Brothers At Arms, by John J. Horn

Brothers at Arms

“Lawrence and Chester Stoning are twins, but like Jacob and Esau of old they have little else in common. Lawrence is a realist, fascinated by the study of science, mathematics, and history, while Chester longs for the knightly adventures of chivalrous times past — hard-fought battles, gold-filled caves, damsels in distress.

When Chester’s impetuosity engages the unlikely pair as bodyguards to a Spaniard and his beautiful ward Pacarina, the twins quickly realize that the 19th century calls for a chivalry of its own. Protecting Pacarina’s secret leads all of them into the steaming jungles and dizzying mountains of Peru, a foreboding territory made all the more dangerous by Lawrence and Chester’s strivings against each other. Can the twins learn to trust God and work together before it’s too late? Or will they fall prey to the mysterious schemes of Pacarina’s enemy — an enemy they know nothing about?~cover and synopsis from johnjhornbooks.com

Title: Brothers At Arms

Author: John J. Horn

Genre(s): Christian YA Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: There is some talk of love, people getting married, etc, and SPOILER!! a couple does get married in the end SPOILER END!! but I think it was appropriate. (Except for a point that I mention in the review.)

Recommended age range: 13+, because of the large vocabulary and because there is quite a bit of deaths, slightly detailed. (However, I am aware of those younger than 13 reading this, so I guess it’s up to you!)

My Review:

This was an action-packed book!! Although it’s probably meant to be for boys, I found it very interesting, intriguing, and the writing was very well done! There were vivid descriptions, and many long words, most of which I understood the meaning of. 😉 (It is from the point of view of a very well-read and -educated person.)

Things I did like:

  • one of the MCs was witnessing to a Catholic, and had some good points… you don’t see that often in books!
  • the references to the fact that luck was not involved in situations; God was
  • the main point that siblings should work together
  • the adventure 😀

I enjoyed reading this book, but there were a couple of things which I did not agree with:

  • SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!! At one point, the main characters fall into the hands of natives which want to kill them but do not when they see that one of the main characters has an interesting birth mark. The natives think that the MCs are gods and worship them as such. The MCs go along with this, and that is the part that I do not agree with. Paul and Barnabas were in a similar situation (although their lives were not threatened), and this is what they did: “Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:” (Acts 14:14,15) Arguably, the MCs of this book were in a slightly different situation, since if they had revealed themselves to be just men, the natives might have killed them, but I still can’t agree with it.
  • The MCs (young men) do touch a young lady, but mainly to protect her. For much of the book, they have a brotherly relationship with her, although they are not related. I still don’t think young people should touch each other, though.

With these points in mind, I am giving this book four stars. It was an excellent book, but I do have some reservations. However, I would still recommend this book to those who enjoy adventuresome Christian fiction.

Wedding Score by Amanda Tero (Blog Tour!)

Today I am happy to participate in the blog tour for author Amanda Tero’s new story, Wedding Score! I enjoyed this story, and actually even bought a paper copy of it (which is rare for me 😛 )! So read on for my review, information about the book, a giveaway, and more!

Title: Wedding Score

Author: Amanda Tero

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: Okay, so it’s about being content in singleness, so there’s a lot about getting married, etc. But the only thing that I didn’t really agree with as far as the romance goes was that a character held his girlfriend’s hand.

Recommended age range: 19+, because it’s primarily written for single young women (especially for those who are “ready” to get married)– not necessarily recommended for younger than that

My Review:

FTC Disclosure: I was given an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

This was an excellent book! I was very interested when I heard about it, because the main character is a pianist (actually a piano teacher) and I love music, and also because the singleness issue is one that I haven’t seen addressed very much (at least not in fiction). I was not disappointed! I liked the little musical touches, and the message was excellent. Like I said above, I’m not currently in a position where I’m ready to be married, but I still found this book to be encouraging. The main character’s journaling (which actually came from the author’s journal!) was especially sweet to me. I appreciated how she looked to the Lord and to His Word and trusted Him.

While I can’t necessarily agree with all the aspects of the book, there was nothing inappropriate and I would recommend this book to any single Christian young lady, ages 19+!

 

About the Release

 

Are you a single who has been in this singleness journey a little longer than you anticipated? This week is the release of Amanda Tero’s contemporary fiction novella, “Wedding Score.” Main character Stephanie is there with you as she’s suddenly thrown into a season of discontentment and impatience. Told in a whimsical, honest style, “Wedding Score” is a 1-2 hour short read that leaves readers feeling understood and hopeful.

 

About “Wedding Score”
 

Most girls dream of their wedding days. Except me. I’m too busy practicing piano and being the live soundtrack for everyone else’s weddings to think about my own. 

I’ve survived most of my twenties with harmonious chords and pleasant days. So why is it that now, at twenty-seven, a discordant feeling presents itself? 

Is there a solid solution to loneliness when there is absolutely no potential husband on the horizon?

A CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN SHORT READ

 

About Amanda

 

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
 
 

 

Connect withAmanda
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest |
 
Blog | Goodreads | Amazon 
amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Giveaway
Amanda is giving away paperbacks, yes… 
But she really wants to share this story with as many readers as possible. So, for release week, she’ll be sending eBooks to anyone who wants one! So hop over and submit your email for a free eBook!
 
 
 
aRafflecopter giveaway

 

Visit Amanda’s blog for a complete list of bloggers and special tour information.

The Dragon’s Egg, by Ed Dunlop

Image result for the dragon's egg by ed dunlop
image from talesofcastles.com

“When Princess Gilda and Prince Selwyn refuse the offer of a gift forbidden by King Emmanuel, Prince Josiah accepts, not realizing that his actions will impact the Castle of Faith. For a time, the young prince is able to conceal his act of treachery, and it seems that all is well. But when a Cararian Greatwing—the fiercest of dragons—begins terrorizing the kingdom, Josiah learns too late that he is powerless to control the beast that he has unleashed upon Terrestria. This fifth adventure in the Terrestria Chronicles allegory series will challenge the reader to guard his or her heart for the King.” ~from talesofcastles.com

Title: The Dragon’s Egg

Author: Ed Dunlop

Genre(s): Allegory/Fantasy Juvenile Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: Non-existent!

Recommended age range: 10+?

My Review:

This was an excellent book! The allegory was so accurate and it really was very challenging to guard my heart and to stay loyal to my King.

I am not accustomed to reading fantasy books, but this one was very good. I think the main reason why I don’t usually read fantasy is because of the magic; Christians should be very careful about that. I think in this book it was handled well, although I shall have to think more on this topic.

Anyway, this book was very good and I am glad that I read it! It held my attention very well, and although I did not agree with the decisions the MC made, I was rooting for him to make better ones. This was a great example of how continually making wrong choices is a bad idea!

The Earth Is Round, by Margaret Epp

Image result for the earth is round by margaret epp
image from Goodreads.com

“Cornelia stood with her family in the crowded Russian train station. After hundreds of boxes were loaded, people began saying good-byes and boarding. It was all very exciting and frightening and sad. Cornelia’s entire Mennonite colony was moving to Canada.

“‘Write everything that happens!’ said Agatha.

“‘Yes,’ agreed Cornelia breathlessly, as she hugged her sister tightly.

“Cornelia’s last glimpse of Agatha was through the grimy window of the train car. Would she ever see her sister or her homeland again?

“Homesteading in Canada meant struggling with harsh, primitive conditions. Deaths in the family left Cornelia’s faith shaken and her heart wrenched, bitter, and searching for peace. One spring day she knelt sobbing by a grave in a neglected cemetery and found a balm for her bitterness.

“An unforgettable story of loss, hope, and a blessed restoration.” ~from the back cover

Title: The Earth Is Round

Author: Margaret Epp

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: Does mention different couples’ weddings, and talks a little about girls growing up and preparing for marriage.

Recommended age range: 10+

My Review:

This was a very interesting book about the Mennonite migration from Russia to Canada. They faced many hardships, but continued to trust God. I connected to the main character, and it was interesting to read about her!

I found it interesting to learn about Mennonite traditions. Although I do not agree with all of Mennonite doctrine, I was encouraged that there was an explanation of the true plan of salvation, and several characters accepted Christ’s gift in the book!

Although this is not a book where you “stay on the edge of your seat”, it was interesting and informative. I would recommend it if you are interested in learning more about Mennonite heritage or if you enjoy reading about history from a fictitious perspective.

Also, I recently updated the color scheme for this blog! I think I like it, but it’s definitely quite different than before! What do you think?

In Search of the Lost Missionary, by Jeff Barth

“After refurbishing their DC-3 cargo plane, affectionately dubbed Old Gabe, home schooled Bob & Arty spent their afternoons taking flying lessons from their father Jesse Baxter. Aircraft maintenance training at their father’s facilities further prepared the brothers for their missionary aviation ministry. In this series travel with these two young pilots, and occasionally their entire family, as they find themselves embroiled in a South Sea mystery, facing the fears and hardship of jungle travel and hostile natives, making a daring rescue in the frozen tundra of northern Alaska, being caught in the perils of a violent storm and much more.” ~from the back of the book

Title: In Search of the Lost Missionary

Author: Jeff Barth

Series: The Missionary Adventures of Bob & Arty

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: Non-existent!

Recommended age range: 8+, for comprehension??

My Review:

This was an exciting missionary adventure! I think it was written with boys/young men in mind, since the main characters are boys, but I, as a young lady, also found it interesting. I appreciate the Biblical values upheld in this book, and I would recommend it to any family looking for clean reads. This was a great book, and I’m looking forward to being able to read the next books in the series!

**note: more reviews of books from this series to come!

A Brother Is Born, by Angie Thompson

A Brother Is Born

Benny’s coming hadn’t changed anything—or had it?

With a new foster kid joining Alex Carson’s family, everyone is prepared for changes. So when Benny slips into the tight-knit group with barely a ripple, the family is at once surprised and delighted.

But beneath the surface, deeper waters are stirred as Alex finds herself at odds with Jess over his jokes on the unsuspecting and gullible Benny. Will Jess’s teasing and her own insecurities separate Alex from her brother? Or can a surprising source teach them a needed lesson in love?

Title: A Brother Is Born

Author: Angie Thompson

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary YA Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: Non-existent except for one mention of a girlfriend.

Recommended age range: 10+?

My Review:

FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

Wow. Miss Thompson did an awesome job of making the readers connect with the characters!! I was totally rooting for Alex the whole time, and I agreed with her on everything too… and then was shown my (okay, technically Alex’s) errors. The teens’ bantering was hilarious, although sometimes I didn’t catch on (I’m not really used to such things in real life 😛 ) and I can definitely imagine how squeezing five teenagers in a Suburban would be very interesting! But aside from the writing and the fun aspects, there was a great lesson on (true, not romancey/mushy) love included. This was an great book which I would recommend.

Just a note: there is a mention of a “praise song”, a girlfriend (non-existent; they were theorizing about if one character would ever get one), and an un-related boy hugging a girl, although not in a romancey (I think I made up that word!) way, and two girls have boys’ names as their nicknames, none of which things I completely endorse.

By Paths Unknown Blog Tour!

Today I am participating in (another!) blog tour, featuring By Paths Unknown by Rebekah A. Morris and A Brother is Born by Angie Thompson! In this post, I will be reviewing By Paths Unknown, interviewing Miss Morris, and featuring a quote from A Brother is Born. (My review for A Brother is Born will be posted on September 9th, Lord willing.)

“Could God bring peace from such a winding path? 

“Austin Sparks is doing his best to hold his family together in the wake of his mom’s death, but the world continues to spin out of his control. When his dad announces that the family is moving to their grandparents’ ranch in South Dakota, it’s anyone’s guess whether the change will bring healing or just more heartache. 

“Back on the ranch, Austin finds hope in the familiar surroundings and help in his loving clan of relatives. But can his dad somehow overcome his grief? Will his siblings ever feel at home? And can Austin trust God to guide them all even when the path seems darkest?” ~from Amazon

Title: By Paths Unknown

Author: Rebekah A. Morris

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: See review.

Recommended age range: 13+ for interest, probably

My Review:

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This was a challenging book! Poor Austin had a lot of problems, but I appreciated how his family pointed him to the Lord as the One who can help! I loved all the little touches: the amazing artistic talent Austin had, the friendship of Connor and Jenny, the differences between Addie and LeaLea, the way the extended family helped out… and so many others. I liked the ranch setting, and horse lovers would probably love it. And I loved how God made everything right in the end and directed their steps.

There wasn’t much romance; it was just right for me. Two characters are courting in the end, and (before they begin courting) when they are reunited there is a little awkwardness, which was probably the most romance in the whole book. So it’s probably not really romance, just a hint of it. 😉

This was a book which I greatly enjoyed! I am grateful for Miss Morris and how she supplies godly, clean books, which can be difficult to find!

Interview with Rebekah A. Morris:

  • What inspired you to write this novel?

To find the answer to this question, come back another day to Read Another Page and read the whole story behind it. 🙂 

  • How long did it take you to write it? 

I started this book last year in spring, but didn’t work on it the whole time. It was worked on off an on amid other stories. This year I spent the first few months finishing up “Hymns in the Hills” so it wasn’t until late spring that I really dove back into this story and finished it.

  • Who do you think would enjoy this?

While the main character is a young man of seventeen, I think anyone in their teens and older would enjoy it. The younger ones might like it too, and it wouldn’t hurt them to read it, but it might not be as interesting to them. I’ve had a mom with older sons tell me there were places in the story where she couldn’t put the book down, and she wants her oldest son to read it.

  • Who is your favorite character?

That’s hard. I love Austin since he is my main character, but Jenny was a lot of fun to write as her personality is more like mine. 🙂 And then there is Aunt Mimmie. Oh, Aunt Mimmie! The strange thing about this story is that there are many quiet people in the main roles, which is so unlike me, so when I got to the extraverts– Jenny, Aunt Mimmie, Mr. Jasperson – they were such fun!

  • What is your favorite scene?

Oh, you would ask that! I probably have several. One is Christmas morning, another is when Austin and his dad have to return to the house after a phone call from Drew . . . Then of course there’s the scene with Austin, Connor, and Jenny in the truck, and the one with the emergency helicopter, and . . . I won’t tell any more. I’m apt to give something away if I talk too much.

Once again, my review for A Brother is Born will be published on September 9th, Lord willing. But until then, here is a quote from it…

“Nothing’s going to take away us being cousins, and I don’t mind adding one more to the pack.” I paused for a second while Johnny hugged me hard, then I asked, “Do you think he feels the same way?”
“About being cousins?” Johnny asked playfully, and I threw a pillow at her.
“About belonging here, smart aleck.”
“I hope so.” Johnny grinned slowly. “He’d better, because once we cross that line, there’s no going back. I think he’s pretty much stuck with us by now.” 

If you would like to learn more about either book, or A Brother is Born in particular (since I didn’t talk much about it) you can…

Thank you for reading!

Protecting the Poor (Blog Tour!)

Today I am privileged to participate in the Protecting the Poor blog tour! Protecting the Poor is a book that I really enjoyed, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you today! Included: about the book, my review, interview with the author, and giveaway information!

Image result for protecting the poor book

“Sheriff Feroci is now lord over the province, and Abtshire has become a pit of injustice. Being forced into the lord’s service does not give Dumphey as many opportunities to help the poor as he desires. When attempts on his life drive him into the forest, this freedom opens a world of possibilities for helping others. But how can he do so when he is running for his life? And does God want him to do more than simply feed the poor?

“Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still follow God in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him to do something that is beyond his power to do?

“As Lord Feroci’s sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.”

Title: Protecting the Poor

Author: Amanda Tero

Genre(s): Fantasy

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: Epilogue does talk about people getting married, but otherwise non-existent.

Recommended age range: 8+?

My Review:

FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review; all thoughts are my own.

This was an excellent conclusion to the Tales of Faith series! Since it had been a while since I had read the other two books in the series, I was a little confused about a couple things in the beginning of this book, but I quickly figured things out enough to enjoy the book. (Although I’d still like to read the books in the correct order, because that would add some continuity, technically this book could probably be read as a stand-alone.)

And wow. There were some challenging lessons in here! I don’t usually read fantasy, but one thing I really like about this series (as opposed to other fantasy series) is that God is God, He doesn’t have some other made-up name, and real Bible verses are quoted. I would recommend this book just for the challenging lessons to be gleaned!!

I could probably say more, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. This was an excellent book, and I highly recommend it!!

I have enjoyed all three books in this series. To view the series on Amazon, click here.

Interview with the Author:

What inspired you to write this novella?

I have always loved the Robin Hood tales, but it wasn’t necessarily on my radar to write a retelling. Once I had written “Befriending the Beast” and “The Secret Slipper,” I knew there needed to be a book three—a retelling that fit one of the characters from the series. With Feroci over Abtshire, it was the perfect recipe for a tale reminisce Sherwood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. 

How long did it take you to write it?

Way longer than I anticipated! I started it sometime in 2017 and finished August 2019—so almost two years. God definitely taught me a lesson in accepting seasons of life during this time!

Who do you think would enjoy this?

Anyone who loves tales of adventure, action, justice, and… well, Robin Hood. For once, it’s a book that I’ve written that boys will like, but I’m fairly certain a passel of girls will enjoy the tale as well.

Who is your favorite character?

This is difficult. Side characters are my thing. Not that I don’t like the main characters, but I usually like side characters best. In this one, I like Betin—Dumphey’s right-hand man—as well as Patey—a mischievous and sly lad.

What is your favorite scene?

One of my favorite scenes is from chapter twenty-four. It’s one scene that actually endured all the edits. 😉

His foot slipped and he groped for a hold above him. His fist slammed against rock as his other foot caught solid ground. He had to force himself to go slower. He slid his left foot forward, then his right. The yells behind grew louder. Another javelin glanced off the rock wall where Dumphey had just been. Another step, then another. His body pressed against the cold rock. His palms grew clammy. He moved forward. The ledge beneath him narrowed, giving way to black nothing below. He counted his steps. One, two, three, four, five…

A clash sounded in front of him as a javelin slammed against rock. Then another, closer. And another, this time behind him. Dumphey squeezed his eyes shut. Words flashed through his mind—something about enemies on the right hand and the left. The words failed him, but he used it as a prayer. He couldn’t see where the missiles were coming from. Father, misguide their aim. He couldn’t duck. He couldn’t hide. He couldn’t move.

