Bethanny's Books



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Butterfly Blink, by Karl Beckstrand

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on April 20, 2016 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

"Follow the stages of a monarch butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. With each blink the butterflies multiply (until a playful dog disperses them). Children (ages 2 – 6) cement vocabulary as they make up stories to go with colorful illustrations. Wordless book activities include finding and naming insects and characters and describing the action in this butterfly book. Includes diverse kids, special concern species, and insect habitat conservation. Blink and they multiply—blink and they’re gone!"

Short Summary: This wordless book is a unique approach to learning that very young children will appreciate.

Full Review: This book is different than any I have reviewed before, and is much different than most books I remember ever reading. There isn't one word in the entire book. This makes it a very quick read, something to keep children busy even before they can read while fostering an appreciation of books, and helps spark imagination as children tell the story themselves.

     The only complaint I have is that it's difficult to understand what the point is or where the plot is going unless you've read the synopsis, where the author explains the purpose and intent of his wordless book. Otherwise, you're just not going to get it. However, if you read the synopsis, there should be no trouble.

     This book should be used to encourage children's imaginations and creativity. Instead of being read to, they see the pictures and make the story up on their own. If an adult is there with them, they can help guide the children in the direction the author intended. Thinking of my four year old sister, I know she would have no trouble with any of that!

     In conclusion, there isn't a doubt that this is a children's book. Adults reading it to them: don't overthink it. Just let the kids read to you this time.

Overall Rating: 4

*I recieved this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Escaping The Prince, by Lorrain O'Byrne

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on April 16, 2016 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

"Buttercup Hickleberry is a mischievous, devil may care pixie from Brandydook Kingdom. Much to her astonishment and dismay, she is selected to be Prince Morgan's bride. In fear of losing her independence, she escapes to the land of humans where adventure and terror lurk at every turn. While Buttercup battles deadly spiders and gigantic birds, amongst other things, Brandydook and all the pixies are catapulted into terrible danger and only she holds the key to its survival. Prince Morgan must find Buttercup and return her to his homeland before it's too late."

Short Summary: This middle grade book is perfect for younger readers. The plot was enjoyable even to me, but it reads in a way that will keep kids engaged and excited to the end of the story. Anyone who reads it will be anxious for the next book in the series.

Full Review: Escaping The Prince is written in an easy to read style that fits a younger audience. The plot is fast-paced and doesn't stop to dwindle anywhere, so children with short attention spans will have a story that keeps up with their need for action. I would say it easily fits into an age range of 8-12, and may be a refreshing book for children a bit older to read if they get tired of longer, more difficult books, and parents will enjoy reading it to their kids.
     The plot doesn't lack anything in the way of action, adventure, suspense, and even a little romance. The characters are woven well and there are definitely lessons to be learned from them. I don't know if it was the author's original intention, but as readers listen in to the thoughts of pixies and animals and watch their interaction with humans, I think we can learn a lot about our own flaws. It gives a better appreciation for nature and the world around us.
     Buttercup is a relatable character with flaws that, while we don't approve of, we understand. Most of us likely would have acted the same way were we put in her place. Prince Morgan is much the same, although perhaps a bit more admirable because of how he grew and changed, and how willing he was to break out of the ordinary, accepted ways of doing things and the sacrifices he made.
     Wendy, a human child, is a walking annoyance. She is careless, rude, ungrateful, and doesn't take care of her dog, Bruno or show him the love he so desperately wants from her. Many children have the tendency to take on these traits, whether they mean to or not. This book may help make their own character flaws more clear.
     The only thing that takes away from the book is that at one point a pixie calls the prince "A royal pain in the ass." Since this book is written for children, that seemed very inappropriate. The entire time I was reading this book I had my nine year old sister in mind, and had plans to buy it for her, but I'll now have to reconsider as I know she would be shocked to read something like that. Granted, it only happens once, but these are children we're talking about, not adults or teens who have been exposed to such things before. The innocence of children is something to be protected. Standards can still be held to.
     Other than that, I cannot find fault in this book. It is written appropriately for it's audience, it's engaging and well thought out, the story is not dumbed down in any way, the characters are relatable and lovable, and the lessons it teaches are healthy. If you're looking for a book for a child that will make you feel like you're in the middle of a Disney movie, this is the book for you!

