BLOG TOUR-Book Review: Water Princess, Fire Prince (The Rizkaland Legends: Book 1)

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Hooray!!! Water Princess, Fire Prince is finally coming out today. I’m really excited to introduce this book to you guys. This is my first time being part of a blog tour and I am so so so excited!!! Today I will be reviewing the book and on September 4th I will post an interview I got to have with the author. So first here is information about the book and the author.

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Book Description:
When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she’s on track for competing in the Olympics, and he’s practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.
All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland’s hope will be lost.

What is to come will change their lives forever.

imageAuthor Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, www.knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

Available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Princess-Prince-Rizkaland-Legends-ebook/dp/B00YTQBTDI/

Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24022364-water-princess-fire-prince

Part 1’s first chapter: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2014/12/water-princess-chapter-1.html
Part 2’s first chapter: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2014/12/fire-prince-chapter-1.html
Free Books!
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CinderEddy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZNW2TO
Saffron’s Big Plan: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HYS9W2/

For more information on the blog tour click here for details.

My Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars.

This was an amazing book. I mean amazing!!! I got to beta read Water Princess, Fire Prince (this was my first time beta reading) before it came out and I’m so glad I did.

Clara Mandras is just a normal sixteen year old who wants to go to the Olympics in a few years. Andrew Stevenson (a sixteen year old too) has taken the responsibility of taking care of his three younger brothers ever since his mother disappeared. Both definitely don’t want to be transported to the island Klarand and proclaimed Water Princess and Fire Prince of the world Rizkaland. In a prophecy it is proclaimed that only the Water Princess and Fire Prince can save Rizkaland. For Amber (also known as the Lady Dragon), an evil sorceress, is terrorizing Rizkaland. Clara and Andrew must get over their differences and the unfairness of life to unite and save them all.

I loved every ounce of this book. It had a bit of a slow start for me and took me longer to read than I expected. But, I must say, I had a lot going on at the time. So I didn’t get to read for long amounts of time to really get into it, at least, until close to the end. Then I read like a maniac. It was that good.

Clara and Andrew were amazing characters from the start. I loved each of them for different reasons. Clara, with her amazing skills and stubbornness (I can say I wanted that stubbornness to go at some points, but I liked it too). Andrew, with his leadership skills and kindness no matter how Clara acted toward him. The romance between Clara and Andrew was so sweet and didn’t get inappropriate like some books get. The romance was definitely one of my favorite parts about the book! The book was written pretty well (I even got to help with some of the editing!). To me, it also had a distinctive Narnian flair. I just fell in love with Rizkaland. It was so unique, so colorful. I just wish I could go there… To sum up my feelings: Water Princess, Fire Prince is an amazing journey into a fascinating new world. It contains the attributes of what creates an epic fantasy book: characters that are easy to connect with, sweet romance, adventure, breathtaking danger, exciting battles, and a touch of humor. I can’t wait to dive into Rizkaland again in the next book!!!

I recommend this to anyone who likes fiction (especially Narnia fans). You won’t be disappointed.

-G. Paige 

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John 3:1-21

Two blog posts in one day. “Are you crazy???” you might be asking. “Well, yes, I probably am,” I would reply. The real reason for this second post today is I’ve been doing a lot of book reviews (well, I do read a lot). That is good and all (I know), but I would like to do a post about the Bible, essentially Christ. He is one of the main reasons I started this blog so I can share my faith in Christ.

So, on to the central subject for this blog post. A little backstory first, though. Just a few days ago I joined a group on Goodreads. Anyways, we started going through the gospel of John, reading a chapter a day. Today being chapter three I decided I would talk about it more in-depth on my blog. Here we go.

John 3:1-2

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

First let’s find out what a “Pharisee” is. Pharisees were usually middle-class businessmen. They were held in higher regard by common man than the Sadducees. They believed the Bible (which was only the Old Testament at the time) was inspired by God, but the same authority given to the Bible was given to oral traditions they had.

Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:2‬

“Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you.”

So these Pharisees were directly disobeying the Word of God they believed in and followed! This man, Nicodemus, was a Pharisee and that means he most likely believed in these things too (at that time, maybe not so much later). Anyways, back to the verses above. Nicodemus came to Christ after dark one evening, which probably means he didn’t want anyone to know where he was going or no one to recognize him on his way to where Jesus was staying. We can only guess, but John did take the time to mention it so it might have some importance. Now, to move on:

‭John‬ ‭3:3-8‬ ‭

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

Here, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to see the Kingdom of God you must be born again. Now, lets think for a moment. We (those of us who have been Christians for awhile) have probably heard the words “born again” so many times that it doesn’t sound strange to us. But for people (like Nicodemus) hearing those words for the first time, imagine how strange that must sound. Born again. I like how Nicodemus is not afraid to ask what “born again” means. The Jesus answers and gives us this simile of how you know the wind is there but you can’t tell where it came from or where it is going, so you can’t tell how people are reborn of the Spirit.

