Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday's Mail Memo - Book Swap (Cell 25 & Haven)

After a wonderful start to our monthly book swap, I was looking forward to receiving my February package from Brenda. It arrived in late January and was filled with much more than I expected!!

February Book from Brenda - Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

When I opened the box, I had to laugh because she had packed the book and other contents in all that confetti I sent in her box last month! Inside the book was a handmade bookmark, and the envelope held a card and another blog prompt (which I'll be sharing more about very soon).

Underneath the book, the box held more treasures! I had expected to see the book I sent her in January (which she enjoyed), however I was delighted to find a ziploc bag . . .

that contained several items she'd stitched just for me: two new pillowcases (because I might have mentioned a few of ours were getting threadbare) and a banner (see below) and little scraps of the fabrics she used adhered to cardstock (for when I'm ready to scrap about them)!! :)

I love this banner for my ACTIVE year! It matches my craft room with the yellows and reds and certainly makes it easy to keep my word visible. (Check out the purple BALANCE banner Brenda created for her word HERE.)

Oh, wait, this post was supposed to be about the book swap . . . so, back to the book.
I had not heard of the Michael Vey young adult books, but Brenda had read the first one (Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25) several years ago. She discovered there are now six books in the series, and she and the twins will all be reading book two soon. (These are obviously very popular books as most of the ones our library has are currently checked out!)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Michael Vey and his electrical powers. This fourteen-year-old discovers a cheerleader in his school also has special powers and, together with Michael's best friend Ostin, they form a club and begin investigating where these powers originated. When a powerful group of scientists finds them, they learn how they obtained their powers and discover the unsettling truth that the group wants to use these "electric kids" to control the world. Michael's imprisonment in Cell 25 is terrifying, yet it is there that he finds new friends and the will to fight against evil.

This is a well-paced book with a satisfying ending that left me wondering what will happen next as these teens fight against those who want to use them. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi action packed young adult novel.

February Book to Brenda - Bridge to Haven

Once again, I had FUN packing up a book to send to Brenda. Bridge to Haven has a lovely book-jacket, so I chose a pretty patterned paper and ribbon from my stash (which I'm ACTIVELY using this year) and wrapped it up. I included a plain cardstock bookmark in the book, and finished off the gift wrap with a stamped tag. I also included a little envelope of goodies for Brenda to use in her One Little Word album.

I'm happy to report that this time my package arrived a few days after it was posted!
I first read this book in 2014, the year it was published. Francine Rivers is a wonderful Christian fiction author, so when Brenda mentioned that Redeeming Love was one of her favorite books, I knew I had to share this novel with her during our book swap.

The story begins when a baby is delivered and left to die under the bridge that leads to the town of Haven. The local pastor finds her and he and his wife (& their young son) name her Abra and raise her until she's 5-years-old. When the pastor's wife dies, another local couple adopts Abra. However, she never truly allows herself to feel their love and, in her late teens, she eventually runs away with a boy to California. The boy uses her and basically throws her away. She finds herself with an agent who promises to turn her into a movie star, however he controls her every move and changes her name to Lena Scott.

One of my favorite characters is Mitzi, who teaches Abra how to play the piano. She agrees to teach Abra to play ragtime . . . as long as Abra plays the piano for church services. She is relentless in making Abra learn the words to the hymns she plays.

[Warning - spoilers in this paragraph!] Back in Haven, Pastor Zeke and his son Joshua, and Abra's adopted parents and sister never give up hope that she will return home. Joshua goes in search of her, but it is many years later when a series of circumstances lead Abra to a little town in the middle of nowhere . . . the same place Joshua is working on a construction job. They reconnect and she returns home, surrenders her life to the Lord and finds love and healing. She marries Joshua and meets her birth mother (who had been working in the town for many years). The story ends with the birth mother leaving town and Pastor Zeke once again praying for someone he loves to return to Haven.

Obviously, I highly recommend this book!

Brenda mentioned the other day that she would be mailing my March package out this week, so I'm watching for more happy mail as I wave to all the Mondayers joining in with Sian this year as we share memos and mail on Monday!


  1. What a lovey parcel to receive. Enjoy the book and have a great week Melissa.

  2. Lovely! It's not just the banner, it's the thought behind the banner that makes it so special. If you ever get discouraged, it'll be right there to remind you that Brenda (and the rest of us) are urging you on.

    Have a great, active week!

  3. What a wonderful happy mail package to receive. Your sister certainly does make beautiful quilted works. I am just about finished The Sleepwalker, so thanks for the book recommendations.

    Happy week ahead.

  4. That's exceptionally good mail you've received. The banner is a fabulous way to be reminded daily of your OLW! (Not that you need any encouragement; you seem to be very ACTIVE all the time!)

  5. What a fun swap the two of you are doing - lots of love in those parcels along with the books.


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!