Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bachelor by Stephanie Reed (book review)

The Bachelor

Book Two of Plain City Peace

By Stephanie Reed

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Bachelor-001

Genre- Fiction / Amish 

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 253

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4216-2

The Bachelor, by Stephanie Reed, is the second book in the Plain City Peace series.  Betsie Troyer is asked to take care of Shelia, the young girl from the English family she lived with, while Shelia's father goes to find her mother.  Betsie does not know what to do, but decides to take her in.  Betsie hopes that her sister, Sadie, and Charley Yoder, a man she has promised herself to understands. 

They do not understand and Betsie cannot turn to her parents, because they have left the Amish ways.  Betsie does what she thinks is best and goes through each day in the best way she can. 

Will her family understand and accept what she is doing?  Will her relationship with Charley be ruined, since she is taking care of someone who is English.  Why is she thinking of Shelia's brother, Michael, so much?

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Stephanie Reed currently lives in Ohio, near the site of an Amish community.  She gets her ideas from Ohio.

My thoughts-

I thought The Bachelor, by Stephanie Reed, was unlike most of the Amish themed books that I have read in the past.  This book had a lot more depth and character development.  I felt like I really knew Betsie Troyer and Shelia (young English girl). 

I have never read any Amish book where the Amish take care of the English.  It was very brave of Betsie to take care of Shelia.  Betsie lived in a stricter Ordnung, so I was surprised when the bishop did nothing.  I was not surprised by the end of the book, the bishop was unlike most bishops.  (I will not spoil the surprise though.)  Reed did a good job portraying Christian life through Shelia.  Shelia was a preteen, but she was a stronger Christian than most adult Christians.  She is someone we should all try to be, for example she was very forgiving of Abijah and Sadie when they were mean to her.

The one thing I would add to this book would be a glossary for the Amish words.  I think I figured most of them out from the context of the sentence, but I'm not sure.  I thought the discussion questions were really good.  I learned more about the Amish, 1970's, and Christianity when I read and answered the questions.

I enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to reading book three, The Bride.  I would recommend this book to others.  If you have not read the first book in the series, The Bargain (I had not), that is fine.  I found that I was not missing anything.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Bachelor, by Stephanie Reed, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks (Book Review)

The Heretic

By Henry Vyner-Brooks

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Heretic-001

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 603

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-095-0

Taking place over four years, The Heretic, by Henry Vyner-Brooks, explores England during the Reformation period during 1530's.  It is a time of deceit, upheaval, and reform.  Brother Pacificus has takes center stage in this book along with his brother, and the children they rescued when their parents were taken as heretics.

Brother Pacificus is a former Lord, so he knows everything that is happening and soon he is part of one of the last Benedictine houses.  What will happen to him and the rest of the brothers, since the King and Cromwell are shutting them down?  Will all of Pacificus's plans work?  Will he be able to take care of his family, abbey, and the children he rescued?

About the Author-

Henry Vyner-Brooks currently lives with his wife in Cumbria.  He wrote this story for his sons.  He has been a landscape architect, property developer, and pastor.

My thoughts-

I thought this was a very interesting book, but the best part did not start until part three, when Pacificus took the children to one of his friends to be trained in the ways of nobility.

I know that the rest of the book was building up to this part, but it was long.  I think it would have been better if it was three separate books, instead of one.  I think 603 pages is a lot for one book, when none of it has been published before. 

I did like the list of characters, the artist's picture of Saint Benet's, the map, and diagrams of the abbey.  I liked the list of characters, because there were many different characters and it was nice to be able to keep track of them.

Although this was a long book, I would recommend it to others.  I thought it was an educational book

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Heretic, by Henry Vyner-Brooks, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Boy Who Walked A Way by Nancy Janes (book review)

The Boy Who Walked A Way

by Nancy Janes

(Review Book!)