When the javelins stopped coming, Dumphey opened his eyes. Everything was still dark around him. The faintest glimmer of light sparked—this time, well below him. He eased his way forward. Light flamed toward him and his heart tripped. A flying firebrand. He watched as it landed on the rock beneath him then fizzled into blackness. He took a dozen steps, one after another, but the damage was done. They knew where he was.

The javelins flew thicker, hitting below him, above him, and every few feet beside him. He kept going, praying with every step. His heart had stopped beating. His lungs weren’t working. He was going to die. The thought pierced him just seconds before pain ripped through his leg and jerked him off the ledge, dragging him into the yawning openness of the abyss.

About the Author

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continues to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda

Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com

Website: http://amandatero.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amandaruthtero/

Blog: http://www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero

Do you want to be involved in Amanda’s next release? 

Wedding Score is open for reviewers, bloggers, and influencers. Sign up here.

GIVEAWAY

It wouldn’t be a release party without a giveaway! One U.S. Winner will receive the complete paperback Tales of Faith series, and one International Winner will receive the complete eBook series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour

Shout-out to all the wonderful bloggers who are participating in the release of “Protecting the Poor.” (Note: I have not been to each of these blogs and thus cannot vouch for all of them. Please use Biblical wisdom and discretion when checking out blogs.)

Monday – August 26, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Protecting the Poor Release Post

Life of Heritage Corner – Interview, Review, Giveaway

Great Books for God’s Girls – Interview, Review

Peculiar Miss Darcy – Interview

Honey Rock Hills – Review

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

Tuesday – August 27, 2019

We’ve Got Pockets – Review

Maidens for Modesty – Giveaway, Guest Post

A Brighter Destiny – Spotlight

Wednesday – August 28, 2019

Soldier Girl Stories – Interview

Purposeful Learning – Spotlight, Guest Post

Thursday – August 29, 2019

Rachel Rossano’s Works – Spotlight, Guest Post

In My Bookcase – Review, Giveaway

Friday – August 30, 2019

Losing the Busyness – Spotlight, Review, Giveaway

Resting Life – Guest Post

Saturday – August 31, 2019

Blossoms and Blessings – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

Verbosity Reviews – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Review

Reading on the Edge – Spotlight

Monday – September 2, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Giveaway Winner Announced

Monday – August 26, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Protecting the Poor Release Post

Life of Heritage Corner – Interview, Review, Giveaway

Great Books for God’s Girls – Interview, Review

Peculiar Miss Darcy – Interview

Honey Rock Hills – Review

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

Tuesday – August 27, 2019

We’ve Got Pockets – Review

Maidens for Modesty – Giveaway, Guest Post

A Brighter Destiny – Spotlight

Wednesday – August 28, 2019

Soldier Girl Stories – Interview

Purposeful Learning – Spotlight, Guest Post

Thursday – August 29, 2019

Rachel Rossano’s Works – Spotlight, Guest Post

In My Bookcase – Review, Giveaway

Friday – August 30, 2019

Losing the Busyness – Spotlight, Review, Giveaway

Resting Life – Guest Post

Saturday – August 31, 2019

Blossoms and Blessings – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Review

Reading on the Edge – Spotlight

Verbosity Reviews – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Monday – September 2, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Giveaway Winner Announced

The Bible Makes Us Baptists, by Mary E. Bamford

image from Amazon.com

“This book is a treasury of literary testimony to the truth that God has called His choice servants to a life of suffering and sacrifice. The modern-day Christianity we so loosely profess and so lightly possess blushes in the presence of the martyrs and maidens found in The Bible Makes Us Baptists. The Ana-Baptists depicted in this story reveal the greatness of their faith and the confidence in the Word of God we can all aspire to and desire.” ~from the back of the book

Title: The Bible Makes Us Baptists (formerly In Editha’s Days)

Author: Mary E. Bamford

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: There was “romance”, as the MC gets married, etc, but I think it was appropriate.

Recommended age range: Definitely at least 10+, with parents’ discretion advised (more in review).

My Review:

This was an excellent book! It managed to cover many important events in Baptist history from one woman’s perspective (the book is fictional, but many of the things in the book happened to real people). It was sad, yet encouraging, to learn all that the Anabaptists went through for Christ. It is important to know your heritage, and this book would be a great one to read if you are interested in learning more about Baptist history!

My favorite part was learning about a fifteen-year-old young man who, when asked questions about his faith, was able to clearly explain his beliefs and why he believed them from the Bible (he later was martyred because he would not deny his faith). It was encouraging (and challenging!) that even young people should be able to articulate and explain the Bible to others.

The one thing that I did not like about the book was the amount of detail in describing Anabaptists’ deaths. I realize that there were horrible atrocities done to them, and I think it is important to know about it, but I don’t think it was really necessary to include the details. That is the only reason why I would hesitate before handing it to a child younger than 10– but I am not a parent, and parents know their children best.

I highly recommend this book! If you are younger than ten years old, I would recommend that you ask your parents for their permission before reading it, but otherwise I think it would be helpful for any Baptist to read The Bible Makes Us Baptists.

Where Do I Find My Books?

Recently I heard from one of my blog readers and friends, and she asked me where I find the books that I review. I thought that was a good question, and answered her… and then decided that possibly other blog readers are wondering the same thing! So if you have ever wondered where I find books, read on!

I have looked over the books that I have reviewed over the past year and have categorized them by where I got them/found out about them. (“Past year” is from the publishing of this post; the stats I gave my friend are slightly different since I’m publishing this about a month or so later than I answered her.) In this post, I would like to share those stats with you!

The majority of the books I review I find out about or get from other bloggers (Indie authors) or from other book review programs. This includes books I betaread, books I am given in exchange for an honest review, and books that I have seen positive reviews of on blogs/other sites that I trust and have decided to buy/ask my library to buy. 😛 Of the books that I have reviewed in the past year, twelve of them are in this category.

Coming in second place are books that I get from “other sources”. This includes books I borrow from friends/find out about from friends (other than online) or am given. I was actually surprised that this number is so high! Eight of the books I have reviewed in the last year are in this category.

The third source that I get books from is from my dad’s library! I’ve come to enjoy the challenge of reading more “grown up” books on theology, history, and the like, although sometimes they are very large books (I’ve been working on The Writings of John Leland for several months 😀 ). I’ve learned quite a bit from books that I borrowed from my dad, and I would recommend that you ask your dad for books to read if he has a library! Four of the books I reviewed in the last year are from my dad (I haven’t reviewed all of the books he’s let me borrow).

Coming in last place, the library is another place where I get books. I used to read and review a lot more books from the public library, but I have not found many good books there lately. However, some of the books in the first (Indie authors) and second (“other sources”) categories are also at my library, because I suggested they buy them. 😀 (And I’m being kind of generous in this category; two of the books I reviewed from the library I found out about from friends but were already at the library.) So this is not entirely scientific. 😉 Three of the books I’ve reviewed in the last year were from the library.

Well, now you know where I get my books from: online sources (Indie authors/book review programs), other sources (mostly friends), my dad, and the library!

Also, fun fact: according to this list, I’ve reviewed twenty-eight books in the past year! Since my schedule is to post every other week (and there are fifty-two weeks in a year), it went very well! (I’ve also reviewed a movie and written a couple other posts which were not reviews, so there were probably a couple blog tours where I posted extra.)

Where do you get most of your books? Where do you find out about most of your books? Let me know in the comments!

Red Rover, Red Rover; Plan to Fail; and Bad Things, Small Packages review

Titles: Red Rover, Red RoverPlan to Fail; and Bad Things, Small Packages

Author: Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

Genre(s): Christian Espionage Fiction, if that’s a thing?? 😀 (Christianity isn’t a huge part of the book, but it’s still there)

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ (three stars)

Romance Content: Well, technically “practically non-existent” but… more on that in the review

Recommended age range: I’m not sure! But I would recommend giving those who read these books a warning if you don’t agree with [things that I mention in my review].

My Review:

FTC Disclosure: I did receive the first book in the series as a reward for signing up for the author’s newsletter. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise. All thoughts are my own.

NOTE: Please be prepared for lots of parentheses; apparently I have an obsession with them 😀

I decided to review all of these in one post since I read them in a row and it could be difficult to remember what happened in each one (also known as I’m being a little lazy 😦 ) These were adorable stories!! I ❤ the banter, and I also ❤ the spy aspect! (I’ve always been interested in spies/mysteries/etc.) Of course, I’m pretty sure the whole scenario (especially in the first book) is totally unrealistic… but you never know, things like that could happen… 😉 I know that the author is a Christian, but it bothered me slightly that faith wasn’t a bigger part of the books; I think non-Christians could quite possibly read them and not be offended (which may or may not be an issue; I’m still trying to decide 😉 ).

While with the banter, etc (which could be taken as flirting, in my opinion…) it kinda made me feel like there could be a romantic aspect to it (you know me, the anti-romance girl 😛 ), it didn’t turn into anything. However, I don’t agree with unmarried young people being alone with each other or touching each other, which does happen in these books. For that reason, I’m not sure if I’ll read the rest of the books in this series. I don’t want to make myself used to such things, and I can’t support it. 😦 Also, there is a mention of a kid with a crush in book 1, which I don’t think was really necessary.

One other suggestion: it’s not a good idea to only have the first book (or the first two, or the first three… you get the point!) in the series; you’ll want to read the rest right away most likely. 😉 (At the end of each book there’s an epilogue which leads into the next book, and I liked that it wasn’t the same exact first chapter as the epilogue in the previous book, if that makes any sense??)

So, to sum up, these are “clean” spy stories which I did greatly enjoy. However, on thinking about it afterwards, I cannot fully endorse them because the two main characters (one male and one female) were alone together + touched each other (although there was no mention of immorality and he probably only touched her because he was trying to protect her, I still can’t agree with it). That is a personal decision I have made and I understand that most people will not agree with me. For the reasons above described, I’m giving the first three books in this series 3 stars, which is lower than just about every other book I’ve reviewed on here, sadly. 😦

Also, on a lighter note, I accidentally figured out how to add the Amazon cover/buy/share/preview thing up there, and I think it’s pretty cool!! 🙂

Oh, and totally un-related, you may have noticed that I disabled the “Like” button on my blog. This is because of people (who may or may not be real) who, with the “Like” button, are capable of putting a link to their website/profile on my blog with a single click. I did not want people to be able to do that and potentially draw an unsuspecting person into an evil website, so I disabled the “Like” button. Oh, and I’m also hoping that this will encourage people to comment their thoughts about the books I review, rather than simply clicking the “Like” button and calling it good (although I’ve been guilty of the same thing). Just thought it might be helpful to share my reasons for doing this for anyone who was wondering (if anyone even noticed)! So anyway, enough rambling, and thank you for making it through the entire post!! 🙂

A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Fans, by David W. Cloud

A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Fans 

 “This book is a plea for Southern Gospel music fans to wake up and tear down the bridges that are being built from conservative Southern Gospel-loving homes and churches to the world itself and to the one-world church represented by contemporary Southern Gospel and CCM.

“It is a plea to wake up to incremental steps that are bringing God’s people ever closer to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

“I know by long and sad experience that many Southern Gospel fans do not listen to biblical warnings and reproofs. They treat biblical reprovers as carnal critics and refuse to give serious attention to the warnings.

“I am publishing this warning for those who are true disciples of Jesus Christ and who therefore “continue in” His Word (John 8:31-32). They love Christ and His Word above the closest friendships and relationships (Luke 14:26), certainly above music! True disciples of Christ esteem all of God’s precepts concerning all things to be right, and they hate EVERY false way (Psalm 119:128). They “prove ALL things” by God’s infallible Word. They have a testing mindset.

“Here is a challenge.. Do you have a testing mindset? Will you put Southern Gospel Music to the test?” ~www.wayoflife.org

Title: A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Fans

Author: David W. Cloud

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Recommended age range: Since it talks about some of the sins that some Southern Gospel singers/songwriters/pianists are involved in, etc., parents, please use discretion. I think it would be appropriate for 13+, but that is just my opinion and you know your children best.

My Review:

This was an excellent book! It deals with a challenging topic. While I am not really a fan of Southern Gospel music, I know some people who are, and I was curious what Mr. Cloud would have to say on this subject. I am grateful for the amount of research he put into this book and for his warning to conservative Baptists on the topic. He addressed a number of issues with Southern Gospel music, but the thing that stood out to me most was that it is really very similar to CCM (contemporary Christian music). The use of the backbeat and other beats, the “performance” style, the testimonies of the performers, the ecumenisicm: this all reminded me of what I read about CCM, when I read part of Baptist Music Wars (also by Mr. Cloud). (This may not be true of all Southern Gospel quartets, etc; I am really not very familiar with that genre of music.)

Even though I am not a Southern Gospel music fan, this book was still helpful to me. I think the main thing that I learned from this book was that I really need to be careful what I am promoting. (In this book Mr. Cloud was specifically talking about music, but I think that principle can be applied to many things.) Even if a book that I review is good, if the author is associated with apostasy or promotes bad things, all that is between the readers of my review being exposed to that is a click or a Google search away. So it really challenged me to be more careful. (Please let me know if something you read on this website may direct people to bad things!) I may not agree with all of the authors whose books I review on everything, but I will try to make that clear in each review.

I would recommend this book to every Southern Gospel music listener or singer as well as to those who have friends who enjoy Southern Gospel music: this music can be used as a bridge to the broader evangelical realm of apostasy. The good news: you can download this ebook for free by clicking here!

(I was not required by anyone to read this book, to leave a positive review, or to link to Mr. Cloud’s website. I did this of my own volition and receive no compensation for this review.)

Approved By God, by Wright/Townsend

   “A highly-regarded, articulate, and brilliant Presbyterian pastor from Virginia debated for a week in 1847 to the Virginia legislature to stop a bill incorporating churches in the state. The Baptist pastors in that day were solidly behind him. He was their champion for freedom and won the day. One-hundred fifty-six years later, a well-known Baptist pastor from Virginia challenged this law in court, and the law was struck down as unconstitutional. The state offered no opposition. The ACLU joined the church as a friend. Why? This book answers. And, these answers are backed by solid Scriptural insight, historical evidence, and sound reasoning. This book will satisfy the questions of anyone who is willing to honestly weigh the evidence with a humble heart.” ~the back cover

Title: Approved by God: A Case for Modern Disestablishment

Author(s): John Wright, James Wright, and Ben Townsend

Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Recommended age range: 13+, because of complicated things that I didn’t understand all of 😀

My Review:

This was an excellent book! It is most certainly well-researched, well-written, and compelling to anyone who wants the truth. It was very interesting, and I appreciate especially the P.A.Q. (Previously Asked Questions) section in the back of the book, as it helps with some difficulties that people think of. For anyone that is interested in restoring Christ to His rightful place as sole Sovereign of His Church, I recommend this book! I think it would be good for every pastor (and everyone else!) to read it.

Note: A paperback copy of this book on Amazon is (as of 04/07/2019) $1,306.95, so if you’re looking to buy a copy of it, please read the review on Amazon. 😉

Searcher for God, by Joyce Reason

   “The story of Isobel Kuhn, Missionary to the Lisu people of China.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Searcher for God: The Story of Isobel Kuhn

Author: Joyce Reason

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: It talks about people getting married, and how Mrs. Kuhn and her husband met, etc, but there is nothing inappropriate in it.

Recommended age range: 12+, perhaps?

My Review:

This was a short read; I read it in about an hour. It was very interesting to read about Mrs. Kuhn’s life! She certainly went through many adventures! I may have heard of her, but I didn’t know anything about her before reading this book (has anyone else heard of her?). It was most certainly interesting, and if you’re looking for a quick, good read, check this book out! The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because it isn’t one of my absolute favorite books, but it was still good. 😉 *Note: I have no clue what Isobel Kuhn’s theology was like or anything, so I can’t say I agree with her on that. However, this was a good book. 😉

Buyers’ Tip: My copy of this book was published in 1963, so I was expecting it to be a pricey book, but I found, using BookFinder.com, that you can buy a copy for $5.71 including shipping! (as of 02/09/2019) 

 

Protecting the Poor Cover Reveal!!

Today author Amanda Tero is releasing the cover for her newest book, Protecting the Poor! And I get to help let everyone know! 🙂 I have read and reviewed the previous two books in the series (although I just realized that I haven’t reviewed Befriending the Beast on this blog, you can read my review of The Secret Slipper here), and I was happy to help out with getting everyone excited up this upcoming book!!

About the Book: Sheriff Feroci is now lord over the province, and Abtshire has become a pit of injustice. Being forced into the lord’s service does not give Dumphey as many opportunities to help the poor as he desires. When attempts on his life drive him into the forest, this freedom opens a world of possibilities for helping others. But how can he do so when he is running for his life? And does God want him to do more than simply feed the poor?Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still followGod in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him todo something that is beyond his power to do?As Lord Feroci’s sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.

Are you ready to see the new cover?!?!?!

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Still waiting? Great! I hope you’re ready!

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Presenting… the cover for Protecting the Poor, by Amanda Tero! *cues applause* *throws balloons and confetti everywhere*

Isn’t it cool?!?!?!? I’m looking forward to when the book is published. 🙂

And, as a reward for reading this post, you may now read the prologue!! Enjoy!

