Tag Archives: childrens

Fear No Evil Review and GIVEAWAY!

ItmljDkY

About the Book

rf5R5Yic

Book: Fear No Evil

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Christian Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: December 5, 2020

Across the land of Zoura, people and creatures alike continue to fall prey to the persuasion of darkness. The seeds of evil pollute not only those outside the Light, but those within it. Pitting neighbor against neighbor. Brother against brother. The Dark One gains ground in his pursuit to shroud the heathlands in eternal darkness. Zoura’s only hope lies with three children.

Twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, are determined to reignite the Tower of Light in Blooming Glen. But an attack by dark forces separates them, driving them into a valley of darkness. Without each other or their Knight Protector, the three siblings must navigate the wilderness while fending off creatures tainted by evil. They fight not just for Zoura, but for their own survival.

Will the darkness overtake Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan? Or will they prove their faith is stronger and that they fear no evil?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

tdnn7y40

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age appropriate way. He’s dedicated 15 years of his life to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his own children are off to college he’s sharing his life experiences on social media @towersoflight, @twodadsandajoke, and through his blog https://www.lightofmine.net

More from Allen

The stakes have been raised in the 3rd book of the Towers of Light Series, Fear No Evil. The children have been separated from one another in the darkness shrouded, Muddy River valley. Evil prowls around them at every turn. Do they have the faith to fear no evil?

My favorite part about writing this book was a conversation I had with the real Ethan. I had a tight editorial deadline to meet and I decided to go on a writing retreat to finish the book. While I was trying to leave home, my youngest the real life Ethan kept asking me questions and delaying my departure. Finally, I said, “You know the last time I wrote there was a ferocious bear about to eat Ethan. If I don’t sit down and start writing soon, he’s going to be a bear food.” Ethan’s reply was, “Yah you better go write now!” You’ll have to pick up Fear no Evil to see if I got back to the story in time.

My Review

Book three of Allen Brokken’s Towers of Light series offers a divergence from the first two in several ways, intensifying the danger and adventure while still serving to encourage and inspire young readers. This series needs to be read chronologically because it tells one complete story sectioned into five books. Fear No Evil picks up where the second book, Still Small Voice (see my review HERE), leaves off, and although there are enough reminders crafted into the opening chapters to refresh readers’ memories, the narrative as a whole will not be as enjoyable or as appreciated without the entire story arc.

There could not be a more apropos title for this book releasing at the end of 2020 than Fear No Evil. The target audience is children and middle-grade, but they are just as suitable for adults, with timeless lessons that we never outgrow and often need to be reminded of now and again. This story marks the mid-point of the series, and it proves to be the most challenging for the characters so far, with the poison of darkness spreading and the three siblings separated for the first time. Lauren, 12; Aiden, 9; and Ethan, 5 each end up on their own after an attack by the darkness that is overtaking Zoura. Struggling to maintain their faith in the midst of persecution, each sibling prays and recalls the twenty-third Psalm throughout their ordeal while also working with creatures they come upon. Due to their separation from one another, each chapter focuses on only one of the children, often ending with a bit of a cliffhanger to be resolved in a few more chapters, heightening the suspense.

Brokken excels at combining fantasy and childlike faith in a credible manner. The animals and beings he brings to life on the page are similar enough to reality and are described well enough that they are easy to envision, yet sufficiently diverse to stoke the imagination. Readers get a glimpse of how God’s creation was intended to work before sin entered the world, with prey and predator together and even helping one another. Likewise, the effects of darkness (sin) taint everything in its wake. However, the light dispels darkness, and in Fear No Evil especially, the children give compelling witness to their faith: through words, but also through actions and admitting when they are wrong. They each demonstrate their dependence on God through trials, embodying the words of David in Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, December 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 7

Texas Book-aholic, December 8

Beauty in the Binding, December 9 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, December 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 10

For Him and My Family, December 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 12

Spoken from the Heart, December 13 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 13

For the Love of Literature, December 14

Artistic Nobody, December 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 17

Vicky Sluiter, December 18

Giveaway

pWkSnbY8

To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1045b/fear-no-evil-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saving Mount Rushmore Review and GIVEAWAY!

pQ7Y0iFQ

About the Book

iiZnwTpQ

Book: Saving Mount Rushmore

Author: Andrea Jo Rodgers

Genre: Middle grade fiction

Release Date: April 15, 2018

When John Jenkins’ parents ship him off to stay with his aunt, he’s certain it will be the worst summer ever—until he learns he’s been accepted into a top-secret school. St. Michael’s Academy is home to gifted students with extraordinary talents. Although John has no idea why he’s there, he’s assigned to Team Liberty, who assist authorities with solving low-level crimes. Their first mission: stop a trio of mischief-making teens from vandalizing Mount Rushmore. John battles feelings of inferiority as he and Team Liberty compete against Devlin Black and his cronies to track down clues and solve puzzles at Mount Rushmore. Along the way, John makes several key contributions, and his self-confidence grows. When he discovers he was admitted to the school due to a clerical error, he’s mortified. Now, he’s strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to save Mount Rushmore, and he learns an invaluable lesson: every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

E339iL5g

Andrea Jo Rodgers is the author of award-winning Christian middle grade fiction as well as inspirational adult nonfiction novels. She holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in women’s health, orthopedics, and lymphedema. She has served her community as a volunteer emergency medical technician for over thirty years, responding to more than 8,200 first aid and fire calls. She lives on the east coast with her husband, two children, and their two rescue dogs, a Shih Tzu and a Dachshund.

