Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bachelor - a Kregel review

The Bachelor: A Novel; Plain City Peace #2

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825442168

Book Description
In this sequel to The Bargain, Betsie Troyer is back home in her Amish community where she knows she belongs, free from the confusing Englisher way of life. She and Charley Yoder have made promises to each other, and her life is back on track--until Gerald Sullivan shows up with his young daughter, asking for Betsie's help. He's on his way to find his estranged wife, and begs Betsie to take young Sheila in.
When she agrees, Betsie's carefully planned life is shaken up again. Sheila's newfound faith is troubling to Charley--and his attraction to another girl is beginning to be a problem. But how can Betsie confront him when she is still trying to confront her own feelings about Sheila's brother, Michael? Keeping the peace between the Amish man she's always loved, a twelve-year-old Englisher girl, and a draft-dodging hippie is more than she ever thought she'd have to deal with in her simple, orderly life. Still, Betsie is convinced she can keep things from falling apart completely.
Then during her best friend's wedding, tragedy strikes and her world is upended. She has to make a decision: does she love Charley or Michael . . . or is she craving a deeper love that only God can give?
The compelling second novel of the Plain City Peace series,The Bachelor deftly weaves together the strands of a solid, simpler time with the turmoil of an era of change, revealing the strengths of both in its powerful narrative.

My Thoughts
A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to read Stephanie's Reed's novel Across the Wide River. I had never read anything written by her before, and I was moved by her writing. I've been a reader of Amish fiction since my teen years when my grandmother introduced me to Beverly Lewis' books, and for many years it was a genre that was my favorite. I don't read a lot of it at this point, due to burn-out, but when I saw that Stephanie's newest novel was available for review, I snagged the opportunity to read some well-written story!

What I love about Stephanie's writing of Amish fiction is that she writes about the Amish people's beliefs accurately, at least in my opinion. That is one of my pet peeves with Amish fiction, and a big reason why I no longer read it like I used to. But that's another story for another day.

Stephanie has a knack for capturing your attention with detail and characters that feel real. She made me feel some real feelings regarding the characters Charley (frustration, anger, appreciation--his character traits ... and flaws ... were evident) and Betsie (frustration, frustration, admiration ... did I mention frustration? lol She just seemed a good bit naive, but I can see how that would be realistic for an Amish young lady.)

Taking place during the 1970s, the story revolves around Betsie Troyer and how she struggles with her mother and father (as well as family members) leaving the Amish faith for mainstream Christianity and moving away. Left as a young adult with her seventeen year old sister Sadie, Betsie is left to fend for herself. Along the way, she struggles with her own standing in the Amish faith and finding a happy medium with an English family in her life. Between Amish fiance Charley and English friend Michael, Betsie has a hard time knowing what's right. Life challenges present themselves and Betsie finds herself at a crossroad, and she has to make a decision.

I highly recommend The Bachelor to anyone who enjoys reading Amish fiction. Stephanie Reed is definitely a name to remember in the Amish fiction world! Check her out!

I received The Bachelor as a complimentary gift in exchange for review froKregel Blog Tours.
My comments and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DVD Review - Buck Denver Asks.... *AND GIVEAWAY!*

I have been given an opportunity to watch and review a DVD of Buck Denver asks... What's in the Bible? Jesus is the Good News! (Vol. 10) My children have all been big fans of Veggie Tales, and while I've never watched this volume of videos, I determined that it surely would be every bit as good as Veggie Tales. I was right.

What I love about these videos is that it's relevant for children but also fun for adults. There are little comical bits that made me chuckle, and the video was educational yet fun for children.

Episode 1 covers the 400 years between the Old Testament and the New, and is entitled "God's Perfect Timing". Episode 2 teaches about Jesus and is entitled "The Messiah Has Come!" I felt that each video was appropriately timed to hold children's interest and seemed to present the story completely and with an entertaining quality.

The use of puppets, an adult actor (Phil Vischer himself) answering questions, and music was all very well intertwined. The mesh of them didn't seem corny, which is a problem that I sometimes find with children's Bible videos.

I plan on using this in my home and will recommend it to my church youth ministries!

DVD Description: In the Gospels, we get up close and personal with the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, learning about our place in the kingdom of God along the way. Jesus is the Good News! [Matthew, Mark, Luke & John] covers the 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament before digging in to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We walk with Jesus and his closest friends as he delivers the Sermon on the Mount, feeds 5,000, breaks bread at the Last Supper, and gives His life for our sins before God raises Him from the dead. Jesus shows us firsthand what life in the kingdom of God is like – and invites us all to be a part of it!
Run time: Approximately 60 minutes

About the movie:
Volume 10: Jesus Is the Good News! / Run time: Approx 66 min
Let VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer and a bunch of hilarious new friends explain the entire Bible to your kids in this groundbreaking fast-paced and fun-filled DVD series. Includes TWO 25 minute episodes: God’s Perfect Timing - Buck Denver and crew learn about the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments and how Jesus arrives at just the perfect time & The Messiah Has Come! - Learn about the life and ministry of Jesus-how He died for us and rose again to launch the kingdom of God in the world and in us!

Check out the official website here!
Check out and share the trailer here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway "Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”