Prologue of “Protecting the Poor”

Lord Feroci slammed the desk with his fists. “I didn’t send you on a fool’s errand, Barat.” He clenched his teeth as he glared at the missive opened before him. “Aye, sir. I cannot help that others are the fools.” Feroci released his anger in a growl. Barat stood patiently, his arms crossed. “We’re losing time, Barat.” Barat didn’t respond. “You’re not doing enough.” He raised his head to glare at his man. Barat stared him down. Nothing could phase this man. Which was exactly why Feroci had him in his employ. But ’twas irksome at times. Feroci blew out his pent-up air and fell back into his chair. “What do you suggest?” Barat was the only man in Abtshire from whom he would even consider suggestions. The man had proven his loyalty on the battlefield, taking more than one scar for Feroci. Feroci had returned the favor as many times. They were in this together. Barat finally stepped forward, but he didn’t sit in the seat across Feroci. Instead, he took the missive from Feroci’s desk and held it at two corners. “I say, we do this…” He pulled at the paper and it ripped—something weak giving way to a greater force that commanded it. That sight alone gave Feroci strength and he nodded in satisfaction. “Aye. Something made from pulp cannot stand against an iron fist. They will give way.” “Call another meeting.” Barat layered the two pieces of paper and held them over one of the candles that shed light in the dim room. A small strand of smoke wove upward before the paper burst into flame. Extra light illuminated the room then dimmed as the paper turned into gray ash. “We know their weaknesses as well as their strengths. Use their weaknesses against them. Convince them that there is no other choice.” Feroci leaned forward and grabbed the quill he had dropped when Barat had entered. He ran his fingers across its smoothness before taking a clean paper. “Well put.” He dipped the quill in ink. “Matheny … ’tis a vast city, but given the right promise, the townspeople will rebel and overthrow Lord Nedry.” He wrote a few lines, shaping the concept that Barat had supplied. “Haar is closer to the king, so that could pose problems.” “Then wait on Haar. We’ve three cities between our province and them.” Feroci didn’t look up from his writing. “Lord Alexandre is on my side. If he works with me, mayhap we can claim the help of Belmis, Metz, and Kiralyn.” He paused at the last name. The anger that had dissipated boiled under the surface once more. “You can’t obtain Kiralyn—” “Curse you, man!” Feroci threw his quill at Barat. The man didn’t flinch. “We’ll have to overthrow Lord Kiralyn and sever any ‘blood ties’ to the king. I will obtain the throne.” He stood and his chair crashed backward. Obtaining Lord Trent’s domain from the king had been an easy task. The unfortunate lord had conveniently died in battle with no other witness besides Barat. The king had promoted Feroci from sheriff to lordship, giving him reign over Abtshire, Fordyce, and Keller. Controlling the latter two was nothing—they were mere hamlets compared to the likes of Matheny. Feroci had the talent and ability for so much more. He had to gain control before Yzebel gave birth to their child—his heir. It must be his heir. He had no use for a lass. But a son—a son he could shape and mold, without the meddling of others, to follow in his footsteps … aye, that son would establish their family as royalty forever. The land was now under the leadership of a man who had gone mad since his daughter’s return. Why had he named Princess Belle as heiress of the kingdom? She had left her father and had been raised by Lord and Lady Kiralyn. This, Feroci would know—he was one of the only lords the king didn’t refuse to see after the death of his wife. In the king’s dark hours of grief, he had made substantial promises to Feroci for his help. Promises that had blown away much like the ash of the letter Barat had burned. Feroci had written. Barat had spoken. Nothing would sway the king’s mind. He was going against all tradition of the land and naming a woman as leadership, should he pass before she married. “I can’t marry the lass myself, and I haven’t a son to do so. I will make the king pay,” Feroci hissed. He walked to the window and pulled back the drapes that blocked the fading daylight. A lad stood below, staring up at him. Recognition slammed Feroci when his eyes locked onto the lad. He was more of a threat to Feroci than he would ever know. “Barat.” The man joined him. “How much did he hear?” The lad’s gaze shifted to something in the distance. He turned and walked toward the barracks—the place he should have already been at this time of day. Barat’s dark eyes followed the lad’s movement. “You can finally make your move against him.” Finally. Feroci liked the sound of that word. He had waited too long, but he would wait no longer. “Take care of him.” The silence between them sealed the promise. “But don’t make it a matter of convenience.” Feroci let the drapes fall. “I don’t want to raise suspicion.”

Wasn’t that great!?!? I’m excited for this book to come out!! Are you? 🙂 If you would like to pre-order Protecting the Poor, please click here!

Hymns in the Hills: RELEASE TOUR!!

Today I get to share with you an excellent book!!! Hymns in the Hills, by Rebekah A. Morris, is a book that I helped beta-read and loved. So when she was looking for people to participate in the release tour, I was only too happy to help! 🙂

In this post: book review, author interview, giveaway, and tour schedule (as well as other information about the author and book)!! I hope you enjoy reading this post and are encouraged to read Hymns in the Hills!

First off, the review…

    “’Could you not teach them what you do know?’

   “Separated from her parents and sent to live with unknown relatives for the summer, Belle Standish clings hard to the promises found in her dear Bible and her beloved hymns. As she grows to love her newly discovered family, she finds much work to be done for her Lord in this neglected field.

   “But when danger threatens those she loves, Belle’s faith and courage are tested in ways she never imagined. Will God’s promises hold true even in the midst of the storm? And what can she possibly accomplish with just her one little light?” ~book synopsis

Title: Hymns in the Hills

Author: Rebekah A. Morris

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: There are about one or two kisses between a man and his wife, but that’s about it.

Recommended age range: 10+

My Review:

FTC Disclosure: I was given an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and I received no monetary compensation for my review.

This was an excellent book!!!! I greatly enjoyed it. It was encouraging to read about a ten-year-old having such a heart for the Lord; if I was in that situation I’m not sure if I would have the same attitude as Belle did! The other characters were sweet; I like spunky Ali, calm and steady Ez, cute little Mattie, Uncle Nathan, and the others. Miss Morris did a great job developing the characters and the story, and did I mention the hymns yet? No? Well, I loved the fact that the titles of the chapters were hymn titles, and Belle’s cheery singing, no matter the circumstance, was so sweet! I would enjoy learning the hymns she sang; some of them I was not familiar with.

This was such a sweet story! I most certainly recommend it! As I said above (in the recommended age range category), I think this book would be good for ages 10 and up, only for the reason that some sections are a little scary. If parents read it first, I think just about all ages would enjoy it. 🙂

The author: Rebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great WarThe Unexpected RequestGift from the Storm and her best-selling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn’t writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45837454 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQNGFPN 

Blog: http://readanotherpage.com/blog/

And now I present to you… an interview with the author!

Me: What inspired you to write this novel?

Rebekah: I just had a thought one day wondering what a young Christian girl’s influence would be like if she went to live with relatives she didn’t know and who didn’t know Jesus. Would she keep singing the hymns she loved? If so, what would happen? So I started writing. I thought I’d just write a short story, but it didn’t end up very short. 🙂


Me: How long did it take you to write it?

Rebekah: I started this book in February of 2016, and finished it in March of this year, so about 3 years. I wasn’t working on it the entire time though. During those years I wrote and published several other novels and shorter stories, so this kept getting set aside. But I always enjoyed it when I could pick it back up and write another thousand or so words.


Me: Who do you think would enjoy this?

Rebekah: I hope the entire family will. 🙂 It wasn’t written with a specific age range in mind, so I expect it will be enjoyed by young and older. And yes, even grandparents.


Me: Who is your favorite character?

Rebekah: Oh, dear. I’m really not sure. Of course I love Belle since she is the main character. But Rome, Ali, Ez, and Zeke come in for close seconds. And the Williamsons. Each character pulled at my heart at different times for different reasons. Even a certain person who I didn’t enjoy writing about came in for a little sympathy.


Me: What is your favorite scene?

Rebekah: Uh, favorite scene? Oh, dear. This is hard. I really liked the beginning where Belle meets Zeke and Ez for the first time. And the first night Belle stays with her grandfather. But the ending was a favorite too. But then so was . . . Well, I’ll just leave it with those three.

Rebekah: Thanks so much for letting me visit your blog and talk about my book!

Me: You’re welcome! Thanks for coming!

Next up, the giveaway!! The prize is a Kindle copy of Hymns in the Hills. Now, in order to get an extra entry, every day people can gather 3 words for the sentence (or collect them all at the end if they’d rather). Once they have all the words, it will make a quote from the book that they enter in the giveaway. So, if they don’t visit everyone, they won’t get all the words so that entry won’t be valid even if they try. Make sense? Kinda? 😉 The word that I am sharing today is THINK. Write that down somewhere or just come back at the end of the tour for an extra entry! 🙂 Click here to go to the giveaway!

Posting Schedule: (note: I cannot recommend all of these blogs, as I have not visited them all. Please use Biblical discretion when following links to external sites.)

Monday, May 27th

Rebekah – Introduction post

Leona – Review and Author interview

Amanda – Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 28

Kaitlyn S. – Review and Author Interview

Rebekah Ashley – Book Spotlight

Rebekah – Names

Wednesday, May 29

Erika – Review

Sarah – Book Spotlight

Rebekah – Hymn Books

Thursday, May 30

Kaylee – Review

Rachel – Review 

Rebekah – Editing

Friday, May 31

Esther – Author Interview

Jessica – Book Spotlight

Rebekah – Setting

Saturday, June 1

Kassie – Review and Author Interview

Rosalyn – Book Spotlight/Review

Penny – Review

Rebekah – Final Post + Book Covers

Congratulations for making it to the end of this post!!! I hope you are able to read this book- I really enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

The Coming Destruction of the Baptist People, by James R. Beller

   “The Baptists in America are in mortal danger. Our churches face extinction and our principles extermination. Our enemies deem our principles dangerous. The antichrist himself will not tolerate our theology and practice.

   “This book is about the antichrist, and the New World Order. It is about the foundations of American government and the direction of our country. It is about Baptist principles and the foundation of liberty.

   “The dismantling of the Baptist churches has been an ongoing thing, which we will prove in this book. And there are questions that demand answers.”~from www.baptist-books.com

Title: The Coming Destruction of the Baptist People (or Sacred Betrayal)

Author: James R. Beller

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: N/A

Recommended age range: 13+

My Review:

This was a very interesting book! The title made me think it would be gloomy, but Mr. Beller supported the title very well, as he gives good reasons for “the coming destruction of the Baptist people”. I appreciated learning more about Baptist history through this book. (Side note: if you are interested in Baptist history, I would also recommend America in Crimson Red, by the same author.) I think it would be good for every person who holds to Baptist doctrine to read this book; it emphasizes the need for us to know our roots- definitely a very important principle.

There were a couple things that I did not like about this book: (1) I did find multiple typos, and (2) it is a little outdated (my edition was from 2005, and there were a couple things that it would have been good to have an updated version for).  But really, I can’t think of any reason why I would not recommend this book!

Touch Not the Unclean Thing, by David H. Sorenson

     “Touch Not the Unclean Thing is a strong defence of the traditional Received Text of the New Testament and by extension, the King James Version of the Bible. The author provides extensive historical and factual documentation for his assertions, with more than 450 citations and a bibliography of 150 historical sources.

    “Dr. Sorenson connects the biblical principle of separation from apostasy to the Bible text issue. Historically documenting the fact that almost all editors of the modern Critical Text have direct associations with theological liberalism or apostasy.” ~from Northstar Ministries

Title: Touch Not the Unclean Thing: The Text Issue and Separation

Author: David H. Sorenson

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: It does talk about King James loving his wife… nothing inappropriate.

Recommended age range: 13+, maybe??? Details below.

My Review:

This was an excellent read! It was informative, extremely thorough, and interesting. I can tell that Mr. Sorenson did a lot of research. I think it would be helpful for all Christians to read this book: whether you are already using the King James Bible or you are using another version, I think you should read it. I learned a lot from it! It is important to know what you believe on a topic and why you believe it, and this book would help you in that area. 😉 I highly recommend this book!

Note: In part of this book, Mr. Sorenson refutes the claim that King James was a homosexual. Therefore, there is some information about that subject in it, although I don’t think it was inappropriate or descriptive. Parents, please be aware of that fact and decide whether not to give it to your children accordingly.

Prisoner of the Pyrenees, by C. R. Hedgcock

Image result for Prisoner of the pyrenees by c.r. hedgcock

   “The Bakers are minding their own business when Briosa Del Quera bursts into their lives. She is an orphaned Catalan girl who is still reeling from her grandfather’s death. His last words instructed her to find people called ‘Baker’ and get in contact with a secret agent they know—but Jigson has gone missing in suspicious circumstances and not even his agency is able to contact him. 

   “Detective Mortimer says that Mr. Jigson was last seen in the Pyrenees mountains, and the Bakers are determined to find him and help Briosa get to the bottom of the plot against her grandfather. But as their journey through northern Spain becomes a breathless race to avoid villains and meet allies, they begin to wonder if Briosa has really told them everything. . . . 

   “From a desperate car-chase to a stealthy escape from a Spanish fortress, the Bakers are tested to the limits of their courage and their trust in the Lord. Can they find Jigson and stop a global conspiracy, or will they all become prisoners of the Pyrenees?” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Prisoner of the Pyrenees

Author: C. R. Hedgcock

Genre(s): Christian, Adventure, Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: There is a mention of someone “going out” with a girl, but the person in question quickly chokes and says that he doesn’t date. (Yet another reason to love this series! 😀 )

Recommended age range: Maybe 12+, although I know people 10+ who have read it.

My Review:

Wow.* Miss Hedgcock delivers yet again with a thrilling mystery that really kept me “on the edge of my seat” throughout! It was one of those books where even the reader doesn’t really know who to trust, or why not to trust people. And I love that! It’s disappointing when I can figure out the mystery before the characters in the book do, so that’s another reason why I love the Baker Family Adventures. And the ending was sooo sad! But I shall not say more, lest spoilers sneak out. 😉 The one thing that I don’t appreciate about this series is that the NKJV is used, and I prefer the KJB only. However, I still greatly enjoy this series. Prisoner of the Pyrenees is a must-read to anyone who loves a good, clean, Christian adventure/mystery book.

*Yes, I know that a lot of my reviews start with ‘Wow’. But sometimes I can’t think of anything else to say, because it’s just. so. good!

Joyful Surrender, by Elisabeth Elliot

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   “In our age of instant gratification and if-it-feels-good-do-it attitudes, self-discipline is hardly a popular notion. Yet it may be one of the most important lost virtues of our time. In Joyful Surrender, former missionary and beloved author Elisabeth Elliot offers her understanding of discipline and its value for people of all times. She shows readers how to:

 

  • discipline the mind, body, possessions, time, and feelings
  • overcome anxiety
  • change poor habits and attitudes
  • trust God in times of trial and hardship
  • let Christ have control in all areas of life

 

   “Elliot masterfully and gently takes readers through Scripture, personal stories, and incisive observations of the world around her to help them discover the understanding that our fulfillment as human beings depends on our answer to God’s call to obedience.” ~from ChristianBook.com

Title: Joyful Surrender: 7 Disciplines for the Believer’s Life

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

Genre(s): Christian Living/Spiritual Growth (Nonfiction)

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ (three stars)

Recommended age range: 15+ (because some things are mentioned which would not be appropriate for young readers.)

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received this book from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to leave a positive review.

When I saw that Joyful Surrender was up for review, I decided to request it. Mrs. Elliot is certainly a well known author, although I only remember reading a couple of her books (one of which was Made for the Journey). I was looking forward to reading this book. However, I was quite disappointed. I did learn some things, but I would not put this book on my favorites list.

One of the major downfalls to me was the many translations of the Bible used. I believe there were only five verses from the King James Bible (which I use) throughout the whole book. Another issue to me was the fact that oftentimes there was no reference or version next to verses; therefore, I could not look them up in my own Bible easily. (I later noticed that in the back there is are references for the verses in the book, but I did not want to take the time to flip to the back of the book for every verse.)

On page 29 this quote appears: “Why, even faith no bigger than a mustard seed could uproot a mulberry tree, Jesus told them.” However, Matthew 17:20 says, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” I must admit that the quote from this book made me quite upset- it’s not a mulberry tree; it’s a mountain!

On page 51 Mrs. Elliot quotes Pope John Paul, and she quotes and writes about other people as well throughout the book who I do not agree with doctrinally (including C. S. Lewis, St. Francis of Assisi, at least one “Father” and at least one “Bishop”).

On page 95, someone named “Qoheleth” is quoted as the author of the book of Ecclesiastes. However, I believe that Solomon wrote that book of the Bible. Qoheleth may be another name for Solomon, but I am not aware of that.

Now, I did learn some from this book. (For example, this quote was helpful to me: “Three chapters per day and five on Sundays will take you through the whole Bible in a year.” I had not heard that before, and I may use that “strategy” at some point.) The chapters on “The Discipline of Time” and “The Discipline of Possessions” were also helpful to me. However, to me the downfalls were greater than the good things about Joyful Surrender. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be reading this book again.

Dressing for the Lord, by David Cloud

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   “To our knowledge, this is the most extensive study on the Christian’s dress in print. There was a time, just a few years ago, when a message like the one contained in this book was heard from fundamentalist and independent Baptist pulpits across the world, but that is no longer the case. All too often, any kind of preaching about clothing has become an oddity, an embarrassment, or a type of “legalism.” The resistance of the rock & roll culture to such preaching is so pervasive that many pastors have decided to ignore the matter of dress, thus the battle is lost simply because the ground is abandoned. Yet if ever there ever were a time when preachers need to warn their people about clothing issues, it is today.

   “Modern society is drenched with indecency. A Vogue fashion show would make ancient Corinth blush. To lay a solid Bible foundation for modesty, we give a careful exegesis of about 25 key Bible passages from Genesis to 1 John, and from these Scriptures we develop Bible principles that can be applied to any nation or culture. The chapter titles include “The Origin of Clothing, “Clothing Is a Language,” “The Captains of the Fashion Industry,” “Isn’t This Basically the Man’s Problem?” “Bible Guidelines for Clothing,” “A Study on Biblical Modesty,” “Worldliness and the Christian’s Dress,” “Pants and the Christian Woman,” “Pushing the Edge on Dress Standards,” Questions Answered on the Issue of Christian Dress,” “Testimonies from Christian Women on the Issue of Modest Dress,” “Survey of Men on the Subject of Women’s Dress,” and “Sources for Ready-made Modest Clothing.”” ~from wayoflife.org Note: Although the description says that there is a chapter entitled ‘Sources for Ready-made Modest Clothing’, the edition that I read (printed in May 2017) does not have that chapter.

Title: Dressing for the Lord

Author: David Cloud

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: Does not apply

Recommended age range: 13+ at least; I recommend that mothers should read it before daughters, since they know their daughters best.

My Review:

This was a very revealing, biblical, and excellent book. I most certainly learned much from it. I honestly think that every Christian woman and young lady should read it.  Mr. Cloud explains principles very well, and he helped solidify some of my convictions. Also, there was one thing that was truly eye-opening to me: that slits in skirts can tempt men. The way they explained it made sense, I had just never thought of it before. We don’t think like men, and it was very helpful to read testimonies from them. I also liked the notes from other women and young ladies with their testimonies of their modesty journey. I would definitely recommend this book!

 

Now, for a non-book-related note:

The next comment posted will be #500 on this blog!! So, go ahead and comment, and you may be able to get that distinguishment. 😉 Thanks so much to all of you who take the time to read these reviews! (And just a note: just because you don’t see any comments on this post yet doesn’t mean that you’ll post #500; I have to approve them before they appear to the public. 😉 But please don’t let that discourage you! 😀 )

The Centurion’s Wife, by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

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cover photo from google.com; originally from amazon.com

“A sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity- and the very personal story of Leah, compelled into a betrothal she never wanted, drawn by a faith she never expected….

