Temptation (2) August 19, 2014
Ignorance of Scripture is one of the greatest weapons Satan has against you. Three times he tempted Jesus, and he used Scripture to do it! But he didn’t prevail because Jesus knew what God’s Word says – and doesn’t say. We’re vulnerable to Satan’s attacks when we know only snippets of Scripture and favourite passages, instead of ‘… the whole counsel of God.’ (Acts 20:27 NKJV) Paul writes, ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) We get into trouble when we wrench a Scripture out of context, and make it a pretext for claiming something God never promised. Or, if He did, we fail to read the fine print that spells out His terms and conditions. Paul commended the Thessalonians: ‘…when you receive the Word of God… from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.’ (Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV) Notice the order here: God’s Word must first work in you before it works for you! We like to quote such scriptures as ‘… whatever he does shall prosper,’ (Psalm 1:3 NJKV) but you must take into account the preceding verses: ‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2 NJKV). If you want God’s blessing, you must meet His conditions.
*The Word for Today is published by UCB Australia. A free introductory copy of the devotional may be obtained from UCB Australia; 1800 00 777 0 or firstname.lastname@example.org*
Perilous Waters ~ Sandra Orchard ~ August 18, 2014
Sandra Orchard kept me occupied! In just 219 pages, she held me captivated and intrigued with the romance and suspense. Traditionally, I have always loved my big fat books with 300+ pages, however Perilous Waters has changed my mind. Who knew so much could be compacted into so few a words…
For FBI agent Sam Steele, there’s no room for error OR emotions on his latest undercover assignment. Getting close to gallery owner Jennifer Robbins while on am Alaskan cruise is the only way to catch her dealing stolen art. Out on the icy seas, Jen suddenly goes from suspect to victim when she’s targeted by a deadly enemy. And Sam’s mission goes from investigating an art crime to protecting the woman who’s begun to melt his heart. As danger looms closer, he’ll do anything to save her life – even if it costs him his own.
And that he does! What I love about this book is the sincerity and the well rounded characters who are full of heart & soul! It is for this reason that I couldn’t stop thinking about the book when I put it down. Reading it in little snippets gave me a bigger appreciation for the story. It was the icing on the cake.
Of late, suspense novels have not been nail-biting. However this one had me guessing and suspenseful the whole time! I found myself questioning characters and their motives because Orchard revealed characters in a very sinister light. This is what I have been missing! For me, this is what suspense fiction is all about!! So, pick it up and enjoy it for yourself….
Laura Frantz Giveaway WINNER!!! August 16, 2014
The long awaited for moment has finally arrived!! I know you all are super excited about Love’s Fortune, due to release next month. So, for those of you who missed out, don’t worry!! The chance to own a copy is still near!! Many thanks to Laura Frantz who is giving away the book of the winner’s choice. I hope you all enjoyed reading her INTERVIEW and about her Ballantyne books.
Congratulations to: Candice Valdez
“Frantz writes with an inherent beauty that graces every literary aspect of her story, from exquisite prose and intricate characterization to meticulous historical detail and striking emotional connections. [Her writing] sets the standard in historical faith fiction.” -RelzReviews
“Frantz’s debut will find a place in your heart.” – The Frontiersman’s Daughter – RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars
“You’ll disappear into another place and time and be both encouraged and enriched for having taken the journey.”--Jane Kirkpatrick, bestselling author of All Together in One Place and A Flickering Light
“Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Breathless. Not since Gone with the Wind have I read an epic novel that has stolen my heart, my breath, my sleep to such a jolting degree. Love’s Reckoning marks Laura Frantz not only as a shining star in Christian fiction today but as a shooting star who soars skyward to the glittering heights of Rivers and Higgs.”--Julie Lessman, award-winning author of the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series
Check out these links to pre-order TODAY!!! Don’t Miss Out!
Laura Frantz ~ Love’s Fortune~ NEW RELEASE!!! August 13, 2014
Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas’s vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. Then her father, Silas’s long-estranged son, Ansel, receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope. Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world— filled with family members she’s never met, dances she’s never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantyne’s shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her own peril?
