faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

Meet Me in Barcelona

This book review is part of the –>”Read Around the World” Challenge

Starting in Spain, I read “Meet Me in Barcelona” by Mary Carter.

MeetBarcelona CasaBatllo The Casa Batllo in Barcelona is the setting for several scenes in the book.  The top of the house shows part of the dragon that is on the back of the house.

This is an intriguing mystery story with many plot twists that surprise!

The story is told by Grace.  It involves her boyfriend, Jake, and her friend from her childhood, Carrie Ann.  There are a few creepy characters as well.  A wonderful trip to Spain goes all wrong.

I really enjoyed reading this book!

The story mostly takes place in Spain.  Since I have never been to Spain, I was wishing that the book had some pictures to go with the story, so I have included some pictures here of the Salvador Dali house, which is one of the locations for a key part of the story.

MeetBarcelona DaliHouseSalvador Dali’s home was a fishing cabin in 1930.  He added to the house over the 40 years he lived there.  It is located near the town of Cadaques. 

MeetBarcelona Dalimaster-bedroomThe master bedroom for Salvador Dali and his wife, Gala.

MeetBarcelona UnfinishedPhoto-studioThis was Salvador Dali’s studio.  There is an unfinished painting on his easel.

MeetBarcelona DaliEggsThis shows just a few of the “eggs” Salvador Dali had in the area outside of his home.

MeetBarcelona tires-at-pool-seatsThis shows the eccentric tastes of Salvador Dali.  This is located behind a fountain outside.  The seat is bright pink lips.

Intrigued? 

If you like mysteries, you are bound to love “Meet Me in Barcelona”!

–>Click to get the book!

You can also find a used copy for less than $4 at –>Abebooks.com.

 

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TBR Booklist Challenge

riverwinding

So I have a problem, and a solution…

I have a TBR (To Be Read) book list that is as long as the Mississippi River!

It is an unending list, but here is 1 solution —

The 2020 TBR Challenge!

Yes I joined this challenge so I can read at least 12 books on my TBR list.

Do you have a huge TBR list too?

–>Click to join the TBR Challenge!

This challenge is hosted by –>WendyTheSuperLibrarian.blogspot.com 

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Nonfiction November TBR

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This is the last post in Nonfiction November —

It is our To-Be-Read lists!

Maybe after you’re done shopping, you want to relax and read…

Here are some of the nonfiction books I have added to my TBR list — 

(–>Title click links to read more or buy it)

–>Dear America by Jose Antonio Vargas   (memoir of an undocumented immigrant) (–>Click to see the blogger who recommended this!)

–>The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu   (experiences of a border patrol agent)

–>Salt by Mark Kurlansky   (a world history on the significance of salt)

–>The Naked Now by Richard Rohr   (what mystics see in the Bible)

–>The Firebrand and the First Lady by Patricia Bell-Scott   (Eleanor Roosevelt, her friend Pauli, and social justice)

–>The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben   (Trees are more mysterious than we think.)

–>Pleased to Meet Me by Bill Sullivan   (how biome, genes and germs, affect our behavior)

–>The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton  (true stories of bravery)

To find more TBR lists — –>Click Nonfiction November

I have enjoyed being part of Nonfiction November!

Did you add any books to your TBR list?  Tell us which ones…

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Nonfiction November week 4

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This week we are finding out what makes a book our favorite!

The best way I know to figure this out is to look at books that are some of my favorites…

–>Finding Beautiful — the true stories of 12 women who went through a life transformation

–>Surviving the Island of Grace — memoir of a woman who lives on an island in Alaska, working as a salmon fisherman

–>A Second Chance at Heaven — memoir of a woman literally saved from hell

–>50 Women Every Christian Should Know — short biographies of women in history

–>Breaking Cover — the memoir of a female CIA agent

–>The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (historical fiction) — story of a woman during the depression who delivers books to dirt poor people in the Appalachians

–>Hidden Figures — true story of Black woman mathematicians at NASA

–>My Heart — memoir of a mother with a serious heart condition

The theme running though all of these book favorites is —

— a strong woman central character, who struggles through problems,

and ends up victorious!

These women are each an inspiration to me!

These are the kinds of books that encourage me to struggle on through life’s problems, and celebrate each victory, each joyful moment of discovery, each time of peaceful serenity.

I will never understand how some people go through life and never read a book.  They obviously don’t know what they are missing!

–>Click Nonfiction November for book favorites of other nonfiction bloggers.

So what makes a book your favorite?  Share in the comments below…

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Nonfiction November week 3

Although this is a bit late, this is my list of books on 1 topic —

(all –>are clickable links)

–>Renia’s Diary (autobiography diary) (Poland)    –>To buy

–>The Dressmaker’s Gift (historical fiction well-researched) (France) –>To buy

__ The Boy Between Worlds (biography) (Netherlands) –>To buy

BoyBetweenWorlds cover

(Since I have not reviewed this book yet, I am including the cover picture.)

