moonblood

Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl / Bethany House

Prince Lionheart returns to his ruined kingdom and struggles to reclaim the trust of his people. But when the people demand the death of Lionheart’s only loyal friend Rose Red, he banishes her instead to the treacherous Goldstone Wood, filled with deadly magical creatures.

Captured by her father, King Vahe, and imprisoned in the lost kingdom of Arpiar, Rose Red refuses to call for help. She waits for the Night of Moonblood and her father’s vile plans to unfold, a talking statue and lost boy with no memory for her only companions.

Lionheart pursues Rose Red, determined to rescue her and atone for his betrayal, but finding his way through the Wood is more difficult than he could have imagined and strange enemies greet him at every turn. He must defeat them all and find a kingdom no one has been able to enter in more than five hundred years if he is to reach Rose Red before it’s too late.

Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl possesses a masterful sense of story and beautifully incorporates powerful symbols seamlessly into each of her novels. In reading Moonblood one cannot help but become as lost in the story as the desperate prince in his search for his friend. Lionheart’s struggle to accept his failings and the healing of Rose Red’s wounded heart echo the deeper spiritual message that none are forgotten or without hope.

Moonblood is the third book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. Starflower, tthe fourth book in the series has just been named a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. Book five, Dragonwitch, will be released in the summer of 2013.

Language Content
No foul language.

Sexual Content
None.

Spiritual Content
Lionheart is haunted by the choices he has made which caused harm to those he cares about, but refuses to accept blame and wanting to believe he has made the only choice possible. He tries to salvage his mistakes by rescuing Rose Red, but in the end, still he cannot atone for what he has done on his own. He must accept forgiveness and aid from a Higher Source.

Rose Red, still wounded by the prince’s betrayal, refuses to call for aid in her imprisonment. She too believes she can escape on her own, without help. A small bird calls to her, as God’s spirit calls to us, but she doesn’t want to trust him anymore. She learns that God’s plan doesn’t always look the way we expect, or keep us safe in ways that make sense to us.

Violence
Heroes fight a tiger and dragons. A unicorn’s horn stabs through someone. None of these events are given deeply graphic descriptions.

Drug Content
None.

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starflower

Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl / Bethany House

The entire court of immortal faeries is distraught when beloved and beautiful Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a fearsome dragon-witch. Two of her most devoted admirers race to her rescue, and the Bard Eanrin is determined to be first to reach his ladylove. On his journey he encounters a human girl locked in a spell of sleep and finds he cannot simply leave the unlucky mortal to her fate.

Eanrin wakes Starflower from her sleep, intent upon sending her on her way, but the maiden knows little of the treacherous Wood. As she accompanies Eanrin on his quest, a deep connection emerges between the girl and the dragonwitch. It may be Starflower alone who can rescue Gleamdren and battle an ancient dark power.

Fans of the Tales of Goldstone Wood will recognize Eanrin as the wise and mischievous cat who often kept company with the Princess Una in Heartless, the first novel in the series. Starflower predates Heartless and tells the tale of a much younger and more, often humorously, self-centered Eanrin and adding still more depth and breadth to the already rich and lustrous story world Stengl has created.

Starflower is a tale of love, not strictly romantic love, but of the journey toward choosing to put others first, to risk losing total autonomy, and to show love to others even when they are not outwardly deserving of it. It is the fourth book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series and was just named a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. The fifth book, Dragonwitch, will be released in the summer of 2013.

Language Content
None.

Sexual Content
A kiss.

Spiritual Content
Starflower’s people are under a curse and cannot speak. To remove the curse, she has to learn to love her enemies. Over and over through the story, characters are challenged to love others at expense to their own desires or safety.

Violence
References to a dog being beaten by its owner. A girl is surrounded by young men who mean her harm (she is not injured). Two dogs fight. References to human sacrifices. A man is killed saving his daughter. These scenes are short and do not contain a high level of detail.

Drug Content
None.

Beyond Corista by Robert ElmerAfter a narrow escape from an intense battle on her home planet Corista, Oriannon and her friends head toward a way station, guided by the mysterious pilot stone. Oriannon’s mentor, Jesmet, appears to her and instructs her to take word to each way station, warning the people of an impending attack by the merciless Troikans. Oriannon wants to obey, but there are two problems:  she is saddled with the presence of their enemy, Sola Minnik, blinded in the attack on Corista, and no one seems to believe her visions of Jesmet and his message about the doom to come. Is Oriannon wrong? Are her experiences with Jesmet mere hallucinations? Can she lead her friends in her holy quest or will she have to face this task alone?

