Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Review: With Ever Letter

About the Book:
Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she’s never met–even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence–he’s been trying to escape his infamous name for years.

As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?

Combining a flair for romance with excellent research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing–and true love.

My Review:
From the very beginning, I was half hoping to read this book and half dreading to even pick it up. The plot, which revolves around a young nurse writing letters to a young engineer under the disguise anonymity, aroused my curiosity. On the other hand, I thought that the whole book was just going to be a bunch of cheesy letters from Mellie and Tom to one another. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

WWII is one of my favorite eras. (Do I say that for every era? What can I say, I'm a history buff.) The terminology, events and the letters that were exchanged between Mellie and Tom whisked me away to the 1940's. I think that Sarah Sundin captured this time in history with such ease that the story flowed without being history book-like.

The book introduces the reader to two very different but similar characters: Philomela Blake and Thomas MacGilliver. I was perplexed by the character of Philomela "Mellie" Blake. Her personality is hermit- like and she seems to keep to herself... ever since childhood. She never fit in as a young girl and at work she is being blackmailed to make friends or her position will be given to another. I just don't understand how someone can be so destined for failure in the friend department, that over the course of 23 years they haven't made a single friend.. it doesn't even have to be a best friend. Her struggle to become approachable and liked is finally awarded and I found great pleasure when Mellie began standing up for herself. Tom also has had difficulty making friends because of his father's shameful and criminal past. Though he tries to hide his humiliation under smiles and jokes, Tom is always lonely. I enjoyed reading the letters that exchanged between the two and of their budding friendship. Even though, in my opinion, Mellie and Tom were at the extreme of unapproachable, I know that everyone has dealt with rejection in some way.

fellow reader says, "Though fictional in nature, the characters show us what true friendship looks like, the nature of love and waiting for it, conflict, forgiveness, and a host of others. The story also reveals how we all need to depend on the Lord for all things at all times. Trusting in His plan and perfect timing isn’t easy, but worth it when all is said and done."

I'd rate With Every Letter a well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars! The characters, both primary and secondary, were relateable. The plot kept me interested because it was well- paced and nearly impossible to put out of my mind. The anonymous letters added another dimension of enjoyment as well. I think that Sarah Sundin is a noteworthy author and her writings emanate research and all of the hard work she's poured into it. I even found myself laughing at humor that was peppered throughout this read. If you want a well-paced read that is sure to please, don't hesitate to read With Every Letter. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Good News From Kathryn

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
Proverbs 25:25

A few days ago, I received good news, not from a far away land like the verse above implies but by that news, I was encouraged. Actually, the news came from right here in the United States.

About a month ago, Ali celebrated one year of blogging and to commemorate the occasion, I sponsored with a key chain from my etsy shopKathryn, a fellow blogger won the key chain and after discussing her color choices and font choices, I shipped her prize out. Can you imagine the elation I felt when I read this post over on her blog?

Kathryn's post encouraged me! She focused on the little details of the key chain and commented on the quality of my packaging. 

Kathryn shared, "It it so cute and I just love how she made it. Plus, she didn't just stick it in a plastic bag and mail it to me. It came in a little container stuffed with shreds of purple paper. It kinda made me feel like I was opening up a birthday present."

Thank you Kathryn for your positive feedback!

I hope to treat all of my customers with the utmost care and attention to their requests.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: Over The Edge

About the Book:
Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making
Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

My Review:
If I can say anything about Over The Edge, I can say that Mary Connealy wrote it with a ton of drama, suspese and action! The story opens with a stagecoach stick-up, involving flying bullets, screams and a very courageous cow girl! Good way to get the adrenaline flowing, huh?

From reading other reviews on this book, it seems like most everyone loves Callie, but I see her in a different light. She seems bitter, understandable so, but bitter all the same. Her zeal for justice is over kill, no pun intended and many of her problems are her own fault. Who ever heard of marrying a man who isn't mentally stable and then expecting him to provide her with a stable life? This element added some interest and humor. She's spunky for sure!

Seth was a curious and complicated charcter indeed! Thanks to the extra information Mary offfered, I was up to date with the traumatic experiences that lead him to lose his mind. He is an adventerous cowboy, but his escapades are slowly robbing him of his sanity. After recieving deathly stares and rude remarks from Callie, Seth's struggle to act normal is evident. It was painful to read how abusive Callie got with her constant threats to blow his head off and her humilating remarks. I definitley felt sympathy for Seth but how he simply handles a wild woman like Callie is humorous:) The reader really gets to appreciate his thoughtfulness.