With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty in this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.
Only tuning in for the first time?? Don’t worry!! You don’t have to miss out. Simply follow the links for the exclusive INTERVIEW and INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY!! Don’t miss out!!!
Poisonous Thoughts & Attitudes August 12, 2014
A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law.
In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.
Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it.
Li-Li went to see her father’s good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, “Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.”
Li-Li said, “Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.” Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs.
He told Li-Li, “You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”
Weeks went by, months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.
Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had an argument in six months with her mother-in-law, who now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.
The mother-in-law’s attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter.
Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.
One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, “Mr. Huang, please help me to stop the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She’s changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.”
Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. “Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her.”
Story Submitted by A.Bhatia
Love’s Awakening ~ Laura Frantz ~ August 11, 2014
RATING: 4.5 Stars
If you thought Love’s Reckoning was great, well have I get something to tell you – Love’s Awakening is amazing, so much better!! There are just so many elements in the story that are to be admired: the romance, chemistry, forgiveness, love and faith.
Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don’t seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future–and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family’s violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?
Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love, loyalty, and the makings of a legacy. With rich descriptions of the people who settled and civilized a wild landscape, Frantz weaves a tapestry of characters and places that stick with the reader long after they turn the last page.
What really brought this book together were the different elements of love. Elli didn’t judge people by their name or background. Her tender and caring heart wanted to help all those who needed her assistance, especially Chloe Turlock, in becoming a woman. I love it how Chloe, out of her innocence, agreed to the teaching because of Jack, her brother. She realised that he needed someone who would love him, whom he needed, despite his ignorance. Her intervening made me laugh at times, giving the story a great feel to it. From then on their chemistry just advanced and the tension only got greater. Jack loved Ellie, however didn’t want to tarnish her reputation, so he restrained himself, ready to escape this temptation. Ellie, though fragile, loves him and would do anything to ensure his innocence. As you can probably guess, it made for heart-breaking moments.
In case you’re wondering who my favourite Character is, its Chloe. I love her innocence, and personality. She is vulnerable and in desperate need of love. In the way the novel is written, I feel like I can give that to her and be part of her life. Getting to know her was so much fun and she really made such an impression. Without her there would have been no book, actually. She ties things together and is the light and hope when things look bleak and dark.
I hadn’t expected sweet, gentle and caring Eden to have such ill-tempered children, especially at the beginning of the novel. Considering everything I learnt about Eden and Silas, I was rather shocked! Their oldest child was impatient and rude, disregarding Ellie. However the more I read the book, I understood her point of view and began to respect her. She was also naïve, about Elspeth. This frustrated me, but I got over it… I love it how Ellie got along with her brother, and shared a special bond regarding music. They had such a special bond, I was somewhat envious (only because I find it cool J )
Considering reading this book, haven’t got to it yet or want to read it now?? Well I would encourage you to get onto it ASAP!!!
The Missing Watch August 9, 2014
After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn.
He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded.
Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance.
The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.”
So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed.
The boy replied, “I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”
A peaceful mind can think better than a worked up mind. Allow a few minutes of silence to your mind every day, and see, how sharply it helps you to set your life the way you expect it to be!
Sorry everyone that it has taken me SOOOO much longer than usual to post the giveaway…. but I can say that IT IS FINALLY HERE!!!!!!! Laura Frantz is a very talented, gifted and wonderful person, as you all probably discovered in the interview. Her Ballantyne series is a HUGE favourite amongst us, and GUESS WHAT!? Love’s Fortune is less than a month away! How exciting. Thanks to Laura, you can be in the running to be one of the few first people to read and own it!!! So, how does this happen???…
2. Must follow my blog: Booklovers1 (only so no-one takes advantage of this offer and so that it is fair for the people already following me!!)
3. Leave a comment at the end of THIS post. One entry per person.
4. DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
5. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
6. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
7. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought!
