BHBR| The Chapel Car Bride

Howdy! (next time I’ll say ‘salutations’ 🙂 )

Here’s the newest one from Bethany House, and also my book review for April. Basically, if I’m quick at the draw…I’ll have one book from them a month. If I don’t want to review any of the options they have (which I’ve done before)…then I don’t 😀 .

Continue reading “BHBR| The Chapel Car Bride”

BHBR| Treasured Grace

Yay!

I am now reviewing my third book for Bethany House! The first one was Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette, the second was Quick Tips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner, and this (the third) is…Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson. So let’s just run into this here review.

Treasured Grace

Heart of the Frontier Book #1.

By Tracie Peterson

My rating- 5 stars

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I loved this book! It was such an exciting novel to read. I love the cover (as a side note 😀 ), and the time period is one of great interest to me. This is the first Tracie Peterson book I have ever read, and I like it. The reason I haven’t read much of Tracie’s work is simply that I’m not much into western stuff. And a lot of her stuff seems to be western.  I don’t (so far) like western romances as much. I’m not into mail order brides. It’s just not my thing. But this…yep. This got me. Prairie days are much more thrilling for me.

Let’s go back to the days of Indians…

//I love the setting. Wagon trains, sickness, prairie dangers, and beautiful country. It all appeals to me.

//The main character. Grace is a neat person. She’s strong, and kind, and is a healer. She cares for people as a life calling. But she’s not perfect…and I love how she develops. 

//The pain. The story does a good job building tension and getting you excited. I started dreading what was probably coming. If you like…you can read the synopsis- and figure out what I was dreading happening. After THE event of the story there is so much hurt and scars, and it makes the reader feel sad 😦 .  

//Good story line. I felt that the plot was engaging, and it just kept going. The dialogue was delightful as well. 

//Age line. Because of several things that occur in the story which are suggestive, I would recommend this book for 13+ or the discretion of the parent. (It would be discretion of the parent or guardian regardless! 🙂 ) 

//Faith. This book is Christian Historical Fiction. I thought the faith was much better emphasized in this book than in most other books of its genre. And believe me…you would need a strong faith to survive such trials!

So…I will probably borrow some more Tracie Peterson from our local library soon. I think maybe not all of her stuff is Western? I know that a lot of it IS, but then- maybe someone else out there has read some of her westerny ones and liked them? I’m sure they’re good. 😉

*This book actually arrived earlier than I was expecting it to (thumbs up to Bethany House for promptness!). So I actually was able to finish reading it at the conference I attended the 14-16. And I finished it so fast…because it was amazing. It kept me under it’s power the entire time. I don’t think I experienced any boredom at all.

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BHBR|Quick Tips for Busy Families

 

My newest book review for Bethany House! As you may have noticed…this is only review #2. The reason for that is Bethany House has a limited number of books so it’s a first-come first-serve deal. And I hadn’t been quick enough up until this point. But here we are once again (and I just got a confirmation email that I’ll be receiving another book from BH sometime in April or May). Today, the book up for review is…Quick Tips for Busy Families.

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Quick Tips for Busy Families

Sneaky Strategies for Raising Great Kids

By Jay Payleitner

My rating- 4 stars

 

I may not generally be a non-fiction guru (except when it comes to spiritual books 😉 Still not a guru on that either!)–but I genuinely liked this book. It was interesting and I loved the layout. The book has 144 tips/strategies on raising kids. Here are a few bullet things I loved.

  1. The layout. (Brief ‘chapters’ which makes it easy to keep on reading!)
  2. The practical nature. The tips range from very practical to rather sneaky (as the front cover indicates).
  3. The fact that Bible verses were used in the book. Isn’t it just sad that I have to mention this? But seriously- so many ‘self-help’ books these days say they’re Christian and then have zero Bible verses in them.

 

Things I felt weren’t as helpful (to me)…

Now I realize that the majority of the stuff I’m about to say probably won’t have much bearing on the majority of parents today. Don’t let some of this necessarily discourage you from buying the book.

  1. As a young woman who wants to home school her children one day, I think that this book wouldn’t be quite as helpful to me. The book very obviously targets the public/private school crowd. So if you’re a parent doing either of those two things- then wonderful! Otherwise make your own judgement.
  2. Sometimes I felt like the author minimized sin. One thing that gives me pause is that he also had chapters where he very clearly said that sin is well, sin.
  3. I don’t agree with the spiritual gift part necessarily. Sorry guys. 😦 If you know anything about reformed people- you’ll know that most of them don’t believe tongues or prophesy continues. Like I said this doesn’t apply to all people. This is really just a note to the reformed crowd. Just to be clear though- I believe in spiritual gifts. I believe we all have God-given gifts. I just don’t buy the speaking in tongues or continued prophecy thing because I don’t believe they continue.

