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.

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?

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 Centurion’s Wife, by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Image result for the centurion's wife

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.

The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare

Image result for the bronze bow

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.

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)

 

 

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). 😉

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)

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. ;)))

 

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! 🙂

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.**

Vinegar Boy by Alberta Hawse

   https://www.antichay.com/pictures/medium/660.jpg

    “Abandoned by his parents and shunned from society, Vinegar Boy is certain he’ll be adopted once Jesus removes the ugly birthmark that scars his cheek. But when he carries the drugged vinegar wine to a crucifixion, he finds himself face to face with the only One who can heal his face. Is there still time for a miracle?

“A gripping story of a boy’s dramatic encounter with Christ on the cross, this book is a classic work of fiction that has inspired thousands of Christians for decades.” ~from Goodreads

 

Title: Vinegar Boy

Author: Alberta Hawse

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

Romance Content: Not very much; references are made to a man getting married.

Recommended age range: 12+ (because of descriptions of Jesus/other men dying)

My Review:

I loved this book! The first part was a little sad, but I still enjoyed it very much. I only found one part that wasn’t Biblically accurate: when SPOILER ALERT!!Jesus ascends up into heaven, only a few disciples were there. But in the book, a whole bunch of people are SPOILER END!!. :/ It was only a little thing, and I think the rest of the book makes up for it. Amazing! This is a very heartwarming book. 🙂

 

 

The Art Contest, by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1501299512i/35847573._SR1200,630_.jpg 

Two days ago, the Nazis rolled into Marie’s hometown. With her mother trapped in the countryside and her father ordered to perform piano concerts for the invaders, the 12-year-old’s life is turned upside down.

“When she learns there is more to her pianist father than meets the eye, Marie must work with him to sneak important information past the watching Nazis.

“This is a short story (approx. 12 minutes average reading time). It contains themes of family, adventure, and trusting God in hard times.” ~from Goodreads

 

Title: The Art Contest

Author: Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

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.png

Romance Content: None whatsoever

 (My) Recommended Age Range: 8-15

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 sweet short story about a young girl and how she helped free France from the Nazis. I like how Mrs. Kirkpatrick described things; I always knew what was going on. It was very short, and I would have liked it better if it was even a bit longer. However, if you are looking for a short story, I would recommend this.

 

 

Books I Got for My Birthday {2017}

Yes, you get a bonus post! I didn’t see any opportunities for posting this soon (on schedule), so I decided to do it today instead. 🙂

 

Books I got for my birthday {2018} graphic.png

SORRY! This graphic is supposed to say {2017}… but I made it in 2018 to replace a different graphic, so here we go! 😛

I had a birthday recently, and all of my wonderful friends and family who know me well also know that I love to read, so guess what they got for me? Books, of course! Some of these I had already read, and wanted to have, and others I hadn’t even heard of. I’m going to “introduce” you to these wonderful books.

((click on the links under the covers to go to the books’ Amazon pages))

I have been wanting this book for awhile, and a sweet lady in our church was so kind and bought it for me. However, I was a bit disappointed by it. The romance was more than I prefer.

 

((sorry for the very horrible picture))

To tell you the truth, I really wasn’t very interested in this book when I got it. I don’t know, but the cover didn’t look like something I would like (yes, I’m one of those people who judge a book by its cover but don’t we all really??). However, I really enjoyed it!

Yes, I finally have my very own paperback copy of London in the Dark!!! My kind little brothers, who knew I wanted it, pooled their resources and bought it for me. ❤ I have posted my original review on here (London in the Dark BLOG TOUR!!!), but my sentiments did change slightly after I read it for the second time. (Sorry, I don’t think I have updated my review though… :/ )  You can read my first review here.

I got this book from one of my brothers. I have started it, and it is much different from your usual ghost story; I might post my review on here when I have finished it. 😉

I greatly enjoyed this book! It was a romance, which I don’t usually read, but I loved it because it had a twist. 😉

With this book it was kind of like how I felt about Left to Die; I had high expectations and they weren’t completely met. I did enjoy it, but I got annoyed by the main character. 😛

One of my best friends gave me this wonderful book, and I highly recommend it. It was very good!

Okay, so I have saved my favorite new find for last. I had read the Great Illustrated Classics version of this book, and it was okay, but not my favorite. The unabridged version, though? ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! ❤ It is so much better than the other!

Well, that turned into a mini-review-ish post. 🙂 My very first!

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this post!

Sign-off.png

 

When is your birthday?

Have you read any of these books?

 

The Secret Church, by Louise A. Vernon

  https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1460530251l/29907946.jpg

“The Anabaptists are a small group of Christians who believe that everyone is a priest and should be able to study the Bible. They refuse to baptize their babies, and instead baptize adults on a confession of faith in Christ. Because of these heretical acts they are persecuted and sometimes put in prison.

“Richard lives in Germany and is caught up with the Anabaptists when his cousin Otto shows up seeking refuge. Richard needs help to hide Otto, but can he trust his friend Trudi? Her father hates the Anabaptists and wants to get rid of the whole movement!

“Join Richard as he helps his family, runs from guards, meets the legendary Menno Simons, and decides for himself whether he too wants to join the secret church.”

Title: The Secret Church

Author: Louise A. Vernon

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

Romance Content: None

Recommended age range: 9-15 (see note at end of review)

My Review:

     This book was great! I loved the whole plot-line. It was very interesting reading about how they got away from the Catholic church (but I’m not sure how they could have stayed, since all the Catholics in this book were basically evil lol). It was also interesting that they went to Menno Simons, the founder of the Mennonites, but everyone called them Anabaptists. From what I’ve gathered about history, the Mennonites and the Anabaptists/Baptists were very similar until the Mennonites went a little extreme (correct me if I’m wrong).
This story had a bit of a mystery feel to it, which I really enjoyed.
**Parents, read this book before your children do if they have bad dreams, etc. Two of the main characters SPOILER!! get caught in a burning house (they aren’t harmed) and the main characters are persecuted by the Catholic church for their beliefs on baptism. SPOILER END!!

