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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review~Faithful Finance


About the Book: 
From the back cover: Learn how to handle your money so you can have more of it. Financial advisor Emily G. Stroud is a mom, businesswoman, and entrepreneur who has two decades of experience helping people make smart choices about money. In Faithful Finance, she shares ten secrets she's learned along the way and will help you to: 
*Develop a personal savings plan based on your unique goals
*Make a monthly budget that actually works for you
*Reduce your overall debt burden
*Plan for your children's college years
*Insure your life without fear
*Leave a lasting and generous legacy
*And most important, discover the source of true wealth
With engaging stories and practical examples, Emily empowers you to make choices that will give you and your loved ones financial freedom for years to come. 

What I Thought:
Written from a Christian perspective with plenty of scripture throughout, Faithful Finance:10 Secrets to Move from Fearful Insecurity to Confident Control, is a great all-around lesson on finances. The author has many years of experience as a financial planner and touches on everything from insurance to retirement. Although I didn't feel the author went into any subject very deeply, she gave the basics on a lot of topics. I feel like I have quite a bit of knowledge on finances, but it is always good to get a refresher course on things! As a Christian, tying finances in to my life biblically is important to me as well, and the author does delve into this. Ms. Stroud included great information and I would recommend Faithful Finance. I look forward to checking out the resources at the back of the book, with several websites to help with different areas of your financial life. 

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Book Review~A Place at our Table


About the Book: 
Along with his volunteer work at the local fire department, running his Amish farm keeps Jamie Riehl busy. He barely has time to eat at the family table, never mind find someone to date. But when he meets Kayla Dienner, he is smitten.

Kayla tries hard to deny her attraction to Jamie. After all, she’s spent the last year discouraging her younger brother, Nathan, from becoming a firefighter. The death of their older brother in a fire a year ago is fresh in her mind—she can’t bear the idea of putting her heart on the line every time the sirens blare.

Then tragedy strikes, and Jamie wants to extinguish any flame between him and Kayla. Can Kayla set aside her own fears to save the love she was determined to deny?

The first book in the Amish Homestead series, A Place at Our Table invites us to a quiet community in Lancaster County where love burns brightly no matter the cost.
What I Thought: 
A Place at our Table is the first book in author Amy Clipston's new series, An Amish Homestead. I have read several books by this author and always enjoy them. A Place at our Table was very easy to get caught up into immediately because of the action going on with the fire at the Dienner's. The story continues on with lots of activity, mostly because Jamie is a firefighter. His occupation definitely added some energy to the book. Both Kayla and Jamie's families having suffered tragedy in the loss of a close family member pulls them together. The story focused a lot on grief and the different ways people deal with it. It was inspiring that people can feel like their lives cannot go on, yet they manage to continue and even be happy. The characters' strong faith was definitely the reason for their strength.

I definitely enjoyed and recommend A Place at our Table, and I look forward to the next book in the series. Along with the story, A Place at our Table includes a helpful glossary of Amish words, a family tree relative to the story, discussion questions, and an excerpt from the author's book The Forgotten Recipe, the first book in her Amish Heirloom series.

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

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. 

Giveaway!!
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.