“When her family’s wealth and power are lost forever, Leah is sent to Pontius Pilate in hopes that he might arrange a strategic marriage. But despite her betrothed’s striking countenance and position, Leah deems life a s a centurion’s wife a fate worse than death.

“Head of the garrison near Galilee, Alban has ambitions that could one day see him at the seat of power- in Rome itself. Eager to prove himself, he takes on the assignment of a lifetime, one that will put his career, his beliefs, and his very life at risk.

“But when the death- and missing body- of an obscure rabbi compel Leah and Alban to search for answers, what they discover changes everything.” ~from the back cover

Title: The Centurion’s Wife

Author(s): Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ < (four and one half stars)

Romance Content: Well… a couple is betrothed, and they grow to love each other, but I think it was very appropriate. More on that in the review. 😉

Recommended age range: Perhaps 13+?

My Review:

This book was interesting… compelling… touching… revealing… and inspiring. The plot reminded me of what I’ve heard of Mr. Lee Strobel’s The Case For Christ, although I’ve never read his book and I don’t know if I agree with his theology or anything since I haven’t read it. 😉 I love how Leah didn’t want to learn about “the prophet” (Jesus) but she was compelled to by her mistress. Also, I have a feeling that this is one of those books that if I read it again everything will become a lot clearer. I’m a fast reader, and when a book is very interesting and fast moving, I tend to miss things. 😛 So some things didn’t really make a lot of sense at the beginning, but they make sense now and I actually can’t remember what didn’t make sense. 🙂

Anyway, I know that this is probably considered a romance novel, and I don’t usually read romance novels, but a friend recommended it to me and assured me that the romance wasn’t bad. So my mom read it first and let me try it. I’m very glad I did! If you are anti-romance like I am (which would honestly be very strange, since I don’t think I know anyone like that 😀 ), don’t let that hold you back from reading it! It all was very appropriate and sweet, and I liked it. (Yes, I know, shocker, right?) But seriously, I really think the romance was God-honoring.

I recommend this book!

One note: There are several- or perhaps even multiple- scenes with people in the Roman and Jewish bath houses. That did cause me to be slightly uncomfortable, but I think it was handled in a good way.

Finding Change, by Sarah Maxwell

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photo from Google/originally from titus2.com

Title: Finding Change

Author: Sarah Maxwell

Genre(s): Christian Children’s Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None.

Recommended age range: 8+

My Review:

I think this is the best book by Miss Sarah Maxwell yet! The characters and plot were well developed, the writing was excellent, and I agree with the reviewer on the back of the book who said it could have been named “Zero Gravity” because it was hard to put down. 🙂 I’m looking forward to future installments to the series! I definitely recommend this book.

America in Crimson Red, by James Beller

        “‘Ignorance of our heritage is not bliss. It’s spiritual self-destruction.’

       “Here is the soul stirring, non-stop account of the American baptized believers. In these pages are the long forgotten testimony retold with vivid fervor. This is the story of scorn, ridicule, and hatred conquered by sacrifice and devotion. It is the story of one group of Americans who through patience and suffering gave us the America we all now enjoy.

       “Discover:
  • The origins of old time religion.
  • The American dissident who shed his blood in Boston for liberty 100 years before the Boston Massacre.
  • The obscure New England native who became the most influential preacher in American history.
  • The revival that led to the Bill of Rights.
  • Harrowing experiences of early pioneer preachers.
  • The true origin of the frontier camp meeting—a unique American phenomenon. 
  • The religious cleansing campaign that took place in the foothills of the Appalachians in 1771.
  • Once and for all—was George Washington immersed as a believer at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War?
  • The significance of Washington’s battle sword.”

       ~from the back of the book; copied from the Sword of the Lord website

 

Title: America in Crimson Red: The Baptist History of America

Author: James R. Beller

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction, History

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: I’m pretty sure it did talk about people getting married, but it most certainly wasn’t inappropriate.

Recommended age range: 13+, because younger kids would probably be bored.

My Review:

This was an excellent book on Baptists in America! It was interesting, and I learned about men and women of God which I had never heard of before. I also learned more about more well-known individuals, such as Isaac Backus, Isaac McCoy, George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and more! (Yes, each of those men were in the book!) I was also thrilled when I found a quote that was in an amazing book I read recently- which I hope I can share with you; unfortunately, it’s not published yet. 😦

The main thing that bothered me about America in Crimson Red were the numerous typos. Sometimes there were too many commas, and sometimes not enough… so that annoyed me, as I am somewhat of a “comma queen”. 😀 However, I think it is worth it to look over that fact, since it held a lot of excellent information.

I think that every Baptist, young and old, should read this book! It will reinforce your faith and inspire you to fight for the distinctives- the truth!- that Baptists have held to for the ages. Highly recommended!

Polycarp

Polycarp (DVD)

cover photo from walmart.com

 “During the second century, Anna, a young slave girl, is rescued by Christians in Smyrna and befriended by the bishop. As she struggles to reconcile her beliefs, she and other Christians stand up for their faith when Caesar demands worship from all.” ~from Google

Title: Polycarp

Producer: Henline Productions

Year Made: 2015

My Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None that I remember.

Recommended age range: There are some parts that would probably scary to young children. However, I know kids ages 3+ who have watched it, and weren’t dramatically affected.

My Review:

This was an excellent movie! I found out about it from a review in an issue of Radiant Hearts Magazine*, and I’m glad that I decided to watch it! It sparked some fun conversations with my family- for example, this one:

“What does ‘Polycarp’ mean?”

“Many fish?” 😀

And this one (while playing a game called Catch Phrase):

“Polly want a [blank]!”

“Carp?” 😛

Aside from that, Polycarp was helpful spiritually, as it challenges viewers if they would be willing to stand for Christ. There were other challenging things in it as well, although I can’t think of them at the moment. {Sorry!} I found this movie to be inspiring. It was very challenging and encouraging, and I most certainly recommend it!

*I realized that the Polycarp review has not been published yet (as of 01/31/2019) but that it will be published tomorrow. (Since I’m the editor, I had already read the review and watched the movie… it’s kind of a long story.) Sorry about that! Just wanted to clarify. 😉

 

The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare

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Title: The Bronze Bow

Author: Elizabeth George Speare

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: There is definitely some attraction between the main character and a girl, and also between two other characters. There are no kisses, hugs, etc, although at one point they touch hands and get embarrassed. There is no talk like “I love you” and the like; you just get the feeling that they will get married.

Recommended age range: 13+

My Review:

This book was amazing. The description was beautiful, the main character’s journey was heart-rending, and… it just was incredible. It was definitely one of the best books I have read in a long time. I enjoy reading books about the time period when Jesus was alive; The Bronze Bow reminded me of Ben-Hur. As I alluded to above, Daniel’s (the main character’s) spiritual journey is amazing. The author wrote in such a was so that I felt what he did, although I didn’t necessarily agree with everything he did. I was rooting for him to make the right choices and turn from his sin. From a writer’s standpoint, there is much to be learned from the writing of the book. As I said before, the description was wonderful. The developing of the characters was also very good. I think the only thing that I did not really like in this book was the romance (detailed in the “Romance Content” section). It most certainly was not bad at all compared to many other books, and it was sweet, but I’m picky; what can I say? 😉 I think it would be appropriate for anyone to read. (I’m just stubbornly sticking to my “no romance policy”. 😀 )

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys amazing historical/Biblical fiction.

Made for the Journey, by Elisabeth Elliot

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   “In this deeply personal account of her first year as a missionary, Elisabeth Elliot shares the challenges she faced as she worked in the jungles of Ecuador to bring the Word of God to a people virtually untouched by the outside world. With fascinating detail, she captures the stark realities of life in the jungle, the difficulties she encountered while developing a written language for the tribe, and her confusion when God didn’t “cooperate” with her efforts to accomplish what she believed was His will.

“More than just a memoir, Made for the Journey is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to an unfathomable God.” ~from the back cover

Title: Made for the Journey (originally These Strange Ashes)

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

Genre(s): Christian Nonfiction/Memoir

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: The author *SLIGHT SPOILER!* (highlight to view)gets engaged in this book, and two of her friends also get engaged. It talks about her loving her fiance, *SPOILER END!* but there are no kisses or inappropriate content.

Recommended age range: Probably 12+. There are some gruesome things mentioned, including (highlight to view): a man being shot and dying and someone cracking open his head to get the bullet out, and a couple child births. However, it was not described in great detail.

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

I enjoyed reading this book! I am not sure if I have read any of Mrs. Elliot’s other books before, but I had definitely heard about her (and especially her husband), so when I saw the chance to read and review this book, I snapped it up. 😉 Made for the Journey was a very interesting book. It was especially interesting for me to read about Mrs. Elliot’s life before marriage. She certainly went through some trials, and I appreciate it that she was willing to share her thoughts and weaknesses through the trials.

Overall, I felt like most of the book was rather dreary, although there were some happier parts. However, I think this will be a book that I will keep on my bookshelf. 🙂

Note: Just to make something clear: While reading this book, I realized that I don’t agree with all of the Elliots’ theology. Neither do I agree with Mrs. Kay Warren (who wrote the foreward and is the wife of Mr. Rick Warren) on all spiritual matters either. So please don’t think that I do. 😉

 

The Happy Mail Challenge!

I apologize that I do not have a book review for you today, but the sad truth is that I have not read any excellent books recently- besides the Bible! Instead, I thought I would share with you a challenge that I created recently!

A little more than a week ago (at the writing of this post), I was pleasantly surprised to receive a beautifully decorated envelope in the mail! Upon opening it, I found two gorgeous hand lettered bookmarks and a sweet note from one of my out-of-state friends. I write letters to several friends, but this one I just email, so I don’t often receive something in the mail from her. Getting that thoughtful little note + gifts just made my day!

Then I thought of an idea: what if I did the same thing for some of my other friends? I collected the favorite Bible verses of some my friends that don’t live nearby and hand lettered them onto bookmarks. I wrote little notes to go with the bookmarks, letting my friends know that I am praying for them, and challenging them to…

So, here are the rules for the happy mail challenge:

  1. Make a little gift for one (or more!) of your friends. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just a little cheery note would be fine! 
  2. Write out a Bible verse or two and include it in the envelope! Encouraging your friends in the Lord is wonderful! (I love it when my friends talk about spiritual things with me!)
  3. Challenge your friend to make some happy mail and send it to another friend!

Hopefully, this will encourage lots of girls to reach out to friends that they don’t always write to, and will build friendships that will last a lifetime, built on the Word of God!

After doing the challenge, I would love it if you would comment and let me know that you did! Thank you!

Dead Drop, by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

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   “Summertime is all fun and games …and spycraft.

“When Jaimie and her brother discover a hollow place in a half-dead tree, she and her friends decide it’s the perfect dead drop for their amateur spy-ring. As time goes on, the messages Jaimie receives become harder to decipher. Is one of her friends a real spy? Or is something even stranger going on?

“This is a short story (approx. 26 minutes average reading time.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Dead Drop

Author: Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

Genre(s): Espionage/Short Story

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: A little brother briefly mentions that his older sister is “boy-crazy” (he’s 11 and the sister is probably 13 or 14), but that’s about it.

Recommended age range: 8+ (There is a bit of suspense that may cause younger readers to be worried, but it is over very quickly. Parents, I would recommend that you read it before you allow your young child to, since you know your child best.)

My Review:

This was an adorable little story that suddenly became much more serious and interesting. 😉 It reminded me of something my brothers, neighbor kids, and I would have done a couple years ago. I mean, who doesn’t love spies, codes, and mysteries (even if they are just pretend at the beginning)? And I also love the cover! I think it fits the story perfectly. I would recommend this short story to anyone who is looking for a quick, cute, and exciting read.

Just a note: At the beginning an 11 year old brother mentions that his older sister is “boy-crazy” and causes a bit of an embarrassing situation. That almost made me stop reading it, since I don’t think such things are necessary in books (especially kids’ books), but that is the extent of the romance.

Speak Truth in Your Heart, by Sarah Mally

   “Many girls try to change their wrong actions, but never learn to discern the wrong thinking behind the actions. In this new book, Sarah Mally challenges girls to identify lies which are root issues behind struggles they face. Including thought-provoking cartoons, stories, biblical teaching, and practical steps of action, this book teaches girls to replace lies with the truth and align their thinking with God’s Word. When a young lady learns to speak truth TO herself, she is planting her feet upon an unshakable foundation that will resist even the most powerful attacks of the enemy. She will see how God’s Word will transform each area of her life as the truth sets her free!” ~from www.christianbook.com

Title: Speak Truth In Your Heart

Author: Sarah Mally

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: It talks about saving your heart for your future husband and includes other people’s stories of how God brought them together, but there is no negative romance content (e.g. glorifying sin, etc).

Recommended age range: 13+, because of some topics which are discussed (nothing in detail, but it does talk a little about physical purity).

My Review:

This book was amazing. Miss Mally does not water down the truth in it at all; her statements are backed up with truth from God’s Word. The first part didn’t really affect me- I learned from it but it didn’t impact me much- but the second half was amazing. It was convicting and helpful. I really appreciate Miss Mally’s encouragement to be strong for the Lord and to always obey Him.

The one main downside to this book that I was disappointed in was the fact that the King James Bible is only used for one verse (that I remember). NKJV is used for most of the book, and other versions are also used. This was disappointing to me because in all the rest of the Mallys’ books (I’m pretty sure, at least) the King James Bible is used exclusively. It took away from my reading of the book because I skipped over the verses that were not KJB, which was the majority.

Otherwise, I would highly recommend this book! It was an excellent and worthwhile read.

Buyers’ tip: I bought my copy from Christian Book; they seemed to have the best price when I bought it. (Also, when looking for the best deals for other books, check out BookFinder. They search most retail websites; I’m not sure about small businesses.)

 

 

Mother, by Kathleen Norris

I mentioned this book in this post over a year ago. I recently re-read it, and liked it more than last time. (I’m not sure what I meant by “high expectations that weren’t met” in the previous post… 😛 ) Now I’m finally giving you a full review!

Image result for mother by kathleen norris

From Amazon.com

   “This is a difficult age to be a woman.  At times it seems as if the entire culture conspires to belittle motherhood and the home. The woman who aspires to raise children for the glory of God, to develop the ministry of the home, or to co-labor with her husband is deemed “old-fashioned” or “unfulfilled.” The modern lure of independence and career has bewitched an entire generation to exchange the beauty of Christian womanhood for the temporary enticements of a society at war with the family. Amidst this confusion, Kathleen Norris’s Mother is a refreshing call to sanity. 

   “Mother is the fictional tale of a young lady who leaves home and repudiates family life in the hope of finding personal fulfillment through independence and a career. Though she has benefitted greatly from the love of her own mother, she decides that raising children and keeping home is a wasted life in comparison to the opportunities of the business world. But God dramatically changes her heart. She discovers that wealth and position are illusory and that independence can enslave a young lady. She discovers that the greatest woman she has ever known is her mother. Now she longs for home and for motherhood.

“Mother is an antidote to the cynicism our generation has directed at Christian womanhood. Vision Forum is pleased to offer this restored and revised version of the 1911 Kathleen Norris classic in the hope that girls will once again embrace the beauty of motherhood.” ~from the dustjacket

Title: Mother

Author: Kathleen Norris

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: Basically, the main character “falls in love” with someone partway through the book. At the end of the book, they get engaged. However, they do not kiss, and that is not the main focus of the book. (The only things that I did not like about their relationship were 1) the MC didn’t want him to meet her family; she was embarrassed by them {but that gets resolved by the end of the book} and 2) they were alone a couple times, including when he proposed.) I did appreciate that he asked for her father’s blessing before proposing.

Recommended age range: Perhaps 12+?

My Review:

As I said above, the first time I read this book, I wasn’t very impressed. I liked the message, but I was annoyed by the main character’s attitude towards motherhood. I recently re-read Mother, and this time I liked it better; perhaps because I knew that SLIGHT SPOILER!! Margaret was going to get her attitude straightened out by the end. ;P SPOILER END!!

I really like the message in this book; I’m sure that it is needed by many young ladies these days. However, I’m not sure if it would impact girls in the 21st century, mainly because it is set further back in history. I enjoyed it, but I already knew that motherhood is a wonderful calling and I’m used to reading older books. It may be helpful to girls who have grown up in godly homes but had their perspective changed by worldly influences, as seemed to be the case with the editor and author of the foreward, Mrs. Jennie Chancey. Perhaps it would be helpful for a more up-to-date version to be written?? I really hate to suggest that, since I did enjoy Mother, but the truth is that most secular young ladies probably wouldn’t appreciate the book. 😦

Anyway, I would recommend this book. It was very well written and interesting. I would recommend that you try to find an older copy, however; I read a version published by Vision Forum (which company I may not always agree with), and in the foreword it is mentioned that there have been more recent editors who took out the heart of it. 😉

Note: While looking for the synopsis for this book, I found that you can buy a hardcover copy of this book on Amazon for $0.46 (+$4.89 shipping, but you know 😉 )! Check out the deals by clicking here*Price as of 9/19/18 (when this post was drafted)

 

 

Hunting in the Highlands, by C.R. Hedgcock

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   “After the perils of Iceland, the Bakers  plan to enjoy a relaxing vacation with their relatives, the Drakes, in Scotland. Andy goes deer stalking with Uncle Clive, Abby goes horse-back riding and sightseeing with Phil and their cousin Millie, and Tom travels with his parents to the Isle of Bute.

   “Three incidents throw the trip into a spiral of confusion, and, scattered across Scotland, the Bakers have clues that don’t seem to belong to the same puzzle. A government weapon has fallen into the hands of a top-secret  academy, and the only way to stop the spread of dangerous lies is to find the weapon and discover the significance of the name ‘Haelix.’” ~from Grace and Truth Books

Title: Hunting in the Highlands

Author: C.R. Hedgcock

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None.

Recommended age range: I know an ten-year-old who is reading it to an eight-year-old, and they are both enjoying it, but some of the content might be a little confusing to younger children… I admit that I didn’t fully understand everything the main characters were talking about… but more about that in the review. 😉 I’d say 12+ would be a good age to read it.

