Friday, February 5, 2016

Picture of the Week! (February 5, 2016)- Summer Trees on the Pond

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As I look outside the window at the snow, which has been on the ground since December, I know that I am looking forward to this time of year.

I’m fortunate to live in a part of the country that has four distinct seasons, but I like the time when the trees are green.  It doesn’t matter which season, but it is important that the trees are green.  I forgot, the sun needs to be shining too.

To me, that is the best time of the year.  What is your favorite time of year?

Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr (Book Review)

Ashes to Ashes (Book 8, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon)

By Mel Starr

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Historical Fiction / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 224

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-133-9

Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr

Master Hugh, Kate, and their two young daughters enjoy the Midsummer’s Eve fire.  The following morning they hear a bell ringing at the Church of St. Beornwald.  It is the passing bell.  While the workers were clearing away the ash, they found bones.

It takes Hugh some time, but he discovers they are the bones of a bailiff from a manor some miles away.  Why was he placed there?  Since Hugh is also a bailiff, will he be in danger?  Can Arthur keep him safe?

About the Author-

Mel Starr and his wife have seven grandchildren and two daughters.  Starr grew up in Michigan and taught history in the Michigan public school system for 39 years.  He knows a lot about medieval English medieval surgery.  He currently lives in Michigan

My thoughts-

I haven’t read the first three books in this series.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Unhallowed Ground, The Tainted Coin, Rest Not in Peace, The Abbot's Agreement, and Ashes to Ashes.  I’m not exactly sure what I enjoy so much about these books.  It could be that it’s a mystery, perhaps the time period (late 1300's), orthe way Mel Starr wrote the books.  I think it is all of the above.

The part of the book that I often notice is the point-of-view.  Some books that I’ve read don’t flow when written in the first-person point-of-view, but Mel Starr’s do.  I think they would make great audio books. 

My favorite part of the book is still the glossary.  It has been my favorite in each book of the series.  I enjoyed reading and learning about the clothing, food, and times of the year.  This is helpful, so I don’t need to have a dictionary handy while reading.

Hugh is certainly dedicated.  He is determined to find out who the dead man is and why he died.  I like his determination.  We all need to have his persistence and desire to make sure all wrongs are righted. 

I think this is an excellent book and series.  I’m looking forward to the next book, Lucifer’s Harvest

Readers who enjoy mysteries and/or historical fiction will enjoy this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Ashes to Ashes, by Mel Starr, 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.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ready to Return by Ken Ham (Book Review!)

Ready to Return:

Bringing back the Church’s Lost Generation

By Ken Ham with Jeff Kinley

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Ready-To-Return

Genre- Religion / Christian Education / Christian Life / General

Published by- Master Books

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 208

Age Group- Adult

Description of Book- paperback, ISBN 978-0-89051-836-6, $13.99

Ready to Return is filled with information on why people are leaving the church and how to bring them back.

Current culture has captivated many of these young people and they have left the church and the beliefs they grew up with.  The blame cannot all be placed on them though, parents and the church have not taught them apologetics, and they too have fallen victim to secular beliefs.

This book has statistics and a clear strategy on what to do to help them.

My thoughts-

I thought this book was interesting and well written.  When I think about the number of people in their twenties at my local church, it isn’t a very large number.  I see more of them returning after they are married and have children.

I know that there were people in different denominations contact for the survey done by America’s Research Group, but I didn’t think there was a fair representation.  They didn’t include the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, or Jews.  The statistics would have been different if they included those groups.

The chapter I thought was most interesting was chapter 6, “Owning Up- Embracing a Faith of Your Own.”  I thought it was important, because people do need to embrace their own faith.  As a parent, I am making sure that my children will be prepared to defend their faith.  Parents need to take a more active role in their children’s faith, especially those who have children in the public school system.  Those children have a lot more to deal with than those who are homeschooled.  I liked the list of questions on pages 97 and 98 that help foster ownership.

The rest of the book is informational too.  I recommend it to all parents, church leaders, and those who work with those in their twenties.   

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Ready to Return, by Ken Ham with Jeff Kinley, for free through Cross Focused Reviews.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  All links were current when posted.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Picture of the Week! (January 30, 2016)- Snow Memories

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We haven’t had a lot of snow this year, but what we have had has stuck around.  It’s all packed down and hard, not good for snow faces.

We’re supposed to have a four to twelve inch snow storm this coming week.  I think we’ll go to the park to make faces like this after it’s over. 

This picture is from two years ago.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Peacock Throne by Lisa Karon Richardson (Book Review!)

The Peacock Throne

By Lisa Karon Richardson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 336

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-178-0

The Peacock Throne

Two murders.  Lydia Garrett’s guardian and Anthony’s father, the Earl of Danbury died the same night.  Were the murders connected?

Lydia and Anthony learn that the murders were connected to the Indian Peacock Throne, which was taken many years earlier.  Along with the help of Marcus Harting, an agent of His Majesty’s intelligence services, they decide to find the Throne.  Will they be able to find it and restore it to the rightful owners before the French find it?  How will they stay safe with danger around every corner?

About the Author-

Lisa Karon Richardson currently lives with her husband and children in Ohio.  She has written Diamond in the Rough, Vanishing Act, and Curtain Call.

My Thoughts-

When I saw the cover and title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it.  After I read the description of the book, I knew there was going to be a lot of mystery and adventure.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I really enjoyed it.

Lisa Karon Richardson did an excellent job with describing the characters and the scenery.  When Anthony, Lydia, and Marcus were on the island retrieving the Throne Peacock, I could see and feel what they were going through.  I could feel their successes and failures.

I would love to tell you about more of their adventures, but that would spoil the end.  I don’t want to do that.  There is a wonderful note at the back of the book.  It tells about the real Peacock Throne.

I really enjoyed The Peacock Throne.  I recommend it to you.  I’m looking forward to reading more about Anthony, Lydia, and Marcus.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Peacock Throne, by Lisa Karon Richardson, 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.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Picture of the Week! (January 23, 2016)- Lego Design

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My children love to play with Legos.  This is a creation my daughter made.  It is a park and a pool.

I’m so glad for Legos, because they give endless hours of fun.

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran (Book Review!)

I Hope You Dance

By Beth Moran

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian /

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 378

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-170-4

I Hope You Dance

From the back of the book: “All Ruth had ever wanted to do was marry David Carrington, the boy-next-door….

…she left Southwell, promising never to return.  Fifteen years on Ruth has hit rock bottom.  There is no way out.  Except one…”

About the Author-

Beth Moran currently lives in Nottingham with her three children and husband.  She helps lead a national women’s network.

My Thoughts-

This was a delightful book.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  I hope Beth Moran writes another one soon.

Ruth is like many of us.  The trials of life have caught up with her with the death of her partner.  She moves home with her daughter, but she is determined to make it work.  She does succeed with hard work and help from her family and friends.  We all need to remember to do the same.  It would be a good resolution for this year.

I liked Ruth's girls group.  My favorite people in the group were Ana Louisa and Lois.  Ana Louisa had so much personality and Lois was a steady friend.  They were friends that I would like to have.

If you liked Making Marion you will like this one too.  Even if you haven't read it, make sure you read this one.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received I Hope You Dance, by Beth Moran, 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.