John‬ ‭3:9-15

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.”

Though Nicodemus is a Pharisee and probably understands the Old Testament so very well, he can’t understand what Jesus is saying. Jesus assures him that he is telling the truth but Nicodemus just won’t believe. If he can’t believe what Jesus says about earthly things, how can he believe what he says about heavenly things? Yes, if he can’t believe the stuff that is proved right in front of him, how much harder it would be for him to believe in things he cannot see. Next, Jesus says no one has gone to Heaven and returned, but the Son of Man has come from Heaven and must be lifted up (like Moses lifted up the bronze pole) so everyone who believes can have eternal life. The Son of Man is an interesting title to use in this context, don’t you think? Man is from the earth and quite frankly, of the earth. The Son of Man must come from Heaven, but to say the “Son of Man” is almost like saying the “Son of Earth”. Just something to think about.

John 3:16

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

I think this sums up the New Testament pretty nicely.

John‬ ‭3:17-21‬

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants‭‭.”

This is an interesting section. Jesus came to save the world not to judge it, but those who do not believe in Him will be judged. This is the short version.

Well, that’s all for now. I did not realize how long of a post this has turned out to be (I hope I have not been too boring). 🙂

-G. Paige

Book Review: Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood: Book 1)

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Rating: 4/5 stars.

This was a beautiful fairytale with quite a twist. I positively loved this book. The only reason I wouldn’t give this book five stars probably was because it was very fairytale-ish and I don’t think that is my favorite type of story.

Princess Una of Parumvir is now eighteen and so will soon marry a man who has come to “pay his respects”. She has dreams of a handsome and charming prince but the first to come she considers stodgy and boring. The Prince of Farthestshore has come a long way to prove his love to Princess Una; Aethelbald will not give up. He also brings dire warnings of a dragon coming to Parumvir, but is ignored for all his effort. Soon Una gives her heart to another prince, so when the Dragon King himself arrives, she is in mortal danger along with all of Parumvir. Will anyone come and risk all to save her and Parumvir?

So, you see, it sounds and is very much like a fairytale. But it has such a twist (that started about halfway through the book) that made me really like it. It was a really really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. There were a few twists (as I’ve already stated) and turns that surprised me more than a bit. It had plenty of danger and excitement that was just wonderful. The romance, ah, was so sweet. It was such a perfect “good” book. Do you know what I mean? It had that happy calm feel throughout most of the book

I do wish the author had explained why the Prince of Farthestshore loved Princess Una so much, because, to me, it felt like she never did. Besides that, I really have no complaints. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes fairytales and/or fantasy. It is fantastic! I’m very excited to read more from this author.

-G. Paige

Book Review: The Darkest Minds (Darkest Minds: Book 1)

imageRating: 3/5 stars.

So…this book was, what shall I say, entertaining? I would have given this book more stars if it hadn’t been for a few (well, a bit more than a few) scenes.

America is riddled with a disease known IAAN. Only youth (thirteen and younger) get the disease and all of them are getting it. If you get the disease, you will most assuredly die unless you are one of those few. Those few who survive it have powers, or you might call it, abilities. Dangerous abilities that they can not control. Something happened to Ruby on the day of her tenth birthday. Something that changed her forever. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, one of the government’s “rehabilitation camps”. At sixteen, Ruby is suddenly considered one of the dangerous ones. Now, she must run for her life.

I really enjoyed the excitement in this book. There was so much mystery and so much in the unknown. It was very intriguing and sucked me in from the start. I mean, I read it in two days, that has to mean something! So…it had a great start, but then some things happened that I didn’t feel comfortable with. First of all, Ruby meats this guy and every single time he touches her hand or strokes her arm or pushes her hair out of her face it was mentioned and described. That got annoying. Then there was some forced love and other stuff that made the book less enjoyable.

This was a really fascinating story. The ending was such a sad cliffhanger (why, oh why, did it have to end like that). Needless to say, because of the things I mentioned above and more, I will probably not be reading the rest of the series (but then, maybe the rest the series isn’t as “bad” as this one).

This wasn’t a terribly inappropriate book, so if you won’t be affected or mind some of the stuff in it, go ahead and read it. But I think I would recommend not wasting your time with this book when there are so many other really great books out there.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Goliath (The Leviathan Trilogy: Book 3)

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Rating: 5/5 stars.

This book took me the longest to read out of the whole trilogy. But, oh my goodness, it had the perfect ending!!!

In this book, major things happen. Don’t worry, I won’t give out any spoilers. Most of what I say about the book can be found on the back cover. The great airship, the Leviathan, gets orders to pick up a interesting passenger in Russia, while Alex and Deryn are abroad. This smart (Maybe mad?) scientist claims to have a weapon called Goliath that can end this war. But is he on the Clankers’ side or the Beasties’ side? While completing this task, Alex finally finds out about Deryn’s secret(s): that Deryn is a girl and is falling for Alex. With the crown, true love (With a commoner!!!), and the destruction of cities on the line, what will Alex do next? What will he choose to do?

