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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review~Fliers

Book Description: 
The perfect present for buds and dormroom inhabitors, this collection of viral fake fliers is at once strange, thought-provoking, and hilarious. Printed on heavy, cardstock-like paper, these 20 "fake" fliers both celebrate and embody surreal posters--like the kind plastered all over college campuses, only taken to the next level. As a bonus feature, the sturdy paperback comes with a french-fold jacket that, when removed, opens up to reveal a larger poster. Images include a photo of a found duck mistaken for a dog that the poster is now keeping and an anonymous group posting about a quiet universe. There is something in this collection for everyone who ever looked at a postered telephone pole or coffee house bulletin board and wondered "is there more out there?"

My Review: 
Fliers: 20 Small Posters with Big Thoughts sounded intriguing to me. I thought it would be full of funny fliers. As it turns out, I only thought a handful were kind of funny.  Maybe its that I'm from an older generation and just didn't get it. I just didn't find the fliers that interesting. Things I did like were the heavyweight cover, the heavy cardstock used for the fliers, and the pretty pastel color assortment used for the posters. If one really enjoyed a poster, they could pull it out of the book to keep, which is a nice feature. This might just be a great coffee table-type book for the right person, it just wasn't for me. 

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Book Review~Seeds of Hope

About the Book: 
Miriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since she was a teenager, but she knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney and an Englischer. Her Amish community is too far removed from all he knows–and she loves her quiet way of life.
Mark has always loved his visits to his grandfather’s farm, but he’s convinced the Amish life isn’t for him. There’s so much of the world to see and experience, and the excitement of his successful law practice can’t be matched by the slow pace of life found back home in the country.
But when things go wrong and his firm distances itself from him to try to save themselves, Mark finds himself back at his grandfather’s farm. Could life in this simple world be worth living after all? Especially when the teenager he remembers has grown into a woman that could be his future. Suddenly, these two people whose lives seem so far apart may get a chance to really see each other for the first time.
About the Author: 

Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.  Visit her website at http://barbaracameron.com

What I Thought: 

Seeds of Hope is the first book in author Barbara Cameron's new series, Harvest of Hope. I've read a few other books of hers and have enjoyed them, but Seeds of Hope is definitely my favorite book that this author has written. Miriam is such a sweet young Amish woman, dedicated to her family and community. She will do anything for anyone, always putting others first. She takes wonderful care of an older Amish neighbor, John, who has no family nearby. 

Miriam has always had a crush on Mark, John's grandson who would visit every summer when they were children. Now an attorney in the city, Mark doesn't have much time for visiting his grandfather. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mark returns to the farm for an extended visit, and Miriam's crush turns into much more. 

I really enjoyed Seeds of Hope, and read it quite quickly because I had to find out what happened! When two people from different worlds fall in love and being together seems impossible, of course everyone is rooting for them to end up together. Miriam and Mark had to learn to trust God to pave the way for them to have a future together. 

Seeds of Hope was a beautiful story of love, faith, family and community. At the back of the book are a glossary, discussion questions, and a recipe. I look forward to reading more from Barbara Cameron in this new series. 

Learn more about Seeds of Hope and purchase your own copy at the author's website.  Read more reviews at Litfuse.

*I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Review~Home All Along

About the Book:
Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.
Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?

What I Thought:
Home All Along is the third book in author Beth Wiseman's Amish Secrets series. I did read the first two books in the series, and have thoroughly enjoyed all three books. Charlotte and Daniel come from two very different worlds, English and Amish, but have found love together. Their lives are turned upside-down with the people they love going through life-threatening crisis, and through it all they must decide if their love is strong enough to withstand their differences. One of them has to make a life changing decision if they are willing to live a different lifestyle to stay with the person they love. Although I think Home All Along could be enjoyed by itself, the reader will get much more from the story if they read all three books in order.

There are discussion questions at the back of the book, making Home All Along a great choice for your Book Club.

*I received a copy of this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Review & Author Kindle Giveaway~All Things Now Living

About the Book:
Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him.
Sixteen-year-old Amy doesn’t like anything to die, she won’t even eat the goats or chickens her mama has butchered every fall, but she can’t let herself pity the inhabitants of New Lithisle. In a few short months the dome they built to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic is predicted to collapse, but her whole life Amy has been taught it’s God’s will they die. They traded their souls for immunity to the swine flu virus, brought God’s curse upon themselves by adding pig genes to their own.
Then, while on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are.

Amy’s feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn’t end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer, and was trying to prevent the coming destruction.
Now time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome’s collapse, but if Amy doesn’t find her father’s contact in time, she’ll die, along with everyone else.

