Book Review and Give Away: A Fragile Hope

When your life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages, what happens when your own marriage begins to fall apart? Find out what happens to Josiah Chamberlain in Cynthia Ruchti’s new book, A Fragile Hope. Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia’s Sign of Hope Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.

I received this book for my honest review.
Honestly, it was a 3/5 for me. It was good, but not amazing.
Here is my one con:
  • It took me about 10 chapters to get invested. It should never take me that long to get into a book. This is the only reason why I didn’t love the book. It just was extremely repetitive. We get it he was lost in despair and uncertainty. I think having that rough start gave me a weird overcast for the rest of the book.
Here are my praises:
  • While the first part seemed to drag on, ultimately there was an element of wanting to see improvement for the characters that kept me coming back.
  • This book was relateable. I liked how it showed the inner-thoughts of doubt and betrayal. I think we have all been there when our faith has been shook to the core. This story approached very real humanness and how we can overcome to forgive. I also love the fact that his job is to fix marriages and offer sage advice as a counselor, but he failed to notice how much his own marriage needed help. I think this goes to show that it is hard to hold a mirror up to our own issues and deal with them. She did a great job discussing this aspect of faith and healing.
  • The author was very intentional about the details of the book. For example, the quotes at the beginning of every chapter come from one of the characters print shop. It was nice little touches here and there that I though added a little fun to the book.
  • Ultimately, the message is really powerful. Everything in our life will not be perfect no matter how orderly we try to make it. Things will get messy and possibly shake us to our core. God will never leave you, we just have to be willing to lean in on him.

So it may have taken me awhile to get into the book, but it kept me engaged. The end result was worth it! I love reading stories that talk about real emotions and problems that are all around us, but also with the foundation of our relationship with God.

Good read indeed.

Bachelor Nick Week 9

I feel like so much hype has been put into the fantasy suite episode. Here are my thoughts

  • Nick is so confused about Andi’s presence.
  • This conversation might call for some whiskey? What is happening?
  • Rachel’s green dress is a dream. That is a phenomenal color on her.
  • I think Andi is just here to chat and plump up her endorsement career, whatever that is.
  • Andi telling him to have intimate time if it feels right is interesting after how things went down on their After the Rose. I do think that she was right about him not letting that taint his experience now.
  • I think either Corinne or Rachel are going home.
  • I think my heart about stopped waiting for him to call Vanessa’s name.
  • Corinne’s cry seemed very forced.
  • Nick was very sweet and tender with his break up to Corinne.
  • Corinne, when did you ever kiss up to a man?
  • And in true Corinne fashion, she fell asleep in the limo.
  • I am so confused…Am I not remembering it correctly? Didn’t Raven say she was falling in love with him at the haunted house date? Why does she keep saying she hasn’t said I love you to anyone?
  • I think Nick is in love with Raven.
  • “I own a clothing store-I fold clothes all day.” Touche. Also did he forget that about her?
  • I really hate that the fantasy suite implies that you have to have sex. Raven, don’t make that decision unless you feel ready all that it means (good and bad). This seems to be pressure for them to have that experience even if in the “real world” that wouldn’t be a choice they would make at that time of the relationship. I don’t like it at all.
  • Raven telling Nick that she loves him was like a romcom script. It was really beautiful. And Nick’s reaction definitely makes me think even more that he is in love with her too.
  • Wait, they are only showing one fantasy suite this week? I need these producers to get it together.
  • What is Nick doing? He is no viking. And if he was really working out in the snow, why is he wearing jeans STILL?

