Biblical Fiction for Young Readers {Homeschool Review Crew}

Biblical Fiction for Young Readers

Homeschool Review Crew

Here’s our story.  We received a new review package in the mail.  I pulled out two books.  And then, my hands were mysteriously empty.  That is the story of how quickly books disappear in our house.  It also is the story of how good these books are because they still haven’t surfaced as they make their rounds through our house of readers.  I’m always pleased when I can find Biblical fiction for young readers to introduce to their hungry minds.

WorthyKids
What books you ask?  The first two books in The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls series from WorthyKids/Ideals.  We received titles one and two which are The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book #1) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book #2).

About the Series

This new series is geared towards kids ages 6-9 which includes four of the kids in my house.  Now, that is the recommended age but my twelve year olds and my ten year olds read and enjoyed these books as well.  They also make wonderful read alouds for your homeschool as well. Biblical fiction for young readers is hard to come by and I was very excited to be asked to be on this review.  In fact, now I’m not so sure we should have because my kids want the other books today!  Or actually they wanted them as soon as they finished book two which was the same day as our package arrived with my oldest.

WorthyKids/Ideals might be a familiar company to you if you enjoy the children’s favorites of VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears.  We love both of these series and have several of their books on our shelves.  This new series follows the same vein wanting to expand on your child’s faith and knowledge of the Bible.  While doing this levels of mystery and intrigue are weaved throughout to make your child want to read on and learn more.  Books like this are hard to find in the library so I love to add them to our shelves.  We call them Biblical fiction for young readers.  Christian fiction is another popular genre but it’s more for older teens and adults in my opinion.

The Author

M. J. Thomas is the author who penned this new series.  Though I’m not sure that he wrote them with pen and paper first or if he just typed them.  But I’m a fan of pen and paper and like to think that’s how it was written. When Thomas was looking for good Biblical fiction for young readers to have in his own home he came up short.  And thus the series was born!  Main characters in this series are Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog.  Not surprisingly these are characters in his real life as well.  Peter is his son, Mary his niece, and Hank is his dog.  I personally love learning how books come to be and would love to find out more about how his mind came up with this great story line.

Book One

 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book one finds our main characters Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog staying with their Great Uncle Solomon who happens to be an archaeologist.  Here they discover ancient scrolls that have magical powers to transport them back back back into time.  So far back in time in fact that it is truly the Beginning of time.  Here they witness the creation of the world.   But it’s not all fun and games as they must solve a mystery or they will not be allowed to return to present time.  While learning about history can be fun getting stuck there forever would not be.  As they rush around to discover the answer they get to meet some interesting characters in history including that dreaded snake.  Other fun and interesting characters are their fun rhino friends who offer rides and even the angel Michael who gives them a seven day timeline before they’re stuck forever.

My kids were spellbound.  My older kids read this book in a matter of an hour or two each and had read both books before the day was up.  They then of course were begging for the other books which have not been released yet.  On our amazon waitlist they go!

Book Two

 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book two follows the storyline of book one in that more ancient scrolls are found that transport our trio back in time with another mystery to solve.  This time they are taken back to the time of Noah’s Ark.  They must find Noah and help with the completion of the ark.  Along the way they meet helpful characters and foes who will stop at nothing to ensure their mission is not completed.  The dark ruler will send a shiver down your back.  A good mysterious shiver not a violent one.  Seven days is all the time Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog have to solve their riddle in order to get home.

We really enjoyed these books.  My kids that can read all sat down to read them on their own.  We also used them as read alouds for my non readers.  They very much remind us of another Biblical fiction for young readers(at least in our house) that we have repeatedly used as read alouds.  A good strong Christian basis.   If you do not ever want your child to read anything that contains magic then this is not the book for you.  They do contain magic as the characters are transported back in time through ancient scrolls and have to solve mysteries in order to make it back home.  We don’t do witches or “dark” magic in our home but this kind of magic or fantasy is allowed and I am comfortable with all my children reading these books. 

Learn More

Want to learn more?  Interested in what other review families thought of these two books?  Check out the Main Post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews have been linked up.  Also make sure to check out their facebook, instagram, and twitter for more about Biblical fiction for young readers and the other books that are to come in this series of The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. 

 

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Family Movie Night {Homeschool Review Crew}

Family Movie Night

Homeschool Review Crew

Do you have family movie night?  We tend to do it either Friday or Saturday night depending on our schedule.  Recently it was a mom and two older daughters movie night though.  We received a new movie from Mapelle Films.  This movie is Trust Fund and it’s a new twist on the prodigal son story from the Bible.  We also received Love Was Near, a book to go along with the movie. It’s the to be read after viewing.  This movie and book are geared towards ages 12 and up.

