Why I Don’t Read Romance Novels

Why I don't read romance novels graphic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign-off for GBfGG

The Treacherous Trail, by C.R. Hedgcock

See the source image

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

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

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

Title: The Treacherous Trail

Author: C.R. Hedgcock

Genre(s): Christian Mystery/Suspense

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever.

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

My Review:

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

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

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

One Thing I Desire, by Sarah L. Bryant

   

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

    “What is your deepest desire?

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

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

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

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

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

Title: One Thing I Desire: To Know Christ More

Author: Sarah L. Bryant

Genre(s): Christian Inspirational, Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever

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

My Review:

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

 

 

Will Our Generation Speak? by Grace Mally

cover from answersingenesis.org

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

Title: Will Our Generation Speak?

Author: Grace Mally

Genre(s): Non-fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None!

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

My Review:

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

 

 

The Family Daughter, by Sarah Bryant

Image result for the family daughter by sarah bryant

Title: The Family Daughter

Author: Sarah Bryant

Genre(s): Non-Fiction; Inspirational

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (five stars)

Romance Content: None whatsoever.

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

My Review:

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

 

 

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

warning: MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS SYNOPSIS!!!

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

Title: The Return

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

Genre(s): Christian/Historical Fiction

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Review written by Jen G, Leona’s mom.

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

 

Northkill, by Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler

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

Title: Northkill

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

Genre(s): Christian/Historical Fiction

Rating:

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

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Review written by Jen G, Leona’s mom.

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

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

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

Title: Jeff McLean: His Courtship

Author: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

 

 

There Was Always Laughter in Our House review

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

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

Well, let’s get on to the post! 🙂

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

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

Title: There Was Always Laughter in Our House

Author: Sarah Holman

Genre(s): Non-fiction, biography

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

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

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

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

LaughterBlogTour (1)

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

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

About the Author:

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

Giveaway, Anyone?

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

BLOG TOUR: Bound, by Victoria Lynn

bound blog tour banner.png

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get it on Amazon

Title: Bound

Author: Victoria Lynn

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction

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

Romance Content: None, really. 🙂

Recommended age range: 12+

My Review:

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

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

There were some things that I didn’t like:

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

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

 

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

Bound Quote 1Bound Quote 2Bound Quote 3

 

Interview with the Author:

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

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

3 months for the rough draft.

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

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

  • What was your favorite scene to write? 

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

  • Which is your favorite character?

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

About the Author:

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

Blog WebsiteFacebook GoodreadsPinterest

 

Bound Giveaway (1)

 Giveaway info can be found by clicking here.

 

 

The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

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

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

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

Buy on Amazon

Title:  The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction

Author: Jeff Gerke

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

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

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

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

My Review:

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

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

 

 

 

The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ, by Jerry Ross

https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1342127491l/2316665.jpg

“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:

https://i2.wp.com/slideplayer.com/slide/5874605/19/images/34/WHAT+IS+A+FOOLISH+YOUTH.jpg

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 🙂

 

 

Footprints in the Barn

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/4126X0tGDYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

from Amazon.com

   “Who is the man in the green car? What is going on in the hayloft? Is there something wrong with the mailbox? And what’s for lunch? The answers to these and many other interesting questions are found in the book Footprints in the Barn.” ~from Goodreads.com

 

Title: Footprints in the Barn

Author: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castlebury

Genre(s): Christian 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 whatsoever! 🙂

Recommended age range: 5-13

My Review:

 

This was a great book! All of the different mysteries were figured out in the end, and I especially liked the ending to The Mystery of the Hayfort (not to confuse anyone; this is not a collection of short stories, just Jason and Andy solve three mysteries through the course of the book)! Good principles are learned in this book, such as working hard, not complaining, and being grateful with what God has given you. I highly recommend it for ages 5-13, although it is appropriate for all ages.

