All the Way My Savior Leads (Book Review & Blog Tour!)

Today, I’m participating in the blog tour for All the Way My Savior Leads, a great new story by author Faith Blum! I loved this book, and am looking forward to sharing it with you! (Find out more about the author here.)

I made a mistake last week. I had been planning to read All the Way My Savior Leads, but since I was still smack-dab in the middle of the adventures of two sisters in Suit and Suitability (a retelling of the classic Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, but set in Depression-era Ohio!), I decided to wait a bit and see if I could finish the other book first. This book was just a novella, right?…or so I thought. So when I tapped to open it in my Kindle Sunday morning, I realized differently quite quickly. Thankfully, even though this book is a novel, it’s a shorter one in the range—but I still enjoyed it immensely.

All The Way My Savior Leads Blog Tour

About the Book

Caroline and I walked out the back door and went into the barn. “What are we going to do?” Caroline asked.
“Head out on our own. Saddle Whitey, please.”
Caroline’s mouth gaped open. “They’ll find us.”
“I know.”
Caroline sighed. “What can we do then?”
I shook my head. “We can stick together. Always.”

Tragedy stole everything from him…except her…

Three years ago, an illness orphaned Henry and Caroline Sullivan. The harsh years at the orphanage have forged a strong bond between the pair.

But Henry’s about to age out.

He must choose whether to leave his only family behind in relative safety, or take her with him as he pursues dreams of owning a farm. Henry trusts that God has a plan for him, but little does he know that others have plans for him and his younger sister as well. He will need all his faith to find the right path.

Although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Note from the author: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans organization.

My Review

All The Way My Savior Leads Book ReviewI’ve been fascinated by orphan’s stories ever since Mom recorded the Orphan’s Journey Series by Arleta Richardson onto tapes back when I was 5 or 6. I listened to those recordings so many times that I’m sure she got quite tired of hearing her voice over and over, but I loved the books—and still do, although it’s been years since I last listened to it (a great excuse to re-read an old favorite in order to review, I reckon). So I was quite delighted when I found out that this book by Faith Blum was about an orphan. (Seeing as I didn’t even know that much basic info about the story illustrates the fact that I hardly read any description about this book before I requested to review it!)

So, going into a brand new book that I hadn’t read much about was somewhat of a new experience for me right there. I had heard of author Faith Blum before, and looked at her books with the hope that one day I could read them, and I must say…even though this is the second book in the series, and I haven’t read the first book (yet; she kindly gave it to me, though, so that will be remedied soon!), this one was enough to make me want to try other books that she’s written.

I was highly impressed by the story. As far as the plotline goes, I’d consider it average; there wasn’t anything intensely exciting, adventuresome, sad, or even unpredictable about it (although I wouldn’t have predicted some of the things that happened!). In some ways, it was highly predictable—but for some reason, I enjoyed that this time around. To me, this book felt like the kind of story you’d pick up as a cozy read on a chilly winter day or a lazy Sunday afternoon—it didn’t meander pointlessly, but it didn’t just rush from one place to another, either. It had a nice, even flow—so if you’re one for adventurous reads, this probably isn’t for you.

As far as the characters, I think Hope was my favorite. She was cute, had endured a tremendous amount, and yet still dared to love where she felt free to do so. I really enjoyed little Jimmy, too—he was hilarious when he wasn’t being naughty! The main character felt pretty “perfect” (one fact that did annoy me at times), although it wasn’t overt AND it was told in first-person point of view so that is a lot more understandable.

The Christian element to the story was both fairly well-done and annoying. The title song for the book cropped up about 4-6 times, and personally I found that a bit much—almost as if the author was trying to make a point about the title of the novel. Probably not, and it did normally fit the circumstances, but after about the third time I was getting annoyed. As far as the other parts of the story, the faith is talked about at times, but usually in a very normal setting. There was one point where the gospel message was presented to a boy, and it felt somewhat long-winded, but other than that it was fine.

I laughed out loud several times while reading. Thankfully, one of the places is fairly easy to quote; I loved the way she described this:

Tommy, Edward, and Jeremiah spun around, and I think I saw at least one jaw bounce off the floor.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It wasn’t super-exciting, but it pulled me in this afternoon (so much so that when I needed to do a job for Mom I had to repeat the instructions about three times to be sure I got it!), and to me that’s a big win there. I also don’t remember noticing any typos or other errors—which is a big pet peeve of mine toward self-published authors! In all, if you’re looking for a cozy, not-too-long historical fiction, this might be a good fit for you.

Thanks, Miss Blum, for giving me a copy of this book to review!

