Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Adventure Between the Pages: Prophet by R. J. Larson


Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 15 and up for violence, scary scenery, and mild romance
Best for Ages: 15 and up

Prophet (Books of the Infinite, #1)
Description: Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she's much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne's elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young. Yet she can't imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite's voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite's word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

I must admit that this is a hard book to write a review for. Fantasy has never been my favorite genre, but a friend of mine and I are going to read a book on our Kindle’s every month this year to get through a lot of the free books we have. It was her turn to pick first. At first, I wasn’t excited, but this book ended up being strangely compelling.

The clear faith element was interesting at times, and at others mirrored some of my own heart struggles. Sometimes, in fantasy and allegories, God gets lost. That was not the case in this book. The messages were clear, and God and His power came through strong. Moreover, the events and messages were biblically sound.

Ela was a relatable character. She sacrifices a normal life to become a prophet, and knows that it will mean that she dies young. She follows the Infinite’s (God’s) call on her life even with that knowledge. Her faithfulness, even when the cost is high, is an inspirational.

Although it is understandable, I thought that Ela seemed to look for her death in every shadow. The fact that she will die young seemed to be overplayed. That fact made the romance a little awkward for me.

This book was not a favorite, but it was compelling and kept me turning pages. I definitely will be reading more in the series in the near future.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Blog Tour Ends



Now the blog tour is over and it is time to announce the winners of the ebooks!



Lisa Johnson C.

Esther (Kings Princess)

Sierra Faith


The winners will be emailed shortly!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Finds of the Week: It has been a long time


It has been a long time since I have shared my finds of the week, because it has been a very long time since I have found the time to read blogs. I am hoping to reenter the blogging world with lots of comments, follows, and posts.




"Why sacrifice what you love in order to find a more "stable" job, especially when there are countless ways you can make money in your area of expertise?" ~ Tessa Emily Hall


The Trust of Silence



"Silence was not something I wanted to be trusted with, but the Lord knows what we need when we don’t." ~ Katie






"It is discouraging. It is frustrating. It makes you angry at yourself. You made a plan, a very good plan, but it crumbles. I know the feeling, I have been there. This year has been very discouraging when it came to meeting my goals." ~ By me on Word Painters

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Adventure Between the Pages: Playing by Heart



Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 13 and up for mild romance
Best for Ages: 13 and up
Playing by HeartDescription: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she's worked for begins to crumble. After the sudden death of Jewel's husband, Jewel needs Lula's help. With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister. But the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula! Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.  However, the more time she spends in Dunn, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart--and her future is beginning to look a lot different than she'd expected.

My friend and fellow author, Alicia Willis, has been telling me what a talented writer Mateer is. So, when I was given the opportunity to review one of her books, I was eager to try. Sure enough, I found that she is an excellent story teller.

At first, I thought this book was going to be very typical. Girl in man’s world shows everybody that she is even better than the men in her field. However, this book was far from typical. The twists and turns of this sweet story made me feel very happy.

Lula is a very smart girl who loves math. Mateer made her feel very real and pulled me into her inner struggle. Chet also was very well developed, with his own struggles and heart aches. Their romance was a big part of the story and was very honorable. Together, they kept me reading their story with a happy sigh at the end.

The setting was also so nice and different. High school basketball in during the world war? I don’t think I have even heard of another book like that. I really loved that some of the story was even based on the author’s family history.

This was my first book by Mateer, but it will not be my last. Her style is so sweet and God-honoring. It is the kind of book that leaves you feeling good, as well as causes you to examine your own life and faith.

I highly recommend this book for those who love historical fiction, sweet stories, and unique plots.

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I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Images

Most of us have them: images that will never leave us, no matter how old we get. Images that are seared into our memory. For me, one of the hardest for me is the very clear memory of watching the news with my mom on September 11, 2001. We knew something had happened in New York at a place I had seen in pictures, but had never known the name. One of the World Trade Center towers was burning. Some said it was a bomb, others said a small plane, while other said that a large plane had hit it.

Then, the life changing moment: They were showing a wide shot of the burning tower and out of the corner of the screen was plane. The image of watching that plane race toward the second tower and then hit it.

Public Domain
Those of you who are to young to remember missed the horror, but also the amazing things that happened after. Like a new president rising to the occasion and helping a nation grieve and reminding them we would rise from the ashes. Like a nation that for a few month was bound together by the fact that we were American's nothing more. Like flags being sold out and on back order. Every house had a flag flying or a cross out.

May we never forget the lessons we learned that day. May all of us lift our heads and be proud that we have risen out of the ashes.

One World Trade Center
May God bless our troops, and may God continue to Bless America.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Adventure Between the Pages: Colliding with Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth by Sarah Jakes



Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 16 and up for some subject matter
Best for Ages: 16 and up

Colliding with Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth
Description: The story of Ruth is a journey of transformation. By allowing God to transform her circumstances, Ruth went from a widow who would be excluded from society to a wife with a secure and protected future, a future that ultimately paved the way for the birth of King David! Her story is full of collision--loss, heartache, poverty, even shame--but she never let her past define her. Instead, the most painful time of her life became her most pivotal, propelling her to a destiny she never imagined. Perhaps you have a past you're struggling to overcome. If disappointments, whether a result of your own choices or the actions of others, have kept you from being your true self, this book is for you. Follow Ruth's life and discover the hope available to each of us. Your yesterday does not have to dictate your tomorrow. Despite your past pain, you, too, can find redemption and restoration.

This is my first book by Jakes, and I really am impressed. She has found a great balance in sharing about her broken past, without going into so much detail that the message of her book was lost in the gritty details. I applaud her honesty and her message.

Ruth has always been a favorite character of mine in the bible, second only to Joseph of the Old Testament.  I was very excited to see Jakes’ take on this story of love, forgiveness and second chances.  Though not exactly what I expected, I felt she did a good job.

Each chapter begins with some verses from the book of Ruth. Jakes than draws from her life and crafts a lesson from each chapter. The format, although not what I expected, was nice and made for easy reading. Some of the lessons that she drew from the verses were a bit of a stretch – such as, Jakes says that when Boaz first noticed her, it was because she conducted herself confidently. However, most of the book is very biblically sound.

This book, while good, was not a real challenge for me. It seemed to contain the same information I had read elsewhere and did not add to my understanding of life or the Bible. I also felt the writing was a bit weak. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t as strong as I like in my non-fiction.

I recommend this book for those who love Ruth, honest non-fiction, and non-fiction that is easy to read.

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I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.