About the Author: 

Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader and writer from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she lives on a hobby farm with her husband, Kurt. She has four grown children, works as a nurse, and also owns a gift shop within view of beautiful Lake Superior.
Author's website: http://rondibauerolson.weebly.com/

What I Thought: 
Although for the most part I read historical fiction, Amish fiction, and mystery/suspense, occasionally I enjoy a YA Dystopian story. All Things Now Living was a perfect story to fulfill that dystopian craving. At 253 pages, it was a quick read. This is the first book in the Seventh Daughter series, and I will definitely be continuing to read the series as the books come out.

Amy is a likeable character, a sweet girl who learns much about herself as the story goes on. Having lived quite sheltered, ending up in New Lithisle is quite eye-opening to her. She meets Daniel, who is genetically altered, something she is very much against and believes that those altered do not have souls. Through lots of action and suspense, with a little romance, the story continues with Amy trying to save the people in the dome with a computer program her father wrote.

All Things Now Living was a fun read-exciting and suspenseful, with very interesting characters. It is a story of self-discovery, and things not always being what they seem or what you've always believed. I look forward to more books in the series.

Learn more about All Things Now Living, and purchase your own copy at the author's website.  Go to Litfuse to read more reviews. 

At the book's website, there is a Teachers Guide available for the classroom, a Common Core State Standards Aligned Discussion and Project Guide for grades 7-12. 

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

While on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle in Rondi Bauer Olson's All Things Now Living. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are. Amy's feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn't end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer. Time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome's collapse, but if Amy doesn't find her father's contact in time, she'll die, along with everyone else.

Stay up all night reading this thrilling new book from Rondi and enter to win a Kindle Fire!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of All Things Now Living
  • A Kindle Fire
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 14. The winner will be announced December 15 on the Litfuse blog.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Record of My Vinyl: A Collector's Catalog

My twenty-six year old son recently purchased a record player and his first record. He is excited to begin a vinyl collection. Oh, how I wish I hadn't thrown away my records from my childhood. I believe there are some he would appreciate. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

Since my son is a brand new collector, A Record of My Vinyl seemed to be a perfect gift for him. It is a softcover, and the cover looks like a record was wrapped around the book. It even feels like a record! Inside is an introduction to why vinyl is cool, and how to use this book. Next is the bulk of the book-the place where you record your vinyl collection. Each space contains Artist, Label, Album, Country, Catalog No, Year, Grade, and Liner Notes. There is room for recording four albums on each page, and at the top of each page is a place to write the category. There is space for  records. Next is a section on How to Care for Your Collection, How to Value Your Vinyl, and Understanding Record Speeds. Last are several perforated sheets where you can list your most wanted vinyl. My only negative feedback for this book is that one of the perforated sheets had already come out, so they must come out very easily.

I think A Record of My Vinyl: A Collector's Catalog is a must-have for any record collector. Especially once your collection gets sizable, it may be hard to remember all that you have. This would be a great gift. It looks (and feels) cool too!

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for Books.

Product Review~Let the Little Children Come

Let the Little Children Come aims to provide effective gospel tracts and evangelism tools and resources for children. It is the hope that these tools and resources will help you in conveying the powerful gospel message to children. These gospel tracts are all specially designed to capture and hold the attention of children, while not distracting them from the core message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Wonderful tools to use in Sunday School, VBS and  outreach programs.  Easy for children to understand and talk about to their friends!

The Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack contains 10 Gospel Tracks and Evangelism tools:

Animated Tracts: John 3:16, The True Story of Christmas, and Where's Everybody Going?
Pop-Up Tracts: The Most Amazing House, The Lost Easter Egg

FlipAbouts: Gospel Buttons, John 3:16  

Wordless Bracelet Kit, Silicone Salvation Bracelet, Wordless Book  

I was so impressed with these gospel tracts! Most people think of Bible tracts as boring, but these evangelism tracts and tools are fun! If you want to share the gospel with children, the Let the Little Children Come website is the place you need to go! These tools would be great for Sunday school, VBS, and more!  As anyone who has spent time around young children knows, they are fascinated by things that move and pop-up.

At the website, there is a resources section full of different ideas on using each of these great gospel tools and tracts, as well as articles and Child evangelism tips. The Let the Little Children Come sampler pack is the perfect way to try out some of these great gospel tracts and tools! The prices are very reasonable as well.

By far, my family's favorite tool from the sampler pack was the Animated Tracts, with the FlipAbouts a close second. All you do is slide the striped plastic card from left to right, and the pictures come to life!

Visit Let the Little Children Come to check out all that this great company has to offer!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.