I Kissed Dating Goodbye Book Review

Several months ago I read the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris; I loved it! I thought that it was well-written and full of many helpful tips for navigating romantic relationships as Christians.

Before diving into my thoughts on this book, I want to address the facts that this book has faced much controversy, and that the author has recently fallen away from the faith. The words Joshua penned were taken in a different way than he intended, and this caused people to think and do very sinful things. Because of this, the book is not in publication anymore. Furthermore, he was involved in a scandal a few years ago, and now proclaims that he is no longer a Christian (I didn’t know about the scandal and him not being a Christian until after reading the book.). These things obviously need to be taken into consideration as we consider reading this book.

I personally thought that “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” has very helpful and Biblical encouragement and advice, but if you feel convicted and that God wouldn’t want you to read this book, I am not trying to force you too. I want to share my thoughts on this book today; please know that this is simply my opinion. I understand that the confusion and struggles some people faced after reading this post are very real, and that this book is not for everyone. We must all be cautious when reading this book to test it against God word, and keep the things above in mind.

With all that said, let’s dive into my review of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris.

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Sex, Purity, & the Longings of a Girl’s Heart Book Review

This spring, I was privileged to be a part of the launch team for Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart by Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal. And honestly, it is an *amazing* book. It covers so many topics that need to be talked about more in Christian circles, and that are so helpful for Christian girls/women. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing my honest review & thoughts on this book!

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Regal Hearts Season One Book Review

Four sisters. Oh, and they also happen to be princesses, except they don’t know that yet. Also, they don’t even know that they have sisters…

Regal Hearts is the tale of these four girls. They were separated at birth when the King & Queen of Bella Adar, their parents, were brutally murdered by a ruthless man named Raymond. The girls are separated to keep them safe, and, in this series, are now finding out who they and their sisters are. Livy Jarmusch writes this series in a unique, TV-series style, which makes the series interesting and feel like you’re watching a TV show!

Today I’m sharing my review of season one, the first “book” in the series. Let’s go!

This book tells how 3 out of 4 of the sisters find out about their royal identity. They are sent away from their homes by an organization called the URIA to California to meet each other, as well as to be kept safe. Raymond (the evil man that usurped the throne) is suspicious that the girls are still alive, which means there is a threat to the throne; the girls must be protected.

It shows the lives of these girls – Aurora, a popstar, Lena, an average girl, and Elizabeth, an Amish girl – as well as the lives of several other characters that come into their paths. It feels very much like watching a TV-show, as the scenes switch from one character to the next.

There are so many characters in this book, and they are all so sweet and wonderful! I appreciate how ‘Regal Hearts’, like all of Livy’s fiction, is Biblically-based and God-honoring. This tale is an interesting and intriguing one that will make you feel like you’re watching a really fun but intense-at-times television series!

There were a few things I noticed in this book that I personally didn’t like as much, and I wanted to quickly share them in my review. The first thing was that all of the girl characters know guys who are potential love interests. Obviously, all we girls have crushes, amiright? 😉 However, I personally felt that all of them having love interests felt a little cheesy, and can make us girls feel discontent. The second thing I noticed was that all the guys in this book seem to be kind of similar and perfect, which can seem unrealistic to me. Lastly, one of the characters’ wives filed for a divorce, and the book ends without that being addressed, and finding out if they end up staying married or not. I just wanted to throw that out there, because I know some people aren’t allowed to read books that discuss divorce/things concerning that. 😉

With all that said, I still enjoyed this book. In my opinion, it can feel cheesy, and it has less action than Livy’s other books I’ve read; but I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it to teen girls and young women looking for a fun and Godly book/series to read!

Regal Hearts is an intriguing and fun book, full of lovable characters and moments! There were some unpredictable moments, some sappily-sweet moments, as well as a moment that made my heart break right along with one of the characters. (No spoilers 😉 ) There are a few parts in the book where characters encourage others in Biblical truths, which I thought was awesome. Livy weaves royalty, a hint of action, sweet romance, friendship, and Biblical truths into a wonderful book for teen girls.

If you enjoy pure and Bible-based reads and are a young teen girl or young adult girl, I would recommend Regal Hearts to you! It is written in a very unique style, and has terrific and totally lovable characters that you will fall in love with. AND it ends on a cliff hanger…so…you’ll want to check out season two once you finish this book. 😉

Get Regal Hearts on Amazon!!

