Daughter Of Light

Friday, August 30, 2013
“So which do you want? Hide who you are or embrace who you are?” Lore searched her face. “And more importantly, how do you think the Word would have you live?”

Book: Daughter of Light by Morgan L.Busse, Marcher Lord Press, 2013

Genre: Fantasy/Allegory
Target Audience: Girls and Boys 16+
Subjects: Faith, Power, Good vs. Evil, Sacrifice, Salvation
Summary: No one wants to believe an Eldaran could still be alive. Because if an Eldaran could still be alive, then so could a Shadonae. And that could mean their greatest enemy is still able to destroy them. In a small village, a young woman awakes from an illness to find a strange mark on her hand. Before she knows what’s happening, this mark has caused strange things to happen, things that result in her being banished from her village. It’s not until she begins work at the castle that the truth is revealed to her. Now, during a time when the country is on the verge of war, assassins are waiting around corners and one man has been sent to ensure the death of many, Rowen has a choice to make: hide her mark and the power that comes with it, or reveal and be used by the Word to bring healing.
Notes: The first in a series, Daughter of Light is an allegory showing how great the love of God is for His children. The ultimate being in the story, the Word, creates man, gives them free will, then dies in their place, taking on all their evil and suffering to bring them healing from the darkness within them. Some are gifted with special powers to help the rest of the people but even they have to choose to suffer in order to bring any healing. The allegory is very strong and very well written in this story. It does an excellent job painting a picture of Jesus’ sacrifice and the great love it takes to offer one’s life for another. The one drawback is that this story is also very dark. There’s a lot of killing, a lot of suffering, a lot of violent death and torture.  As an Eldaran Truthsayer, Rowen experiences firsthand all the evil that someone has done when she touches them. An assassin is continually haunted with visions of those he killed. A captain of the guard has to sacrifice, willing send to their death, soldiers under his command in an attempt to save the rest of the people. So the spiritual emphasis in the story is excellent, but I recommend readers wait until they are at least 16, if not older, to read this book.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Peter 2:24 - He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse by clicking on the links above. - See more at: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/novel-teen/team-novel-teen-blog-tour-info/#sthash.Dasv0Hif.dpuf
Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse by clicking on the links above. - See more at: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/novel-teen/team-novel-teen-blog-tour-info/#sthash.Dasv0Hif.dpuf
Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse by clicking on the links above. - See more at: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/novel-teen/team-novel-teen-blog-tour-info/#sthash.Dasv0Hif.dpuf

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse by clicking on the links below:

ADD Librarian • http://addlibrarian.wordpress.com/
Blooming with Books • http://www.bloomingwithbooks.webs.com/
Colorimetry • http://www.burgandyice.blogspot.com/  
CTF Devourerhttp://www.ctfdevourer.com/
Jill Williamson • http://www.jillwilliamson.com/
Katie McCurdy • http://katie-mccurdy.blogspot.com/
The Librarian’s Bookshelf • http://thelibrariansbookshelf.blogspot.com/
The Ramblings of a Young Author • http://www.ramblingsbybethany.blogspot.com
Shadow Writer World • http://shadowwriterworld.blogspot.com/
A Simple Life, Really?!http://asimplelifereally.blogspot.com
Who YA Reading? • http://christianteenbooksandreviews.blogspot.com/
Worthy2Read • http://worthy2read.wordpress.com/


Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Melissa managed a “Let’s see it, Raven.” See, she was okay. She had let Lindsey make her over. She would not eat any popcorn. She would laugh tonight, and tomorrow she’d have officer training. She would work out really hard to make up for any junk left inside. Yeah, she was okay.

