Making Marion by Beth Moran

Making Marion by Beth Moran

I’m having a hard time writing this review for Making Marion because I had mixed feelings while reading it…Making Marion book cover

On the positive side, the story was much deeper than I thought it would be. In between the cartoon-like cover art and the subtitle “Where’s Robin Hood when you need him?”, I expected it to be warm and fuzzy, filled with lighthearted moments! (Everyone needs a fun, “summer” now and then, right!?) While Making Marion had some of those, but it also was hard, emotional, awkward, and real. (Thank you, Beth Moran!!) It was a little slow getting into, but I ended up really enjoying the story and getting to know the characters. :)

On the negative side, I was disappointed about the language. As a woman and mom of 3 girls, I really don’t want to recommend books that throw around the “b-word” (yes, I’m talking about the Old English word with the original meaning of “female dog”). It wasn’t overbearing, but it also wasn’t necessary to an otherwise very good story.

I wouldn’t mind checking out more books from Beth Moran, but I would be very hesitant if she can’t choose better words! :(

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black

As I was reading Cloak of the Light, at first I thought “When is the action going to start?”. Then I looked closer at the cover and Cloak of the Light book coverrealized that it wasn’t a stand alone book (silly me!!) but the first book of the Wars of the Realm series! 

And what an awesome start is was…with well developed characters, an interesting story that opened up a mysterious unseen world of invaders, and YES even battles …I was hooked (and I got this book for my husband). I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the series! We are also planning to check out more from the author Chuck Black, because, Yes, I was that impressed with my first book of his!!

I really appreciate the author’s note and the readers guide at the end of the book. “The Readers Guide explains the biblical framework from which much of the speculation for the novel is derived. I hope you find it informative and helpful in your own investigation of understanding spiritual warfare.” 

As a mom deep in the seemingly mundane, repetitive tasks of parenting and educating our children, I appreciated this book not only as a great read but also as a needed reminder and encouragement of what is important in this life! Thank you, Chuck Black. :)

For more info check these out:

**I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for an honest review.

Snap Decision by Nathan Whitaker

In only 8th grade, Chase is faced with a big decision. He is finishing his season as the JV quarterback, while possibly getting aSnap Decision book cover chance to play with the varsity football team and of course staying up with his classes. However, his choice deals with being truthful when it’s not popular…with his best friend. 

My daughter actually picked this book for me to review. She wanted to read a book about football “since Daddy loves it”. She thought that it would be fun! Also, we have a young son who’ll enjoy it in a few more years. :)

Snap Decision is the first book in Nathan Whitaker’s Game Face series. It is definitely a book that will encourage kids to make the hard choices that aren’t popular but are needed! There needs to be more books that call our youngsters to live their faith day in and day out. However, the actual story was just ok. I felt like it was a little choppy and slow. But I do have hopes that the story (since fiction is new for Whitaker) will improve. I do love the role models and father figures that are in Chase’s live, especially since his parents are divorced and his dad isn’t involved.

This is a series with potential. :)

I received a free copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review.

The Knight and the Firefly: a boy, a bug, and a lesson in bravery

by Tara McClary Reeves and Amanda Jenkins, illustrated by Daniel FernandezThe Knight and the Firefly book cover

The Knight and the Firefly was so needed in my family right now! One of my kids is similar to this story’s little boy, Oliver, — with the questions and worries that ONLY show up AT NIGHT! Reading this story together was a wonderful way to allow this child to hear the truths repeated that we’ve already shared. Thank so very much, Tara McClary Reeves and Amanda Jenkins, for backing us parents up!!

What a well written book with lessons from Psalm 91:1-2 “The one who lives under the protection of the Most Hight dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” The illustrations are supper cute and colorful!! I love the bravery of Oliver and the honesty of his millions of questions at night. :) There is also a bonus feature called “Parent Connection” at the end. It allows the parents and kids to dig a little deeper and apply the truth’s of God’s Word that were presented in the book. Excellent addition!!

May this book be an encouragement to your kids and a reminder of God’s faithfulness all the time! 

