Posted in Audio Dramas, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Heirloom Audio’s “For The Temple”

 

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Our family loves listening to audio dramas, especially when we are traveling in our van somewhere.  Moreover, I love adding Christian audio drama to my family’s listening time and so I was thrilled to receive the 2-CD set of For The Temple from Heirloom Audio for our listening pleasure.  Heirloom Audio offers their audio theater either on CDs or as digital downloads.  For this review, we received the actual CDs.

Heirloom Audio provides quality Christain Audio Dramas the whole family will enjoy listening to time and time again.  These are more than just books read aloud.  They include amazing soundtracks, multiple voices, incredible sound effects and more.  Based on the books by G.A. Henty, this audio drama as with their others truly bring history to life.

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Along with the Audio dramas themselves, a Study Guide is also available.  This guide includes detailed information regarding the background of the story,  Our family really enjoyed following the development of John’s character.  One of our favorite parts was after John and his band had started thwarting the Roman Army.  He had returned to his family, and his mother and fiancee were extolling the character of the “John” they had been hearing about while John knew they were actually talking about him. At the same time, they wanted to know if John had met them and he replied he did know him.  However, when his father walked in and revealed the fact that John was indeed the one they were talking about, he stated that he had not revealed his true role in the events.  John has the wisdom to realize that those viewed as heroes sometimes let down those who extol their virtues.

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Another part of the story our family found particularly interesting was the conversation between John and Titus.  John spares Titus’ life in exchange for a promise from Titus that Titus and his armies would not destroy the temple.  John’s steadfast devotion to God and preserving the temple of God truly caused us to focus on our own faith and what we believe we would be willing to do for God.

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In addition to the audio drama, a study guide is available, which provides background information, a list of characters, questions for each chapter, vocabulary words and more.  Here are some screenshots of some of the pages of the study guide.  For our family, we decided not to use the study guide as a written exercise.  Instead, I decided our family would use the questions as a jumping off point to start conversations about what we were listening to in the story.  In other circumstances, I could visualize our children using the questions as journal exercises.  Upon answering the questions and writing out the definitions of any words required, I would have the children orally present their thoughts to the rest of the family.

 

 

Our family has also had the privilege of reviewing other dramas from Heirloom Audio including In the Reign of Terror, Captain Bayley’s Heir, Wulf the Saxon, and St. Bartholomew’s Eve.  From the very first audio drama, we listened to from Heirloom Audio our family has been captivated by the quality and details of these stories.  If your family utilize Christian homeschooling materials and enjoy books by G.A. Henty along with audio theater, check out For The Temple for yourself.  And if you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the banner below.

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Posted in #write28days, history, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

#write28days – Day 14 – Notgrass Materials

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Today is day 14 of my #write28days series.  Today, I would like to talk about Notgrass History.  For a number of years, we have used Notgrass materials.  From their middle school history programs, their high school history programs, their blog posts and Charlene Notgrass’ emails aimed at encouraging moms, we have built a lasting relationship with this company.

Through the years, we have had the privilege of talking to both Ray and Charlene Notgrass.  They both provide a friendly and knowledge of homeschooling and history in particular.

So if you are looking for Christian history materials, check out Notgrass History for yourself.

#write28days

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for The Seamstress

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About the Book

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Title: The Seamstress

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

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The Seamstress, by Allison Pittman, provides an excellent look into the land of France and the time of Marie Antoinette.  As someone who loves to read about history, I found this book to be captivating.  Portraying the tumultuous period of French history comes through in a clearer and captivating way.

The book also illustrates what happens when a young woman allows her feelings and emotions to overrule her good judgment.  Laurette allows herself to be taken in by Marcel Moreau and finds herself pregnant as a result.  Yet throughout the book, Gagnon sticks to his Christian beliefs and stays true to his love of God, even while being forced to watch those he loves march towards heartbreak and the heart of a revolution.

When Gagnon and Laurette marry, he shows Christian love to someone who desperately needs it.  Moreover, Gagnon provides a name for her daughter, an illustration of Christian compassion and the importance of seeking God’s forgiveness for our transgressions.  So check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

allison Pittman

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.

This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”

Now, years later, I have.

While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.

So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.