 

The Legend of Annie Murphy, by Frank Peretti

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

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/P/0849936454.01._SS250_SS250_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

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. 😉

The Courtship of Sarah McLean

https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1369270702l/2052798.jpg

    “Sarah McLean is a nineteen year-old girl who longs to become a wife and mother. The book chronicles a period of two years, in which she has to learn to trust her parents and God fully in their decisions for her future.”

 

Title: The Courtship of Sarah McLean

Author: Mr. and Mrs. Steven Castlebury

Genre(s): Christian 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: Nothing inappropriate; the main theme of the story is courtship and marriage, but it is portrayed in a Biblical and God-honoring way (no kissing, holding hands, hugging, etc between un-married couples).

Recommended age range: 10-100! 🙂

My Review:

Okay, can I just say that this is an AMAZING book? It was sooo good, and had an accurate portrayal of Biblical courtship.
My parents have decided that courtship is the best way of action for us (their children) and I was happily amazed to find a good, sound book that shows this. It showed Sarah’s struggles and triumphs, which I thought was a great thing. I would not say that it was un-realistic in any way at all; I know many people who have the same standards as Sarah and her family. It was a blessing to see how Sarah and her siblings helped out around the house with a good attitude.
I appreciate the good message that this book gives; I have to say that it is the first book I have found like it (which is pretty sad).

 

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 Scripture Sleuth 3, by Matthew Halverson

   https://www.scripturetruth.com/images/Scripture%20Sleuth%203.jpg

  “Who stole the lumberjack statue? Is a peanut butter sandwich really powering the digital clock, or is it just a science fair scam? Why is there a mysterious skydiver in Pine Tops? Concord Cunningham can crack all the cases, but can you? In the third volume of unique Scripture Sleuth mysteries, Concord once again faces an exciting new case in each chapter. Though Concord always solves the mystery, he never gives away the solution. Instead, he reveals the location of a Bible verse which holds the mystery’s final clue. Then it’s up to you to look up the clue and crack the case! Not sure about your answer? No problem. The solutions are at the back of the book.

“Scripture Sleuth 3 also includes ” The Greatest Case,” which brings Concord face to face with another Scripture Sleuth. Together, they investigate the most important case ever. These timeless and lighthearted mysteries are certain to make you think, laugh and make looking up Bible verses is irresistibly fun.” ~from Goodreads

 

Title: The Scripture Sleuth 3

Author: Matthew Halverson

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

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: 7-10

My Review:

I loved this book! I enjoy books where you have to solve the mystery, and having to look up Bible verses for it? That was a great idea! The mysteries were each unique, and I only figured out a couple without looking in the back.

I am not sure what Bible version is used in this book, but I don’t think that it was KJB. That is a slight downside to it, but I still enjoyed it very much. 🙂 I would recommend this book for ages 7-10.

 

 

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

The Twin Arrows, by Kate Willis

https://i2.wp.com/images.gr-assets.com/books/1495489103l/35202910.jpg    

      “Two children. Two journeys. Twin arrows.

“Ryla follows her father’s parting instructions as closely as she carries his gift. Her protectors are kind, and safety is certain inside the convent’s strong walls. But now she must leave and what lies ahead is uncertain…

“Her brother Drewin won’t wait any longer. The knight promised to escort him isn’t coming, and gossiping neighbors threaten to reveal his identity. He strikes out on his own, sure he can outrun the danger…” ~from Goodreads

Title: The Twin Arrows

Author: Kate Willis

Genre(s): Christian Dystopian/Fantasy (not sure which)

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.

Things I did like:

I am starting to enjoy non-magical fantasy more, and this is a great example of that genre!

The emotions expressed…aahh!!! So well written! And not just the emotions, the whole thing was very well polished. 😉 Great details, etc.

I liked the parallel between our Heavenly Father and our earthly one (or did I just imagine that??).

I also loved how Kate showed God’s love and care for us when we turn to Him.