Other Notes

For May 26-31 only, get both books in the Orphans of the West series for just $0.99 each! They are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more. Buy now: Savior, Like a Shepherd and All the Way My Savior Leads

There’s a giveaway! Go here to enter and also see links to the other blogs participating in this tour. 🙂

Remaining tour stops:

May 30
Frances Hoelsma—Book Spotlight

May 31
Rachel Rossano’s Words—Guest Post: How I Pick Hymns
Written Rest—Review

June 1
Bookish Orchestrations—Giveaway Winner

Boating the Creek and Giveaway Winners Announced

Boating 01

The giveaway ended yesterday evening, so today I had the priviledge of collecting the results and randomly picking winners! What fun! Thanks again, everyone, for entering and sharing while it was running. The publicity was much appreciated.

LRD 500 Reviews Party

And without more ado, I announce…

  • Kendra S as the winner of the $20 Amazon giftcard,
  • Megan C as the winner of the DVD When Things Seem Impossible,
  • and Deborah F as the winner for the Janet & Geoff Benge book.

All winners have been contacted, and their prizes will be sent off soon. (If you haven’t gotten your email yet, contact me here.)

I wanted to share a few photos from a recent excursion our family took to the ocean. We took a few friends with us, and my brothers spent some time blowing up one of their inflatable boats so they could go boating on a creek out there. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, and all enjoyed themselves immensely!

Boating 02

Boating 03

My oldest brother took our youngest brother for a ride.

Boating 04

While some people were out boating, the others worked on building up the “dock” a little.

Boating 05

Boating 06

Then, since a day isn’t complete without at least one slightly challenging task, my oldest brother decided to create his own water craft: A “Y”-shaped log laid over another large log, the ends of the Y acting as outriggers to keep the raft/boat/whatever-you-call-it level.

Boating 07

Those who were still out on the boat weren’t sure what to think…

Boating 08

…especially when he asked to borrow one of their two paddles, as his pole (a washed up branch) wasn’t getting him very far!

Boating 09

So they ended up making it back to port with one paddle, doing a bit of twirling in the water as they went. And the one on the logs got back in safely, too—amazingly, he didn’t even get wet!

Thus ended a fun afternoon at the creek.

I’m so thankful we can do things like this as a family—being out in God’s beautiful creation enjoying spending time together is a precious, precious thing. I’m so thankful for all my siblings and for the unity we have as a family. We’ve been through a lot together, but we can still smile, laugh, and praise the Lord for His goodness to us. Life isn’t always easy, but trials serve to highlight what a treasure we have in these relationships and the memories we’re making together. I’m so thankful!

Over to you: What have you been doing with your family lately that will leave good memories for years to come?

500 Reviews: Giveaway Time!

Hello, everyone!

It’s giveaway time! I’ve got to say—running giveaways is probably one of my favorite jobs around here at LRD (besides reading books, of course!). I was talking to Mom about the giveaway this morning, and she encouraged me to keep it simple…while I was all for doing something big and fun! Well, we came up with a compromise and I’m happy about that too.

500 Reviews Celebratory Giveway!

But first, before I tell you what you could win, I’d like to say a big thank you. I don’t do that enough, I know, but thank you for being here—even just taking time to read this. Thank you for your support over the past year and a half that we’ve been going, for taking time to read our reviews and buy a few books that hopefully have been helpful to you, and for sticking it out even through those times when I haven’t gotten the reviews up when I should have. Thank you. We couldn’t do this without you—if it weren’t for you, our job would be pointless.

And since we finally hit 500 reviews on the website, I thought it called for a celebration! 500 reviews isn’t nearly as many as I hope one day to have, but it’s a good start. Where will another 500 take us? Well…that’s at least partially up to you. What subjects do you want us to research and find more books on? Tell us, and we’ll see what we can do. We’re all about helping you succeed in what you’re doing. I’m excited to see what will happen next!

The Giveaway:

There will be three winners at the end of this drawing. It is open internationally (as long as you can use an giftcard or receive a book from Book Depository!), although please note the DVD is only available to those residing within the US. The giveaway will run from now (January 16) through to January 23.

You could win:

Enter to win:

LRD 500 Reviews Party

(Can’t see the widget? Enter here.)

Any questions or comments? Ask below. And here’s hoping you’ll win!

God bless,

One Year Thankfulversary: Giveaway Time!

When I mentioned that I wanted to do a giveaway yet this month to my mom, she asked “is it because you launched the site about this time last year?”

“No…but that could be the reason!” I replied.

One Year Celebratory Giveaway

While that isn’t the only reason why we’re having a giveaway today, it is part of it. I enjoy giving things to people, love celebration, and love meeting goals. One of my yearly goals was to have a giveaway sometime here in the first quarter, and with that coming to an abrupt end in about a day, I think it’s about time to try to accomplish that goal!

