Friday, October 26, 2012

Hot Buttons by Nicole O'Dell

About the Books:

Nicole O’Dell helps address the Hot Buttons in teens’ lives before the issues become problems 
From dating to drugs, modesty to purity, morals to popularity, teens face all sorts of tough issues. How teens respond to these hot-button issues can have lasting effects on who they want to be and who they actually become. What if parents can help their teens prepare for these hot buttons–before the issues become a problem?
The uniquely packaged Hot Buttons Series is an accessible, quick-reference resource that parents can use to equip their children to make the right decisions, even in the face of peer pressure and outside influences. More than just another how-to manual, Hot Button Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.
Author, mom, and broadcaster, Nicole O’Dell provides short scenarios followed by three or four responses that a teen might choose in that particular situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore the issue, ask questions, and discuss the options, so when a similar situation comes up in real life, the teens are already prepared to respond.
Hot Buttons Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.
Hot Buttons Internet Edition helps parents prepare their teens for online challenges they may face. Topics discussed include: internet activity, file sharing, social networking, and internet predators.
Hot Buttons Drug Edition braves the scary world of substance abuse, equipping parents with facts, warning signs, and real-world scenarios on: alcohol; Marijuana and other drugs; inhalants; and prescription drugs.
Hot Buttons Sexuality Edition offers the facts about teen sexuality, backed by statistics; specifics for how to talk frankly about sex with your kids, discussion about the growth of homosexuality and bisexuality among teens; and compassionate advice for guiding your teen to reclaim purity.

About the Author:
Youth-culture expert, Nicole O'Dell is the host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk and the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, dedicated to guiding teens through tough issues and helping parents encourage good decisions. On air, O'Dell covers peer pressure, dating, purity, drugs, alcohol, modesty, popularity, and anything else that comes up along the way. Nicole writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices. As an author, O'Dell writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her popular YA fiction includes the Diamond Estate Series and the Scenarios for Girls interactive books that feature alternate endings, allowing young girls to decide the outcome for the main character. Her nonfiction for teens includes Girl Talk, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column. O'Dell, resides in Paxton, IL, with her husband and six children-the youngest of whom are toddler triplets.

My Review:
I wanted to review this set of books because I have 5 children, two of whom are already teens and two are very near being teenagers.  I also work with teens in our church, so I see the things they struggle with and the questions they have.  

I really like this quote from page 22 of the Dating Edition:

The battle we fight in protecting, shielding, and preparing our teens for life's hot-button issues isn't as
 black-and-white as a physical battle in which the wins and losses can be easily quantified.  
We must often blindly face battles for our kids, operating more on faith than on sight,
 being obedient to the call of Christ and reliant on the leading of the Holy Spirit.  

We aren't in a battle of wills with our children, we are in a battle against Satan and the temptations he puts in our path.  With the help of the Holy Spirit and God's Word, we can help our children fight and WIN this battle.   Nicole's books are a wonderful guide on facing the temptations the world has to offer head-on and winning!

Each of the four books has four parts (fill in the blanks with Dating, Internet, Sexuality or Drug) :

      * __________Hot Buttons
      * Identifying the __________Hot Buttons
      * Pressing the ___________Hot Buttons
      * Parent-Teen Study Guide

Within each section, there are several chapters that deal with each of the 4 main headings (Dating/internet/Sexuality/drug Hot buttons, Identifying, Pressing and Study Guide).  There is a lot of information in these small 6x6 books, and I love that there is plenty of Scripture to  back what Nicole has written to help us breach this topics with our children.  

In the Parent-Teen Study Guide there are Strategic Scenarios that the parent is supposed to share with their child.  The parent is supposed to tell the child the given story then offer the given options (choices) with no commentary.  Then, use the things you have learned in the previous sections to guide a discussion with your teen about the choice they made.  In this manner, you deal with the situations before your teen is faced with the given situation/temptation. 

I wouldn't suggest reading verbatim from the book aloud to your child ... I would say study up on it and then when you are having alone time with the child you want to approach the given subject about, the given scenario is a great place to start.  

These books would be a great read for parents of teens, preteens or anyone who works with teens.  You can click on the above titles of the books and purchase them there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer

About the Book: 

Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series
Every year, 30–40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love.
Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she’s also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she’s met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

About the Author:
Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

My Review:
This book is not your average "boy meets girl, boy courts girl" Amish story.  This is a beautiful story of friendship that is more than the normal friendship, of hurt that seems unbearable, of family/religious expectations that seem suffocating and of what it takes to overcome all that's gone on before -- LOVE.  Along the way, there are twists and turns that seem insurmountable, but in the end God works all things together. 
I loved this book.  The Memory Jar is something I would have done (I have several "scrapbooks" from childhood, that are more like a memory jar than a real scrapbook).  It's a beautiful way to keep the memories of each day and the gifts God gives us.  Sarah has to overcome the chains that her memories have become... holding her in the past and keeping her from her dreams and future.  Jathan (love that name!) is not your normal Amish man with dreams of following in his Dat's footsteps... no, he loves to bake and create in the kitchen, but he must help provide for his family and work in the job his father has chosen for him... or does he?  Just goes to show that Amish life isn't as plain and simple as Englischer's imagine it is!
I would definitely recommend this beautiful story.  

Favorite Quotes from the Book:

"Her whole life she always pictured falling in love being full of nervous emotion, peaks of romance, and teh exitement of wondering if he loved her as much as she loved him.  But maybe love was simpler.  Maybe true love was finding someone you could talk to with ease, whose heart cared for the same things and whose dreams could meld with your own."

"Every day, you can choose to be part of God's creative process.  I'm not talking about making things. Rather I'm speaking of allowing God to form you.  We, God's people, are his greatest creation,  but it's easier to tend our gardens then our souls..... God has made you a unique design.  Never forget that.  Also know that God's made someone to be your fit, to see your specialness as I do."

Buy a copy here:
Make your own Memory Jar, instructions here:

Check out the video trailer: 

Thank you so much "Litfuse Publishing group" for choosing me to be a reviewer of this book! 

Amish Kindle Gift Pack Giveaway Celebrating The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer

Celebrate with Tricia by entering her Amish Kindle Gift Pack Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on November 7th. (And be sure to catch the fun video trailer or try your hand at one of the simple, keepsake crafts Tricia has put together on her website.)


One fortunate winners will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire

  • Custom-made Memory Jar Kindle Cover

  • Amish-made decorative items {Wall hanging, horse/buggy and Amish houses}

  • The Memory Jar {Be swept away by this captivating series.}

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 6th. Winner will be announced at the ”Memory Jar Author Chat Party on 11/7. Connect with Tricia for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of The Memory Jar and join Tricia on the evening of the November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Amish Family Cookbook by Jerry and Tina Eicher

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

Jerry and Tina Eicher

and the book:

The Amish Family Cookbook

Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (October 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***


Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.

Tina Eicher was born and married in the Amish faith, surrounded by a mother and sisters who were great Amish cooks. At fellowship meals and family gatherings, Tina’s dishes receive high praise and usually return empty. She and her husband, Jerry Eicher, author of several bestselling Amish fiction titles, are the parents of four children and live in Virginia.

Visit the author's website.


From bestselling author Jerry Eicher (more than 350,000 books sold) and his wife, Tina, comes this warm and inviting peek into an Amish kitchen, complete with recipes, Amish proverbs, and a dash of Amish humor. Readers will laugh, pray, and eat robustly with The Amish Family Cookbook at their side.

Product Details:
List Price: $ 14.99
Spiral-bound: 272 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736943773
ISBN-13: 978-0736943772