Book Review: Befriending the Beast



Hey all! Hope you are having a wonderful day! Because this is the third book review post in a row, I just thought I'd let you know that this is still a devotional blog as well :) I have had a post on my heart for months, but God's still teaching me that lesson! :) For now, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Amanda Tero who has just published another book. A Beauty & the Beast retelling with an intriguing twist: what if the Beast was Belle's father? I had the opportunity to beta-read this story and wanted to share!

About the Book

"Belle has returned unannounced to the castle to restore her relationship with the king, her father. Her hopes are dashed with the devastating message: "The king refuses to see you." Convinced that God has led her home, she is unwilling to return to Lord and Lady Kiralyn.

Time is running out for the decision that will change her life. When tragedy strikes, will she and her father be pulled further apart or knit together? Could she stay at the castle even if she will never see her father again?"

What I liked: 
To be fair, I came at this story completely biased—Beauty & the Beast is one of my all time favorites, and I am a complete sucker for a good retelling. However, we all know how a bad retelling can leave behind a hollow feeling, as though you had hunger pains that were left unmet by what promised to be a good meal. This retelling? Left you completely stuffed, yet begging for more!! One of the reasons I am such a sucker for this tale-as-old-as-time is because of the romance—and this story had none, so I wasn’t sure how I’d react to it. The suspense completely drew me in! Romance, classic B&B tale or not—I needed to know how this worked out! How the story resolved! Whether or not these characters I was beginning to love ever got their happy ending and were able to stop suffering! And the angst. Oh. My heart broke over and over again for these characters—even the mean ones! This story was incredibly well written to where I felt Belle’s pain, her hesitation, her hope.
In addition to being able to experience along with the characters, Amanda’s brilliant writing was captured in two other ways that I really liked about this book! The imagery—there were so many nods to the original story, flawless yet so subtle; I literally got excited when I found them. I’m not sure whether Amanda included them on purpose or not, but the references to the roses several times had me geeked out. Lastly, the realistic yet powerful way Amanda was able to tie in Biblical themes via Belle’s faith and her struggle to trust God greatly impressed me more than once. It’s always annoying to get to a place in a story where you feel as though the author just threw in a Biblical reference, or simply just worked too hard to get one in there. When discussed in Befriending the Beast, these things felt much more natural.  Also, more than impressing me, God used it to encourage and convict me, and I think that is one of the greatest things a story/author can do- and this story delivered, and delivered in the right way.
Another small, but legit thing I loved about this story was that Belle was strong in her faith, she had a mature walk with God… but she makes a totally “did I really just do that? I know better!!” mistake toward the end (that left me at the edge of my seat) but I appreciated that. Even the most mature of Christians make dumb mistakes once in a while, and I think we tend to forget that.

What I didn’t like:
……ummm...... nothing? lol No, but for real I loved this story. The only thing I wished was different was that I wish the ending was longer and gave more closure. I spent so much time wondering and stressing with the characters about whether or not things would be resolved that I wished the ending would just go on and on. What I didn't like was that the story had to end! ;) ;) 

Purchase Link
(order before October 8, 2016, to get it at the discounted price of $.99!)

About the Author
Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!
 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)


Connect with Amanda

Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com



Journey to Love Book Release!

The Orphan Journeys Series
Journey to Love (Marie's Story, 1901)
By Amanda Tero

(Quick aside from HisPrincessWarrior: I've never been part of a book release blog tour, but I was able to participate as a beta reader for this sweet book and was very encouraged by it! I highly recommend buying your own copy, if this post piques your interest :D I found myself really identifying with Marie's struggle throughout this story!) 

About the Book
Now orphaned, Marie is swept miles away from the only life she knew to be sheltered by unknown guardians. Caught in the challenges of a new life, she cannot prevent changes from happening, but she can keep the Bowles and their friends at arm's length. Or can she?

While things appear to transition smoothly on the outside, Marie struggles against the turmoil she faces on the inside. She sees something in the Bowles and her new friends that she had never experienced before...but should she trust what the preacher is teaching when it goes against everything she had accepted as truth? Is God really a God of love? If He is, then is Marie willing to accept it?