More from Andrea

Can John embrace his God-given gifts in time to save Mount Rushmore?

Have you ever admired the extraordinary talent of another person? Perhaps you enjoyed listening to someone belt out a spellbinding rendition of your favorite song at church or a concert. Or, maybe you have dreamed that you’d gain the same athletic prowess of a professional sports player.

The amazing gifts of others can take many forms. These gifts may be linked with intelligence, such as an aptitude for math and engineering. They may reflect the beauty of the arts through singing, dancing, or painting. Certain individuals may dazzle the people around them with incredible athletic talents, from gold-medal Olympians to professional baseball, football, and basketball players.

Most people consider extraordinary talents to be God-given gifts. They allow people to stand out and shine among others. However, do each of us need a breathtaking talent to be considered special?

In Saving Mount Rushmore, John Jenkins, an awkward thirteen-year-old teenager, is unexpectedly chosen to attend Saint Michael the Archangel Academy. The top-secret school’s mission is to protect our nation by assisting authorities in solving crimes. Since the academy is for students with extraordinary abilities, John is puzzled as to why he’s been accepted. After all, he’s an average teen without any notable gifts.

While working with Team Liberty to save Mount Rushmore from Devlin Black and Team Mischief, John struggles to discover his special gifts. He’s mortified when he discovers that he’s been accepted to the academy due to a clerical error. He becomes strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to try to save Mount Rushmore. He learns that every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

I came up with the idea for Saving Mount Rushmore while in the airport, just before our plane departed for the famous landmark. I wrote feverishly the entire flight, and the first chapters were born. Saving Mount Rushmore is a middle grade novel which combines information about Mount Rushmore, adventure, and Christian values. My goal was to write an exciting, fun, educational book for middle grade readers that incorporates Christian values into the fabric of the story. John and his friends have an opportunity to save another national monument in the sequel, Saving the Statue of Liberty. I hope you celebrate our country’s heritage by joining John and Team Liberty in their adventures.

My Review

For God and Country.

Going into Saving Mount Rushmore, I had no idea what it was about aside from the obvious location and the fact that it was a middle-grade novel. While reading, I kept asking myself if I would have enjoyed it had I been the target age group, and I think that I would have due to the historical connection. The idea of going on secret spy missions provided plenty of fodder for the imagination when I was growing up, and reading this book made me feel, in some ways, like a kid again. Author Andrea Jo Rodgers does a nice job with the main cast of characters, starting with 13-year-old John Jenkins, who will be spending the summer at his great-aunt Martha’s Winding River Ranch. I felt the most kinship with Annabelle the bookworm, and also with the shyness of John himself.

This is a good book for illustrating how we can work together to achieve a common goal. St. Michael’s Archangel Academy is “a top-secret school that helps authorities fight crime” in the words of Aunt Martha, and each of the students has a special gift. Except for John, who does not know if he has a gift or what it might be. How the other kids in his assigned group, Team Liberty, respond with complete acceptance and support is heartwarming and encouraging in a society that far too often teems with bullies. Similarly, Shaniqua and her stressful home life evoke her fellow members’ empathy. So refreshing! To keep things from becoming too idealistic, there are villains, too, in the form of other kids who do their best to foil Team Liberty’s mission. As a bit of an aside, I would like to comment on the seemingly negligent adults, with the exception of Aunt Martha, because it does irk me. John’s parents are too busy to take time for him on a normal day, and they do not seem to prioritize their kids, while Mr. Jorgenson seems rather indifferent and callous.

One of the things that drew me to this book in the first place is that it is written from a Christian worldview, as evidenced in the series title. God is mentioned a few times throughout the book, and on one occasion John offers a prayer for a meal he shares with his aunt and the ranch foreman, but faith does not seem to be as integral a topic as I thought that it would. I had been hoping for more, but this is book one of the series, so maybe the second book contains more specifically Christian content.

If you’re looking for a realistic, true-to-life middle-grade story, this book isn’t it. But if you can suspend your disbelief and enjoy a tale that mixes an authentic American landmark with a dash of fantasy and the adventure of being a kid, then Saving Mount Rushmore is worth checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 19

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Older & Smarter?, November 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 25

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 25

Vicky Sluiter, November 26

deb’s Book Review, November 27

Simple Harvest Reads, November 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 28

Artistic Nobody, November 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Captive Dreams Window, November 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Giveaway

bWkPvt9A

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Saving Mount Rushmore: Saint Michael the Archangel Academy, Mission 1 as well as a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103a5/saving-mount-rushmore-celebration-tour-giveaway

Still Small Voice Review and GIVEAWAY!

