Book Review: The Chocolate Soldier

Chocolate Soldier, The

God’s summons today is to the young men and women of Great Britain and America and Christendom, who call themselves by the name of Christ.

The Chocolate Soldier is rather different from the books I normally review on this blog. It’s not a story, is only an estimated 17 pages in length. More of along essay than a book. However, I’m sure some of you, like me, appreciate a quick read sometimes. The Chocolate Soldier would be perfect for an extended devotional time.

I first heard C.T. Studd’s name five years ago when Eric Ludy came to speak at a homeschool conference. Mr. Ludy is a great admirer of C.T. Studd’s. Because of that endorsement, I quickly downloaded this short book when I found it for free on Amazon.

Studd wastes no time in getting to his point. He defines a “Chocolate Soldier” as a Christian who shrinks from the nitty-gritty of Christianity.

They are chocolate soldiers who merely go to see battles, and cooly urge others to fight them. They had better save their journey money and use it to send out real fighters instead.

Studd exhorts Christians to revive the heroism and determination exhibited by faithful men and women in the Bible.

Real Christians revel in desperate ventures for Christ, expecting from God great things and attempting the same with exhilaration.

Studd’s thought process and wording confused me a few times, but for the most part I enjoyed his whirlwind tour through heroes of the Bible. And the reminder not to be lukewarm is always beneficial. I think the message in The Chocolate Soldier would find a receptive and appreciative audience among many of you who read this blog.

Let me know if you check it out!

Guess a Quote (8.25.14)

Guess a Quote (8.25.14)

Wow! I’m really surprised more people didn’t guess the quote last week. Morgan Huneke and starshining4ever both correctly guessed that it was from The Giver. I mentioned that there was a reason for posting this quote right now. It’s because the movie just released. I haven’t seen it, but I know several of you were pretty excited for it, so I figured it would be fun to throw the quote out there. You can read a review of The Giver here on Leah’s Bookshelf or check out Morgan Huneke’s more recent review. How many of you plan to see the movie?

Here’s the quote(s) for this week. They come from a well beloved tale-become-legend.

Will you come with me, sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand.


(H)ope, be it never so faint, bringeth a gleam into darkness, like a little rushlight that costeth but a groat.

Happy Guessing!

Book Review: Abaddon’s Eve

Abaddon's EvenConfession. I have not been reading much lately. In fact, I haven’t finished a book in over two weeks. For someone who needs to post a book review once a week, that’s not a very good thing. :P The good news is, I’m sticking to my deadlines for Counted Worthy. Maybe when it releases one of you can guest post a review of it. ;)

Abaddon’s Eve is the last book I finished (Goodreads says I completed it on August 6th). Here’s what I thought of it.

Rechab and Alack, young people on the cusp of adulthood, have no idea how drastically their lives are about to change. Alack wrestles with his genuine but impossible love for Rechab, while Rechab does her best to shield her heart from her imminent and permanent separation from her childhood friend. Their parting occurs far differently than either expected. Kol Abaddon, the crazy prophet from the wilderness, comes to Bethabara preaching destruction on The People of the Great God. When Alack catches a glimpse of the vision, he follows the prophet into the desert to begin his training as a prophet of the Great God. At the same time, Rechab finds an unlikely friend in Flora, a wealthy woman considered to be unlucky. When a foaming servant declares that Rechab is marked for service to a false god, she flees Bethabara with Flora’s retinue. Neither Rechab nor Alack truly know the Great God they now serve, but their journeys will bring them closer to Him.

I really enjoyed this story and look forward to the next book. Anyone who has enjoyed Prophet by R.J. Larson will most certainly like Abaddon’s Eve as well. Though not one of two focal characters, my favorite character in this story is Flora (the rich woman who befriends Rechab). She is introduced as a powerful, smart, savvy woman, but her vulnerability unfurls with the story. She is a seeker, a lover of God who fears she cannot be fully accepted by Him because she is not of The People. She’s a flawed character with great strengths and a beautiful heart. I can’t wait to see where this journey brings all of the characters.


I read Abaddon’s Eve on my Kindle, so I can lend it to anyone else who has a kindle or kindle app. If you would like to borrow it for 14 days, just leave a comment, and I’ll pick one of you to lend it to.

Also, Prophet is still free for Kindle. If you haven’t read it yet, go for it while it’s still free.

E-Reader Survey & New Story Shop Prizes

New Prizes Added

Just in case you missed the survey posted yesterday, here’s a post dedicated to it. I’m currently hosting a survey to see how many of my blog followers have e-readers. You’ll want to participate in this survey for two reasons.

  1. The results will probably influence future giveaways. If you have an e-reader, e-book giveaways are simpler for me and convenient for you (especially if you don’t live in the US but really want to participate in the giveaways). On the other hand, if you don’t have an e-reader, you’ll want to make your voice heard too because you won’t be able to participate in e-book giveaways. Don’t worry, I’m not going to switch to entirely one or the other. I just want to know if people do or don’t have access to reading e-books!
  2. You can earn a point to spend in the Story Shop by taking the survey. Just leave a comment here or on yesterday’s post verifying that you participated, and I’ll award you your point!