Violet’s Bold Mission

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51X2ECClciL.jpg

“Vi Travilla is about to take on a challenge unlike anything she’s ever done before. Vi knows that her dream will not be easy to achieve, but she is little prepared for the complications that await her. Who will come to her aid as she confronts the unknown forces that are determined to end her mission? What must she do to win the hearts of the people she wants to serve? Will her faith sustain her as she faces distrust and danger? The fourth in the A Life of Faith: Violet Travilla series, Violet’s Bold Mission is based on characters created by Miss Martha Finley, a nineteenth-century novelist who penned a series of best-selling books about the Christian life. Her books inspired millions of readers in her own time. Mission City Press is pleased to continue Miss Finley’s tradition of Christian storytelling in these new adventures of Vi Travillaa young woman committed to live her faith every day through service to others.” ~from Goodreads

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link info)

Title: Violet’s Bold Mission

Author: Based on the Characters by Martha Finley (I’m not sure who the real author is)

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.png

Romance Content: Hints of romance; not main part of story

My Review:

Continue reading

Touch the Sky, by Robert Elmer

https://i2.wp.com/images.gr-assets.com/books/1389374171l/18896996.jpg

     “Barely escaping a plane crash, Peter discovers a concealed handgun in the plane’s cockpit. What is Matthias hiding? Who is involved in the nighttime rendezvous?” ~from Goodreads

Buy on Amazon (my affiliate link; see the Affiliate Links page for more info)

Title: Touch the Sky

Author: Robert Elmer

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction/Adventure

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

My Review:

Another wonderful book in the Young Underground series. The action was wonderful- that’s one of the things that I love about this series- and it was so exciting (and HAPPY 😀 )when SPOILER ALERT!! Henrik finally asked Christ into his heart. I’m not sure why he didn’t do that earlier in the series, since (I think) that would have made the series better, but… that’s what the author did. 😉 SPOILER END!! I thought for sure that SPOILER ALERT!! Henrik was going to have to move to Palestine SPOILER END!!– SO glad that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, this is still the last book in the series… *cries* 😥 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! 🙂

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Captive Treasure, by Milly Howard

     https://i1.wp.com/images.gr-assets.com/books/1317158762l/12738790.jpg

“The long days on the trail were filled with excitement for adventurous Carrie Talbot. And at the end of the trail waited more adventure–she was going to start a brand new life at the Indian mission established by her uncle.

     “Then a sudden encounter with an Indian raiding party left Carrie with more excitement than she wanted. As she rode off helplessly with her captors, frantic thoughts raced through Carrie’s mind.

     “Why was one of the Indians so interested in the family Bible she had managed to save? How could she escape? Even if she did, how could she ever find the wagon train again?

       “The raiding party took Carrie deep into the wilderness to a Cheyenne camp on the banks of a distant river. There Carrie met the Indian called the Keeper and began a life far different from any she had ever imagined.” ~from Goodreads

Title: Captive Treasure

Author: Milly Howard

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

My Review:

This book was excellent! The MC (main character), Carrie, is inspiring as she witnesses to the Cheyenne Indians who capture her. It was great how, even after she MINOR SPOILER!! lost her Bible SPOILER END!! she still was able to share with them through Bible verses she had memorized. It challenged me to memorize verses myself. I loved seeing the Indians grow to come to know Christ. This book was written for ages 7-9, but I, a 12-year-old, still enjoyed it very much. 😉

 

 

 

 

Ivy Introspective: BLOG TOUR!!

Yes, yes, I know that I have been doing a lot of blog tours recently, and I apologize for that, but… I love getting free books!! 😛 😉

blogtourgraphic

 (I am only doing the blog tour for Ivy Introspective today. 🙂 )

Ivy Introspective 1.jpg

I ❤ this cover!! 🙂

Trapped in a world where she doesn’t belong, twelve-year-old Ivy struggles to keep her head above water as her simplicity is brought to light by her new position as a young lady growing up at Pearlbelle Park.

“After much thought, Ivy’s parents decide to send her to McCale House, a boarding school in Scotland for girls and boys like her. However, scared and worried away from her beloved mother, sister, and nurse, Ivy can’t seem to focus.

“Will Ivy ever learn what Dr. McCale is trying to teach her? Or will she remained lost in her own mind forever?” ~from Goodreads

Title: Ivy Introspective

Author: Kellyn Roth

Genre(s): Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

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’m not quite sure what to think of this book. However, I’ll try to gather my thoughts in this review.

Reading about Ivy was very interesting. I liked how she “found the song in her head”. I’ve read about special needs kids being very musically talented, and this seems to agree with that. Violet was a very interesting character… which brings me to another point:

The different places/circumstances where certain characters (SPOILER ALERT!! Mr. Parker and Violet SPOILER END!!) come to Christ are a bit vague. It is implied that they accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, but… it isn’t very clear. ??

I did like to see different characters “grow up”. 🙂 But… in my opinion, some of the adults in this story acted very immature. That seems to be Kellyn’s writing style, though, and I don’t think that it took away from the story. 🙂 Somehow, it fit with the characters’ personalities. 😉

 

Meet the Author: Kellyn Roth

authorpicture

Kellyn Roth was born and raised in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon. Ever since she could talk, she’s had a fascination with words, always coming up with songs, poems, and stories. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time penning historical novels, several of which have been published.

 

Website · Blog · Newsletter · Facebook · Amazon · Goodreads

Interview with Kellyn:

Welcome to my blog, Kellyn! I have five questions to ask you today.

1) About how long did it take you to write Ivy Introspective?
Years and years and years …
Well, okay, from start to finish it wasn’t quite one year. I wrote the first draft in November 2016 (after much daydreaming, outlining, etc.). And then deleted it and started all over again. I wrote (or rewrote) Ivy Introspective over the spring and summer of 2017. I believe this new draft was finally completed in October 2017.
But it felt like longer. I really took too long to write this one. I even wrote a 15,000-word novella write in the middle of my writing – and published it! Procrastination at it highest, am I right?
 