Winner Chooses 1 Ballantyne Legacy Book
If you choose Love’s Fortune it will take about 1 month to reach you!!
The Bible says, ‘Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.’ Notice who led Jesus there: God! You’re in training for your destiny, and a good trainer has one thing in mind – turning flab into muscle. So he takes you into the gym and increases the weights until you break a sweat and start thinking, ‘I don’t know how much more of this I can take.’ But God does. It’s only when you look back that you realise you’re handling situations today you couldn’t have handled a year ago. Sometimes old temptations will return with a vengeance. They’ll hound you until you think you need some new, novel, quick-fix strategy. Like the Israelites at the Red Sea, just when they thought they were finally free from a life of slavery, here comes Pharaoh. At that point they cried out to God in fear, saying, ‘It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians…’ (Exodus 14:12 NIV) ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water…”’ (Exodus 14:15-16) God used Moses’ rod – again! Victory over the Egyptians didn’t come from discovering something new; it came from using what God had already given them. You have the power inside you today to overcome the temptation you’re facing right now. You just need to tap into it. Paul said, ‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.’ (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)
*The Word for Today is published by UCB Australia. A free introductory copy of the devotional may be obtained from UCB Australia; 1800 00 777 0 or email@example.com*
God Carries Us!!! (Moriah Peters) August 6, 2014
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Matthew 6:27 – Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Psalm 18:32 – It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
Isaiah 40:11 – He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 63:9b In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Deuteronomy 1:31 – There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the day you went until you reached this place.
Deuteronomy 33:27a – The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
In The Spotlight ~ Author: Laura Frantz August 5, 2014
This has been a long time coming. Upon reading Frantz’s books, Love’s Awakening and Love’s Reckoning (Reviews coming this week!), I was captivated. Yes, the romance was great, but it was the history that captivated me! The characters were also great. So, I wanted to get to know the author behind it all… Laura Frantz…
1. What is your favourite movie and if there is any character whom you would love to be, who is it?
My favourite movie is the BBC’s North and South with Richard Armitage – most romantically intense film ever! I would be Margaret, the heroine, in a heartbeat. Just watch the ending and listen to the Northbound train soundtrack and you’ll see why…!
2. Do you have a favourite song/artist?
My favorite music involves the fiddle/violin. One of my sons has played since he was seven so our house is full of music. I really enjoy Natalie MacMaster and Sarah McLachlan and musicians like them. I enjoy writing to music. Each of my novels should come with the soundtrack I listened to while writing.
I’ve Been Nominated: The Sunshine Award August 4, 2014
Come to think of it, it has been a while since I was last nominated an award!! I’m not saying that I missed out, but I am honoured to have Proverbs31Teen think of me and deem me deserving! Sometimes I wonder how many people actually read my posts, and are positively impacted by what God has to say to them. Winning this award puts this into perspective, I guess. So THANK YOU again Proverbs31Teen!!!
So, what do I have the pleasure in sharing with you and what do you have the pleasure of learning about me????…….
5 Facts about Myself…..
1. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing
2. I am the oldest of 4 children
3. I drive a BMW (don’t worry – it’s 25 years old….)
4. I tutor children in grade 3 and year 9.
5. Currently, my favourite CD is Brave by Moriah Peters.
5 Questions from Provers31Teen…
1. You’ve got one day left of your life. What would you do? This is a hard question!!! I am really going to have to think about this one!!….uhhhh….hmmmmm…… I would spend all my money either by travelling, or buying books, clothes, CDs and things for the family and friends.
2. Pirates or ninjas, and why? Most definitely PIRATES!!! Have you not seen Pirates of the Caribbean?!?!?! They can be romantic, dare-devilish and the most hilarious people!!