My Review:

Wow. I’m pretty sure that this is my favorite book in the Baker Family Adventure series, and I’ve read them all (but I’ve only reviewed The Treacherous Trail and Peril on Providence Island on this blog). It was so complex; I’m sure I could never write a book as intricate as the Baker Family Adventures- kudos to Miss Hedgcock! One thing I like about this series is that you don’t always know what is going on. I’m a mystery lover, and I’ve read a lot of mystery books. A lot of times, it’s pretty easy to figure out who did it, or whatever, but in this series, you don’t figure it out until the author reveals it. ❤ I love it!

For part of the book, some of the main characters (SLIGHT SPOILER!! Mr. Jigson, Tom, Alistair {one of my personal favorites <3}, Dr. Roth, and Detective Mortimer SPOILER END!!) are trying to crack a code, and they end up talking about DNA and stuff. That totally went over my head, but it was still very interesting! Don’t let it turn you off. 😉

The only reason why I cannot fully recommend this book is because the King James Bible is not used. Other than that, it was great!

Anyway! This was a totally amazing book. I think it is my favorite Baker Family Adventure. You definitely need to read it!! 🙂 Enjoy! ❤

If you have read the book, and you want to read my fangirly notes, feel free to read on. But if you haven’t, I would recommend not reading any farther; huge spoilers ahead! My favorite parts:

  • When the Bakers, the policemen, Briosa, Wylie, and the Freylads are all in jail together (well, Briosa and Wylie aren’t supposed to be in jail, but… 😛 )… VERY exciting. 😀
  • When Abby is escaping with the Freylads… it’s amazing how good they are with tracking!
  • Alistair. He’s so smart, but tricky, and I just really like him for some reason. {I hope he comes to the Lord in a coming book!!! Pllleeeaaassseee, Miss Hedgcock!!! <3}
  • The submarine- it’s so amazing how they stole it. Just… wow.
  • When Millie, Alistair, and Abby are trying to find the tape on the tower thing… it’s so cool they were all dressed perfectly for the reenactment!
  • Just how you can see how everything worked out for the good, and how the Bakers trusted God through it all. ❤

Why I Don’t Read Romance Novels

Why I don't read romance novels graphic

Some of you may be wondering why I don’t review romance novels on this blog. Or why I give lower ratings to books that have even a teensy bit of romance in them. Well, in this post, I’m here to answer that question.

My #1 reason: I don’t read romance novels because I don’t want to think about the things that they promote.

Romance novels tend to make the readers dwell on things that they shouldn’t. As an unmarried young lady, I want to keep my heart pure for my future husband, and ultimately for God. (Before You Meet Prince Charming is a great book to read on this subject!) That means that I don’t want to think about romance. Even a little bit of romance (a hug, crushes, characters constantly thinking about each other, starry-eyed smiles, you get the point) in a book could make me start thinking about what boys I “like”, or planning my wedding… and by the way, I’m still a teenager, and so I’m not going to get married for a long time- what is the point of thinking about stuff like that?? It simply distracts me from the important things in life- like my relationship with God and my family.

Even if I was married, I don’t think I’d want to read romance novels. They could cause me to become discontent if my husband isn’t as handsome as the male lead in the book, or possibly cause other problems, which I’m not aware of since I’m not married and don’t read romance novels. 😉

My #2 reason for not reading romance novels: My mom doesn’t want me to.

I am immensely grateful that my mom had the wisdom to forbid me to read romance novels. When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate it so much. What’s wrong with a little romance in a mystery novel? Now I’m realizing that she was, and is, right. As detailed above, I don’t think that reading romance would encourage my walk with the Lord.

I have been able to find only a couple of books in which there is romance which I believe is appropriate and godly. London in the Dark is one of those books; the main storyline is a mystery, and the main character gets married at the end. Before the last chapter, we have no hint that Olivia (the MC) is even interested in her future husband (unless there were hints and I totally missed them, which is possible). I also enjoyed the Courtship series by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry. Jeff McLean: His Courtship was very helpful in that it outlines some requirements for a wife from the Bible; it was good for evaluating my life. The Courtship of Sarah McLean, by the same authors, was also very good.

Note: Just because I do not read books with romance in them does not mean that I look down on those who do. I have some very good friends who do read romance novels. I wanted to share my reasons for not reading books like that so that others would be challenged to evaluate their reasons for doing so, not so that they would be offended or start an argument. 😉

Well, those are my reasons why I don’t read romance novels. What do you think? Do you read romance novels? If so, why do you? Do you know of any other good books with godly romance in them? Let me know in the comments!

Sign-off for GBfGG

Radiant Modesty, by Rebekah Joy

Radiant Modesty E-book: Embracing God's Design for the Clothing We Wear

  “Do you want to know what the Bible has to say about the clothing we wear? Do you want to know why modesty matters? And most of all… are you wondering how in the world YOU can dress in modest clothing too?

   “Our culture no longer knows what it means to dress modestly, and sadly, many Christian girls don’t know either!

   “In this PDF E-Book we will talk about some of the basic (and not so basic) aspects of modesty. We will look at the Bible to see why modesty matters, what it looks like, and so much more!

   “This E-Book also includes tips and tricks for dressing modestly all throughout the year, recommended books for further reading and more. You will even read about the sticky topic of legalism and how to avoid it!

   “Here are the topics covered in this book:

  • Chapter One: Why Does Modesty Matter?
  • Chapter Two: What Does Modesty Look Like?
  • Chapter Three: How Immodesty Affects Men
  • Chapter Four: Five Common Causes of Immodesty
  • Chapter Five: The Times and Places for Modesty
  • Chapter Six: Modesty Through the Seasons
  • Chapter Seven: What About Legalism?
  • Chapter Eight: What About Makeup?
  • Chapter Nine: Putting it All Together

      “Bonus Material

  • Why I Don’t Wear Pants
  • What I Wear for Various Activities
  • Where to Shop for Modest Clothing
  • Recommended Reading
  • Is My Outfit Modest? {Checklist}
  • Help! My Outfit Isn’t Modest. How Can I Fix It?

   “All of these chapters and resources will help you on your journey to clothing yourself in modest apparel.

   “All Scripture is taken from the King James Version.” ~from MoreRadiance.com

Title: Radiant Modesty

Author: Rebekah Joy

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None.

Recommended age range: 12+

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I won this ebook in a giveaway. I was not required to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This is an amazing book! It covered some great topics, including why it is important to be modest, what kinds of clothing are modest, and how to fix outfits that are not modest. It was very helpful to me, and I also think it would be helpful to those who have never been taught about modesty. I agreed with most of the things that Mrs. Rebekah wrote about.

There was one thing that I disagreed with, which is this statement: “We all want to be noticed and loved by someone special. However, we must realize that there is only ONE person that can bestow the proper love and attention that we desire and that is our husband (or future husband).” (page 26) The only One Who can give us true fulfillment is the Lord. Yes, I understand her point, and that is to not seek attention from men, but I believe that even your husband/future husband will eventually fail you in one way or another- he is not perfect. Otherwise, I think I agreed with everything she said. 🙂 I would highly recommend this book!

Note: As of 08/19/2018, I believe that the only place you can buy this ebook is http://www.MoreRadiance.com/product/radiant-modesty-e-book/. 

Martha’s Fun Summer, by Bekah O’Brien

from Amazon


   “Martha Knight lives with her Daddy, Mommy and her six brothers and sisters in Helena, Montana in the 1930’s. Join Martha for a fun-filled summer along with the hard work of a farming family. What adventures will Martha have this summer? What will she do to survive the wild buggy ride? Will she get to keep the kitten she finds?” ~from Amazon.com

Title: Martha’s Fun Summer

Author: Bekah O’Brien

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: Girls talk about getting married, etc, and children + teens dance together at a party

Recommended age range: 8+, with parental guidance (because of the dancing)

My Review:

Yes, the synopsis does sound a little dis-interesting, but, as a teenager, I did enjoy this book! I really liked how Martha always apologized when she was impatient or unkind to her siblings; that was a great example. She was also focused on serving the Lord, which I liked.

I found several typos (although there were fewer than in some other indie books), but there were also a lot of phrases that were not right (like using ‘also’ and ‘as well’ in the same sentence). Honestly, that bothered me; I’m somewhat of a grammar freak, although I don’t necessarily understand all of the rules of grammar. 😉 I realize that this book was started when the author was eleven years old, so that makes sense; however, I still didn’t care for them. 😉

I did find some things that I don’t think were correct to the era… Martha and her siblings were homeschooled, for example, and I don’t think that really existed in the 1930’s (correct me if I’m wrong!). Also, the Knights had PB & J sandwiches often, and I’m not sure if peanut butter existed then.

Oh, and I didn’t care for the dancing part. Most people probably wouldn’t have a problem with it, but I don’t think people should dance. 😉

It sounds like I really didn’t like this book, but I did enjoy it; I was able to look past most of those things, keeping in mind that the author was eleven when she started writing it (and I do understand that she probably edited it after that). I would recommend this book, but please keep in mind the things which I noted (specifically the dancing thing). 😉

Lettering with Purpose, by Brittany Luiz

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from Google.com

Lettering with Purpose covers basic hand-lettering, calligraphy, and brush-lettering techniques, while encouraging artists to develop their own personal lettering styles and create artwork with purpose. With an abundance of inspirational exercises and step-by-step projects, professional lettering artist Brittany Luiz demonstrates how to create hand-lettered artwork that is at once uplifting, joyful, and empowering!” ~from the back cover

Title: Lettering with Purpose

Author: Brittany Luiz

Genre(s): Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None… one of the projects was of the phrase “Love never fails”, but that’s not exactly romance… 🙂

Recommended age range: 12+, or experienced hand-lettering artists

My Review:

This book was extremely helpful to me and was fun to read. I loved looking at all of the gorgeous pictures of hand-lettering!! If you need inspiration, this book will give it to you. 😉

The author includes info on how to write different fonts, along with sheets on which to practice + trace the fonts. I, unfortunately, was not able to take advantage of those pages, since I read a library copy, but it looks very helpful. Mrs. Luiz also recommends some of her favorite tools for hand-lettering, which was good information to have (except now I have one more thing to spend money on… 😛 ).

I also really like the instructions for turning hand-lettering into vectors; I had read another book on how to do that, but this book helped me understand it better. (Now I “need to” buy Adobe Photoshop + Illustrator… but I don’t want to spend the money, so I’m in a dilemma! 😉 )

There are hand-lettering prompts (think writing prompts, but for hand-lettering) — 100 of them! — in the back of this book, which look interesting. I did not read all of the prompts, so there may be things I don’t agree with in them; I just don’t know. 😉

From the title, I was hoping that there would be some kind of Christian emphasis, but that is not the case. However, I still really liked it and I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about hand-lettering.

Thanks for putting up with this review, non-crafty types who follow this blog! I’m hoping that this will help those who enjoy doing crafts and hand-lettering. 😉

Kiera, by Kate Willis

Kiera

“Kiera is looking forward to her eighteenth birthday. The official end of school, a party with her best friend, and chocolate cake. A sudden military draft, no possible exemptions, had never crossed her mind.

“Kiera is terrified! Getting drafted would mean leaving her family, her little friend Jade—life as she knows it.

“A surprising offer from Brennan Stewart just might be the answer to her prayers, but an even worse trial leaves her with one question…

“If God truly loves her, why did this tragedy happen?” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Kiera

Author: Kate Willis

Genre(s): Christian Dystopian

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: The romance was more than I prefer, but it probably wouldn’t be bad to people who read a lot of romance. In fact, they would probably love it! Read review for more details. 😉

Recommended age range: 13+ (some touchy subjects are talked about: brief mentions of abortion, embryo storage and adoption, “Off-screen” death, and brief mentions of a hard childhood, including physical abuse) This didn’t bother me a lot; it’s part of life, but still. 😉

My Review:

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
{first read: beta-read}
Wow. Just… wow. This book was a m a z i n g. It was sweet, sad, and just all-around loveable.
I do have mixed feelings on a couple things, but I will discuss those things in a future full review. 😉
{second read: arc}
I loved this book. It was amazing. Just amazing.
In three words, Kiera was adorable, heartbreaking, and relatable. It had so many meaningful messages in it, which I totally appreciated. It will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. I loved it. (did I already say that?)
Honestly, I didn’t pick up on the things that I had mixed feelings on from my first read. The only thing that I didn’t prefer was the romance. It was not bad at all, and most people wouldn’t have a problem with it, but I prefer not to fill my mind with romance, including hugs/kisses/etc. I did appreciate that this was very low-key and it was all between a married couple (long story, but read this if you want more info: SPOILER!!! Kiera marries Brennan out of necessity, so she won’t get drafted. Basically, at the beginning, she doesn’t love him (at least not in a lovey-dovey way), but at the end, she does. That’s where the romance comes in. 😉 SPOILER END!!!).
Some random fan-girly comments:
~Jade = adorable!!! *heart-eyes* That little girl is so cute. ❤ Plus, she made me appreciate my sisters more… they’re pretty cute, too. 😉
~We need to see more of Destiny. She needs a happy ending, as do the rest of her family (especially Kent… *cries*).
~I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT IAN WAS THE IAN FROM Crossroads!!!! ❤ ❤ 😀
~It was special seeing my name in the acknowledgements… that’s the first time that’s happened! (Yes, I am obsessive about commas, Kate xD)
And Kate’s bio at the end was hilarious… not sure if she’s going to leave it that way in the final book, but it was still funny. 😀

SLIGHT SPOILER!! Sparrows are now special to me, and I want to know if Kiera’s song is real. ❤ (Note: I found out that it is, but I’m not going to listen to it, because Kate said it’s kind of “rocky”. 😦 Oh, well!) SPOILER END!!

Loved it. It’s a must read. ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂

 

ALSO! Saturday was the third anniversary of this blog! I would like to thank each you for following this blog. ❤

Crossroads, by Paul Willis

Lethal persecution. Haunting decisions. Death just a whisper away.

“Jack grew up concealing his faith, but now the persecution of Christians has turned lethal. After inadvertently putting his family in danger, Jack becomes aware of a covert agency dedicated to protecting Christians. The agency takes his mother and sister to safety and offers him a position as an emergency medic within their ranks.

“Caring for the injured allows Jack to help their cause without violating his pacifistic beliefs, but he stands at odds with tough resistance fighter Britain. Grueling firefights, severe losses, and desperate choices test their beliefs as each of them seeks to save lives no matter the cost. But what is that cost?” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Crossroads

Author: Paul Willis

Genre(s): Christian Dystopian

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None, really…

Recommended age range: 12+, because of violence (not very descriptive, but still)

My Review:

Wow. This book was so incredible. It kept my attention extremely well… which maybe wasn’t a good thing, since I was reading when I probably could have been doing something useful :/ There was adventure around every corner. I loved how Britain and Jack both went through personal struggles that were very relatable. I think that deciding whether to be a pacifist or not is a huge struggle for Christians; we actually had a discussion on that in Sunday School a couple months ago. (It was very interesting because a lot of people had different views 😀 ) Anyway, I’m getting off subject. 😉 There were a couple things I didn’t like: “Thank God” was used about two times, once by a non-Christian. It seems like that could be used as a swear word, which I didn’t appreciate. I also found quite a few typos, which unfortunately seems to be common among Indie authors.
Besides those things, I loved this book! I would recommend it for ages 12+ because of violence and people believing in false gods and speaking badly of the true God. (Which reminds me: SPOILER!!! Laurion almost seemed like the antichrist, because he was so evil, but I don’t think he is. SPOILER END!!!
In short, I loved this book, especially since it really made me think.

 

 

Praying God’s Promises, by Linda Evans Shepherd

Popping in to leave a review of a book which I was required to read and review on this blog. 😉

Title: Praying God’s Promises

Author: Linda Evans Shepherd

Genre(s): Prayer

Rating: [not rated]

Romance Content: None, from what I read.

Recommended age range: None, unfortunately. 😦

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

DNF (Did Not Finish)

I must admit that I went into this book with an uneasy feeling about it, mainly because I noticed that there are fourteen translations of the Bible used in it. I am a KJB-only Baptist, and while I tolerate other versions in books occasionally, I do not see the need to use fourteen different translations. I would ordinarily put the book down as soon as I saw that; however, I had received this book in exchange for an honest review, so I determined to give it a try, with my King James Bible in hand to look up references with.
While the translation thing was one of my main problems with this book, I found other things I did not agree with as well. I don’t feel comfortable reading (or recommending) this book, because I don’t agree with the theology in it.
For one thing, a quote from Mary Ruth Swope (from her book The Power of Blessing Your Children) is in this book. It says. “By becoming members of the family of God, we receive full rights to the blessing of our father, Abraham. And like Abraham, we can pass on God’s blessing to our children and grandchildren, just as our forefathers did.” I do not believe that we become children of Abraham when we accept Christ; I do not see where that is written in the Bible. (I do understand that this quote was not written by Mrs. Shepherd, but she seems to agree with Ms. Swope, since she referenced it.)
Some verses in the Bible seems to be taken out of context/misinterpreted in Praying God’s Promises. It is true that God has made many promises to New Testament Christians in His Word, but the author “claimed promises” that were not made to her (such as the promise that God made in Exodus 9:16 to Moses).
I apologize if this review came off as harsh or unkind, but those are my honest thoughts from the 40+ pages I read of Praying God’s Promises. I am disappointed to say that I cannot recommend this book to any Christian.

**I received this book in exchange for an honest review (posted on my blog and another website, such as Amazon) from Revell Reads. I was not required to give a positive review.**

 

Music Reviews…

Hello, everyone! After my last music-related post went over so well, I thought it would be fun to list some of my favorite musicians and/or songs in a post. Here we go!

Note: I am very conservative in most, if not all, areas of life, and music is no exception. Therefore, because of my convictions, you will not find any CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) on this list. If you have questions on this, feel free to comment on this post or contact me through this page. Thank you!

The Rains Family

This family has put together some wonderful vocal and instrumental music, which you can listen to for free on their website. I have a CD by them, called Christ is All, but I couldn’t find it online, so I unfortunately can’t put a link to buy it.

Falls Baptist Church & Baptist College of Ministry

I have one CD put together by this church, which I greatly enjoyed: I Found a Friend (by Mary Faith Van Gelderen Williams and Daniel John Van Gelderen). I also was able to listen to their Summer Ensemble, which was a real blessing as well. I haven’t listened to any music by them, but from what I have seen and listened to, they are a great resource.