Beyond Corista is the third book in the Shadowside Trilogy. The story follows Oriannon, a young girl with a special gift to remember anything she reads, and a love for the Owling people– a humble group who dwell on the dark side of her home planet, Corista. In the footsteps of her father’s leadership, she struggles to make choices that protect the innocent, even in the face of great evil.

Language Content
none

Sexual Content
none

Spiritual Content
Oriannon learns that trusting God and following His instructions is not always easy, nor does it always look like she expects.

Violence
There are some battle and capture sequences, but those are not graphic or explicit in nature.

Drug Content
none

Me, Just Different by Stephanie MorrillSenior year should be everything beautiful Skylar Hoyt can hope for. She has popular friends, a hot boyfriend. But a terrible experience gives her a late summer wake-up call, and for Skylar, it’s time to make some changes. No to parties, and yes to youth group top her list.

Until her family begins crumbling beneath her. Her parents seem to be moving opposite directions, with Skylar and her sister caught in the middle. Then Skylar discovers her sister’s secret. Should she tell? Can her parents’ fragile marriage handle a blow like this one?

With Skylar’s best friend acting weird and her boyfriend’s jealousy skyrocketing, she doesn’t have many places to turn for support. She finds herself lonely, troubled and in need of a real friend. Where can she find one of those?

Me, Just Different is the first book in the series The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt and author Stephanie Morrill’s debut novel. Morrill authentically tackles the drama of high school and a troubled home life, balanced with questions of faith. This is a clean, real look at surviving high school and the challenges a new Christian teen faces.

Language
None

Sexual Content
Mild. Some kissing. References to other behavior that has occurred, but nothing explicit.

Spiritual Content
Skylar begins to attend church and youth group again as she tries to reforge her faith.

Violence
None

Drug Content
Some references to alcohol.

By Darkness Hid by Jill WilliamsonAchan has known nothing but the life of a stray, lower even than that of a slave. When a mysterious knight, rumored to have once been a stray himself, makes an offer to Achan to train him as his squire, despite laws that should prevent it, Achan finds himself trapped between two lives. In this midst of this, a strange gift seems to wake inside him. But isn’t bloodvoicing just a myth?

When an evil prince seeks her hand in marriage, Vrell hides behind the orange tunic of a stray and masquerades as a boy to conceal her identity. At the same time, her own newly discovered gift brings her to the attention of those in power despite her disguise. As they seek to exploit her gift, they draw dangerously close to uncovering her secret.

As the prince’s coronation approaches, Achan and Vrell’s troubles only increase. Will Achan’s gift uncover his true identity? Can Vrell quell her gift to protect hers?

This novel, the first in Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings trilogy, is fast-paced, intriguing, and full of clever characters. Great summer read!

Language
None

Sexuality
None

Spiritual Content
Er’Rets is a kingdom half in darknes. The people worship many gods, but some believe there is one god, Arman, the creator, above all others.

Violence
Some battle scenes, but gore is minimal.

Drug Content
None

Check out the book trailer below…

In BetweenSixteen year old Katie Parker is not too excited when she discovers she’s moving to a new foster home in In Between, Texas, home of the Chihuahuas. And to top that off, her new “dad” is the pastor of one of the local churches. Not exactly consistent with Katie’s formerly religion-less life. At her new school, she finds herself at home with the other outsiders. At least, so she thinks. When one late night stunt turns to trouble, Katie finds herself sentenced to time with her new nonGrandmother– Mad Maxine. Could things get any worse? And does the God thing really work?

Jenny B Jones tells Katie’s story with just the right mix of tenderness, humor, and sarcasm. It was an entertaining read, one I didn’t want to put down from the minute I read the first page. Katie is lovable and endearing– and even Mad Maxine really gets to your heart. She’s a trip.

There are three books in the Katie Parker Production series. So Not Happening, the first book in a new series by Jenny B. Jones, will be released in May 2009. Can’t wait to check it out!

LanguageSo Not Happening
None

Sexual Content
None

Spiritual Content
Katie wrestles with finding her a place in her new family– and her new faith. The God thing is a unfamiliar and a little uncomfortable at first. Katie wrestles with doubts and a tenuous new hope. Her view as an outsider coming into a pastor’s family and her questions about faith seemed really authentic.

Violent Content
One scene of vandalism pretty early on in the story. Pretty mild.

Drug Content
None