Book: Skinny: A Novel by Laura L. Smith, NavPress, 2008

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 12-19
Subjects: Eating Disorders, Faith, Dating Relationships, Stress, Friendship
Summary: Melissa is definitely not okay. Life has thrown its challenges at her and she’s convinced that if she could just get skinny, things would be better. Schoolwork has gotten extremely hard, her boyfriend doesn’t seem to want to date her anyone and she’s trying out to be a dance team officer even though she’s only a freshman. With all this stacked against her, she can hardly keep herself together. But when avoiding food makes things worse, can Melissa find the strength to change the thought pattern she has developed?
Notes: Written after seeing three friends struggle with eating disorders, Laura L. Smith uses this fictional story to show how easy it is for young girls to develop eating disorders in a desperate attempt to control things in their life and earn the admiration of friends and the boys they hope to attract. This story shows a very normal girl going through issues every teen faces – tough school work, attempts to meet goals, friendship difficulties and dating relationship struggles. At one point in the book, statistics are quoted showing how many girls struggle with this. The book also emphasizes how important it is to have support from parents and/or friends as a girl attempts to recover from an eating disorder. As for spiritual issues, the character’s misconceptions about God and His expectations of His children play into her eating disorder. She believes she has to earn His favor as well and believes that if she uses self-control and avoids eating junk food, that He will be pleased. She even misinterprets the story of Lazarus, the beggar, and the rich man, believing that Lazarus earned Heaven through not eating junk like the rich man. Then she re-reads the story later and reads the rest of it, realizing it is faith that earned God’s favor, not self-control for not eating, not any act of service. The story definitely shows a very normal teen girl, a very normal person, in that area as well – subconsciously doing things to try to earn God’s favor. This book could be extremely useful as a starting point for a discussion on both eating disorders and what God expects of us.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013
“I know what I have to do,” she said, words forming on cracked lips. “I have to beat the seeker. I saw it in a dream. And you can’t help me. Either of you.” “There’s no way on this planet that’s going to happen.” Mace’s body tensed. “We fight together.” Nikki shook her head. “We can’t. I saw that in my dream too. If we fight it together, it’ll kill me.”

Book: Avenger (Halflings Novel, A) by Heather Burch, Zondervan Publishers, 2013

Genre: Supernatural Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 16-18
Subjects: Angels, Dating relationships, Salvation, Trust in God, Temptation
Summary: After a short time of calm, trouble arises again. Vessler has sent a seeker after her, a horrid creature from the pit whose only focus is his to destroy his target. Very few know much about this creature, but those who do simply know of a loved one who was destroyed by one. Nikki has learned a lot about fear and faith, but surviving this will take a deeper level of faith than she has ever needed as faith is the only way to defeat it. In the midst of the battle for her very life, there is still a battle raging over her heart. Raven has no intentions of giving up easily, despite Nikki’s claim that it is Mace she loves.
Notes: This is the third in a series about Halflings – creatures who are the product of Nephilim – demons having intercourse with humans. The idea is that they are victims of the choices made by the Nephilim and have to work to gain salvation. They are destined for hell but if living a high enough standard can make it to Heaven. They have strict rules to follow one of which is not having relationships with humans. Nikki is something unique. She has some kind of special gift or ability that makes her more important than most humans.
As I read through this book I had objections to its theology. It portrayed God as not all-powerful, as if the choices made were out of His control and then as if He wasn’t loving enough to care about these Halflings. The character who is the most angry and bitter against God seems to be justified in it. He seems to have the only perspective one could have from the situation.
However, I contacted the author and she said that though the first book gives this impression, the other books in the series provide a bigger picture and explain more and answer some of my concerns. She said that the character who is bitter against God is providing the wrong perspective. So I would conclude that by itself this series is not Scripturally sound and portrays things that contradict Scripture but that the author inserts a couple elements in this third book to improve it a bit. This third book focuses primarily on the issue of faith vs. fear and at the end of the book does provide a means of salvation for the characters.
Recommendation Scale: 2.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Love Me Tender

“They’re rockin’ and rollin’, hoppin and boppin, twistin’ and shoutin’ across the country. Who, you ask? Teens. From soda shops to living rooms, slumber parties to beachside hangouts, they’re tuning in to hear those addictive Billboard hits. Excitement has never been higher, and neither has the volume.

Book: Love Me Tender (When I Fall in Love) by Janice Hanna, Summerside Press, 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Target Audience: Girls 16+
Subjects: Fame, God’s Will, Dating Relationships, Idolatry, Missions
Summary: A young boy determined to become a famous singer. A young girl determined to save her family’s soda shop. When these two dreams collide romance is the result! Debbie Carmichael is very aware of the craze surrounding young male rock and roll singers and actors. It’s all the young girls around the soda shop talk of. So when she realizes just how bad her dad’s health is and the necessity of raising enough money for the soda shop for him to stop working so hard, she determines to get the latest teen heartthrob to come do a concert at the shop. Johnny Hartman is new on the music scene and like all the others, wants to make it big, but when he is introduced to Debbie he begins to have dreams of another kind.
Notes: This book was written more as an adult romance novel than a youth fiction story, but with the characters being teenagers themselves, it has great appeal to youth as well. The spiritual emphasis aspects of the story are found in Johnny’s determination to follow God no matter what Hollywood throws at him. The other aspect is found as Debbie’s father encourages both her and her friends to make sure their focus is on God, not teen stars. It does a good job showing teens struggling to follow God in the midst of real world troubles.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Revelation 3:8 - I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