2) Where did you get the idea for Ivy Introspective from?
 
I think the original idea came from wanting to somehow help Ivy (who first appeared in The Dressmaker’s Secret, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 1). She has a slight mental disability, and I couldn’t think of a way that she could receive the special training she would need.
In Ivy’s time, anyone who was different was ostracized or put in terrible places that were supposedly mental hospitals but were often more like third-world prisons. And, well, that wasn’t going to happen to my Ivy. Neither was she going to spend the rest of her life hidden. She probably could have learned to live with her disability (which is similar to some forms of autism), but I wanted to write about Ivy learning to be her amazing self in a way that wouldn’t take decades of gradual coping.
So … I decided to go off the rail a little and make up a place for Ivy to go to learn in a special way … a secluded school in Scotland. No, it’s not 100% historically accurate, but I hope it isn’t too unbelievable to have existed.
 3) What is your best tip for wanna-be authors?
Just keep writing is a little cliché, and read until you explode has been done too many times. Both of these are stellar pieces of advice, though, and in no way do I seek to discredit them.
I think my #1 piece of advice would be “write what you love.” Do you really love cats? Well, I don’t see why there can’t be cats in your stories. How about the ocean? You can write a story set by the sea, can’t you? Or perhaps you’re a lover of elves – all kinds of elves, from Santa’s Little to Tolkien’s. So put some elves in your story.
I myself really love the classic Grimm’s fairytales. I write historical fiction, but one of the themes in my series, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, is fairytale endings and how they play out in real life. There’s a chapter in Ivy Introspective that plays on this idea, and it’s one of my favorites. 🙂
 4) What is your favorite line/quote from Ivy Introspective?
Just one?! How could I choose? But I suppose I’d pick this one:
“I never know I can do anything until I do.”
~Ivy Knight, Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth
5) Which character in Ivy Introspective is your favorite?
Hmm … I guess Violet Angel. She’s a student at McCale House who “befriends” Ivy. (I put that in quotes because Violet is a sarcastic, unruly girl who doesn’t really “befriend” anyone so much as tolerate them. 😉 )
Thanks for interviewing me, Leona! ❤
You’re very welcome! I enjoyed it. 🙂

And, as usual, there is a giveaway with this blog tour:

giveawaygraphic

There is also an international giveaway for ebook copies of the books. To go to that one, click the arrow under the title of the giveaway (if that makes sense).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Sunshine Country, by Kristina Roy

https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1461792159l/3036937.jpg

Cover courtesy of Goodreads.com

Palko is part of a mystery, several in fact, but he doesn’t know that. The only mystery he knows is the one that involves the hidden cave and the secret book that shows the way to the Sunshine Country – and Palko longs to go there. He has heard that in that land there is no darkness or fear, sickness or weeping. Soon he has his grandfather, Uncle Martin and the whole village wondering about the amazing little book that tells them such wonderful truths about the love of God and the forgiveness of sins. Even Father Malina starts to ask questions. But then there is the mystery about Palko’s past and another little boy who went missing – Uncle Martin is trying to find him and Palko promises to do the same. Will they find the little boy after such a long time? Are they in fact looking in the right place? Perhaps the mystery isn’t so mysterious after all.” ~from Goodreads.com

Title: Sunshine Country: A Story of Czechoslovakia

Author:  Kristina Roy

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction??

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 10/5

My Review:

I ❤ ❤ ❤ THIS BOOK!!! Just lovely! 🙂 I love how SPOILER!! so many people get saved as a result of one little boy. SPOILER END!! Just-the whole thing! It is so nice to see people searching for Christ, and finding Him. The only thing that I didn’t like was the part about the Catholic priest; he never rejected Catholicism after he got saved for real… of course, SPOILER!! he died very soon after SPOILER END!!, but still… Oh, well! This was still a WONDERFUL book! ❤ LOVE IT! Please, everyone! Put this on your to-read list or I will hunt you down until you do. Oh, and BTW, I love the description above, too. 😉 So mysterious, it is perfect for the book. 🙂

(And please excuse my ranting and raving; just YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!! :P)

Brave the Wild Trail, by Milly Howard

1927459

   “Florida after the Civil War was one long stretch of wilderness. Men had to struggle to feed and protect their families. Armed with the eighteen-foot bullwhips that earned them the name of “Crackers,” these men lived by hunting small game and by driving the wild yellowhammer cattle that haunted the scrub.

   “Eben Bramlett’s dream is to run a cattle drive down to Punta Rassa on the southern coast. His twelve-year-old son Josh, also expert with both horse and bullwhip, is his partner. Together they assemble a small company to begin the four-month trip to Punta Rassa. With rustlers, outlaws, and wolves ahead on the trail, they mount up and ride out.” (summary from Amazon.com)

Title: Brave the Wild Trail

Author: Milly Howard

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 10/5 😉

My Review:

I loved this book! It was a great read for a quiet afternoon. 🙂 Nothing bad about it; it was even from a Christian perspective! It is a fairly short book (121 pages), but jam-packed with adventure. 😉 It had small mysteries scattered without (like MINOR SPOILER!!! “who was the man watching the cattle?” SPOILER END!!!), but I don’t think it was a main part of the story. Some girls may not enjoy it as much as I did, as a boy is the main character, and his mom is the only woman/girl in the book (PLOT SPOILER!!! they are on a cattle drive for most of it, and the other helpers are men and boys SPOILER END!!!), but I thought it was okay. 🙂 All in all (I feel like I’m saying that a lot at the end of my reviews…), this was a WONDERFUL book. 😉

London in the Dark BLOG TOUR!!!

 

london-in-the-darkblog-tour-2Announcing… London in the Dark, by Victoria Lynn!!!

 

litd-book-cover-renewed

I love this cover!!!

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.