About the Author


Livy Jarmusch is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies.

Check out the interview I did with Livy here!

Check out Livy’s Blog!

7 Books I Enjoyed in 2018

As 2018 began, I set a goal to read 5-7 good Christian books. I ended up reading 10 books (fiction and non-fiction), which surprised me! I was so blessed to be part of a few book teams and pre-read books for people, which allowed me to find new amazing books & read them for free. In 2018 I read some good books & wanted to share my favorites with you today! Let’s go…

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Porch Swing Girl Book Review

A few months ago I read Porch Swing Girl, and it was such a fun book! Taylor Bennett allowed me to be a part of her launch team to pre-read the book and leave reviews, which was a big blessing! Thank you Taylor! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and wanted to share my thoughts about it with you today. I was not required to leave a review on my blog, but wanted to share to get the word out about this awesome new book!

~ Summary ~

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“Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old
Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston
before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But
plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and
Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive
lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy
a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged.
Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to
help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted,
Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket
home. And time is running out.”

To be honest, when I started this book, it was a tad bit slow for the first couple of chapters. I thought, “This seems pretty boring, I hope it will pick up soon.” As I read on, and more characters were introduced and more things happened, I was more interested and started to really enjoy this book! It was well worth the read, and the slightly slow beginning.

The story starts with Olive, her sister, and her dad all in Hawaii with Olive’s grandma after the death of Olive’s mom. It starts in the middle of all the mess they are going through, and gradually shares more of what is going on in Olive’s life.

Her dad leaves her and her younger sister in Hawaii with their grandmother while he goes back to their home in Boston to sell the house. This makes Olive terribly afraid, which results in her trust in God diminishing and her attitude being rude. She desperately wants to get back home, but is unsure how.

A continual theme in this book is trusting in God, especially in unknown and difficult times. Olive learns, slowly but surely, how to trust in God again after the death of her mother. She struggles to understand why a loving God would allow this to happen to her, and wants to get back home to be with her father. However, she learns to have faith in God and enjoy where He has placed her, with the help of some true friends.

Olive makes friends with a girl named Jazz, as well as a guy named Brander (my personal favorite character ;)). It shows how sometimes we have to give up things for our friends, as well as how friends need to look out for one another. I really enjoyed reading this book and seeing the realistic and God-honoring friendships displayed.

This book was great overall. As I’ve said in other book reviews, I’m not really a big fiction person. For one thing, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands to read fiction books. For another thing, I have a hard time finding Christian fiction for young women that is well-written, has a good plot and good characters, and also is focused on God. This book has all of those aspects wrapped up in one beautiful story.

When I pre-read this book, I didn’t realize that it was part of a series. As I was reading it, I found myself wondering if there would be another book, because I really hoped so! When later skipped and looked at the last page, I saw that there was a preview at the sequel! No joke, I was pretty happy to see that.

I definitely would recommend this book to teen/young adult girls. It was a great read!

Get Porch Swing Girl!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 


About the author:

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Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of contemporary YA fiction. Homeschooled since kindergarten, she is a proud homebody who suffers from the rare–yet always severe–case of wanderlust.

Although she dreams of traveling to many different places, her favorite destination thus far (aside from her charming hometown in Oregon) is Lahaina, Hawaii. Taylor was so enamored with this tropical town that she became determined to write about it, hence her debut novel, Porch Swing Girl, the first in a series of books set in Hawaii.

A lover of literature since birth, Taylor found her love of writing fueled under the instruction of Andrew Pudewa and the other teachers at the Institute for Excellence in Writing, where she now works as an editor for their magazine.

When she isn’t writing, Taylor enjoys cooking, drawing, and taking long walks in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Check out Taylor’s website here!

The Rebellion Book Review & GIVEAWAY!

*Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!*

I have been SO BLESSED to be a part of the amazing Livy Jarmusch’s launch teams for her past couple of books in the series, The Tales of Tarsurella. I helped proofread the first book in this series, The Coronation (the first book in the series), and then was a part of the blog tour last year (for my review of that book, click here).

Now, I was able to pre-read The Rebellion (book 2 in the series) and share my thoughts with you all today! I was SO excited to hear that Livy was having a tour and would let me read her book FOR FREE! Seriously, I’m not just saying this because Livy told me to. Her books are full of so much fun yet depth and are God-focused, and I love this series.