As earlier said, this book took me the longest to read of the whole trilogy. But…I  was more busy with other things than when I was reading the other two, but that doesn’t mean that this book wasn’t as good as the others. It was still a great book and, I’ll say it again, it ended just perfectly!!! This series was so so good. It’s so sad to know that I’m now finished with this wonderful series. I love how they author changes from Deryn’s point of view to Alex’s point of view (though sometimes I do wish that it was just Alex’s point of view because he’s my top favorite character. Goliath is so fast-paced with many surprises popping up here and there. One of my favorite things (that is also a change from the earlier books) is that there is finally a bit of romance and it is so sweet!

So…after all that, I would just like to say: read it (especially those who love fiction). It a fabulous, fast-paced journey that you won’t regret the time spent on it.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Behemoth (The Leviathan Trilogy: Book 2)

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Rating: 5/5 stars.

I gobbled this book up in about three days!!! It was great. I am really excited and interested to see how this trilogy ends. So much has happened since the end of Leviathan.

The First Lord of the Admiralty has “borrowed” the Osman and its companion (known only as the Behemoth) from The Ottoman Empire. To keep the peace between England and The Ottoman Empire so that The Ottoman Empire doesn’t join Germany’s (the Clankers’) side in the war, Dr. Barlow is taking fabricated eggs to the Sultan. After arriving in Istanbul, disaster strikes and all does not go according to plan. Soon, Deryn is stuck with Alek in Istanbul, fleeing from Ottoman soldiers which are led by Germans. Teaming up with allies, will Deryn and Alek be able to keep The Ottoman Empire out of this war?

This book was fabulous! There were quite a few scenes the book skipped that were mentioned as something that happened or was going to happen. It wasn’t any REALLY significant scenes and they were probably taken out for the sake of the way story was being told (or maybe because they didn’t want the book too long or maybe to keep it fast-paced), but still…it bothered me just a bit. It would’ve been fine if it had just happened once or twice, but it happened a few times too many for my liking.

Besides that, this book was thrilling awesome! I enjoyed every bit of it and am excited to read last book. It was very fast-paced and full of dangerous situations. This is such a cool, different series and I’m really intrigued to see how it ends.

I’d recommend this to anyone who has read Leviathan (of course) and those who want something loosely (very loosely, mind you) based on World War 1. This is turning out to be an amazing series.

-G. Paige

God is in Control (He Always Has a Plan)

So as you might have noticed these last two weeks (and in the coming weeks) I have not been posting as often as I should. They will probably be like this for the next couple weeks maybe even a month or so. Why? Well…my family and I are moving so without Internet it might get a bit hard to post. Just sayin’. I can’t work miracles (but we do know one who can).

So…we are moving to Puerto Rico! Oh, it is going to be so different from the United States. I am SO excited!!! It will be so amazing, but sometimes I feel like life can get so crazy that we wonder, is God really in control?  We all have those moments when we feel insecure. And with my life going a little crazy right now…I thought this would be a great topic.

God is in control, no matter how hard it gets. Look at what the Bible says.

‭‭Job‬ ‭12:10‬

For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.”

The life of every living thing is in His hand, isn’t that amazing? He holds everything in his hands. Nothing is out of His control. If something were out of His control, He wouldn’t be God.

Deuteronomy 31:6

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

It is so comforting to know that, as Christians, God will be with us all the way. We will never be alone. We never ever need to fear that God will leave us. No matter what happens, no matter where we are in life, He (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit combined) will always be with us. He is forever faithful.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

So when you’re feel unsure and you feel like how could God be in control of this or maybe why would He let this happen, know that God has a plan for you. He always has a plan. He will never ever fail you, me, and anyone who believes and trusts in Him. I know it’s hard, especially when we haven’t seen Jesus face to face.

John 20:29

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.

There is proof that Jesus (God essentially) exists all around us. But even though it is still harder for us to believe is Jesus without having seen Him like the many people who did about two thousand years ago (it is even harder when you are going through tough times), we are blessed. And we can have just as strong a faith (or belief) in Jesus Christ as those who saw Him had. Our faith (or belief) can even be stronger than them because we rely on faith not sight.

‭Psalms‬ ‭147:5‬

How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!

Why certain things happen we may never fully understand (at least, until we are in Heaven with Christ). As the verse above says, His understanding is beyond comprehension. But God does has a plan for us and is in control of everything, no matter how horrible and unjust it seems. This next verse says about the same thing but adds a little more.

Isaiah 55:9

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

So, I’ll repeat, God is in control. Your life, my life, is in His Hands. Everything that happens, happens for a purpose, whether we can decipher that purpose or not before we go to Heaven. “my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” That speaks such truth. God is God; we are not God so we will not be able to fully comprehend or understand God until we go to Heaven and become perfect. I can’t wait to be able to look back on my life and see God’s Plan for me.

-G. Paige