 

Family Movie Night

Because this is geared towards ages 12 and up it was not an entire family movie night.  But rather just my oldest two daughters and I watched the movie and read/discussed the book.  The rest of the family had a different movie they watched.  We don’t often separate out the family for two separate movies but it seemed like the best solution to this.  I had not prescreened the movie and did not know if it would be something I’d want my four year old to watch.  It’s not just FYI.

Have you ever heard of the prodigal son story from the Bible?  Most people have.  Even people who don’t attend church know this story. It’s a classic of it’s own.  This movie gives it a new twist.  It’s no longer a son but a daughter who decides to go out and leave behind all she’s known for a bright new future.  Only the future isn’t quite what she thought it’d be.

Who do you relate to most in this story?  The brother who stays home or the one who leaves and comes back to much rejoicing?  I never really thought about it much but while going through the movie and study book with my daughters I really examined my own feelings.  The daughter/son who stayed home.  That would be me.  And then it hits me.  Am I really that person?  Am I cynical?  Do I think I deserve that attention and that I’m more worthy?  Lots of great discussions can come from this movie!

About the Movie

The movie is the product of a homeschooler!  Isaac Alongi was someone early on the scene to homeschooling being homeschooled starting in 1982.  Guys I gotta add that was before I was born!  Anyway it’s always nice to see that homeschool kids can do great things too!

Now this movie is based loosely on the Bible story of the prodigal son.  Before you schedule this for your next movie night please make sure and read some reviews and think about the ages of your family.  Due to some violence and hard lessons learned I’m not sure I would alter the age given by the movie.  It suggests ages 12 and up and I agree.  Now I might relax that to 10 or so but not much more than that.

Jessica Rothe plays Reese.  The younger spoiled daughter of a rich man who is an aspiring author.  When she learns her dad has been keeping secrets from her she decides she can’t trust him and goes off on her own.  She thinks she’s found true love. Of course, if that was the end of the story there would be no story.  So guess what?!  It’s not the end of the story. She has an older sister who has to stand by and watch and pick up the pieces when her younger sister runs off.  And there is her dad of course too. Oh and what about this guy she thinks is worth leaving her family for?

Needless to say because it’s the prodigal son story she comes home.  She’s lost everything but her regret and has yet to realize what true love is.  Until she comes home and her father still loves her.  That’s the general synopsis.  You’re going to want to watch the movie to find out all the juicy details.

I’d rate this movie a four out of five.  Not bad.  A good family movie night movie for older kids and parents.  Plus it can spur lots of discussion.

 

Love Was Near Book

Now the Book

Love Was Near is a book companion for the movie.  It retails currently for $12.99.  Think of a diary where you’re thinking about and reflecting on a monumental part of your life.  That’s the vibe that this book gives off.  It’s more of a reflection and rethinking of the movie than just a story version of the movie.  I think it offers quite a bit of thinking and reflecting on ourselves and our own lives as well.  

There is so much more to life than what we see and hear the first time around.  Sometimes if we reflect and think on the things that have happened it offers up a new perspective and learning experience.  Join Reece as she does just that with what has happened to her in this book.  I personally think it’s a good read and makes you think a bit about your own life and really take away some new points.

Side note:  There is also a study guide to go along with the movie.  This would make a great Bible study type program to do with the movie with your own children or a church group.  Find it HERE.  

 

Mapelle Films

Learn More

Want to hear more about this movie and book for your next Family Movie Night?  Check out the main Homeschool Review Crew blog for the main post. A great article to read is from a local(to me!!) Homeschool community the Midwest Parent Educators so take a peak at it too! You can also find them on social media through facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

A Christian Comic Book {Homeschool Review Crew}

A Christian Comic Book

Homeschool Review Crew

As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we recently received a new Christian Comic Book to review.  My oldest son was particularly interested in this one!  Captain Absolutely was out of the box and in his hands before I even realized that it had arrived!  Thanks to Focus On The Family for keeping him occupied reading for a few hours.

 

A Christian Comic Book

 

Yes I did say a few hours.  He literally read this book super fast.  It’s written like a comic book with lots of great graphics and just enough suspense and fun to keep my 10 year old intrigued from cover to cover.  Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by a librarian named Josiah King who while hiding amongst a room full of Bibles actually opens and starts reading one.  Due to some radioactive fumes(aren’t they always the culprit) and the fact that he’s reading the Bible,  he is turned into the hero Captain Absolutely.

