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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.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Review~The Delusion

About the Book:
By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded—until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil—everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

What I Thought: 
The Delusion: We All Have Our Demons was a little different from the types of book I usually read. I found it very suspenseful and exciting. Spiritual warfare was the main topic, and many heavy topics are included. Recommended as a Young Adult book, as a parent I would be very careful letting my teen read The Delusion because of the subject matter. The chains and shackles were such a great representation of all the baggage we carry. 

Author Laura Gallier is a talented writer who I  look forward to reading more from. Her website is www.lauragallier.com

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

Book Review~The Gift

About the Book:
A special Christmas story about love and blessings in the next book in the Amish of Hart County series. The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that causes her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into the icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous “accidents” that someone wants them gone.
Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it’s not the Schwartz family’s fault, but he can’t help but be resentful. Until he meets Susanna. She is kind-hearted and bold, and Neil can’t stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.
Neil thinks the accidents are just that, but Susanna’s father is convinced the Vance family is responsible. Susanna refuses to believe Neil would do anything to harm her. She’s fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.

About the Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a "New York Times" and "USA Today" bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

What I Thought:
The Gift is the third book in author Shelley Shepard Gray's series The Amish of Hart County. The three books all take place in the same county, but do not continue a story, so they can be read on their own or out of order. I did read the first two books, Her Secret and His Guilt. The other books in the series were excellent, so I had high expectations for The Gift-and once again, the author did not disappoint. Shelley Shepard Gray has been one of my favorite authors since I began reading Amish fiction. She is a talented writer, and I always read her books quickly because I cannot put them down.

There is a great amount of suspense in The Gift. The Schwartz family is being targeted by someone in the community, and Susanna is determined to figure out who before life is lost. An unlikely romance between her and Neil Vance emerges during this time, and Neil has some hard facts to face about his own family. The Gift was a great balance of romance and suspense!

At the back of the book is a PS section, including About the Author, About the Book, Questions for Discussion, two Christmas recipes for giving, and a sneak peak into the next book in the series, to be released in March 2018.

Visit the author's website for more information and to purchase your own copy of The Gift. Visit Litfuse to read more reviews of this book.

Author Giveaway!!

Click here to be taken to the entry form.

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