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~ Summary ~

“Vanessa Bennett lands her dream job working at the Palace in Tarsurella. She struggles to balance everything on her plate: life in a new country, stressful deadlines, crabby co-workers, college classes at the local University, and blossoming feelings of romantic adoration toward her boss–King Addison. Keeping up with her To-Do list, while trying to earn respect in Addison’s male-dominated administration, presents its challenges. Nevertheless, she can’t help but fight a reoccurring thought and the excitement rising with it: is Addison interested in her?

Addison is adjusting to his new role as King. Rumors of a rebellious uprising among the youth in Tarsurella intensifies, as acts of violence and protest break out across the city. Addison is determined to uncover the hidden instigator who fearlessly blogs democracy-driven ideals with a secretive pen name. Will Addison discover and expose the fiery rebellion leader? Or will his efforts fail to stop the rebellious thoughts spreading like wildfire, causing a heartbreaking rift in his divided nation?”

It’s funny, I’m not really a big fan of fiction. In my opinion, there’s not a lot of good options for fiction books for young adult women to read these days.

Then…I read The Coronation and The Rebellion. They are both fantastic tales, with amazing characters and even more amazing morals and lessons sprinkled in between! I’m totally not just saying that. I genuinely love these books.

This book focuses on so many different characters, but mostly on Addison and Vanessa, and their relationship. I love how Livy shows how their relationship is based on Christ and the guidance of their parents, and also shows the ups and downs along the way. the two characters have their adorable sappy moments, but they also have their arguments, which I appreciate.

This book is also about how there is a rebellion in the English town of Tarsurella right after Addison has been crowned king. This causes much confusion and havoc, and some disagreements and arguments.

This book has amazing morals on family, relationships, and trusting God. It shows the good times and the trials in the characters lives, and the questions they are forced to ask about others and life. It has super sweet moments, and moments that will keep you on your toes. I was captivated by the tale just as I was by The Coronation and I read it pretty quickly. 😉

There truly was not a moment where I thought, “ugh this is so boring!” Livy writes in a way that will make you want to keep reading! The way she takes so many characters and ties them all together into one story is spectacular, and I honestly don’t know how she does it so well!

The Rebellion was a five star book. The characters are well-developed and down-to-earth, the story line whimsical yet realistic, and the morals focused on Jesus and honoring Him. Livy has done it once again with another wonderful book!

Last but NOT least, as you probably saw in the title, we’re doing a GIVEAWAY!!! Livy is giving away an autographed copy of The Coronation, the first book in the series! I’m reading this book for the 3rd time and it’s still so amazing and wonderful! I loved reading it even more the second time and rereading all my favorite parts! Its my favorite fiction book besides The Rebellion. 😉

To enter the giveaway, click here! If you are a girl or young lady, I think you’ll enjoy reading this book! Even if you don’t think you’ll like it, you can enter and give it to a friend or family member!

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. // winners are Allison Tebo and Gracelyn Buckner!


About the author:

Livy Jarmusch is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies. Come connect at http://www.livylynnblog.com !
Social Media Links:

Instagram: @livylynnglittergirl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livylynnlibrary/

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Interview With Author Kellyn Roth

I had the opportunity around the end of last year to be an alpha reader for Kellyn Roth and proof read her newest book, At Her Fingertips, which is the third book in her original series, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy. Here is the summary of the book from her website:

Alice Knight is looking forward to her debut as it means she will be able to carry out her plan. She will have her first Season in London, she will meet her husband, and she will marry him. However, Alice struggles to make her feelings reconcile with her goals.

Alice is sure that, if she can only cling to her plans, she will manage without help from anyone — including God. A childhood friend returning unexpectedly, a charming gentleman who is not all he should be, and an American author with strange ideas about life all make her question the plan.

At first I thought the story was going to be slow, but as I continued reading, I was captivated by the story line!

In the story, Alice initially has trouble finding a proper young man who has a strong and genuine faith in the Lord like she does and who will be the right fit for a husband. As the story continues, a young man who is rich and well-off takes a liking to Alice, but his intentions are not straight. During this time, Alice also meets a very kind young man with a strong and evident faith in the Lord. Alice is unsure of whether to go with her head or her heart and is trying to find out what God’s will is.

This book was a fun tale and one that will encourage you in keeping your heart pure and waiting for the right one God has for you. Kellyn is an excellent author and I love how she mixed historical fiction with Godly, pure writing. It’s a wonderful book!

