icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: October 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Review~Promises to Keep

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promise to Keep
Howard Books (October 13, 2015)
Elizabeth Younts


A Word from the Author:

I’m Elizabeth, a blessed child of The King. I’m a middle-born daughter, military officer’s wife, homeschooling mama, writer, closet DIYer, and, dare I say it, Downton Abbey addict. May I also mention that I love both my history and my coffee rich.

I am formerly Amish and my heritage is very dear to me and thankful to be so accepted among my still Amish family. I can still speak PA Dutch, too! You can learn more about my Amish family in my first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl.

My three book series with Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) is a dream come true. The series is titled The Promise of Sunrise. In this series you will live through World War 2 from an Amish perspective and experience their unique struggles as conscientious objectors during wartime. What happened if one of their members enlisted? What was it like to serve at the Civilian Public Service Camps for years with almost no compensation? How did Amish women and families cope when a son or father was drafted? I look forward to taking you back into the richness of these years of Amish history through fiction.


World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promise to Keep, go HERE.

My Review: I just received the book yesterday, so obviously have not had time to read it yet! I will update this post with my review soon!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Review~A Reluctant Bride

About the Book:
"When tragedy strikes an independent Amish woman, she must accept a marriage proposal from the man she vowed never to marry.
As the oldest daughter in an Amish family, Sadie's life was mapped out since the day she was born. She would join the church, marry an Amish man, and eventually she and her husband would take over her family's store. But when her parents unexpectedly die in a buggy accident, her life goes into a tailspin. Determined to keep her parents' legacy alive, Sadie works harder than ever to provide for herself and her younger sisters.
However, the bishop is unwilling to let a young woman manage the property and business all on her own. He gives Sadie two choices: marry his son, Aden, or relinquish the business and land to the community. Not willing to give up on her dream, she weds Aden, resigning herself to a loveless marriage.
But while working with Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn't the same boy who had betrayed her in the past. In fact, she begins to look forward to the time they spend together, getting to know the man with a kind heart and gentle smile. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, several dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family-and herself."

What I Thought: 
A Reluctant Bride is the first book in a new series, Amish of Birch Creek, by author Kathleen Fuller.  I've read several of the author's books and have enjoyed them all, but I must say A Reluctant Bride is my absolute favorite. It was so full of emotion! My heart ached for several characters. Some of the topics touched on are very serious too-physical abuse within family, unwanted sexual advances, death of parents, and more. I was immediately into this story and finished it very quickly, and when it ended I wanted more of the story!  I hope the same characters are in the next book in the series. A Reluctant Bride is a must read!

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Review~Pass It On

I just finished reading a new book by authors Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee titled Pass It On: Building a Legacy of Faith for Your Children through Practical and Memorable Experiences.

About the Book: "Parents often experience a “freak out” moment when they realize their children’s view of God will primarily come from what they learn at home.

Most parents spend more time helping their kids succeed at academics or athletics than infusing shared spiritual experiences into the rhythm of everyday family life.
While the idea of strategically passing down our faith can seem intimidating, the annual Rites of Passage Experiences contained in Pass It On make it easy for your family to celebrate milestones from kindergarten through high school graduation. Forever change the direction of your family’s spiritual legacy . . . starting now!"

Pass It On is written in three parts: Part 1 is Setting it Up, explaining to the parent the what and why of a Rite of Passage Experience. Part 2 is the Rites of Passage Experiences themselves, one for each grade Kindergarten through 12th grade. Part 3 is Finishing Strong, wrapping up and reviewing what you've learned. 

You can read more reviews here.  You can purchase your own copy of Pass It On at David C. Cook Publishing. 

About the Authors: 
Jim Burns is president of HomeWord and executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. He has more than 1.5 million resources in print and a radio broadcast heard on 800 stations a day. Jim resides in Southern California with his wife Cathy and their three daughters.

Connect with Jim online: website, Twitter, Facebook

 Jeremy Lee is the founder of ParentMinistry.Net, a subscription-based service for children and youth ministry workers. He was on the writing team for the Simple Truth Bible from Group Publishing and the Ignite Study Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Jeremy lives in Nashville with his wife and children.

