Friday, November 27, 2009

Rachel's Secret by B.J. Hoff

Rachel Brenneman has a secret…
But when wounded Irish American riverboat captain Jeremiah Gant bursts into the rural Amish setting of Riverhaven, her secret must come out. The suspicious Englisher brings chaos and conflict to the community- especially for Rachel. The unwelcome “outsider” needs a safe place to recuperate before continuing his role as an Underground Railroad conductor. Neither he nor Rachel is prepared for the forbidden love that threatens a man’s mission, a woman’s heart, and a way of life for an entire people.

If you would, imagine with me a dark, rainy night. Picture yourself alone in your house, lonely and wishing your family was there. You were just settling in for the night, when suddenly, a knock on the door startles you.
Unsure of who would be at the door at this time, you ask, “Who’s there?”
A response comes, confusing you even more. “A friend of friends, ma’am.”
Still unsure of what’s going on, you ask, “Who are you?”
“A friend of friends, ma’am.” There’s a pause, then, “My captain is hurt. We need your help.”
Rachel Brenneman’s calm and peaceful life is suddenly thrown off balance when a wounded riverboat captain and his friend show up at her door one night. What will she do to help this stranger, and will he survive? Will this captain help Rachel move past the hurt of the past, or will she be afraid to trust forever? Rachel’s Secret tells the story of Jeremiah and Rachel, as well as the rest of Rachel’s family, Asa, a freed slave helping other slaves escape to the north, and Doctor Sebastian, the British man Jeremiah rubs shoulders with on more than one occasion. BJ Hoff is known for writing Irish fiction, and connected it very well with the Amish. Miss Hoff did a great job on this book, tying the Irish, English, and Amish together in Riverhaven. In fact, I learned a few things while reading this book. I never knew that some of the Amish got involved in the Underground Railroad, risking their lives to help slaves on their way to freedom. The Amish also endured a lot of persecution in the 19th century as well. Many people hurt them, and even killed them just because they were different. This book shows the cruelty and severity of the hardships the Amish faced in these times, and even in the dark times, the hope shines through. That much is shown as Rachel, as well as the rest of her family, try to move on from the shadows of their past. This is an amazing book, and if you love the Amish, I’d highly recommend it! Great job, Miss Hoff!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love in Jesus,
Elyssa =)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday's Song of the Week #2

This Wednesday's song of the week is:

Give Until There's Nothing Left by Relient K

It is more than a pleasure to bring to you one of our favorite bands. Those of you who have followed us for a while know from previous posts that Relient K is in our top 3 favorite bands. Don't think for one minute, however, that this is the reason for this choice. We all know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and that there are so many things to be thankful for. Sure we have plenty of things to be thankful for, but is that enough? As we come upon the Christmas season we realize that there are a lot of people asking for things. "What should I put on my Christmas list?" Might be a specific line we all hear too much. This song reminds us that we should spend a little less time taking and a little more time giving.
I hope this gets you thinking as Christmas creeps up on us.

Happy Thanksgiving!

*The song that we talked about in this post is playing on the bottom playlist.*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Amish Christmas

An Amish Christmas is absolutely fabulous! I’ve never read a better Christmas book in all my life. Just the way all three of the stories intertwine made this book unique and beautiful.


A Miracle for Miriam: Miriam fell for Seth, but he broke her heart. Years later, after he's nearly killed in an accident, Miriam sees him at a Christmas party and notices something is different about him-not just how he looks, but how he acts. When Seth pursues her, she must decide whether to guard her heart or accept his love.

A Choice to Forgive: Lydia has loved two men in her life. Daniel disappeared one Christmas Eve long ago, leaving only a note saying he wanted to live in the Englisch world. And Elam, Daniel's brother, to whom she has been happily married for 15 years. When Elam dies, Lydia gives up on ever loving again. But she is shocked when Daniel wants to return to the Order and her life.

One Child: The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On this snowy Lancaster Christmas Eve, another child will change the world of two couples.

My Review:

A Miracle for Miriam is a story about love and accepting each other as we are. I truly felt like I could relate to the characters, their feelings portrayed amazingly. This story just filled my heart with love as I read it. To believe it or not I almost finished the entire story in one afternoon, but had to peel myself away from it for the sake of time. Oh, there are so many things I could say about this story, but I don’t want to give it away. Kathy Fuller did an amazing job writing this, and I thank her for the letting me go along for the ride.

