Age Appropriate For: 15 and up
Best for Ages: 18 and up
Description: 1789 to 1914 was a time of momentous and often violent change religiously, socially, politically and economically in the western world. The revolutions in the churches and the powerful empires of the day were to have a profound effect upon society at large both then and in the years that followed. In this detailed yet fascinating study, Ian Shaw gives context and understanding to this legacy which has been passed on from that era by providing an expert analysis of the period with a focus on the key leaders, influences and issues.
My dear friend and fellow author, Elisabeth Allen recommended this book to me a while back. When I saw it was on sale on Kindle, I snapped up a copy. I am so glad that I did.
There are few history books I have enjoyed more. Many books that try to give an overall look at a time in history either end up being dull and dry or get so caught up in trying to make it interesting they aren’t helpful. This book was a well-balanced, well-researched work.
What was the church’s role during 1775 through 1914? How did it influence the revolutions and major changes that took place during these years? This book goes through the major events and answers these questions, drawing from a huge number of first-hand and historical sources. The bibliography for this book was huge, listing hundreds of titles.
I am a skeptic when it comes to history books. I go in looking for mistakes and slants that keep all the facts from being shown. This book passed every test I have, and I will hold it up alongside books by David McCullough and Allen French. While I know that the author is a Christian, he was upfront about the negatives the church caused and debunked some of the stories Christians have spread and credit for events Christians have taken that are not true.
I will be re-reading this in the future, and I highly recommend this book for those who love history, want to have a better understanding of recent church history, and high school students.
If there is any song that makes me think of my parents, this is it. They are building legacy of godliness.
Buy song here
Age Appropriate For: 15 and up (violence, mentions of girls being taken advantage of)
Best for Ages: 15 - 25
Description: When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen. Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles--one on the walls of Samara's great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace's heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.
Was this book as good as The King’s Scrolls? No. Was it amazing? Yes!
The characters are, of course, some of my favorites in all of literature: The brave Kyrin who continues to help the resistance as they fight to protect those that would harm them. Her large family is so dear and wonderful, from her twin to her little sister. Jace of course rips at my heart and makes me wish I could sit across from him and explain God’s amazing love.
This book had far more allegorical elements in it (the story of Jesus), which is partly I think why it was a weaker book, as they felt like they were tacked onto the story in places. This isn’t to say it was a weak book, just not as strong as Resistance and The King’s Scrolls.
The plot for this book held some of the same struggles, yet was new and fresh. Nothing felt repeated from the last two books in regards to the main plot, and actually it felt very nice for the whole book not to be about Kyrin staying out of the hands of the Emperor. There were many tense moments that made me hold my breath.
I will not give anything away, but I loved what this book did for Jace. After two books of somewhat the same struggles, the change was very welcome. I wish I could say more, but then it would give away some of the book.
I highly recommend this book for those who like non-magical fantasy, books that make you feel many emotions, and those looking for a great series to become attached to.
If there is one song that has become my theme song of late, this is it. I want my life to show others the proof of God's love.
Buy song here
It's here! Kate's Innocence is an audiobook!
You can get it here! If you haven't signed up for Audible, please consider trying them free for thirty days and making Kate's Innocence your first book. If it is your first book, both I and my producer get a huge bonus!
Wednesday ended up being a very productive day. Today, had been another down day. However, I did manage to get a little work done. A little progress is better than none at all.
Wednesday and Thursday’s Work
There was Always Laughter in our House
· Finished Rubber Duck Wars
· Finished Peaches, Ham, and Memories
· Edited chapters 5 – 9
· Added dedication
Age Appropriate For: 15 and up (for violence, romance, and intense scenes)
Best for Ages: 15 and up
Description: Marginalized by society and mistreated by her own family, Annah befriends a young man she's never seen before. Shem is captivated by Annah's courage, and he risks everything to help her gain her freedom. Trusting in the Most High, Annah marries Shem and joins her strange new family in their solitary faith that will ultimately separate them from an ancient world of amazing beauty and appalling violence--a world fast approaching the unimaginable catastrophe of the Great Flood. Out of this chaos, only eight people will survive. Their world is our world. Their future is our own.
A long time ago, I started reading a book set before the flood. After about three pages, I was so disgusted I threw it away. Yes, the times before the flood were evil, but the graphic picture painted was not something that I was interested in stuffing into my mind. This book was different. This book painted a picture of an evil culture, without being graphic.
The author seemed to have one important goal in mind, stay biblically accurate while weaving a story surrounding those who built the ark. She also dug into Christian science for information, which added a great deal to the story. Both these elements made the story believable and plausible.
Annah tore at my heart from the beginning. She was such a wounded soul, hurt by the violence of her family. She thought so little of herself, yet has the faith to reach out for love and God when it is offered. She was a character that I dearly loved.
The other characters felt real, and I loved the interactions between the members of Noah’s family. The love they have for Methuselah, the teasing between the brothers, and the fatherly and motherly affection that Noah and his wife have for their daughter-in-law was delightful. All of the characters were well written.