So what do Poland, France, and the Netherlands have in common?

      — They all were invaded by Nazi Germany during WWII! 

The results for the common people trying to continue living their normal lives, was devastatingly similar.

The topic is WWII, but from the perspective of individual people. 

What was it like to live on the streets, in the neighborhoods, once the war invaded their country?

I found this topic fascinating!

I generally do not like war stories, but these books took the war down to the local level. We find out how the war affected individual people. 

All three of these books were very informative, personal, emotional, and shocking!

I highly recommend you read at least 1.

To get more recommended books for various topics,

   –>Check out more Nonfiction November week 3 lists.

I would love if you tell me about other WWII books you would recommend!  Please leave me a comment.

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Nonfiction November 2

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I am really enjoying doing Nonfiction November!

This week we are suggesting a pair of books on the same subject — One is fiction and one is nonfiction. (to find more book details follow the –> below)

So here is my pairing —

I have two fiction choices that tell interesting love stories with families and all their complications included —

1 –>The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe — This is a popular book that I just loved, and it was made into a movie too!

Beach House Cover

2 –>Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (by Kim Michele Richardson) – This is a love story as well as an historical-fiction story.  This book hit on a lot of my favorite subjects:  books, libraries, Appalachian Mountains, and a brave heroine!

BookWoman ofTroublesomCreek Cover

The true life love story written from actual diary entries and written letters —

3 –> “Devotedly” by Valerie Elliot Shepherd Valerie is the daughter of the true love couple, Elisabeth and Jim Elliot.

DevotedlyCover BH-Devotedly-3D

For other interesting pairings, go to the Nonfiction November sponsor’s blog —

–>Sarah’s Bookshelves

If you would like to share a book with us, add a comment below —

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One Word for 2017

laracasey-2017goalsetting

My One Word for 2017 is “Forward”.

I was working on setting goals for the New Year, using Lara Casey’s blog, 2017 Goal Setting Series.  I like her style of setting goals that are encouraging.  Lara also makes it fun by having a big giveaway! Her goal setting blog series and giveaway are >HERE!

In the process of reviewing last year from step 1 of Lara’s blog, I was thinking about what would my >One Word be for next year?  (Every year I pick a word that will help direct my entire year.)  I thought of “forward”, but I wasn’t sure. 

God has been showing me “forward” is exactly the “One Word” I need!

At church the weekend of New Year’s Day, our minister talked about leaving last year behind, and moving forward into 2017! “Wow” I thought, “Forward really is my word for 2017!” Then Sunday afternoon, when I was reading a Bible study, the word “forward” came up again.  So now it was certain, my One Word for 2017 was “FORWARD”!

If you pick some goals or “One Word” for 2017, you first need to leave 2016 behind.  Do you feel like you can’t step forward yet?  If so, then something is holding you back.  At church we sang these words >“Break every chain, a song by Tasha Cobbs .  You need to break free of whatever guilt, shame, or regret you are holding on to! Tell God you are sorry, and let God forgive you.  Know that God has put all your sin so far away that He no longer remembers it.  You can then forgive yourself for any mistakes from the past (if God can forgive you, you can), then step FORWARD into your new year!

Each step is progress!

You may choose a different “One Word”, or you may pick a New Year’s resolution or goal instead, but if you break free from the past, then you can step forward toward your goal.

One of the things I am having trouble leaving behind is my fear.  Fear has held me back for years!  So this year, using my One Word “Forward”, my goal is leaving the fear behind.  One of the ways I am doing this is reading a new book by >Kelly Balarie, >“Fear Fighting.  Kelly tackles fear head on, and she knows from experience.  She had many fears, and she didn’t like how that affected her life and her family.  Since it worked for Kelly, I am jumping into the book to use her “Fear Fighting” tactics!

Paperback3DTemplates_5.5x8.5.indd >See the book here.

I am praying that you can step forward into 2017 and make progress toward your goals!

If you want to tell me what your goals or One Word are for this year, tell me in the comments below. I will read every comment.

 

 

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Bloggiesta Newbie

Hi to the Spring Bloggiesta participants!

I have never done this before, but it sounds like fun and useful too.

My goals for my blog are to —

  1. get more organized with my book lists
  2. get more readers by joining more linkups
  3. get some feedback on how I can make my posts more interesting to readers

I have found a simple 1 page printable for organizing my books called “Book Review Tracker“.  Now I just need to start using it! HaHa

I have also started a list of linkups by day.  Again, I need to organize this list on my computer, so it is easier and more automatic.  Ideas?  What do you use to help you easily access linkups?  

What are your favorite book linkups?