About the Book

Do you remember ever listening to or reading Adventures in Odyssey?  I remember listening to the audio shows and watching the cartoons for Adventures in Odyssey as a child.  Captain Absolutely, the star of this Christian comic book, is a character from that show.  

We received a paperback copy of this book.  The bright colors and vivid graphics caught my eye as I was sneaking looks over my sons shoulder.  As soon as he finished reading the book it went off to my oldest daughter and then on down the line.  Currently I think child seven is reading the book and she’s the last independent reader I have.  Once she’s done I might actually get a chance to read it!

Captain Absolutely: Battle Against Dr Relative is written by Wooten Z. Bassett and illustrated by Dennis Edwards.  This character is a spin off of the Adventures in Odyssey series.  The series was written over a span of 5 years while it was appearing as a comic strip within the Clubhouse Magazine from Focus On The Family.  Only 105 pages long it will entertain your child as Dr Relative is dealt with by our hero who is defending truth, justice, and lots more truth.

This book is listed as a kids juvenile fiction and is currently retailing for $9.99.

Our Thoughts

I was not super interested in this book to review.  Got to admit it.  Science fiction and superheroes has just never been my thing.  Give me a historical fiction novel or a good biography and I’m hooked.  But sci fi and futuristic stuff, it’s over my head and just does not engage me.  My son on the other hand thinks this is amazing and could not wait to receive it to review.

Once the book arrived he grabbed it and found a comfy spot.  Within a few hours of sitting down he’d read the book straight through!  Even though I’m not a fan of this genre I do love the message behind this book.  It’s teaching children how to stand firm in their beliefs no matter what the rest of the world might be saying and doing.

Focus On The Family

Learn More

Want to learn more?  Check out the Main Blog Post for the review team.  All of the reviews of this Christian Comic Book are linked up there so you can pick and choose some to read and see what everyone has to say.  You can also find Captain Absolutely and Focus On The Family on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and YouTube.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

The Secret Bridge {Homeschool Review Crew}

The Secret Bridge

Homeschool Review Crew

I love to read!  I’m sure you have noticed that by all the book reviews I post on here.  Recently I received a copy of The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing through the Homeschool Review Crew.  Find out what I thought of it below!

 

The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

 

About the Book

This book is gorgeous for one.  I know looks shouldn’t matter but this book cover is so pretty.  It’s definitely one I’d pick up and look at in a book store.  After looking through the website all the books from Lamplighter Publishing are this way.  Their goal is to create “Christlike character one story at a time.” 

The Secret Bridge is written by Amy le Feuvre in 1899.  It’s 272 pages long and even for that length it’s a quick read.  I’m not sure that I would allow young children to read this book.  Maybe an age limit of 11-12 or so, but that would have to do with their mental capacity and not just their physical age.

A note.  Any profanity or questionable content in the original works is removed or phased out of the copies that Lamplighter Publishing offers for sale.  This is one of the ways that they ensure they are promoting their values and not taking people away from God but rather drawing you closer.  The company was started in 1994 by Mark Hamby and now offers over one hundred and thirty titles.

 

The Secret Bridge

 

My Thoughts

I loved the book cover.  The book also did not disappoint.  We get to travel back in time and meet a great character.  Bridget Channing.  Her father dies leaving her penniless and alone in Ceylon.  Can she survive?  What will happen to her?  She sales to England and on the voyage she attracts the attention of Godfrey Bullingham.  Determined to make her own way and not rely on pity or charity Bridget wants nothing to do with him.

Once in England Bridget finds out that the uncle she was to stay with has also passed away and she is now without a place to stay.  What should Bridget do?  Godfrey offers her marriage and with no other options she accepts.  

Now Bridget must find out what she is to do.  How does she go on?  She’s quiet and shy and due to this she hasn’t many friends.  She self professes as not believing in Christ.  But she shocks even herself when she turns to Christ and learning how she should act and behave as a new bride.  Her example?  Why the Bible of course!

Throughout the book we’re challenged to grow closer to Christ.  To await him as a bride awaits the bridegroom.  I think our young girls can get great character training and enjoy deep thoughts while reading and processing The Secret Bridge.  While reading it I found myself thinking and digesting little morsels and thinking in ways I might never have thought before.

Find out More

Find out what other reviewers thought of The Secret Bridge.  All reviews are linked up on the Main Blog for the Homeschool Review Crew.  So many different readers are sure to take away many different take aways.  You can also find Lamplighter Publishing on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +

 

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The Mark of The King {Litfuse Review}

The Mark of the King

by Jocelyn Green

 
The Mark of The King
 
About the book The Mark of The King:

The Mark of the King (Bethany House, January 2017)

Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2iKM4uj

 
About the author of The Mark of the King:
 
 
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg;Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.
 