Title: London in the Dark

Author: Victoria Lynn

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction/Mystery

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Content: 5/5

My Review:

Aaaah!!! I loved this book! The storyline was well thought-out, and Victoria is very good at emotions. I was literally crying in spots (especially at the end)! The beginning was great, and the ending was OH SO GOOD!! The middle wasn’t quite so full of action, but it was still wonderful. I like how she put it all together into a marvelous book. 🙂 Now I need to rave a little:

The beginning:  I liked how the mystery started right away, SPOILER!! with the mysterious man at the dinner party. And the part with SPOILER!! the carriage accident, oh, that was so sad (and kind of a stunner-like, WHAT?!?!). *cries*

The middle: I liked how she peppered it with hints of what the ‘bad guys’ were doing, and showed Olivia’s emotions and how her brother treated her. 🙂

The end: This was my very favorite part of the book. The drama!!! WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS IN NEXT SENTENCE!!! Bancroft’s salvation, the almost-drowning, the wedding…. ❤

All in all, I would give this 5 stars all the way through. 🙂 Thank you for letting me review it, Victoria!

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

The Author:

Victoria Lynn

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.

 

 

Add on Goodreads ~ Buy on Amazon

 

And… Da Interview!

  • Which is your favorite character?

Oh my! That is such a hard question to answer! It is like trying to pick your favorite child! *wails* Hmmmm. . . All of the main characters are my favorite. I love them for different reasons. Can I pick 4? Olivia, Cyril, Dudley and Bancroft. 😀

Olivia was probably my favorite, but I like the other three as well. 🙂

  • How long did it take for you to write London in the Dark?

The rough draft from outline to writing “the end” was 7-8 months. I write long hand with a pen and notebooks, so it took me a while, but at the same time, I think it took me less time than if I had typed it because I wasn’t distracted, which is what tends to happen when I am on the computer.

Yes, that makes sense. 🙂

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

That is a REALLY good question. I would have to say only a little bit. I didn’t realize it at the time, but some of the relationships were similar to ones that I had experienced. Especially Olivia and Cyril’s. Not the same obviously, but similar feelings and emotions.

*doesn’t know what to say to that answer* 😛

  • What was your favorite scene to write?

OH dear. I have two in particular that come to mind. I loved writing the scene towards the middle where Dudley and Cyril are bantering/arguing back and forth. *grins* I loved that! The other scene was one of the main lynch-pin chapters in the middle. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say it is the chapter where something suspenseful happens to Olivia in Cyril’s office. 😀

Oh, yes, I remember that part. 🙂 I can imagine that that must have been fun to write, although I can’t imaging how you could stand it. 😛

  • Who is your favorite author?

Goodness! You are good at coming up with hard questions! LOL! I have quite a few who are my favorites and they are all older books. How about my top 3? Gene Stratton Porter, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Grace Livingston Hill.

I’ve only read books by Lucy Maud Montgomery (in that list). I don’t think I’ve even heard of Gene Stratton Porter! I’ll have to check him out! 🙂

Thank you so much for having me Leona! It was such a delight to answer your questions!

You are very welcome! I’m glad you had fun! 🙂

 

And, what’s more, there are a couple of giveaways!!

Giveaway on the blog for:

London giveaway and:

London in the Dark giveaway 2

Goodreads giveaway

For signed copy of London.

Please enter the giveaways!

Thank you all so much for reading! Please check out all the other blogs that are participating in this tour! You can find the full list on Victoria’s blog. 

 

Have you read London? Would you like to? (clue: answer is YES YES YES!!!) Would you like it if I did shorter blog tours (I know I tend to not read longer posts)? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Escape on the Underground Railroad, by Nancy LeSourd

untitled-3

“Hannah’s world is shaken when she discovers her family’s involvement with the Underground Railroad. When runaways find their way to her Virginia home, she must decide if she will play it safe or join her family to help the slaves escape. In Philadelphia, her friend Sarah is drawn into the life of a seven-year-old orphan whose world has been shattered by the evils of slavery. As the danger increases, the girls must find the courage they need to act before it is too late.” -from the back cover

Title: Escape on the Underground Railroad

Author: Nancy LeSourd

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Series: Liberty Letters, 1858

My Review:

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It wasn’t very exciting until the middle, but after that it was so good!! This book is composed of letters sent between two teen-aged girls. I like this style of writing so much that I have tried to write my own book in this style (needless to say, I haven’t gotten very far). There were a couple subtle hints of romance, but it wasn’t a main part of the story. I’m thinking that this is my favorite book in this series (that I’ve read), but I haven’t read the others in a while. 🙂

 

The Mystery of the Missing Map

543219

 

  “Kate, Anders, and Erik have traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where Kate’s Irish relatives live as caretakers of an enormous mansion. Kate is excited to meet her cousin Megan for the first time, and it turns out the two girls could be twins- except something about Megan is very different. Will it keep Kate and Megan from being best friends?

“Soon after their arrival, Kate, Anders, and Erik learn about a treasure map hidden somewhere on the grounds of the estate- but when two shady-looking men are seen lurking around the mansion, Kate is worried they will steal the missing treasure. Danger trails the foursome as they race to find the missing map and the treasure it promises- before the thieves catch up.” -from the back cover

Title: The Mystery of the Missing Map

Author: Lois Walfrid Johnson

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: 1289679474-2.png1289679474-21289679474-21289679474-2

Series: The Adventures of the Northwood #9

My Review:

This book was very entertaining, and had just enough ‘scary’ parts to keep me on the edge of my seat, so to speak. It did have a bit of romance, but nothing overly inappropriate (kissing, etc.); mainly just MINOR SPOILER! Kate and Erik SPOILER END!  making eyes at each other. The mystery part of it was very well developed (oh my, now I’m sounding like a professional critic!), was very exciting, and it was not easy to predict the outcome. I highly recommend this book!