I have never gotten feedback on my blog, so I am welcome to useful comments and suggestions.  I will consider every one, and choose what I think will work for me.  Pick 1 or more topics to respond to in the comments below or to my twitter account @JanetK_FL

Thank you!–

I would like feedback on readability, first impression, what turns you off reading it, and/or what strikes you right away about it?

Bloggiesta-ButtonM21                          Bloggiesta i-need-help  #bloggiesta

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Your Reach

How far is your reach?

Do you reach just your family? Do you reach your co-workers?  Neighbors?  People on Twitter? Facebook? Parents in the PTA? 

What can you do with your reach?  You can influence people.  You can be an example.  You can share information.  You can pray for them.  You can become friends.

You can tell people about Jesus.  You can share inspirational Scriptures.  You can express your faith and what you believe.

If your reach is too small, then work at expanding it! 

Have you heard of the Prayer of Jabez? It is from 1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

If you want to find out more about this Scripture, click on the link above to “1 Chronicles 4:10” which will take you to http://www.BibleGateway.com  I am on their blogger list, which I joined just this month!

bg-blogger-badge-500x500-e1387301563797

One of the ways I have expanded my reach is through this blog.  I talk about God here.  I talk about living as a Christian.  On “Faith Counts” I talk about “becoming a better Christian one step at a time”!

I have added book reviews of Christian books others may want to read.  (To see my book reviews, you can choose “Book Reviews” in the Category list in the right hand side of this blog, or do a search by typing in Book Review.)

I have been working at expanding the reach of my blog through social media — Twitter and Facebook, and I plan to add Google+ and Pinterest.

I also expand my blog reach through other blogs by commenting on posts and by using link-ups.  (Link-ups are hosted by other blogs with large reaches who host a link-up on their blog on certain days so you can attract the interest of people who haven’t seen your blog before. In turn this brings new people to their blog.)

This weekend I have tried something new to me — a Blogathon!

This is a 3-day event that brings all kinds of bloggers together to share tips, generate more interest in their blogs, and gain some Twitter followers, Facebook likes, Instagram followers and more.

This Blogathon sponsored 6 Twitter parties, and Sunday are the final two, which you can join in with if you want to see what I am talking about.  Sunday, January 24 at 2pm and 9pm EST are Twitter parties.  You can join in by following the hashtag #blogathon2.  (If there is only yesterday’s stuff there, try #blogathon3.)  This is my first time at a blogathon, so I’m not sure of all the specifics, but below is a link for you to get more information if you want to do more than join the Twitter party.  You can sign up for the final day if you want.

BlogathonBlogathon

Even if you don’t have a blog yet, look around and you may decide you want to start a blog.  It’s not that hard.  WordPress makes it super easy, and you can start with a free blog if you want.  Just go to http://www.wordpress.com  That’s how I started my blog about 4 years ago.

It can be scary to expand your reach.  It will take you out of your comfort zone, but we are meant to have a larger reach than just our friends and family.

In Joshua 1:9 Scripture says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Have fun expanding your reach!

Use the comments below to share where you plan to expand your reach…

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Win — Win!

Today I have a great example of a Win — Win project!

There are over 60 newish women writers, who have each written a story for a new book.

These are true stories, intended to encourage other moms.

TheMomQuilt cover

This book is brand new, out this past Monday, 8/10/2015.

All the money made by the sale of this book, will be used to build a clean water well in Kenya!

The well will be built at the site of a home for single moms in Kenya, called Mercy House.

Pretty cool, right?

Moms and Dads who read the book, will be encouraged and find lots of tips about raising kids.

So did I say Win — Win?

I guess I should have said, Win — Win — Win — Win,

and if you add in all the kids who will benefit from the well,

and from their parents learning great tips from the book,

then it will be literally thousands of Wins!

I am in on this Win too, because I wrote one of the stories,

“Each Child is Unique”, which starts on page 100 of the book.

I hope you get to read my story about my two kids.

So, if you want to order a book,

or read more of the details about the well,

go to their official site The Mom Quilt.

This official site belongs to Paula Rollo,

who is one of the moms who thought up this great book idea!

The credit also goes to  Becky Mansfield and Jodi Kern Durr.

All three of them worked hard to get this book done.

They chose the stories from all those submitted,

and they compiled all the stories into a book,

then Brannan Sirratt did the editing.

Monday, August 10 it went on sale!

The book is available in e-book form only (PDF format).

It costs $9.99, but you can increase that amount when you order,

if you want to donate more to the well project.

They need $40,000 to build the well.

After 2 days, they reached $2,000,

so they only need 38 more days like that!

TheMomQuilt BuyButton

Remember it’s to help single moms and their kids living in Kenya at Mercy House.

Right now their water is being trucked in, so they really need this well.

So buy a book, and add a donation too if you can.

You can pay by Paypal or credit card.

All of the moms who contributed to this book thank you for your purchase.

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