The Boy Who Walked A Way-001

Genre- Christian / Fiction

Publisher- CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Copyrighted- 2013

Number of pages- 240

Age Group- I would recommend juvenile and above.  Have an adult read it first to see what they think.

Description of book- Paperback, $12.98, ISBN: 9781479139071

Jal Valhyn lives in 2162 and his country is at war.  The worlds government is based on humanistic ideas and the halcyon peace has failed.  He runs away from where he is living and is approached by someone who is invisible.  The person gives him two visible companions and they go on a seven day trip together.  Each day Jal learns more from Sammie and Bea about faith and friendships.   

About the Author:

Nancy Janes currently lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She used to be a Clinical Social Worker.  She is currently working on a new book which includes characters from this book. 

My thoughts:  

The Boy Who Walked A Way, by Nancy Janes, is one of those books that is an instant classic.  After seeing all of the books at the local library that are about vampires, magic, and other negative subject matters, this book is a breath of fresh air.  I enjoyed reading about Jal and his seven day journey to reach Grandfather Moutyn.  On this journey he had guides though, Bea (a butterfly) and Sammie (a swan).  These two guides helped him to learn more about the world around him and how to avoid becoming a part of it.  I thought that was really neat.  I liked how it was a physical journey, but it was also so much more, like the books written by C.S. Lewis.  I was glad that I was able to recognize and see that there was a story behind the story.  I know that as child I would not have recognized it.

I plan on reading this book to my nine and ten-year-old.  I think they will enjoy it a lot.  I don’t know if they will understand the story behind the story, but it will be good for them anyway.  I recommend this book to you as well.   

Informational and Purchasing Links:

Nancy Janes’s website: jazele.wordpress.com

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/nancyjanes

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nancy1janes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/authornancyjanes/498424470193886?ref=hl

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjanesz/

Purchasing Link: Amazon

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of The Boy Who Walked A Way, by Nancy Janes, to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of The CWA Review CrewAll links were current when posted.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Look Inside: The Time of Jesus by Lois Rock and illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi

Look Inside: The Time of Jesus

Look Inside: a Lift-the-Flap Discovery Book

By Lois Rock and illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Times of Jesus-001

Genre- Christian / Children’s / Bible

Published by- Lion Children’s Books

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 16

Age Group- Children 5-7 (I think 1-8), Grade Level K-2

Description of book- Hardback, Listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-7459-6398-3

 Do you know a young child who enjoys lift-the-flap books?  Look Inside: The Time of Jesus is the perfect book for them.

In this book the child will learn all about the life of Jesus, from His birth to His death.  There are flaps on each page to open, with text explaining what is happening in each scene.  Many parts of Jesus’s life are discussed in this book, His birth, life when He was a child, His days as a teacher, and more.

About the Author-  Lois Rock uses her knowledge as a mother and church leader to write her Bible stories, prayer books, and information books.

About the Illustrator- Lorenzo Orlandi has worked with magazines, advertising agencies, and publishers.  He specializes in illustrating nature, science, agriculture, and history.

My thoughts-

I was really excited when I began looking at this book.  It is more than just a story of the way life was in Jesus’s time, it is a story of His life, including some of His parables.

I did not realize it included different parables until I read the book with B and C and we carefully read the text that went with each flap.  There was the story of the praying Pharisee and the humble praying man, the lost sheep, and on what ground the grain grew.  I thought it was great that those stories were included, because it can lead to great discussions with children who have never heard the story before or it can remind the reader to share what the story means to us.  It turned out that what I thought was just a simple children’s book was so much more.

The illustrations are wonderful and help show what the story is discussing.  This book would not be as wonderful without the illustrations and the flaps.  I have rarely seen a book that combines the story with the flaps.  There is so much in this book.  Each child who reads or looks at it will learn more each time they see it. 

I really enjoyed this book and so did my children.  They are learning more about Jesus each time they look at the book.  This is the perfect book for young children to begin learning about Jesus.

C a nine-year-old girl says, “I really liked the illustrations.  It was fun reading the book.”