The King’s Daughter and Other Stories

821101

“Due to the noble effort of the original California publisher, these stories were found in nearly every orphanage in our land during the late 1800’s. We bring to you an original reproduction of the 1910 edition with its 100 illustrations.” -excerpt from the back cover

 

Title: The King’s Daughter and Other Stories for Girls

Author: Various

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Series: Character Classics #1

My Review:

This little book is full of great short stories that will convict your heart. I would recommend it to younger girls. It is full of good character-building short stories.  The only thing that I did not like about is was that it was hard to read it in one sitting, because, after awhile, it got a little repetitive. This book has a great message to it, though. 🙂

****For those who were wondering, yes, I posted this a day early. I am going to be busy tomorrow; we are expecting some overnight guests on Friday. Thank you for understanding!

Beyond the River, by Robert Elmer

1035278

  “Spending the summer at their uncle’s farm off the west coast of Denmark promises Peter and Elise Andersen freedom from the constant German patrols and bomb sirens that plague their home town. But on their first night at the sheep farm, a British bomber is seen lighting up the night sky- its engines in flames!

The plane crashes into the icy waters of the North Sea, but by the time they arrive, the pilot has struggled to shore and hidden himself in the thick woods. Knowing they must find him before the German soldiers do, Peter, Elise, and their cousins begin a feverish search for the endangered British pilot.

“The guard dogs are barking and the German trucks are rumbling in the distance- will Peter and Elise be able to rescue the pilot in time?” -from the back of the book

Title: Beyond the River

Author: Robert Elmer

Genre: Christian Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

Series: The Young Underground, #2

My Review:

I love this series! My favorite part was when SPOILER!! Peter gets saved!!! SPOILER END!!  The only part that I didn’t like was that they mentioned “the bishop” and that the pastor was wearing a clerical collar. That almost makes it sound like they are Lutherans, but I’m not sure. I loved the story, though! I am starting to like “suspenseful” books more. 🙂

Indian Captive, by Lois Lenski

42466 
“In this classic frontier adventure, Lois Lenski reconstructs the real life story of Mary Jemison, who was captured in a raid as young girl and raised amongst the Seneca Indians. Meticulously researched and illustrated with many detailed drawings, this novel offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs.”

Title: Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

Author: Lois Lenski (http://www.loislenskicovey.org/)

Best Suited For: Ages 12+

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4/5 stars

Content:  3/5 stars. This book was an accurate portrayal of the Seneca life.  On the downside, to maintain the accuracy, Indian Captive mentioned false gods frequently.  There were also women in the drawings who were not fully clothed.

My Review: This was a wonderful book.  The only things I did not like about it were the things I mentioned in the Content section.  I enjoyed how it explained, in detail, of how they made pottery, moccasins, and planted and cared for corn, beans, and squash.  Molly Jemison seemed to be a nice girl, although she shouldn’t have believed the Indians when they talked about their ‘gods’.  As I said above, I think this book would be best for ages 12+, and I would recommend that parents read it before younger children do.

 

 

 

Alone Yet Not Alone, by Tracy Leininger Craven

17866677

Picture from GoodReads

A miraculous survival. An extraordinary faith.

Autumn 1755. Settled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America’s new frontier, the Leininger family celebrates the blessings of a beautiful homestead and bountiful harvest. Until tragedy strikes with the beginning of the French-Indian War, and the devastating raid known as the Penn’s Creek Massacre.

The lives of this simple, God-fearing family are forever altered when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by a band of Allegheny warriors. Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, Barbara and Regina hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.

Title: Alone Yet Not Alone

Author: Tracy Leininger Craven

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

My Review: Alone Yet Not Alone was a beautiful story of a young girl’s faith.  This book only contained 150 pages, but I loved every page of it.  I almost felt like crying during the climatic moments, and I guess that shows how much it impacted me. “Would I be as steadfast in the faith as Barbara was if I were in her position?,” I asked myself.  This is a very convicting book. 🙂 I especially enjoyed that this book is based on a true story.  I also really like the cover.  It really reflects Barbara and Regina’s fear (SPOILER ALERT!) as they get captured by the Indians.

I would recommend this book for ages 12+, only because it does have some romance in the last few chapters. (But nothing inappropriate; no kissing or anything.)

 

Written by Leona G., 11 yrs.

The Apprentices, by Sarah Brazytis

30817070

Picture from GoodReads

 

  “Old James is dead, and Lady Luckley has no recourse but to hire a new footman. She is elated to be given the priceless opportunity to get two perfectly matched footmen at the same time. George and Geoffrey are young, teachable, and eager for work.
But is Dunderlee House ready for identical twins?

Meticulously researched, The Apprentices will give you a glimpse into the servants’ quarters of an old house – and an idea of how two innocent boys can turn an elderly household upside down!”

 

Title: The Apprentices

Author: Sarah Brazytis (www.thehomegrownhistorian.yolasite.com)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 5/5

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 really enjoyed this short story.  It is only 90 pages long (paperback version), so it doesn’t take long to read.  I think the writing was good (though I’m no expert on it ;)), and it was easy to understand what was going on.  I liked how it showed that even twins have different personalities, because I haven’t read many books that are like that.  My favorite part was when (SPOILER ALERT!) Lady Luckley went to see George when he was sick.

All in all, this was a great book, and I would highly recommend it.

 

Written by Leona G., 11 yrs.

 

 

 

Jonas and Olivia, by Victoria Minks

 

30642984

Picture from Goodreads

  Jonas and Olivia was written by Victoria Minks.  This book contains 226 pages and takes place during the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Olivia Wilkerson is sent to live with Jonas Carmichael after her father, a renowned Baptist lawyer, passes away.  Jonas was her father’s best friend when they were both young.  Jonas didn’t know that Chauncey Wilkerson had died, and was also unaware that Olivia would be living with him.  He is an old, secluded man and does not want to have a young girl living with him.  He sends out letters, trying to find someone to take her.

Olivia is not happy when she arrives at Jonas’s mansion.  She is still mourning her father, and living with an old, grouchy man does not make her very happy.  Still, she finds comfort in trying to talk to Ishmael, the servant boy, and in making friends with Nabby Culpepper, a girl from the village.

As the book continues, we learn more about Jonas’s background, and why he is so hardened.  I won’t tell you much about it, except that he has had much sorrow in his life.

