

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield can’t wait to escape the confines of her home, which promises nothing but perpetual torment and abuse from her stepfather. When poor choices lead her to the brink of a complete breakdown, Olivia comes to a crossroads. Will she find the path to ultimate hope and healing that her heart longs for?

 

 

Mardan’s Mark, Kathrese McKee

Abducted by pirates and taken behind enemy lines across the Great Gulf, Princess Srilani is determined to save her sisters and younger brother, the crown prince, from captivity. She convinces their caretaker, Aldan, and his brother slaves to share the perilous journey home. This ragtag group of unlikely heroes sets out on a quest — pursued by cutthroat pirates, merciless priests, and marauding soldiers — to return the heir to his kingdom before war breaks out. In this epic adventure fantasy, Srilani and Aldan risk everything to save a prince and a nation, discovering along the way that death is not their deepest fear.

 

 

Glass Girl, Laura Anderson Kurk

After her older brother Wyatt is killed in a jealousy-fueled incident and her mother disappears, Meg Kavanagh decides surviving is easy—it’s living that takes guts. She believes she’s to blame for Wyatt’s death, but when Henry Whitmire steps in with a secret, will Meg forgive herself enough to accept the good things in life like the rush of first love and the power of mercy? – See more at: http://jillwilliamson.com/turning-point-blog-tour-information/#sthash.mqPPTgv6.dpuf

Indie Author Looking For Friends || Guest Post by Author Mariella Hunt

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Fifteen-year-old Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.

When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met. Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her.

It isn’t long before Allie suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll change her very identity. But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

The meaning of the word dissonance is inharmonious or harsh sound. Ever since publishing my book on June 1, I’ve been in a state of disharmony trying to get a marketing plan together.

It’s not that I’m panicking. I’m excited–because my book is out there.

It took a long time to shape it up enough that I could share it with my friends. I reached a point where readers connect with characters, or a single line is recorded in their memory. Even if they don’t like the book as a whole, I’ll feel I achieved something if there’s one memorable detail about it–because I’ve invested so much of myself into this story.

Dissonance is available on nook and Kindle right now. Soon it’ll be out in paperback. If you want to help me make some coffee money, the $2.99 really does help.

But if you can’t buy it right now, or you just don’t think it’s the kind of book you’d enjoy, I’d still love to be friends! Say hi on Twitter or follow me on Facebook. The more the merrier! I want to know your stories just as much as I’d like you to enjoy mine!

I hope you’ve had a good summer so far, and that it only gets better. Thanks for listening!

Links:

Twitter- https://twitter.com/mariellahunt
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/mariellahuntauthor
Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YITZO8W?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dissonance-mariella-hunt/1122054810?ean=2940151652896
personal website- http://mariellahunt.com/
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25618865-dissonance

 

Time To Share The Love! || The False Reflections Trilogy Review by Laura L. Smith

Hello Readers!

So lately I’ve been plugging away at a bunch of novels I’ve bought or been given and I am finally making a dent in my TBR pile…Until I add like ten more books per every one I complete…Anyways. I have FINALLY read the whole novella series of Laura L. Smith’s, The False Reflections Trilogy. So today you are getting three mini reviews of the novellas! Now, it’s time to meet the three main characters (who are best friends) and learn about their stories. (Aka. Lets get this review started! 😀 )

 

Skinny: She was starving to fit in… (The False Reflections Book 1)

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Teenager Melissa Rollins seems to have it all, and now she’s got the eye of the cute new guy in school, Beau Pointreaux. The one thing Melissa doesn’t have is a perfect body. There are ways to fix that, though. Strict dieting and throwing up can’t be all bad, can they? Melissa soon finds the consequences are devestating, but turning back isn’t so easy. Will she hear God’s voice before it’s too late?

This book really touched me. It was very beautiful and so well done. Knowing a couple people with anorexia and struggling with eating and such has really made this book hit home for me. This book was really well done and shone a light on eating disorders and a struggle in many teenagers these days. *cue sadness*

Anyways. This book was absolutely fantastic and a well written, thought provoking, novella. Once again, Laura Smith’s writing is amazing and really draws me in instantly!