SMS (Sacred Music Services)

I have listened to several of SMS’s recordings, and they were very good. My family owns Amazing Love and Be Not Discouraged, and they were both amazing (their rendition of “Only a Boy Named David” on Be Not Discouraged usually is requested to be played again 😀 ). I can’t recommend all of SMS’s music, because I haven’t listened to it all, but I think that it is probably good.

With Voice of Triumph Raised

This is an orchestrated piece that I found quite randomly, but I love it! It’s very beautiful, and I greatly enjoy listening to it. 🙂 It is an arrangement of a hymn. You can download the recording or listen to it online by clicking here.

Well, there you have it- some of my favorite musical pieces to listen to! Do you know of other great godly music? Please, let me know in the comments!

In Christ,

Leona

The Star Under the City, by Maggie Joy

Yes, I finally got to read this book!!! I was so excited, and it turned out to be amazing, just as I had hoped. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 3.39.22 PM

  “When Ellen is suddenly orphaned and dropped alone into a strange city under tight Nazi control, she struggles to survive from day to day.

  “Her life takes an unexpected turn when she finds a mysterious, metal six-point star that is slightly different from the ‘Star of David’ all Jews are forced to wear.

  “Not only does the star feel like a sign of hope, but it sets her on a mission to find out what it really means. As she begins to wonder if she’ll ever find answers, she meets Lenz, and her life is flung into a whirlwind of danger and hardship, new friends and new enemies, and opportunities to learn trust and true sacrifice.

  “As she attempts to find her place in the conflict, she discovers she is a part of something so much bigger than she could ever imagine.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: The Star Under the City

Author: Maggie Joy

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: A young man and woman are involved in a courtship; no kisses, etc are shown, if I remember right. That’s not the main part of the story.

Recommended age range: Maybe 12+, because there are some suspenseful parts.

My Review:

Wow. This book was so sad, but I still loved it. The little glimpses of hope throughout were priceless. There were so many wonderful quotes. It did seem a little cliché when SPOILER!! Ellen saved the day SPOILER END!!, but I can overlook that. Sometimes I like cliché things. 😉 Now I want to read it again!
Note: KJV was not used; NKJV and NIV were.

 

 

Quest for Leviathan: Blog Tour

Are sea monsters a real thing? What about fire-breathing dragons? According to the Bible, there is a fire-breathing sea creature who really existed: the leviathan. Amanda Tero brings this dragon to life in her newest short story, “Quest for Leviathan.” Join Anath and his crew of ninety-nine rowers as they face the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and the power of Leviathan.

About the Story

Leviathan took the life of his father.

Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.

Purchase an e-copy on Amazon or order a paperback.
Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Title: Quest for Leviathan

Author: Amanda Tero

Genre(s): Biblical Fiction/Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever.

Recommended age range: 12+, as there is some violence (nothing descriptive)

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This was a great short story! It was exciting, encouraging, and helpful. The scripture in the back was wonderful, and I love that the story is based on something real. 😉
And can I just say that the cover is amazing? ❤
I would definitely recommend this short story! It is easy and fast to read, but makes you think, too. I plan on reading it again in the future
.

 

About the Author

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Interview with Amanda

What inspired you to write this short story?

I was reading through Job and reached the latter chapters when the thought crossed my mind, “A boy whose father was killed by Leviathan. He is angry at L, and he is angry at God—yet just like Job needed to realize the power of God, so does he.”

How long did it take you to write it?

Way too long! 😉 I’m used to novellas taking a few months, but a short story? I wrestled with words for hours in writing this short story. I got the idea in June 2017, started writing it down that fall, but put the bulk of the work in January 2018, when I finally finished the rough draft. Idea to publication was right at a year.

Who do you think would enjoy this?

I hope that it will grab the attention of early-teen boys, though anyone who loves adventure and daring ventures should like it as well.

Who is your favorite character?

Leviathan! I mean… an honest-to-goodness fire-breathing dragon?! I didn’t make this guy up; I followed the descriptions in Job 41. He definitely was the most fascinating “character” I’ve ever written.

What is your favorite scene (SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!!)?

Ooh, I definitely had a favorite scene, and that was when Anath actually faces Leviathan! I loved exploring Job 41 and then portraying Leviathan on the pages of my fictional story. Not to mention a sea-battle between man and monster! The confrontation between the two was definitely my favorite!

[SPOILER END]

Giveaway!
Amanda is giving away TWO print copies of “Quest for Leviathan” to one winner — one for you, and one for your friend!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for reading!
Blog Tour Schedule:

June 8 – With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)

Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)

The World of the Writer (Review)

Authoring Arrowheads (Review)

Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)

June 9 – Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)

June 11 – Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

Reveries Reviews (Review)

June 12 – Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)

My Purple Pen (Review)

Read Another Page (Review)

June 13 – Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)

Maidens for Modesty (Review)

Yahweh Sisters (Review)

June 14 – Honey Rock Hills (Review)

Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)

June 15 – The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)

Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)

June 16 – The Left-Handed Typist (Review)

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)

June 18 – Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)

Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)

June 19 – Done in Love (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 20 – Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)

Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 21 – A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)

Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)

June 22 – Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections (Review)

Views from the Window Friend (Review)

Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 23 – Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)

Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)

June 25 – With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)

Let My Life Be a Light: Bright Lights Songbook

Today I have a different kind of review: that of a songbook! I greatly enjoy the music in this book, and thought it would be fun to share it with you! Let’s get on to the review, shall we?

Image result for Let my life be a light: bright lights songbook

   “The Bright Lights songbook was designed as a companion to the CD Let My Life Be a Light, released in November of 2009. It contains the piano accompaniment, guitar chords, words, and melody line for each of the songs on the CD, with vocal harmony added to several of the songs. Five additional songs were included in the songbook that are not on the CD.

1. Who Will Shine God’s Light? 2. In Christ Alone 3. Be Thou My Vision 4. The Smile Song 5. Higher Ground 6. I Will Live For You 7. That I May Know Him 8. Before the Throne of God Above 9. Bright Lights 10. Mind of Christ 11. I Am Resolved 12. The Light of the World 13. I Am Your Shield 14. Sing Hallelujah 15. He is Faithful 16. Let My Life Be a Light 17. It is Well With My Soul 18. Trust and Obey 19. My Jesus, I Love Thee 20. Channels Only 21. Immanuel’s Land.” ~source

Title: Let My Life Be a Light: Bright Lights Songbook

Author: Various

Genre(s): Non-fiction, Songbook

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None. 😀

Recommended age range: Intermediate-Advanced pianists.

My Review:

This is one of my favorite hymn/song arrangement books. Although it’s not technically an arrangement book, because it’s meant to be played along with singers, the songs are beautifully set with lots of “improvising” (except you’re not improvising because you’re playing what’s written 😀 ). Whenever I’m looking for something to play, I often grab this book. There is only one song that I will not play: In Christ Alone. While this song may have good words, it’s often played by CCM artists (at least in my experience), whom I cannot support. Otherwise, I love all of the songs in this book, and I highly recommend it. 🙂

I just found out that they have come out with a CD to go with this and a beginner version of this book. I haven’t used/listened to either of those products, so I can’t endorse them. 😉

 

An Old Fashioned Girl, by L. M. Alcott

 

Image result for an old-fashioned girl by louisa may alcott

from Google

 

  “When Polly Milton visits Fanny Shaw and her wealthy family in the city for the first time, she’s overwhelmed by the modern and fashionable world around her. She doesn’t wear fancy clothes, go to popular shows, or even talk the way the girls in town do. Although her new friends consider her quaint and “countrified”, Polly clings to her simple clothes and plain manners, and in time wins the hearts of the entire Shaw family. But even a country girl can be tempted by the flirtations, excitement, and intrigues of the city. Can an old-fashioned girl remain true to her principles and still find work, happiness, and love in a thoroughly modern city?” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: An Old-Fashioned Girl

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre(s): Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: The second half of the book was all about romance. I don’t recall a lot of kisses, etc, but it was too much for me.

Recommended age range: First half- 8+, Second half- 15+ (or not at all if you don’t care for romance)

My Review:

This is going to be one of my absolute favorite books. That’s what I was thinking during the first part of this book. It was simply perfect! The lessons were wonderful, the characters were darling (okay, so some of them were mean sometimes, but I still love them), and it was pure delight to read. I loved it! I decided that I was going to let all of my friends borrow it, and add it to my read-again-and-again Goodreads shelf… you get the idea.

Well, after I read a little less than half way through, that all changed. I loved Polly and her friends until they grew up, and then, at the “Six Years Later” chapter, I was disappointed. (Okay, maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic, but… I’m disappointed! And I wish they hadn’t grown up! To give Ms. Alcott some grace, though, it wasn’t all horrible after that chapter… but I still didn’t like it as much) Why, you ask? Well, the romance. It was almost a love triangle (although I’m not that familiar with those, I’m pretty sure that’s what it was)! To most people, this probably wouldn’t be a problem- they’d probably love it!- but to me, it was way overboard. It just went on and on! Polly’s depressed, Fanny’s depressed, but then it all comes out well and everyone lives happily ever after because they found their true loves… 😛 Yeah, I was not impressed.
Oh, and another thing, Polly was very good (practically perfect) in the first half (actually, for basically the whole book), but it doesn’t talk much about Christ or if she was a Christian. I found that a bit odd.
Well, after that ranty review, I do have to say that this book certainly does have many redeeming factors. That’s why I gave it four stars. I would simply suggest reading only the first half or so. 😉

((sorry to all those who adore this book. ;)))

 

Zvi

Image result for zvi book

  “For more than half a century, ZVI has endured as the best-selling book produced by the ministry of The Friends of Israel. Millions of people have been touched, inspired, and encouraged by this story of a World War II waif in Warsaw, Poland. As a 10-year-old Jewish boy, Zvi was separated from his parents and forced to face the trials of survival in Adolph Hitler’s crazed world. How he triumphed against all odds and found his way to Israel and faith in the Messiah is one of the greatest stories of our time. Now ZVI and the sequel, ZVI and the Next Generation, are combined in a new book, ZVI: The Miraculous Story of Triumph Over the Holocaust. The whole story — together at last and updated with new information that will thrill your heart. This is a book you will find difficult to lay down.” ~from GoodreadsTitle: Zvi

Author: Elwood McQuaid

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: Not much; it does talk about when Mr. Zvi met his wife (and eventually when their son met his wife), and their relationships… I don’t remember kissing or anything, but it does talk about “falling in love”, etc.

Recommended age range: ages 12+ (because of some of the things talked about from the Holocaust; 12 may be a little old, but parents, use discretion)

My Review:

Wow. This book was amazing- and what’s even more amazing is that it is a true story! God’s Hand is clearly shown throughout Mr. Zvi’s (I can’t remember his last name) life. It also gives good ideas of how to witness to Jewish people. I would highly recommend this book.

Note: There are some “scary” scenes, mostly when Jewish people are telling Mr. Zvi about their experiences in the Holocaust, but it isn’t extremely graphic. Although obviously I don’t like what happened to them and I don’t love reading about it, I didn’t have nightmares about what happened, either. 😉

 

Note: May I mention that this is the 101st post published on this blog?!? And that there are 103 followers?!? Praise the Lord! If you’re interested in official stats, check out the below screenshot. 😉

Thank you all for supporting this blog, even when I wasn’t active! I can see how the Lord has worked in my life to make this possible.

Brief hiatus…

Hello, everyone! I wanted to let you know that I am not going to be posting a book review today. For some reason, I wasn’t able to read my drafts… My goal is to post next Monday instead, but if the problem doesn’t shape up soon, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. 😉

Thanks for reading! {oh, and p.s. you may have noticed the new design on this blog. What do you think? I really like it! 😉 }

Sign-off for GBfGG

The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers

Image result for The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers by Rebekah A. MorrisIn the midst of the cold, snowy woods, the Graham Quartet stumble across a mystery. It could mean danger, but that doesn’t stop Elsa, Matt, Tim and Selena as they try their best to help a stranger who needs them. But what can Siam, Hong Kong and Vanderbilt have to do with the local furniture factory? And why are so many strangers suddenly appearing and then disappearing in town? With the arrival of an elusive figure, things start moving, while a simple delivery trip may bring more than the Quartet bargained for. Will the four siblings be able to help their friend and their country?” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers

Author: Rebekah A. Morris

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None.

Recommended age range: 10+

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was very interesting, and held my attention.

There were a couple of things that I wondered about… for one thing, since it was such a thin book, I assumed that it would be about younger kids, aimed at a lower age range, but the “kids” in the story were ages 12-19. Also, since this was written by a homeschooled author, I assumed that the kids would be homeschooled as well. However, that was not the case. They went to school in town (it didn’t say whether it was public or Christian). There was nothing wrong with this book, those were just some things that threw me off. 😉

 

The Treacherous Trail, by C.R. Hedgcock

See the source image

  “The Bakers and the Wilburs have become such good friends that they decide to vacation together at a lovely wilderness lodge. While the ladies and girls enjoy the lodge’s luxurious facilities, the men and boys go camping in the surrounding wild. They expect their greatest thrills to come from horse-riding, canoeing, and hiking, but the trip changes when they find an injured hiker. Then the hiker disappears with most of their supplies, and they’re stranded with little food, no communication, and a long trip back to civilization.

   “What’s more — there are some very strange things going on in this forest, and the mysterious hiker seems to be at the center of them. Mr. Baker must get his team back to safety with no supplies or means of contact, saddled with a thief who will not speak. Phil is forced to act like a criminal when thrown into a company of bad men, and the twins must survive in the wilderness with a man they do not trust.

“Who is really Jigson? What is going on in the forest?” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: The Treacherous Trail

Author: C.R. Hedgcock

Genre(s): Christian Mystery/Suspense

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever.

Recommended age range: 10+ because of the suspense in some parts

My Review:

EEEEKKK!!! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!

Let’s see if I can get some cohesive words out. Hmmm…
IT WAS SO GOOD (oh, I was supposed to be cohesive?)!!!! I was utterly confused for most of it (who is really Jigson? and what is really going on?!?), but I loved it for that very reason! Most of the time it is super easy to figure out mysteries in books, because I’ve read so many, but Miss Hedgcock’s mysteries are definitely unique. And GARTH! ❤ ❤ I loved his ending. I’m really trying not to give away spoilers…. 😀

The main reason that I hesitate to recommend this series is because of the fact that the King James Bible is not used in it. But other than that, I love it!
You may recall that I mentioned the Baker Family Adventures in this post, and the more books in this series that I read, the more I love them! I’m so glad that I bought this book! It is a must-read for adventure/mystery lovers who are looking for an amazing Christian book. 🙂

London in the Dark Birthday Celebration!

Hello, all! If you have been following my blog for a year, you may remember that I participated in the London in the Dark blog tour. I have also raved about it in other posts (like this one) since then, since I loved it so much. Well, today I am posting about it again, this time because it was published one year ago! I can’t believe that it was that long ago already! I remember sitting on a stool in the kitchen and finishing it for the first time… and then telling my mom all about it raving about it to my mom. 😀

Okay, enough rambling! Here is the actual post. 🙂

litd-book-cover-renewed

I love this cover- still! 🙂

London, 1910

Budding Private Detective Cyril Arlington Hartwell has a conundrum. London is being ravaged by the largest run of thefts in recent history. His hunch that it is all tied together may put him and those he loves in more danger than he could have reckoned.

Olivia Larken Hartwell is just home from boarding school for the summer anticipating time with her adoring parents. She misses her absent brother, Cyril, hoping for the day he will finally come home. But tragedy strikes, causing upheaval for all concerned and changes her life in a way she never could have imagined.

Olivia, Cyril, and their friends must bring the hidden to light, seek to execute justice, and dispel the darkness that hovers over London… and their hearts.

Add on Goodreads ~ Buy on Amazon

The Author, Victoria Lynn…

headshot-for-book-and-website

 

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

Author links:

Amazon

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

There is also a giveaway going on!! And a Facebook party!!

Giveaway (1)The first place winner must be in the United States, and will receive the items pictured in the graphic above. Second place winner may be from a country other than the U. S., and will receive an e-book copy of London in the Dark. To enter the giveaway, click on the graphic above.

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

One Thing I Desire, by Sarah L. Bryant

   

Image result for one thing i desire: to know christ more by sarah bryant

    “What is your deepest desire?

“Has your life been engulfed by one consuming passion — that you would more deeply know your Savior Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Gospel?    

    “We are given only one life — one blink of an eye in light of a shoreless eternity. What is our purpose in this earthly life? The greatest command is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, yet how do we love a God we do not know? We know how to fit into the “right Christian circles” and say all the “right things” — but do we personally know the Author of our salvation?

    “Sarah’s desire is to challenge young ladies to pour out their lives in the Scriptures, seeking the face of their Savior — in the days of their youth. This is vital, so that they will be equipped to teach the next generation about the faithfulness of God.

    “One Thing I Desire is penned to encourage you in your quest to seek and know your Redeemer through His Word, that your heart would be enraptured by Christ’s great work accomplished in the Gospel.

     “The grandeur of this One Thing will spur you to love Him more with all of your heart, soul, and mind — and to worship Him throughout all of eternity.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: One Thing I Desire: To Know Christ More

Author: Sarah L. Bryant

Genre(s): Christian Inspirational, Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever

Recommended age range: 12+ (nothing wrong with it, I just think it may be a bit deep for younger readers)

My Review:

This was a very encouraging book! It took me a while to finish it, because it was a deeper read than I am used to, but it was well worth it. This is a book that you have to take small bites out of. You simply cannot read it in one sitting (okay, so I can’t). The first chapter of One Thing I Desire is an elaborate salvation message (I didn’t realize it until the chapter was almost over, though). It was a great refresher to read, and I especially enjoyed Sarah’s flowery writing.  The rest of the book was about growing in Christ, and making Him the major desire of your life. I liked the prayer chapter; it challenged me to be an intercessor. This book was both encouraging and challenging. I’m grateful for the helpful appendixes. I would most certainly recommend this book, and there was nothing that I do not agree with (well, that I remember! 😛 ).

 

 

Will Our Generation Speak? by Grace Mally

cover from answersingenesis.org

    “Will Our Generation Speak? is filled with dialog–recounting witnessing conversations and giving practical ideas for beginning conversations with unbelievers about the Lord. It teaches how to ask good questions and answer objections, while illustrating points with humorous cartoons and stories. Written from a young perspective, this book gives other young people a vision of how much the Lord can use them in the years of their youth! It communicates how exciting it is to be working alongside the God of the Universe in the mission of saving souls, and it gives young people courage from the Word to combat fear and reject excuses.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Will Our Generation Speak?