Overall Rating: 4

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Teen Dreamers Unite!

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on March 14, 2016 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (2)

Are you a young person with a big dream? Welcome to the club! That's what I've been all my life, and at age 16 I have accomplished more of my dreams than I ever thought possible, and I'm still going strong!


The only thing different about my dream is that I pursued it with all my heart. There's nothing about my dream that makes it better or more achievable than yours. You're every bit as capable of doing that as I am. And believe me, knowing you're going to be doing what you love and are passionate about for the rest of your life is pretty great.


So are you ready to start making your dreams reality? I'd love to encourage and inspire you! Like my page and follow me on Facebook for some awesome posts. ( ;) Also, shoot me a message! Let's talk about your dreams and help you make them a reality.


You can also check out my dream come true at this amazon link. ( ;) It's a book about... yeah. A bunch of young people being amazing and capable of saving the world. Kinda like you, right? ;)


I look forward to getting to know all of you dreamers! Let's change our lives, and along with them the whole world, together.

Guardians of The Scroll, by Steven Loveridge

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on March 4, 2016 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (1)


     Thrown back in time by The Palace Library to ancient Egypt, three children must protect a dangerous and magical manuscript. Only the power of The Scroll can control the savage creatures of The Nether World.


     Harry, Eleanor and Grace must battle monsters and face fire to wrestle The Scroll from the cruel grasp of Caesar and Cleopatra.


     At the moment of victory, a new evil emerges to steal it away.


     Captured, with the Library of Alexandria burning all around them, how can they escape?

     Short Summary: A fantastic, engaging story for all ages that could easily spark discussion topics and would be perfect to read in book clubs or for a family friendly story.

     Full Review: If you needed an example on how to capture someone's attention from the very beginning of a story and keep it to the very last word on the very last page, this book would be the one you should read.

     I'll often complain that books are too emotionless, or that the emotions feel forced and unrelateable. In this book, the author doesn't even attempt to include certain emotions or spark mushy sentiments. Instead, it's a refreshing change to hard, tough, practical emotions in the midst of a lot of chaos and desperation. We don't mess around with romance, and we don't read sappy scenes that show the characters discussing with long speeches how much they care about each other. That's still there, but it's shown, not just explained to the reader. It's shown in how the characters stick together, stand up for each other, and would do anything for each other. The relationships between characters are fantastic and convincing, as are the motives of each individual, and all of the characters were well-rounded and easy to get attached to.

     I very much appreciated the strength in the book. I'm an advocate of young people being able to do amazing things, being mature and capable, and this book certainly makes its young characters act exactly like that. I had no doubts as to their capability, and I certainly didn't find it ridiculous that they were doing what they were doing. They stood up for themselves and made their abilities known so that no one could pick on them for being unrealistic.

     In the beginning of the book, we get right into some action through a dream Henry is having. Sometimes dreams at the beginning of a book doesn't work, but in this case it did. It helped get us in the mood of the story and set us up for what was coming. The beginning of the story lasted just long enough to set up the characters and give us the background we needed, but not long enough to feel dragged out, boring, and unnecessary.

     The Romans and Egyptians have always been some of my favorite people to study throughout history, and in this book I got a combination of both. It was the perfect combination of history and magic. Mythical creatures that aren't as commonly used in stories made an appearance, and I thoroughly enjoyed their part in the story. The action and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

     I would recommend this book to anyone aged 9 to 99, and I can't wait to read the next one!

     Overall Rating: 5

*I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review*

Stone and Silt, by Harvey Chute

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on February 25, 2016 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

     "A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold. At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door. Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death. Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love"

     Short Summary: This books brings together several different types of families and cultures together in a beautiful display of the courage people can display when faced with the ugly side of life.

