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

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

Author: Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

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

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ (three stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Fans 

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

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

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

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

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

Title: A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Fans

Author: David W. Cloud

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

Approved By God, by Wright/Townsend

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

Title: Approved by God: A Case for Modern Disestablishment

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

Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

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

My Review:

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

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

Hymns in the Hills: RELEASE TOUR!!

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

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

First off, the review…

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

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

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

Title: Hymns in the Hills

Author: Rebekah A. Morris

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

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

Recommended age range: 10+

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me: What inspired you to write this novel?

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


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

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


Me: Who do you think would enjoy this?

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


Me: Who is your favorite character?

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


Me: What is your favorite scene?

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

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

Me: You’re welcome! Thanks for coming!

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

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

Monday, May 27th

Rebekah – Introduction post

Leona – Review and Author interview

Amanda – Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 28

Kaitlyn S. – Review and Author Interview

Rebekah Ashley – Book Spotlight

Rebekah – Names

Wednesday, May 29

Erika – Review

Sarah – Book Spotlight

Rebekah – Hymn Books

Thursday, May 30

Kaylee – Review

Rachel – Review 

Rebekah – Editing

Friday, May 31

Esther – Author Interview

Jessica – Book Spotlight

Rebekah – Setting

Saturday, June 1

Kassie – Review and Author Interview

Rosalyn – Book Spotlight/Review

Penny – Review

Rebekah – Final Post + Book Covers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: James R. Beller

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Romance Content: N/A

Recommended age range: 13+

My Review:

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

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

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.

Made for the Journey, by Elisabeth Elliot

Image result for made for the journey by elisabeth elliot

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

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

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

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

Genre(s): Christian Nonfiction/Memoir

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

 

Speak Truth in Your Heart, by Sarah Mally

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

Title: Speak Truth In Your Heart

Author: Sarah Mally

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Mother, by Kathleen Norris

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

Image result for mother by kathleen norris

From Amazon.com

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

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

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

Title: Mother

Author: Kathleen Norris

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

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

Recommended age range: Perhaps 12+?

My Review:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Radiant Modesty, by Rebekah Joy

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

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

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

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

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

   “Here are the topics covered in this book:

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

      “Bonus Material

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

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

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

Title: Radiant Modesty

Author: Rebekah Joy

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None.

Recommended age range: 12+

My Review:

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

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

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

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

Martha’s Fun Summer, by Bekah O’Brien

from Amazon


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

Title: Martha’s Fun Summer

Author: Bekah O’Brien

Genre(s): Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Lettering with Purpose, by Brittany Luiz

Image result for hand lettering with purpose

from Google.com

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

Title: Lettering with Purpose

Author: Brittany Luiz

Genre(s): Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kiera, by Kate Willis

Kiera

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

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

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

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

Title: Kiera

Author: Kate Willis

Genre(s): Christian Dystopian

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

Loved it. It’s a must read. ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂

 

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

An Old Fashioned Girl, by L. M. Alcott

 

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

from Google

 

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

Title: An Old-Fashioned Girl

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre(s): Historical Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

 

Zvi

Image result for zvi book

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

Author: Elwood McQuaid

Genre(s): Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

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

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

My Review:

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

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

 

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

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

Brief hiatus…

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

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

Sign-off for GBfGG

The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers

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

Title: The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers

Author: Rebekah A. Morris

Genre(s): Christian Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None.

Recommended age range: 10+

My Review:

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

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

 

Will Our Generation Speak? by Grace Mally

cover from answersingenesis.org

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

Title: Will Our Generation Speak?

Author: Grace Mally

Genre(s): Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None!

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

My Review:

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

 

 

The Family Daughter, by Sarah Bryant

Image result for the family daughter by sarah bryant

Title: The Family Daughter

Author: Sarah Bryant

Genre(s): Non-Fiction; Inspirational

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever.

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

My Review:

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

 

 

BLOG TOUR!!! White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Blog Tour Banner Final

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

tammy lash2

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

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

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

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

Title: White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Author: Tammy Lash

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

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Author: Tammy Lash

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

You can connect with the author on:

The Giveaway:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also posting today for this blog tour:

Sarah Addison-Fox

and

Kaylee H.

 

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.**

The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

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

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

Buy on Amazon

Title:  The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

Author: Jeff Gerke

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

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

 

 

 

The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ, by Jerry Ross

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

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

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

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

Buy on Amazon

Title: The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ

Author: Jerry L. Ross

Genre(s): Devotional, Inspirational

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

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

Recommended age range:  12+

My Review:

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vinegar Boy by Alberta Hawse

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    “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 Legend of Annie Murphy, by Frank Peretti

Starting today, I will be posting reviews on Mondays as well as Thursdays, Lord willing 🙂

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In 1885, the Murphy mine struck gold. According to legend, Annie Murphy killed her husband out of greed. Just before she was to be hanged for the murder, she escaped. Now, 100 years later, there have been sightings of Annie Murphy’s “ghost”. The Coopers unwittingly become involved in a mystery that finds them caught between the past and the present.

 

Title: The Legend of Annie Murphy

Author: Frank Peretti

Genre(s): Christian Fiction, Time travel (if that’s even a genre… lol)

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.

Recommended age range: 10-15

My Review:

This… was a very interesting book! I loved the time travel aspect of it- I’ve always been intrigued by time travel, even though I know it isn’t a reality- and with the mystery intertwined… very cool. 🙂 I enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended, but just a warning- time travel is not really real (as far as I know), so don’t let this book convince you. 😉

Spring with the Moodys, by Sarah Maxwell

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Spring with the Moodys is the fourth book in the Moody Family Series. As the twins’ birth nears, the children want to bless Mom, and their surprising idea for how to do that is a huge success. In the midst of waiting for the twins, a pet-sitting job is unexpectedly given to them and brings its own excitement. There is incredible joy when the Moody twins arrive! Mr. Delome, the neighbor across the street, continues to be part of the Moodys’ lives along with other familiar characters from the first three books. Come join the Moody family for the spring.” ~from Goodreads

Buy on Amazon (my affiliate link)

Title: Spring with the Moodys

Author:  Sarah Maxwell

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction

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

Romance Content: absolutely none at all!!

Recommended age range: 3-10

My Review:

I loved this book! It is the 4th one I’ve read in this series, and I enjoyed it very much.
The twins were so cute, and I loved hearing how the Moody children were helpful to their mother after the birth. I also thought it was sweet how the children planned for birthdays and the baby shower by themselves. It gave me ideas for how I could bless my siblings, which I’ve been trying to do lately.
This book may be intended for a younger age group, but I still enjoyed it very much. It wasn’t a mystery, or anything like that, but I thought that it was a good break from the high-suspense books I’ve been reading lately. 😉

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. 🙂 )

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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

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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:

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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