While I know the Biblical story, I read this book in one sitting, because I couldn’t stop. I started it at eight one night and stayed up until 1:30 to finish it. It was that good. I cannot wait to read the rest in the series, though I did really love another book I read by this author, written under a pen name called Prophet.
I highly recommend this for older readers who like biblical fiction, books written from a creationist point of view, and well written fiction.
Sometimes, the writing process isn’t just about working on my books. Monday, I spent the whole day on the internet making sure that Homeschooled Authors posts were scheduled for the month of July (You might want to check out the Read to Win program) as well as work on some blog posts for my blog.
Today, I have spent working on editing and writing. Here is the progress for the day.
In Courage and Corruption
• Finished writing new chapter 2
• Edited chapters 3 and 4
• Cut out a lot of duplicated information (characters repeating themselves, ages given twice, etc.)
• Changed chapter 4 to be from Catherine’s prespective
There was Always Laughter in Our House
• Started on The Rubber Duck War story
While I would like to say that I am productive every day, there are times that I am not. The last couple days I have been so tired, that nothing has happened. This can be discouraging, but there are a few things I have learned.
- When I am just a little tired, I still work. If I let every little thing get me down, I will never write.
- When I am very tired or sick, working only results in frustration.
- When I can't work, I need to use the time to do other things, even if it just catching up on reading. Using the time to do other chores redeems the time.
- Sometimes, the interruptions can be a good thing.
See you Monday for another #HolmanWritingAdventure post!
Today is the start of a brand new series of posts, one that will show up every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I am calling it Holman Writing Adventures. What is it about?
People are always asking me how I do it. How I take a story from beginning to end. Instead of writing a series of informative blog posts, I am going to take you along on my writing journey for the next few months. You will get to see with words and pictures what I do on a daily basis, not just hear about it. I will be also posting extra pictures on my Instagram account using the hashtag #HolmanWritingAdventures
You are starting with me while in the middle of two projects. Today, I am working on editing Courage and Corruption (written in January of this year), and writing There was Always Laughter in our House (a non-fiction book).
Today, I am starting the first revisions of Courage and Corruption, a tale of two siblings, a throne, and a storytelling uncle. This is actually a rewrite of a story I wrote in my early teens. This story needs a lot of work. Here are a few things I did in the story today:
· Tweaked the prologue
· Made sure to show, not tell (example changed “It was your turn to watch the goat!” Catherine yelled, her face growing red with anger. To “It was your turn to watch the goat!” Catherine yelled, her fisted hands rested on her hips and her foot stamped against the floor.)
· Edited Chapter 1
· Started a new Chapter 2 from Catherine’s perspective.
Since editing can drive me nuts, I also am working on writing a story. Although, some might say writing about my crazy family is not the best way to keep my sanity. I am writing down some of the funny and poignant stories about my family. My hope for There was Always Laughter in our House is to give people something to laugh about as well as a better understanding of people who choose to live radically for Christ. However, today I didn’t write any stories down. Don’t worry, I will get some down tomorrow.
Of course all of this goes into my work log.
Best for Ages: 12 - 25
Description: The prophet's name is Kol Abaddon--the Voice of Destruction. To Alack, a young shepherd boy, Kol Abbadon's visions of coming destruction fascinate and disturb. But when Alack begins to see visions of his own, the course of his life changes as he treks into the wilderness to become a prophet in training. Left behind, Rechab, a trader's daughter whom Alack loves, must choose to change her own life when a pagan god claims her for its own. Salvation can only be found on the run, in the friendship of an infamous merchantwoman with a checkered past, and under the eye of another God. The stars tell the story of a terrifying doom, a war between gods, and the fates of Alack, Rechab, and all they love. But the end of the story--and whether they can change their own future--is a mystery they must journey to discover.
I am not often in the mood to read fantasy, but I was on the day I picked up this book. I wanted to read a fantasy book, and I was happy to find I had a book by Thomson on my Kindle. It has been too long since I read her excellent The Seventh World series. I knew that I would be in for a treat.
Thomson has a rare quality to her books that just makes them sparkle and come alive. It isn’t something that can be taught or copied; some authors have it and others don’t. Her characters leap from the page. In this one you felt like you know each of them. You could taste the desert sand and feel the wind. It was so realistic feeling that I felt as if I were there.
Each character was so dear and real – Alack answering the call to be a prophet was awesome, Rechab tugged at my heart strings, and Kol Abbadon felt so much like a biblical prophet. My favorite character though was Flora. I cannot wait to see what happens with Flora, and I really hope she has a happy ending.
The story kept me reading; in fact, I read most of it in one sitting. It was fast paced, and I could not believe it when I came to the end. It left me very, very tempted to break my vow of not buying any books this year. I stayed strong but the next two books will be at the top of my list to buy in 2017.
As always, Thomason weaves biblical truths into her stories as well as real struggles that everyone can relate to. As with her other series, I found myself encouraged and pointed toward God.
I highly recommend this book for those who love non-magical fantasy, relatable characters, and lyrical writing.