3. If you were turned into one of the Avengers, which one would you be most like? Another hard question. Normally I look forward to answering these questions, but this is the second question I find challenging. To be honest, I have never seen the Avengers movie myself. BUT rest assured that I have seen Iron Man I & II, Thor and the start of Captain America. Judging from these movies, I would want to be Scarlett Johansen only because she’s pretty lol. All these sentences for that… I know…… sort of twisting the questions there, but oh well……
4. What are your top three favourite Bible Characters and why? I have always loved the story of Esther and you can probably guess why… I was given a book in grade 5 from Tommy Tenny that was all about her story. I loved it, despite it being part fiction. But the courage she had to follow God no matter what is inspiring!!
5. (I’m going to be evil, too) What is your favouriteI book? Yes, this question is most definitely evil, but one I ask others, so it’s only fair that you all know my favourite book. Well, my favourite book is A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg. I have written a review on my blog, but let me simply tell you that it is one of the most heart-wrenching romances I have read. I am still on the hunt for a book as good as this!! I have come close, but none have outranked it!! Even my sister agrees, and she doesn’t like reading….
5 Questions for my Nominees…
1. Who is your favourite Christian music artist and what is their best CD?
2. What is your favourite book and why?
3. Do you have a favourite Psalm?
4. If you had to change your first name, what would you like to be called?
5. If you could throw a themed party, what would you chose?
Thanks again Proverbs31Teen for nominating me! I really appreciate it and knowing that people read and like my blog means SO much! God bless xox
RATING: 4 Stars
On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But becausehe is a fast worker and a superb craftsman,Liege endeavors to keep him in Lancaster by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master’sbeautiful daughters.
Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas’s heart—and will he agree to Liege’s arrangement?
In this sweeping family saga, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.
There is definitely more to this book than what meets the eye. So much so that I don’t know where to begin! I normally begin at the romance (surprise, surprise) however this time around that will not be the case. From the moment I read the opening chapters of Love’s Reckoning I was drawn into Frantz’s world. Her smooth way of writing and manner of interlacing ideas, I was hooked. So it is safe to say that I will definitely be reading more of her books!
The aspect of this novel that I appreciate the most is the character development. Eden began as a very timid, vulnerable girl who surprised nearly everyone with her rare spouts of strong will. I found a special place for her in my heart as she was expected to respond immediately at her father’s, Elspeth’s, and the children’s calling, no excuses. Definitely not a way to treat the youngest child. It is therefore no surprise for you to hear me say that she was very naïve. Honestly, that doesn’t really bode well with me as I enjoy reading romances where the women and men have just met their match; both strong-willed, stubborn and determined. Thankfully at the end of the novel Eden had control of her own life and she knew who she was.
The same agrees with Silas. When the two met they were too inexperienced i.e. immature. It is for this reason that their romance felt too rushed and just not deep enough although it felt real for them. Just like every relationship, hardships arise that have the potential to cause necessary heartache to ensure the other person’s success and good fortune. Yes, it was painful to read, but I am so thankful that it happened because it really matured Eden and Silas a great deal! So therefore when they reunited, their glowing passion was still very tangible, yet it was pursued in a very mature way. I was beginning to lose my interest in their relationship; however the ending sealed the deal! It had turned into a relationship that was evidently going to last. That said, their past romantic interlude greatly helped this sense of belonging at attachment, no matter what I’ve said. Both Silas and Eden were the same people, yet so entirely different as well.
I love it how Frantz writes in a detailed way that everything just comes to life. I had trouble tearing myself away from the book at times, and when I was absent my mind was wondering back. There are other aspects of the story that I wish to share, however fear that I have already lost your interest for I personally don’t like reading long slabs of information. However I will say one thing – although Eden felt mistreated and used at home, I loved it how the Greathouses and Margaret loved and treated Eden as an equal although she was clearly below them. Also, the biblical yearnings of Eden I loved reading about because they awoke my own yearning of spending more time with the Lord in prayer and simply reading His Word, taking it to heart. I was reminded how for granted I take my faith, making me feel a little ashamed. The little snippets of bible verses I found refreshing and really appropriate.
Reading this book, Frantz will definitely ensure you have a place for each of the characters in your heart, or wherever else you store them… Read this book?? I would love to hear about your experience!