I enjoyed the action. From the stagecoach stick-up to the re-telling of a dangerous cave accident and the discovery of some diamonds, I was on the edge of my seat, partly due to hopes that Callie wouldn't carry out her plan to assasinate her husband. The plot was also easy to follow as were the primary and seconadry characters. A devious man's zeal for what "rightly" belongs to him adds another element of interest.
Overall, this story just didn't measure up with it's clueless, crazy men, and bossy, domineering women. The plot helped make the read more enjoyable. If you like a wild western then this just  may be the book for you. Conquering internal struggle is always a nice way to wrap up a story. I'd rate this book 3-4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: Unending Devotion

About the Book:
In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan--and the sights of Connell McCormick.
Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell's help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what's right cost them both everything?

My Review:
Aren't books with heart-pounding plots just the best? Well, Jody Hedlund's novel Unending Devotion is just that type of book! The very first page thrust me into the dangerous rescue of a young girl from one of the many brothels in Michagan. As the story progressed, I found myself holding my breath several times beacase the unexpected continued to occur. Lily is determined to save as many young girls from a degrading life while in search of her sister who is bound to suffer the same fate. Eventually however, those impulse rescues get Lily in more trouble than she bargained for and almost costs her, her life!

The characters in this book are definitely compelling ones; some are sinister and others are sweet. Lily reminds me a lot of myself. She cannot stand injustices and is willing to do anything, to right as many wrongs as possible. The leader in Lily comes out when she begins a revolution with the townspeople to fight the evil in their midst. She fights with passion and of course, unending devotion. Connell is another main character and another favorite. His internal battle of choosing to put the lives of innocent young girls before the calls of business and his decision to do what's right is commendable. Though put in a compromising situation, Connell respected Lily's honor and I enjoyed reading how their love slowly unfolded. When you read this book, you'll also love Oren, Lily's adoptive "father." His protective character and grandfather-like features will warm your heart.

My eyes were opened to how low the men in the 1800's (and probable still today) stooped down to ensure that their business thrived, even if it means not standing up for the young women forced into a life of prostitution. Ali and I were talking about how after reading this book, we felt compelled to somehow help women in the same situation. I felt an aching for the girls like Daisy in this book, who's eyes were filled with pain and shame. Imagine the impact it would have if we told every woman we encountered that Jesus loves her!!!

This book is a definite page turner that will touch your heart. The "I-have-bitterflies-in-my-stomach-feeling' will abound, leaving you with a flurry of predictions. The thought-provoking story and lessons in this book will leave you with someting more... something your average chick-lit romance novel doesn't reveal. I'd willingly rate Unending Devotion 5 out of 5 stars! After reading this book, you will want to keep it on your shelf of favorites... especially with it's pretty cover:)

The Mission

Whether you're a regular reader of my blog or just a visitor passing through, I'd like to share with you the mission and purpose of my blog. 

Kianna's Korner was an idea that tossed about in my mind for several years. I thought the name was perfect and after asking (and waiting) for my mother's permission and seeking God's direction, I began this blog. My first post, in very few words, sheds light onto part of my mission as a Christian blogger. I want to do what Hebrews 10:24-25 says.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

I hope that through my writings, ladies of all ages may be encouraged in their walk with Christ. I hope to reach others and share God's love for them. I want what I write here to reflect Jesus in my life and to lift His name on high! I want what I share of my faith in Jesus to encourage others. I want my passion for Christ, the Bible and being a Christian to be read on the "pages" of my blog.

I also share my photographsreviews on the books I am currently reading, and updates from my daily life. Basically, Kianna's Korner is a diary of sorts where I share all of my favorite things, both the day-to-day and the spiritual.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Who He Is

The prophets said He was the Promised One (Isaiah 9:6)
The angel said He was the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38)
The wise men said He was the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-12)

Peter said He was the Christ (Mark 8:27-29)
John the Baptist said He was the Lamb of God (John 1:28-31 and Matthew 3:1-6)
The Samaritans said He was the Savior of the World (John 4:1-42)

God the Father said He was His Beloved Son (Mark 1:9-11)
John the Disciple said He was The Word (John 1:1)
He said He is our Friend (John 15:12-15)

Can you guess who I'm talking about? Yes, I'm talking about Jesus! All throughout Scripture, we read of Jesus and who He is to us, what He can do through us and what He is preparing for us. We read of the miracles He preformed for others and through those miracles, our faith can grow. We read of the way He fought off temptations and through His example, we can learn to do the same. Jesus is the ultimate teacher. His life here on earth has left a blueprint for us. We must follow his example of selflessness, compassion and love. 