     Full Review: This book is a masterpiece of meshing cultures. Nikaia is our main character, a sixteen year old girl from a family of mixed races. Her father married and Indian woman, which makes it hard for the family to truly fit in anywhere. There's nothing about the story that could be considered especially remarkable, shocking, or never done before in literature, and yet it's such a beautiful story in it's simplicity. I love it when books manage to create a great story in realistic circumstances. Sometimes, the truth is what seems really impossible or most incredible, and this story follows events that, while entirely fictitious, could have reasonably happened to anyone living in that time.

     The characters in this book are all unique, and none of them are perfect. There are very few flat characters, most of them add a lot to the story through their diversity, how they interact, and their different ways of life and how they intersect.

     Nikaia's mother and her Indian family have a very different lifestyle than the one Nikaia's father came from. The cultures are unique and fascinating all on their own, and together they are beautiful and entirely different. I loved this couple's support of each other, and how they brought different elements of their lives together to raise their family. Despite any persecution, they were strong because they were together. They only really needed each other. This family was a beautiful illustration of what a healthy family should be.

     Then there's Nikaia's best friend Yee Sim, and his Chinese family. They're hardworking like Nikaia's father. They are happy and content in the simplicity of their life and home.

     Frannie goes to church and weeps in the back alone, because she has to make her living at the saloon from the company of men since her husband died. Yet she shows more goodness and kindness than most of the high in society, or the enforcers of the law. She is the one there for Nikaia's family in their time of need, she hides Nikaia and gives her information to help her discover the truth and restore peace to the town, along with serving justice to those who deserve it.

     The Sheriff's deputy, in a position of one who should be upright and responsible, wants wealth as much as the family in town known to cause to trouble to get what they want. Because of this, he teams up with that family and together they use deception and thievery for self-gain.

     All of these people are living together, working together, worshiping together, and surviving together. The people of the town have different motives and entirely different goals in life, yet they all come together in different ways when a big issue comes up that drags them all into the same fight. It's a good lesson on morals and ethics, and would be a fantastic book to spark discussion in classrooms or book clubs.

     This is a story that truly shows how much the author has invested in their characters. Because of this investment, the characters leads the story into its greatness. Rather than the plot leading the characters around, the characters lead and demand the plot in a humble, quiet, simple, yet incredibly powerful way.

     I loved how effective the bit of romance was in this book. It didn't try to overthrow the more important parts of the plot, and it wasn't overdone. I could relate to Nikaia and her thoughts and feelings even though we're from completely different times, cultures, and families. This went beyond just romance. She was so real, as were all of the characters. I think that's why it impacted me in the way it did.

     Overall, this book may not have the appearance of “the next big hit” but it made a profound impact on me because it tried to stun me or attempt something no author has done before, but because it drew out the issues in real, human life, and connected to me in it's realness and the beauty humans can show when put through the fire of trials.

     Overall Rating: 5

*I recieved this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.*

A Spy's Devotion, By Melanie Dickerson

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on February 16, 2016 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)


     "In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

     At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?"

     Short Summary: Melanie Dickerson was already a favorite author of mine, but this really takes the cake. Her fairy tale romance series was beautifully woven and very enjoyable as well, but this new series she's beginning, Regency Spies of London, is definitely a path she's going to thrive on. This is my favorite book of hers yet, and with good cause.

     Full Review: Melanie Dickerson has done it again, and I daresay this is her finest work yet.

     This book is what I suspect Jane Austin would be like if she wrote in a style easier to understand in our deteriorated language of today, geared towards younger people rather than adults. It is much easier to read than Pride and Prejudice, yet it has all the style, culture, grace, and intrigue of the very-classy classics.

