Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: When Strawberries Bloom - Linda Byler

Ever wondered what life would be like living in an Amish Community ?
When Strawberries Bloom: A Novel Based on True Experiences from an Amish Writer (Lizzie Searches for Love)
Review: When Strawberries Bloom- Book #2 Lizzie Searches for Love Series- Linda Byler -October 2010
You always wonder when you read Christian Amish Fiction , how often than not -the author has actually lived in or spent time in a Amish community. Reading amish novels and watching Amish films like Amish Grace, Saving Sarah Cain. I've always thought that it would have been nice to grow up in an Amish Village, though of course after spending my whole life as what they call an Englischer -it would be extremely hard to give up things that we take for granted e.g books , tv etc to live their ways. One of the things I love I think most about Amish novels is that they are so peaceful , romantic and godly. They don't read as cults but rather happy religious communities.
Author Linda Byler herself grew up in the Amish community and is still an active member of the Amish church and she writes a weekly column the local Amish newspaper besides her time writing her novels. Reading, When Strawberries Bloom - you can see that the author has put in her own knowledge as throughout the novel, there were parts that felt so real and relatable to all .
In When Strawberries Bloom, we meet Lizzie Glick - all she has ever wanted was to teach school and when the opportunity arises for Lizzie to accept the job, she jumps at it and begins teaching School to Amish and Mennonite children in the Fall. However, it seems that all around Lizzie -people are falling in love , having courtships and marriage proposals. With her sister Emma being proposed to "When Strawberries Bloom" by Joshua and her younger sister Mandy being courted by John, and the one guy who Lizzie thought might have been the one -Amos is now courting somebody else from the community. Enter Stephen, he is Lizzie's best friend, she doesn't view him as anything else but Stephen loves Lizzie. Is Lizzie destined to become a school teacher and spend her life teaching the children or will the dream of one day becoming a wife and mother lead her to choose second best with Stephen ?
Are Lizzie and Stephen meant to be or does God have other plans -greater ones for Lizzie?
Find out all this and more as the author has also placed 10 of Lizzie's favourite recipes for readers to cook and eat at the back of the novel - In "When Strawberries Bloom" and keep on the lookout for Book #1 Running around (and such) and Book #3 Big Decisions.

Review: Desires of the Dead - Kimberly Derting

Did you enjoy The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting ? If, so then get ready for Book #2: Desires of the Dead.
Desires of the Dead (Body Finder)
Review: Desires of the Dead- Book #2: The Body Finder Series- Kimberly Derting- March 2011
I'm still not entirely convinced of what the flowers on the front cover means as I am in two minds about the Blue flower on the first book as the main girl's name is Violet and we all know the saying "Violets are Blue". In Book #2 we read as Violet is still being haunted by nightmares of the incident in the first novel where we witnessed Violet's best friend Jay almost getting killed and shot if it hadn't been for Violet's Police Chief uncle Stephen. Now ready for a new year at school and ready to move from the past , Violet starts school with Jay as her boyfriend. However, things around Violet are about to get stranger and they have something to do with the two new students Mike and Megan Russo. On a shopping trip to Seattle with her friend Chelsea ,it is the first instance in the book where we see Violet using her "echo" to find a dead body- sadly a body of a 4yr old boy. This situation however, has caused attention towards Violet and now she is being followed by the FBI. Do they think she is involved or have they discovered her gift ?
While thinking about the FBI, Violet has other problems on her plate as she has earnt herself a stalker and if she isn't careful , she may find herself wound up dead in the middle of nowhere?
What is it the Dead desire , Find out in "Desires of the Dead" by Kimberly Derting and I look forward to reading hopefully more about Violet or books by Kimberly as her other novel "The Pledge" looks like a good read.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Colors - Charley Harper