Jesus has done for me things that I could have never done for myself. He died for me, giving me eternal life. He called me to Himself, offering me the gift of of His precious blood that secured my salvation. He has loved me through all of my disobedience's (delayed obedience is disobedience) then forgave me each and every time. He taught me what it really means to love and forgive. He showed me my flaws and is helping me fix them. He is guiding me toward my destination: heaven. He gave me worth. He loved me first. He saved me!

Who is Jesus to you? The video below pretty much sums it all up:)

Then he asked them, "But who do you say I am?"...
Mark 8:29

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hope of The Broken World

Being four years old at the time, I don't remember the tragic events that unfolded that Tuesday September 11, 2001 morning. I don't remember the crash, the crumble of the Twin Towers, the eery silence that filled New York City subways for days after the shock or the constant chirping of fire fighter's beeper-like locators on the ground site.

Now at the age of fifteen I understand the gravity of the 9/11 attacks. Nearly 3000 precious lives were taken. Countless families were broken apart and loved ones were left to grieve their losses. Documentaries cannot even begin to describe the tragedy!

At a time of such devastation, one can only wonder if there is hope for the broken world we live in today. Is there a way to pick up fragmented pieces and put them back together again? Yes. Jesus Christ is the answer and the Way! His love leads us toward restoration and in time... forgiveness.

As a native New Yorker, I mourn the loss of my neighbors. I begin to think on how many souls departed their bodies without receiving Jesus first. That  is definitely the biggest grievance. 

Jesus brings hope to the hopeless.
Jesus brings forgiveness to sinners.
Jesus brings love to those who hate.
Jesus brings restoration to the broken.
Jesus brings healing to the wounded.
Jesus brings peace to the wars waged within.
Jesus is the answer.
Jesus is the Hope of The Broken World.

Some say, "We will never forget. We will never forgive." I say, "Let's rebuild. Let's restore." But most importantly, "Let's trust Jesus!"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Apps

We all have favorites, right? We have a favorite pair of shoes. We have a favorite shirt. We even have a favorite pen! Life is made up of many favorite things that make us happy. What are some of yours?

Here is a list of my five favorite iPod/ iPhone apps:

You Version Bible:
I really love this Bible app. I can easily access my Bible plans, devotions and look up any passage in multiple translations. With a tap of my finger, I can add notes, bookmarks, and highlights of specific passages. Another bonus feature is this app's social network aspect. I can read notes from other You Version Bible users and follow those whose notes encourage me. 

People ask me quite often, "What is Instagram?" It's basically a social networking app that allows you to share photos, like photos and comment on photos. All you have to do is snap a picture, choose a filter to transform it's look and feel, then post it! Simple. 

Find me on Instagram : @kianna_rose
My favorite Instagramers :@ali_see_ya : @his_swordmaiden : @freshbyolivia : @imhaleyjane : @stellapangilinan  

I'm sure that by looking around my blog, it's evident that I like to read. The only problem with books is that I might not always have handy and at times, they are cumbersome to carry. The Kindle app is great for reading on the go. I have tons of page-turning substitute books, in case one day I forget the book I am currently reading. There are even free books to get your Kindle library started.

As an Etsy shop owner, I have to be on top of my shop. With the Esty app, I can check messages and reply to customers. I can also edit my shop info. If you don't have an Etsy shop, you can still benefit from this app's many features. You can "heart" shops and favorite items, kind of like Pinterest:)

Pandora Radio:

It's sometimes hard to find Christian music. You can type "Christian music" in a search engine and tons of other stuff can pop up. On Pandora I can type in a favorite artist and only similar songs/ artists show on my personalized "station." Thanks Ali for the recommendation!

I also like K-Love Radio. It's a Christian radio station that not only airs the best commercial-free line-up of contemporary Christian music, but also helps you keep focused on what really matters.

And if you were curious about my iPod wallpaper... it's a snapshot of the wallpaper in a Vera Bradley store.

What are your favorite apps? 

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