One day, Olivia spots a carriage coming down the road, and sees it stop if front of the gates.  She runs outside to tell them that Jonas does not welcome visitors, but they tell her that they are her aunt and uncle, come to take her away.  She packs her clothes, and leaves with them.

Jonas gets a letter from someone else who is willing to take her, and goes after them, to tell her.  He cannot find her, though, and goes back to his house with a heavy heart.

  Will Jonas and Olivia get re-united?  Will there be a happily-ever-after?  Read the book to find out!

 

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It is the first book by Victoria Minks that I have read, and it certainly my expectations.  I especially liked how Olivia (spoiler alert!) taught Ishmael to read.  I also loved how Jonas ever… so… slowly… warmed up to Olivia.

The beginning of this book was a little slow, but for the last half of it, I was on the edge of my seat!  For this reason only, I would like to give it four stars (instead of five)!  Jonas and Olivia deserves a huge round of applause!

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

 

 Interview with Victoria Minks!!!

Thanks for joining us today, Victoria!

1) What/who inspired you to write Jonas and Olivia
–It’s going to sound funny, but I sort of “met” one of the main characters, Jonas, in my head one day. I wasn’t brainstorming or anything… he just popped in my head and was like “Hey there! My name is Jonas!” From there on out I slowly learned more and more about who he was, his story, etc until it was finally pretty much a fully formed plot-line.
2) What was the hardest part of writing Jonas and Olivia?

–Figuring out Olivia’s character, probably. She took a bit more time to develop fully, and I spent a long time trying to understand her better and ‘dig deeper’.

3) What is the age range for this book?
–I think it’s the kind of book that most any age would enjoy. It’s family-friendly, but maybe the age range that would like it the best is 12-18.
4) What are your standards for books you read?
–My personal convictions lead me to ruling out books with sci-fi, fantasy genre, magic, over-the-top violence, glorification of sin, crude or bad language, or wrong relationships. I also prefer not to read most Christian romance. I’m not against romance, (It’s a natural, God-designed thing) but it just has to be done in the right way, and even in Christian books they tend to fall short of my preferences. 🙂
I do read books with flawed characters or characters who make mistakes. People in real life sin or make bad decisions, and seeing a character grow (or the results of them not repenting) I find valuable. As long as it’s presented in a clean way, of course! 🙂 I also read “non-Christian” books as long as is it is morally edifying and wholesome.
5) Are you planning on making this book into a series?
–Not really. In the back of the book you can find a link to three free short stories about the Culpepper family (who is featured in Jonas and Olivia a bit). I plan on writing more and eventually publishing a collection of Culpepper Tales, but that’s about it.
6) Where can we find your book?
–If you check out my link here, you can get to it easily: http://www.victoriaminks.com/jonas-and-olivia.html. Or you can search “Jonas and Olivia” on Amazon.com. 🙂
7) What are some tips you have for aspiring writers?
–Keep at it. The more you write the better you get. Don’t lose courage–if you’re writing for the Lord He will help you! 🙂
If you want extra tips/tricks, writing workbooks and more check out my blog at www.victoriaminks.com.

 

About the author:

   Victoria Minks was born in Oklahoma but moved to Japan as a missionary kid at age 3. Since then, she has enjoyed the life of a foreigner in four different locations in Japan.
An avid bookworm ever since she can remember, she has cultivated a desire for telling stories since a young age.
She has multiple favorites, but a few of them would be chocolate, music, historical fiction, horses, cowboy boots, old books, and rain. She believes life is a gift from God full of whimsical beauty and strives to honor God in it.

Link to Victoria’s blog HERE

Blog Tour: The Old River Road

Inline image 2

I’m so excited to be here for my first blog tour!  Ivy Rose is releasing her first book, and I am very happy to review it.

    Meet Ivy Rose and her debut novel, The Old River Road. This book is the first in a series of a yet-to-be-determined number of books based on the lives of the author’s ancestors. Written in a style similar to that of Janette Oke and Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is a story you won’t want to miss.

*This review contains spoilers*

30130910
Isn’t this a lovely cover?? 🙂

The Old River Road was written by Ivy Rose.  This book contains 400 pages.

Clara Boutwell meets William McDonald when he accidentally knocks her into a mud puddle outside their work.  He apologizes, and walks her home.  Soon, William is invited over to her house for dinner, and begins walking her home from work every day.  Clara gets to know him well, and discovers that he is a strong Christian, as she is.  Eventually William asks her if she will enter a courtship with him.  She agrees, and they get married 7 weeks after he proposes, on Valentines’ Day.

A few months after their marriage, Clara wakes up to hear William coughing uncontrollably.  She does what she can to make it stop, but is dreadfully worried for him.  After the coughing stops, he tells her that he has asthma.  It isn’t very bad, and Clara soon learns how to help him when he has these fits of coughing.

Their first child is born soon after that, and little Archibald is welcomed warmly into the family.  The next child is born two years after Archie, and is named Newton.   All is well… or so they think.  William is getting weaker every day because of his asthma, and when he goes to a lung specialist, the man says that he will die in two months.  The doctor says that William’s only hope is to go out west, out of the big city of Chicago.   Clara’s sister, Katie, had recently moved to Washington with her family, so William decides to go there.  The only problem is:  Clara and the children cannot go with him!  They will have to follow later.

With great agony, Clara and her husband part.  After a few months, William wires for Clara and the children to come.  They have a wonderful reunion, and soon buy their own house.  There, Clara gives birth to another little boy, who passes away only a few hours after birth.  A few years after that, she has another child: a little girl!  Clara and William name the little darling Vera.

The family moves to the Spokane river eventually, because the soil where they were living before wasn’t very good.  The cabin that they move into is right on the river, and Clara is very happy with it.  They live happily ever after there, at least in this book!

This was a very entertaining read and I highly recommend it!  I would like to give it five stars!

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**

Available now in paperback and e-book on Amazon

Add on Goodreads

Inline image 3

About the Author
Ivy Rose is an 18-year-old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, chocolate, traveling, reading, and ATVing (preferably if there is mud involved). She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

And next up: the Interview!!