Wanting a book to teach your child about Colours ?
Charley Harper Colors
Review: Colors - Charley Harper - June 2011
As a Childrens and Teens Librarian, part of my job is to run a weekly Toddler Time for children aged 0-4yrs , so when I come across childrens books, I like to review them and then I see them for our helpful they could be for the child, whether it is suitable for that particular age group - by looking at the words per page, the pictures , how long the book is ? .
Colors is a book that is suited to teaching children not just a singular color per page e.g red fire engine, blue sky. On each page is a variety of colours which I think is awesome as when a child goes into the world, everything is not just one colour- the child will be presented with multi-colours. In the book per page there is about 5-10 words and then a full colour page of the corresponding picture , to show the child. You can use the book as a teaching tool by asking the child to point out the different colors, asking them whats in the picture etc.
For Teaching Your Child about Colours , Charley Harper's Colors is the way to go and it is in Board Book Format too ,so no ripped pages can happen.

Review: Yesterday's Tomorrows - Catherine West

Ever dreamt about being a War Correspondent ?
Yesterday's Tomorrow
Review: Yesterday's Tomorrow - Catherine West - March 2011
Have you ever wanted to go into Journalism ? Been interested in becoming a War Correspondent , going right into the middle of a war zone to cover the activities going on ? I don't really think It's my cup of tea as Im not a violent person and seeing the aftermath of war first-hand would probably change me deeply and my whole worldviews. Growing up , there are at least four wars that made history books - they were World War 1 and 2 , ANZAC - Galloppi and Vietnam War. Yesterday's Tomorrow covers the Vietnam war and starts in 1954 when 12yr old Kristin Taylor's dad Malcom Taylor - a world renowed journalist working for TIME Magazine was sent to Vietnam to cover the war, we discover that he never came home and later in the novel that he was killed whilst covering the story. Yesterday's tomorrow fast forwards to the the year 1967 , Kristin Taylor is now 25yrs old and as grown up following in her father's footsteps of training to become a Journalist. She studied at Princeton and now has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime, to cover the still continuing Vietnam War for ... TIME Magazine. Kristin's brother Teddy we also see is 23yrs old and enlisted in the war and is stationed somewhere in Vietnam. Kristin readily accepts and finds herself on her way to Vietnam to finish what her dad started. In Vietnam , Kristin meets at gunpoint Soldier Luke Maddox when she somwhow ends up in the wrong apartment. As the novel continues we see Kristin constantly banter between the idea of coming to Vietnam was a great idea or a stupid one and when tragedies strike and accidents occur - I too start to wonder if it was such a bright idea. Like most Christian romance novels , despite their rocky start and their continual landmines we see Luke and Kristin develop feelings for one another. Will their Love survive till the end of the war or will it be over too soon as landmines explode and gunshots ring through the air? Will Kristin find the closure she has been seeking for the past twelve years , since the day her family were told that her dad had been KIA and would not be returning home ?
Find out all this and more in Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West, reading the title it made me chuckle as Yesterday's Tomorrow is Today.

