Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

This is a wonderful historical romance which gave me a lot of new knowledge about the founding of New Orleans and how it was settled and populated. The first population was made up of soldiers and convicts that France shipped over to populate the “New World.” Then, due to other conflicts going on elsewhere, they were slow to send rations and supplies for the population and there was mass starvation. This story details the many hardships encountered in this rough place where the climate was less than comfortable (humidity, heat, mosquitos etc.).

Julianne is one of the convicts (falsely convicted) that is sent to New Orleans to help populate it. She is a midwife and hopes to help the other women give birth. She is also hoping to find her younger brother who ran off to be a soldier a few years earlier and was sent to New Orleans. She becomes aquainted with Marc-Paul Girard, an officer who was once aquainted with her brother.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will be a permanent fixture on my shelf and become required reading when my homeschoolers reach the American History phase of their education.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review.

Bible Trivia, Jokes & Fun Facts for Kids by Troy Schmidt

What kid doesn’t love knock knock jokes? This book has its fair share along with other jokes and fun facts. There are some little quizzes to make you think and some scrambles and some matching and some Bible words that you see how many other words you can make using those letters. My 6th grader is reading the Bible through this year and she enjoys the offerings in this book as a way of processing some of what she is reading as well as a light change of pace from constant reading. We throw some of these exercises in as a little break time. The younger children are also enjoying the book so I will keep it with my homeschool curriculum for years to come.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

For the Record by Regina Jennings

This story takes place in Missouri in 1885. The town of Pine Gap has citizens taking the law into their own hands. They are calling themselves the BaldKnobbers. Betsy Huckabee is a reporter for her Uncle’s local paper and has dreams of writing for larger papers. Deputy Joel Puckett is the Texas lawman being sent to town by the Governor of Missouri to restore order in the community. Betsy sees an opportunity to get a foot in the door with the Kansas City Star by writing serial stories for women about the dashing new deputy but she doesn’t count on falling for him Deputy Puckett has something to hide and wants his anonymity.

This story was well thought out and had some surprising twists and turns. It did take a while to get captivating. It was always interesting but it didn’t make me want to keep reading in the first half of the book like it did in the last half of the book. The first half too a few days and the last half took one long evening. All in all I enjoyed it very much and look forward to what this author may write next.

Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Where Does Love Hide? by Mary Manz Simon

This little board book has a wonderful message and it is presented so simply that the little ones can grasp the lesson. The simple but very sweet illustrations make the book fun for the small fry. This is a lift-the-flap book and on the first page the little girl is playing with a stack of blocks and love is hiding at her house until she invites a friend to play. You pull down the flap (the stack of blocks) and there is her friend that she is offering a block to. There is a verse, Proverbs 17:17 -- "A friend is always a friend." Similarly, each page has a flap of some sort (i.e., door, stack of cookies, sand castle, bush) and another definition of love such as helping or sharing and each set of pages has a simplified verse to go with it. This is a great start to teaching your child to love the Word and get it in their hearts. I really enjoyed this simple little book with my grandkids and they loved it too. My only advice is put it away and don't leave it lying around for them because they tend to get a little too enthusiastic about lifting the flap and the flaps can get torn off way too soon.

I received this book from Tyndale for the purpose of an honest review. I would definitely purchase another copy in the future as a gift to a small child.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

I love all of Nancy Mehl's books. This is no exception. This is the first book in her Defenders of Justice series.

Mercy Brennan is a U.S. Marshall whose father, a cop, has just been murdered. Her friend Tally (a cop) and her partner Mark (also a Marshall) are tasked with protecting her from the cartel who murdered her father. The cartel thinks Mercy has something they were trying to get from her father. They end up in a snow storm out in the boonies and most of the story takes place on the property where they are sheltering. It is full of suspense and I never figured out the whole story before it happened as sometimes happens when reading these types of books. Nancy Mehl is a clever crafter of suspense stories. I enjoyed this book so much I can't wait for the sequel.

Bethany House provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have to say though that since I have all of her books this one would have wound up on my shelf sooner rather than later anyway. Bethany House has the best authors!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

This is the story of Geesje, who immigrates from Holland with her parents to escape religious persecution by the state church there and ends up in the wilderness that was then Michigan where their group founds the town of Holland, MI. Years later, as she looks back on her life while writing her story for the local Semi-Centennial committee, she meets Anna, who is also seeking some religious freedom and is staying at a nearby hotel while trying to figure out what to do about her fiancé who wants her to have nothing to do with the church where she has been seeking a closer walk with God. That’s the basic premise but the story is wildly more wonderful that than sounds.

Wow. I didn’t read this book all in one sitting like I do many books that I absolutely love because this one was so special I wanted to savor it. I wanted it to last forever. This book is set in Holland, Michigan. I remember visiting there as a child and still have the wooden shoes my parents had made for me. My ancestors were from a nearby town. I have also visited the Netherlands.

I first learned about Lynn Austin’s work from my daughter who loves WWII stories. Since I read that book that she recommended I have collected all the Lynn Austin books available. My daughter and my granddaughters and I enjoyed the OT Kings books together. This book, however, is, I think, the crème de la crème of Lynn Austin books.

I obtained this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers and the author in exchange for a review, but I can assure you that this book was on my wishlist on Amazon long before that came about and before the book was available for purchase.

If you want to read something really satisfying, grab this book and put your life on hold so you can wrap this story around you like a warm hug.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Answers to the Most Important Questions About the End Times by Dr. John Hart

In this book, Dr. Hart has taken common questions about End Times and answered them according to his understanding of the scriptures. Eschatology is on everyone’s mind these days as the signs seem to be coming thick and fast. I appreciated the way he broke this down so you could skip to the part you want the most immediate answer to or just read it cover to cover to get a feel for the entire subject. This is a deep subject and there is a lot to be learned about it. It is not always easy for the average person to dig this all out for themselves and many people rely on other peoples’ research and insight to supplement what they have gleaned from the scriptures. I found this book very helpful and a good addition to the other books on this subject that I have in my library. I highly recommend this book to anyone who might have questions and would like to be directed to where the answers can be found in the scriptures.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review.