 

So anyways…just a note of explanation on why the book only got four stars from me: I feel like it was mostly just the fact that it didn’t really relate to me theologically- also the school kid thing. No fear though, I don’t believe it’s wrong to public/private school your child. 

Back to the book, though. Overall here’s a summary statement.

Quick Tips for Busy Families is a book with a lot of helpful tips/strategies for parents or guardians. There was a lot of practical advice and insight from the author- who’s raised 5 children along with his wife, Rita. There was also a sense of humor which was enjoyable + the well-loved parenting stories everyone loves to hear. If you’re looking for a book to help you with everyday life and give you practicality mixed with Biblical truths- you’re in the right place.

 

Thanks to Bethany House for another great book review! All opinions here expressed are my own and haven’t been otherwise influenced. This is an honest review. Thanks for reading.

~Emmaline

BHBR| Shadow of the Storm

Good afternoon!

As I informed y’all awhile back, I am now doing book reviews with the Bethany House Blogger Reviewer Program.

I am super excited to invite you to my VERY FIRST book review with Bethany House! The book I chose to review is…Shadow of the Storm–by Connilyn Cossette. So let me just share the lovely cover first:

 

Shadow of the Storm

Out from Egypt Book # 2.

By Connilyn Cossette

My rating- 4.5 stars

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Synopsis

In the Depth of the Storm’s Shadow, Only Truth Can Light Her Way 

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira’s gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

 

When first I saw this book , I personally thought it looked interesting. And after reading it…I was pleased. It had me hooked from the beginning. It was engaging, sad (to some degree), and well-written. I found it easy to both sympathize and empathize with the different characters. So after this brief introduction to the review…let’s get started.

 

Praise…

//The characters… It didn’t take me long to bond with the characters. Shira’s unrealized strength, Kiya’s sweetness, Ayal’s gentleness, and even Dvorah’s bitterness. I was smiling at the characters when they ‘scored a point’ (did what was right), and frowning at them when they did wrongly.  And I loved the way children played into the story. Dov and Ari are such sweeties! I have to say though, I went on a roller-coaster ride with all the characters–and had moments of liking them and disliking them.

//The confusion… You had me there. I dangled on a string wondering what was going on. It was more suspense than anything else. I wanted to know what was up with Shira, what was up with Ayal, and what was up with Leisha…and then I got hit with half of it. The other half was left suspensefully for later. And I’m glad the information was withheld from me. Because oh, it just enhances the plot so much!

//The way Shira’s mind works… This point may sound weird. But Shira’s desires make her feel more like a real person, a real girl. True, not all girls are like this. But I know how girls can be…and I’ve struggled in my own writing how much to show of this. The fact of the matter is…for many girls– we’re wired to be thinking: “Oh, handsome guy–could he be the one?”. Instead of trusting God with our features we worry about those things. And Shira has that same struggle. And I applaud the courage it takes to make a character human.

//The step back into time… I so appreciate this. I have always had questions whenever I read Biblical narratives. I call them the: “What was it like?” questions. All those rich descriptions in the Bible. But I always am curious about little details. And while I can’t say with certainty that the things provided ARE accurate (I would not be a good judge of that:) ) it really helps to be given a taste of what it might have been like.

//The message… I have read many books with supposedly ‘Biblical’ messages. I have even read books within this GENRE who’s messages are supposedly ‘Biblical’. But this one actually has Biblical message. I love the message that speaks to healing. I love the message that speaks of trusting God. And yes, putting our futures in His hands is so important!

 

What you should know..

*This section is dedicated to parents mostly. I want to make it clear what things parents should be aware of before allowing your child to read the book. I believe it’s important that we as bloggers make sure parents are aware, so that you can then decide what your children ought to read.

*All readers please stay tuned for this part! I want you to make the decision based on the dictates of your conscience.

You should be aware that:

//This is a book on a young woman who wants to be a midwife. There ARE birth scenes. They are not overly explicit…but  if you know NOTHING of birth, you might want to pass on this one.

//There is one scene where a character tell about being raped. It doesn’t go very far or anything, but the girl is punched up and whatnot before the scene reaches its conclusion. Like I said, it’s not terribly descriptive. But it is disturbing, and obviously suggestive. This is definitely where I would say “umm…maybe not show the kids?” 🙂

//There is a scene where a woman tries to entice a man. It’s not too bad. Just bad.(hopefully that makes sense?) The woman only pulls her shirt sleeve down a little–it’s more the suggestion that I would advise caution over. This is another instance where I would advise caution, especially with younger readers.

All-in-all, if I HAD to put an age on the reading of this book I would say (very) mature 13+, and would highly advise the reading of this book FIRST by the parents.

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*I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House publishers. I was not required to post a positive review, but rather to honestly give my opinion– which I have done. All things here expressed are my own thoughts and opinions on the book. 

 

 

~Emmaline