Review: Summer Dream - Martha Rogers

I recently read a book from this author titled Finding Becky and loved it , so when Charisma House sent me Summer Dream to read and review , I was excited as I now have added Martha Rogers to my list of authors to read.
Summer Dream (Seasons of the Heart)
Review: Summer Dream - Book #1 Seasons of the Heart Series- Martha Rogers - June 2011
Set in the year 1888 in California , a world and time where women were to be courted in a correct fashion, a world where women were to marry once they became of age, a world where I just loved the whole ritual of their courtships . One of the things that I love most about Martha Roger's books is that they all feature a strong female character , someone who despite what they come up against they are not afraid to speak their mind and stand up for what they believe in, they do not waver. It's the type of characters that we need in today's society as role models. Strong women who weren't exactly feminists as they followed correct protocol and procedures , but women that knew what they wanted and they didn't let anyone stand in their way or treat them disrespectfully.
These woman show us how to be strong women of God and that no matter what happens or circumstances arise as long as you always believe in him, he will help you in your time of needed.
In Summer Dream , we meet Rachel Winston - her father is the minister of their small church in Connecticut. Coming up for the right age for what is known as "The Season" , Rachel is being sent to stay with her Aunt in Boston in order to prepare the search for a suitable husband. Rachel has her heart set on marrying a Christian man with good morals and values, but it seems that God may have other ideas in stock for Rachel as she meets Nathan Reed when he arrives in her hometown just before she is due to leave for Boston. Rachel , can't help but wonder - is he the One , the one she is to pledge her life to forever and ever ?. It seems though, that Rachel is caught at a cross-roads as Nathan isn't a Christian and he is dead set against courting anyone who is , though he feels as we learn also attracted to Rachel.
When a tragedy occurs in the small-town and Nathan is found left to die near the Winston Home . Rachel and her family take Nathan in , to nurse him back to health. As the story progresses we read as Nathan's heart starts to soften after being around the Winston family and learns the importance of family, friendship, forgiveness and Love. Will Nathan find it in his heart to forgive those who hurt him in the past and will it be enough for Nathan to reconsider following the Lord ?
Can Nathan make the decision needed for Rachel before it's too late and she is packed and travelling to Boston for the upcoming season ?
Find out all this and more in a "Summer Dream" , Book #1 of Martha Roger's new series Seasons of the Heart and readers, while you are waiting for the rest of the books in this series to be released check out her other awesome series "Winds Across the Prairie".

Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow The Leader Friday

I haven't done the Follow Friday in a while but today's question stood out for me as Im a huge TShirt Girl :)

Here's My Top Five TShirt Designs :

1. As a Big Shortland Street Fan , I Just Had to Buy This Tshirt:
"You're Not In Guatemala Now, Dr. Ropata".

2. I Thought This was pretty funny and a classic line:
"I Like Big Books and I cannot Lie"
I like big books and I cannot T-Shirt

3: The Perfect Insult Tshirt
"If You were in my Novel. I would Have Killed You off by Now"
Killed You Off T-Shirt

4: Seems I can't stay away from Literature LOL
"Jane Austen Rocks".
Jane Austen Rocks T-Shirt

5: For Those Twilight Fans -Sorry I mean Jane Eyre
"Team Edward ...... Rochester"
Team Edward Rochester Shirt

Literature shirts can be found on this site :http://www.cafepress.com.au/+media-%26-pop-culture+t-shirts 

Review: Forbidden City - Alex Archer


Wanting more adventures of Annja Creed - archaeologist who finds herself amidst trouble ?
Forbidden City (Rogue Angel, Book 5)
Review: Forbidden City - Rogue Angel Book #5- Alex Archer- March 2007
 Annja Creed is back and this time , she finds herself into the heart of trouble with not just one dead body but multiple and she's the number one suspect and add to her list of evergrowing charges - a fugitive due to a private plane ride by her "grandfather" Roux. It all started when Annja was asked by Huangfu Cao to help him find the bones of his ancestor Ban Xeu. It seems though that Annja has walked herself into a trap as what he really wants is a belt plaque that was buried with Ban Xeu. The Belt Plaque is said to have been cursed with a Fox Curse back in Loulan City- China  , 184 AD  and is worth lots and lots of money, enough for people to die over. As Annja goes on the run , not only to protect herself but also to prove her innocence - she decides to acquire the help of her trusty companion Roux - over 500 yrs old he has seen almost everything and is particulary interested in the photos that Annja has of the belt plaque. It seems though that Huangfu was not the only one looking for it - Roux's arch-enemy and ex-friend Garin Braeden is also searching for it and as we know from previous books , he won't stop till he gets it - even if it means hiring countless assassins to go up against Annja and her Joan of Arc Sword.
Can Annja once again solve today's crime of the missing Belt Plaque and restore it to it's rightful place or will Garin catch up and it be time to say Sayonara to the Belt Plaque?
Find out in The Forbidden City by Alex Archer and get ready for another Chasing History Monster's Lesson with Annja Creed.

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