     We are told the story from two different perspectives, those of Julia Grey, and Nicholas Langdon. Julia is an orphan who was taken in by her Aunt, Uncle, and cousin Phoebe. She dearly loves her cousin and wants the very best for her. So when Phoebe decides she is in love with Mr. Langdon, Julia helps direct Langdon's heart towards Phoebe. However, when Julia becomes involved in a plot her uncle has to help their French enemies after Mr. Langdon requested her help, her feelings are also dragged into the mess. She becomes more and more attached to Mr. Langdon, even as she hopes for her cousin's happiness.

 Nicholas has returned from the war to heal from his injuries. His friend entrusted him with a diary before he died and instructed Nicholas to take it to the War Office. Unfortunately, the diary is lost to people who hope to use it for personal gain. Nicholas turns to Julia Grey to help him gain information before everything is lost. However, when her world crashes in as a result of her cousin Phoebe's affections towards Nicholas and her uncle's deception and treason, Nicholas starts to realize just how much she means to him.

     Love triangles usually make for a good story, but tend to be overused, or used ineffectively. Not so in this book. Take love triangles ruled by society and what is considered proper, use people who come from many different stations of life with many conflicting goals in life, triple the stakes, and then you have a killer love triangle. In this case, there may even be multiple triangles all crashing together. Romance can't stand alone, it has to be driven, and boy is this romance driven! It's refreshingly realistic and yet incredibly sweet and satisfying.

     Dickerson took a world so different to us and made it so real. She took a society and a culture so perfection-driven, so filled with rules on how to behave, a world where people aren't allowed to do one thing wrong or improper, and showed us it's underbelly, it's faults. Nobody and no society has ever been perfect. These are humans. They made mistakes. They did things for self-gain. They fell in love with the wrong people. They broke the rules, they did improper things. And it's beautiful, because it rings so true, because it's so real, and because even then the good shows through. The honorable people, fighting for what is noble and right, shine all the more for it.

     I loved the plot, I loved the characters, I loved the suspense, I loved the plot twists, I loved everything about it. Dickerson's books are all obviously a labor of love. Rather than losing fire, she just gets better and better the more she writes. I look forward to more great things from her in the future.

     If you're looking for a good, clean story from an author you can trust, this book or any of Melanie Dickerson's other books would be perfect for you!

     Overall Rating: 5

I recieved this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Dear Little Brother

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on February 12, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Little Brother,

     I read a post the other day that I found on Facebook about why being the older sister to a brother is the best thing in the world. I was going to share it with you, but it wasn't good enough for you, so I wrote my own. Here goes.

     Since the day you were born, I have absolutely adored you as my prince charming, my knight in shining armor, my partner in crime, and most importantly, one of my very best friends. You know who my other best friends are, and they're all related to us, too. But you, bro... you were the first. My first new best friend to welcome into the world, to be excited about living life with. For a while it was just us two, sharing that bunk bed, jumping on pillow trails that led across the living room, putting on puppet shows, and carrying our baby blankets with us everywhere we went. We held onto those for a while, kind of like we've held on to each other.

     Time has passed, and there are six of us now, all the best of friends. As the only boy among five girls, you're pretty special. I no longer tower over you, but you have to lean down to hug me. (By the way, I LOVE it when you hug me.) I may be the older sister, but I'm not the “big” sister anymore, just like you're not the “little” brother anymore, although I'm still going to call you that because it's more endearing to me than “younger brother.”

     So even though some things have changed, a lot has stayed the same. The best part of us is that we have a relationship that doesn't change, no matter what happens to us. We change, our situations change, we mature, we don't play with matchbox cars and stuffed animals anymore. But our love stays the same, and the bond that is so close and unbreakable stands firm.

     There is nothing better than having a little brother for my best friend who I know always has my back. We both understand that we will ultimately do anything for each other. I hate having activities I do without you. Of course, I don't expect us to have all the same passions, but I'm used to traveling as a pair. I like to have you along with me. We're Sherlock and John. I even like to make new people think we're a couple, because I am not ready to share you with another girl, and because come on, it's really funny.

