Hello everyone! After Amanda Tero released her newest book, A Strand of Hope, I was eager to read the rest of the series she had helped to co-author! So I was excited for the chance to read Book 2 right away! Today, I’m reviewing the book, so let’s dive in!
I Love to Tell the Story
By Faith Blum
The Librarians of Willow Hollow #2
Series Rating* || 2.5 Stars || Solo Rating || 3 Stars
|| Amazon || Author’s Site ||
*Compared to the other books in the Series*
About the Book ||
Bored with her life in Castle Town, Montana, Lillian Sullivan follows her friend’s suggestion and joins the horseback librarian program in rural Kentucky. Not only does she anticipate sharing her love of books, but she also wants to spread the gospel among the mountain people.
However, Willow Hollow presents her with one trouble after another and she struggles to step outside her shyness to share the gospel.
What will it take for Lillian to share her love of the Best Story? Can the power of the gospel overcome the shyness of her own heart?
This novella is part of a series with different authors, but can easily be read as a standalone.
About the Author ||
Faith Blum is an author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and spend time with her husband and infant son. She lives in Wisconsin in a small town with her husband, son and cat where she can write to her heart’s content during the day. Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ.
My Review ||
I was a bit disappointed with this book. After reading Ms. Tero’s, I was expecting more from this story. Lillian was a sweet character, and I enjoyed learning about her mother through her memory journal, even though the excerpts had little or nothing to do with the furtherance of the story.
The book was supposed to be YA, but the style was more middle-grade level, in my opinion. It was disjointed and choppy. Solutions to issues were far too fast. (Ex. Problem is presented, and the next paragraph or page solves it.) And all through the book, it was asserted that Lillian was shy, but the only shyness I saw in the story was were the Author happened to mention she was shy.
The Stuarts were not consistent with A Strand of Hope, coming off rough and domineering. And the head librarian didn’t feel consistent either. Lena, however, seemed the same, and I was glad for that.
The book is titled after the song I Love to Tell the Story, but the song is not referenced in the book. Also, with how juvenile the style of writing was, I was surprised the author decided to mention things that were not suitable to a young audience. (If you have questions, please contact us.) And the ending was quite abrupt. I was left confused and thinking, “That’s it?”
The spiritual lesson of the book was confusing, as well. It was supposed to be about pride and how that keeps us from sharing the gospel and insinuated that that was Lillian’s struggle. But it wasn’t. Which made no sense. Also, the scriptures were not King James, so I don’t even know if the verses were used in context.
The best scene in the book was the librarian meeting. It was smooth, and it was fun meeting all the characters, though Ivory kept dropping swear words, which I found shocking for Christian literature.
Sadly, I couldn’t hand this over to a sibling with a clear conscience or without a lot of explanation. I’d recommend a reader be at least 16 before trying it, but I honestly can’t recommend it.
Nineteen years ago, one of the most vicious crimes of the 21st Century was committed against the United States. Four planes, hijacked by Muslim Terrorists, were flown into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the last crashed into the ground at Shanksburg, Pennsylvania.
This year, Kassie Angle and I brainstormed and decided to get together 11 bloggers who would post about this tragedy in American History.
We Haven’t Forgotten.
I was five years old when 9/11 happened. It traumatized me in a way I still haven’t gotten over. In 2011, I became enamored with researching the topic. I still don’t know all that I want to know, but then again, you can never exhaust a topic. But today, I’m not going to give you a history post. I want to share a story that I wrote in 2016 back about the Pentagon. Is it realistic? No, not really. At the time, I was just getting a story on paper and trying to express patriotism the only way I knew how. I’ve made a couple changes to the story, such as the amount of time that has passed in the story, but it is largely unedited. I hope younger me isn’t too embarrassed 😉
Why I Don’t Drive a Mustang
I’m Taking His Place
By Ryana Lynn
“We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”
President George W. Bush
It was all a mistake. And a big one at that. I should never have gone to D.C. Everything in my life was just right. Everything. Life was perfect, and I had endless possibilities at my fingertips. After all, wasn’t I an honor roll student? Didn’t I have an academic scholarship to Chapel Hill Medical? But I just had to go to D.C. on that senior trip. And I just had to tour the Pentagon that day.
I had a black 1998 Mustang that I had bought and paid for. It was mine, and I cared for it and filled it with gas. I loved driving it. It was my baby. But on that trip, I realized there are far more important things in life. Of course, I knew living for God was the most important thing. I was a Christian and faithful church worker. I was the junior captain on my church bus route. I worked for our radio station on Saturdays as a volunteer. So I at least had that priority right.
Anyway, back to my Mustang.
I drove it to D.C. myself. Seems the bus had room for all but one person, so I volunteered to drive.
On our third day in D.C., we had to vote on where we wanted to go, the Pentagon, or the White House. Knowing President Bush was out of town, I voted for the Pentagon. That was the tie-breaking vote—mistake number 2. I drove behind the bus and parked in the visitor’s parking area. We got out and entered the building and toured the center of military operations. It was terrific, and I got to talk to serval servicemen while we were there.