Melissa was such a sweet, adorable character who struggled with her weight. She constantly compared herself to her friends and those around her and that didn’t help with her insecurities. As Melissa went through everything and started (eventually) on her road to recovery my heart just went out to her. At points it just screamed reminders of someone I know who was going through the same thing and at points I was afraid to admit that my line of thought and such were the same as the characters. Laura did a fantastic job of really making the characters relatable (Whether or not you struggle with an eating disorder or anything like that) This book was beautifully done and a great read that I finished very quickly indeed.

My Rating for this novella is:

five-stars

 

Hot: She was tempted to give in… (The False Reflections Book 2)

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Lindsey is gorgeous and dresses like a model, but inside she feels alone. She feels as though no one truly understands her — until she meets Noah. Noah possesses a calm self-confidence that Lindsey craves. But what price will she pay to escape to the comfort of Noah’s soft words and strong arms? Drawn into a world where fashion, boys, and popularity rule, will Lindsey discover what truly matters before it’s too late?

 

Once again, another amazingly thought provoking novella about the struggles of many these days.( This book deals with sexual purity.)

Lindsey’s family is far from perfect or even amazing. Most her parents time is spent on her older sister who is on a path of self destruction. That takes up so much of her parents time that Lindsey feels very alone, really only having her friends in replacement of her family. Seeing this relationship with her friends and seeing the damaged relationship with her family made me feel for Lindsey. Not having a family who cares is just so saddening indeed. I really felt for this character as she struggled to make many decisions that may or may not have taken her down a road she never originally wanted.

My rating of this novella is 4.5 stars. Why? Just because it wasn’t my favorite…BUT it was still fantastic and I did really like it! (I feel terrible for rating a book I liked 4.5 when comparing it to the other book! *gasp* )

4.5 Stars!!!

4.5 Stars!!!

 

Angry: She was screaming to be hear… (The False Reflections Book 3)

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Who do you blame when your world is crashing down? Watching her parents go through a divorce is devestating for Emma and has turned her life into a tailspin. She’s angry at everyone around her. She’s angry at her siblings who she always has to babysit, her parents who are ruining her life, and herself for not measuring up to anyone’s standards. Will she turn her torment over to God and put her trust in Him before it’s too late?

 

Emma, Emma, Emma… such a sad girl just screaming to be heard (see what I did there? 😉 ) I just wanted to hug her so tightly and fix all her problems….but I couldn’t cause she’s fictional 😦 *sniff sniff* (The struggles of a reader, I tell you.) Angry is the third book in the series and a great, though heart shattering, end to the trilogy.

Emma’s family is falling apart and she’s left to clean up the damage and try to put her life back together. Amidst the struggle, she just wants everything to be normal even though that couldn’t happen. (this book made me cry!) When bad things happen all one wants is for things to be normal right? Yeah, been there. Bad stuff happens and if everything could just fix itself that would be great! My point? totally relatable. Once again, amazing writing and a great read! 😀

My rating:

five-stars

Once again, with all her works, Laura Smith ceases to amaze with her beautiful writing just overflowing with God’s love and how we are all his creation.

Amazing author, amazing writing, amazing trilogy. Go read now!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Adriana Gabrielle

Book Review|| It’s Complicated

Hello Fellow Readers!

So, as you can see, I’m posting a TON lately….That’s because school is over for the summer (for me) and I feel this new sense of freedom and I have more time to bog…and get back to my writing which I had to abandon for these next couple weeks.

Over these next couple week and over the summer here is a list of reviews you can look forward to:

It’s Complicated by Laura L. Smith

It’s Over Laura L. Smith

It’s Addicting by Laura L. Smith (once it’s released)

Angry by Laura L. Smith

The Merchants Son by C.F Barrows

The Follower by C.F Barrows

Descending by Holly Kelly

Between These Lines by Jennifer Murgia

Swimming Through Clouds by Rajdeep Paulus

Glass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk

Perfect Glass by Laura Anderson Kurk

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

and MUCH MORE!

 

Now its time for my book review for the day!

Today I’m going to review It’s Complicated by Laura L. Smith 🙂 So, let’s get started.