I heard about Kellyn’s blog tour for this new book, and was so excited to be a part! I asked her some questions on her writing as well as her relationship with the Lord, and I think that all of you – guy or girl – will be encouraged by what she shared! Also, when you are done reading, remember to check out her book!

Caitlyn: Hi Kellyn! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Kellyn: Of course! I’m a Christian & Historical Fiction author from North-Eastern Oregon who loves reading, writing, musicing, and farm-girling. I live on a ranch with my parents, little brothers, crazy border collies, selfish cat, conceited beta fish, and various cows and chickens. I’m a wannabe equestrian (horses are expensive!). I’m also a blogger and graphics designer!

 C: When did you start writing, and what is your favorite part of writing?

 K: I started writing when I was seven years old, but more officially when I was ten or eleven. So 9-6 years ago, depending on who you ask. 😉 My favorite part of writing is undoubtedly … writing! Seriously, though, I love creating first drafts. It’s a time when I get to write without any judgment, just whatever I want to say. It gives me a lot of freedom. I also enjoy outlining.

 C: When did you start this book series, and can you share a short summary of what it’s about?

 K: I started it in November 2015 – when I wrote the first book. The series, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, is about twin sisters living in the Victorian era – Alice and Ivy! It starts when they are eight and goes until they are adults with their own families. I tackle a lot of heavy – and not-so-heavy – themes, explore the lives of various characters, and hopefully allow God to shine through everyday life.

 C: Any tips for fiction authors?

 K: My #1 tip is always “Just keep writing!” but for someone who’s been writing a while, this is kinda obvious, so I’ll say something other than that. 😛

 Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

 1: Plot structure is so important!

You may think it’s a terrible idea to conform your novel to rigid lines … but a book without structure is a bad idea. Trust me. Basically, plot structure is your book adhering to a thematic arc – hook, inciting incident, first plot point, first pinch point, midpoint, second pinch point, third plot point, climax, and resolution. You can find out more about it on K.M. Weiland’s blog, Helping Writers Become Authors.

 2: Learn the rules – but don’t follow them blindly.

Learn everything you can about grammar, punctuation, general writing, etc. … but sometimes you just might need to dance around the rules. This may blow your mind, but occasionally a sentence must end with a preposition! Not often … but sometimes! If something just feels right it just might be!

 3: Know your audience.

It’s important to know who you’re writing for. When you begin, you may just be writing for yourself … but eventually you need to decide who your books are aimed at. This will help you know what to write, what is suitable for your audience, etc.

 And … that’s about it! There is tons of other great advice out there, but this is just what comes to mind as I’m writing this.

 C: What are some practical ways that you draw closer to Jesus and strive to live for Him?

 K: Obviously spending time in His word and praying are important – and definitely doable on a daily basis! I think listening for His reply as well as telling Him about all your problems is important. Forming a habit of stopping and praying whenever something comes up in your life is a good thing to strive for.

Honestly, I sometimes don’t think living for Jesus has to be much. I don’t think He asks anything impossible of us. He asks us to follow in His footsteps as best as we can – but He doesn’t ask us to do it ourselves. He asks us to let Him do it for us! It’s not our strength – not our grace – not our faith … but His! Let Him guide you. I promise He won’t leave you hanging. 😉

Keep in mind that sometimes God asks different things of each of us. Some people need to go to Africa as missionaries to fulfill His will. Others do what pleases Him most by staying home and quietly witnessing to those around us. I personally feel that one of the best ways to witness to others is to be so kind, so joyful, and so content that people around us will go, “Hey, I want in on this Christian business!”

C: Favorite passage of Scripture, and why?

K: Psalm 8, without a doubt! There’s so much power and majesty in it. It’s beautiful poetry – but meaningful, too.

C: What is your favorite aspect of God?​

K: The “aspect” Who created the world, Who knows the stars by name, and Who fashioned me before time began. The majestic side, I suppose. 🙂 Just appeals me in a kind of raw, untamed way.

Big thanks to Kellyn Roth for joining me today! Go check out her amazing new book, At Her Fingertips here!

Go check out all of Kellyn’s social media and blogs by clicking the links below!!

