Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse

Litfuse Review: A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Title: A Sensible Arrangement
Series: Lone Star Brides #1
Author: Tracie Peterson
Type: Fiction; romance, historical, southern
Pages: 325
Source: Litfuse Publicity Group http://litfusegroup.com/
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Description of Book:

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her. Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience. When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways . . . and dreams and secrets collide?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/vlp1S

My Review:

By the time I started this book, I was a bit wearied by romance books, to be honest. They all (well, almost) go the same way, have the same perfect ending, etc. And though that is good and what you usually look for in a book, I kinda had my fill of romances =P BUT I was actually surprised as I got into this book. I liked it. It wasn’t exactly your typical romance. In fact, there wasn’t really much romance at all till the end.
It was a good book. The plot never seemed to be dry, or dragging – it didn’t give off any impression of writer’s block or fillers (you know, where you have to come up with something to get to another more exciting part), which I was impressed with.
Sometimes it got frustrating – like, “Why can’t they just talk to each other?! They’d find the same answers!” or “Stop, Marty, no more lies!” but really, it all worked together.
I liked that you could clearly picture the story, as if it was actually unfolding before your eyes. Or at least, I could. It was descriptive, without being boring.
I was glad that it didn’t end how I thought it would (won’t give away any spoilers, don’t worry), but there were some ‘loose-ends’ I thought. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to just imagine the rest, or if there will be a sequel continuing the story. I know that this is the first book in a series, but I’m not sure if that next book will continue with this story or be a totally different story. Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out. :)
I was very happy that God was quite a lot involved. That is definitely a good thing. Though I did feel like some of it was a bit ‘rushed into’. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I won’t go on with that.

All in all, it was a good read. All in all, it was a good read. I found it to be rather a ‘typical read’, one that was good, but didn’t necessarily stand out to me.
I don’t know that I’d necessarily read it again, simply because it’s not exactly my type of book, but I was glad to read a book of Tracie Peterson’s (as I have never done so before), and would be interested in reading more from her.

About Author:

About the Author: Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.
Learn more about Tracie at: http://www.traciepeterson.com

Win & RSVP!
Tracie Peterson A Sensible Arrangement

Disclaimer: I received “A Sensible Arrangement” from the Litfuse Publicity Group for my honest and unbiased review. I was not paid to read or review this book, and all thoughts are completely my own.

Posted in Videos

Just a video…

I was going to write a whole post and be witty and all that, or even serious and contemplative, but alas, I am not so this night. It did not happen. So I’ll just share the video. I found it on Pinterest. It is funny to watch, but the lyrics are good and I say “power to ’em” who made this. I don’t see too many guys willing to do this. XD
Now, quick note before I post said video. I don’t actually listen to One Direction (though I have heard a couple of their songs – literally only a couple). And of this song, I like this version best. :)
A good reminder that modesty really is so important.

Have a good evening/day/weekend/week! :)

Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Review: “Mom Seeks God” by Julie Roller — Sort of a Guest Post

My Mum has read and reviewed the book featured today, and because I have the Litfuse account, I am posting it here. You can visit my mamma’s blog here: http://homesteadingmumofthree.wordpress.com/

Title: Mom Seeks God
Author: Julie Roller
Type: Non-fiction
Source: Litfuse

Book Description:

About the book: The first months and years of motherhood can be the most challenging and disorienting of your life—and faith. When you’re surrounded by the happy chaos of children, how do you spend quiet time with God if the only quiet time you get is while you sleep? How can you demonstrate a solid spiritual life to your children if you don’t have time to pursue one yourself?

When Julia Roller discovered that her spiritual growth had been stunted by the busyness of life with her toddler, she embarked on a yearlong journey through ten spiritual disciplines: prayer, fellowship, submission, study, simplicity, silence, worship, fasting, service, and celebration. As she focused on each discipline, she discovered practical ways to observe them—even in the chaos of her every day.

Purchase a copy and find out more about Julia at: http://www.juliaroller.com

Mum’s Review:

I requested this book, knowing it was for young moms (I’m not a young mommy anymore…) because my oldest daughter is a young mom and I thought this might be something that would help her. It is very hard to juggle new marriage, new mom (especially when you have two under the age of two), house and home, and still find time alone with Y’weh. I know my daughter has struggled with that – how can you not? When every waking moment is spent with little ones, and the house still needs cleaning, the dinners and lunches need to be made and one should at least make some effort to talk with the hubby…. it leaves little alone time with our Father. And yet, we all know that without our connection to the Vine, we die. My hopes were that this book would encourage, be something she, as well as all moms could relate to and also be helpful.

