Saturday, April 19, 2014

It's Hard to Put into Words. . .

I am a Christian.

Some may have stopped reading after that first sentence, but I hope not. My intent with this post is not to preach, but to share.

It should come as no surprise to anyone after visiting my blog that I am as much a movie lover as I am a book lover. This season of movies has given us several Christian-based films: The Saratov Approach, God's Not Dead, Noah, Heaven Is for Real, and Son of God. I have seen them all.

You may not agree with me on some of my opinions as to the quality or content of the films, but this post is not about critiquing these movies. It is about the message I took away from each as I left the movie theater. After each, I walked away with a feeling of love and hope. And, each time I felt a strong desire to write this post, but never so much as after Son of God.

I was raised in a strong family, firm in our faith. And, whereas my parents laid that foundation for me, they always encouraged me to know, to find what is true for myself. So I did.

I served an eighteen-month mission for my church in Ukraine and Belarus when I was 21. It was during that time that I knew that what I believed was either all true, or all a lie. Through prayer and the sincerest desire to know, I gained my answer.

So, what is it I know? I know God lives. I know His Son, Jesus Christ, lives and is our Redeemer and Savior. He came to this world to atone for our sins so that we might live with God again someday. I don't believe this. I know this.

But more than that, I know God loves us, as we are, each of us, His children. I know Christ loves us! And there are days where these thoughts humble and amaze me, to the point of tears and reflection. We are not alone--never. I have felt Their love and support in my darkest hours.

I know that different religions could debate the contents and doctrine of Son of God. Was it spot-on with my religion in every minute detail? No. But it doesn't matter. I cannot deny the feelings it evoked in me, along with a genuine need to let others know how loved they are, and how much we matter to God.

Despite the wrongs of this world, which are too many to try and find an answer for in this post, I would have you leave this site knowing that you are something special. And, despite your flaws and imperfections, God and His Son consider the worth of your soul to be great.

So, whether you are a believer or not, I wish you an Easter season of peace. And I hope that someday you may all have that personal knowledge of just how priceless you are to the Creator of the Universe, and the Redeemer of this world.

WarmlyJennifer~
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Writing--So Easy a Caveman Can Do It

For those of you who are struggling writers like me, you may enjoy as I did what Kristen Lamb of Kristen Lamb's Blog  has to say. All of what she shared, I have struggled with. I felt her words somehow helped validate me as a writer and gave me renewed optimism.

Visit her blog post Writing--So Easy a Caveman Can Do It, and determine for yourselves the importance of her words.

"Failure isn't bad, it's the tuition we pay for success."

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I would LOVE to gift my book to you!!

Natalie Carroll at The Written Adventure Blog has read and enthusiastically recommends my novel, The Scent of a Soul. Not only that, but she is graciously hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway for either a paperback or ebook version of my story.

Please visit here to learn what she has to say about The Scent of a Soul and enter to win--because I would love to gift my book to you! (Yes, you!) :-)

". . . The Scent of a Soul is a fantastic book. It had me flipping pages as if there were no tomorrow. It is definitely a five out of five for me." ~Natalie Carroll, The Written Adventure

Monday, September 16, 2013

Austenland!

 Sometimes I just have to go against the grain.

I read Austenland by Shannon Hale a while back when a friend recommended it to me. I enjoyed it a lot, thinking it witty, fresh and fun. So, when I heard they were making it into a movie, I was excited.

Then it was released. I waited, hoping our local theater would receive it. After a week or two of it being a no-show, I called the cinema's manager. No. There was no way they were getting it. . . ever! Humph!!

In the end, my husband and I had to travel three hours to see it at the only theater showing it in Arizona. Can you imagine? (Good thing my sister-in-law was having her surprise 40th birthday party in the same area, the next day.)

So. . .what was my opinion of it you might be asking (after traveling three hours and hitting rush hour traffic in Phoenix/Scottdale area and witnessing a fender bender). Well. . .in two words--LOVED IT!

And that is how I am going against the grain. From what I can tell, Austenland's reviews aren't the best, and I don't care. I still loved it. It was witty, fresh and fun! I belly-laughed so many times I started to cry--literally. Heck, I wasn't the only one belly-laughing. The whole (almost packed) theater was having a great time, including the handful of men that braved the book clubs of the greater Phoenix area. Even my husband (good man that he is for indulging me in this) is scratching his head as to why all the negative reviews.

Sometimes, I want to say, "People, lighten up! It's supposed to be fun and silly, and a bit of spoof for all of us crazed Jane Austen fanatics. Relax and enjoy the clean humor."

If you are able to see Austenland, I hope it does for you what it did for me and my husband--a pleasant surprise that was well worth the three hour drive!



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sharing a Favorite. . .

Don't you just love that tingling, drop-from-the-top-of-roller-coaster-hill feeling you get when you watch a favorite scene from one of your favorite movies? I've admitted it before, and I'll admit it again, I love a good love story, whether it be in movie or book form. And, for me, North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell is a good as it gets.

For those of you who are obsessed with (or even like) watching period pieces (i.e., Austen books put to film, etc.), then North & South is an absolute must! Richard Armitage, alone, as John Thornton puts almost every other lead hero to shame. The story is one of overcoming the social divide of the 1850s in Northern England.

And, I don't want to ruin the ending, but the kiss. . .oh, my happy heart. . .the kiss at the end is one of my all-time favorites. That, along with the expression on Margaret Hale's face (played by Daniela Denby-Ashe) after the kiss, makes for a great ending. I can never watch it just once. Again, it's the simplicity of it all that just steals my breath away!

Added bonus: The music orchestrated for North & South by Martin Phipps is a masterpiece. Completely stunning!

So, quick! Go rent, buy, or borrow North & South. You won't regret it! :-D


Monday, August 12, 2013

It's a 5-star Review and a Giveaway! (What could be better?)

The lovely Diane at "Diane's Book Blog" has read my novel, The Scent of a Soul, and awarded it 5 stars in her review! And, to add to that honor, she is hosting a giveaway for The Scent of a Soul. So, please visit here, find out more about my story, and enter to win. I would love to gift my book...to YOU!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An Amazing Find!

When I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia with my university, I had the privilege of meeting many different people from different countries. One girl I lived with in my Russian household was named Claudia; she had been born in East Germany (of course, it was no longer East Germany when we met---just Germany). I remember having many wonderful talks with her, but the one thing that stuck with me the most from our conversations was when she said, "Do you know how embarrassing it is to come from the country that caused two World Wars?"

I had never thought of that. I certainly never thought, Hmm, this Claudia girl comes from Germany, that wretched place that caused two World Wars. But, as I thought about it, I wondered if I would feel the same way if my country had been the cause of two World Wars, even before I was born.

I just finished an amazing novel called, Fireweed, by Terry Montague. It's an engaging, emotional, historical fiction that takes you on a journey with a girl named Lisel Spann and her family living in Germany during WWII. The trials and simply horrific experiences they endured at the hands of their leaders were eye-opening and heart-wrenching. I don't usually cry with books, but I was sobbing when I finished this story. I thought Terry Montague did a superb job at narrating this family's struggles through the hell that was World War II. And, as I read, Claudia's statement of embarrassment kept popping into my mind.

It was very interesting to read a book from the perspective of inside Germany during the war. The lies the German people were told, and the manipulation they endured, were evil and shocking. I'm not naive enough to say horrific things aren't still happening in the world today. But, after reading Fireweed, I certainly hope we can learn from the mistakes made during that terrifying time and never let history repeat itself---again.

This novel will be appreciated especially by those of the LDS faith, but can certainly be enjoyed by anyone. I recommend it without hesitation.

5/5 Stars!!