Facebook: @krauthor Twitter: @ReveriesofRuby Goodreads: krauthor Google+: +KellynRothAuthor Instagram: kellbellroth Pinterest: krauthor YouTube: Kellyn Roth Amazon: author/kellynroth Personal Blog: kellynroth.wordpress.com Book Blog: reveriesreviews.wordpress.com


About Kellyn:

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Kellyn Roth was born and lives on a cattle ranch in North-Eastern Oregon. Always fascinated with telling stories, she created crazy games to play with her little brothers as a child. Today, she writes Christian and Historical Fiction with a focus on truth and family. Find out more about her and her novels at kellynrothauthor.com

// Savoring Single Book Review //

Recently I had the opportunity to read Savoring Single by Shelley Black, and it as very encouraging! I wanted to share my thoughts with you all today and encourage you, if you are a single girl, or know a single girl who would benefit from this message, to go check out the book! Let’s get on to the review!

Summary/description from Amazon:

Why savoring single? Because you were meant to enjoy it!

Finding purpose, knowing love, and experiencing adventure aren’t reserved solely for the married girls! You can enjoy a full and vibrant life even while being single. It’s also a perfect time to partner with what God wants to develop in you through this once-in-a-lifetime part of your journey! Girl, being single is okay. There is a purpose for it, and it won’t last forever. So savor it!

My review:

Savoring Single was very encouraging from the beginning. It was full of stories from Shelley’s life, without being too personal and oversharing. (To me, it’s a bit odd when authors share a bit *too* much about their personal life, you know?) It was also full of Truths from God’s Word and inspiration for single girls. The book is filled with practical and applicable advice for how to fulfill the longing in your heart to be loved and to be in a romantic relationship, as well as how to live this season to the fullest and make the most of it! I appreciate how thorough this book was.

One part of the book that was really encouraging to me was when Shelley talked about your relationship with Christ. She compared needing Christ to needing water for our health. Here’s what she said:

“My body craves Dr. Pepper. It really does. The crisp, cold, sweet and
refreshing taste is unmatched by any other soda. Of course, this is merely
my opinion, but one I hold at high esteem. But even though my body
craves Dr. Pepper it needs water. Your life may be craving a boyfriend, a
best friend, a new job, a fresh start…but what it really needs is a deeper
relationship with God.”

A few paragraphs later, she continues,

“Needing God is like needing water. His presence satisfies like no
other. His Word is true. His love sustains your very life. These remain true,
no matter our season or circumstance. You may want Dr. Pepper but you
need water. You may want to be dating but you need His presence. Soon
what you need will become what you crave and emptiness will give way to
being completely satisfied in Him.” (emphasis mine)

A key point that I took away from this book, was that our desire to be loved and to have a relationship is a normal part of us as humans, but our desires will never be satisfied in anything/anyone outside of Jesus Christ. In every season of life, we’ll long for other things, but what we really need is Jesus.

Here are a few more quotes that were very encouraging to me.

“Our purpose is not to get married, to have kids, get a good education or
establish a great career. Our purpose isn’t to make a lot of money or to
be a good Christian. Our purpose is to know God and to live out of that
relationship.” (emphasis mine)

“But contrary to cultural perception, to pursue love is to pursue love itself,
not romance or affection. Love according to the Word of God begins first
in relationship with God. Then it flows through us and into others.” (emphasis mine)

“You can’t rush the foundation.
You can’t skip past the curing and maturing time. You can’t add it after all
the other things you prefer more. He’s got to be first and He’s got to have
some time.”

“How you live single
matters just as much as how you will live married!”

I do want to mention one thing I personally disliked about the book. All the verses quoted were in the Message, The Passion Translation, or New Living Translation, which can be very different from other older versions of God’s Word. While I understand that these versions can be helpful to new believers and people who have a hard time understanding Scripture, and I get why Shelley used them in the book, I really love how the other versions (such as TS2009, KJV/NKJV, WEB, and others) have more accuracy and are more like the older versions of God’s Word, with less things changed/added/taken away. Now, keep in mind that this is simply my opinion and I am in no way trying to put down the author, or these versions of God’s Word! Further, this isn’t a huge issue that would turn me off from reading or recommending it, but I just wanted to add this since this is a review with my honest thoughts. 😉

To sum it up, this book was super encouraging for me in my singleness, and I know that if you’re a single girl, you’ll be encoruaged as well!! I hope you enjoyed this review and will go check out Shelley’s amazing book!


About The Author:

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Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at www.savoringsingle.com and across social media at SavoringSingle.

Buy the Book!

Hosted by Livy Lynn Blog Tours! Are you a Christian author? Contact Livy to plan an amazing blog tour!

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