The Dreamer, The Schemer, And The Robe

“Yes, I think you will find this assignment challenging, but also very rewarding. This will be quite different from Noah’s ark, so listen well. First, since you now know you are on assignment from the Maker, you will be given specific – although limited – instructions in advance, Gillamon explained. “The mission will begin with the four of you together on a caravan headed to the center of power in Egypt.”

Book: The Dreamer, The Schemer &; The Robe (The Amazing Tales of Max &; Liz, Book Two)  by Jenny L. Cote, Living Ink Publishers, 2009

Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 10-15
Subjects: Biblical History, Trials, Trust in God
Summary: Now that Max, Kate, Al and Liz have learned a bit about following the Maker and have been gifted with immortality, He is sending them on another mission. A young man named Joseph and his family are in need of some assistance and the Maker is sending these special animals to provide it. The biggest difference between this mission and the last is that the animals know ahead of time that there will be extreme trials and challenges. Max and Kate will be separated for years and even Al and Liz will be separated for a time.
Notes: Delightful, playful, entertaining, educational, enlightening – all of these words describe this book well. It covers Biblical history during the time of Joseph, both in Egypt and Israel. It discusses the issue of trusting God when bad things happen as Joseph undergoes his trials. It does a great job sticking to the truth of the story as recorded in the Bible while adding entertaining commentary from the animals, whether Al with his endless hunger or their new camel friend with his inability to speak in anything less than a shout. This particular book also discusses the Egyptian religion and how it compares with the truth. Overall, this story does a great job teaching kids how to follow God when bad things happen in a fun, enjoyable way.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Genesis 50:20 – You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

King (Books of the Infinite)

Friday, August 9, 2013
“We must redouble our surveillance and your guards. Majesty… this was the second attempt on your life within the past seven months.” “I’m well aware of that fact, my lord. My knife wound from last year and this morning’s blisters have made the dangers of kingship abundantly clear. What are you failing to say?” Faine hesitated. “You need an heir. We’ve agreed you must marry. Duty.” “Ah.” Duty. The perfect reason to marry. Nothing could be less inspiring to a prospective wife, Akabe was sure.

Book: King (Books of the Infinite) by R. J. Larson, Bethany House Publishers, 2013

Genre: Allegory
Target Audience: Girls and Boys 16+
Subjects: Salvation, Trusting God, Faith, God’s judgment
Summary: Akabe is now king, Kein is now in trouble with his own people, Ela is now Siphra’s prophet rather than Parne’s, and a young woman, a character new to the series, is caught between love and family background as she’s used as a pawn between enemies. Life has flipped upside down for all of them. None would have dreamed they’d be doing the things they’re now doing. But once kingdoms are settled, there’s a lot of politics to iron out and a lot of enemies not happy with the results, enemies willing to kill to get what they want. And in the midst of all of this, all are being pressured to find a spouse. So it seems the adventures and dangers are far from over!
Notes: The third in a series retelling Old Testament stories in an allegorical story, the Books of the Infinite series focuses on a young girl asked by the Infinite (God) to become a prophet. The Bible stories hinted at in King are the stories of David and Solomon in regards to building the temple, the story of Solomon in regards to marrying a foreign wife (actually that story takes place a few times in the Bible) and Elisha and the poisonous stew. Those are the ones I noticed anyway. This story deals with the issues of trusting God in regards to your future, caring for your loved ones, and a continued emphasis on God’s justice. I highly recommend this book.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Deuteronomy 4:9 – Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

1 Samuel 12:24 – But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

1 Chronicles 22:19 – Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD."

Thank you Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

I'm also joining up with a Prism Blog Tours for this review. So here's all the information from that including a giveaway and information on the author of King:

R.J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.


July 22 - August 16
Print copy of Prophet, Judge & King.  USA, Canada, UK only.

