Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays


http://adailyrhythm.com/
All text and photo for Teaser Tuesdays belongs to MizB of A Daily Rhythm, with the exception of quotations and links I have provided to the book(s) I am reading.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teasers:

"We rest not to just be healthy but because God told us to do so.  It's a commandment so many of us see as outdated or irrelevant."
~p. 53, "Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity" by Keri Wyatt Kent

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Proposal at Siesta Key (Amish Brides of Pinecraft #2) by Shelley Shepard Gray


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  


About the Book:
The Proposal at Siesta Key (Avon Inspire, May 2015)
A young Amish woman, yearning for freedom, crosses paths with a handsome Mennonite celebrity in a deeply moving tale of friendship and self-discovery—the second installment in the unforgettable New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Penny Troyer rarely disobeys her parents. In the years since her sister’s tragic death, they’ve wanted nothing more than to keep her safe…even if it means never leaving the house.
But tonight, she’s bending the rules because Michael Knoxx, the most famous member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family —is scheduled to speak. Penny has heard of Michael—how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others—and knows she must meet him. So, for the first time ever, Penny stands up to her parents and goes out on her own.
Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to rest…to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers how much he and Penny Troyer have in common.
But new friendships can’t stop time. Soon, Michael’s time in Pinecraft will be over and he’ll be back on the road. Her time with Michael has brought her happiness, but will she be able to follow her heart? Or will she be faced with the one thing she’s sure she’ll never have the courage to do?


About the author: 
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.


Find Shelley online: websiteTwitterFacebook


Dynamic Uno here:  If you've kept up with my blog and social media posts within the last year or so, you will know that I have a soft spot for the Pinecraft area of Sarasota.  When I learned that book #2 in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series was coming out, I knew I had to read more about this lovely area and people, even if the characters were fictionalized.

Michael Knoxx is touring the country with his family to discuss how God used a horrible situation in his life (losing a leg from a fall in a ravine) for the good. After having a sister who was brutally murdered, Penny Troyer has since lived a very sheltered life, until she decides she can't stand it any more.   Both are living out the Amish proverb "Growing old is easy--the hard part is growing up," by deciding to change their lives in an amazing way with God's help.  The actual proposal Michael had for Penny was to embrace each hour/day and to cherish each moment as they move forward in their lives.

I think we can all apply this proposal to our lives.  I know that I tend to wish for the work day to end or the weekend to come, so I can go home and relax rather than enjoy the little moments of peace throughout the day.  I need to learn to enjoy each of the little moments as they come rather than wishing my life away.

I enjoyed the strong friendship that developed between Michael and Penny from their basic day-to-day interactions.  Their raw emotions being shared and honestly painful stories brought both of the characters closer as trust began to form in their bond.  I also liked how each character began to notice the little details about one another as they forged their friendship and it began to blossom into a mutual attraction.  This gives me hope that I may find someone with whom I can be completely honest with and share my innermost concerns and feelings.

While The Proposal of Siesta Key dealt with some heavy topics, all were treated with dignity and respect and were not over-dramatized.  Michael's mission and Penny's new found freedom were the main parts of the story, as was their friendship.  All in all it was a light-hearted read that made me want to visit Pinecraft again, just so that I might have the chance to run into a few of the "characters."

If you enjoy Amish romance, or even if you want to explore life in a new order village, this series is for you!  

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!






Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!


Whether you're a mother of the two-legged or four-legged variety,  I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day! 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Side by Side by Jana Kelley


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  



About the book: 

Side by Side (New Hope Publishers, April 2015)


In the dusty, Islamic country of Sudan, Mia's life collides with that of another young woman.

A young Christian American mother, Mia finds more than one dark secret on the streets of Khartoum. She finds Halimah, a young, upper-class Arab student with a bright future in her family's business whose risky and secretive decision has put her life in danger. What happens when the path of young mother intersects with that of a spunky Sudanese student? God transforms them both . . . forever.

Part of New Hope® Publishers' contemporary missional fiction line, Side by Side opens the reader's eyes to the life of Muslims in Sudan as well as some of the struggles that Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith as well as pray for the salvation of those who persecute.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1DPUKiO




About the author: 


Jana Kelley
 is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend college. She and her husband married a month after she graduated and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. Together with her husband and three boys, Jana enjoys travel and overseas living. After thirteen years in Africa and the Middle East, Jana and her family moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.



Find Jana online: websiteFacebookTwitter


Dynamic Uno here: I must admit that I have a fairly romanticised view of Missions.  As a Christian, I dream about going off to a foreign, possibly exotic, land to bring the good news of Christ dying on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sins. In my fantasy, I see the unsaved people of this faraway land, clamoring to learn more and falling to their knees to accept Christ as their personal savior so that they too can spend eternity learning more about and worshipping Him.  Never in my mind do I have the issues of language barriers, cultural customs, and hostility towards the Christian faith.  Sadly, this is exactly what Mia faces when she and her family move to Sudan to work on the "mission field."

Ms. Kelley does a phenomenal job of bringing first-hand experiences of the harsh realities a missionary faces in an Islamic-based society to her characters.  The fact that this book is based on real-life events makes it even more so.  The characters of Mia and Halimah bring the reader face to face with the reality of what life is like harboring an "infidel," and the overwhelming cost of becoming a Christian and leaving the Islamic faith in modern society.

While there were many things I learned about the Muslim culture in Sudan, the main thing that stood out to me is the bravery and character of Halimah as she became a Christian.  Facing her family's wrath, relying on the kindness of strangers, hiding in fear of death, and still managing to reach and disciple others in Christianity, are all things she was able to accomplish.  It really made me take a step back and realize how "cushy" my American life is and how tepid I am about sharing my faith. 

If you've ever wondered what real-life is like as a missionary in an Islamic society, or even how one copes with the severe consequences of becoming a Christian in a Muslim culture, then you definitely want to pick up a copy of this book!

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

You Tube Thursday

I know, I know...it's been awhile.  I've been overwhelmed with the end of the school year tasks, and of course the dreaded standardized testing.  (WooHoo.  I just love testing my poor students for 8 hours a day--but's that's a whole other soapbox.)


As I was combing YouTube to procrastinate relieve stress, I came across this gorgeous song sung by Ellie Holcomb.  I hope you enjoy it too!

Hope Is Alive