A [Brief] Hullo! + a Couple Names. . .

Hi, all!  I know my extended absence doesn't really surprise you, my faithful friends, but I feel I should explain nonetheless. . . This past week, my family and I took our annual trip up to the mountains for our camping vacation.  It was such a nice, relaxing time there, and absolutely beautiful! as usual.  :]  I took about 300 photos!  Haha, maybe a new record for me, I dunno.  But I do hope to share them sometime this week.  Also, I have another book review coming!

Life, in general, is good.  My family and I are coping well, what with my grandfather recovering wonderfully from his pancreatic surgery and my aunt and cousins keeping busy and starting a new school year.  Still, we could all use your prayers as some days are more difficult than others.  Thank you, from the depths of our hearts, in remembering my family this summer! God is good in sending His children to care and love others.

You may be idly wondering how my relationship with Evan is progressing. . .  Well, the 21st of this month marked five months of our dateship.  We've only grown closer and he is without doubt my best friend. 

What is to come in the days and months ahead?  Who knows the timing of God, except God Himself? 

Again, we greatly appreciate your prayers!  We are trying diligently to seek God first, in wisdom, strength, and discernment.  Thank you, dearies!!


And, seeing as it's Monday, I thought I'd throw in a couple names for you. . . Enjoy!

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Biblical, Hebrew, English
Pronunciation:  ROO-bǝn (English)

Meaning & History
Means "behold, a son" in Hebrew.  In the Old Testament, this was the eldest son of Jacob and Leah.  It has been used as a Christian name in Britain since the Protestant Reformation.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Roman Mythology
Pronunciation:  LAHR-ǝ (English), LAH-rah (German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)

Meaning & History
Russian short form of Larisa, the name of a city in Thessaly, ultimately meaning "citadel."  It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character in Borster Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago (1957) and later movie adaption (1965).  In Roman Mythology, it is a variant of Larunda, meaning "to talk."

Have a lovely week, m'dears!

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Names and meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

Book Review | Siren's Fury

Siren's Fury
Mary Weber

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Genre:   Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Medieval, Steampunk
Released:  June 2nd, 2015

{jacket cover}
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise.  But it's no use.  The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring--the thing I trained so hard to control--no longer exists."

Nym risked her life to save Faelen, her homeland, from a losing war, only to discover that the shape-shifter Draewulf has stolen everything she holds dear.  But when the repulsive monster robs Nym of her storm-summoning abilities as well, the beautiful Elemental realizes her war is only just beginning.

Now powerless to control the elements that once emboldened her, Nym stows away on an airship traveling to the metallic kingdom of Bron.  She must stop Draewulf.  But the horrors he's brought to life and the secrets of Bron are more than Nym bargained for.  Then the disturbing Lord Myles tempts her with new powers that could destroy the monster, and Nym must decide whether she can compromise in the name of good even if it costs her very soul.

As she navigates the stark industrial cityscape of Bron, Nym is faced with an impossible choice: change the future with one slice of a blade. . . or sacrifice the entire kingdom for the one thing her heart just can't let go.

WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}

O_O  It's the second book.  The SEQUEL.  Book 1 ended in a total, jaw-dropping cliff-hanger.  SO.  Before you go any further, if you have yet to read Storm Siren, read it!  It's so, so good.  One of my absolute favorites. (You can read my review here, or at the link above.)

Because this is the second of the Storm Siren trilogy, this tale begins right after the "conclusion" of the first.  Essentially, we are thrown right where we were left off.

Nym has been an unloved nobody since birth.  Tossed from slave owner to slave owner, she had yet to experience the camaraderie and love of friendship, until she met Colin and Breck and Eogan.  But in what seems like moments, all she loves is torn from her and she feels alone.  Through it all, faithful Princess Rasha, of the kingdom of Cashlin, stays by her side.  She doesn't sugar-coat the truth, but she doesn't abandon Nym, even when Nym chooses to ignore her sound advice.

As mentioned above, after losing her Elemental powers to the wicked Draewulf, Nym allows herself to be swayed by the sly Lord Myles in order to gain new powers to defeat the evil.  She truly believes these new powers can help and will save a most beloved friend.  However, had she ignored Myles' snaky wordsss and listened to Rasha, more trouble could have been avoided.  Actions have consequences.

It is implied several times that she and Myles. . . er, collaborate in his bedroom.  NOTHING of the like happens, I assure you, we just see the disapproving looks of the guards.  