Thanks for joining us, Ivy Rose!

1) What/who inspired you to write The Old River Road?
     What first inspired me was stumbling across Clara’s memoirs at the age of ten. I remember thinking, “Wow, this would make a super cool book! Too bad someone doesn’t write one.” Talk about knock-on-wood. 🙂
2) What is the age range for this book?
    Very few of my books are for a specific age range, and, instead are family friendly. I think anyone 8 and up would enjoy this book.
3) Where can we find your book?
    It is for sale on Amazon, as a paperback and e-book.
4) What are your standards for books you read?
    Any book I read must, first of all, honor God. If He were reading over my shoulder, I wouldn’t feel guilty. I can go into more detail, but that pretty much covers everything. 🙂
5) Are you planning on writing another book in this series soon?
    There will be an announcement regarding that on my blog at the end of this blog tour. 😉 But in short, yes.
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the giveaway!!
Ivy Rose is holding a giveaway in honor of her book release.  Please click one of the links below for a chance to enter!

The Old River Road Prize Pack (This is for people who live in the U.S. or Canada)

International Prize (If you live elsewhere, this one is for you!)

Here is the blog tour schedule:

Friday, July 8th (release day!)

Emily  — Review, Spotlight

Jesseca Wheaton — Review, Interview

Saturday, July 9th

Olivia K. Fisher  — Interview, Spotlight

Faith Blum  — Review, Interview, Spotlight

Hannah E.  — Review, Interview

Monday, July 11th

Faith Potts  – Review

Rebecca Morgan  — Review, Interview

Tuesday, July 12th

Abigayle Ellison  — Review, Spotlight

Kenzi Knapp  – Review, Interview

Hosanna Emily  — Review, Interview

Wednesday, July 13th

Blessing Counter  — Interview

Victoria Minks  — Review, Spotlight

Thursday, July 14th

Deborah C.  — Review, Spotlight

Anna S. Brie  — Review

Leona G. — Review, Interview

Friday, July 15th

Hope Ann — Review, Interview

Amanda Tero — Review, Interview

Anika Joy – Review, Interview

A Peep Behind the Scenes, by Mrs.O. F. Walton

19493225

Picture from Goodreads.com.

A Peep Behind the Scenes was written by Mrs. O.F. Walton.  My copy contains 255 pages.  This book was published by Lamplighter Publishing.

A Peep Behind the Scenes is about a little girl named Rosalie.  Rosalie is the daughter of a traveling theater director.  Because of this, Rosalie, her mother, and her father live in a caravan.  They constantly travel to different fair-grounds to put on their show.  Mr. Joyce, Rosalie’s father, is cruel and does not care about Rosalie or her mother.  Mrs. Joyce is fatally ill, and worsens because of the constant moving.

At one town they pass, a elderly man gives Rosalie a card with a picture of a shepherd holding a lamb on it.  Underneath the picture it says “Rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheep which was lost.  There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”   Rosalie and her mother get saved because of this card.

Throughout the story,  Rosalie learns more of her mother’s background.  As different events happen, Rosalie has to learn to trust in the Lord.  She eventually goes to live at her aunt’s house, and along the way leads a few people to Christ.  She lives happily at her aunt’s house until she grows up.

This was a wonderful book about a young girl as she grows up.  I liked how Rosalie always trusts in the Lord, even when things get tough.  I think that that is a good attitude to have.  I highly recommend this book to young ladies 8 and up.

 

Written by Leona G., 11 yrs.

 

Fire by Night, by Loree Lough

 

 

2288399

Picture from Goodreads.com

 

Fire by Night, by Loree Lough, is a Christian fiction book. It contains 137 pages and is the fourth book in “The American Adventure” series. This book takes place in Boston, MA during 1635.

Fire by Night is about Phillip Smythe. In this book, a cyclone sweeps through Boston, and Phillip’s father’s carpentry shop is flattened. To make money, Father goes to England to build furniture for the king. (He is a very good carpenter.) While Father is gone, a fire burns up their house. On top of all that, Phillip’s sister dies after giving birth to a baby daughter. Phillip blames God, but soon learns that it all happened for a reason. Soon, Phillip, with the help of his brother John, re-build Father’s shop. And, after twenty months, Father comes home! In the end, everything turns out all right.

One of the best things about this book is that Phillip learns to trust God in everything. That is a lesson that everyone needs to learn. God is always in control!

The rest of the books in this series are very good, as well. I highly recommend all of them.

 

Written by Leona G, 11 yrs.

Millie’s Faithful Heart, based on the characters by Martha Finley

 

  Millie’s Faithful Heart was based on the characters by Martha Finley.  It contains 224 pages and is the fourth book in the “A Life of Faith: Millie Keith” series.  This book is a fiction novel that begins in in the south during 1838.

Millie’s Faithful Heart is about a girl named Millie who is sent south to her uncle’s plantation for her health.  The book before this one, Millie’s Remarkable Journey, describes her journey south.  One of my favorite things about this book is how she falls in love with a non-Christian.  Now, don’t stop reading here, please!  She declines his proposal because of her belief about being “un-equally yoked.”   I think that she had great faith, and knew that she had to do what was right.

In this book, Millie also helps a slave girl and her brother. Millie’s aunt Isabel said that if Millie attended all the parties, she would give the girl to Millie.  Millie doesn’t want to be a slave owner, but she decides that once she goes back to Indiana, she will set Laylie free.  That doesn’t happen, but Laylie and Luke do get to freedom!  I won’t tell you the ending, but it is really cool!

This is a good book about guarding your heart.

If you enjoyed this book, I also recommend the Elsie Dinsmore Series, by Martha Finley. I am anticipating reading the next books in this series, as well.

 

Violet’s Hidden Doubts, based on the characters by Martha Finley

 

  Violet’s Hidden Doubts was based on the characters by Martha Finley.  It contains 224 pages and is the first book in the “A Life of Faith: Violet Travilla” series.  This book is a fiction novel that begins at a Southern plantation in October of 1877.