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.

B&H Publishing

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

Author Julianna Deering stepped it up with Murder at the Mikado! Murder at the Mikado book cover

This is the third book of the The Drew Farthering Mystery series. I would recommend starting with the first one, Rules of Murder. However, in all honesty, I had been a little lukewarm about this series. There are many positives… These books are set in a fun time period and location filled with quirky characters. They are clean, as in I don’t have to wade through vulgar language or embarrassing bedroom situations, AND I would be willing to let my daughters read them. Also, there a sweet love story developing between the solving of mysteries! But I have been won over with Murder at the Mikado! :)

So… Is there going to be another one, Deering?

Drew and his financee Madeline are looking forward to their wedding. However, Fleur, an old flame of Drew’s steps into the picture and stirs up some buried wounds in Madeline. When Fleur becomes the prime suspect in some murders, her husband asks for Drew’s help while Madeline is hoping just once he would say no! …Will they make it to the alter or will their relationship die a tragic death of it’s own.

I loved that she pulled the original detective trio — Drew, Madeline (though not as excited this time), and Nick, Drew’s best friend — back together! Madeline’s aunt Ruth is still a wonderful addition to the story. Also Chief Inspector Birdsong has become a favorite for me — gruff and serious, but his willingness to allow these amateurs to get involved has grown through the series. :)

Deering kept me guessing to the end. I would think I had it figured out and then a kink would be thrown in!! Who is involved? … Fleur? Her husband? The nanny? One of the maids? One of the actors? The missing reporter?

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Death by the Book by Julianna Deering

This is Julianna Deering’s 2nd book in the The Drew Farthering Mystery series. The first was Rules of Murder. I would definitely recommend startingDeath by the Book book cover  there to get to know the characters, their relationships and the setting better.

Aunt Ruth (Madeline’s aunt from America) has unexpectedly shown up. She’s worried about Madeline and suspicious of Drew’s intentions. Although a great twist to throw into their whirlwind romance, it also causes some separation in the witty crime-fighting trio from book 1 — Drew, Madeline and Nick, Drew’s best friend.

I was excited about this series. It’s been clean with good messages throughout – the kind of books I wouldn’t mind passing along to my family or friends. I love the setting – both time and location. The characters of this small English town are quirky additions. However, I haven’t been truly won over as a fan. However, on a positive note, all the book covers have been very creative! :)

…But it was truly a surprising ending! I wasn’t expecting that!

And you?

 

 

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

“He who saves one life saves the world”Saving Amelie book cover

Rachel is a German orphan turned pampered American. She is the only child of Dr. Kramer, who is suspected of being involved with Hitler’s genetic studies.

Lea is German born and raised. Her mother died during childbirth, and she was raised by her Oma (grandmother).

Amelie is a four year old deaf daughter of an high ranking SS officer.

Jason is an ambitious American journalist in Germany.

How do their lives intersect? What is the truth of their pasts? Will there be a future for each?

 

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke is set in Germany in 1939. It includes Bonhoeffer, who was a real life hero during this time. He was a German pastor, spy and martyr. He recognized early on how dangerous and twisted Hilter’s ideology was and he challenged the church to stand against it, protect others, and stand for Christ.

 

“Germany is at stake—heart and soul…

When the church stops standing for Jews—for anyone—then we stop begin the church. Grace is costly—it took the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, to achieve that grace. It requires just as much from each of us.

But we’ve come to practice cheap grace—grace that appears as a godly form but costs us nothing—and that is abomination, a stench in the nostrils of God.”

(Truths from Bonhoeffer shared in this historical fiction book)

 

This is a story that draws us in and sends us on a realistic journey through a very difficult, dangerous and twisted time in the world’s history. It was well written and I really “enjoyed” (you know what I mean) reading it. I had a hard time figuring out how to write the review, so this part took longer than even reading the book! However, I would recommend it, not just as a very good read, but as an excellent reminder to stand up for others and to not continue to allow our religious freedoms to be taken away.

 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. It was not required that I give a positive review, but to solely express my own thoughts and opinions.

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