A Choice to Forgive. Beth Wiseman has to be one of my favorite authors that write Amish books, and when I found out she would be part of this wonderful three in one book I was so excited. A Choice to Forgive was amazing, the story definitely one about undying love. It showed me that God always has a plan for us, and not matter how things look the end will always be great. I loved reading this story, especially after reading the previous one; and seeing some of the characters from before. I always love when authors tie in some familiar characters and Beth did it beautifully. Once again it was an honor to once again read one of Beth Wiseman’s stories, they are truly always beautiful.

One Child. Well, this is actually the first story I’ve read from Barbra Cameron and I must say it was astounding. The plot was interesting, telling the story of a married couple that has been waiting for God to give them a baby. It was touching to read about their struggles and to see them realize that all things happen in God’s timing. It always seems like every time I read a book I learn something. Trust me, knowing something and finally understanding it is two different things. I will definitely be following this author to see what she will come out with in the future.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Christmas Carol!

Ebenezer Scrooge begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempty, barking at his faithful clerk and cheery nephew. But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late.

What do Patrick Stewart, The Muppets, and Jim Carrey all have in common? They've all starred in different versions of A Christmas Carol. In the newest release of the classic story, Jim Carrey plays Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates anything pertaining to Christmas. All of us are familiar with the story, how Scrooge goes through his past, present, and future all in one night, and how he has a change of heart in the end. Although this was an animated version, it was the classic story, filled with memorable characters and parts you'll be talking about for days after you watch it. It definitely got me into the Christmas mood, and got me singing the carols that were in it. When I went to see this movie, I went in knowing that it already had great reviews. Despite it being freezing in the theater, the wet, sticky, floor, and the people talking throughout the whole thing (lol), I'd say I really enjoyed this movie. I was a little disappointed, though, to see the kids in the theater laughing when the ghosts came to visit, and even in the beginning when the dead Jacob Marley's face is shown. As we all know, nothing about the story is funny, and it made me sad to see the kids thinking that ghosts are humorous. But on the upside, the animation was great, and even though I didn't see it in 3-D, I heard it was amazing. The movie definitely had the Christian message weaved throughout it, just like Charles Dickens had in his book. From what I hear, the movie followed the book closely, so if you're a Dickens fan, you won't be disappointed. Whether young or old, your whole family will love the classic tale of Scrooge and his "humbug!" outlook on life. This one definitely gets two thumbs up!

Love in Jesus,
Elyssa =)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling

Two mothers. Two children. One tragedy. One miracle.

Nora Peterson has two children--twins, a boy and girl, who are seniors in high school. She wants their last Christmas as a family living in the same home to be perfect, but her husband is delayed returning from a business trip abroad. And then there's an accident--a fatal one involving a drunk driver.
Meanwhile, Jenna Montgomery has a daughter who needs a new heart.
One woman’s loss becomes the miracle the other has desperately prayed for. And while one mother grieves, and pulls away from her family, the other finds that even miracles aren't always easy to receive.

Okay, it being near Christmas time I figured I’d begin reading some Christmas fiction. The first book on my list was One Perfect Day. Let me just tell you that when I first started this book I knew there would be times when I would want to abandon. Just reading the synopsis on the back made my heart hurt, so I knew the actual story wasn’t going to be any better. For the first few chapters I got to know the characters, and like every other fiction reader I got attached to some of them. I seem to always have my favorite characters in books these days, but maybe it’s the same with everyone. Well, going into this story I wasn’t completely sure who was going to eventually die, so I went ahead like normal. Oh, my heart was devastated when I found out that my character, Charlie was the one that died in the car accident. Moving on, I have to say how hard it was to read both sides of this story. One side you have a grieving mother who just lost her only son, and then you have a mother that is rejoicing for her twenty year-old daughter who just got a new heart. You know that both of these stories connect somewhere. And you guess it has something to do with the heart. To sit back and read this is like being there with the characters, watching their heartaches and hearing the heart’s cry for relief. Lauraine Snelling has done an amazing job with this story, making it very believable. To say that both of their stories didn’t end well is a lie. We know that nothing can really lessen the blow of a death, but in time the pain does lessen. This story really showed me that you cannot plan you life out, expecting it to go the way you want it. Only the Lord knows the number of days you have on this earth, and it is best to leave that up to Him. Thanks Lauraine for letting us see just how precious a life really is!

Have an amazing week, and a blessed Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday's song of the week #1

You may be wondering what "Wednesday's song of the week" is.
Well, every week we're going to choose a different song from our music library, and bring it straight to you. You'll never know what it might be, so keep your eyes open every Wednesday for the song of the week.

This week's song was chosen because it conveys God's love.
A lot of Christians today tend to live their lives believing that they need other things to be happy, yet still feel lonely and unsatisfied. In Romans 8:39 it says, "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This Scripture brings us to Wednesday's song of the week.