The author most definitely shared her life with the reader. There were many moments that you could totally relate to and laugh along with her. She was so honest, that I wondered if it bordered on ‘throwing your pearls before swine’. But I really did appreciate her honesty and transparency for most of it. I’m sure it was probably hard to share so much of her struggles, hopes and defeats with the world, as she did. She acknowledged that she could not do motherhood without God, which is 100% true. I was sad that she did get a bit caught up in the worldly view of motherhood – that we must have constant outside reinforcement in the form of mommy groups or early childhood programs. I just never believed that one should turn only to worldly mom’s for our encouragement and mentoring. Even “Christian” mom programs fall desperately short. Biblically, the older women are to encourage, teach and instruct the younger…. not a group of peers that have little to no experience, either. Sadly there isn’t much of that today. Not a lot of older mom’s to help mentor. But our first ‘go-to’ must-must-must be Y’weh. Who can and will fill us with the truths, with the rest, with the rejuvenation we need. But again, when you are young mom, that doesn’t always happen, and I do get that. But the author even goes a bit into how stressful these mom peers can be. With all the “you use those diapers????” and “you really should use/do/eat/think (etc.) this”. We all have our own way of doing things, and telling others they are doing it wrong only creates enemies.

The author referred a lot to other authors and their work – especially about praying (how to). I’m not familiar with the books she referred to, so I will not comment on that aspect of it. I have my thoughts, but again, until I’ve read and researched something and prayed about it, I will not give my thoughts.

The author wrote from her heart and I appreciated that. She spoke of many things that would be helpful to young moms. She spoke about submission to many things in our life, most importantly to God, which of course is key. There were things that I didn’t agree with, and things that I did. But I think most important is for a young mom to seek Christ first and foremost and to make time – have hubby help, find a local church and find a mentor type older woman to help or whatever it takes, but we have to abide in Christ.

My last thought to leave is this: we as ‘Christians’ tend to follow. We do what the church tells us and rarely do we question. We do what society says to do and rarely do we question. Lately, I’ve started to question. I’ve begun to research. I’ve learned quite a bit of shocking information. I am sad that for so many years, I’ve just allowed myself to trust the ‘church’ and be led. Thankfully, Yeshua has gotten ahold of me. He has begun to show us His truths. And they don’t include man’s traditions or rituals. We need to take a good long look at our traditions – are they Biblical? Did Yeshua – Jesus Christ – do them? Does Y’weh – God – allow them? Check out information on the Sabbath, on our typical favorite ‘holiday’s’ (which are not the Holydays). Research, ask God to show you His truths, to open your hearts to the truth of His ways and not man’s ways. You might be surprised to find that there is a remnant, but it’s not at all what you think it is (the church).

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of “Mom Seeks God” from Litfuse Publicity Group (http://litfusegroup.com/) in return for my honest and unbiased review, which I have given. I am under no obligation to read, review, or give a positive review of this books. All thoughts are my own opinion.

Posted in Reviews

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Review

My Mum and I had the opportunity to review Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil, and this is my Mum’s review on her blog (http://homesteadingmumofthree.wordpress.com/) and I thought instead of writing the same thing, I’d re-post hers :) Enjoy!

 

I had the pleasure of reviewing coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. I had heard about them from the internet and thought their background was really neat. You can read their story here:

http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/about.htm

I have a natural and organic food group where we buy products from a wholesale distributor and I normally buy all my coconut oil from them. They sell a few different brands and I have always been happy with them, but then I happened upon Tropical Tradition. Seeing as how coconut oil is so good for you, and Tropical Traditions has such a unique oil, I really wanted to try it. The way they derive their coconut oil naturally and for ultimate nutrition sounded great, so I really wanted to try it out.

I am happy to report that I love it! We tried it a few different ways and found each way superb. The first method we used, we fried potatoes in the oil. The potatoes tasted fantastic. Crispy, light – with a really great flavor. Then we even tried it with pastry type products (apple fritters, etc). Expecting it to hold the coconut flavor, it really didn’t. We tasted the apples or the pastry flavor and it wasn’t heavy at all. As strange as it is to say, we even used it in our hair – believe it or not, coconut oil has many uses! And again – it is great.