In the kingdom of Bron, children are used as soldiers and pilots.  

{Spiritual Content}
It is acknowledged by most that there is a Creator.  Nym eventually comes to believe that she is created for a purpose, and realizes (almost too late) that she doesn't need anything more than what she has already been given.

As an Elemental, Nym has the ability to control the weather and manipulate storms.

Dark magic plays a rather large part in this.  Kinda creepy, to be honest.

VERY gory at times.  Guards and innocents are slain, with chests ripped opened and limbs mutilated and/or missing.  On an airship, we hear that a man was thrown overboard.  Another man is strapped to said airship's hull.

Beatings, bruisings, fights, etc.  Lots of blood, guys, lots of blood.

In a show of power, there is a duel of sorts between two warriors (actually reminded me of gladiators).  One alone is victor, or so we think, until a boy warrior comes in to finish him off.  [SPOILER]  That boy refuses and is beaten nearly to death.  

Upon taking these new dark powers in order to save the world--as Nym truly believes--the potion must fuse with her blood and her ensuing dreams are rather violent.  

Nearly every confrontation with Draewulf is intense and often bloody.

[SPOILER] Draewulf has a Dark Army, which could basically be called the Walking Dead. . . I won't go into detail there. . .

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
Curse words such as "litches," "kraken," and "oh hulls."

Alcohol at parties and such.  Mention of drunken guards/men/etc.  

Nym truly loves Eogan.  We see that in how far she's willing to go to save him.  They kiss a couple times.

SO GOOD.  If you read the first, you should definitely be itching to read this one.  I certainly cannot wait till the third and final installment of this trilogy! Mrs. Weber has done a fantastic job in my opinion.  I love her writing style, her characters are each their own--unforgettable, and the story intensely awesome.  Well done! When's the next one comin'??

Recommended ages:  16+
My rating:

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What's in a Name?

It's me!  I'm back!! And with another Name post. . . Heheheh.  I seriously meant to post more than I did this past week, but. . . ah well.  Hope y'all have had a lovely weekend!  Can you believe August is near over??

I actually have two book reviews in the works, so stay tuned later in the week.  Hopefully.  :]

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Biblical
Pronunciation:  BEN--min (English), ben-zha-MEn (French),  BEN-yah-meen (German)

Meaning & History
From the Hebrew name Binyamin, which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand."  In the Old Testament, this is the given name of the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.  As an English name, Benjamin came into use after the Protestant Reformation.  A famous bearer was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist, and philosopher.
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronunciation:  AN-a (English), AHN-nah (Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish), AH-nah (German, Russian),  AN-nah (Danish)

Meaning & History
A form of Hebrew name Channah, which hails from Hannah, meaning "favour" or "grace."
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  MAHR-s

Meaning & History
From a surname which originally denoted a person who was a marshal.  The word itself comes from Germanic elements marah "horse" and scalc "servant."
Fun Fact! This is actually the middle name of my father and brother.
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Pronunciation:  ROOTH (English), ROOT (German)

Meaning & History
From a Hebrew name which is derived from the Hebrew word re'ut, meaning "friend."  This was the given name of the central character in the Old Testament Book of Ruth, a Moabite woman who was the ancestor of King David.  As a Christian name, Ruth has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.  

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Names and meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, English, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronunciation:  ga-bree-EL (French), GAH-bryel (Spanish), GAHP-ree-ǝl (German), GAHB-ree-el (Finnish), GAY-bree-el (English), GAHP-ryel (Polish)

Meaning & History
From the Hebrew name Gavri'el, meaning "God is my strong man" or "God is my strength."  In the Bible, this was the given name of an archangel who announced the births of John to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary.

As a given name, it has been in use occasionally in England since the 12th century, but was not common in the English-speaking world until the 20th century.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  German
Pronunciation:  IL-sah

Meaning & History
Variant of Ilse, which is the Dutch and German diminutive of Elisabeth, ultimately meaning "my God is an oath" or "my God is abundance.

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  YAN-see, YANt-see

Meaning & History
Variant of Yancy, which hails from a surname and is the Americanized form of the Dutch surname Jansen, meaning "Jan's son." 

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English (British)
Pronunciation:  JEM-ǝ 

Meaning & History
Variant of Gemma, which is a Medieval Italian nickname meaning "gem, precious stone."

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Names and meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.