Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Swept Away: Scenarios for Girls 5 & 6 by Nicole O'Dell

Decisions, decisions! How is a girl supposed to choose? Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test in the Scenarios series, where you can test your decision-making abilities in an eye-opening, but safe, way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision—then it’s your turn to choose. Will your choices lead to a happy ending?

What Would YOU Do? . . .

High Stakes

"Cheating for a good reason is okay, isn’t it?” Seniors and best friends, Amber and Brittany, are neck and neck in a good-natured competition for a car being given away by a local business. The winner? Whoever maintains straight As without being absent one day during the school year. When Amber cheats on her final exams to win the car and Brittany gets blamed for it, Amber is torn. Will she let her friend take the fall? Or will she admit she cheated and face the consequences? What will Amber do?

Essence of Lilly

“How far is too far?” Sophomore Lilly Armstrong is always looking for ways to escape the confines of her unhappy home. She “invents” youth group activities just so she can hang out with her boyfriend, Jason—the only one in Lilly’s life who makes her feel special. When Jason convinces Lilly to lie to her parents about a church overnighter so she can stay at his house while his parents are out of town, how far will she let things go? What will Lilly do?

Help Amber and Lilly make the difficult decisions and see how your choice creates consequences with life-altering results.

Nicole's Thoughts: These two stories lead the Scenarios series down a slightly older path. Some tough, but necessary issues are tackled in hopes that the reader will use her own choices to help commit to good future decisions. It was definitely a bit difficult to tackle issues like purity for a teen audience. I pray these stories will help you when you come face-to-face with pressures like these.


My Thoughts: One of the things I loved about these books is the way you got to choose at the end of the book what the main character would do. I read the "wrong" choice first and then went back and read the right one. It's easy to say you would choose the right path when you aren't in the middle of it. But part of making the right choices is knowing how you would want to react before you have to make the choice. I think these books help with that process. If we know how we want to react to something ahead of time then when it comes up we don't have to struggle so much back and forth trying to figure out what we ought to do.

These are books that preteens and teens will enjoy and can relate to. It was nice to go back into that way of thinking because I have a young preteen that could be dealing with some of these very issues in the near future. I want her to be prepared with her answer before she has to make the decision.

The "wrong" choices led to some pretty hard consequences. But with Christ at the center of their redemption it showed how even when you make mistakes and have to live with the consequences there is life after those mistakes. You can still make the right choices and move on with your life. And it can be a good life even if it isn't the one you had planned before you made those mistakes. That is a good lesson for our preteens and teens, but also for us.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Shadowed In Silk by Christine Lindsay

She was invisible to those who should have loved her

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.


Shadowed in Silk was a wonderful surprise. I knew the book would be great because some of my writer friends had said it was. But there were things about it I didn't expect even reading the description. I was stuck in the usual and normal way of doing things, I suppose. It wasn't just a historical but one that took me to India, a place and time I had never read about. It gave me some wonderful insight into that time period. As someone with a heart to reach out to those of other nationalities this really spoke to me. I have been learning so much about different cultures. This helped further those lessons. I was never really interested in history when I was in school but now that I am a homeschool mom and writer history has taken on a whole new excitement.

The characters were vibrant and alive throughout the story. Abby is such a caring and loving person. She doesn't hold prejudice's against others because of their  skin color. She respects the cultural boundaries. Geoff is a strong man of good character. He is a great leader. They each understand the boundaries that are set because of who they are and the position in life they are in. While Abby doesn't quite understand the one true God Geoff has strayed away from Him. His relationship isn't the close one he used to have. As the story unfolds God does a mighty work in each of their lives.

This is a book that shows us how to love people for who they not the color of their skin or where they live. Sadly it shows us our mistakes where our actions have caused others great pain on both sides of great wars and disputes. But that is our fallen world. It isn't the world God wanted for us. It is a great book that I recommend anyone to read who loves a great historical. I can't wait to read her next book.


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Read a Sample Scene: http://shadowedinsilk--chapterone.blogspot.com/2011/04/another-sample-chapter-you-may-enjoy.html

Book Two: Captured by Moonlight Autumn 2012