 

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9

The Lit Addict, February 9

The Power of Words, February 9

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 10

Lis Loves Reading, February 10

Maureen’s Musings, February 10

Carpe Diem, February 11

A Baker’s Perspective, February 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12

Emily Yager, February 12

Mary Hake, February 12

Stories By Gina, February 13

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 13

Inspired by fiction, February 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Remembrancy, February 14

Through the Fire Blogs, February 15

Seasonsofopportunities, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Books, Books, and More Books, February 16

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 18

By The Book, February 18

Multifarious, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19

Pause for Tales, February 19

Bigreadersite, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 20

Janices book reviews, February 20

For the Love of Books, February 21

Book by Book, February 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 22

To Everything A Season, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for The Amish Candy Maker

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About the Book

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Title: The Amish Candy Maker

Author: Laura V. Hilton

Genre: Amish Christian Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: WhitakerHouse

Agnes Zook finds herself on her own in a small Amish community in Mackinac County after a tragedy kills her family. Most of the Amish call her “off in den Kopf” (strange) since she’s starting her own business and forging her own way in the community instead of relying on the bishop to take care of her. Since she’s viewed as non-submissive and too-forward for an Amish woman, she’s not courted by young men in the area.
Isaac Mast is on the verge of leaving the Amish church. He’s become a sought-after auctioneer and has a thriving business, but he feels confined by the strict rules. When his brother is severely injured in a wild fire, Isaac receives a letter from his sister-in-law, begging him to come to Mackinac County to help out while his brother is hospitalized. Isaac agrees but is unsure how to manage their young children when he has weekend auctions he’s expected to attend.
Agnes may be the answer to a prayer. Sparks fly when she and Isaac meet. But could their differences help them form a deeper connection to their faith…and each other?

Click here to purchase your copy.

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Having spent time living in an Amish Community, I have had a fascination with the Amish.  For a long time, I have also loved reading about them as well.  So when I had the opportunity to review The Amish Candy Maker, I was thrilled.  I found the storyline interesting and worth reading.  The depth of emotions and feelings came through clearly.   I loved how by the end of the story Agnes and Issac found their way back to each other.

I felt such a connection to Agnes and Issac.  They have such a depth of feeling to each other, but for a time have such a difference of opinion in what direction

I strongly urge you to check this book out for yourself.

About the Author

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Laura Hilton is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, comprising Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash), and Promised to Another; and her second was The Amish of Webster County, comprising Healing Love, Awakened Love, and Surrendered Love. Her next series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Her latest books include The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer, and Love By the Numbers. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.

Guest Post from Laura

RECIPE FOR FUDGE À LA AGNES ZOOK

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Courtesy of Laura V. Hilton

1 bag (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips

1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips

2 cans sweetened condensed milk, divided

6 tablespoons butter, divided

20 to 30 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or six regular-size ones broken into four or five pieces each

For the chocolate layer: Line a greased 8-by-11.5-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine milk chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 4 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.

Pour into prepared baking dish and allow to cool to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator while preparing next layer.

For the peanut butter layer: In a double boiler or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine peanut butter chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until melted and smooth.

Pour on to the milk chocolate fudge layer and press pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the surface. If desired, group candy pieces in a grid-like fashion for easier cutting later.

Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or until set.

Remove from refrigerator, lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper, and cut into squares, with roughly one miniature peanut butter cup or piece of a cup per square.

Store in the refrigerator.

Blog Stops

Christian Author, J. E. Grace, February 5

My Devotional Thoughts, February 5

Carla Loves To Read, February 5

Among the Reads, February 6

Girl’s In White Dresses, February 6

Britt Reads Fiction, February 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7

The Avid Reader, February 7

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, February 7

Emily Yager, February 8

Quiet quilter, February 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9

Maureen’s Musings, February 9

Bibliophile Reviews, February 10

Vicky Sluiter, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Daysong Reflections, February 11

Texas Book-aholic, February 12

Janices book reviews, February 12

Carpe Diem, February 13

A Baker’s Perspective, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

SusanLovesBooks, February 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 14

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Pause for Tales, February 16

Have A Wonderful Day, February 17

For the Love of Books, February 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 18

Bigreadersite, February 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a large and small spatula set and a $10 Starbucks gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9a6/the-amish-candy-maker-celebration-tour-giveaway