And speaking of the Story Shop, there are two NEW prizes available. You can now purchase books from Shop My Bookshelf using Story Shop points. For 30 points you can get a free book and pay for shipping yourself. For 80 points you can get a free book AND free shipping. Visit the Story Shop page to find out how you can earn points and invite your friends to do the same.


Guess a Quote (8.19.14)

Guess A Quote (8.19.14)Last week’s Guess a Quote was pretty quite. Only one person correctly guessed the quote. Kudos to Hanna R. for being the champion guesser last week! As you can see in the picture, last week’s quote came from Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. If you have a kindle or a kindle app, you can read this one for free.

Actually, I’m curious to see how many of you own e-reader devices. If you take a second to answer the survey at the bottom of this post and leave a comment confirming participation, I’ll award you 1 point for use in the Story Shop.

Before we get to that, though, here’s this week’s quote. Some of you might understand and appreciate the posting of this quote at this specific point in time. ;)

The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.

Happy Guessing!

Don’t forget to answer the survey and leave a comment confirming your participation!


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Do You Have An E-Reader

5 Favorite Books

5 Favorite Books_2Last week I asked each of you to enter a giveaway by leaving a comment listing your five favorite books. The winner of that giveaway is…


Abbey listed the following as her favorites.

 I’ve only read the first two books on her list. I really like Margaret Peterson Haddix’s The Shadow Children Series, so maybe I’ll give The Missing Series a try at some point.

Thanks to all of you for sharing some of your favorite books. I know it’s hard to cull only five books out of extensive reading lists. I always wholeheartedly agree when people compare selecting favorite books to forcing a mother to pick her favorite child.

Since I made you guys struggle through that process, I figured it was only fair to share five of my favorite books as well. Like all of you, I have a lot more than five favorites. These five are the closest I can get to picking five to go on top. (This list excludes the Bible and non-fiction books.)

  •  Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn. This book is a heavy hitter that chronicles a tale of faith and persecution in China. It is one of the things that inspired me to write Counted Worthy. One month I hope to run a review series on books that have impacted me. This one would definitely be on the list.
  • A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. On days that I’m not feeling well, A Little Princess is my go-to book. I love curling up and burying myself in the sweet, familiar story. I think I’ve re-read this book more than any of the others on my shelf.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy.  This is another re-read favorite. I’m not the biggest fan of classic-style writing, but I find The Scarlet Pimpernel easy to read. From past posts I know that many of you also have a soft spot for this common wayside flower in England. ;)
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditchby Jean Lee Latham. I’ve been known to tell people that their homeschool education is not complete if they haven’t read this book! Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is the most captivating biography I’ve ever come across. Nathaniel Bowditch is the kind of person parents want their kids to emulate.
  • Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court, by Chuck Black. I love the entire Knights of Arrethtrae series, but I think Sir Bentley is my favorite. Each time I read one of the Knights of Arrethtrae books I’m amazed by Chuck Black’s talent in crafting such scintillating stories that are packed with so much truth. They’re the type of books I get excited to recommend to people.

You can check out more of my favorite reads by viewing my favorites shelf on Goodreads!

What do you think of this list? Will any of these books make it onto your to-reads list?

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Guess a Quote (8.12.14)

Guess a Quote [8.12.14]Hello everyone! Back for another round of Guess a Quotes. I decided to get fancy with the image this week and add a picture of the book cover from last week’s quote.

As you can see, last week’s quote came from The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I think my family listened to the audio version of this story a bunch of years ago. All I remember is that it’s about a deer, and the deer likes to eat the garden, and it has a sad ending. Have any of you read it recently enough to remember more details?

Here is the quote for this week. Two quotes actually. I liked both of these so much I couldn’t decide between them.

For he that does good, having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he forbears.

Chivalry!—why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection—the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant —Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword.

Happy Guessing

Don’t forget that there are only two days left to pledge to the Kickstarter campaign!


Kickstarter Update

support_counted_worthyHello Everyone! I want to thank all of you who have pledged to and shared the link to the Counted Worthy Kickstarter campaign. Last Monday was absolutely incredible. After launching the campaign and posting about it on social media, The Rebelution blog also hosted a post about the campaign. Over the next 12 hours, $750 of pledges came pouring in. The campaign reached it’s base goal of $1,000 within three days.

Today the Kickstarter page shows $1,540 in pledges and 69 hours (a little under 3 days) to go. I would love your help in reaching the stretch goal of $2,000. At this point, all pledges are locked in. This means that if you pledge, you’ll definitely pay the money you pledged and you’ll definitely receive  the reward you chose. This means that supporting the campaign is a great way to pre-order a copy of Counted Worthy.

For a pledge of $10 you’ll receive an e-copy of Counted Worthy. A $15 pledge gets you a paperback. And a $20 pledge gets you a signed paperback.

Please continue to share the campaign with your friends. We have 69 hours to raise $460. Every email, Facebook share, tweet, and pin make a difference in reaching the stretch goal.

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