Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday-My Fall TBR Pile


My TBR pile is ever growing but these are at the top ten!











Saturday, September 9, 2017

All She Left Behind Book Review


About the Book

Jennie Pickett is a natural healer, but her dreams to become a doctor in 1870s Oregon put her at odds with the world around her. As she struggles to keep her dream alive, she finds that the road to fulfillment winds past love, heartache, and plenty of surprises along the way. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Jane Kirkpatrick is such a talented author. I never know what I am going to get when I pick up one of her books, mainly because most of them are based on a true story. I love that she finds nuggets of history and digs deep to find out the whole story. This book is heavy and a roller coaster of emotions. When I read historical books I am always reminded that people haven't changed that much. This story deals with abuse, drugs, divorce, death, sickness, and a multitude of other life issues. So be aware this isn't a light fluffy read by any means. I will say it was really difficult for me to handle to age difference in Jennie's relationship. If this hadn't been a true story it would have bothered me more.
I did enjoy this book and how Jennie is so interested in herbal medicine. I don't think this is a book I could re-read but still an intriguing story. 
Four stars. 

"I received this book from Revell for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."

Sunday, September 3, 2017

These Healing Hills Review


About the Book
Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII's end writes to tell her he's in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this idea of this story. The cover is stunning and the setting is superb. At times this book got a bit slow for me and I really didn't feel a huge connection to the characters. I did enjoy seeing how Francine made a change in her life and didn't settle. I liked her adventures in the mountains and I also enjoyed reading from Ben's point of view. I thought the author moved the characters along well in personal growth, I just struggled to become totally engrossed in their story. 
Three stars. 

"I received this book from Revell for free all opinions are my own."

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Beside Still Water's Book Review


About the Book 
Is she jumping from a city firetrap into a wilderness icebox?

Violet Channing, orphaned at a young age, is tossed about by life’s turbulent waters when the aunt who raised her dies. She wants nothing more than to be a schoolteacher. Living in a Boston tenement in 1915, barely able to survive, she accepts a job as a live-in teacher for a sick child in the harsh Yukon Territory.
Sailing up the Inside Passage of Alaska, she falls in love with a dashing Yukon riverboat captain. Just when her life feels as beautiful as her new surroundings, tragedy strikes again. Can Violet allow her losses to make her better not bitter and learn to love again in this continuing saga of the loves, tragedies, and second chances of a Norwegian immigrant family who must battle the beautiful but often dangerous waters of early twentieth century Southeast Alaska? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This book deals with a lot of painful things that happen in life. At times it was a tad depressing to read but I think the story needed to be this real. Life is not easy and this book about a woman dealing with a lot of grief. I thought the whirlwind romance was a bit too fast or just didn't connect with me as much as I had wished. I love the different settings and enjoyed the unique historical aspect during 1915. At times this book was a little slow for me but overall I liked how the characters grew and changed. Pretty good writing for a more unknown author. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own." 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Deal or Duel: An Alexander Hamilton Card Game Review

Deal or Duel by Potter


In the face of the political instability and financial turmoil of the American Revolution, only one individual always came out on top: Alexander Hamilton. Pit your survival instincts and spending savvy against all the founding fathers (and mothers) in this historic action card game whose simple objective is as old as Ameritocracy itself: get all the money or die trying.

Inside You’ll Find:
-54 Historical Face Cards
-120 Action Cards
-40 Hamilton Cards
-$3,500 Colonial Cash
-Face Card Roster Scroll
-Playing Mat

2-6 players
Ages 10 +

My Thoughts

I am not sure that this game is totally worth the high cost of buying it but for history lovers it would make a good gift. The age requirement is pretty accurate, I think it would be difficult even for a ten year old to totally understand the game. I think we need to play it a few times so we can get the concept down but I think it makes a nice addition to our game pile.

Four stars.

"I received this game from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Loving Luther Book Review


About the Book

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows--a choice more practical than pious--but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther's friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

The start of this book was pretty slow moving for me but still held my interest. Things got a lot more interesting further along and as the characters changed settings. I think Allison Pittman did a good job on portraying this story though I would like to do more research on the history. I thought the difference in a trust/relationship with God vs. following orders and rituals was important. Just by following traditions doesn't mean you have a relationship with Christ.
There were some great thought provoking conversations and overall this book held my interest.

Thanks to Tyndale for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home Review: Sawyer's Best Yet!


About the Book

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery,
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I decided to read this book because of the mystery surrounding a sister losing her sister. This is most definitely Sawyer's best book to date. Her writing in this novel was fresh and unique from her other books. This book will hook you in from page one as we flip back and forth past and present time. Sawyer also did a splendid job in writing from three perspectives AND adding the past and present chapters. The thing I loved about this book, aside from the mystery is the relationship between grandmother, mother, and daughter. This book portrays so much about real life relationships between a family and their past and how so many hurts have shaped who they are today, good and bad. The only thing that I felt perhaps could have been a little stronger was the reveal at the end on the mystery part of the story. I felt it was perhaps a little too easy but otherwise well written! This is a wonderful book and one I encourage grandmothers, mothers, and daughters to read!