Bachelor Nick Week 8

Oh the hometown week…

  • Nick does not play by the traditional Bachelor rules.
  • WE ARE GOING TO MEET RAQUEL!
  • Raven, you already told Nick that you were in love with him.
  • Yea I don’t think you ever quite know what you are getting with Raven.
  • What a special moment that Nick got to be a part of Raven’s dad telling her he is cancer free. Tear alert.
  • That was such an awkward goodbye between Raven and Nick.
  • What moment Raven? You have already said I love you.
  • Nick does not look comfortable in that church initially.
  • Nick said “I grew up in church,” but he doesn’t seem to mean that he goes now. However, I think that what he said about wanting to grow with Rachel on faith seems genuine. But I can’t get over the fact that she is the next Bachelorette. What happens?
  • Rachel’s family is bringing the fire.
  • They seem like they are really fun.
  • I think the producers rigged Corinne staying on so we could all experience Corinne’s hometown.
  • Shopping where there is champagne?
  • I could not imagine spending $3000 on one outfit. I didn’t even spend that much on my wedding dress.
  • Corinne saying “I love you” was sweet.
  • I want those olives.
  • I mean I kind of love Raquel too.
  • Corinne could not think of what Nick’s job would be. Shouldn’t this be something they talk about?
  • I loved watching Vanessa with her classroom. It made me really miss my time with Special Olympics.
  • I really appreciate that Vanessa is showing what it means to have divorced family. Having to split your time is hard for others to get used to. It is still hard for us sometimes.
  • I agree that Nick and Vanessa should have the conversation about what life would be after the Bachelor. How have none of them had this conversation?
  • Vanessa’s family is intense and so very protective.
  • Vanessa’s brother was so sweet.
  • Ha I love dads. How are you respecting my daughter when you are dating 3 other women?
  • So did Nick only ask Raven and Vanessa’s dads for their blessings? Did I miss him asking Rachel and Corinne’s family?
  • I think Vanessa’s family is going to scare Nick away.
  • Do these women really forget that this is a competition and there are other women involved?
  • Vanessa isn’t going to say anything about her feelings?
  • This season is the worst at cliff hangers. WHYYYYY?
  • Andy is the one who knocked on the door? WHAT DOES SHE WANT?

Favorites:    Vanessa, but now I am thinking Raven may win.

 

Bachelor Week 7

I had full intentions of writing other posts this week so that my Bachelor posts weren’t back to back, but alas life.

Anyway, this week I got to watch the Bachelor in a hotel room with Moe’s as my cuisine. Bring on the queso and drama. Also I think this brought my obsession of this show to an all time high (or low) with watching it alone in a hotel room…

  • Nick you have to keep doing this. There is so much doubt, why not just finish this and see where you end up. You will never get this opportunity again.
  • Where is Bimini?
  • Vanessa is going scuba diving. Air and Sea dates.
  • Everyone looks pissed at Vanessa.
  • Vanessa has a lot more depth than you have shown Corinne. All you can say is I have a nanny and you run a multi-millionaire dollar business.
  • Okay they are just going snorkeling, but I was close!
  • Of course that feels like love when you are in a romantic setting like that snorkeling…it’s called the fantasy affect.
  • Nick is just spinning words to Vanessa. You can tell she is just torn.
  • That is so awkward that Nick was touching Kristina’s inner thigh in front of the other women.
  • Swimming with sharks…Are they toothless? Really Corinne?
  • Raven seems to be in the background of this date.
  • I am pretty fearless when it comes to ocean stuff, but I don’t know if I would freely swim with sharks.
  • Raven would just beat a shark with her stilettos.
  • That was sweet that Nick was comforting Kristina.
  • Kristina gets the group rose.
  • Oh wow! I was not expecting Raven getting that rose.
  • I think Danielle would mellow Nick out, but I also think that she may not be able to call him out on his crap.
  • That basketball hoop is short.
  • Danielle is going home on this date…
  • I like Danielle, but I think she is a little dry for this.
  • Nick’s facial expressions are so telling.
  • I hate it when the woman says they aren’t great enough when they are getting dumped. I mean I get it, I have been there, but we should think higher of ourselves. This just wasn’t right for either of you.
  • Where was Vanessa in the goodbye to Danielle? Aren’t they besties in this?
  • Corinne sneaking off to seduce Nick.
  • Nick acts differently around Corinne than he does with the other girls. It seems like it is drunk college flirting.
  • Nick is saying NO to the platinum vagine! Maybe he is learning from his past mistakes.
  • Corinne your idea of cute and nice is just sex. There are so many other ways to show nice affection besides throwing your body at someone. No wonder she is so self-conscious. We have to be teaching women differently about how to respect themselves.
  • All she is doing is making me think about how to raise my daughter.
  • Seriously where is Vanessa?
  • Nick is terrified of Rachel’s dad and family.
  • I love the bartenders that the Bachelor people find.
  • Corinne is going off the rails.
  • NOOOOO not Kristina! I could have sworn there was more there.
  • Kristina, you do deserve better than Nick.
  • I think Jen is the mystery woman coming back from BIP.