Things I didn’t like:

Something that I had a slight problem with was that one of the main characters lived in an abbey for part of the story… I didn’t feel comfortable with the Catholic reference. Of course, no Catholic doctrine/theology was mentioned, but still… I didn’t like that. :/ However, that hardly took away from the storyline/plot. 🙂 And, I could understand why she used that-I can’t think of a different place for Ryla SLIGHT SPOILER!! to be safe in… besides a friends house…:P SPOILER END!!

One thing that I think could have used some work was the background to the story… I didn’t understand really what was going on… SPOILER!! the revolution, why they had to hide… and I didn’t know about their mother being in a different country until the end…SPOILER END!! but that may hate just been the writing style; sharing the different parts of the story as the book  goes along.

 

I know it seems like there was a lot more that I didn’t like about this book than what I did, but really, I highly recommend it!! I just feel that sometimes it is good to let people know what might be questionable in books, and let them find all the good parts for themselves (…as I’ve said before 😛 ). 😉

 

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

 

The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser, by Hosanna Emily

the mystery of the midnight trespasser

   “‘Rosy growled, and I knew she was pacing the porch. I sensed her uneasiness. Something was wrong. Rosy never barked at cars; why would she choose this one?’

   “13 year-old Emily Kessler believes in God, but when she discovers someone trespassing in the middle of the night, can she learn to trust in Him completely? Will she have the courage to solve the mystery with her friends? And when everything falls apart, will Emily be able to keep those she loves safe?” ~from Goodreads

Title: The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser

Author: Hosanna Emily

Genre(s): Christian, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

My Review:

I have been wanting to read this book for a while, and I finally got a chance to. I really enjoyed it! Hosanna Emily did a great job writing this book. I was reading an e-copy, so it could just be that, but I did notice a number of typos. I’m kind of persnickety about that. 😉
This book was well-rounded. I like how it was from a first-person POV (I think that’s what it’s called??). The Kessler kids & friends reminded me of my siblings and myself. 🙂 We enjoy playing in the woods by my grandparents’ house. Parts of the book were a bit confusing; at one point one or two of Emily’s siblings (I can’t remember how many) appear, when they weren’t mentioned earlier. I do like the mystery, however. It was very exciting. 😉
I read a negative review on Goodreads, in which the reader “complained” that the kids didn’t talk to their parents about the mystery. I would agree that that is misfortunate, but I have noticed that this is a common theme in mystery books (the Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, etc.). I would say that the author could have done a better job showing parental involvement, etc, but I would also say that it did make the story more scary/interesting/etc. *shrugs*
All in all, this was a pretty good book, and I would definitely recommend it. It was clean, and Bible verses were used throughout (although I must say that I was disappointed that the American Standard Version was used {since I am a firm believer in the KJB}).

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? Please comment below with your opinions!

Aaannnddd… this has nothing to do with this book, but just to let ya’ll know, I am going on vacation next week, and will not be able to post. I will try to schedule a post, but WordPress doesn’t always co-operate when I try that, so… we’ll see! 🙂

Peril on Providence Island, by C. R. Hedgcock

Peril on Providence Island (Baker Family Adventures #2)

“The Bakers are full of excitement as they head to the English countryside to celebrate Grandfather Wilson’s eightieth birthday. When an elderly neighbor with Alzheimer’s disease tells a tale of treasure lost on the high seas, the Bakers are sure she has confused reality with fiction. But as they find information that supports Old Marge’s story, they begin wondering whether there is truth in it after all.