BaxTNymY

 

About the Book

y3yspB64

Book: Still Small Voice

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: July 24, 2020

The Still Small Voice Leads the Way

Because of their faith, twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, prevailed in the battle for the Tower of Light. But their victory did not stop the Dark One. Darkness continues to spread across Zoura’s frontier.

Now, in a vision, Mother tells them to light a second tower in Blooming Glen. Before they can set out on their journey with the Knight Protector, their Uncle arrives with a different set of instructions. He doesn’t trust the Knight Protector or the Mighty Mercenaries and believes the children should go to grandma’s house instead.

Unyielding in his belief, Uncle unknowingly leads the children off their path. And a misguided acolyte follows them. Lurking in the shadows, he strikes at every opportunity as the dark forces prepare to descend.

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan are Zoura’s last defense. Can they convince their Uncle of the truth—that he must listen to the still small voice—and make it to Blooming Glen before the Dark One’s forces overtake them?

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

 

About the Author

tdnn7y40

 

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. Follow his endeavors @towersoflight, @twodadsandajoke, and http://www.brokken.net. Your children can grow their own faith and love of God by following the adventures of Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan (plus their pets!) at instagram.com/towersoflight.

 

 

 

 

More from Allen

Still Small Voice is the much anticipated 2nd book in the Towers of Light series. We will be launching the book with a Celebrate Lit tour on July 24th. Come on the tour to learn about some of the places author Allen Brokken visited to research the unique frontier setting for the series. Five of the tour stops are interviews where he shares what he learned at different historical locations as well as his inspiration for the second book which focuses in listing for the Holy Spirit’s still small voice.

As defenders of the light, three children embark on a journey to stop the dark forces invading their land.

Louder than ever before, the message of listening to the holy spirit’s still small voice resonates with an urgency that demands action.

”Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken is an adventure of a lifetime! Filled with mystery, action, family bonds, and a healthy dose of animal friends this second book in the Tower of Light Series is a fantastic continuation of the journey of siblings Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan. Their quest to spread the Light as Darkness creeps across the land is a faith-filled adventure worth joining. ~Katie Clark, author of the Enslaved Series”

 

My Review

Growing up, I was an avid reader, devouring as many books as I could and blazing through series after series. Among my favorites were “Little House on the Prairie” and “The Younguns of Mansfield.” The nineteenth-century has always held a special place in my heart, and slipping into that bygone world through literature was and continues to be a great joy for me. I read almost exclusively Christian works, and my favorite genre is, unsurprisingly, historical fiction, while fantasy has rarely found a place on my shelves over the years. However, over the past year, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and taken advantage of the opportunity to review books from the fantasy genre, which has proven to be a blessing and has introduced me to many wonderful authors and their books.

One of these is Allen Brokken, author of the Towers of Light middle-grade fantasy adventure series. As much as I love discovering quality adult fiction, finding the same for children is a double blessing because it is so needed these days. “Still Small Voice” is book two in the series, which should be read in order because the story continues seamlessly from one book to the next. This second book deals mainly with transitions, setting the scene for what I predict may be a showdown in book three. However, this is not to say that “Still Small Voice” is unexciting or merely a placeholder. Far from it! Rather, we see Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan facing difficult decisions and learning that these decisions have consequences. In order to keep the Light burning, they need to remain strong in faith, but that isn’t always easy to do, particularly when their Uncle is not a believer and they are confronted with negative feelings.

“Still Small Voice” immerses readers further into the world of Zoura while gently teaching Biblical truths along the way. I love that Brokken does this so naturally, without making his stories seem preachy and sententious. Although I am quite beyond the target audience age range, I love the inclusion of special animals and the humor that the author infuses into the narrative despite the overall serious tone resulting from the threat of danger. Brokken demonstrates skillful insight into children’s behavior by the way in which he writes the story mostly from their viewpoint, highlighting their concerns and uncertainties. Also, it is very refreshing to read about children who are respectful and God-honoring and who are trying to follow the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice to conquer the darkness threatening Zoura and their own family. Another thought-provoking, heart-stirring story in the Towers of Light series that leaves readers anxiously awaiting the third book and hopefully learning to listen to the still, small voice within.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 23

For the Love of Literature, July 24

Artistic Nobody, July 25 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, July 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 27

Vicky Sluiter, July 28 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 30

A Baker’s Perspective, July 31 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, July 31

deb’s Book Review, August 1

A Reader’s Brain, August 2

Through the Fire Blogs, August 3 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, August 4

My Devotional Thoughts, August 5 (Author Interview)

 

Giveaway

pWkSnbY8

To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fe32/still-small-voice-celebration-tour-giveaway