     We share “squads.” We stay up until three in the morning together having deep conversations along with making ourselves laugh until our stomachs hurt and trying to do backwards somersaults. We take each other to our favorite movies all the time. We'll go wander around in random places together just because and have a blast doing really nothing. We discover new things together (remember Doctor Who? Blink? Huddled in that big chair together, truly scared to death?) We steal each others food, and yes give each other plenty of food, too. We listen to music together and sing and dance. When we're excited about something, we want to tell each other. When we're down about something, or confused, we come to each other. I have gotten so much comfort from you just by sitting in your room watching you mess with Legos. If people disappoint us, if everything else fails, we come rant to each other and tell each other it's all gonna work out. You're there when nobody else is there. You're trustworthy when I can't trust anyone else. You have wisdom when I feel lost in insanity. I can sleep on your shoulder and read a book while you play Minecraft and it's one of the coziest, safest-feeling places in the world.

     And that's another thing. You never fail to protect and guide me even when I don't want you to or think I don't need it. You've had the opportunity to say “I told you so” and didn't. You loan me your tactical pen when I want to go across the street to get donuts. You'll go walk places with me when you don't want to go just to know I'm safe. And you'll always offer me advice (even if I don't ask for it) but in the end you support me in all my endeavors.

     In short, I love you. All those things I said you were in the beginning you still are now; my prince charming, my knight in shining armor, my partner in crime. My best friend. I hope I can be the same for you, because you've been so much for me ever since that magical, wonderful day you came into my world. And you will forever be that much and more to me.

     Your “big” sister,


Broken Banners, by Mark Gelineau and Joe King (Book Review)

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on February 11, 2016 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)


     "Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.


     Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.


     Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.


     And woe to those who break that bond."

     Short Summary: I cannot think of a single thing wrong with this book. Breathtaking action, engaging plot, believable characters, and realistic emotion. There is some pretty brutal violence, but it adds to the story in ways that are absolutely necessary. If that doesn't scare you off, you need to read this book!

     Full Review: This book is incredibly captivating. From the moment you pick it up to the minute you set it down, the story wraps you up and won't let you go. I read the whole thing in one sitting. The characters are beautifully created. It's easy to feel like you know them pretty quickly, even though we don't get long explanations of their back story or descriptions of their character. The plot was equally well-spun. The fast pace of the book kept my interest peaked and pulled off real emotion in the midst of engaging action. I have not read the first book, but I could follow this story easily anyway. I certainly want to go back and read the first one after how good this book was!

     Elinor's strength is admirable and refreshing. Her ability to not only believe in and attempt crazy things, but to actually get them done and get them done well is something not often done so well through a character, let alone a female character.

     This book makes you think, and you have to pay attention or you'll get lost, but it's not difficult enough to be intimidating. I was always waiting to learn more, always guessing as to what would happen, to what people were going to do, or trying to figure out along with other characters exactly what the truth was about what had already happened.

     Not only were the characters wonderful all on their own, but the relationships between the characters were diverse and endearing. Con's trust in Elinor and his willingness to follow her wherever she led was a beautiful show of loyalty and the relationship felt deep without degrading the seriousness of the story with “puppy love.” He was strong on his own, too, but you could see that Elinor had earned his undivided loyalty, and that meant a lot.

     As for Elinor and Aldris' relationship, it was pleasantly mysterious. I was a little nervous when romance was hinted at, but it was very short and subtle. So many good stories have been ruined by unnecessary romance. This is not one of them. I look forward to watching the relationship develop more in future books.

     This book was packed with emotion and the story was breathtaking. I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't scared of a little violence.

     Overall Rating: 5

I recieved this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Facebook Challenge

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on January 12, 2016 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

     “My name is so and so and I believe in Jesus Christ... He said deny me in front of your peers and I will deny you in front of my Father. If you are not ashamed put your name in place of mine and make it your status. #facebookchallenge.”

     If you haven't seen this post going around on Facebook, then you probably don't get on Facebook a whole bunch. Tons of people share it, and after all it isn't a difficult thing to do. Just click copy and paste, then everyone gets to know you're a Christian and you won't be denied by Jesus in front of God the Father at the judgment seat.