*By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North

This song clearly states that God will always be by our sides no matter what.

No one can sum this song up better than the song itself: "Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough? To where will you go child, tell Me where will you run? To where will you run?"

In all things we can be sure of this...He will be by our side.

**Every week the song will be playing on the playlist on the bottom.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hello Hurricane by Switchfoot

Have you ever had a band that you've followed from their early years? Well, Switchfoot happens to be one of those bands for me. Although I haven't followed them from their debut CD in 1997, I've followed them since their CD, Learning To Breathe, which came out in 2000. To be honest, I think all Switchfoot fans have been waiting for their newest release, Hello Hurricane, since the band announced their new record. From the first song Needle In a Haystack Life to the closing song Red Eyes, you'll find yourself bopping your head, enjoying the totally awesome guitar solos and catchy tunes that are well known to Switchfoot fans. With songs like The Sound and Mess of Me, the rock tunes come through the speakers, causing you to tap your feet along with the songs. As with other bands, you can find the hint of Christianity they add to their songs. Usually it's only noticeable for Christians that keep their ears open for any hint of lyrics pertaining to God. I'd say the most obvious one on this CD would be Free, probably one of my favorite songs on this album. As the song says, "There's a hole in my heart, but my hope is not in me at all. I had a dream that my chains were broken, broken open. Free." This song is very deep, yet still has that catchy tune that is typical for Switchfoot. All in all I'd say this album was really great, and I'd give it two thumbs up. Fans won't be disappointed with this CD, and all the people out there that are just starting to listen to them will enjoy it just as much!

So in an earlier post, Thanksgiving was mentioned, and to remember what we're thankful for. I'd like to share what I'm thankful for. So, here goes: I'm thankful for everything God has bless me with- my family, friends, a roof over my head, and the freedom to worship Him freely. I'm also thankful for Jesus. Without Him, I know without a doubt that I wouldn't be here today, and I'll always be thankful for what He's done in my life.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families, and may God bless you!

Love in Jesus,
Elyssa =)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank you Molly from Book Reviews by Buuklvr81!!! Another Award!

Molly from Book Reviews by Buuklvr81
bestwoed upon us this beautiful award.

The rules of this one is to list ten honest things about me and then pass the award on to ten other book bloggers.

1. I absolutely love to write!

2. When I'm not writing I normally can't stop reading.

3. The only place I've been other than around Ling Island is (I think) Pennsylvania.

4. I can't stand drinking water, but I know I have to. lol!

5. I am also overly obsessed with the Amish.

6. My favorite authors are Karen Kingsbury and Beverly Lewis.

7. I'm homeschooled!

8. I attend A Beka Academy at my computer every day.

9. I love to bake cookies, and not only during Christmas time.

10. I dream of moving to Pennsylvania when I get older.

You must hang in there as to the people I will pass this on to. Considering we don't have all that many followers just yet, I can not pass this on just yet. But as time goes on, and hopefully our number of followers grow, I will definitely pass this on.

Thanks for being patient.

The Missing by Beverly Lewis

A Painful Absence, a Desperate Heart... Is It Too Late to Find Lettie Byler?

Grace Byler longs to uncover the secret that drove her mother to leave the family weeks ago. When all hopes are dashed for such a search, an unlikely friendship leads to a surprising invitation. Meanwhile, the young Amishman Grace thought was courting her best friend takes a sudden interest in her, and Grace's decision to remain single is challenged even as her determination to find her mother grows.

Okay, to start with I have to say that the theory has been proven. Beverly Lewis definitely works in a mysterious form. Like our previous review on the first book in the Seasons of Grace series
The Secret, we have found that not only does the second book normally draw your attention; but The Missing doesn’t let go even after you’re finished. Of course being a fan of Miss Beverly Lewis, I am truly not surprised that she has won my attention and affection for her new book and characters. Grace Byler is definitely the epitome of all my hopes of what a young Amish girl would be like during her Rumschpringe-“Running around years”. I always love to read a book where not only does the young Amish teenager enjoy being Amish, but can’t imagine her life as anything else. Being in the world I don’t see many kids these days that are willing to give up some modern conveniences let alone all of them. Grace Byler, along with almost every other character Miss Lewis has dreamed up, is truly driven to go against the world’s pattern. It reminds me of Romans 12:1-2, where it clearly states that we are supposed to be in the world but definitely not going around as if we are just like them. The Amish are amazing, because they are really living out this scripture whereas Christians today think it’s alright to look and be just like the world as long as they go to church every Sunday. The Missing not only showed me how amazing it really is that there are people willing to live basically like they’re in another century, all the while the 21st century is forming all around them; but that money and modern conveniences don’t hold a candle to what God can provide if you just wait on Him. Just beautiful! And not only does Beverly Lewis write about it, but she portrays it better than I’ve seen anyone else portray it. I’ve always loved to see what it would be like to see someone that is not Amish go into their world and live among them. Beverly Lewis has definitely outdone herself with this one, leaving me not only speechless but craving more as well.
I would definitely recommend this book and this series to you readers, Beverly Lewis is so good at what she does it’s just amazing.