Favorites:   Vanessa and Rachel (Although I know she doesn’t end up with Nick because she was prematurely announced as the next Bachelorette. I am excited for her! But I am mad at ABC for doing it before she left this season.)

Bachelor Nick Week 5

We are nearing the midway point of the Bachelor, and it never disappoints in the hot mess.

My thoughts for the week:

  • Maturity and Emotional Intelligence do go hand in hand.
  • I feel like Taylor is trying to be diplomatic about giving Corinne feedback.
  • People are concerned about Taylor? Where is that coming from Corinne?
  • I mean I am not really a fan of Taylor either, but this conversation is just getting to be a drama fest.
  • Well I think that Corinne stays through this rose ceremony because there is still a scene in the previews I haven’t seen yet.
  • Side note:  I love the Beauty and the Beast cast with the “Love Addition”
  • OOOOOHHHHHH Taylor and Corinne both get a rose.
  • Corinne’s drunken confessions…no words.
  • New Orleans only means things are about to get crazier.
  • Rachel gets the 1:1! This is a great date for her.
  • I love the band and dancing in the street. New Orleans is a fun and lively place. Anyone can get swept away by the vibe there.
  • Ahhh live music, this is such a great and realistic date.
  • You can tell Rachel and Nick are jiving.
  • Ok it was a normal date atmosphere until they went to see all the Mardi Gras floats.
  •  This group date makes me miss the South and their landscape.
  • Oh Hell No. I would not want to be on this “haunted” date. I cannot do scary stuff.
  • I would pee my pants in this house.
  • Oh there just happens to be a weejee board. No thank you.
  • I would sit outside the whole time.
  • Raven’s casual love confession seems odd. I am starting to really question Raven..
  • I am jealous of Corinne’s food spread from room service.
  • I mean I don’t believe in ghosts but this would all be super freaky to me. Even though, there is probably someone manipulating everything behind the scenes.
  • You know that the producers fix the two on one. They always have the most dramatic two on this date.
  • Ok Taylor now you sound stuck up.
  • He needs to send both of them home. I am just over this date.
  • I wished they would have shown more of Corinne’s reading. I feel like that was all to feed into the persona.
  • If they don’t show who got this 2:1 rose, I’m going to be pissed. And I will wait until next week like always.
  • I kind of agree with Corinne that it is surprising that Taylor is a counselor.
  • Wow Nick doesn’t even walk Taylor out to talk to her privately. That was really awkward.
  • Again both of them should have gone home.
  • Corinne is crazy.
  • The best thing about this episode was the Beauty and The Beast trailer.
  • Of course it is to be continued…that’s what a series is.

Favorites:  Rachel and Vanessa

And because now my obsession has really gone out of control, I have found myself watching recap videos…

This one shows that Corinne is really this silly in real life. On the other hand, it also make Olivia seem like someone you would want to hang out with.

This one shows that some former contestants have nothing better to do…Also Olivia is practically wearing the same outfit as the video above.

This is Ellen’s staff’s recap…with a special appearance from a former cast member.