     Wait... so if you post this, He won't deny you. But if you don't post it, He will deny you? Hold up. Where in the Bible does it say that if I don't post this thing on Facebook, Jesus will deny me in front of the Father? I'd really like to see that verse, because this post and everyone who shares it is suggesting that if I don't share it also, I won't be joining you all in Heaven.

     Really? Yes. Do you know what that little word “deny” means? It's something along the lines of Jesus saying “depart from me ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.” It's a public and eternal denouncement from the only person who could ever save us.

     I think sharing the Christian faith is great. Not only that, I believe it is our highest and only important calling in life. Facebook is a great way to share things quickly with other people. But you know what? I haven't shared this post. And I'm not going to. And I'm also going to go to Heaven anyway. How do I know?

     Ephesians 2:8-9

     For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

     This Facebook post is like hoping you'll be saved by going to church every Sunday. The only thing that saves is faith in Jesus Christ, and the only thing that damns to hell is unbelief in Jesus Christ.* It's that simple.

     John 3:16-18

     For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

     To be fair, the Bible does talk about denying Jesus before men in Matthew 10:33. “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” However, I am not denying Christ by not sharing a Facebook status. Peter denied Jesus when he was asked three times, publicly, if he knew Jesus and replied that no, he did not. I may not be sharing your status, but I'm also not posting that I don't believe in Jesus to save face. And Peter was an apostle of Christ. He went on to serve Jesus and then die for his faith after Jesus left earth. Do you think he's in hell even for his public denying of Christ? I'll let you answer that for yourselves.

     I'm not ashamed of my faith, or of my God and Savior. I will gladly proclaim that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I will gladly share scripture that is in context and discuss it with friends. I will gladly share the gospel with those who don't know Christ as Savior. But I will not participate in the #facebookchallenge because I refuse to guilt trip my friends into sharing a post that has no value, worth, or purpose (or fantastic grammar by the way) and I definitely refuse to suggest to anyone that their salvation and eternal destiny rests on whether or not they share the post.

     Salvation is not through works, it is through faith. Sharing a Facebook post does not save you, just as not sharing it does not damn you to hell. If you are insecure in your faith, and worry about being denied by Jesus if you do not share it, spend some more time with God. Develop a relationship with Him so that you can trust Him, because there's no other person in the universe and beyond more trustworthy than God, no one else who deserves as much trust from you as Him. If He says faith saves you, you can believe that faith will save you. Because not only is He trustworthy, but He loves you.

     My name is Bethanny Lawson, and my salvation is based on my faith in Jesus Christ alone, not on a Facebook post. And neither is yours.

All scriptures quoted are from the KJV Bible

*The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. People go to Hell because of their sins against the holy law of God and their failure to meet His standards for living. Unbelief in Jesus is the only thing that can damn a person to Hell because our sins have no power over us after we have been washed in the blood of Jesus. If sin alone sent people to Hell, not a person would make it to Heaven. Sins plus unbelief equal a destiny in Hell.

2015-16 LoH New Year's Special

Posted by Bethanny Lawson on January 1, 2016 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

     Hello everybody! To celebrate the new year of 2016, I am releasing a special diary entry from Ren, Jacquelyn, and Ty's mother, which takes place a few years before the events in my book, Legend of Heretrua: Rulers of Light. I must warn you, it will mean a lot more and you will catch a few extra small details if you've already read the book, but whether you've read any fiction of mine before or not, I hope you enjoy this, along with the new year ahead of us!

     Raising Heretrua's next generation of rulers is not always the serious task people may take it to be. More often than not, it's chaotic and insane in the castle trying to raise three children to be wise and responsible while managing not to quench their spirits or rob them of their childhood. It's also the most exhilarating and fulfilling thing I can imagine doing.

     Already they each bring such unique things to the table. Two of my children are so very like myself in that they are generally more reserved and quiet. Then there's my little fireball.