We are all very, very pleased with this product and we do highly recommend it. The price at first might seem a bit steep, but when you consider all that is involved, where it comes from, how it is made, and the nutritional value, it is worth it.

These are the links to Tropical Traditions products:

• Tropical Traditions Home Page: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com
• Gold Label Product Page: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/virgin_coconut_oil.htm
• What is Virgin Coconut Oil: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/what_is_virgin_coconut_oil.htm
• How to Use Coconut Oil: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/how-to-use-coconut-oil.htm

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Review: “The Queen’s Handmaid” by Tracy L. Higley and giveaway

Title: The Queen’s Handmaid
Author: Tracy L. Higley
Number of Pages: 390
Source: Litfuse Group http://litfusegroup.com/
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Description of book:

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

My Review:

I found this book to be carefully thought out, and historic while still being pleasantly fiction-y. Tracy Higley obviously has studied the history behind the story, and it shows through very well and creatively.
This book was one that I liked; I didn’t necessarily love it, but I also didn’t hate it – not at all. It was a good read, and I’m very glad I had the chance to read it!
The book did get on the long side at times and sometimes I felt like it dragged on, and that some of the middle was just a bit of “filler”, that it was just trying to get to another part. However, I do understand what that can be like in writing.
After I finished it, and read the “story behind the story” (kind of like a ‘note from the author’), and found out that the main character, Lydia, was added after the general story plot was conceived, as just the one to ‘witness’ the events, it sort of made sense to me, because I did notice that at some parts of the story; it seemed like she was not the main thought at times.
The characters were still well constructed, don’t get me wrong. I liked each character (well, except for the bad ones which we’re not supposed to like) and understood them well. Of course I really liked Lydia, but another favourite soon became Mariamme.
There were points where I wasn’t expecting something that happened, and was shocked. I did get involved in this book. :)
Tracy Higley handled the evil character of Salome excellently, I must say. Salome was a terrible character, but the author showed that well.
The message in the book, of finding our value in God alone, was very good, but I would have liked it to be a bit “louder” at the end.
All my “critiques” aside, “The Queen’s Handmaid” was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to fellow readers without hesitating. :)

Note: I was given a free copy of “The Queen’s Handmaid” to review, from Litfuse Publicity Group. All thoughts are my own and completely unbiased.

Win a Kindle HDX!
The Queen's Handmaid

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse

Litfuse Review: KnowOrphans by Rick Morton

Title: KnowOrphans
Author: Rick Morton
Type Non-fiction
Source: Litfuse Publicity Group http://litfusegroup.com/
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Description:

KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology
The global orphan crisis is complex. The church’s response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up to Orphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care.
KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect, KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church’s role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church’s response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans.
KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation as this evangelically based movement of orphan care matures and begins to live out James 1:27 globally.

My review:

I really, really like this book. Sometimes I have a bit of a hard time with non-fiction books, but because this reaches a special place in my heart (orphans, adoption, etc.) I was at once interested. The book is super well written, and well-understandable. I would most definitely (and do!) recommend this book to anyone who has a heart for orphans, wants to learn more, and/or wants to get into adoption, specifically transnational adoption.
There is so much good information in the book, and lots of wise knowledge to be learned and gleaned from it.
Reading it has really helped me learn more about the whole process, and filled me with more knowledge on the subject, which I needed!
The book is well-written, and easy to read and understand, which I appreciate. :)
Again, I highly recommend and suggest that anyone interested in said topic, read this book! :)

About the Author:

Rick Morton is the father of three transnational adopted children and coauthor of the popular book “Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care.” His dedication to the plight of orphans extends beyond his own family. The Mortons were cofounders of Promise 139, an international orphan-hosting ministry based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker for the gospel to be expressed by the church living out God’s heart for the fatherless, Rick presents at adoption and orphan-care conferences and pastor’s conferences. Rick and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.

http://www.rickmortononline.com/

Disclaimer: I received “KnowOrphans” free from Litfuse for my honest and unbiased review. I was not paid in any way to read or review this book, and all thoughts expressed are my own.