Follow Marie as she begins the journey to love.

About the Orphan Journeys Series
Imagine yourself as an orphan, struggling for survival on the filthy New York streets, where disease and crime run rampant. Journey from these wretched streets to a temporary lodging in an overcrowded orphanage and then to the train station. After riding the train for hours, picture yourself lining up with other children, waiting as adults look you over. Would you be chosen—or would you have to hold onto the hope that maybe, at the next station, someone would want to bring you home?

Minister Charles Loring Brace had a vision for New York orphans that brought them through this journey from streets to homes. He began his orphan work in 1853, then in 1854, because of lack of orphanage space, Brace sent the first orphans by train to Dowagiac, Michigan, where the children could be sheltered by local families. The "orphan train" continued until 1929, bringing at least 150,000 children to new homes where they were fostered and, occasionally, adopted.

Brace desired to place children in good, Protestant homes. Many orphans experienced Brace's desire, but some orphans had different stories: siblings were separated, and some couples took orphans to use for cheap labor. Though many orphans ended up as successful men and women, not all of them turned out to be trustworthy citizens.

Orphan Journeys is a fictional novella series based off of the American Orphan Train saga, following orphans not only as they adjust to a new life, but also as they embark upon a spiritual journey.

About the Author

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Connect with Amanda

Purchase Link


Book Review: Kate's Innocence

When the FBI begins investigating bombings at Kate’s school, she becomes the main suspect because of her chemical engineering major and military background—however, Kate maintains she is innocent! As further evidence mounts against her, Kate must help the FBI clear her name—all while facing personal demons from her past—or spend the rest of her life behind bars. This was a great story and intriguing read that I was able to really “get into” and not want to stop reading until everything was resolved!

What I liked: I liked that life wasn’t perfect. Kate’s relationship with her father was strained, as was her relationship with God. Things like this are real-life, and while not condoned (for sure!) they were written in very well. Kate’s rocky relationship with God was something I appreciated because it gave her room to grow and for readers to be edified through the course of the story. This was done very well, and is something with which many readers will be able to relate.
I enjoyed the banter among the FBI team throughout the book, and that when somebody made a mistake or error in judgement, they owned it, and the responsibility that went with it, instead of pawning it off. In addition, I found the plot of the mystery to be very well thought out. You can tell that Sarah did her homework. I was skeptical as to whether or not this would be more of a romance/emotional story with the mystery tacked on, but was pleasantly surprised with the opposite. The mystery was very thought out and was the real, main deal, with the subplot woven in very well!
I also enjoyed that while romantic relationships are hinted at and feelings are felt, they were dealt with in a realistic manner! They were often ignored, pushed away for another day, dealt with slowly—any relationships or even deeper friendships were developing slowly throughout this book, leaving so much  to yet be resolved and I appreciated this soooo much! :D In real life these things take time, and they did in Kate’s Innocence, not occurring and resolving perfectly with a neat little bow in 120 pages! That, my friends, was refreshing! :D
What I didn’t like: While I loved certain conversations concerning faith and God in this story and was truly touched by them, there were a few that felt forced to me, usually between the lead male character and his best friend. Whether it was the man-to-man element or the lack of preamble that felt off to me, a few of those scenes bothered me.
Also, nearly all the FBI agents in the team were Christians; while as a Christian I would love if that was a reality ;) I did find this to be a little unrealistic. However, it seemed as though the main character Kate did as well, which I loved, so perhaps in future installments we will get more closure/information as to how this came to be.
However, neither one of these things bothered me enough to ruin my enjoyment of the book!!!

Favorite quote:  ‘“I just… I have neglected God. I don’t think He is going to give me peace and grace until I change.”
……“God doesn’t work that way, Kate. He is always waiting to be there for us, even if we haven’t done our part.”’

Final thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found it a fun, intriguing, but also encouraging read, and was excited when I saw that Sarah plans on continuing the series! Check out Sarah's blog: The Destiny of One .
Find Kate's Innocence on Amazon here. 

**picture taken from Amanda's Review! :)