     Even though he's only three, Ty is already our monster slayer. He never tires of playing knight and dragon with his grandfather. Sometimes he drags his sister along to play the princess.

     It's funny how even though they're already royalty they still play at it. Children imagining the great adventures they will have as adults, imitating their parents. Father fills their heads with stories he insists to be true, stories of his daring stunts and events from his own past, himself as the main character. When a person is as full of winks, jokes, and mirth as my father is it is hard to decipher which tales to believe. Even so, the time he takes off from his duties as king for his grandchildren is time with him they desperately need, an example and future for them to look forward to as it will some day be their own.

     Ty especially relishes this time. Those two have a special bond. Ty admires the boldness and charisma of his grandfather and imitates him constantly, whether in the faces he makes, the phrases he uses, or anything else. They share a thirst for adventure, even danger. My husband jokes that “Virgo will knight the boy before he's five.”

     Jacquelyn and Ren are starting to discover how to use their magic. Jacquelyn sometimes tugs on Ren's sleeve and he'll follow her to their hiding place to practice making beautiful spirals and images in the air. They know as well as I do that as soon as their younger brother learns to use magic, it will be war and chaos among the three. Ty will likely skip straight to weaponizing his magic to play tricks on his siblings, and play time will gain a new intensity of the best kind.

     On the topic of children imitating their parents (or grandparents) Ren has become his father's shadow. It warms my heart to watch my son follow his father everywhere he goes, and I know my husband loves that Ren wants to be with him and learn what he does.

     After mother passed, father felt overwhelmed by life. My husband takes the place of second in command and father trusts him enough to let him share an equal load. It makes life easier for us all by easing pressure and allowing more time for family. It's healing for father to be away from his duties with people he loves.

     Ren knows he's next in line for the throne after his father, and takes it very seriously. He has the quiet courage of a true ruler already. It's so funny to watch his little brow furrow as he tries to understand the problems brought to his father and tries even harder to understand the answer. Sometimes he doesn't understand, doesn't even agree, and he's not afraid to talk about it. He's changed my husband's mind on several occasions. You'd think he was an old soul trapped in the body of a child, but sometimes the innocent perspective of a child is simply more accurate than the wisdom of experienced men.

     Besides that, when Ren is with Ty, he is absolutely a child. Ty brings out all the mischief and energy his brother possesses. It's always a wild guess during games as to if the teams will be Ren and his father against Ty and his grandfather or if the boys will face the men. The funniest part is that it's also impossible to tell which pairing is more likely to win.

     Ren thinks his father is the greatest ruler there ever was. He's in awe of him. Of course, I've often felt the same. After all, he is my husband. But when he comes and tells me about Ren's questions, about how mature he is in conversation, I see a glow of excitement in his eyes that rarely appears for anything else. He tells me our son will be the greatest king of all three in our family. He couldn't be more proud.

     It's sad to think we'll never get to see Ren as king. If he wears the crown, it will mean we're already gone. It's a joy to imagine it now anyways, and we will get to watch him grow into manhood. To know that we are investing in our realm's future king is an amazing thing. I can't wait to watch him begin to take his place in life.

     It's amazing that father has energy to keep up with Ty long after his siblings have given up. For Ty, life is an adventure. For the other two, it is sometimes sober. Jacquelyn came to me in tears today after accidentally stepping on a grasshopper during their game in the meadow. She carried the insect all the way back to me because she felt so guilty for taking its life and felt like it deserved a proper funeral.

     Ty was upset at his game being interrupted, but Ren helped with preparations and even wrote a little speech. Ty did attend, with a tiny sword he'd made from a twig. He stuck it in the dirt at the head of the grasshopper's grave and assured Jacquelyn that it had died with honor as a soldier in battle. The children did all of this with utmost seriousness, which only made it harder for me not to laugh.

     They're our future, my children. I see in their day to day lives and activities, the seemingly pointless things, what they will become. I am so excited for the future of our realm, so happy for the people who will live in the time of their reign. My children are already the rulers of my world; my little rulers of light.