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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bible Bands Katreina Eden *ARC Review*

Today I'm reviewing Katreina Eden's book, BIBLE BANDS :)!

*I received an arc from Cedar Fort Publishing as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest and fair review*

I've read a few crafty books here and there--mostly for sewing or crochet--but in general, I'm more an artsy rather than a crafty person (See that stunning display of artistic license? Crafty generally means cunning...but not today :D.)...

Which raises the question: why was I even remotely interested in reviewing this book? 

When I was in West Virginia, the girls in my Backyard Bible Club group for the week all had 'bands' around their wrists, fingers, and necks. I'd never seen them before, and they looked really cool, so I asked about them, discovering that the girls thought they were super easy to make--and let me tell you, I had my doubts because, again, artsy not crafty.  

But after reading this book, I get what they meant. They do  seem easy to make. So if you're like me, fear not: thanks to Katreina Eden's step-by-step presentation of the how-to of crafting Bible bands, even we can make a bracelet or two. 

Oftentimes, craft books will zoom over a beginner's head because 1) there aren't step-by-step pictures that actually make sense, and/or 2) the author (sometimes) mistakenly assumes readers understand what he/she's saying! Eden's approach isn't like this. After a general description/how-to of the design with suggestions for use, she dives into a series of clear-cut diagrams to offer step-by-step help. Sometimes she'll include a nifty extra, like how to make teardrop earrings, or offer a tip on technique.  

Eden makes learning how to make Bible bands easy.*

My favorite part: each bracelet/project (because really, once you know how to make a bracelet, you can make a necklace or ring by lengthening or shortening...and if you don't, Eden explains it in one of her tips) comes complete with a Bible passage. What a wonderful way to have fun and learn more about Who God IS and what He's done...and remember it day by day as you wear the band(s)!

I love that these bands offer a creative way to share the Gospel as well as personal testimonies. They're reminiscent of the Salvation bracelets--the ones with the colored beads--except these offer a greater range of expression. Also, there's a Bible charms pack you can order to go along with the bands, and it's legit--totally worth a separate purchase.

And, in case you were wondering, the bands are gender friendly. No little (or big) man wants to wear a bracelet (or necklace) that makes them feel girly! 

So, in summary, Bible bands are: fashionable, inventive, easy, and inexpensive. It'd be a lot of fun to do with a youth/children's group, in spurts (over a few weeks), as a fundraiser doubling as an outreach event, with your children...

Some 'critiques':

If I remember correctly, one of the girls in WV didn't use a loom, and not using one is referenced in the book; however, the book never strays from using the loom. I figure it's because trying to demonstrate that would be a nightmare...and possibly also because the loom makes things easier. Still, I would've liked to know why the 'loomless' style wasn't displayed.

Maybe they're saving this for the print version, or I just missed it, but I didn't recall the Bible being cited in any of the passage references, or before the book. I probably just missed it. And it really isn't a huge deal, but it was a little odd, considering that I've never seen it NOT cited. (Btw, I'm pretty sure it was KJV.)  

My biggest issue with Bible Bands was--ironically--the thing I enjoyed most about the book: the mini Bible lessons. Overall, I thought they were alright; they fit with their bands, and they were succinct. But sometimes, they just struck me as a in slight ways that made me wonder what exactly was being said (and if I agreed with it).

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hunt for Valamon DK Mok *Cover Reveal and Excerpt*

I've got some good stuff planned for the blog this month (not a whole lot; still busy writing...and attempting to write lol), and I'm so excited to share this cover with you! It's so cool...!

Ok, sorry. (But it really is fantastic.)

Annnnd there's an excerpt! Dive in and be a happy reader :).

Title: Hunt for Valamon by DK Mok
Release date: April 7, 2015 *Mind you, this is the date I received via email to promote the novel. On the website it says February 2015. 
Publisher: Spence City (an imprint of Spencer Hill Press)

....drum roll please....




Here it is!
Oooh, shiny *_*
Deep in the heart of the Talgaran Empire, Algaris Castle has been breached. No one knows how, why, or by whom. The only thing taken is twenty-eight year old Crown Prince Valamon. 

Seris—a young cleric caring for the ramshackle and happily book-infested Temple of Eliantora—finds himself unexpectedly recruited to the rescue mission. His sole companion is Elhan, a cheerfully disturbed vagrant girl with terrifying combat skills, who is rumoured to be under a dangerous curse. 

Far out of his depth, Seris has no fighting ability, no survival skills, and no charisma, as Elhan keeps pointing out. All he has are a stubborn streak and the conviction that unless he returns with Valamon, dire consequences await his foster family.

Chasing rumours of rebel camps and rising warlords, cursed fates and the return of the vanished sorcerers, Seris and Elhan discover a web of treachery and long-buried secrets that go far beyond a kidnapped prince.

As enemies rise from both beyond the empire and within it, Seris and Elhan must confront their own bloody pasts, and rescue Valamon, before simmering tensions in the empire erupt into war. 


Tomorrow, everything would change.

Valamon, crown prince of the Talgaran Empire, stared at the crisp speech in his hand. The rest of the castle lay deep in slumber, but in Valamon’s bedchamber, the candle had burned down to a crater of wax.

There was nothing extraordinary about the speech, aside from the fact he’d finally been entrusted to deliver one. It was covered in copious notes from the royal speechwriter, including “remember not to smile” and “look regal”.

Valamon glanced at his reflection in the mirror. His dark hair kept falling into his eyes, and while he was reasonably tall, he had the inconspicuous build of a worried philosopher. Judging by the portraits in the banquet hall, “looking regal” involved brandishing a bloodied sword while crushing a corpse beneath your boot, which Valamon had always hoped was artistic embellishment.

Valamon wondered what would happen if he deviated from the script and told the crowd what he really thought of his father’s expansionist policies. It would probably involve a very high, very cramped tower with a deficiency in doors.

Still, Valamon was twenty-eight this summer, and something had to be done. He folded the speech into a small, intricate lotus and left it beside the dying candle.

When he looked up again, there was a contorted shape in his bedroom window, pressed against the glass. By the time Valamon lunged for his sword, it was already too late.


About the Author
DK Mok lives in Sydney, Australia, and writes fantasy, science fiction and urban fantasy novels and short stories. DK's debut urban fantasy novel, The Other Tree, was released in 2014 by Spence City (an imprint of Spencer Hill Press), and her short story 'Morning Star' (One Small Step, FableCroft) was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award.
DK grew up in libraries, immersed in lost cities and fantastic worlds, populated by quirky bandits and giant squid. She graduated from UNSW with a degree in Psychology, pursuing her interest in both social justice and scientist humour.

She’s fond of cephalopods, androids, global politics, rugged horizons, science and technology podcasts, and she wishes someone would build a labyrinthine library garden so she can hang out there. Her favourite fossil deposit is the Burgess Shale.

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