“I liked Look Inside: The Time of Jesus.  I liked the flaps to lift.  My favorite flap to lift was the stable in Bethlehem.  I liked the other lift-and-flaps throughout the book.  Overall I would recommend this book to children young than I am,” says B, almost eleven-years-old.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Look Inside: The Time of Jesus, by Lois Rock and illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Picture of the Week! (November 14, 2014)- Taking a Picture

DSCF3734 (Small)

We had a wonderful time this fall when the weather was still warm.  This is one of the times that we went to a park to take pictures of the setting sun and colorful leaves.  It is always fun to go places with my family.

Seed Police by Gayla Prewitt (book review)

Seed Police

by Gayla Prewitt

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Seed Police-001

Genre- Christian / Fiction

Publisher- Gayla A. Prewitt

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 146

Age Group- Adult and older teens

Description of book- Paperback, $8.99, ISBN: 978-1497583023

The government is the only group that is allowed to grow plants.  There is a group though, “Seed Savers.”  This group has been saving seeds, growing crops, and distributing the crops and seeds.  They are now in trouble.  Government officials are coming after them to take the seeds and the people who save them.

What will happen to the families?  Why are people getting sick from eating the food the government is growing for them?  Will the good people prevail against evil?

About the Author:

Gayla Prewitt has four children, a son-in-law, and a husband.  She is an instructor at a university and has experience in broadcast journalism.

My thoughts:  

I thought Seed Police, by Gayla Prewitt, was interesting.  Basted on events in history, I can imagine a country where it would be illegal to own one’s seeds.

It is amazing how one person can control things.  Ed Harris was able to control the seeds which would be used for the crops.  Those crops (genetically modified) even began to make people very sick.  Harris was even able to convince the many others that the good people, the “Seed Savers,” were the bad people.

The “Seed Savers” were really neat, because they were passing out and protecting the seeds which were good for people.  It was through God they stayed strong and were able to prevail.  They knew that their seeds were the best for people and they made sure people got those seeds.

This was a great thriller.  I knew knew if Ed Harris and his henchmen would catch the “Seed Savers.”

Informational and Purchasing Links:

To Connect with Gayla Prewitt:

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of Seed Police, by Gayla Prewitt, to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of The CWA Review CrewAll links were current when posted.

If You Follow Me by Pam Rhodes (book review)

If You Follow Me

Book Three of The Dunbridge Chronicles

By Pam Rhodes

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 If You Follow Me-001

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 256

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-079-0

In If You Follow Me, by Pam Rhodes, Neil is very busy with his church and he is enjoying being engaged to Claire.  He does not realize that there will be trouble in their future.

Wendy is still there giving him support, but is it the right kind of support and why is Ben, Claire’s first love and the father of her son, there?  He came from Australia.  She does not realize that Wendy and Ben are trying to separate Neil and Claire.  Will they succeed? 

Will Neil be able to run the church and give Claire the attention she needs and deserves?  You will have to read the book.

About the Author-

Pamela Rhodes has written several other novels.  For many years she has presented the BBC’s Songs of Praise.

My thoughts-

I really enjoyed reading the second book in The Dunbridge Chronicles, Casting the Net (my review).  If You Follow Me was just as good.  It was nice how well everyone accepted Claire even though she was not a member of the church.  I did not think a church would be so receptive of a curate becoming engaged to someone like Claire.  I am glad they had Neil’s best interests at heart.

I thought Wendy was the most interesting character, because she had so many parts to her personality.  She portrayed such a nice Christian person to most people, but she still wanted Neil so badly that she got the father of Claire’s son involved.  She really wanted Neil for herself.  Fortunately she finally gave up and decided to go on a long vacation. 

There were many other little stories happening in this book, which helped me to know the people of Dunbridge. 

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It would be fun to see Sam, Claire’s son, Claire, and Neil’s story continue in a new series.  I recommend this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received If You Follow Me, by Pamela Rhodes, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.