“Can the discovery of an ancient treasure help Old Marge stay in her beloved cottage and out of a nursing home? This question sends the Bakers on a swashbuckling adventure of mystery and peril, following an old diary through mysterious caves and a maze of clues in search of the missing treasure. Along the way, their quest is marked by amazing providences that point to this key conclusion: God’s ways are always right and true.” ~from Goodreads

Title: Peril on Providence Island

Author: C.R. Hedgcock

Genre(s): Christian YA Fiction

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (four stars)

Recommended age range: 10+, because of some suspense

My Review:

AAAAHHH!!! This was so good! I mean, the action! the suspense! This was better than the first Baker Family Adventure, in my opinion. It was VERY good. Some more details:

SPOILER ALERT!! The Bakers go to England for Mr. Baker’s father’s 80th birthday. While there, they meet an elderly lady, who tells them a story of treasure, under the sea. Anyways, long story short, they end up going to this island, finding the chest of gold, and fighting off and catching bad guys. SPOILER END!! For those who skipped the spoiler, the Bakers have a rather exciting (and stressful at times) adventure. My kind of story, folks. 🙂 (My synopsis there sounds terribly cliche, but it wasn’t, really. 😉 ) Annnnddd… You really have to read this, folks. I’m serious. It is GOOD!! 🙂

The only reason why I don’t fully recommend this book (and the rest of the series) is because the King James Bible is not used (I think the NKJV is used, if I remember right). But other than that, I really liked it!

So, basically, this was a WONDERFUL, ACTION PACKED book. A must read. 🙂

Autumn with the Moodys, by Sarah Maxwell

https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1395215371l/2150948.jpg

from Goodreads.com

“Starting where Summer with the Moodys ended, the Moodys begin their new homeschool year. Not only is Mom experiencing morning sickness, but Maple, the eleven-week-old puppy, adds her twist of excitement. Packed into the book, you’ll find the Moodys helping their grandparents move nearby, an emergency trip to the doctor’s office, puppy training, birthday excitement, blessing neighbors, homeschooling–and to wrap the book up–a special Thanksgiving surprise!” ~from Goodreads.com

Title:  Autumn with the Moodys

Author: Sarah Maxwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 6/5

My Review:

I don’t know, maybe I was in a better mood when I read this book, but I liked it better than the last one. It had more action (in the last one it didn’t seem like the Moodys DID much, if you know what I mean). And I’m starting to agree with the idea that books should have good examples in them (as opposed to people being bad, and getting punished for it). There might just be something to that! However, I think that there still should be some “conflict” in a story; otherwise, it just gets boring (kinda like the first book in the series). 😉
So, I guess that this “review” was more a stating of my opinions in general instead of a review of this book in specific, but I hope you don’t mind. I guess I’ll tell you some more about the book below (DO NOT READ IT IF YOU DON’T LIKE SPOILERS!!!):
SPOILER ALERT!! I LOVED Maple! My family is hoping to get a puppy, so that just made her more adorable. ❤ And the stuff with Mrs. Moody having morning sickness-very realistic, people! My mom hasn’t really had much with her pregnancies, but I know people who have. This just adds to the reality of the book, which I liked. And… Grandpa Moody getting saved at the end!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ !!! I loved that Miss Maxwell gave the whole salvation plan, and what exactly happened (as opposed to just saying, “he accepted Christ”). So, yeah. There were a lot of things that I liked about this book. 😉 SPOILER END!!

How was that for a review (and some MAJOR spoilers)?!? I think I did pretty well giving away the main points of the book (in that last section). 😛

BYE!! ❤

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. 🙂

Missionary Stories with the Millers, by Mildred A. Martin

Experience thrilling adventure as the Christian missionaries on these pages meet witch doctors, disease, drought, hate-filled guerillas, a Bible thief and killer cats!

Best of all, each one of these stories is based on an actual happening from the lives of real people.  Follow these missionaries as they respond to God’s call.   Some of them miraculously escape danger, while others face martyrdom for Christ- but the soldiers of the Cross always win in the end!

Title: Missionary Stories with the Millers

Author: Mildred A. Martin

Genre: Christian Non-Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

My Review:

I absolutely loved this book!  I loved learning about how God protected different people who were serving Him.  Missionary Stories with the Millers also gave me a heart for missions.  I would recommend this book for children 8+.  It would also be good for kids younger than that, but there are some scary parts, so I recommend that parents read through it first to decide if it would be appropriate.