Author: Grace Mally

Genre(s): Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None!

Recommended age range: I believe it is appropriate for all ages, but it’s targeted at about the ages of 13-30.

My Review:

This is an amazing book! It is VERY encouraging and challenging, like most of the books I’ve been reading lately. 😉 I was amazed at how many examples Grace gave! And how most of them were positive! This book gave me ideas of how to start conversations, and where to find interesting tracts to pass out (the Million Dollar Bill, etc). Mr. Mally’s illustrations added much to the book; my brothers went through it, specifically looking for them. 😛 I would suggest buying a copy of this book to keep on hand. Highly recommended!

 

 

The Family Daughter, by Sarah Bryant

Image result for the family daughter by sarah bryant

Title: The Family Daughter

Author: Sarah Bryant

Genre(s): Non-Fiction; Inspirational

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever.

Recommended age range: 12+ (there is nothing wrong with it; I just think it would be most applicable to this age range)

My Review:

This was a wonderful book! I enjoyed it more than Miss Bryant’s other book, One Thing I Desire, because it was more applicable to me, and talked about more practical things to do. The Lord used it to convict me in many areas, so much that I began to feel discouraged about how many things I need to work on! However, He is faithful, and will help me as I strive to serve Him. ❤ I highly recommend this book, as it touches many topics that often are not addressed, and everything is looked at from a Biblical viewpoint. Miss Bryant uses many Bible verses, and I believe it would be helpful to actually look up all of the verses that she mentions, and to do a study on it (a study guide would also be helpful, but I don’t believe that she has published one). Again, this is highly recommended, and I encourage you to read it. 😉

 

 

BLOG TOUR!!! White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Blog Tour Banner Final

Hello! Today I am participating in a blog tour for White Wolf and the Ash Princess. Enjoy!

tammy lash2

   “Eighteen year old Izzy’s limited world begins to feel cramped after she completes her self-appointed book dare. After reading two-hundred and fifty books, a thought that had been once tucked away as tightly as the books on her library shelves becomes too irresistible to ignore…’Who am I?’

   “Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Jonathan Gudwyne and his head housekeeper rescued her and took Izzy in as their own, but who did she belong to before they took her in?

   “Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables, but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall to a world that promises possible answers, but also great danger. A scorched castle in the woods and a mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World, where she will not only have to face her own terror but face the people responsible for her scars.

   “It is here, in the untamed wilds of the seventeenth century that she finds love and a home in the most unexpected of places.”

Title: White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Author: Tammy Lash

Genre(s): Historical Fiction with a hint of mystery and some other things- basically, exciting!

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: A couple kisses between a husband and wife, semi-detailed; same husband and wife snuggles a bit.

Recommended age range: 12+ for “normal” readers, 16+ for conservative readers (such as myself)

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

For the first part of the book (150-200pg or so), I felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions! One minute I was mad at Jonathan (the main male character), the next I really liked him, the next I was sad… I loved it! The rest of the book… was still super interesting, but it wasn’t as exciting (okay, so it was exciting in parts, but it definitely wasn’t as action-packed-exciting as the first part). The plot was so complex! I never would have been able to write something like that. 🙂

The romance… was more than I was used to, which is none ( 😛 ). I’m sure it wouldn’t be bad to most people who are used to reading romance, but parts of it made me a bit uncomfortable. The romance scenes were between a husband and wife, and mostly kisses (nothing bad), but still. For that reason, I’m not sure if I’ll be reading this book again, just because I don’t want to think about kissing people, etc. 😉 If it wasn’t for the romance, this would be one of my absolute favorite books. 😉 (please don’t be offended by any of this; I’m trying to say it in the most gentle way possible!)

More random thoughts (that may or may not make sense to people who haven’t read it):

  • I found the whole legend thing a bit strange… I’m not completely sure what to think of it.
  • There was a “miracle” which I liked. It was a little strange as well, but I still liked it.
  • Oh, and when SPOILER!!! Tubs, the angel, SPOILER END!!! showed up, that was kind of weird, and I’m not sure if I agree with it all…
  • There wasn’t really a “conversion scene” for Izzy (the main character)… at the first part, she says something like, “I don’t care about the Bible,” (I can’t remember exactly), but then towards the end it’s like she is suddenly a Christian (this point was written a couple days after I read the book, so it may not be completely accurate 😉 ).

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (thanks, Victoria and Mrs. Lash!). I was not obligated to write a positive review.**

 

The Author: Tammy Lash

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Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy’s home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, “hunting” for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children’s ministry for over twenty years.

You can connect with the author on:

The Giveaway:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also posting today for this blog tour:

Sarah Addison-Fox

and

Kaylee H.

 

Christ-Walk Journal

Hello, everyone! In case you didn’t figure it out, I (totally last-minute) decided to change the schedule to every-other week again…. sorry! I’ve been super busy lately, working on RHM.

Today we have a rather unusual review~ of a journal. This is no ordinary journal, however; it is called the Christ-Walk Journal. As you have probably figured out by the title, it is a journal designed to help you grow in your walk with Christ. Let’s get on to the review!

 

from fallsbaptist.org

 

  “The Christ-Walk journal is a tool designed to help any believer discover God, obey His voice, and share their relationship with Him! Walking with God and teaching others to do the same is what the disciple of Christ does. At the core of you are as a believer is the reality that God made you to multiply. As you live connected to God through the Word of God and prayer, your life will have impact on those around you – the impact of the life of Christ lived out through you. This is The Christ-Walk.

  “The Christ-Walk Journal, available in blue or magenta, includes:
– Christ-Walk binder
– One set of five tabs
– Daily Journal Pages: Eight weeks of pages to record your time with the Lord each day and listen to Christ’s direction for you as you seek to obey Him and share Him with others.
– Prayer Helps Section: A guide for you in your time with God. Specific helps are given to move you through the various aspects of prayer and meditation on the Word of God.
– Small Group Pages: Eight weeks of pages to record your notes from your weekly small group Discovery Bible Study.
– Sermon Notes: Simple pages to record how God is speaking to you through the preaching of the Word of God during the church services you attend on a regular basis.” ~from fallsbaptist.org

Title: The Christ-Walk Journal

Author: Mark Gillmore, Sr & Micah Shoultz

Genre(s): Non-fiction, Journals (I suppose)

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: None whatsoever. 😉

Recommended age range: 10+, because younger children may not make the commitment to keep doing this

My Review:

I love using this journal! It has helped me in my walk with Christ so much! In this review, I will be focusing on the prayer aspect of the journal, as this is the only main part that I have used (other than the Sermon Notes section).

The prayer journal is designed so that you will pray for an hour. Although it was hard at first to get into making this a part of my schedule, the Lord has helped me to make it a priority. The hour is split up into ten sections: Worship & Praise, Waiting on God, Confession of Sin, Spiritual Warfare, Claiming Promises, Intercession & Petitions, Thanksgiving, Meditation & Discovery, Listening, and Praise & Singing. For most of them, you only pray for five minutes, but for Intercession & Petitions and Meditation & Discovery, the goal is to pray for ten minutes.

At first, when I got this journal, I had no idea what to do for some of the sections. The authors give you a short summary of what you are supposed to pray about for each of them, but I was still confused. Thankfully, my dad helped me understand them all, and now I know what to do (for most of them; we’re not sure if we’re doing it all the way the authors’ intended, but it has been working. Take this review with a grain of salt, since I may not be using it exactly right). 😉

I would have to say that my favorite section is probably Claiming Promises. In this section, you look for things that the Lord has promised you in His Word, write them down, and meditate on them. I like doing this, because it reminds me of treasure hunting- searching for small treasures in the Bible. 🙂

I also like Meditation & Discovery, where you read a passage, write down a key verse from it, and meditate on that verse. I use this section for memorizing verses, and it has proved very helpful.

Listening is a challenging section; you are supposed to write an “I Will” statement and how you will share with others in the next 24-48 hours. I have a hard time with this one sometimes, but God has helped me make different things a priority in my life through it.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through all of the sections! I just thought that I would give you a glimpse of what it is like to use this journal. As I said before, it has helped me to grow in my walk with the Lord in many different areas. I would definitely recommend getting one, even though they are a bit pricey. 😉

I hope that you enjoyed reading this review, and that it has challenged you to make prayer a priority in your life.

My To-Read List: Fiction Edition

Hi, everyone! First of all, I want to apologize for not posting actual reviews recently. With starting RHM, I’ve been busy lately and actually haven’t read very much. Just to let you all know, if I don’t start reading more soon, I may have to start posting only every other week again… sorry! Well, let’s get on to the post.

This is the second post in the series My To-Read List. As you can see from the title, this is the fiction edition. I’ll warn you right now, most of these are mystery or adventure books… I really enjoy those types of books. 😉

Book #1:

Okay, so this isn’t one book, it’s a whole series. I’ve read a couple of these books (Summer of Suspense and Peril on Providence Island), but I really want to read the rest- the ones that I read were amazing!

Book #2:

The Star Under the City has been on my list for a while now; it just sounds so amazing! Christian, WWII (okay, so just to make this clear, I’m not a WWII fanatic like some people, but I do like that time period), mystery-ish… ❤ ❤

Book #3:

This book sounds amazing, too! It’s a dystopian (I don’t read much of that genre, but I have heard that it’s very exciting, and I like that!) about Christians being persecuted and standing for their faith: Yes! It sounds so good!! 🙂

Book #4:

 

Okay, so this isn’t the best cover… or the best picture of it…

I’ve read all of the books in the Moody Family Series up to this point, and they all were amazing (targeted toward a younger age range, perhaps, but still amazing)! We have friends who bought all of the books up to book #8, and they are letting us borrow them one at a time. I just finished #7, so hopefully I’ll get to read this one soon. 🙂

Book #5:

I haven’t heard much about this book, but the fact that it’s “Christian Holmes” leads me to believe that it is a good one. 😉 It’s not that high on my TBR list, but it still sounds really good.

 

Let me know in the comments…

  • Have you read any of these books? Were they good?
  • What is your favorite genre?

 

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Radiant Hearts Website Launch Update…

Hello, everyone! I just realized today that I probably should have been posting every day about the RHM website launch… but I never got around to it. *cringes* Sorry! This post is basically a recap of the tour. If you haven’t checked out the wonderful posts and blogs, I would greatly appreciate it if you did. 🙂

On Monday, the first day of the tour  (and the first full day when the website was live; shh, don’t tell, but I actually made it live the night before, because I wasn’t sure if I would get up in time to do it by 6am… and I was right! 😛 ), we only had one person posting. Bekah, from Bekah’s Books, was the star of the show! She wrote a very encouraging and exciting post that I really appreciated. You can check it out by clicking here.

The next day, January 2nd, had two posters: Medomfo and Chloe P. They both wrote wonderful posts… and I’ll let you in on a secret (okay, so it’s not really a secret…): Chloe helped me with designing the website! I never could have done it without her. Thanks, Chloe! ❤

And today is the final day of the tour! Two young ladies posted today, and I really enjoyed reading their posts. Kaitlyn has been an encouragement to me ever since she found out about this magazine, and Hanne was helpful in that she mentioned that we are looking for photographers and writers (most people didn’t do that, since I didn’t put it in the email I sent out).

Thank you so much, to all of you who posted for this blog tour! And another big thank you to those who took the time to read the posts! I appreciate you all. 🙂

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Announcement + Website Launch?!?

Announcement + Website Launch_!_.png

Hello and merry Christmas, my wonderful followers! I have an exciting announcement to make!

*cue drumroll*

Dun dun dun…

I am (Lord willing) starting an online magazine for Christian girls! It is called Radiant Hearts Magazine. The byline is: Encouraging girls to shine radiantly for Christ. I’m super excited to share it with you all!! 🙂

“That was the announcement… so what about this website launch thing??” you’re thinking, right? Well, I am planning a website launch (basically a blog tour for a website) to promote this magazine and website! The website will be launched on January 1st, 2018 at 6am Central Time (assuming I get up in time to make it live lol). I am looking for bloggers to post on that Monday and the Tuesday after, letting people know about RHM.

So, now I need your help! Please fill out the form below if you are willing to do me a favor. 😉

((if the form is not appearing for some reason, click here))

And, just for a teaser, here’s a screenshot of the website (warning: we’re still working on the it, so this may not be the final design). 🙂

RHM screenshot.PNG

Let me know in the comments…

  • Have you signed up for the blog tour?
  • Are you interested in the magazine?
  • Would you be willing to write for the magazine?

Sign-off

The Return, by Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler

warning: MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS SYNOPSIS!!!

Jakob and his sons Joseph and Christian were given to native tribes. The boys are adopted into separate Delaware clans and families. Jakob escapes from the Seneca and journey’s hundreds of miles over rough terrain to find his way home where he finds his older children , Johannes and Barbara, along with Anna Blanck, who have never given up hope of finding he and the boys. Together, they make every effort to learn where Joseph and Christian are so they can bring them home.  They pray that this is God’s plan.” ~synopsis from Christianbook.com 

Title: The Return

Author(s): Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler

Genre(s): Christian/Historical Fiction

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pngfor married people, https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png for teenagers.

Romance Content:  There are several instances of unmarried young people showing affection to those of opposite gender.  This includes kissing and hugging.

Recommended age range: I think this book is appropriate reading for married adults.

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This book is a very well-written sequel to Northkill.  It chronicles the life of three members of the Hochstetler family as they live and adapt to separate Indian communities.  It also shares each of their struggles as they consider the possibility of escape back home to their Amish family, as well as the difficulties for those who do return to adjust to their old life.

The beginning of the book focuses on the father, Jakob.  The authors show his spiritual growth that occurs through difficulties and the changed man he is by the end of the book.  The rest of the book deals with two of his sons who become quite entrenched in their new Indian lives.

There is not a lot of violence in this book, other than a somewhat vague recounting of the raid described in the first book.  The romance in this one is more than in the first.  There is some difficulty for the reader to keep track of the different characters that have unfamiliar Indian names.  I wish I had known as I was reading it that there is a glossary at the end of the book to help with this.  (Or the authors could have put that glossary at the beginning!)

Overall, it is an excellent fiction book that tells of a real- life event.  I feel that a mature reader would really enjoy it and would have a hard time putting it down.

Review written by Jen G, Leona’s mom.

**I received this book from Interviews and Reviews in exchange for my honest review. I was not obligated to write a favorable review, neither was I paid for this review.**

 

Northkill, by Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler

  “In 1738 Jakob Hochstetler and his family immigrate to America, seeking sanctuary from religious persecution in Europe and the freedom to live and worship according to their nonresistant Anabaptist beliefs. Along with other members of their church, they settle in the Northkill Amish Mennonite community at the base of the Blue Mountains, on the frontier between white and Indian territory. They build a home near Northkill Creek, for which their community is named. For eighteen years, the community lives at peace with its Indian neighbors. Then while the French and Indian War rages, the Hochstetlers’ way of life is brutally shattered. On the night of September 19-20, 1757, their home is attacked by a war party of Delaware and Shawnee Indians allied with the French. Facing almost certain death with his wife and children, Jakob makes a wrenching decision that will tear apart his family and change all of their lives forever. Northkill is closely based on an inspiring true story well-known among the Amish and Mennonites. It has been documented in many publications and in contemporary accounts preserved in the Pennsylvania State Archives and in private collections.” ~from Goodreads.com 

Title: Northkill

Author(s): Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler

Genre(s): Christian/Historical Fiction

Rating:

https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png(for a teenager)

https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png(for an adult)

Romance Content:  This book contains scenes containing Amish courtship scenarios as often portrayed in Amish fiction books.  These include attraction between teenage boys and girls, holding hands, and one kiss.  There is also a somewhat veiled discussion on the marital relationship.

Recommended age range: I personally do not feel that this book is appropriate for a teenager that has committed to a Biblical courtship.  Also, some of the Indian scenes are fairly graphic for young people to be exposed to.

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This book is a well-written fictional account taken from a historical event in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War.  It follows the lives of one Amish family as they struggle to survive in that wild land surrounded by Indians.

The central theme of the book is the father’s conviction of nonresistance and how that affects the entire family.  The author does a great job of showing different family member’s perspective; the reader is certainly drawn into the story, feeling what the characters feel.  The climax of the story is centered around an Indian raid, which is described very realistically and somewhat violently.

Overall, this book is interesting and informative, showing the reader who comes from a non-Amish background a different perspective of pacifist views.  The authors also give us insight into the religious beliefs of the main character, Jakob Hochstetler, in many different sections.  One example of this is when the book says, “All his adult life, he had struggled… to earn God’s favor and pardon by doing what was right.”

My main reservations on this book that lowered the rating are the small amount of romance and the level of detail in the Indian raid as described above.

 

Review written by Jen G, Leona’s mom.

**I received a copy of this book from Interviews and Reviews in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a favorable review.**

Jeff McLean: His Courtship, by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry

“Follow the story of Jeff McLean as he seeks God’s direction for his life. This book is written from a young man’s perspective. A discussion of godly traits to seek in young men and women is included as part of the story.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Jeff McLean: His Courtship

Author: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: Since this is a book on courtship, there obviously is a lot of talk about getting married, etc. However, there is nothing inappropriate in the least, and I would gladly hand it to a… well, read ahead, I’ll put that down next. 😉

Recommended age range: Would be perfectly fine for ages 1+, in my opinion, but I believe it is targeted for teenagers and older.

My Review:

This was a great book! Some people might not like it, because there are some long portions where a dad is teaching his son and family on what character traits, etc. husbands and wives should have, but I found those parts especially helpful to myself (not that I’m planning on getting married any time soon, but you know what I mean). God used it to convict me on some areas of my life that I need to work on.

I appreciate the Castleberrys for writing such wonderful, God-honoring books! I enjoy these books a lot. 🙂

 

 

There Was Always Laughter in Our House review

   Yes, we’re back to the schedule I set forth at the beginning of the month! I do apologize for the mixed-up schedule; when I put it together, I didn’t consider the blog tours that I signed up for. Well, hopefully now we can get back on track! 🙂

    And, for those who are wondering, I’m planning on doing the same schedule in December, just because I haven’t been reading as much lately (*gasp*) and have been writing even fewer reviews. Thank you all so much for following even during “times like these”. 😉

Well, let’s get on to the post! 🙂

   “What do you get when you mix two parents who grew up in the city, six kids who have always lived in the country, and add homeschooling? You get a whole lot of laughter!