Connect with Jeremy online:
website, Twitter, Facebook

What I Thought: I wish Pass It On had come out about 20 years ago, just about the time my oldest was kindergarten age.  What a great resource for parents!  I know personally how much my children treasure any traditions we have set, whether they are goofy or serious. They are so proud to tell their friends what we do for special occasions that might be a little (or a lot) different. Pass It On gives a Rite of Passage for each year.  You don't have to stick to the authors' suggestions for which grade to do each one, so even if you are starting later in your child's years you can go back and cover some of the Rites of Passage you missed. My youngest son is about to turn 13, and I am looking forward to incorporating several of the Rites of Passage into his childhood.

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

Join Global Handwashing Day!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Book Review~Ties That Bind

About the Book (from the publisher):

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a cafe in historic Summer Grove to help support her family's ever-expanding brood, and keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill and her dear friend Frieda ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him again, she realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.

Despite how things look, Quill's goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that might hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust-because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

What I Thought: 

Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors, so I was very excited to find out she has a new series coming out! Ties That Bind is the first book in The Amish of Summer Grove series. It took me a few chapters to get into the story and the characters, but once I did it was hard to put the book down! Babies being switched accidentally at birth is such a frightening, yet fascinating topic. Ariana is so devoted to her Old Amish lifestyle, and is close to accomplishing her dream of owning her own cafe. She also has a loving boyfriend she is planning to marry, so this news that she is not biologically from her Amish family has the potential to change everything. Skylar Nash is the opposite of Ariana-her life is a mess, so maybe the Amish lifestyle could bring her some much needed stability.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out how Ariana and Skylar adapt to their new lifestyles.

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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Children's Book Review~God Made All of Me

God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies was written by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb, and illustrated by Trish Mahoney.  The Publisher is New Growth Press along with GRACE, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

About the Book: (from the publisher):

 "God made every part of you!"

It's easy to convey the message to children that their bodies---or particular parts of their bodies---are shameful. This misconception fuels confusion, embarrassment, and secrecy, and often prevents children from recognizing or reporting sexual abuse.
God Made All of Me is a simply-told, beautifully-illustrated story to help families talk about these sensitive issues with two- to eight-year-old children. Because the private parts of our bodies are private, the home is the ideal environment where a child should learn about his or her body and how it should be treated by others.

God Made All of Me starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth---the doctrine of creation---to kids and their bodies. It equips parents to talk with both boys and girls about their bodies and to help them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others. God Made All of Me allows families to build a first line of defense against sexual abuse in the safety of their own homes.

God Made All of Me is the first children's book written by Rid of My Disgrace authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb. Parents of young children themselves, the Holcombs regularly counsel victims of sexual abuse and are profoundly aware of the dangers kids face. Their simple and relatable story, designed to help children protect their bodies, will be an important resource for every family with young children.

About the Authors: 

Justin Holcomb, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the author of On the Grace of God, Know the Heretics, and Know the Creeds and Councils, as well as the coauthor of Is It My Fault? and Rid of My Disgrace. He also serves on the boards for REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) and GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments). 
Connect with Justin online:website, Facebook, Twitter

Lindsey Holcomb, MPH, counsels victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and is the cofounder of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Lindsey has provided crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and conducted a variety of training seminars to service providers. She is also the coauthor of Is It My Fault? and Rid of My Disgrace.
Connect with Lindsey online: website, Facebook, Twitter

What I Thought: 

Before I reviewed God Made All of Me, I had my husband read it.  He is a social worker and worked in the area of child abuse for several years. He was very impressed with the book and thought it hit on all the important points and would make a great resource for parents. When I read the book, I was also impressed on all that it covered while still staying brief enough to keep young children's attention.  The illustrations are cute and colorful, and there are occasional scripture verses to back up what is being discussed.  At the end of the book are 9 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse.  The photo above is of our grandson, who just turned four and started preschool.  This is a perfect time for us start talking to him about this very important topic. 

I highly recommend God Made All of Me, and think every parent would be smart to read it with their children.  You can read more reviews of this book at Litfuse, and purchase your own copy at New Growth Press.  

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