 

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There’s a reason Facebook has the relationship status, “It’s Complicated.” Follow four college roommates, Claire, Palmer, Hannah and Kat as they maneuver crushes, confusion, and the crisis when pushy boys go too far. Complicated as it is, these four friends will pull through, guided by the strength of their friendship and the power of God’s love.

 

Just pointing out here quickly that this cover is simply amazing! I love it. Once again more simple (as far as covers go) but still pretty! (I love the covers for these books (as well as the books themselves) by Laura L. Smith 🙂 Just so you all know.)

 

Plot: I loved the plot of the story. I was pulled into it instantly. The story is from the point of view of four college roommates with their own lives and struggles, but find strength to get through in both God and each other.

This book (and the next two) are awesome for one of the reasons that these girls have a friendship I wished I had… Gawsh, I’m rambling…Anyways.

Loved the plot. I was really dragged into the story.

I was laughing, crying, and angry or upset along with the characters. Thats how real they felt and how much I was pulled into the story. The emotions felt real to me because the plot felt real to me.

 

Genre: The genre for this series is Christian YA Fiction.

The world needs more YA Fiction like this book/series. (and like Glass Girl, Swimming Through Clouds and the other Playlist Fiction books) It was an amazing story, really good YA Fiction and yeah… I never know what to say when it comes to this section of my reviews…Moving on.

 

Characters: So, as I said before It’s Complicated is from the POV of four college roommates. SO now I’m gonna tell you more about them. 🙂

Palmer: Palmer is that one friend thats the ‘Totally Loyal Fashionista’ type friend. You know what I mean, right? She’s just that kind of gal. She’s a complete fashionista but a really loyal friend 🙂 I’m trying to figure out what to say here without spoiling stuff…. GAH! This is hard.

*think think think*

*in Gollum’s voice* Must not give out spoilers, precious…Okay…I’ll focus now…My apologies.

Umm yeah. Palmer is, not only a fashionista, but like I said before a loyal friend. Herself and Claire develop a very strong relationship as best friends and Palmer is very supportive of Claire when hard times hit her. So, yeah, Palmer is an awesome friend.

Kat: I really really really liked Kat’s characters (along with Palmers and the other two) she was one of my favourites. She’s a super friend and loves soccer. (or any kind of sport for that matter). Kat is also very outgoing and friendly and I liked that about her. 🙂

Claire: Claire is a very shy, sweet ballerina who has been through a lot. (Can’t say what exactly due to spoilers.) After something happens to her she closes up completely and even pushes away her roomies. Throughout the story though, Claire, out of the four roomies, seemed to be the peacemaker and the one that the other three loved as a sister. (though they all had that kind of friendship).

Hannah: Okay…Hannah. I think out of all four of the girls…I’m most like her…Except I’m not always on the hunt for a boyfriend and have a LOT more siblings than she does 😛

Anyways. I loved Hannah. If I remember correctly, it was Hannah’s idea to be roomies with the other girls, and she was the one who brought them together. Hannah is a fairly average girl with a fairly average family. Two parents and two younger siblings…As I mentioned before, Hannah is always on the hunt for a boyfriend…but things just don’t seem to work out in her favour…Hannah is super super friendly and super outgoing…She’s also a bit of a neat-freak (in a good way!) Yeah. I really liked her character a lot.

I liked all of the girls for different reasons but most of all. I LOVED their friendship so much! (As I’ve mentioned probably a million times) it was just so amazing and one of the best literary friendships I have ever read.

 

Setting: The setting kinda went all over the place as the girls traveled and everywhere it went felt real and like I was there. It was really well done and I loved it! I could picture the places and setting so clearly its like I was there. (It’s a lot cheaper to read about someone in Paris than going, right? So if the setting feels real I’m sold.)

 

Overall: Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It was absolutely magnificent and an amazing start to the series. 🙂

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It’s Complicated is now available for purchase on Amazon for both Kindle or in Paperback.

So head on over to amazon and buy it now! 😀 *is wondering if I should hint subtly that you need to go buy it next time rather than demanding it.*

Well, Until Next Time! (Which might be tomorrow. Who knows. It’s summer break so I’m around…)

Adriana Gabrielle