Five stars.

Releases September 5th!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

CFRR 2017

Dressed Up Like Their Characters

My mind is still in a whirl from this past weekend at CFRR (Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat). This year it was located right near Cincinnati, OH which is a new place for me to visit. This was the second year for this event so it seemed to have a lot more people. Of course I got to see people I had met last year and talk to some amazing authors! It was a full day starting with receiving a swag bag totally full of goodies!! I got about 8 books plus bookmarks, candy, a candle, coloring book, etc. It was awesome! Then we were provided breakfast and this became a great time to talk to everyone, including authors. The only time I really freaked out, to where I had to tell myself to breathe, was when Susan May Warren came over by us. Yeah. And then she started talking about how she picks the guys for the covers of her new series and I just couldn't believe she was standing right next to me!  Susan has written over sixty books, she is super talented and I just love her!!! That was just the start to a wonderful day.

Susan May Warren
There were some very fun author panels about faith and bookish boyfriends of course, which was entertaining. Becky Wade and Dani Pettrey had put together a super fun "workshop" showing us what it takes to write a novel. Dani couldn't make it but she facetimed us!
 Cynthia Ruchti and Shelley Shepard Gray also gave some good speeches. There were games and prizes and fun in abundance. We also had a wonderful worship time with Nicole Coley singing to the Lord. We had a great lunch and more time to visit with authors/friends. There was a lovely book store set up for those who NEEDED to buy more books. So of course I took advantage of that....
At the end of the day was book signing time which is really when you can chat with the authors more and get your picture with them and tell them how wonderful they are. This is such a special time and I feel so blessed to have been able to go to CFRR this year! Thanks to everyone who put all of this together! 

Pepper Basham
Dawn Crandall

Karen Barnett

Becky Wade

Kristi Ann Hunter

Meghan Gorecki

Nicole Coley

Susan May Warren, Courtney Walsh, and Melissa Tagg

Katie Ganshert

Becky Wade

Laura Frantz

Cynthia Ruchti

Jocelyn Green

Dawn Crandall

Melissa Tagg

Meghan Gorecki

The haul

Debby Giusti

Gabrielle Meyer

Susan May Warren

Shelley Shepard Gray
 Oh my goodness it was so fun! Some of the pictures didn't turn out great but I made some good memories!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition Review

Standing apart from all other KJV study Bibles on the market, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition is the only Bible featuring extensive commentary, doctrinal notes, archaeological insights, and time-tested study aids developed exclusively for the King James Version. Now available with stunning full-color designs, Holy Land images, classic works of art, charts, and maps, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition guides you through the vivid beauty and authority of God’s Word as you grow in your biblical knowledge.
For over a quarter of a century, Thomas Nelson has earned the trust of millions with the best-selling King James Study Bible, offering the standard of conservative KJV scholarship. Our tradition and commitment to KJV study continues with the release of the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This is a beautiful Bible! I LOVE that it is large print, that is so nice when I am in deep study. I also love that at the beginning of a new book it explains the historical aspect, the author, and then gives a full outline. There are pictures, but not overwhelming to where it is overboard. There are some great maps in the back that I also enjoy. This is a heavy thick beautiful bonded leather Bible. If you like the King James Version and are looking for a new Bible, this would be an excellent choice!!
"Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for offering me a copy for free. All opinions are my own."

The Return Book Review


About the Book

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her.
Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa?
Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I picked up this book because of all the great reviews this entire series was getting. Before reading this one I went back and read book one, which I thought was helpful but not necessary. Amish can be very hit or miss for me so I will say if you want a unique Amish story line, look no further. This series is all about wonderful history including a great story line with Native Americans. I love any book that has this type of thread in it and it was my favorite part of the book. Now I will say that there was a lot going on, multiple stories happening from different points of view. Honestly at times I just wanted to read about Betsy and her life with the Indians. Also, the end of the book took me by surprise just a tad and I have mixed feelings on how it ended. I think for Amish readers, you will enjoy this book. History lovers will find it interesting. I thought it was okay. Not my favorite but still a great idea/setting.

"I received this book from Revell for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bless Our Gramps and Gran Berenstain Bear Kid's Book Review

 About the Book

In The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran, the newest title in The Berenstain Bears Living Lights series, Mama, Papa, and the cubs decide it’s high time they honor Grizzly Gramps and Gran.
It’s almost Grandparents Day and the Bear family has never celebrated this special day before. So working as a team, the cubs, with a little help from Mama and Papa, come up with a fun and creative way to show Gramps and Gran just how much they are loved and appreciated. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love this book because I have always enjoyed spending time with my grandparents. This is a great story for children to recognize and appreciate their grandparents on Grandparents Day or any day really. In the back of the book it gives ideas on how to show your appreciation, which I think is a good addition. I also really enjoy the humor added with the story about Noah and how him and his wife had a LOT of grand kids. 
This is a fun story and a wonderful addition to your Berenstain Bears Library.

"I received this book from Booklook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own."