“Homeschool graduate and author Sarah Holman shares stories about her family that range from thought-provoking to side-splitting. She shares both hilarious mistakes and heartbreaking moments in her family. In this collection of stories, she endeavors capture some of the answers to the questions people have often asked her about growing up in a conservative homeschool family as well as some of the wisdom she has gleaned along the way. Sarah invites you to open up this scrapbook of memories. She hopes that you come away encouraged, inspired…and laughing.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: There Was Always Laughter in Our House

Author: Sarah Holman

Genre(s): Non-fiction, biography

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: Nothing bad; talks once about getting married.

Recommended age range: Would be appropriate for all ages; I recommend 12+ for interest level.

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

For some reason, I feel like crying. It’s not like this book was sad or anything… perhaps it’s because it’s over. ❤
I enjoyed this book tremendously! It was simply amazing! Coming from a homeschooled perspective myself, I knew a lot about some of the stuff she talked about… but then again, that’s not to say that her family is not unique! It was interesting to learn about unit studies… they sound like a lot of fun (we do Classical {I guess that’s what you call it?? 🙂 }). It sounds like the Holman family went through some tough times, but I loved how they still trusted in God and loved each other through it all.
I also loved the pictures at the beginning of each chapter- I think I’ve learned to recognize most of the Holmans on sight… but then again, Rebekah, Sarah and Mikayla (okay, so Grace too) look a lot alike… Rose is the easiest to spot (well, besides Michael, of course); in my opinion, she doesn’t look much like the rest of the family. 🙂
I can’t say that this book was rolling-in-laughter funny, but it did have some funny parts. 😉
There was one minor theological point that I didn’t agree with, but otherwise I cannot think of anything that I didn’t like. I would most certainly recommend this book to everyone, homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike!

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.**

To see my post for the blog tour for this book, please click here.

BLOG TOUR!!! There Was Always Laughter in Our House

LaughterBlogTour (1)

What do you get when you mix two parents who grew up in the city, six kids who have always lived in the country, and add homeschooling? You get a whole lot of laughter!Homeschool graduate and author Sarah Holman shares stories about her family that range from thought-provoking to side-splitting. She shares both hilarious mistakes and heartbreaking moments in her family. In this collection of stories, she endeavors capture some of the answers to the questions people have often asked her about growing up in a conservative homeschool family as well as some of the wisdom she has gleaned along the way. Sarah invites you to open up this scrapbook of memories. She hopes that you come away encouraged, inspired…and laughing.”

This books looks very interesting and fun and I’m super excited to read it. 🙂 Yes, I unfortunately haven’t been able to read it yet, due to a couple things, including a broken computer and a tight schedule. :/ However, I will review it on this blog as soon as I read it. 🙂

About the Author:

Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined. You can find out more about her (and more about the blog tour- my insert) at her website: http://www.thedestinyofone.com.

Giveaway, Anyone?

Befriended
Click here for a free e-book! 🙂
My friend and cousin Chloe is also posting a review on her blog today! You can find her blog here.

BLOG TOUR: Bound, by Victoria Lynn

bound blog tour banner.png

Note: Since I’m posting today, I’m not planning on posting on Monday as well. Sorry for the confusion. 🙂

{no cover this time; long story. You can see it in the blog tour graphic. :)}

Two souls don’t find each other by simple accident. ~Jorge Luis Borges~

Levi thought he was making this journey alone. But when he meets an eight-year-old girl at the train station, that plan is turned on its head.

Casey is running away and finds out that Levi is too. They decide to journey together and their lives are suddenly bound together in a journey they will not soon forget.

Both children come from abusive situations and are running from the dangers of their previous life. Levi is confident he can handle this on his own, but when Casey is injured on the journey, he must seek help from the first person that comes into his path, or rather people. Mr. and Mrs. Bellworth are simple farm folk with a heart for kids and a passion for serving God. When their unconditional love and gentle care surrounds Levi and Casey, the troubles of their previous lives melt away and they start to flourish. But when Casey is dragged back into the abusive world she came from, the emotional trauma, pain and distrust resurfaces. Will they be forever bound by their past? Or will God answer their prayers?

Get it on Amazon

Title: Bound

Author: Victoria Lynn

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: None, really. 🙂

Recommended age range: 12+

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

This was an amazing book and I enjoyed it very much! The emotions… ❤ ❤ I literally had tears in my eyes a couple times. 🙂 It was special… I liked reading about the different characters, and how they felt at different times. There were a couple spots where I felt like I was speed-reading (actually, I probably was… 😛 ) because the action was so intense… I like that in a book. 😉

There were some things that I didn’t like:

  • there was at least one “darned” (I know most people would be okay with that; but I’m not… sorry) 😦
  • when Levi “gets saved”, he doesn’t repent of his sins, and that’s a big part of accepting Christ!
  • it is mentioned multiple times that people are being “sassy”, and it’s not referred to as a bad thing… I don’t think that needs to be encouraged. :/

I know it seems like I’m being super negative here, but really, I do recommend this book! It was really good! Those were just a couple things that I didn’t appreciate. :/

 

I thought I would share some quotes from the book (courtesy of the author)…

Bound Quote 1Bound Quote 2Bound Quote 3

 

Interview with the Author:

Hi, Victoria! I’m excited to welcome you to my blog today!

  • How long did it take for you to write Bound? 

3 months for the rough draft.

  • Is anything in Bound based on happenings from your life? 

Not necessarily based, per-say, but there were a lot of life experiences that played themselves into the story.

  • What was your favorite scene to write? 

Ooh, tough call! I would probably have to say either when Mikayla was pleading with Jason, or the Epilouge. There is always something magical about those two words, The End.

  • Which is your favorite character?

 I honestly don’t know how to answer that one! They are all my babies! And I adore each of them!

About the Author:

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at http://www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

Blog WebsiteFacebook GoodreadsPinterest

 

Bound Giveaway (1)

 Giveaway info can be found by clicking here.

 

 

Modern Prairie Sewing, by Abigail A. Long

   “Gone are the days of confusing instructions and difficult patterns. With this book, Modern Prairie Sewing, you’ll discover that sewing doesn’t have to be complicated at all. The 20 cleverly thought-out projects develop technical skills and include the author’s secret sewing tricks to guarantee success. Some designs add design details that are cute and clever and, as a bonus, raise your skill level. A box pleat or gusset may seem fancy and complicated, but with this guide, they are totally doable.” -Google Book

Title: Modern Prairie Sewing

Author: Abigail A. Long

Genre(s): Non-fiction, DIY, crafting

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: None; this is a non-fiction book. 😛

Recommended age range: 7+ with help, 13+ without

My Review:

One of my best friends recommended this book to me, and I’m glad that she did! It is really cool. The directions are simple and easy to follow, and most of the clothes are modest (in one of the pictures, the girl is wearing a tight shirt with a jacket over it, and I don’t consider that very modest; other than that, it’s fine). 🙂 I’m currently making the Riverwalk Skirt:

Picture credit: Abigail Long

ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL?!? 😀 Hopefully mine will look that good. 😉

The pictures are simply gorgeous… ❤ ❤ ❤ which brings me to the one bad thing about this book- it is likely to make you jealous. Just sayin’. 😀

I would most certainly recommend this book, but I would also recommend having a person who knows how to sew help you; some of the projects are kinda tricky. If you don’t have someone helping you, I would recommend doing the pillowcase. It’s cute, and you don’t need a lot of skills to make it (I personally haven’t made it, but it looks super easy).

 

 

 

Update…

Hi, everyone!

For the month of November, I will be going back to posting only once a week, but this time, I’ll be posting on Mondays. There are two reasons for this change:

  1. I’m doing Nanowrimo, and I don’t think I will have a lot of time for writing posts or reading books, and
  2. I haven’t been reading as much lately, so I have less to post about. I don’t think it would be fair to you to post a lot about things that are not reviews, since that is probably why you followed my site.

So, I just thought that I would update you on that. I hope that you have a wonderful week! 🙂

Sign-off

 

The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1390690549i/20633970._UY411_SS411_.jpg

   “To write a powerful, meaningful Christian novel, you must embrace the soaring creativity inspired by faith, while also committing to the serious discipline required of an artisan. You must be able to weave a compelling story with an underlying message that deeply affects both your characters and your readers.

“As fulfilling as the Christian genre is, the road to a satisfying story- and publication- is filled with hard work. But take heart. The Art & Craft of Christian Fiction can help make the journey easier. Inside, author Jeff Gerke provides page after page of insightful instruction and encouragement.” ~excerpt from back cover.

Buy on Amazon

Title:  The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

Author: Jeff Gerke

Genre(s): Non-fiction; Self-help

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: None that I remember; there may have been some in the short examples he gave.

Recommended age range: 16+, 10+ if you skip chapter 51 (on profanity but includes some stuff that I would not have read if I knew it was there)

My Review:

This book was amazing! Although I wouldn’t admit it to anyone at the time, when I started this book, I was a bit doubtful that my project for Nanowrimo would be good. I didn’t feel like I had everything in place or that anyone would enjoy it. Well, this book has solved my problem. 🙂 Mr. Gerke covers many topics, most of which were helpful to me (I say most because the profanity section was not relevant to me; I would never put profanity into my books, for several reasons. However, I can see that it would be helpful to many people).

I do have one thing that I most certainly didn’t approve of… but I’ll take another author’s words (from her review) to say it: “…One in particular did not appeal to me (he was explaining how to portray a vile character without using language, and I found the example defiling). Because of this, the conservative teen might want to beware….” Thanks for the tip, Amanda! That part can be avoided by skipping chapter 51 (and I highly recommend you do so).
Mr. Gerke compares writing a book to making a movie, which really struck home for me. It helped me understand what he was talking about. However, I haven’t watched any of the movies that he mentioned, so the tips weren’t as pertinent to me as they could have been (*gasp* Yes, I haven’t watched Star Wars or Indiana Jones, which are probably the most famous of the movies he mentioned. We’re weird. What can you expect? :P).
All in all, this was an amazing book, and it really helped me strengthen the plot and characters of my own novel. I would recommend it to any writer who is dedicated to getting better and learning the craft. 🙂

 

 

 

Why do we write?

What should we read? and Why do we write? post graphics

 

Why do we write?

This is a question that I have been thinking about lately. With Nanowrimo coming up, many writers are getting excited! We are going to write new novels! This is a good thing, but I believe that we need to think about why we are writing, or really, for whom.

Are we writing for ourselves? so people will think good of us? so we will become famous?

Or are we writing for God? so that He will be glorified? so that He will be honored?

This is something that I personally have been thinking about, and I have been questioning myself. Yes, it would be fun to write, and it would be a good experience, and who can resist becoming a published author. But why am I doing this?

For those who are wondering, I still am planning on doing Nanowrimo. But I am going to try my best not to allow pride to creep into my heart. I am going to do this for God’s glory, and not my own.

 

Sign-off

 

Are you an author?

Are you doing Nanowrimo?

Have you struggled with why you write?

 

My To-Read List: Inspirational/Non-Fiction

This is the first post in a series about the books that I want to read. 🙂

If any of you follow me on Goodreads, you most likely know that I have a *ahem* small to-read list of only 91 books, currently. 😀 To some, that may seem large, but to others (in fact, to most of the people I “know” on Goodreads), it probably seems very small since everyone else’s list is soooo long.  😛

I thought it would be fun to share the books that I especially want to read, so that you can check them out and/or let me know that they are not good and I shouldn’t read them.

My To-Read List- Non-fic_Inspirational.png

Note: I have not read any of the books in this post and therefore cannot recommend them. I have heard many good things about them, however, and that is why I am sharing about them.

Today I will be talking about the non-fiction and inspirational books that I want to read (these aren’t all of the non-fiction/inspirational books that are on my to-read list; they are just the ones that I want to read the most). 🙂

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   “Sharing from her own struggles and triumphs, homeschooler Sarah Bryant encourages young ladies to become vital cornerstones in their father’s home, while preparing for godly womanhood. Filled with encouragement and personal testimonies, The Family Daughter will help Christian girls begin the journey of being their family’s pillar of strength and virtue.” ~from Amazon

This book sounds really good, and I’m hoping to buy it soon. If I do, I’ll be sure to review it on here. 😉

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   “Has your life been engulfed by one consuming passion — that you would more deeply know your Savior Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Gospel?

   “We are given only one life — one blink of an eye in light of a shoreless eternity. What is our purpose in this earthly life? The greatest command is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, yet how do we love a God we do not know? We know how to fit into the “right Christian circles” and say all the “right things” — but do we personally know the Author of our salvation?

   “Sarah’s desire is to challenge young ladies to pour out their lives in the Scriptures, seeking the face of their Savior — in the days of their youth. This is vital, so that they will be equipped to teach the next generation about the faithfulness of God.

   “One Thing I Desire is penned to encourage you in your quest to seek and know your Redeemer through His Word, that your heart would be enraptured by Christ’s great work accomplished in the Gospel.

   “The grandeur of this One Thing will spur you to love Him more with all of your heart, soul, and mind — and to worship Him throughout all of eternity.” ~from King’s Blooming Rose (the author’s ministry)

I know, this is by the same author as the last one. 🙂 A friend of mine once showed me an article from the King’s Blooming Rose Magazine, which is how I found these books. From what I have heard, the books and the magazine are very good. I’m hoping to get all three soon. 😀

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   “Will Our Generation Speak? is filled with dialog—recounting witnessing conversations and giving practical ideas for beginning conversations with unbelievers about the Lord. It teaches how to ask good questions and answer objections, while illustrating points with humorous cartoons and stories. From a young person to other young people, it addresses the fears we face and excuses we make, and provides vision for being strong for the Lord in our youth. It communicates how exciting it is to be working alongside the God of the universe in the mission of saving souls.” ~from Tomorrow’s Forefathers

This sounds like another great book. I’ve read Before You Meet Prince Charming (my review here) by this author’s sister, and that was really good. I really want to read this one. 😉

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   “30 pages jam-packed with resources.

   “The Bookbug Epic Character Workbook and Guide is full of great worksheets, character questionnaires, an intro into MBTI typing for characters, and lots more!” ~from Goodreads

In this post, the author says that if you sign up for her newsletter you will get it for free. That seems like a pretty good deal to me! *goes and signs up* (tip: make sure to check your spam if you sign up; the sign-up email I got went to spam. 😉 ) This is written by the author of Jonas and Olivia (which I reviewed here). She did a great job on the characters in that book! 🙂

Well, that was fun to write and I didn’t even have to read a book! 😀 Now it’s your turn to write-

Have you read any of these books?

If so, were they good?

Did you like this post?

Would you enjoy reading more posts like this?

Let me know in the comment section! 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

Sign-off

 

 

 

The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ, by Jerry Ross

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“Teenagers – Read this book! Discover the priorities of Jesus Christ when He was a teenager here on earth. Are they the same as yours?

“Parents – Read this book! All parents follow some pattern when rearing their children. What better master plan than the plan of the Master?

“Youth Workers – Read this book! This book is loaded with ideas to help you help your young people accept the ultimate challenge.

“Pastors – Read this book! Rich in scriptural support, this is a book that reminds us all of the ultimate purpose and goal of the ministry.” ~from the back of the book

Buy on Amazon

Title: The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ

Author: Jerry L. Ross

Genre(s): Devotional, Inspirational

Rating: https://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.pnghttps://openclipart.org/image/2400px/svg_to_png/243661/1457652300.png

Romance Content: Nothing bad; he talks some about staying pure (nothing in detail) and how to deal with relationships with people of the opposite gender.

Recommended age range:  12+

My Review:

This is an amazing book! It certainly opened my eyes in many areas and encouraged me to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). This is a book to read over and over, for there is no way (I, at least) can comprehend and put into practice everything that Mr. Ross says the first time. 🙂

This book is very encouraging and up-lifting, but doesn’t hide the fact that it will be hard to follow Christ… but we still must press on. I highly recommend this book; it is an encouragement and help to me.

 

I found this graphic with one of the quotes from the book on it and thought it would be fun to share:

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((it goes on to define the wise and the simple teenager {based on the book of Proverbs}))

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Runner from Ravenshead

This is my first movie review. These past few months have had a lot of firsts (posts on Mondays, inspirational post, etc…)! 🙂 Plus, this is the 77th post on this blog! Wow! Time has flown by. Anyways, let’s get on into the post. 🙂https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1379/0971/products/TRfR_3D_DVD_Cover_1024x1024.jpg?v=1468615842

 

   “‘Pilgrim’s Progress meets Little Rascals’ in this fun action/adventure movie featuring an all-children cast. The Runner from Ravenshead is an allegory about finding refuge and rest from the metaphorical wardens we face in life.
 
   “After a daring escape from Ravenshead Prison, Sam finds herself in worse trouble trying to outrun the relentless wardens. But help is on the way – kind of. Henry, janitor for the City of Refuge Guide Service, is unexpectedly thrust into the line of duty when all the trained guides are called out on other missions. As he sets out on his long- awaited first assignment, he gets more adventure than he bargained for. Will the enthusiastic but awkward amateur guide persuade Sam to trust him before it’s too late?
“An allegory about finding refuge and rest from the metaphorical wardens and prisons we face in life, THE RUNNER FROM RAVENSHEAD, featuring an all-children cast, is a fascinating and fun movie for all ages that weaves a profound message into an action-packed adventure.”

Buy on Amazon

Title: The Runner from Ravenshead

Producer: Little Crew Studios

Year Made: 2010

My Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever!

Recommended age range: 4-15

My Review:

I was introduced to this marvelous movie when I was about seven or eight, if I remember right. It has been a family favorite ever since!
This is an action-packed allegory that even the youngest viewer can understand and enjoy (okay, maybe not the youngest… let’s just say that my four-year-old sister understood what was going on). The main themes are redemption and mercy (at least that’s what I picked up on), which I just loved. ❤

From what I have gathered, there are only five actors who are in the movie. That, in and of itself, is pretty amazing! Plus, all of the actors are children, which I loved. 🙂

There are a couple scenes where there are a bunch of people, so I assume that they must have done some photo-shopping (or whatever the equivalent is for movies… lol). The kids are so adorable! Ike especially… when he lisps something out we all laugh, because he’s just sooo cute (he’s only two). 🙂

So, basically, this is a must-watch, and I highly recommend it. 🙂

 

Have you watched this movie?

Should I do more movie reviews?

Let me know in the comments! 🙂