So the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and hopefully you are all realizing what you’re thankful for. The Lord has blessed us with so much; family, friends, places to go home at night. No matter what we go through we should always remember the things God has done for us, and know that He will get us through it.
Have an amazing Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

G.I. Joe Rise of the Cobra

From the Egyptian desert to deep below the polar ice caps, the elite G.I. JOE team uses the latest in next-generation spy and military equipment to fight the corrupt arms dealer Destro and the growing threat of the mysterious Cobra organization to prevent them from plunging the world into chaos.

First off, let me just say that this was one of those movies that we wanted to see in the theater, but wasn't very sure about it. After all, the previews made it out to be a movie with parts that you'd have to fast forward if you watched at home, but honestly, it didn't have any adult situations in it except for a few kisses here and there. Otherwise, this movie was filled with action, suspense, mystery, and a whole lot of G.I. Joes. My sister described it as being outstanding, and I definitely agree with her. This movie will leave you sitting on the edge of you seat, dying to know what happens. Full of unexpected twists and turns, you'll find yourself sucked into the plot, most likely leaving your mouth hanging wide open. This movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence (but no blood) and mayhem throughout, as well as some bad language. But otherwise, this was a truly awesome movie. The only problem I had was the fact that they left it open for another movie, and now we have to wait for them to make it to see what happens! I'd definitely give this movie two thumbs up!

Love in Jesus,
Elyssa =)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Real Enemy by Kathy Herman!

Brill Jessup becomes the first female police chief in Sophie Trace, Tennessee, and soon faces a series of bizarre disappearances that sends chills through the townspeople.

Brill's investigation runs headlong into a nineteenth century legend that claims the "Red Shadows" the spirits if the Cherokee who were driven from the land, roam the countryside and wreak havoc on the decedents of those who settled there. Brill thinks it's absurd but soon discovers that the people who grew up with the legend are convinced the authorities are withholding the truth. The media can't get enough of the story, and panic sets in when new facts seem to support the story.

Brill uses the case to avoid dealing with her husband, Kurt's affair. She's never going to forgive him. So why can't she just end it?

As the case heats up, so does Brill's anger. Based on Romans 12:21 "Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good," the real enemy may be closer than she thinks.

The Real Enemy by Kathy Herman is a heartwarming novel that will capture your attention in every way. Not only is this book about a mystery but it’s also about a broken marriage which in time causes a broken family. Brill Jessup has to deal with a lot of things in this story, and Kathy Herman writes it well. Kathy brings up many situations in this story, some that are mysterious outwardly and others that go way deep into the character’s hearts and lives. This is the first book I’ve read from Kathy Herman, not being a very big reader of mysteries, but truthfully this book left me wanting more. I can tell you that I will definitely be picking the second book at the bookstore, the sooner the better. Kathy Herman did an amazing job writing this story, the details in depth and the feelings of the characters even more so. I would definitely recommend this book to my readers. The Real Enemy definitely has the potential to be a best seller!

Have an amazing Thanksgiving!

Em <333

Kreativ Blogger award!!!!

Thank you Molly from Book Reviews by Buuklvr81 for another award, we're honored!

Here are the Rules:
What a surprise!! I am suppose to list seven of my favorite thing and share this award with seven other blogs. Ok, that's what I'll do. This is going to be fun.

1. Ira from The Jesus Freak Blog

2. Ira from Ira's Holy Smoke Blog

3. Amanda from Untitled, Anonymous

4. Zach from Bookstore Journal

5. Zach from Chester

6. Zach from The Bird and the Beas

7. and Elyssa

*Seven of our favorite things:

1. Jesus

2. Writing

3. Reading in large quantities (lol)

4. Laughing

5. Our families

6. Music

7. Game Night!!!!!

Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving season,
Emily and Elyssa <333

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Award!!

My friend Molly from Book Reviews by Buuklvr81 gave us this wonderful award.
Thanks Molly, you're the greatest!

Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award": Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award up to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Since me and my friend are really just starting out I can only give this award to three people.
They are:

Amanda from Untitled, Anonymous

Zach from Chester
Ira from The Jesus Freak Blog