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Map Puzzle Tour...

22 - Launch!

Kien (Judge cover) is the original owner of the map... the scrolling mimics his sword...

Follow the tour to reveal the entire map!

23 – ADDLibrarian - Review
-          Rose & Beps Blog  "Compass"
24 – TheWonderings of One Person - Review

25 – TheOther World  "Beginnings"
26 – Piecesof Whimsy - "Romance & Action"
29 – JoJo’sCorner  - Review
-          Christy’s Cozy Corner  - Tracelands Recipe

30 – Proud Book Nerd - Munra - Siphra "upstart" king!
-          JL Mbewe - Review
1 – Worthy 2Read - Review
2 – Mommasez… - Review

4 –  Backing Books - Review
5 – Shannon’sBlog - Review
-          Mel’s Shelves - Review
-          A Tiffyfit’s Reading Corner 
8 – TellTale Book Reviews  - Review
 - CTF Devourer - Review
9 – Grand Finale


Tuesday, August 6, 2013
“Know that it won’t be long before this world will burn and so will everyone in it.”
“I won’t let it happen.”
“Why? Because you’re the Betrayer?” Koeing said, his voice penetrating Cole’s mind. “I can sense the change inside of you. Soon your body will be covered in sales. You’ll be a hideous monster like the rest of us, and when that happens, humanity will turn on you. You’ll be an outcast. A villain.”

Book: Domination (A C.H.A.O.S. Novel) by Jon S. Lewis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 13-20
Subjects: Aliens, Loss of parents, friendship, dating relationships, courage
Summary: There is no longer any doubt in anyone’s mind that the alien Thule are real enemies coming to destroy them and take over their world. Except, not all Thule are enemies. Some are fighting alongside the humans, wanting to stop Koeing and his followers from taking over earth they way they did Gathmara. It’s up to the Betrayer, Cole, to stop them. But finding the portal, finding Koeing and actually defeating him seem rather impossible. And it’s harder and harder to figure out who is friend and who is foe with an enemy that excels at shapeshifting.  
Notes: This is the third and final book in the C.H.A.O.S. novels, a series that explores the question of “What if aliens were real and were determined to take over our world?”. In this book, the secrets are out and Colt knows it’s up to him to save his world. As for spiritual content there is a bit more than other books. Colt and Oz offer forgiveness to one who has wronged them and Colt clings to a verse on a medallion his grandfather gave him. There still is not an element of God being the one to save them, the one to give them power and strength. That’s all up to the humans to do on their own strength, or rather the strength of a Thule in Colt’s case.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 2/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Peter 2:11 – Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze for giving me a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Small Town Girl

Friday, August 2, 2013
In spite of Evie saying that Kate would find the right man to love, Kate had no assurance that would ever happen. Not as long as she stayed in Rosey Corner, and how could she leave? She belonged in this place. She wasn’t someone like Jay Tanner who could drift from place to place because he had no roots. She had roots. Deep roots. As if he knew she was thinking about him, his eyes settled on her.

Book: Small Town Girl: A Novel by Ann H. Gabhart, Revell Publishers, 2013

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 17+
Subjects: Dating Relationships, Family Relationships, World War II
Summary: He blew in to be the best man in her sister’s wedding. Kate thought he’d blow right out again. That’s what she was told anyway. He wasn’t someone to lay down roots or stay anywhere. But he did stay. And that complicated things that were already complicated. There’s the hometown boy who is convinced they will get married someday even though Kate is convinced she will never love him as anything more than a brother or a friend. There’s her first love who chose someone else instead of her. There’s a dream of seeing a world beyond Rosey Corner. And now there’s Jay. Everyone loves him, but Kate is trying hard to not to. The question is how long can they resist the attraction and what will happen if they succeed at doing so?
Notes: A sequel to Angel Sister, Small Town Girl tells the story of Kate who is now a young woman ready for love. She is torn between her strong roots to her family and small community and the desire for adventure. When a young man comes to town that she falls in love with, she has to make a choice of what direction to go. More than that though, it’s simply a story of letting God lead your heart. Kate has to learn to rely on God to give her what she needs to love and trust. This book is geared more at the adult romance market, but the main characters are young adults. It is set right at the beginning of the United States’ involvement in WWII.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Thank you to Revell for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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