 

My thoughts:

I have read the works of Jocelyn Green that center around the Civil War and LOVED them.  So I knew that I loved her writing.  When this book arrived I knew that I wanted to read it and read it quickly.  I was not disappointed.  This book is amazing.
 
Travel back in time.  I’d never even heard of this!  Forced marriages so you could get out of jail and go colonize a new world.  I personally don’t think I’d have chosen hardened criminals for this but I’m guessing the king just wanted people over there.
 
Anyway back to the book!  Julianne is an intriguing character that you can’t help but be drawn towards.  She has great strength and makes the most of her lot in life.  Being a gifted midwife she can’t practice since she’s imprisoned for killing a mother.  Well, she really didn’t kill her but you’ll have to read the book to find out!  Then she marries a man she doesn’t know, travels across the ocean, and sleeps in the mud and rain.  Such fun!  But it gets better!  Her brother is supposed to be in this new land.  The brother she raised and loved and nurtured like a mother would.  Will she ever find him?
 
And what about this husband?  Can he be a good man or is he bound by his criminal past?  Will she be able to hide the mark on her or will the world find out and make her an outcast again?
Oh guys!  This is suspenseful and full of good plot twists and characters.  I love the little girl she gets to mother and the complexities of her character.  I love her relationship with Marc-Paul and lets not even get into her brother.
 
Definitely one I’m keeping on my shelf to reread!  Well after it comes back from making the rounds of all my avid reader friends. 
 

The Elusive Miss Ellison {Litfuse Review}

The Elusive Miss Ellison

Litfuse Review

 
The Elusive Miss Ellison
 

About the book The Elusive Miss Ellison:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother-who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
 
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
 
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
 
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
 
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.
 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author of The Elusive Miss Ellison:

 
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
 
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My thoughts:

I adored this book.  To me it’s written in the style of the Bronte sisters.  A good strong heroine who can take care of herself and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  Who then has to learn how to allow her heart to have a voice as well.

Poor Miss Ellison.  I loved her character.  She’s worked so hard to make herself the doer.  The one who cares for the poor and unfortunate because she knows no one else will, certainly not the landed gentry who are supposed to do this.  After all, they own the houses the poor live in, the ones that are crumbling.

Then she meets that new landowner.  The new master of the village if you will.  She’s already got her mind made up about him though.  He’s horrible, he’s arrogant, he’s only out for a good time and spending money.  And of course, he will never care for these people.  Mainly because he and his brother caused the death of her mother.  Something she’s never been able to let go of much less forgive.

Such a wonderful book.  Well written.  It flies when you’re reading it.  I loved getting to know Miss Ellison and making her my new friend.  And of course there is some suspense and danger as well.  And you get the chance to love and hate the same character but at different times.  I won’t give away the ending but I will say Miss Ellison, sweet Lavinia, learns a lot about herself and who she is.  That may have to do with a side of the family she’s never known or it might have to do with who she is inside.  I’ll let you find out whether she’s rich in money or love or both!!

 

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Riding the Range {Homeschool Review Crew}

Riding the Range

Homeschool Review Crew

Riding the range is something that captivates most young children.  They play cowboys and Indians and ride imaginary ponies across the yard.  My kids are no different.  They love to pretend and play like they’re on a big ranch.  Part of this play lately comes from reading the newest Andi books from Kregel Publications and Susan K Marlow.  These newest titles in the Circle C Stepping Stones series are Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top.  We received both of them through the Homeschool Review Crew so we could read and review!

 

Andi Under the Big Top
 

My children love to read!  Several of my kids have already devoured these two books and are ready for more.  Since we aren’t buying any new books right now they’ve gone back to read the other Andi book we have.  And any other horse and farm related books they can find!

We’ve read some of the older chapter books about Andi and now these two books.  My kids love Andi and her adventures riding the range.  They’re great read alouds or for kids to read on their own and discuss.  We highly recommend the Circle C books.

About the Books

The new series is intended to go between the beginner series and the longer chapter books for older children.  So the age range for this new series is 7-10.  At present there are six titles that are going to be in this series. Your kids will love riding the range with Andi and her horse Taffy.

Andi has a pretty Palomino horse that she loves to ride named Taffy.  Her older brother Justin is a lawyer.  Chad(another older brother) runs the ranch while her older sister Melinda cares more for her appearance than the ranch or her younger sister.  Mitch is another older brother who has a horse named Chase.  A Spanish cook completes the household.  Andi’s mother is described as being “very nice” while unfortunately her father has passed away.

