Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Ties that Bind

Ties that Bind Ties that Bind by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ties that Bind

Book Summary

Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series

I received an ARC of this book which in no way influenced my opinion or review.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book. This book was all about family, the love of Christ and doing what is right even when it hurts. The lead up to the stories of Ariana and Skylar was excellent. They were well developed character and the author did a great job of building the connection between the two young women. The supporting characters provided great body to the story and allowed me to really immerse myself into the story. What was also interesting was the element of intrigue surrounding Quill and Ariana's family. I thought that played so well into the outcome of the story. Ariana's decision as she was in a difficult situation brought joy to my heart.

From a Christian Perspective

In this book I met one family who lived to glorify Christ by their actions and beliefs. On the other side was a splintered family with no spiritual direction. How the author brought this together was amazing. She really allowed the love of Christ and of others to shine through in this story. Ariana's parents faith was so strong and showed how you need to believe and trust that God's Will is right and true all the time. Even though we don't always understand it, it is still true. Ariana's story reminds me of Joseph who was also torn away from his family (Gen 37). Even in challenging circumstances, Joseph was able to rise above by trusting in and relying on God.

Overall, I would recommend this book to lovers of Christian Fiction as well as those who love a great story.

Love and Blessings!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: Defy

Defy Defy by Sara B. Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Book Summary

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

My Review

I really enjoyed this book. It was fast moving, had a nice plot and lots of energy. From the beginning I was drawn to Alexa. Although the introduction to her character was brief, it was enough to get you interested in what was going to happen. Throughout the story and as the author introduced more characters, I was completely captivated. The scene with the prince after the first fight gave me a hint that something was going to happen between them! The description of the countries and the journeys through them were so descriptive, I think the author did a great job building suspense. It wasn't until the end that I finally put everything together. While the story's ending was not what I would have wished, it was expertly presented. I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

From a Christian Perspective

In Galations 5:19-21 Paul advises us that sorcery is among sinful practices. Being aware of this, I was very conscious about how sorcery was used in this book. This book denounced "black" sorcerer's as evil. I believe based on what we know about the origins of the word and the practices that were common in Paul's time that the black sorcerers were accurately portrayed. But we need to be wary of so called "good" sorcerers as well. Sorcery means the person has the power to determine good or bad and we as Christian knows that the power reside in the Spirit of Christ which resides in us. With those warnings in mind, I didn't find much else to keep me from recommending this book.

This is a book that I received from NetGalley for the purpose of review. I was not compensated or instructed to provide a positive review.

Love and Blessings!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Would you Stand?

I often ask myself... Would You Stand?

Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

 He walked into a room,with a gun. Consumed by evil, looking to extinguish good.
Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
He asked them a question, are you a Christian?

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 

They stood firm and they said YES, I am a Christian.  And he shot them. 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Would you stand?  Would you boldly profess Christ as your Savior?  Would you face the evil in this world, standing firm?  Even when faced with death?

2Timothy 2:12 if we endure,
    we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
    he will also disown us;

My desire is to reign with Christ.  When I accepted his Spirit into me, I died to myself and I began to live for Him.  If I live for Him, I die for Him, to live with Him for all eternity!

I pray for those of us who must face the evil of this world daily.   I pray that we are able to stand firm so that in the day of Christ we may rise and reign with our King.  I pray for the families of those who stood for Christ, that they understand by choosing to die, they chose to live.  Yes the gunman was right, they would see God this day!  And for those who are in Christ it's a joyous occasion, not a death sentence.  He didn't realize that by singling out Christians, he himself was glorifying the One, the Alpha, The Omega, The Risen Savior. 

Zephaniah 1:14a Near is the great day of the Lord,
Near and coming very quickly;
Listen, the day of the Lord!

Love & Blessings!