Like I said before, I love celebration. For the most part, I love this thing called life that God has called each of us to live. And I love celebrating the little things—hasn’t He given us so very, very much? Just pause and look around for a moment, if you’re in doubt. See that bed? He gave you the gift of being able to relax and rejuvenate in sleep. Hear that bird? He made that amazingly complex machine. He made it all. And we should praise Him for that.


Today, I’m praising Him for a year well lived. Yes, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but He’s been there through it all. Through His love, He has brought many people past this website, and I’m thankful for that. And I hope in the coming year, we’ll be able to help even more people find good books.

Thank YOU, too, for sticking with me through the ups and downs and learning curves and pictures blowing out the side of your inboxes…thanks for understanding. 🙂 And thank you in advance for your support in the coming year.

And now for the giveaway! Since Easter has just finished (how was YOUR Easter?), I’ll do a Bible-themed giveaway. We’ll have several winners, so when you enter you’ll have the chance to receive one of the following:

  • A $20 gift card
  • Joseph of Arimathea by Sarah Holman: Two Kindle editions (from of this book will be given away. I was reading this last Easter, and really enjoyed the story!
  • More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell: One paperback copy, can be sent from Book Depository. So far, this is one of my hands-down favorites in the Christian apologetics world—very practical and readable!
  • DVD of ABC Say it With Me: Bible Memory Verses: —Available only within the US. Our family loves this, and I’m sure the younger people in your life would as well.

Note: This giveaway is open worldwide, just as long as you can receive books and gift cards from Please note that the DVD is only available to people who live in the US.

So in total if you add all that up, we’ll have FIVE winners! Yay!

Enter below. Giveaway begins on March 30th at 7 am EDT and ends in two weeks, on April 13th at 8 am EDT. (I’ll stick with Eastern time—adding New Zealand time to the mix is too confusing.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And legal info: Want to see the Terms and Conditions for the giveaway? Go here.

May God bless your coming week!


Launch Day! (+ What to Expect)

Hello, friend!

I’m so excited to be writing this first blog post, sharing this brand new site with you for the first time! I hope you’ll find Learning Resource Directory to be extremely helpful and informative, now and as time goes on.

Since today is launch day, I thought we could start off with a fun launch party. Just because I want to thank you for all the support you’ve shown over the time my team and I were building this. And because you’re just plain wonderful.

Launch Giveaway

Before we get into the giveaway, I’d like to tell you what to expect from this blog.

I’m all about living purposefully. To me, living purposefully means that we will:

  • Read books that help us attain our goals or motivate or encourage us in some way.
  • Choose the style of learning that fits our individual needs—whether the right program, book, podcast, or something else.
  • Use the right tools to get us from “A” to “B” as efficiently as possible.
  • Set intentional goals—so we can live more purposeful lives, and do what really matters.

I want this blog to be just as much of a resource for you as the rest of the site. I also hope I can encourage you, and help you live even more purposefully than you are already.

There are a variety of things I will be talking about. In no particular order, here are a few of those things:

  • Discipline
  • Goal setting
  • Free Tools (ones that I use often that help me be more productive)
  • Family living
  • Teaching children and siblings
  • Writing (and all things related to the subject)
  • Teenagers in highschool
  • Beyond highschool
  • My homeschool experiences
  • Time management
  • Productivity

I don’t think I could capture everything I’d love to share with you in just one list. I’m hoping you can join me in the ride of discovering what living purposefully really means, and we can learn together. I’d love to be an encouragement and help to you if I can. Don’t hesitate to send questions, comments, or just a “hello!” to me via the contact page or comment box.

Now that the serious business is out of the way, let’s have a party!

Since Learning Resource Directory is all about books, I want to give you a chance to read a new book—or enjoy an old favorite, however that may be. Today, I’m giving away two different books—both old favorites of mine.

The first? God King. One of you will receive a paperback copy of this fascinating, inspiring story.

The second? An older classic—In Grandma’s Attic. Except there’s a slight twist . . . I’d like to give you the whole Grandma’s Attic Treasury! This paperback collection includes the first four books in the series, all ones I’ve read and loved.

There will be two winners—one family will get God King, the other will get Grandma’s Attic Treasury.

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. (Giveaway is open to all countries that Book Depository ships to.) Giveaway runs from now through Wednesday morning (NZST).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feel free to take a self-guided tour around Learning Resource Directory, and if you have any thoughts about it don’t hesitate to share—I love hearing from you. 🙂

As soon as the giveaway is over, expect my first “regular” post. I’m hoping to post 2 – 3 times per week, so you can stay inspired to keep on working, but not get overwhelmed either.

Keep up the good work!
Esther Filbrun


Update: The giveaway is now over! Join me in congratulating Jessica S and Clare! Congratulations, girls! Jessica, you have won God King, and Clare, you will be receiving the Grandma’s Attic Treasury. I’ll be in touch with both of you shortly.