Violet’s Hidden Doubts is about Violet (or Vi) Travilla. In this book, Vi’s beloved father dies.  She is devastated at this loss and draws back from the family. Later, Vi opens up to her mother and confesses that she believes that she caused her father’s death. Elsie convinces her that her feelings are not correct, and Vi is back to her usual self.

Later in the book, Vi and her family take a trip to Viamede, the plantation where Elsie was born.  Once there, Elsie’s cousin Molly gets married. Many other exciting things happen, also.

One of the best things about this book is the relationship that Vi and her family have with God.  Several people in this book learn important lessons that we can apply to our lives, too.

If you enjoyed this book, I also recommend the Elsie Dinsmore Series, by Martha Finley. I am anticipating reading the next books in this series, as well.

 

Sweet Home Alaska, by Carole Estby Dagg

 

 

Picture from Infosoup.org

 

Sweet Home Alaska was written by Carole Estby Dagg. It contains 298 pages and is classified on the publisher’s website for children 10 and up. I rank this book as ♥♥♥♥.

Sweet Home Alaska is a book about a girl named Terpsichore (pronounced Terp-SICK-oh-ree) Johnson. This book takes place during the Great Depression, so when Terpsichore’s family hears about President Roosevelt’s plan to send families to Alaska, they gladly go. After a long boat ride, the Johnson family is greeted by the news that they must stay in a tent with another family until their own tent is put up. When they get their own tent, Mrs. Johnson does not know how to use the small woodstove, and thus burns a cake. This draws a large crowd of people. Luckily, Terpsichore has made a new friend named Gloria who helps her figure out the stove.

One of the main parts of the book is that Terpsichore wants to have a library. She works hard to get it, with the help of of her friend Gloria and another boy named Mendel. The library is located in the camp’s pastor’s tent.

Soon, the first real harvest comes. Mr.Johnson had promised his wife that at that time, she could decide whether they would stay in Alaska or not. Terpsichore hatched a plan to persuade her mother to stay. She made enough money to buy a piano. Mrs. Johnson had taken piano in college and loved it. She ended up deciding to stay!

 

The only reason I gave this a 4 heart instead of a 5 is that a few bad words are mentioned. It only happens about 5 times, but it is still there. On a positive note, when a boy says something that sounds like a bad word, Terpsichore reprimands him.

 

Written by Leona G., 11 yrs.

 

The Mysterious Hideaway by Lois Walfrid Johnson

the mysterious hidaway                                                Picture from http://amazon.com

About This Book:

Spring term at the Spirit Lake School had begun, and the one-room building is filled with the excitement of friends who have finally gotten back together again. But from the very first day, this spring term promises to be different than any other in the school’s history. First, there’s Ben, the brother of Kate O’Connell’s mother. Although he’s older than the teacher, he needs to learn English and joins Kate and Anders as school begins. At six feet three inches tall, Ben causes a stir with the school children-and the teacher! Then there’s the strange sound that Kate hears above the noise of the first day’s hubbub. Where did it come from? The ceiling above her desk? Or from beneath the floor? Could she have imagined it? A series of baffling clues that seem to make no sense have Kate, Anders, and Erik searching for answers.”Exerpt from back of book.

Review:

I enjoyed this book very much. It was a very good book and I had no problems with it. I also like the rest of the books in this series. ♥♥♥♥♥

Series: Adventures of the Northwoods #6

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ISBN: 1556612389

Written by: Leona G., 11 yrs.

The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson by Ann McGovern

t.s.s.blogAbout This Book:

“In 1778, when Deborah Sampson was 18 years old, most girls her age were settling down and getting married. But Deborah had other ideas. She wanted to travel and have adventures-even if it meant dressing like a man!  In 1782, The Revolutionary War was still going on. And no one suspected that the man in the uniform was really a woman.” Exerpt from the back of the book. 

Review: I really liked this book. It is only 64 pages long, so it would be good for younger girls ages 7-9. It is a informing biography on women in the 16th century. ♥♥♥♥♥

Series: None

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

ISBN: 9780590430524

Written By: Leona G., 10 yrs.

Rebekah in Danger: Peril in Plymouth Colony by Colleen L. Reece

blogAug.11,2015Maryslessorplussistersintime 001

About This Book:

It’s no exaggeration to say that Rebekah and her family are in mortal danger. The first winter at Plymouth Colony is bitterly cold, many of the pilgrims are sick, and food is in short supply.  Ten-year-old Rebekah does her part to help, taking long hours of chores and tending to the weak. She’ll do all that she can to keep herself and her family strong-but what if she fails? She prays that God won’t allow her, or her parents, to fall sick and die as so many others have.” Exerpt from the back of the book.

Review:

In this book, Rebekah Cunningham and her family are very brave. It would be hard to leave all your friends and go to a place never explored before, but God was with them. A very good book. ♥♥♥♥♥

Series: Sisters in Time

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.

ISBN:1593103522

Written By: Leona G., 10 yrs.

 

A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon

About This Book:

The Orphan Train Adventures begin in 1860 in New York City, where Mrs. Kelly, a young widow, realizes she cannot give her six children the life they deserve. Mrs. Kelly makes the ultimate sacrifice of love and sends them West on the orphan train to find better lives with new families. The children, especially thirteen-year-old Frances Mary, feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal and abandonment. Their arrival in St. Joseph, separates the children not only from heir mother, but also from each other as well. One by one they are adopted by western families – some looking for children to love, others only seeking cheap labor. Frances has promised Ma that she will look after Petey, her youngest brother, no matter what. Will honoring Ma’s request help Frances understand that splitting up the family was really her mother’s act of love?” Exerpt from the back of the book.

Review:

This book is very interesting. It would be good for girls ages 8-12. Some of it is also sad, like when the children are separated. I am hoping that all of the rest of the books in this series are as good as this one. Five stars!♥♥♥♥♥ (or hearts!)

Series: The Orphan Train Adventures

Publisher: Gareth Steven Publishing

ISBN:0836826388

Written By: Leona G.