We had just walked out the door. I reached into my pocket for my keys. I heard a motor blaring in my ear, and the next thing I knew, I was struggling to pick myself up off of the hood of a Dodge Ram Pickup Truck. My friend Ray was on the ground, screaming. I jumped down and knelt next to him. He was bleeding from his head, and his leg was broken. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, so my pre-college study came in handy.
When I finished with Ray, I turned around and saw that the Pentagon was on fire, and there were many people with injuries. I did not know at the time that a terrorist had purposely flown a plane into the building. The teachers were doing their best to round up all the students, and I went from person to person doing what I could. An injured soldier was brought to my attention, and I began to work on him. He was in bad shape, and to be honest, I knew as soon as they brought me to him, he wouldn’t make it.
He knew it too. He looked up at me, and my throat went dry. He wasn’t much older than me. “Take my place,” he whispered. “The World Trade Centers were attacked today by Terrorists. I’m pretty sure they did this too. Either way, we’re heading for war. Please, take my place.”
“Alright,” I said, “I will if you let me tell you about Someone else who wants to take your place in another way.” I proceeded to tell him about Jesus Christ taking his place and wanting to forgive him of his sins. I was privileged to hear him ask the Lord to save him.
“Remember,” he coughed. “You promised to take my place.” Mistake 3.
We didn’t get to leave the parking lot until late that evening. It was then I saw what had happened to my Mustang. It had been smashed by flying debris. I was perturbed, but the thought hit me: I had almost gotten into my car before being blown across the parking lot. I would have been killed. God had spared my life. Students were admitted to the hospital, and I was checked over for injuries. All things considered, we were blessed. A police officer deemed me a hero. I just shook my head.
Our bus was in good shape, but there was no way I could fit in there. We had too much stuff, plus crutches and wheelchairs. We weren’t sure how I was to get home. A Lieutenant in the Army found us discussing the problem. “You’re the boy who helped out the day of the trauma,” he said matter-of-factly. When it was confirmed, he said, “My aide and I will drive him home. We’re heading back to Ft. Bragg this afternoon.”
On the way home, we talked about the incident and expressed our outrage. The aide was a Corporal, not too much older than me. Of course, they talked about recruitment with me. I listened intently, remembering my promise to the dead soldier. Cpl. Bean talked up the army big. Out of the clear blue sky, the Lieutenant said, “You should be a combat medic. You’ve got guts. I saw you go into the danger zone twice to rescue people.”
I shrugged. “I couldn’t just stand there.”
“Yes, you could have, but you didn’t,” Lt. Michaels reminded me.
Upon reaching home, every Marine in the vicinity tried to recruit me. I steadfastly refused to join them. I’d made a promise. As soon as I graduated that April (I challenged the exams to get out early), I left for basic training. I was the youngest guy there. And who should be my junior drill instructor but Cpl. Bean. He didn’t take it easy on me. Instead, he pushed me harder. By June, I was deployed to Afghanistan.
That was nineteen years ago, and I’m still serving. I have a wonderful Christian wife, five kids, and twins on the way. I’ve been able to make a difference in more ways than one. I’ve been able to save physical lives and see spiritual lives saved by my Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve even led a few locals to the One Who can give true peace and Joy. At the present time, I have no intention of stopping…I think I’ll be here until this war ends or they kick me out.
I drive a medically equipped convoy through the deserts.
I’m keeping my promise.
I’m taking his place.
I’m serving my country and my Savior.
Looks like those “mistakes” weren’t mistakes after all…
So that’s why I don’t drive a Mustang.
“Duty. Honor. Country.”
But the attack on September 11th, 2001, wasn’t the only historical event that took place on that day in history. 11 years later, on September 12th, 2012, another heinous crime occurred.
The Benghazi Massacre.
I’m not going to go into great detail on this. It hurts too much, knowing we had options at our disposal that would have given this event a vastly different outcome…and they were not used. (We need to pray more for our leaders to make Godly decisions!)
On September 11th – 12th, 2012, The U.S. Embassy in Libya was attacked by Muslim Terrorists. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and Diplomat Sean Smith were killed in the attack. Ret. Navy S.E.A.L.s Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods gave their lives, the only ones who stepped forward to defend them.
War was not declared on Libya or on the Islamic group that attacked them. Instead, our then president apologized to the terrorist for a film that offended them, triggering the attack (or so they claim). No action taken. Just an apology from the man currently representing the victims’ country. Another person responsible for sending them help (and didn’t) has thus far been let off the hook.
Justice has not been done in the murder of these innocent men. For the most part, they have been forgotten. We all have heard of Benghazi…but did you know the names of the victims?