 

Riding the Range

 

Andi Saddles Up

In Andi Saddles Up we find her celebrating her ninth birthday with a new saddle and bridle for Taffy.  It’s the first book in this new series.  Andi wants to learn to be a trick rider but her brother does not approve of that plan!  Instead she finds a new friend.  But this new friend is on the wrong side of a feud between her father and Andi’s brother Chad.  Can they still be friends?  What about this feud?  Can Sadie and Andi find a way to stop the feud?  104 pages of fun and excitement will help you find out!  At the end of the book there are two pages of fun history facts that relate to the story within.

Andi Under the Big Top

Andi Under the Big Top has a circus coming to town!  While you might get that from the title you won’t know that Andi again finds a new friend!  This young man is named Henry Jackson and he works for the circus selling treats.  As Andi gets to know Henry she finds out some sad news.  Henry ran away from home to join the circus.  He’d like to go home now but he can’t.  He’s trapped.  Andi wants to help him but how?  As Andi comes up with a plan will she be able to save Henry without suffering any losses of her own?  Great story line that not only helps your children have a fun read but opens up doors to talk about strangers and what to do if they ever get lost.  This book is 105 pages long.

 

Kregel Publications
 

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about Susan K Marlow and Kregel Publications plus their newest Circle C Stepping Stones titles please check out the main Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews are linked up.  You can also find Kregel Publications on twitter and facebook as well as Susan K Marlow on twitter and facebook

 

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Of Stillness and Storm {Litfuse Review}

About the book Of Stillness and Storm:

Of Stillness and Storm
 

Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)

“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale oftroubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gzxgeq

 
About the author:
 
 

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.

 
 

My thoughts:

 
I almost can’t put them down into words.  This is a powerful book.  It also is a very true book that most of us can relate to in some point or another.  How many of us have felt alone and isolated?  How many of us have wondered if our spouse is finding someone or something more important than family?
 
These are hard questions and realities to face.  Yet we must face them head on. What we decide can shape our present and our future.  All too often we don’t realize just how many other lives are being touched and affected by our choices as well.
 
That being said.  I don’t know if I could manage to live the way she does in this book.  I’m sure if it was a cause on my heart I could and would.  I like to think that I could “rough” it if needed.  I think what I would be missing the most are the friends, the confidantes, the people I know, trust, and love to talk to.
 
This is a book that I say go and pick it up.  Read it.  It’s going to take time though.  This book was not one that I could just sit down with and read straight through.  I had to take time off and digest what I was reading.  Think about it and how it related to me and my life.  
 
 
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Pursuing Gold {Litfuse Review}

Pursuing Gold 

 
pursuing gold

 

About the book:

Pursuing Gold (Elk Lake, October 2016)

With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis.

With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue goldon behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gCb1pb

 
About the author:
 

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She’s a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today’s crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.

 
 
 
 
 
My thoughts:
 
I love historical fiction and so I knew I wanted to read Pursuing Gold.  It’s a great book about a “border” area during the war.  The journeys of one man and one woman are chronicled as they try to maintain true to what they believe without landing themselves in loads of trouble.  Plus add in the fact that her father makes him vow to marry her and it just gets better.  Oh and there might be a Confederate officer trying to get Peter to invest in a scheme while also trying to court Mary Beth.  It just gets better and better.
 
I wanted to comment on the cover as I’ve read some negative reviews about it turning people off on the book.  I’m here to say that if you like history you’re drawn to this cover.  Civil War buff here and this cover drew me in.  It’s a period piece and the way the cover is done reminds me of other works that are biographies or letters from the war.  i immediately knew I had to read this one!
 
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The Most Wonderful Time of The Year {Litfuse Review}

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

About the book:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)

Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.

For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.

From December to New Year‘s Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.

With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2frWQG8

 
About the author:
 
 
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
 
 
My thoughts:
 
I really liked how positive this book was.  It’s full of positive uplifting stories to help us celebrate and remember the true meaning of this most glorious time of year.  I’ve enjoyed reading this book outloud as a family.  My youngest children don’t understand or glean a lot from some of the stories, but the older ones do.  It’s a great thing to read aloud during a meal and then encourage discussion about. 
 
I highly recommend using this as an alternative to Advent or alongside Advent for a new tradition.  Growing up I did not do Advent but I’ve enjoyed learning about it with my children and watching them learn and grow during this season.  This book shall remain on my shelf to be used over and over again.
 
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