I’ll confess that before I wrote this, I only knew one: Glen Doherty. In May 2018 at the NCHE Homeschool Book Fair, I met a man selling multiple history/military books. (Anyone surprised?) I bought three from him (for research purposes 😊) and one was a suggestion from the seller: Navy SEAL Sniper (not a recommendation. I haven’t read the whole thing yet.) This was the 2nd, and very special, edition. It hit the press in 2013. One of the co-authors was Glen Doherty. It was through reading the intro pages that I learned about his sacrifice on September 12th, 2012. I encourage you to read up on Benghazi. We must not forget the 2nd 9/11…and we must not forget the men who gave their lives. I haven’t forgotten.
I’d like to thank all the girls who pitched in to help with this tour! Please stop by their blogs today for more great tributes to the heroes and victims of both 9/11 tragedies.
Have a blessed day… And Never Forget…
Happy September, and welcome to our Seventh missions spotlight! Guyana is September’s focus country, and I hope you enjoy our little trip to this South American nation! So without further ado, let’s take off!
Country: República del Guyana
Continent: South America
Population: 786,552 (2020)
Largest City: Georgetown
Motto: One People, One Nation, One Destiny
National Anthem: “Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains”
Current Leader: Irfaan Ali
Bordering Countries: Suriname, Brazil, and Venezuela.
Religions: (As of 2012) Hindu (24.8%); Pentecostal (22.8%); Other Christians (20.8%); Roman Catholic (7.1%); Muslim (6.8%); Seventh-Day Adventist (5.4%); Anglican (5.2%); Irreligious (3.1%); Other (2.6%); Methodist (1.4%); Jehovah’s witnesses (1.3%). Nearly 75% of the population is involved in false religion, and probably more have never heard a clear Gospel presentation from the Bible.
Animals of Interest: Jaguars, Caimans, Sloths, Howler Monkeys, Horses, Anteaters, Coatis, Ocelots, Geckos, and Giant Otters, just to give a sample!
Famous Foods: Pepper Pot (Slow cooked Stew of meat, Caribbean peppers, cinnamon and cassava root sauce); Metemgee (stew of yams, plantains, cassava, and coconut milk curry broth); Fried Bora (a Chinese green bean, fried in a garlic soy sauce glaze).
Fun Facts: Kaieteur Falls is the number waterfall in the Worldwide Waterfall Database! Guyana is the only South American Country with English as it’s first language! Guyana means Land of Many Waters!
Missionaries: (Subject to Additions!)
Prayer Requests: Pray that the light of the Gospel will reach this nation and turn it around from an idol-worshiping nation to followers of Christ. FBN is heard in this country, so please pray that God will bless the broadcast and that the Guyanese people will hear the Gospel. And above all, pray for laborers to go and serve!
Don’t forget to check your list of missionaries at your church for Missionaries to Ecuador! Encourage your family to pray for them and perhaps send them a note of encouragement!
Have a blessed week!
Hello everyone! Time for another devotional already! How time flies! I have entitled this devotion A Vision for America, but I guess it’s actually more of a prayer list for America. I challenge you to take this list, make it your own, and pray with me for our nation. If you are outside our country, we covet your prayers, but adapt this list for your home country! And if you feel so led, drop us a note to tell us a little about the needs of your country and how we can pray for you!
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord;…”
“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.”
(All Scriptures are from the King James Bible)
A Prayer for our Leaders||
A Prayer for our Nation ||
A Prayer for Those Who Protect Us ||
A Prayer for All of Us ||
God Bless America
Hello! So yep, I forgot about this post until this morning when I saw Kassie's post and I was like, I EVEN DOUBLE CHECKED THE DATE AND I STILL FORGOT! So, my friends, here is the couple hours belated Cover Reveal XD
*Disclaimer: This book is not for Children. It covers some hard topics and is appropriate for mature audiences. Final review to come after final draft is completed.*
About the Book ||
Two brothers. Two Separate Paths.
A Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines, Jess Walker’s world is shaken as he struggles to aid the men around him. But the battlefield isn’t his hardest challenge. The nagging memory of how he lost his brother weighs on him, serving as a constant reminder of his failure. War has no mercy for anyone and Jess isn’t sure he can survive the war inside. As his world comes crashing down around him, he struggles to believe there is a future beyond the pain.
Clay Walker has moved on from the life he once lived. A successful Marine pilot, he wants nothing to do with his family and the God he left behind. Japan is on the brink of surrender when his unit is shipped off to Okinawa, and it’s there that Clay is forced to realize his past is not as deeply buried as he thought. Faced with heavy losses and questions without answers, Clay has a choice to make. Is he willing to step back and let God take the controls? Or is it too late for a second chance?
As WWII rages, the two brothers must face their demons — or be lost to the burning world around them.
About the Author ||
Jesseca is a daughter, sister, and a child of God. When she’s not busy at her full time job as a first responder, her days are spent reading, spending time with siblings, watching movies that make her cry, and playing piano. Oh, and writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.
And now for that gorgeous cover!
Isn't it epic?? I just love it so much! I can't wait to snag my copy!
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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